Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Greetings

& other updates on life, business, love, and marketing - not necessarily in that order!

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!
Happy Kwanzaa! Blessed Whatever!

The solstice is here, and it's time once again for my biennial year-end holiday update on life, the universe, and everythingTM, to coin a phrase. As always, I ask you to accept my apologies for this seemingly impersonal format for my "holiday" message; viz a group email [or an entry to a blog on the "internet" for that matter! -Ed]. Rest assured that I do this only out of respect for our great e-postal workers, who must be up to their virtual eyeballs in electronic greetings at this time of year. It is in their honor that I refrain from introducing individually formatted and addressed missives into the POP or SMTP streams.

There are simply too few full-motion-capable beverage dispensing machines (for now!) to reach each and every one of you with my personal best, and other than my sister, Kay, I didn't think many of you would appreciate a greeting running on Gas Station TV (oh - the odor, oh - the humanity!).

As you know, this has been a momentous year for us here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC. Not only have we been quite successful in a business sense, but it has turned out quite nicely for most of us personally as well (Pat's been sacked!).

With the writers' strike dragging on, there had been some talk about moving the air-date of the "Who Wants to Be a Pent-Athlete?" up to fill some potentially dead air. While many of my friends and family seem fit to burst with waiting for this program to air, it's still a bit unlikely, given the program's tie-in with the Olympics in Beijing (Peking to me!), none the less, we'll keep you apprised of any changes.

On a somewhat personal note, I'd like to congratulate my sister, Kay, on her marriage this year to her long-time sweetheart, J. Alden Miles. (As an aside, I urged her most strongly to hyphenate her last name, but she decided to go with Kay Miles, rather than my preferred Kay Miles-Standish - there's no accounting for taste, it seems!) We are fortunate to be able to say that the wedding went off with a hitch (it wouldn't be much of a wedding without one, now would it!?), and we look forward to many more Miles as their family grows.

It's been some time since we've had a national tour of our marketing seminars, and we're planning to remedy that in the upcoming year. In fact, we're looking to expand beyond these United States (!) and to share our thoughts and guidance with our friends to the North (that means Canada for those of our readers not in the geographical know). Current thinking puts us in Camden, Alpharetta, Madison Heights, Ada, Breckenridge, Fullerton, and Sammamish, returning via Chilliwack, Lethbridge, Brandon, Sudbury, and Halifax!

As always, we'll be looking for some forward-looking marketers as co-sponsors of the tour, and we'll keep everyone informed as we make progress with our tour dates and venues.

Finally, speaking of forward-looking, we're looking forward to receiving holiday notes, wishes, updates, and (dare one hope?) goodies for some or each of you. Please know that Jody and I (and all of us here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC! - including Bailey in Finance, who was somewhat upset at being referenced simply as "my bookkeeper" in an earlier newsletter - sorry, Bailey! hope this can help clear things up as the year ends!) wish you and yours the very Happiest of Holidays.


Last week, Jay wrote about product integration in comic books:
Steve Kirby responded:
"At first, I was outraged at the idea of one of our heroes 'selling out' to The Man, but then I realized that we've all sold out to The Man in some way. Maybe letting Luke Cage have a favorite BBQ sauce for his ribs isn't such a bad thing, still ..."

Thanks for the kind words, Steve. I know these product integrations can be a difficult hurdle over which to leap: especially at a single bound! Still, once we realize that readers look to these characters for guidance, it seems even worse to tell them to buy generically-named non-brands of anything, doesn't it? I thought you'd see it my way!

-- Jay

Friday, December 14, 2007

Confirmation and Vindication

Sometimes it's a wasteland out there, but
Sometimes it's a perfect storm!

As reader Roy notes in his feedback to our last newsletter, the marketing world is ablaze with conversation regarding our contention in said missive that storytelling is the best way to communicate a brand to potential consumers. Not only that, but it's the only way to truly stay in control of one's brand, rather than trying to accommodate a fickle public's shifting conception thereof.

Quantitative confirmations are nice, but only represent the contents of one side of the beam balance scale. There are the qualitative aspects which must also be considered by our marketing "lady justice" as we measure the efficiency and effectiveness of our marketing efforts. We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC have many resources from which to draw in this interesting and important area of investigation. We will, no doubt, be revisiting this part of the question in future newsletters; for the nonce, however ....

As the flurry of comments on our internet "blog" indicate, there is a great deal of interest in the topic of storytelling as a marketing practice. It is important to keep in mind, however, that storytelling is not the sole province of full-motion video (including Television!) - no indeed. In fact, some of the greatest stories being told these days are those in Graphic Novels, Manga (no, not the fruit - this is a Japanese phenomenon which we here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC believe is poised to make the leap to North America within the decade!), and Comic Books.

Yes, you read that correctly - Comic Books.

Imagine having your product (or products!) integrated (in a positive light, of course) into the life of a superhero - on a regular, on-going basis. Let's think of some examples, shall we?

We all know that the Flash (The Fastest Man Alive!) must eat large quantities of food after his high-speed hi-jinks - why couldn't he prefer (and he probably does!) to stop at Quizno's® after those bursts of speed? - after all, they have a Pepper Bar!

Similarly, it might well be Daredevil (The Man Without Fear) behind those Foster GrantsTM worn by Matt Murdock, Esq.

The possibilities seem endless - unless you're marketing or selling Sea Monkeys - then, the end is near, as those cute little fellows simply don't last long, do they? [I remember when my sister and I put our Sea Monkey King and Queen - Louis and Marie, as I recall - and their newly-hatched royal offspring in the tank with the Magic Rocks® and our pet Angelfish, Robespierre. You can, no doubt, guess the somewhat sordid outcome. Would that she and I had been so able! But I digress.]

At any rate, it seems unlikely that many of our readers would be so blind as to miss the obvious benefits lurking just out of reach and sight in the world of the comic books.
  • Dr. Steven Strange can't use the Eye of Agamotto to find his way everywhere - so perhaps he consults his Garmin (or TomTom!!?) to find his way around Manhattan.
  • Hal Jordan can't always fire up his lantern to see in the dark - perhaps he needs a halogen-bulb mag-lite® for those other times.
  • Jughead Jones may well be lactose insurgent and find that he needs to keep a supply of Lactagen® tablets in his pocket if he's going to continue to hang out at Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe and have a malted milk now and then.
If I haven't started your mental engines churning like a kid in a china shop, then you aren't the marketing practitioners I've thought you were!


Last week, Jay wrote about
storytelling as the best way to manage a brand's identity:
Roy Soleigh responded:
"I don't know if you saw the notices of the study done by the Advertising Research Fund, but they just came out saying that storytelling is the best way to seed brand attributes in the minds of consumers...."

Roy, I hadn't seen that, until today, but it doesn't surprise me a bit. Another reader posted a link to an article about that study on my "blog" so I'll direct you there for a fuller discussion.
At any rate, I believe an extra Excelsior! is appropriate here.
-- Jay

© 2007 Jay Standish, Inc. LLC

Friday, December 07, 2007

Like the New Look?

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
- Benjamin Franklin

"Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others."
- Benjamin Franklin

"Never eat spinach before a photo shoot."
- Jay Standish