Friday, January 25, 2008

2008, Here We Are At Last

It may have taken a few weeks, but
are we ever ready to wow you again!

First off, to those of you who've been reading the "blog" site, I'd like to make sure you hear our apologies regarding the erroneous obituary of O.D. "Slim" Whitman. Mr. Whitman is still alive (and very popular in Europe, as well as here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC!), despite the report we had received and passed on at the "blog" site. Again, our apologies to all and sundry.

It has been gratifying to carry on the conversation which is enabled by that back-and-forth medium (the internet "blog"), if only to hear from those of you who seem not to want to reply by e-mail. Thus far, we seem to have avoided most of the lunatic fringe that some other "blogs" seem to attract (apart from the fantastically-named "durwood quade" whose modus operandi appears to be name calling and political advocacy - I hadn't realized that Ru Paul was running for president this year), and for that we are quite grateful.

Now, on to the, if you will, "meat" of the newsletter: Experiential Marketing. While we promised to address packaging in a response to a comment to an earlier newsletter, as we investigated that topic, it became clear to us here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC that packaging is really only the gateway, or introduction, to the full experience of a brand.

The packaging can serve to invite the consumer in (cf. those new, no-can-opener-required cans of ground coffee - while we may have an issue with the rim left on the can, we can have no issue with the ease with which our respective kitchens - or anywhere else! - can be filled with that fresh-opened-can-of-coffee aroma), or to keep him (or her!) out (viz. that flexible, clear, yet nearly impervious plastic in which all manner of products are now encased, for the cutting of which my sister bought our mother (as a Christmas gift, no less!) some of those nifty Black & Decker® electric power scissors: which were packaged in that self-same plastic - perhaps said plastic is fortified with irony!).

Still, the packaging, however good (or bad!) is but the first part of the brand experience. First steps are important, no doubt (remember - a Journey of a Thousand Miles (or Kilometers!) begins with a Single Step!), but they are only first steps. What we, as savvy marketers, really want is for our customer (or customers!) to enter fully into the brand experience; not simply to see the brand, but to be the brand. (Ah, I miss Mr. Gianopoulos, my Junior High School P.E. teacher, who taught us all (in Dodge Ball, no less!) this sure route to success: "See the ball, Be the ball;" but I digress.)

Experiential Marketing has become one of those catch-phrases, or "buzz" words which seem to have a fluid meaning - terms which can end up meaning little or nothing due to their having been attached to too many disparate concepts. We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC want to caution our readers to examine any proposed Experiential Marketing programs to make sure they're not just warmed-over, re-named products from your advertising and marketing partners. In this day of user-generated content, amateur commercials on the Super Bowl®, and general disinterest and confusion, it is imperative that our marketing efforts actually be focussed on where the consumer and the brand interact - in the consumers' heads and homes and lives.

Perhaps one example from our Experiential Marketing Practice will help to clarify. Jay Standish, Inc. LLC team members Morgan and Shannon are members of the up-and-coming (you can bet on this one!) Celtic-Punk band, Left Sister Down (perhaps you've heard of their underground hit, póg mása, cadránta ceanndána buaf!). Now, clearly their fans are their consumers, and they (equally clearly!) want to enter into the "band experience" (if you'll pardon the "play" on words!), and that is exactly how the band is marketed. They offer their fans the opportunity to join them in their bus (more properly, their minivan) as they travel from "gig" to "gig" around the country. These lucky consumers are then treated to the full experience of life in a traveling Celtic-Punk ensemble, from problems finding lodging to chipping in for gas money. These folks are then used as "seed" fans at each concert "venue" to encourage the others in attendance to enjoy the music.

Apple (formerly Apple Computers) calls this kind of consumer "evangelists" (named, apparently, for Linda Evangelista, the first leggy supermodel ever to program an Apple computer using the Hypercard® program once included with each purchase), and they are, perhaps more than any other single marketing effort, responsible for the immense wealth (yet lack of couture) of Mr. Steve Jobs. We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC ask you this - who wouldn't want that "gig" - especially knowing one could dress in any way one thought proper! - who indeed?

Last time, Jay wrote to send his holiday best:
Ham Hiroki responded:
"Jay, it's all very well and good that you mention the standard holidays in your note, but relegating the rest of us to a 'blessed whatever' seems a bit cavalier, even for an american..."

Ham -
Based on your note, I'm glad to see that you took no real offense at the omission of various and sundry other celebrations (most specifically your own, Shinto matsuri), and hope that you had a wonderful 大晦日 (
Ōmisoka to the rest of us).

-- Jay


Durwood Quade said...

Well, Jay, or whoever you really are, I'm glad you like my name, but you have never addressed any of my comments directly.
Are you afraid of being exposed as a total non-entity?
Are you a tool of the industrial-military complex?
Are you a communist?
Are you even a real person?

Wake up America - Ron Paul is our only chance, not Ru Paul, and certainly not "Jay Standish" who probably doesn't even exist.

Mack N. Kaese said...

I'm going to ignore that buffoon and his political dia-tripe and address your actual newsletter.

Jay, I think Apple's hit this head out of the park when they named their super-consumers / enthusiasts after one of their famous users. It still amazes me that people can make fun of Steve Jobs and the wonderful programming he's done to create all those widgets and operating systems and stuff.

Do you know if any other companies have similar offerings? I really like stuff made by 3M (like Post-It notes and stuff), and would be interested in becoming a superfan of their stuff.

Jay Standish said...

Thanks (I suppose), Mack - at least your comment bears some relationship with the topic of my posting.

Still, if you want to be a superfan of some company's offerings, shouldn't you be adequately "in the know" regarding their products that you wouldn't need me to point you in the proper direction?

Perhaps you are laboring under a mis-apprehension: Apple doesn't pay its "evangelists" (apart from Linda, who - I believe - receives a life-time supply of iMacs, airports, and patterned nylon stockings). This is a strictly organic, fan-based enterprise.

Still, I admire your gumption, spunk, and persistence -

mary lewis said...

Jay -
Realising as I do that this issue of your newsletter was quite informative and interesting, I remain hopeful that this won't mean you'll not be addressing the topic of packaging directly at some point in the near future.
As you know, packaging is one of my passions, and I'd dearly like to know your thoughts on this, one of my favourite topics.

Jay Standish said...

Mary -
I can't guarantee when, but rest assured that we here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC are planning to cover the topic of packaging as part of the brand experience in an upcoming issue of the newsletter.

Thanks for your comments,

Secret CMO said...

Jay -
I don't want anyone to know who I am, but it looks like some guy is using your ideas for columns in CMO Magazine. Check out this

reads like a book report on your newsletter. I don't know who this Rishi Rawat really is, but if it's not you or someone in your organization, you might want to press charges or something!

Jay Standish said...

Thank you for the link, my friend (although it was not easy to read - are there missing words or phrases, perhaps?). It appears that our Mr (or Ms!) Rawat has been visiting our "blog" site here on the internet, or perhaps has had our newsletters forwarded. We may have to add him (or her!) to our circulation. Just to keep things on the up-and-up, you see.