Monthly Archives: March 2012

Contagious Ideas

The first TED conference was rolled out in 1984 in Monterey CA. Since then it has grown in size, exclusivity and, thanks to YouTube, gone viral with over 500 million virtual lectures viewed online in recent years.

OneĀ  TED speaker in 2009, Seth Godin, spoke about what makes an idea go viral and become a movement. Apologies to Seth for my shorthand…you need:

  • A charismatic thought leader
  • With powerful new ideas
  • Passionately communicated through storytelling
  • To a willing audience, knit together by common beliefs, a sense of tribal identity and an impulse to spread the word

Sounds a lot like what makes for viral content in general. Several agency networks have picked up on this. McCann uses the tagline “Truth Well Told”. Publicis has elevated these concepts in their worldwide credo – Contagious Ideas That Change The Conversation.

Moral of the story – powerful new ideas about your product/service that are communicated with honesty and passion can activate the tribe and change the conversation.



Filed under Search for leaders, Sense of community, Sense of identity

It Is So Greek

Yoplait…it is so Greek.

What? A french yogurt company, owned by US cereal giant General Mills, is now Greek. What’s going on here? Actually it’s just a competitive response to the surprise success of Greek-style yogurt maker Chiobani who came out of nowhere to become market share leader in 2011. Watch their new TV spot below to see how Yoplait is fighting back.

Moral of the story – nationality, and national stereotyping, can have a radical impact on product expectations and purchase interest.

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Filed under Sign of Quality

Doing The Right Thing

Here’s an interesting concept – “The things you do when no one is looking define you.”

I recently ran across this idea in a Chrysler ad emphasizing that the company doesn’t cut corners on quality on the sly. They do the right thing, and they do it with care and intentionality. Think of US Airways flight 1549 and the heroic pilot who saved the day by successfully landing his crippled plane in the Hudson river. Then watch the video to see what he really did when no one was looking. It’s impressive.

Moral of the story- people like brands and companies that do the right thing. It’s the foundation of trust, and it’s rewarded by emotional and behavioral loyalty.

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Filed under Risk Management