Book Review: Star Brands

Star Brands A Brand Managers Guide to Build Manage and Market BrandsCarolina Rogoll’s new book, Star Brands: A Brand Manager’s Guide to Build, Manage & Market Brands is a  great resource for anyone seeking structured guidance on creating a brand plan.

Rogoll presents a five-step practical guide on taking a business and brand from conception… to realization… to success.

I like her five points – They are  very similar to the 4 M’s of Marketing that I use. I would combine point 3 and 4 (Crafting a Communication Strategy and Establishing a Marketing Strategy) into a single point, but a 4 sided star looks a lot more like a rectangle!! So I completely understand why she separates the two.

Carolina Rogoll - from LinkedInShe has a great background – real world experience (her LinkedIn profile says P&G experience since 2003) — combined with working as an educator in branding (School of Visual Arts In NYC.)

I also like that she uses case studies from famous brands, such as Harley Davidson and MasterCard, and  interviews withbusiness school professors, advertising agency leaders and former CEOs.

Star Brands is a practical book that business professionals and entrepreneurs can use as their own brand building “workbook.”

Of course, I can’t let a book review pass without mentioning my book. I wrote it to help the small business owner who wants to brand and market their business: Simple Steps, Big Results. It’s been my experience that learning lessons from big brands is very helpful – especially in theory – but when you’re dealing with a micro budget, sometimes lessons don’t translate from the million dollar brands.

Full Disclosure: While my Amazon link does NOT attach to an affiliate link, nor am I being paid for this review, I did receive the e-book for free in exchange for doing this review.

Mobile Friendly Websites

mobile friendly Google search results starts todayWe know that today’s the day for Google’s new analytics to kick in for their search results on mobile devices. Is your site mobile friendly? Click here to find out now.

If it is not, don’t feel bad, even some of the largest companies in the world don’t (or didn’t when this article was written just last Wednesday) have their act together yet.

Some folks I’ve talked to say “no problem, I’m on WordPress”, but just having your website set up on WordPress is not enough, you must make sure it’s mobile friendly!

If you think your customers find you or check your company out during a board discussion, better make this a top priority to get started now.

The April 21st Change that May Effect Your Website’s Visibility

If you haven’t heard about Google’s April 21 deadline, it’s time to read about it now. Here, here and here. Basically, your website better be mobile ready. Your website’s visibility is at stake.

“But hardly anyone reads my website from their mobile phone!”

If most of your traffic is still coming from desktops, and your website is not mobile friendly but does have good SEO, you may be okay for the short term.

However it’s estimated that about half the searches are made on mobile now.

Now is the time to revise your website.  Google is about to change their search engine formula for mobile results. While I’m not sure how they will give priority to websites that are mobile ready, I think that is the main point of this algorithm update.

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

It’s called responsive.  The website actually will change and show up differently if it’s viewed from a phone, a desktop or a tablet.  Even Android and iPhone phones don’t show necessarily show a website the same way.

Even if you’re on a WordPress platform, you may not have a responsive theme installed.

You can use this website to plug in your URL to check the responsiveness.

Don’t let your SEO tank, now’s the time to get responsive! Especially since mobile search is growing so quickly.

Building Community with Your Marketing

Chris-Brown Building Community Blogging TipsBlogging and Marketing Tips by Experts is a great example of building community. Marco Mijatovic from First Site Guide asked a variety of marketing experts to provide their three Top Online Marketing Tips for New Bloggers.

He complied them, with the author’s bios and made avatars of their photos (see mine to the right) to create chapter 7 in his book and a wonderful resource for those who are starting out with their first blog site.

His article is a great example of content pulled together from a community.

I haven’t seen this type of work in a while, in fact it is reminiscent of 2006 and 2007 when blogging was first exploding.

Building Community in the Viral Garden

I remember getting a big boost from the “D List”, a group of marketing bloggers banded together by Mack Collier to help promote each others’ content. He was one of the many who helped shape the path for building community.

Grab Them in the First Five Seconds

First five seconds rule in YouTube AdvertisingThe first five seconds rule has become the name of the game in advertising. Especially when people are watching videos and can skip the ad after 5 seconds.

Too often I turn off the sound if it’s annoying or wait impatiently for the five seconds to tick by… can’t click “Skip This Ad” quickly enough!

But this one had me laughing out loud and watching the whole thing. There’s something about a train wreck. And seeing if anyone moves or blinks.

Does anyone remember when the world switched from the 120 second and 60 second commercials to the 30 second? (I think it was back in the 80’s and coincided with the growth of cable.) Or when it was new to see a 15 second commercial, which started out as a 30 second, cut it two like an installment / to be continued / type of approach? (the 90’s!) Who knew it would come to only have a few short seconds!

First Five Seconds for Impact

The bigger question is does it work!?Will it help with name brand recognition? Top of mind awareness? Will Geiko sell more insurance? My guess is yes.

Packaging your product has to do it in less than a second.

Sales are made every day in a second walking down the aisle in a grocery store or scrolling through a website?

It’s true on the business-to-business side of the equation too. How quickly does a Trade Show Booth Display have to make an impact? Haven’t you ever walked a show with your head swiveling from side to side deciding which booth you’ll approach to learn more?