Apr 2009
11
Ten Steps To Punk Marketing
Punk Marketing by Richard Laermer and Mark SimmonsNot too long ago I read a great book called “Punk Marketing” by Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons. It’s a refreshing perspective on the constantly changing face of marketing. The main thrust of the book is that the traditional methods of marketing are becoming less and less effective as consumers are bombarded with more and more daily advertising. With the explosion of online advertising, viral marketing, cell phone and video game marketing, those who don’t adapt are quickly left behind. The solution is multi-faceted but the short answer is to be different and adapt to these changes. Always let the solution drive the media. We are hired to solve problems, not to buy media. Come up with the best solution, then decide what media best represents that solution. Another thing to remember is that in this day and age consumers drive brands. As such, we as marketers need to look through the eyes of the consumers as well as listen to their feedback. “Punk Marketing” offers a mantra to live by and challenges the reader to develop their own. I’ve done just that. I’ve made a top-ten list of things that will not only help you be a better “Punk Marketer” but be a better person in general.

  1. Be different – Differentiation is what will set you apart and give you a unique selling proposition. It is more important to be different than to be better. If you simply try to be better, you are doing the same thing as your competitors. Clients need new, fresh ideas that will set their brand apart. Stay the same and you will not survive.

  2. Be flexible – Traditional marketing is failing. You need to learn to adapt and evolve. This doesn’t mean to jump onto every new technology bandwagon. It simply means that you shouldn’t be bound to any specific media. If the client wants to do a TV spot it doesn’t mean it’s the best solution. Let the solution drive the media.

  3. Be honest – Consumers don’t trust advertising. It’s a cold, hard fact. You have to earn their trust. Honesty = Trust = Loyalty. Don’t BS! Clients and consumers alike will see right through it, and it will always come back to bite you.

  4. Be confident – People can sense fear. To use a cliché, never let them see you sweat! Confidence in what you are saying and in you and your team’s abilities is what will help us win new business. Don’t confuse this with arrogance or ego. Being an expert in something will help you be more confident.

  5. Be an expert – What are you good at? Own it and become an expert. Don’t hoard your knowledge. Share it with anyone willing to listen. Give a “Lunch & Learn” presentation to your colleagues to help everyone become stronger in those areas. Start a blog, write a free tutorial, or be a speaker at an industry event. Not only will it help your skills, but it will also help you to be more confident and a better brand ambassador for your company.

  6. Be a good listener – When someone is talking to you, drop everything and LISTEN! Don’t interrupt a speaker or act like you were just waiting for your turn to speak. Put the iPhone or Blackberry down and give them 100% of your attention and actually listen.

  7. Be positive – Stop whining! Especially about clients. Don’t focus on the negative. Negativity is a virus and will kill productivity and creativity. Find the positive in everything you do. Yes, there is a positive side to EVERYTHING!

  8. Be an observer – Ideas can be sparked by anything, anywhere. In fact, you should get out of the office to brainstorm. It not only relaxes your mind so you can think clearly, but it surrounds you with infinitely more stimulus to spark those great ideas. So don’t stop thinking when you leave the office; you will find solutions in the “real world”.

  9. Be the consumer – Look through the consumer’s eyes when trying to find a solution. Observe them first hand rather than holding pointless focus-groups. In this day and age, consumers control brands. The days of baiting, in-your-face, or traditional ads are fading fast. Consumers are not stupid. They want to be entertained and have become accustomed to it. Don’t disappoint them.

  10. Be a brand ambassador – Wherever you go, whatever you do, promote your company or yourself to the best of your abilities. You are your best source of PR. Always remember that everything you do and say is a reflection of the company you work for.
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May 2009
10
We got another order of business cards last week. This one is from Moo.com and the cards are full sized. We got these for beta testing their new U.S. operations in Rhode Island. I have to say the quality blows Zazzle.com away. The cards are super slick and silky to the touch. The stock is very thick. Also, the cards truly feel indestructible unlike the Zazzle cards. The Zazzle cards seem to scratch and the stock is somewhat flimsy. The other great thing about Moo is the cards are made from sustainable forests and even the included case is made from recycled pulp. The inks used are soy based. You can bet that our next order of cards will be from Moo. Thanks Moo!
May 2009
05

Companies are shaking in their boots right now. Between the unstable economy and the rapidly evolving advertising industry they aren't quite sure what to do. One thing is for certain in this age of tech, companies want to seem current. What better way to say "hey, we are changing with the times" than to refresh your company image. Not a full rebrand. Just a refresh. But when a brand is refreshed too often does it start to become desperate like a clingy girlfriend (or boyfriend) who can't take the hint that no matter what they do you still just want to be friends?

Apr 2009
29

This is a design I did for a series of modular iPhone and iPod Touch accessories. I posted this on ipodtouchfans.com and got a lot of interest. Soon after I removed the images and began seeking a patent. Unfortunately I ran out of funds and time to finish it.  The German version of Mac|Life published the images in their February, 2008 issue. I never got around to doing illustrations to show all the modules. But they would have included speakers, a keyboard, gaming controls and a higher quality camera among other things. Check out the gallery below to see the progression of the product. Or view the entire set on Flickr here.

Apr 2009
26

The iPhone is undoubtedly a revolutionary device. It has changed the way we interface with hand held computers. It's faster than the mac I used in college. Oh, and it's also a phone. I think it is safe to say that when the iPhone was announced there was an audible gasp heard around the world. While gesture-based touch-screens are nothing new, (See the Bill Buxton videos from Alias | Wavefront in the mid 90's. He also specifically addresses the iPhone here.) it was the first time anyone has seen this sort of UI on a handheld device. At least something as elegantly designed. This is the type of gadget you would expect to see in a SciFi movie. You couldn't carry that many albums, movies, etc in your pocket just a few years ago.

 

Apr 2009
20

Well we got our order of business cards today and they look great! Aside from some minor trim issues I'm pretty pleased. They are made of a synthetic recyclable material, that is water-resistant and virtually tear-proof. We ordered the profile-cards from Zazzle.com because they were based in the U.S. and had similar mini-cards to Moo.com. Of course, the day after I ordered these I get an email from Moo asking if we want to beta test the new U.S. store. Well, we will certainly give them a try on our next order of cards.

 

Apr 2009
20
When I tell someone the name of our company I either get a blank stare or silence on the other end of the phone. It's almost always followed by the other person asking, "Heavy Giant?". You see, I have this theory about company names. If the name forces the viewer to visualize it then they will remember it. I used to have a company named whiteOrangedesign. I also came up with the name for PinkKoiFish.com. With HEAVYGIANT, someone might visualize a giant on a scale or maybe a giant crushing cars. So why "HEAVYGIANT"? It works on many levels.

 

Apr 2009
09

HEAVYGIANT.com is alive! In the middle of one of the worst economic recessions this country has seen we thought it would be a good idea to launch a new company. HEAVYGIANT is the result of having too much time on our hands. Well that was a short lived problem! Shortly after forming, we are already pulling in business.  As a result, we haven't slept much in the past few weeks. It's hard to balance building our own site when we have paying clients to take care of. Hopefully you can see the result of all that hard work here on our brand spankin' new site! It's not quite where we want it yet. But we have had so many requests to see our work that we had to get something up right away.

heavygiant: @paypal Spending limits are a big fail. Can't link my corporate card to a bank account. Canceling PayPal instead. #fail #getwiththeprogram