Archive for July, 2013

Personal-BrandYour personal brand reflects the information that’s available about you on the Web, mostly on social media platforms. This post explains how to create your personal online brand online, based on interviews with four of the smartest people in the branding business:

1. Know yourself and what you’re good at.

Your personal brand reflect who you are, so you can’t possibly brand yourself if you’re clueless about yourself. This doesn’t mean navel-gazing, but rather a realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, what you love doing, and the skills that you’ve mastered or are working to master.

2. Create a memorable brand name.

If you’ve got a unique name, make that your brand name.  If not, create a brand name that’s a hybrid of your name and your career direction. “You want people to find you, not somebody who’s got the same name as you,” explains Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.  Remember, though, if you put your direction in your brand name you’re tied to that direction. (That’s why Step 1 is so important.)

3. Capture your online turf.

Buy the domain name that corresponds to your brand name and secure the Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+ account as well. If you find that your brand name is already “owned” create a different brand name. With LinkedIn, you’ll use your real name, so put your brand name prominently in your profile.

4. Build a website for your domain name.

This is easier than you think. There’s no reason to struggle with a complicate website editor when you can create a perfectly usable site using a product like WordPress. (There are alternatives but WordPress is the de-facto standard.) You don’t want a traditional website anyway, since they have an “institutional” feel about them anyway.

5. Set up automatic updating.

To reduce the busywork of all those different social media platforms, set up an application that allows you to simultaneous post to all of them. For that past few months I’ve been using the free version of, but there are many alternatives out there both free and fee.

6. Share useful content on a regular basis.

Don’t try to be a full-time blogger. Instead share “helpful tips relating to the products [you] sell, relevant news, and personal updates that build emotional connection and convey positive character, such as a philanthropic interest,” explains Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social, writing in the Harvard Business Review.

7. Get feedback from people you trust.

The advice and encouragement of others helps keep your “brand development” on target.  Philip Styrlund, CEO of The Summit Group, recommends setting up a “board of directors”–a few trusted colleagues who can assess your ongoing efforts and act as an informal sounding board.

8. Be authentic, even a bit risky.

As long as you don’t come off like you’re crazy or weird, a little opinion in your online presence is a good thing, according to Meg Guiseppi, author of the book 23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search. “Don’t assume that being authentic will turn people off,” she explains. “Nobody is interested in working with a cookie cutter.”


Mentos is capitalizing on the narcissism that fuels social media by creating personalized news bulletins that make your Facebook activity look exciting enough to be broadcast on network television.

As part of Mentos’ “Stay Fresh” campaign, Bartle Bogle Hegarty London has launched a global digital platform that creates individual video reports using an app — on Facebook or standalone — called “Fresh News.”

The bulletins make up a 24-hour news channel that serves up a constant stream of humorous news reports by pulling in material from users’ updates on Facebook and connected social media accounts, including Foursquare. Two news anchors present a satirical show highlighting a user’s recent escapades, and emphasizing how “fresh” the subject may or may not be, depending on what he or she has been posting lately.

BBH claims there are millions of possible unique video combinations, all livened up using jokes from a pool of hundreds that have been specially written to suit every possible activity. Users are then invited to share their own bulletins with their friends through social media channels.

Corrado Bianchi, international marketing director at Mentos’ owner, Perfetti Van Melle, said in a statement, “We know we’re in a cluttered category as a brand and even busier social space with this youth audience so we need really distinctive communications. Fresh News is a bold step in the right direction in our mission to help the world be fresher.”

digital-mindWhen will the ad-tech market consolidate? People have been asking this question publicly and privately for at least the past five years. A market with fewer players surely would lead to less confusion.

But the market doesn’t seem to be listening. Terry Kawaja’s Display LUMAScape — the chart of record for those keeping score of ad tech moves — has more net new logos today than it did in 2011.

Still, the conversation continues. Several articles have appeared over the past week alone stating that 2013 will be the year that we finally see a market “shakeout,” as one described it. What’s holding things back? Generally analysts say it’s an inability to raise more venture capital to fund operations.

Here is an insider’s view: inability to raise dollars is a symptom, not the cause. Deeper dynamics are happening at large ad agencies that are far more critical to the future of many players in the market. Which is ironic, because agencies partly fueled the ad-tech boom to begin with.

Rewind to 2005. It was not uncommon to see up to 10 ad networks on a given agency media plan. Ad tech was suddenly very interesting to the investment community as a result, sparking a venture capital boom that birthed hundreds of players over the next half of the decade. This created an entire ecosystem.

It’s important to note that this ecosystem is largely driven by agency budgets, whether directly as a media or tech provider, or indirectly as an infrastructure player that supports the sale. For every media dollar spent by the agencies, that revenue is shared among the different companies that make the campaign come to life: ad serving, measurement, analytics, rich media, etc.

Fast forward to today. A growing trend across agency holding companies is vendor consolidation — reducing the number of technology and media vendors. This was mentioned by several panelists at the recent trading desk panel in Cannes. Streamlining technology platforms and concentrating buys with fewer properties should increase efficiency and free up resources for the agencies.

When this happens, the effect on the market will be significant: dollars being concentrated into fewer, top-tier media and technology partners that already likely are entrenched with the holding company agencies. Point solutions, smaller properties and the broader ecosystem that supports them will start to be choked.

Add to this the recent rumblings of brands pushing for extended payment terms to agencies. As last in line for payment, receivables that go out for months can spell disaster for ad-tech firms with a tight burn rate. When this starts playing out on a broad level, across multiple holding companies, look out below.

So for those looking for clues on a market shakeout, stop following venture capital moves and start paying attention to the agencies. That’s where it will begin.
By: Eric Franchi on AdAge.


We have a new home. We sold the old one “”