Making your fans cry, in a good way

Carl JenkinsonVideo can be a powerful medium. Someone at Arsenal TV hit the nail on the head this week with this interview with new signing, Carl Jenkinson. Arsenal signing a barely-heard-of teen is hardly news, or surprising, but what makes Carl Jenkinson different is that he’s also a lifelong Arsenal fan. He almost tears up as he talks about walking out onto the pitch as an Arsenal player, and as he does that every Arsenal fan is imagining how they’d feel doing that and possibly shedding a tiny tear themselves. It’s definitely one way to get people rooting for him – he’s one of us.

The takeaway for businesses? Just that genuine emotions are hard to beat when it comes to getting people onside.

Full disclosure: I’m an Arsenal fan.

#namingfail

Naming your company/shop/restaurant/bar is fraught with problems – it’s got to be original, you want to get the .com (or your country domain if you’re not in the US) and it is all part of the brand you’re creating.

There’s really no secret formula to getting it right (who would have thought to name a bookstore after a river?) but after seeing a number of stand-out examples ranging from names that spark emotions from indifference to fear, I thought it would be fun to share.

Standard Tandoori
There’s a lot of Indian restaurants in the UK called Standard Tandoori. The thing is stating you’re ‘ok/alright/average’ is hardly a great example of using your name as a positioning statement.¬†(Image credit readingrestaurants.com)

Nemesis
In case you’re wondering this place is a ‘Herna’ bar or ‘gaming establishment’. It’s a 24 hour bar with fruit machines. Whereas other similar places in the city have aspirational names like ‘Vegas Herna’ and ‘Monte Carlo’ this place went right out and said ‘we are your worst enemy’. I admire their honesty.

Scarface
OK, so Al Pacino in Scarface is cool but would you drink at his bar? The connotations of gangsters and illegal activity don’t really help here.

Corleone
Sticking with that gangster theme, Corleone, named after one of the most sinister crime families. I’m hoping they’re as good at pizza as they were at offing people.

SICK
Seriously, these people have the word ‘SICK’ on the top of their building in 20 ft high letters. It seems they make sensors, touting their ‘sensor intelligence’. Makes you wonder what caused them to not check in an English dictionary first though.
To be fair a number of these examples are in Prague. Maybe it’s the Czech sense of humour. Or Maybe they just think these names sound cool. Then again how can you explain a bar named literally ‘Bad Times’ in Czech?

Do what you love

 

charlie1977In the next week or so I’ll be doing the last few pieces of web development work I will ever do. Curiously not feeling any nostalgia; for me web development has become tedious. Having ended up ‘doing web development’ by accident for almost 10 years and having now realised where I went wrong I’m putting all this behind me and moving on.

The epiphany that I had stagnated came last year and ever since I’ve been finding it hard not to feel disdain for what I’ve spent the majority of my working life doing. The projects I’ve worked on have been variously novel, interesting, dull, pointless. Because of my recent lack of enthusiasm for web development, the speed and quality of my work suffered. For a couple of years I have been getting up in the morning dreading another day at work, at my own company. I never want that to happen again. I want to feel pride in everything I do, I want to wake up on weekday mornings looking forward to going to the office.

Sure whilst working on these projects I’ve had the occasional opportunity to engage the ‘marketing’ part of my brain, but that’s not what I was hired for. Oddly it’s difficult to get people to pay you for something they didn’t hire you for. It doesn’t help that they’re paying by the hour and flashes of brilliance can’t be charged for like that.

Don’t read this thinking that I dislike web developers, I have a great deal of respect for the good ones. The fact is I am not a web developer. I’m a marketer that ended up doing web development for too long. The knowledge I gained through the experience will serve me well when I’m working with web developers in the future but it’s time to stop.

When it comes down to it the best thing you can be doing is the thing you are best at. If you’re a mediocre designer, admit it and hire a great designer. Not so good at keeping your paperwork in order? Get a bookkeeper. Lacking in organisational skills? Get a good P.A. The Jack-of-all-Trades approach is fine for a while but nobody’s ever going to respect you in the morning.

We spend the majority of our waking hours working or thinking about working. It just so happens that the things we’re best at are usually the things we enjoy most. If you’re not enjoying it then go out and do something less boring instead.

The obligatory Hello World post

We’ve all got to start somewhere right? My first ‘work-related’ blog since the Pagemill 1.0 authored monstrosity I had at university, my second WordPress powered blog, and boy is this so much easier than it was back in the 90s.

Wondering about the title? Simply put, last year was the 10 year anniversary of my graduation from a Marketing & Multimedia degree. It made me take stock of what I was doing day-to-day and it really didn’t fit with what I enjoy. So I’m returning to marketing full-time. Not just ‘search-engine-marketing’ or ‘internet marketing’ but full on, all-round marketing.

Expect discussion, comment and maybe even images related to marketing, advertising, social media and the occasional bit of general tech. Thanks for dropping by, there will be more soon, I promise.