The following is a true story as told by Ender Baskin:
A few mates went out for some beers at a local bar. They were young, vibrant guys who where looking to meet some girls. Fine. One of the guys had a very cool t-shirt which said the following:
“Don’t get too excited I’m just the wingman.”
The group of boys all loved it. They thought it was very cool, awesome in fact. They were certain it could only enhance his changes of meeting a girl on said night.
As expected people ‘did’ love it. They all came up and remarked on how funny, cool and smart the t-shirt was. Only problem was, it was all the blokes who happened to remark upon it.
This parable is a a little bit like the type of advertising that wins awards. The producers and colleagues in the industry love it. Yet award winning advertisements don’t always sell the product. Cool and funny is great, often a nice bonus when communicating with our people. But if the basic objective isn’t met, we’re better off with something less cool that actually works.
Chatting with Chris Mander from docolo.com and he came up with an awesome idea – which every business should have.
The Chief Mojo Officer, or the CMO.
Sure, I asked him what they did and here’s what he told me: (with some embellishment)
“Firstly you have to believe in mojo. If you don’t believe in mojo, then forget it. If you do, the CMO is in charge of general “Vibe Strategy”. The CMO has to make sure that the ‘vibe’ is right. There are no real quantitative measurements for mojo – you can just feel it. The CMO is the type of dude who can just feel it. They’ll know when it’s out of whack. The CMO is in charge of things which are nebulous, but actually matter. When the CMO has the general vibe grooving, the mojo is right, and revenue happens.”
Good news for startups with small staff is that we don’t have to wait for the employee head count to justify a new CMO. We can and should be doing it anyway. It’s our job!
But when you make it, I reckon it would be the best investment any company could ever make.
You’ve probably read or heard about techcrunch. Which is one of the most popular – technology / startup / silicon valley style blogs. Many tech savvy web addicts trawl it daily if not hourly for the 15+ updates a day.
Not sure if you’ve ever bothered to read the comments. But they are literally 90% negative. Sure, some or a large part of the ideas or start ups on there will disappear, but it’s not as if every success story only has positive comments either. There is no discerning between any of them.
Rentoid got featured over 12 months ago and got bagged big time. More than 12 months later we are still here, while the pundits are “still in their cubicles”. Calling it from the cheap seats!
The techcrunch crowd – ‘the commentators’, are the type of people us entrepreneurs should stay away from. Their disease of negativity, isn’t worth catching.
The point of entrepreneurship is the journey into the unknown and excitment of creating change, and maybe even proving a few people wrong. Nothing wrong with that.
Any entrepreneur worth his salt is way too busy making their stuff happen, to spend time citicising other peoples efforts. So when someone looks down on your startup, smile and ask them to show you theirs.
An actual definition of brands here on startup blog would be both boring, and downright insulting to my readers… Instead something better; A bit of brand anthropology reverse engineering.
We use brands to tell our story, to make short cuts. To define ourselves.
That said we all have brands we use to define ourselves to others. Brands like the suburb we live in, where we were educated, the companies we have worked for, the job titles we have got, the past times we participate in, the beer we drink and the car we drive….
So then we must consider this; How would our people, our customers and our brand users feel if they had to define our brand as part of them?
Would they be happy to do so? To reference us as part of them?
I recently had some beers and a meal at a place called Little Creatures dinning hall in Melbourne Australia.
For the uninitiated, Little Creatures is a craft beer which has it’s origins in Australia and has recently opened a flagship ‘dinning hall’ – seen below.
They’ve simply taken this to a new level. I’m not taking about the fact that they have weird and groovy beer flavours, all naturally brewed. I’m talking about the way they take you on a personal journey with their service.
My favourtie was the beer education programme. They have a ‘pony show’ – I don’t think it’s called that, but it is what I’ll call it for this post.
You get a taste in little groovy pony glasses of all their different beers, then choose one you like. One of their ‘Little Creatures Beer Experts’ comes and sits down on your table with you and they explain all the different types of beers. A real sit down for 10 minutes. A rare treat when the usual sitiation is waiting 10 minutes for crappy service in bars and restuarants. They teach you how to taste each beer and the slight nuances of each. They even provide an idea what type of people generally like the different types.
It’s really nice and fun. I even heard the word “sessionable” to describe a beer – They invent some nice jargon to make you feel part of a tribe. Cool.
No need to advertise this little venture. We’ll do that for them….
And this is what cool startups are doing in retail.
This is nothing new – but when was the last time you checked out Springwise?
Springwise is a daily blog featuring new, cool and groovy business ideas, concepts, brands, products and organizations from around the world. Springwise is for everyone, everyday. Even if you don’t need an idea, or you are merrily changing the world already with your startup, it’s a great way to do the following:
Keep up with the world
Find potential collaborators
Cross fertilize thinking and transfer ideas into what you’re doing
In today’s world ideas really are free, but as a startup a more important question is how we take advantage of them.