HEY, IT’S A FREE COUNTRY.

I have been deeply immersed in the language, meaning and creation of brand identity, brand imagery and brand positioning for almost 40 years. Yet every time I drive past this bizarre display of free speech, I am utterly dumbfounded by its message. It’s confounding because one of these things is definitely NOT like the others. But there they are—three flags all hanging together as if they are one. Let’s take them one at a time. First there’s the flag of the UNITED STATES of America—It represents a country built on the bedrock of LIBERTY FOR ALL. Then there’s the flag…
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1 SURE-FIRE WAY TO CREATE CRUMMY CONTENT.

Here’s a sampling of “content” that I’ve mostly ignored over the past day: “5 things every business owner needs to know about.” “5 principles of engagement marketing.” “The 2015 App Marketing Guide: 7 irresistible stats to note.” “7 pitfalls to avoid in social marketing.” “5 ways to connect with prospects.” “5 reasons your customers are unsubscribing.” This last one is my favorite: “4 tips to writing better headlines.” The reason it’s my favorite is that the idea is so familiar. It reminds me of David Ogilvy’s “4-U Formula For Writing Headlines,” and this is why I actually read “4 tips…
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Where’s the Big Idea?

In this brave new world of integrated, inbound-outbound marketing, something important is getting lost: It’s the Big Idea. Our industry is fond of saying, “Content is king.” Yet most content is crap. Unoriginal. Uninspired. Formulaic. Spew. Content farms are thriving on their manure, while the agency world is looking to get into everyone’s business except their own. It’s time for real creative people and real agencies to get back to what built their businesses, and their clients businesses, in the first place: Big Ideas. If we don’t, then something else important will be lost: Us. The Big Idea is not…
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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Many years have passed since my agency internships fortunately led to a full time position. About 42 years to be more precise. About half way into my agency career I took a right turn and spent almost fifteen years in what turned out to be the most significant learning experience of my business life. I became a senior level client and was part of a multi-function team that ignited a global business with strategic planning, brand differentiation, channel confidence and targeted acquisitions. In that crusade I found that my previous agency experience helped us seek out agency partners that all contributed…
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DEAD OR ALIVE?

This week I read an article online with a headline declaring, “Web design is dead.” This news was yet another in a long string of industry obituaries I’ve seen over the course of my 34-year career. In that time I’ve read that print is dead. Newspaper is dead. Radio is dead. Television is dead. Direct mail is dead. Email Marketing is dead. Logo design is dead. Advertising is dead. All of them. Dead. Dead. Dead. By now, I should have a much thicker skin than I do when reading grand pronouncements like these. I don’t know about you, but each…
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DO IT RIGHT.

There may always be a market for shops that only sell a single component of the entire branding solution, like a website redesign or a logo update. But marketers who hire a firm to change the internal and external perception of their brand essence are signing up for a whole lot more. Actual measurement, that’s proof that the desired brand position projects into your marketplace, is a process that’s well worth consideration. And one that broadens the branding discipline to encompass how key constituents perceive a company’s brand promise, both rationally and emotively, offer you the best opportunity for gaining long-term brand preference. It’s your…
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WHAT I FOUND AT THE THREE RIVERS ARTS FESTIVAL

My wife and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Three Rivers Arts Festival this past weekend. We slowly waded through the sea of people, drifted past the flotsam and jetsam of pottery, paintings, jewelry, and knick-knacks of all description, and for the first time in 35 years of making this journey, I asked myself: Why? Why do we always do this? What can we possibly hope to find here after so many years? The answer was waiting for me when we got home. Every time I come through the front door, an enormous watercolor painting greets me in the…
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Re-Booting Dymun.com

From time to time it’s important to re-clarify who you are to clients and prospects. This new site is a welcome and refreshing first in a series of updates. Every new website brings its share of introspection, but this time around I have a stronger sense than ever of who we are and what value we bring. We are not an ad agency, but we do advertising. We are not a design firm, but we do design. We are not an Internet marketer, but we do create content. We are not a PR firm, but we do get the word…
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