Ideas Worth Listening To
June 28, 2011
I came across an e-mail today that I had sent to myself a few years ago. It was 10 tips from author and branding diva Karen Post that is so relevant and timeless that I wanted to share them with you.
Here are Karen's 10 tips:
- Have a distinct name and graphic identity.
- Take something ordinary and make it a unique product offering.
- Pick a passion.
- Go against the grain.
- Turn a tradition on its head and create a strong point of difference.
- Connect to a psycho niche.
- Leverage something from your history.
- Combine things are not usually combined.
- Make ingredients important.
- Tap a new sense.
This says nothing about building a Facebook page, launching Twitter account, sparking a Foursquare check-in or whatever comes next, but then again, it really says everything about it. The information highway is full of curators, posters, posers and busy-bees who are filling a lot of space, but saying absolutely nothing and offer nothing meaningfully unique. It's no surprise that your "likes" or "followers" aren't growing when you realize there is a greater depth with social that has nothing to do with the social media tools.
Find the singular passion first, then figure out what purpose it has to solve problems for someone else, then look to the connection.
I used this approach to design a new idea called The Highway Text Stop.
The news is filled with stories every day now about states passing laws that make it illegal to text and drive, or the sad reminders of what can happen when someone does it and loses control of a vehicle.
I was reminded of this fact recently while watching Fred Jacobs present his excellent research and presentation on Goin' Mobile.
It seemed to me that radio still has an advantage in the car (for now) and most states have these rest areas on the highway that haven't been updated since 1975.
What if we created a campaign to convince a state government (or all of them) to update the "rest areas" as modern-day mobile messaging centers, or "text stops."
We could bring together a coalition of partners to help evolve the areas into more than just a place to stretch your legs and go to the bathroom. Ideas could include charging stations in the common areas, Foursquare badges for check-ins, sponsored signage for naming rights (think Adopt-A-Highway), Wi-Fi hot spots and so on.
By designing and implementing effective updates, along with creating social currency around the experience of using these areas, the "text stop" can help make a difference and save lives. It could also create a truly integrated program that our industry could deliver to benefit local, state, regional and national partners...not counting the government agencies too.
It has nothing to do with building a Facebook page, launching Twitter account, sparking a Foursquare check-in or whatever comes next, but then again, it really has everything to do with it.