Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Getting Famous, People

There's this exercise we do when we're digging deeper into an organization's brand. It sounds a little hokey at first, but it actually sparks a ton of conversation and really does give us (and them) a different way to view their organizational "personality" as a whole.


We ask them to answer this question: "if you're organization were a famous person, which famous person would they be?"

Hey, it's not like we're asking what kind of tree they would be.

This particular group represented above, had a very rugged, of-the-people, vibe. And they like hats (even though Reba wasn't wearing hers here).

This was actually a voting ballot we created after we got everyone's answers.

John Wayne won. Of course. Who can beat out the "King?" Wait, no, the "Duke?" Wait, no... that's right. I just Googled it.


Sometimes we'll go a step further and then compare how the organizational persona stands up to their customer's persona. So from Bill Gates on one end to Average Joe on the other, it can be a telling exercise.


How we work out the customer persona is a lot less about celebrities and more about focusing in on all the things that make up that real person: life stage, age, gender. Sometimes when we get a really enthusiastic group, we'll even talk about where they vacation and if they own a boat. It happened. See "Bill's" boat up there?

This is all done through group collaborative discussion (sometimes shouting, the good kind) and a whole lot of gettin' crazy with the markers.

Of course we always like to do these exercises on ourselves as well.

So when we asked Third Degree-ers what famous person our agency would be, we got some really interesting answers. Here are just a few:


Tina Fey actually got two entries.

"She is smart, quirky, hard-working and coming into her own."

"She is witty, edgy and respected. The first woman head writer for Saturday Night Live.
And like our CEO, Roy, she tests the boudaries of appropriateness :)"


Jean Chatzky, Money Magazine editor and Today Show guest contributor.

"She works to break down complex messaging into practical, useful and compelling information relevant to the target audience."

Wow. Very practical answer. One guess which Third Degree-er that came from.


Robert Downey Jr.

"We've been around the block, know what's up and are still a bit of an underdog...."


"... plus Iron Man's pretty much branded with our colors."

One guess what department the person who made that comment came from.


The Brat Pack

And speaking of the edge of inappropriateness. Guess who chose the entire Brat Pack as our Third Degree persona? Roy. A true eighties boy. And his words:

"They were hip for their time, slightly irreverent, but made one hell of a splash together. They had the look and the attitude to back up their popularity. Individually they all had their own accomplishments, some more than others. But almost everything they did as a team was a success. So that's us... just a pack of brats."

Well said.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Success On A Stick

So, as in most parts of the country it's state fair time here. I'm not sure if we'll squeeze in an agency lunch outing like we have in years' past. Deadlines kind of trump deep fried twinkies. But since we are so food-centric, obviously the part of the fair that strikes a chord with us is the eatin' part.


Eatin' stuff on sticks, that is.


We like sticks.


Sometimes we feel like we're the ones on the stick. Did I mention those deadlines?


In fact, we even create whole concepts around sticks. Like this super-fun Northwest Georgia Credit Union summer car loan commercial. Wait. Whoa. What a set up, right? I prefer calling it a segue. I mean, come on, did you really think this whole blog post was going to be about deep fried delicacies and gator kabobs?


This animated approach, sticks and all, was really fun to create. And while it was definitely promotion-based (seriously, what credit union marketer doesn't want to increase loans right now?) it was also a perfect compliment to the new brand awareness campaign Northwest Georgia launched earlier this year.

Granted, cute doesn't cut the mustard without results (mmm... mustard, I forgot about state fair corn dogs... the classic predecessor of all food on a stick). My point is, I'm happy to report that Northwest Georgia has seen their biggest loan month in August in the past ten years.

Now, I can't give the sticks all the credit. The marketing team at Northwest really felt their loan growth was a result of a combo of things: the vehicle loan offer, the advertising and some recent sales training with their front-line staff to help boost their confidence in having "the loan conversation." Because we all know credit union marketing is only as good as the staff and cross-selling doesn't always come as naturally in the credit union culture as, let's say, being super-warm and friendly does.

Their marketing team's efforts are also a great example of launching a promotion internally with employees before taking it to the streets.

All in all, another satisfied credit union. Another great day. Now, who's interested in a deep fried twinkie themed campaign?