My Reckless Experience

No, not a story of remorse and regret, but instead the story of my discovery of Reckless Records in Chicago.

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How does Reckless Records remain relevant In an era of instant downloads ? 

How does it compete with virtual access to the worlds largest music libraries ?

Why is it still here when technology from brands such as Itunes, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon render this place obsolete?

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I believe it's because I can:

  1. Discover and explore music with (almost) all of my senses.
  2. Be certain that popularity is not the only arbiter of taste.
  3. Buy VHS and cassette tapes. (I didn't as I don't have anything to play them on - but was honestly surprised, that people still do !)
  4. Ask the staff questions about music and musicians - which they are more than keen to answer.
  5. Immerse in the feeling that I can't get this anywhere else
  6. Leave with the belief that whatever I buy here is more valuable, meaningful and important than getting it from somewhere else.
  7. Be certain that I will tell people about it
  8. Be certain that I will go back.

This brand is not in the business of selling music. Its value comes from facilitating community via music, and an experience beyond the function of selling things.

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Breaking News - Landscape is the new Portrait

In search of marketing innovation for your brand ? 

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This Kia car ad has an authentic picture of....well a Kia car (no-less), with a disruptive landscape placement that compelled me to rotate the page to look at it and share it (remarkable).

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Innovate, disrupt, and become remarkable, seize the patently  obvious opportunity to be landscape in the portrait world !

An empty box of Roses


 Cadbury's Roses  are a British institution, a delicacy on par with Tea, Worcestershire Sauce and yes Fish and Chips. 


This battered box of chocolates lasted 10 mins in my office before being devoured by my colleagues in Hoffman estates (nr. Chicago, IL). Coincidentally, its near to the US HQ of Kraft  - the new owners of Cadbury.

Dear Kraft US - your market research is complete...launch this brand in the US and I'm sure it will be huge. 


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What Marketers can learn from #RoyalWedding, Twitter & #cnntv

Its 4.53 AM CST (10.53 in London) and I've just been woken up by wife's alarm as she dashes to the tv and logs into facebook, while I remain in bed and bleary eyed fumble for my phone and  onto twitter.

The royal wedding proves that when you have a remarkable event and a motivated community people will connect and participate. This ranges from the truly devastating events in Japan, uprisings and political upheavals in the middle east and Africa and well yes who designed Kate Middleton's dress.

Right now the top 10 trending topics (aka brands) are of course all British including #BuckinghamPalace #ClarenceHouse #Royal Wedding and...... #Cnntv !!!???

So, despite the fact it's a (pardon the pun) Royal Flush, CNN have mastered the art and science of motivating their global audience of (consumers) to act, and simply use a hashtag. To be honest, I was expecting to see BBC.

I'm surprised at my own behavior, as well as the masterstroke of CNN. It goes to show that brands which understand their equity and consumer will thrive in this diverse new media web 2.0 age.......

Now ive woken up a bit I'm off to see that dress live...



Stop press.......Its BBC America on the TV....British marketers may once again rejoice.

Marshall Headphones - watch out Bose

In a 'sea of sameness'  - and dominated by plastic see through packaging,  the possession of a distinctive brand equity will help you win.




The genius move by Marshall Headphones is to hide their product in a brown cubed box design.... that provokes instant curiosity. 
My compulsion  to discover - and open the box proved insatiable. Although I like my Bose, I really want these as well! Marshall simply oozes lovemarks status. 




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The Social Network II

"I was only saying the same things as my friends who work here, I just hit enter and went for lunch. I deleted it straight away, but my boss didn't see that as proper apology". 

It's only a matter of time before Anderson Cooper announces the sad but true 'sign of the times' faux pas....A sorry tale of the poor Gen Z multitasking intern who inadvertently announced on Linked In (while also auto posting on their blog, and twitter feed) their hatred of their employer, boss and leadership  using sms profanity of the most vulgarity ......
No, not a deleted  Facebook movie scene, but an observation of Linked In.  A once simple, uncluttered and intuitive professional networking platform that is transforming into a business social network.  Now filled with a landscape full of dashboards, ads, and tabs, and peppered with likes, comments, pictures (of babies ..perhaps) and youtube videos. 

Is the brand manoeuvring its way into future convergence with the hyper-stimulated, hyper-sticky, informational super-channel-esque - Facebook behemoth ? Fiction ?  Melodrama ?....Partial truth ?  Irrelevant !  As user numbers continue to increase and embrace the new experience, the business led by Jeff Weiner is an indellible disruptive force heading for an IPO. 

As I write this post, ad agency planners the world over are scheming to uncover killer insights,  brand managers vy to launch their first hybrid campaign, and media mavens are seeding content amongst the most coveted 'sociopro' influencers......

I used to love Linked In as I knew exactly why I was there, what I was going to do and how long I was going to spend there.  Yet the online version look and feel changes, added features, and constant refreshes echo the rhythm of Facebook, and I sense its now too late for them to dial back. My only solace is the Iphone version -  (the  app development team are genius architects for mobile).

Failure to understand their brand equity and user base may lead to the creation of a 'Bring back old Linked In' group.  Start to worry if a cut the rope 'corporate ladder edition' replaces the 'People you may know' section......

PS, while the opening quotation is currently fictitious, I sadly predict to see it reported true pretty soon.

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Stopping Power is all you need

A good claim has to stop you and address a purchase barrier or at least make you feel enough to provoke a response.  I found this claim from Bodum to be disturbing, irritating, yet delightfully disruptive to my perception of how I feel about my choice to use the Nespresso brand. 



I'm sure it adds cost so I would love to know if Jimmy John's measure the effectiveness or impact of this simple, playful, genius placement......After all a sandwich, is just a sandwich... right ?


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