Why entrepreneurs are storytellers

Seven branding articles worth reading this week

Here are seven articles I found this week that are worth reading over your morning coffee...

  1. Why entrepreneurs are storytellers

What do records, airlines, cola and mobile phones have in common? Not much, unless you put the word Virgin in front of them. Does anyone embody the word entrepreneur more than Richard Branson? He is one of the few CEOs who has his own blog, and in a recent post he gave the secret of his success—storytelling.  According to Branson “It is easier to be a storytelling entrepreneur now than at any other time in history.

2. Would you pay not to see ads?

WIRED—the magazine that  introduced the banner ad—has now come up with a banner-free version of its website to appease ad blockers. It will cost $1/week.

3. Proofreaders wanted

Did you know that  Ski-Doo was a spelling mistake? When Bombardier originally introduced its two-man snowmobile back in 1959, it had thousands of brochures printed that mistakenly called the new product a Ski-Doo. Any guesses what Bombardier really wanted to name the sled? The answer was mentioned on a recent CBC Under the Influence podcast titled: Words Invented By Marketers.

4. Brands can now edit their knowledge graph cards in Google

The Google Knowledge Graph is the box that appears to the right of a google search and shows a snippet of information that Google has collected about a brand. It often includes the brand logo,  the hours of operation, location of headquarters, photos and other basic information. If the information was wrong there was little a company could do, until now. Here’s how to make changes to your knowledge graph in Google.

5. A&W gets awkward in new campaign made for YouTube

A&W gets YouTube. How so? They respect the pre-roll and show off their new Chicken Buddy Burger in the first six seconds of their YouTube ad. The rest of the time is filled with a brilliantly played awkward pause by the well-known A&W manager Allen. It’s well worth a watch even if you aren’t that into Buddy Burgers.

6. Why is the petroleum industry partying like it’s 2014?

 Bloomberg reported that during a petroleum industry bash in London last week, “Tables were laden with shashlik, oysters and even a whole lamb carved by a chef. In the dessert room, a chocolate fountain bubbled alongside bowls of strawberries.”

“We didn’t cut back,” said one company executive, “in order not to spoil the mood.”

Why so much oil on the market? That was answered with this question: Who is willing to cut production? No country, it seems, wants to be an oil spoiler.

Will a large diamond lead to a lasting marriage?

The economists answer:

Recently two economists at Emory University — Hugo Mialon and Andrew Francis – looked into whether the cost of an engagement ring and wedding have anything to do with how long a marriage might last. They titled their paper, “‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales” and it boiled down to this line: “The evidence suggests that the types of weddings associated with lower likelihood of divorce are those that are relatively inexpensive but are high in attendance.”

A balanced look at the study is discussed at some depth in this WSJ article: Will a Cheap Wedding Help Your Marriage? A Lesson in Causation

The marketer’s answer:

Prior to the 1930s, presenting a woman with a diamond engagement ring was not the norm. Even on the eve of World War Two, a mere 10 per cent of engagement rings contained diamonds. By the end of the 20th century, 80 per cent did. How did diamonds become the must-have jewel for brides-to-be?

With this headline: “How can you make two months' salary last forever?”

The breakthrough for the diamond industry came in 1947, when an advertising agency working for De Beers used variations of that headline with the clever tagline “A Diamond is Forever.” The campaign worked.

The history of how De Beers put a diamond on every bride’s finger is told in  this fascinating BBC article: De Beers myth: Do people spend a month's salary on a diamond engagement ring?


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