Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Medtronic selects BD'M

Minneapolis based Medtronic has selected BD'M to help tell its corporate story.  And what a story it is:  from two guys in a garage in 1955; the first pacemaker; to a $15 billion leader in medical technology.

Beyond its commitment to innovation, what strikes me as special about Medtronic is its culture – they haven't changed a single word in their mission statement since it was penned in 1960 by the founder, and every employee can recite it by heart.  You don't usually find that in companies of this size.  (I'm a student of corporate cultures.  It brings out the wannabe anthropologist in me, because great cultures tend to be tribal in nature, unified by shared legend, lore, symbols and rituals.)

In January, Dell enlisted BD'M as its global agency of record for its Public Sector business unit, followed shortly by Chamilia.  The momentum feels good.

Monday, March 14, 2011

How to be a social brand.

Here are some good insights from Headstream Consulting's  recently published Social Brands 100 ranking of the top social media brands.  While the rankings will likely ebb and flow, just like social media conversations, I found Headstream's insights into the traits of truly social brands to be instructive and useful.

Ten key insights from Social Brands 100:
  1. Social brands don’t just send messages, they create value for people and communities.
  2. Social brands are happy to exchange rigid control of their brand for greater involvement with people.
  3. Social brands manage their brands in a more human context. It is less about the word of the brand guidelines and more about the spirit of the brand, often replacing formality around tone of voice in favour of expressing brand character, values, purpose and cause.
  4. The types of content that social brands create can be categorised as providing information, utility, entertainment, reward, incentive or something that reflects a person’s character and what they value. Brands are still totems to what we believe, reflecting our personality.
  5. Timeliness of response is a critical indicator of social enablement. Social brands are agile and responsive to the needs of people, relishing opportunities as they arise.
  6. Being appropriate in social doesn’t mean using a lot of brand outposts. The use of brand outposts is driven by what is most relevant for the community.
  7. Negative and positive sentiment is acknowledged and accepted by social brands
  8. Social brands create, develop and encourage behaviours that mirror community or individual behaviours. They meet and exceed expectations, often delighting people in doing so.
  9. Social brands are true, compelling, authentic and transparent.
  10. Social brands simplify their intent and continually act against it. They have established what they want to achieve and ensure everything builds towards this commitment. To be a social brand you have to be a good brand, a good employer, make good products, provide good customer service and have a moral centre to your purpose by those that represent you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Are you a typical human being?

National Geographic, as part of its look into our 7 billion strong planet, offers this summary of the average human being, circa 2011.

So next time you think you're just a face in the crowd, remember how unique you are – unless, of course, you are an educated Mandarin-speaking Chinese Christian male who lives in the city and works in a service-related job.