The Brand BLOG
Founded in 1915 after the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Governor of Florida from 1905-1909 (Famous for promoting the Everglades drainage and canal system), Broward County is also know for hosting Fort Lauderdale as the "Boat Capital of the World" and a mid the luxury condo development revolution in South Florida. Currently what stands out is the county's 80 new condo luxury projects underway.
After attending The Real Deal Broward Forum last week at DCOTA, my primary conclusions are as follows: for one, Broward is more "Accessible" than Miami in terms of SQ. FT per $ (square feet per dollar), space is not that scarce as in the south, Miami has no more available ground, unless of course old construction were torn down...
Not only are the majority of buyers Latin American, but Canadians tend to prefer Broward over Dade and a renovated influx of Nationals are looking at the awesome South Florida quality of lifestyle. Beyond just a vacation destiny, the trend it to make Florida a permanent place of residency. The current model and it's 50% downpayment ensure the stability of the building and the background most developers behold ensure the investment will be delivered and become equitable in the short term. So if you are looking at water front properties, you'll probably want to go shopping in Broward...
Another interesting learning from the Forum was how Americans have changed their outlook towards "Home Ownership": Millennials for example aren't that interested in tying their life to a 30 year mortgage and look for more independence, therefor renting is the offered form of housing. Which would explain why "affordable" housing projects: $200K-$250K (this is below the US Median Avg. Single family home of $250K), don't seem to be in many developers minds just yet. Which is giving "used" homes a lift in price.
The question that remains: is it time to buy? the answer is: it is a great time to buy! Once projects are delivered they will have accrued significant value and the demand will only increase amid uncertainty in Latin America and a more confident US + Canadian investor.
Brand Called #Miami
Blue skies, ocean blue, it's always sizzling hot but yet so cool, unique but yet so diverse, hip at the Design District and so down to earth at Calle Ocho: it's Miami. Portrayed in so many movies and TV shows: Miami Vice, Scarface, CSI Miami, Burn Notice, Fast & Furious, Caddy Shack, Ace Ventura, Marley & Me, Birdcage, There's Something About Mary, On Any Given Sunday and I'm sure your thinking of some others....The Tropical City seems to endure time and fashion trends but it's always there setting the pace.
Since early 1900's at the time of railroad mogul Henry Flagler, Tuttle and Brickell & wife Mary envisioned a sea side city when it was just a swampy group of manglers. Just take a drive down Brickell Avenue today and it will be hard to find any remnants of the past.
Known to many in the business and financial world as "The Hub of the Americas", the launchpad to the US for Latina American companies is at the beginning of yet another reinvention process funneled by a multi-billion dollar real estate investment designed to boost it's port, commercial and residential real estate process. It's diversity invites people from all around the world and it's mutliple condo towers are just kicking off. But when you talk real estate people always remember "the bubble...." and the first question that comes to mind is if there' another one coming? The answer is certainly "yes". Economic recession as well as economic bonanzas are cyclical, the right question is when will we have another real estate bubble burst? Nobody really knows but if Americans have one common trait we learn from our mistakes. Current developers are doing things slightly different this turn: 10% to reserve a unit, larger down payments; 50%, non assignable contracts: "you sign, you buy" and given most deals are cash in hand the first lots will be safe, sound and secure. As things go on, it's likely the financing options will appear and thing might get a little bit more "financially liberal" but for now the market is offering a whole set of options from One bedrooms starting at $300K all the way into multi-million dollar PH with an elevator for your Porsche....
One of my favorite projects is Brickell City Center, in the heart of Brickell, which will have public transportation passing through the foundation which is a classy mall and rising into the sky in all it's 43 floors. I can foresee a vibrant Miami Coastline, with all the amenities for you to never wan to leave and stay in the warm sunshine of a real metropolis. Welcome to Miami, where the the future is sizzling!
Ever had a person “Wow!” about your product and then say something like: “I love it! How come I never heard about your brand?” or “If I knew where to find your brand, I’d be the first one to buy it!
So, how easy is it for potential clients to find your brand on the web? Probably not an easy task…actually, ensuring a brand “get’s found” has become the primary challenge of the digital era. The Art & Science of Marketing teaches us that the muses that inspire “creativity” and information with a value added edge are the sole proprietors towards drawing attention to a brand. In other words: the ability to emerge with “quality content” is still the most important factor to gaining new clients and keeping the old.
Velocity to drive sales relies in converting visits into leads. So how do your increase traffic to your webpage again?
1. Be inspired: love what you do, do what you love.
2. Be creative: be brave to try new things, “Imagination is more important than knowledge” (Albert Einstein)
3. Be true to your brand, be transparent: the best agenda is a “see through” one.
4. Be awesome and create content people will love, “Think Different” (Apple)
5. Build, grow online communities, become a Subject Matter Expert and then influence.
6. Be fast: respond to your connections or beware, your enemies’ will…
7. Be always transmitting on media channels and beyond social media, keep your heads up for the new ones to come.
8. Balance SEO with PPC: Google’s billion dollar revenue stream depends on advertising, hence the search algorithm is subject to modifications that even the most savvy SEO expert can’t tackle.
9. Be consistent: brand positioning & search rank are directly tied to how long you’ve been in the market, people’s top of mind and web presence, your digital footprint must continue, step by step, never stop…hence perform steps 1-8 again and again ;-)
10. Be humble: keep your soul open the innovation yet to come; with software/hardware/media/communication and technology in general everyday “it’s only just the beginning” (Bill Gates)
Once, traffic increases we can start converting visits into leads, truth is, even if you attract more visitors to your webpage, it doesn’t guarantee you any incremental revenue whatsoever…but that’s a chapter for the next blog on “Marketing Software”, till then, love it or leave it;-)
The houses on my street are lighted, the stores are packed with shoppers and children are expecting Santa to drop off "the gift" - like the song, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Take a minute to look back into 2012, most likely your thinking how fast those months just flew by.
Every year I send a Christmas message hoping you get everything you wanted, therefore I'd like to know how it went, did you make more money? Did you get the new car? Oh, then you landed your dream job or closed that big deal! You got "the house"? Took those that amazing trip you always wanted? Ate exotic foods and met wonderful people? Popped that great bottle of wine?
Now did the material achievements really matter that much? Did they really make a difference? So what did make a difference in 2012? Did you say you were sorry to those you hurt? Were you there when your kid lost his tooth, scored that goal or just woke up at night and looked for you? Did you listen to that friend when they needed you? Did you tell those close to you that you love them?
For one if you are reading this on a computer you are not a reflection of the majority of the world population. Did you know that only one in every seven people on the planet actually own a computer? And that one out of seven people actually live with $1.25 a day.
These are facts that should help us reassess our priorities and clear that you probably don't know how good you've got it. Lighten up! After all this is what the season is all about "light". Don't forget that the reason we celebrate is that of a humble little boy born in a humble little place who brought with him one gift that would change humankind. Change, which has lasted more than for than 2000 years. “We do not possess the truth, the truth possesses us. Christ, who is the truth, takes us by the hand”
This year I would like to give you a different type of gift, the gift of time. Time to hug your child, time to read a bedtime story, time to listen, time to laugh with your spouse, and time to see the sunset. It is time after all the limited resource, one that needs to be managed wisely.
Unfortunately this is a gift I can’t give you because you already have it, what I can give you is a prayer, to use this time with wisdom and justice.
Enlighten me to do everything for Love,
Help me persevere in little things for Love.
Thus there will be no little things: everything will be big.
Help me carry out the little duty of each moment,
Doing what I ought and concentrating in what I’m doing.
May this year be the one where we realize that a little act, done for Love, is worth so much!
Have a Merry Christmas!
Is ADVERTISING dead?
Great advertising has always relied on the ability to "astonish" a viewer, be memorable, catch your attention, creativity, imagination and embracing new trends. Last week on my way back from Inbound12 I met with my wife in NYC and cruised down the streets of the big apple. To my amazement right on Times Square, the American epitome to billboards we were mesmerized by a Stolichnaya large format piece.
Anyone used the Yellow Pages lately? Certainly if not totally dead, some forms seem to be evolving. Let's set a couple of examples like: direct mail which most of us don't bother to open or TV ads directed at viewers who'd rather be zapping...kinda makes u wonder...is ADVERTISING dead?
"Truth well told" may still be the foundation of advertising, but with today's gadgetry, hyper connectivity and über networking there is so much more that can be achieved. In this case advertising manages to make people interact on site and then share the experience via social media #ORGNLTV with there peers. It's memorable, astonishing and even fun.
The brand itself rings a bell in my head, it was my late father that would directly import cases of this supreme Vodka under a space opened only to diplomatic envoys. Yes, it was the vodka from the USSR that carried a particular stigma, I kinda imagined that the KGB agents or the operators of nuclear missiles in Siberia would take shots of this elixir back in their secret hideouts.
Now the brand has seen new light under capitalism and an ever more competitive Vodka market, along came Absolut with it's memorable print ads, but there was a day that Stolychnaya was "the Vodka" and if advertising is not dead, then we shall certainly see the comeback of good old "Stoli"
Nor advertising nor Stolychnaya are dead, on the contrary, they both seem to be evolving into a new form. What I can conclude is that the greater the interaction the merrier the ad!
"Budem zdorovy" meaning "Let's stay healthy"
Well it was quite a road trip from Weston all the way up to Boston but the journey paid off with an amazing event hosted by HubSpot.
Three days of great content plus the 2012 Inbound Certification Program which empower us at Marchandising to continue delivering the best posible value to our clients.
A great set of speakers with a social finding on the power of introverts by Susan Cain, HubSpot 3.0 which seems "awesome" and a standing ovation for Gary Vaynerchuk to whom I will dedicate a whole story.
Despite my notes the real takeaways I managed to capture, regardless of the author are really a few:
Digital Killed Kodak or was it Lack of Vision?
Once the hallmark of photography, Kodak has filed chapter eleven while restructuring for the digital revolution. But doesn’t it seem kind of late? A move to adapt when the train has already left. I can attest to having tons of prints & slides in various format. Bottom-line: assets of $5.1 billion and debts of $6.75 billion...you do the math...
How does a brand that was a synonym of innovation and survived so much competition and emerging technologies, finally throw the towel? Wasn't this evident, what happened? How does a company loose it's edge and become obsolete in it's own turf? Sounds like the iPod vs. Sony Walkman...along comes this new technology and the later just becomes history. Was it too much R&D? Lousy management?
Before we answer let me walk you down memory lane. If you where born in the digital era, the Kodak brand may not ring many bells. In my case, the first camera I owned was the Instamatic with a 110mm film cartridges, pocket size. Then I remember going to Summer Camp in New Hampshire where I enrolled in my first photography course and my Dad let me take his 35mm Zeiss-Ikon camera. It was heavy, it was precise, pure German engineering clockwork.
Probably my love for photography & imaging comes from my Father. He would film us with his 8mm Kodak camera, send the film for processing in Panama which was the only place that developed film and then months later we actually saw the movies on a screen in our living room. Yes they were in color, yes they had "no" sound.
In my long romance with photography I may have spent months of my life in relative time trapped by light in a dark room. This was when I met the Kodak ASA 400 which had a 100ASA grain but could be forced to 800. Still have boxes of B&W print in all sizes and formats. Just the idea brings back the scent of chemicals needed to process that great 100 in a hundred silver gelatin print.
I recall an episode in Mad Men that very well captures the role the Kodak Carrousel played in our lives. Just saving money to by rolls of Kodakchrome 25 & 64, you can even see the layers of color. but I just went digital. The cost per click became trivial, everyone who can point and shoot is now a photographer and sharing can be done online, just with a couple of clicks.
So lets get back to the why did Kodak fail?
Paranoia; Canon and Nikon which where "coopetitors" saw it coming and rapidly went digital, when Kodak figured this out it was probably too late.
Convergence: "gadgetization" = iPhone, Smart Phones, Cellphones, Flatscreens, USB Drives, Macs and PCs...suddenly we have all these apparatus with imaging capabilities and we shoot like crazy, anytime, anyplace...
Pricing Strategy: the cost of shooting became trivial, instead of thinking out if it was worth the click, with digital, you could just point and shoot, just for the fun of it at a ultra low cost.
Immediate Retribution and User Experience: with the emergence of social media; you shoot, you view, you upload and you share. No need to send the roll to the lab...satisfaction guaranteed. End of day we shoot to immortalize moments and we want to share these moments.
George Eastman - founded Kodak in 1889
How does Kodak Get Back into Profitable Terrain?
1.) ID Core Strength: what can Kodak do better than any other company?
Kodak Management believes it's printing, SW&Svcs., Packaging.
But Kodak is really about "memories" and memories need to be on some type of support, way it's going it's digital...satisfaction and pricing...kids these days don't have cameras, it's a Cell Phone and up in the cloud.
Kodak Management Believes in Four Core Product Groups Established Digital Cash Generators;
What will Works:
For now none of the photo products I have are Kodak but I'm a potential customer, just make it easier for me to get there.
In the midst of elections when unpopular bills are under scrutinized it was bound that public uproar would stall SOPA & PIPA. In effect, as of January 20, the US Congressional leaders in the Senate and House indefinitely postponed further action.
So what's next?
Lets get down to basics: the bills are designed to protect US ideas and inventions from bootleggers, pirates, etc... so inherently who's responsibility is it to protect a "brand's" assets: music, software, clothing, movies etc...?
I believe in everyones right to protect their intelectual property, copyright etc...but at the cost of internet freedom, guess it's a high price to pay for, at least thats what public opinion thought.
Specially in an economy thriving for innovation and exchange of ideas over the internet, anything designed to limit communication is bound to be rejected. Already ACTA has been discussed as an alternative but will these measures actually halt the business of piracy?
My thesis is that innovation and invention are the answer instead of lobbying and legislation.
Hackers will hack, pirates will continue pirating and companies concerned about their intelectual property will need to create news ways to defend their brands from copyright violations.
For one an open contest by each industry inviting entrepreneurs to devise news forms or devices. If this is really a war against piracy it should be fought like one. Look at the inovation in defense and the investment + job creation in these areas. These are issues that can be tackled with creativity, I mean clearly the big bucks are out there.
If the US was able to eliminate the need of a pilot and an expensive airplane to fly over it's enemies by creating drones, with the right stimulus in place, I'm sure that we will be able to find the "smart minds" to devise a technology that can stop a fellow in a storefront in some far away land, from burning a bootleg DVD.