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2 Pieces I Shared Recently…Brand Resources and Black Friday (On Cyber Monday)

Happy Thanksgiving in America…

So I’m sharing two timely things with you today that I wrote in other locations:

On Strategy Showcase Talks to Mark Ritson About American Marketers…

Today, Fergus O’Carroll has Mark Ritson on to talk about his column on American marketing effectiveness.

wrote a piece when Mark first made his comments with my thoughts on what is causing American marketing to suffer.

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As I wrote in my piece, Mark is right.

Fergus and Mark get into the nuts and bolts of effectiveness and what would need to be done to bring marketing ahead in the US.

Mark points out how business schools have been on the outside of a lot of this work and when I taught my Kelley on Location class this year, the reason I was brought in was due to my existence outside of the normal academic world.

With that, I want to share the resource guide I created for students of the Kelley School of Business for my brand strategy for entertainment and sports.

Join me in the brand and strategy Slack Channel I’ve been building to discuss this stuff.

You’ll find this helpful, so why don’t you share this with a friend or colleague.


Branding/Rebranding a Sports Team Resources

Dave Wakeman


Here are a few resources to help you as you work on marketing campaigns, move into a marketing role, or expand your marketing knowledge.

I could make this thing go on forever, but this is a good foundation from my POV.

Key Definitions:

·      Brand: Accumulation of all of the contacts you have with your target market over time. The good impressions add up in spoonfuls, but the bad stuff can tear you down in buckets. It is intangible. Your brand only exists in your customer’s head.

·      Branding: These are the actions you take to get the idea you want of your brand into your market’s head. You do this with advertising, brand codes, taglines, stories, and anything else that you can use to leave a positive impression.

·      Brand Management: This is the process of using your branding tools to build the brand in your customer’s mind. You start here.

·      Brand Equity: David Aaker talks about this being the value of a company’s brand built on recognition. Mark Ritson calls it a “natural resource”. I want you to think of it as the goodwill you create for your brand.

·      Brand Codes: These are the sounds, images, colors, taglines, pictures, characters, and other things that are your representatives of your brand. Examples include Tiffany Blue, the Green Monster, the shape of the Sydney Opera House, the Netflix knock, the THX sound, “Just Win Baby!” and more.

Resources: (No Special Order)

The Music is Not Enough” by Bob Lefsetz: Bob does a great job of explaining brand management through the lens of an artist’s career in today’s music business.

Believe the Hype: Online Ads are Finally Living Up to their Effectiveness Promise: Read this for Dr. Grace Kite’s focus on the 3 levels of learning for marketers.

How to Obtain Relevant Data through Backward Market Research: I wrote this for the ALSD. It is a simplified version of how to do market research quickly and effectively.

Zoe Scaman talks about building a brand for an NBA Superstar: Zoe is a great marketer and this is a really cool project.

How to Price Your Product: Pricing demands research. Remember: Process of Setting the Price. The Price. The Promotion of the Price.

Gibberish: There is a lot of nonsense you need to fight through in marketing. It is usually a way to mask a lack of true understanding of what marketing is and what it does.

Roger L. Martin: Former Dean of the Rotman School of Management

·      www.RogerLMartin.com

·      Weekly strategy posts on Medium

·      Follow him on Twitter: @RogerLMartin

·      Check out his books my two favorites:

o   Playing to Win

o   A New Way of Thinking

Eat Your GreensA book of essays from some of the smartest folks in marketing/branding.

The Long and the Short of It: By Les Binet and Peter Field from the IPA in the UK.

·      This book uses IPA research to show that it isn’t branding or sales activation, but both.

·      Obvious when you read it, but revolutionary when you consider how little most businesses invest in their brands.

“Anatomy of Effectiveness”: A white paper produced by WARC that focuses on effectiveness in marketing and the steps necessary to achieve that.

Above Average IntelligenceMy ongoing blog posts about strategy, branding, and business. You can also just visit my site at www.DaveWakeman.com and sign up for all kinds of fun there.

Mary Kyriakidi: Mary is Kantar’s Global Thought Leader. She is on podcasts, hosts podcasts, and is constantly sharing actionable marketing insights.

Call to Action podcast: Hosted by fellow Spurs supporter, Giles Edwards, this is my go-to marketing podcast…best in the world, really. I’m episode 88 and we discuss pricing, but this is a real goldmine of marketing insights and knowledge.

Mark RitsonMark is one of the world’s great marketing columnists, teachers, and thinkers.

His weekly columns in Marketing Week will challenge your thinking on marketing. Google him and watch some of his videos and speeches.

Talking Tickets: Where I write about tickets, sports business, and the business of entertainment.

The Business of FunMy podcast about the business of live entertainment. New episodes coming soon.

John Wall Street: A newsletter that meets where sports, media, and finance intersect.

Asli PelitCovers sports deals, soccer, and brands for Sportico.

How Brands GrowA definitive text for scientific marketing. It is an important book to know about and read if you are in marketing.

I do challenge you to develop your own opinion on the laws and ideas in the book. 

“How the Phoenix Suns built a championship brand—off the court”: The Suns have done a great job of building a brand with distinctive assets, consistency, and simplicity.

Learning from Twitter’s X-periment: 5 rebranding successes and failures: In light of the latest things around Twitter/X, this is a good reminder I think you want to avoid rebranding at all costs…but you can learn something from each of these.

Managing Brand Equity by David Aaker. This is one of the definitive brand building texts.

CMO Today: A daily newsletter from The Wall Street Journal. Stuff from all over the internet…one of my favorites.

B2B brands shouldn’t fear rejection, but being unknown: From the folks at the LinkedIn B2B Institute, this piece highlights their research and the reality that B2B businesses very rarely invest in their brands to their own detriment.

Only 15% of brand assets are ‘truly distinctive’: Just because you have them and know them, not using your brand codes can cause them to not stand out to your customers. You have to use them.

“If Everyone Is Doing It…” Theory of Black Friday


Kevin Hillstrom writes about “inflection points” this morning and the number of inflection points that will come up over the next few days with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the onslaught of SALES for the holidays.

Kevin’s point is a great one that reminds me of the thing your mom probably told you at some point: “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?”

Most marketers would answer, “Yes” right now…

Or, it feels that way.

The truth is that there is a fallacy that retailers don’t really make money until the period between Black Friday and the New Year that isn’t backed up by data.

In truth, what the maxim means is that the 4th quarter is typically the highest sales volume for retailers.

I mean, duh!

There are a bunch of gift giving holidays at that time of the year. You’d expect more sales when there are celebrations and gift giving opportunities, but the numbers underlying all of the sales point to the issue of discounting/profits/revenue.

  • Revenue: That’s top line.
    • Is it good or bad? It all depends.
  • Discounts: Are supposed to drive demand?
    • Do they?
      • In my work, I see discounts pull demand forward, stealing profits because a lot the sales would have happened anyway without the discount.
  • Profits: This is what you keep.
    • This is the most important number. If you don’t make money, you don’t have a business for long.

In 2014, a UK retailer, Argos, tested the Black Friday assumption and found that they had a 45% increase in sales on Black Friday.

The problem: the bottom line wasn’t helped at all.

In the Mini-MBA in Marketing, Mark Ritson teaches that discounts can cost your business up to 40% of your profits from just 1% of discounting.

That’s high, but it gets your attention.

HBR has numerous articles that point to around a 10-11% decline in profit for each 1% you discount.

In my work, I’ve seen both numbers happen and if I had to peg a number to the negative impact of discounts, I’d say it has been consistently between 20-25%.

You pick your number.

The directional point is that discounts steal profit.

You can make a boatload of revenue and no profit.

That’s something to consider this week and into the holiday season.

Let me know what you think:

  • Hit reply. I get all the emails.
  • Send me a DM.
  • Join our Slack Channel.

BTW, thanks for reading. You’ve made it to the bottom, can you share this with one person that might be running a discount on Black Friday because they “have to”?