December 2011

Prophet’s Top 11 From ’11

As 2011 draws to a close, we share, once again, what has become a tradition for Prophet. Our year-end newsletter presents a “reader’s choice” of sorts: the most downloaded articles over the course of the year.

It’s always an interesting exercise to track and see what resonates most with our clients and friends in marketing and business. It helps us keep an eye on the pulse of our community with content that is relevant and engaging, and ultimately demonstrates (we say modestly) the kind of thinking that has driven our growth. 

Take a look, enjoy, and of course, share away.

A joyous holiday season to you all and best success in 2012!

#1 Brand Preference vs. Brand Relevance

As David Aaker argues in his widely cited new book Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant, the normal “My brand is better than your brand” marketing, with rare exceptions, no longer moves the competitive needle. In this article he compares that marketing path to a strategy with significantly greater payoff potential - where your brand has transformed a category or market, and thus weakened or eliminated competitors.

#2 2011 State of Marketing Study

In today’s fast-changing ecosystem of influence, how well equipped are marketers and their organizations to adjust and succeed? In our annual study, Andy Flynn, Mike Leiser, and Jesse Purewal examine the landscape and the implications.

#3 Understanding and Delivering Customer Experiences that Count

It’s an accepted wisdom that customer-centricity is an integral component of brand building; but the scope of the customer experience when touchpoints are exploding makes understanding and building on the nuances a challenge for many. Peter Dixon and Rune Gustafson offer up some tools to help.

#4 The Inspiration Discipline

Innovate or die! So the pundits would have you believe. But it takes inspiration to spark innovation, and that rarely happens without help. Andy Stefanovich, Fred Geyer, and Jesse Purewal look at six sources of inspiration and how they’ve been put into play by leaders on the innovation front.

#5 The Importance of Creative Thinking (and how not to kill it)

Another side to the innovation/inspiration equation is the ability to think creatively. In this piece, Joseph Gelman shares his pithy observations on tactical behaviors that will discourage creative instincts every time.

#6 When Customers Will Really Rule

The pace of change that marked the last decade has only stepped up as we progress through the current one. And what does that portend for marketers looking forward? Scott Davis shares his predictions. Hint: Power to the people, er, customers!

#7 Marketing Middleware

What marketing really needs these days, posit Jeff Gourdji and Jeff Smith, is the same kind of middleware that is better known as the glue that connects software. But in this instance it enables the back-and-forth translation of strategy, insights, and execution. This article details the construct.

#8 Case Study: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The resort opened one year ago this month, and has won accolades and a full house for its reinvention of the Las Vegas experience. Learn about this exciting project and the first-hand video observations of CEO John Unwin and CMO Lisa Marchese.

#9 The Price is Right! Or is it?

Pricing is the single most powerful lever of improved performance that an executive team can pull. That doesn’t mean, however, that pricing strategies are easy to get right. Philip Otley weighs in on the issue.

#10 The Digital Evolution – 4 steps to success

There’s no escaping the impact of digital and technology on society, culture and business. Maintaining brand relevance and staying true to value propositions are only two of the challenges facing businesses that hope to adjust and thrive in this new environment. Jan Döring and Tosson El Noshokaty offer up a systematic approach to help guide the way.

#11 Marketing Accountability: Critical success factors for greater marketing effectiveness and efficiency

Now, more than ever, the pressure is on marketing to drive business results by improving its ability to invest in the right tools and content and optimizing the ratio of investment and output. In this article, Michael Dunn and Marcus Koch outline the value levers that must be pulled to get there, and the success factors that signal the arrival.

Short Takes

In November, David Aaker sat down to chat with Leo Burnett Chief Strategy Officer Stephen Hahn-Griffiths about maintaining brand relevance. more

In the spirit of lists, we are particularly proud to announce that our books have made several lists in the past month. Brand Relevance by David Aaker was recognized as one of the top business books of the year in the marketing category by strategy+business. And both Brand Relevance, and Look at More (by Andy Stefanovich) were listed as two of the Ten Marketing Books You Should Have Read by AdAge.

Prophet’s work with Emart is featured in Marketing Week's special edition Opinions from Design and Brand Consultantsmore

Andy Stefanovich answers seven questions about innovation on Innovation Excellencemore

Join us in welcoming James Walker, our newest Senior Partner who is charged with leading our Analytics practice. more

Check us out at these upcoming events:

The Creative Leadership Academy
January 16–18 — The Boulders, Carefree, Arizona
Where do you go to learn to think different… to be different… to deliver different? How do you train your leadership to be disruptive? What support exists for training breakthrough? Andy Stefanovich, recognized as one of the provocateurs of the event, will be keynoting about how to be disruptive in your business.

David Aaker's Annual Lecture
February 15 — Haas School of Business, University of California
David Aaker gives his annual lecture at Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley.

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Consultants’ Corner

Who are Prophet consultants, really? Click here for Prophet's introspective inforgraphic.

David Aaker's Latest Blog Post, featured on Fast Company

Patagonia, A Trailblazing Brand That Walks The Walk

On Black Friday, Patagonia ran a full-page ad in The New York Times telling consumers not to buy one of their jackets because it takes so much water and energy to make. This was one element of the company's Common Threads initiative, a brilliant brand-within-a-brand that offers a roadmap for companies trying to promote themselves as environmentally friendly.

Scott Davis' Latest Blog Post

Today's "G" Generation - Replacing Greed With Generosity

It is appropriate this time of year to focus on a dimension of brand building that may get short shrift because it can be so hard to get right: the generosity factor.


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