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Marketing Lessons from Grateful Dead

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If Jerry Garcia was alive today he’d probably be laughing (and probably lighting a spliff…yes, those of you my age will agree) that a business marketing book is hailing Grateful Dead’s decisions asmarketing lessons to learn from. HA! Grateful Dead! So anti-business, anti-establishment in the 1960’s!

We thought their music was ahead of its time. Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History by David Meerman Scott points out their marketing methods were also ahead of their time. ReadWriteWeb’s blog post highlights the marketing lessons with great videos of the band (c’mon – it’s a hot August day, take a minute to listen & learn). Libraries particularly, take heed. Mind you, public libraries probably shouldn’t tell their boards that these ideas are from Grateful Dead, unless of course some board members were rockers in the 60’s/70’s.

Consider these marketing lessons:

Rethink industry – and, I’d add here, – profession assumptions; assume NOTHING Use a memorable name and logo; not just for the library, but for services Turn customers into evangelists; we’ve encountered library members who’ve asked to go door-to-door telling people about the library Build a diverse team; different perspectives make a difference Free your content Experiment; ask, what’s the worst thing that could happen? usually, it’s pretty minor, so take the risk! that’s how we learn. Partner with other entrepreneurs; and not just cultural or educational agencies — technology shops! Tax accountants! Take your customers on an odyssey; something

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Google Doodles: Enhancing Brand & User Experience

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Google's Olympic Hockey Doodle

I have been fascinated by Google doodles for years and often include them in posts. Now here is an interesting article from Interbrand’s blog that all sites can learn from:

“Well, aside from being fun, inspiring, and surprising as a recent CNN interview with Google Doodle web designer Michael Lopez suggests, its also a fresh way to update Google’s extremely simple homepage—something that is harder than it might seem at first glance.”

With an extremely minimal and simple design, Google’s site is made up of three elements: “a colorful, iconic logo (the design of which, good and/or bad, is topic for another discussion), a search bar, and a massive amount of white space. This allows Google to be a calm, but positive breather before you dive into the bottomless whirlpool of information. ”

“And yet, while this approach is quite successful, these three elements can also be a little limiting when it comes to accurately representing a brand personality and staying fresh and relevant in the climate of an ever changing Internet. Google needed something else to visually carry the brand. Something that could speak to who they are, yet also be organic enough to mold to anything the world throws their way. Enter the Google Doodle.”

“What was initially a quirky holiday illustration is now becoming a vital tool in communicating Google’s brand personality. Visually, it gives Google endless possibilities in a technology market that has just that–endless possibilities. It enables Google to keep

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Twitter & Other Lessons from Elton John/Billy Joel Concert

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Art Sobczak's Pic. Thx.

Well, sort of. First, let me say the dueling pianos and great songs were truly amazing. The ACC in Toronto rocked. Elton John and Billy Joel are two popular, talented and entertaining guys. My ears are still ringing & I’m still humming their tunes. OK lessons.

I just tried out Topsy, “a search engine powered by tweets”. And I put in “Billy Joel Concert” since I’d just seen one last night and thought I’d fine some of my tweets and what others had to say. Interesting, I found a blog post from an earlier concert entitled, Sales Lessons from the Elton John/Billy Joel Concert. I loved the way this guy, Art Sobczak, used what he saw at the concert to make points about how to do sales. The post does point somewhat to the differences in audiences (Canadian versus US), and that Billy Joel used many of the same jokes in Toronto as he did in Omaha. Topsy also picked up a picture of Kevin Spacey with Billy Joel. Not much came up with I added Toronto to the search. Wonder where my tweets are. Topsy tells you to put in your twitter name, interesting that it only picks up three listings for me. Hmmmm, what are the lessons here about searching conversations?

And because I like info and wanted more, I checked out John & Joel websites. I looked at Elton’s website — pretty interesting with videos, ecommerce, philanthropy, community, and more. Not bad.

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Is Zappos.com a model for libraries?

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As I read this article, Web 2.0 Tools can Foster Growth in Tough Times, about retailer Zappos.com use of Twitter, it made me wonder if libraries could use Zappos.com model to engage their communities in a new way. Of course, staff would have to be able to use the technology, see the value in it, and enthusiastically embrace it as the Zappos.com staff does. Interesting. Possible?

This article, How & Why to Launch a Business Presence on Twitter, is also useful if you are thinking the Zappos.com model.

Personality not Included

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Darlene Fichter pointed us to this new book by Rohit Bhargava, who writes the popular Influential Marketing Blog, something to which we should all be paying attention. The book webstie is rich with ideas and information, including a 5 minute video clip, podcasts, and lots more. I look forward to more ideas when I actually read the book!