BASF Love In Business Campaign

ALT="BASF Ad for Create Chemistry"Is there love in business? BASF, the 150-year-old conglomerate, thinks so.

In my hunt for good podcasting fodder, I was leafing through Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s The Year Ahead 2016 issue. When I landed on a full-page spread by BASF, which I thought made audio and stereo equipment, I came across this tagline:

We create chemistry that makes more power love a cleaner drive.

Eh? I read it again and again and still could not decipher whether it was referring to computer hard drives (as the left vertical image was of a super highway often depicted as the speeding Ethernet), or whether it was the clean fuel as depicted on the right vertical image in the ad. The blue heart conjoining the two images then made me wonder if ‘chemistry’ was the entendre for ‘love.’ [Read more…]

Who Knew Developing Brand Persona Included Bathroom Humor?

ALT="Heart Of Marketing Podcast Logo--Soulati"I’m jumping the gun and skipping ahead to Episode 007 of The Heart Of Marketing podcast (available for download on iTunes) during which John Gregory Olson and I chuckle our way through potty humor while attempting to be serious about developing brand persona.

OMGosh! This episode brought tears to my eyes, well almost…I was just trying to get you to listen…whence I listened to it to prepare my blog post. I can’t stand not to laugh in these podcasts, otherwise I’d fall asleep!

What is Persona?

Everywhere you look, someone is suggesting that persona development is critical for brands. I dive in to three hot resources in Heidi Cohen, Vincent Messina and Tony Zambito who each know a thing or two about buyer persona versus buyer profile. They’re different!

In public relations circles from where I come, we liked rather to look at target audience as it relates to demographics. Marketers, on the flipside enjoy creating stories about who that buyer is, what they do every day and how they live. I wasn’t a fan, until I was. [Read more…]

Real-Time Marketing Is A Snappy Technique

alt="24-hour news"

One of the undisputed advantages of the Internet is that it runs 24/7. Internet time means that things happen faster than they do in real life — conversations continue ‘round the clock, information is continually compiled and ideas appear at any time. Internet time is advantageous to marketers because you can participate in discourse in your industry, build awareness and aggrandize branding efforts by putting up content.

Technology is apparently a limitless tool, but what about connecting with customers and prospective client right now? Real-time marketing is a snappy technique that takes advantage of Internet time and the far reach of the medium via various platforms. Real-time marketing, or RTM, is a method of participating in Internet news and trends by fitting the topic to your own marketing needs.


Whether or not you’ve ever heard of RTM, the concept is a similar one to newsjacking, a term conceived by David Meerman Scott. Newsjacking refers to the adoption of a piece of news as a vehicle for driving a marketing agenda. This agenda may include a particular product or service, or simply relate your company in a more general way. Newsjacking is a common enough practice that can be applied across online media, from the company blog to social media networks.
[Read more…]

Confused Messages Driving Catch-22 Brand Marketing

ALT="Pink Campbells Soup Cans, Soulati"The headlines in national newspapers and trade ‘zines are a mixed bag of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Consumers are taking the biggest hit amidst the confused clutter of brands’ messages.

Let’s take a look at several finger-in-your-eye examples and see if you agree:

Price Drop Tests Oil Drillers, Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2014
In this front-page story, you already know the gist. If you’re like me, you’re likely ticked off about it, too. Consumers have not even realized the benefit of one week of under $3/per gallon of gasoline and the analysts that cover the oil industry are bitching. If oil being fracked in Bakken sells for less than $84/barrel, then fracking is uneconomical. What does that mean for consumers? Another squeeze in oil supplies due to the cease in fracking, the loss of jobs and a price increase.

It’s that supply and demand thing, and the consumer conundrum remains for marketers — do we continue to pinch the customer and force higher prices so we make our margins and keep stakeholders happy, or do we risk losing market share and influencing a nose dive in local economies dependent on the jobs created from oil exploration? The media love to report on oil companies emotions

Pay TV’s New Worry, “Shaving The Cord,” Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2014
Do you subscribe to a television provider where the most favorite and in-demand channels cost the most money? Is your bill for satellite or cable television in the hundreds of dollars monthly? YES! Consumers are looking elsewhere for entertainment to try to cut frivolous expenditures. and the pay-TV companies are none too happy. Upon further examination, consumers are not totally ditching pay TV, they are shaving dollars off the monthly fee and leaving the big channels.

What’s the impact? No surprise, it’s the brand marketers seeking the subscriber base to feed us advertisements on CNN, USA Network and ESPN. If the subscribers aren’t there, ad dollars disappear and BAM! pay TV just got pricier as there’s no one left to subsidize programming. And, who’s responsible for the story behind this headline? A research firm probably dueling as an industry analyst seeking buyers for reports like this.

Smile! Marketers Are Mining Selfies! Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2014
Ahh, the ubiquitous selfie soon to grace a Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook near you. And, if that selfie is a smiler complemented by a brand logo, then look out consumer! You’ll soon get more advertising messages from the brand that bought the image catching you in the happy moment.

Guess how? [Read more…]

Upscale Toto Toilets Seeking Comfort-Loving American Consumers

ALT: "Toilet-Jayme-Soulati"

How about a multitasking toilet, Toto?

Ever remodeled a bathroom and had to select from the wide varieties of commodes? I have done several bathrooms in my time, and ensuring you get a workhorse for less money and fewest gallons per flush is daunting, especially when you look at the price tag.

I looked at the Japanese Toto toilets advertised regularly in the magazines I read; however, the cost for a really neat heated seat with little water usage was nearly the price of the bathroom remodel itself. Instead, I settled for a custom-color Kohler with a self-closing lid so it doesn’t slam.

Toto Toilets Are Smart

Toto toilets are so upscale that few Americans have ever used one. Japan is finally ready to take on the American Standard U.S. market with its smart toilets. Apparently, Toto wants to be like Apple. No one knew they needed an iPhone until Apple came along and made phones smart. Same goes for toilets, according to Toto’s chief executive, Mr. Yoshiaki Fujimori.

In a Wall Street Journal story May 27, 2014, Smart Toilets Arrive in U.S., Fujimori said,”Industry presents iPhone–industry presents shower toilet.” [Read more…]