We Need More Mischief and Whimsy

Eamonn Carey

Design products or sites to be functional, usable … but the piece that can be missing in many cases is pleasure. Something to put a smile on their face—to engage and make them smile. To add some personality.

Play matters. Mischief matters. It lets you light up the reward pathways of the brain.

We have no patience or attention span.

Carey designed an anti-Farmville game called Farm Villain. Created it as a laugh for friends, but it took off. Succeeded in making mischief. Hit a zeitgeist and nerve and sold it.

“People use online and social channels to waste time so why don’t we give them some cool shit to do while they’re there.”

Google does a great job in adding fun to their products. Google Maps examples include directions from the Shire to Mordor answering with Lord of the Rings Quotes or the man disappearing in a UFO if you go over Area 51.

Example provided was with smart car. Someone tweeted a joke saying they saw a Smart Car get pooped on by a bird and totaled it. Smart Car tweeting back, saying it couldn’t have been one bird. It must have been 4.5 million birds. They had actually done the math to see how many it would take to crush their protective frame and included an infographic for good measure.

Burger King ran a campaign to de-friend someone on Facebook for a free whopper. They got notifications “So and so unfriended you … for a free whopper.

So how do you get started?

  • You have to try.
  • Have a personality.
  • Delight them.
  • Make your visuals sing
  • It can be simple. Really simple. Example: Uber on Halloween, cars are witches on broomsticks
  • Show empathy
  • Be more human
  • Manipulate existing things
  • Create bliss
  • The easiest way to be funny is to work with other people
  • Don’t be a dick
  • Be memorable

Email is the Devil and Must Be Vanquished

Brian Braiker
Hazel Swayne
Pramit Nairi
Rachel Kaplowitz

Well, dear readers. I believe this panel is more about personal email, or work communication, but I figured this would be a good lesson to all of us on the noise that occurs in the inbox. Also, we can learn about what about email causes anxiety and work to avoid that with our subscribers. Here we go…

Pramit Nairi

Email fragments the day with constant interruptions. Causes anxiety and requires you to triage just to keep up. Requires you to work hard to get to the stuff that matters.

How to fix it:

  1. Have office hours
  2. Group working session
  3. Shared workspaces—even if virtual like wikis, etc.

Rachel Kaplowitz

Email is great for sending, but horrible for sharing.

  • Shelf life: If you’re going to send something that they’ll need to access more than 24 hours from sending, you need something that’s more searchable.
  • Audience: No way for people to discover shareable content in email outside of the people you send to.
  • Impact: Hard to create momentum with email.
  • Timing: Email isn’t designed to go back to an email more than 24 hours after it has been sent.

Hazel Swayne

2,473,455 Emails sent in 1 second

6 Reasons Marriages (and Email Relationships) Fail!

  1. Not taking responsibility
  2. Emotions and feelings no longer matter
  3. Carrying a lot from other relationships
  4. Oversharing kills intimacy
  5. Cheating out of boredom
  6. Not enough physical connection

Email Therapy:

  • Ask yourself before you write: Am I writing this for my own benefit?
    Spend an extra two minutes: Make sure emotions come across
  • Be consider of their time
  • Make sure your most beloved recipients get your attention

Brian Braiker
Email is your passport: All social channels, Slack, etc. use email.
The argument for email:

  • CYA: Paper-free paper trail. Keeps us accountable
  • Telephone66: Phone call killer
  • Archive: Searchable repository of info. Outsource your memory!
  • It’s writing: Forces you to think
  • Asynchronous: Any hour of the day
  • Newsfeed: Slower, more thoughtful social feed

Email is a traffic driver. Buzzed gets more traffic from newsletters as they do from Twitter and all other channels.

Email Newsletters: A marketing tool

  • People opt in to being marketed to
  • Trackable, can see who opens
  • Can append to CRM records
  • Can personalize
  • Digiday “top stories” email 60% lower opt out rate
  • 20-25% of people hear about events through email

Launching A Brand

Robert Malcolm
Rick Sharga
Natalie Cofield
Therese Hayes

“I solve consumer puzzles to create value for enterprises.” – Malcolm

Sharga: Branding is identifying a unique value proposition.

What is a brand?

“A brand is a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of a prospect.” – Al Riess

“The intangible sum of a products attributesL its name, packaging and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it is advertised.”

“A brand is essentially a container for a customer’s complete experience with the product or company” – Sergio Zyman

Sharga: There’s a study that shows you have more in common with someone who likes similar brands to you than your next-door neighbor.

Ask yourself: Does my brand experience equal the expectation that my customer has?

Be in alignment internally before you take your brand to the consumer. Everyone in the company has to be behind the brand.

Sharga (quote he admitted he stole and I forgot who he said that said it): “You can’t be significantly different, unless the difference is significant to your customers.”

3 Rules for branding:

  1. Get the message right first. Then get the message out. Don’t get the message out, before you get the message right.
  2. The best communications vehicle is the one your customer likes.
  3. Be consistent. Not just with the message, but with the actions that message is supposed to deliver.

Sharga: What are you doing to put your money where your mouth is in regards to what your brand proposition is supposed to be?

Malcolm: Ciroc (Biagi) sought to join the luxury vodka brand and did a lot of research on the marketplace. They didn’t have a motivated positioning and they didn’t know how to effectively reach their audience or know if they could afford to do so. Fortunately for them, Sean Combs (Puff Daddy) showed up at their door and told them Ciroc was his favorite vodka. They offered a joint venture. Combs positioned it as the celebration vodka.