All posts by Martin Jelsema

About Martin Jelsema

Coming up on 50-years doing advertising, branding, market research and new product marketing.

Brand Simple: Brand from the Heart

Yesterday I blogged about the abstraction ladder and concluded that the branding without abstractions delivers the strongest, most relevant and most endearing brands.

That brought to mind a book by Allen P. Adamson, Managing Director at Landor Associates. Its title: BrandSimple.

Here is a guy with all the resources, all the talent to produce the most elaborate high fashion, high tech materials for his clients recommending to these very sophisticated marketers to brand simple! Continue reading Brand Simple: Brand from the Heart

Use the abstraction ladder to test your brand

When I first heard the term “abstraction ladder”, was in a communications seminar sponsored by the IBM Education Center. I believe a concept was originated by S.I.Hayakawa.

the abstraction ladderThe idea behind the abstraction ladder is that the more abstract the word or phrase used to describe an object, concept or situation, the less precise the description is. The more abstract, the more chance for confusion and miscommunication.

Here was the example – I remember it even though it’s been forty years since that seminar.

At the very top of the ladder sits the most abstract term. In this case, “capital assets”.

Continue reading Use the abstraction ladder to test your brand

A new blog about branding surfaced in Australia

A friend from Down UnderIt’s the blog of Heywood Innovation, “a successful Sydney-based creative consultancy operating in Australia and Singapore”.

They’ve only posted 15-20 blogs so far and the content is no-nonsense basics. Here’s an example:

“The positioning statement delivers a quick, concise and meaningful message to a potential consumer which complements the brand name and visual identity and helps consumers to understand the personality of the brand. Positioning statements are generally drawn from one of five categories:
“> what you are
“> what you do
“> how you do it
“> who you are
“> why you do it”

Well, I would have liked some examples at least. It’s a well-designed site that may just become a valuable voice for branding “Down Under”.

I’d just ask Tony Heywood and the folks responsible for the blog to “lighten up” a little and share their experiences along with the text-book content.

Martin Jelsema

A meaningless slogan won’t kill a brand

A bag of hot airAt least that what I now conclude.

And I used to think that meaningless, pontificating pratitudes might really damage a brand.

What brought me to this new point of view (which is actually a position of neutrality), are the ads for Southwest Airlines.

Since Southwest Airlines has begun serving Denver, we’re getting a lot more ads from Southwest. They’re pretty good, all in all. And they each end with a sound effect (a ding indicating I can unfasten my seatbelt) and the line, “You are free to move about the country”. Continue reading A meaningless slogan won’t kill a brand

Factor your sales force into the branding mix

Building relationshipsDon’t be afraid of giving your sales force the major task of branding your company. More and more we are hearing branding pundits expound on relationship-building as a powerful brand-building activity.

I think this admonition is particularly viable in business-to-business markets.

I’ve previously blogged about North American Manufacturing, the leading company in designing, manufacturing and marketing combustion systems and components. They’ve captured this large market share because their technical experts are customer-focused. They visit customer installations, providing advice, troubleshooting and spreading the “gospel”. Continue reading Factor your sales force into the branding mix

Branding is in my blood

T.C. “Ted” JelsemaMy dad was an entrepreneur – a successful entrepreneur.

He built, owned and managed two of the most successful businesses in Estes Park, Colorado, prior to the Second World War. For those who’ve never heard of Estes Park, it’s a little mountain resort town at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Anyway my dad, T.C. to his friends, first built (and I mean designed and actually put hammer to nail) The Riverside Ballroom in the 1920’s. It thrived during the “Jazz Age” and through the 1930’s and 40’s with the swing era going full blast. Continue reading Branding is in my blood