Seeing Airbnb’s business model as old school

business model as old school

What would happen to the disruptive business model, if we saw business models for cutting-edge companies such as Airbnb and Uber as old school?

What would happen if we instead of creating apps that are the “tinder for xx” or the “next facebook” we decided to start from a clean slate? Not being inspired by casestudies or what other people in the field we’re in, are doing? What if we didn’t focus on short- term marketing stuff but rather on longterm business models?

Is that even possible? Can we innovate business models without looking at what’s already out there?

There’s a lot of pointers going towards that redeveloping business models is a part of the ‘new’ black. I in particular enjoy the concept of ‘holacracy’ and ‘sociocracy’.

It’s needed. In particularly since the models that most companies they use today, are often the same as business models that was used 40 years ago (sometimes even more).

If you want some cold-hard case studies on alternative management structures you can find some in this article from culture zine.

 

 

 

Why do we need disruptive trends?

why do we need disruptive trends

The business world is in dire need for diversification. Every brand has a need to stand out these days. Enter stage: disruptive trends. Think about what Patagonia has done with their ‘buy less’ strategy. Standing out has become one of the primary reasons for selling your products. If you’re good at spotting disruptive trends, you can get ahead of the competition. But if you’re great at implementing these trends you can hit a home run with your branding. You can save a gazillion dollars in marketing because you’ve already claimed the mind space of your clients and potential clients within that niche.

This means that businesses are becoming more creative and making more state-of-the-art/ cutting-edge products – in order to gain market share.

If you can define disruptive trends and show the business world what it will look like in 3 years there a good chance that you can get ahead of the game.

 

 

Hustle yourself larger

eurythmics hustle

Since I read this story I have meant to write about it here on henrietteweber.com.

I love a good marketing hustle, but I also love Eurythmics. When I started out in Marketing in London at the beginning of the 00s, it was on a budget that was a big zero. The startup I was working for didn’t have much money, and the first thing to be eliminated from the budget was the marketing and branding. I was told that they could afford my wages, but they couldn’t afford anything more than that.

What’s a girl to do? Hustle. I hustled myself larger. I (almost) begged to be invited to invite-only industry parties. I was super active in forums, and I discovered a gem: Blogs.

Relationship building online without having to meet for coffee all the time. Where you could make your brand larger than life. Where you could express everything around your company, and if it was remotely interesting to people, you would get a comment. Then you would write some more. And then people you met in the industry knew what you were up to. But it was all a big hustle. And then all of a sudden it became real. We didn’t have to hustle anymore.

We can all hustle. We don’t have to make things from the ground up. We can find a freelancer on odesk or fiverr or even hire a virtual assistant who can help us grow. Reach more people and build an empire. Just like Eurythmics.

You can implement slideshare presentations on your linkedin profile (free worksheet)

idea presentation worksheet

One of my constant go-to’s for inspiration in my work has been SlideShare. Or more the SlideShare / LinkedIn combination. It’s an amazing resource that can be used as a way to inspire you and your work, but also to get your creative ideas out there.

Slideshare has an embed function so you can share it across the Internet in the same way you would a youtube video. But one of the smart things that I often talk to people who want to turn their professional profile up a notch is that you can embed your SlideShare presentations directly on your LinkedIn profile.

That’s great for two things:

People who are interested in working with you will get a behind-the-scenes not “static LinkedIn summary” peek into who you are and what you’re passionate about enough to make a Slideshare presentation about.

You will get to work on your idea if you put it into a presentation. For me, I had one of my presentations featured on SlideShare, and it made a huge traffic increase to my site.

To prepare you even more, I have created a small worksheet that you can download for free.

You’re welcome – as always!

rock on

Could an online friend connection be a pact ?

friend connection pact

I want to propose something to you.
Something radical.
Something that could shift your brand purpose and how others view you.
I want you to see every friend connection as a mutual pact where you not only sign up to see what’s going on in each others life on social media. Where you also sign up to help each other grow creatively.

Where you help each other out.
In my perspective in my part of the pact, an online friend connection is as genuine as an offline. Where online is simply an extension to amplify the offline.

Where we help each other out – and not just click a “like” when your connection posts a picture.

I’m so blessed that I have a very creative network that launch things. They use blood, sweat and tears to build something fantastic.

The smallest thing I can do is to share their work and their efforts.

I’ve started to honor those genuine friend connections and help them launch their babies that mean the world to them. Sometimes by referring their work to others or sharing their updates.

I see it as a way I can serve the world and some of the people closest linked to me.

I see it as brand activism and viral effect  on an underground grassroot level, and that my friends, is one of the best things I know.

Peace out rockers!

How to answer the infamous “So what do you do?” question

The Toothless Tiger Palette

I think I speak for every entrepreneur on the planet when I say there’s one question we we get a lot: the infamous “so what do you do?”. It’s also something that we all try to answer to our best ability, depending on who we’re talking to. I vary my “what is it you really do” every time. So to some people I do “cutting-edge marketing PR and branding projects for companies” and to other people I am a “writer looking into the latest tendencies around influencer marketing and content marketing” – next year it will be some other buzzwords and basically what I do – stays the same.

Keeping it contemporary. 

There’s going to be a ton of new people getting into these terms and trying to “coin” them so they can make big business around it, but in 6 months they need to use the next buzzword in their description or company name, and it goes on and on. It’s just a part of the game. And you can’t help but sit and smile a bit – in a laid back sort of way and think to yourself: “Great new word – but that’s what some people have been doing for ages”…

So what is it I really do ? We have really busted our chops to explain it over on Toothless Tiger.  The image you see on top of this article is the Toothless Tiger Palette, where we’ve really spelled it out and we’re evolving it accordingly.

But here’s what I really do :

I listen a lot. I write that down including my own input. I use that on my blog, in my books and in my client projects and 1 on 1 sessions around branding/PR and marketing.  I have over 3000 blogs I follow daily as well as seeing what’s going on, in my network.
I speak about what I’ve heard at events.
I create things and models around it.
And I add those things I’ve heard to my own experience that has been built up for years and years.

I boil that down to “cutting-edge PR, Marketing and Branding for companies”.

So how should you answer the “what do you do” question?

Having a couple of different solutions in your head is a great idea. I base mine on how much they know about my subject already:

If I am at a.. shipping conference (what in earth would I do there.. ) but then I would do “Marketing,PR and branding for companies”.

If I am at a marketing conference I would probably do “cutting-edge marketing, PR and branding with a thumbprint of digital”

And if I am among the digital marketers I would be “creating the best projects and writings on the latest tendencies in our field”.

So I think you should be as specific as possible – and also as targeted towards the people you are around as much as possible.

 

 

7 things about visionaries who puts purpose before profit

7 things about visionaries

– Visionaries does, almost by definition, sell more in the long run, compared to those who are all about profit.

– Visionaries can be woken in the middle of the night and answer the question “what are you fighting for” in one question- where some people can only give you their value statement.

– Visionaries knows that creativity is the most rebellic thing ever – together with creativity’s just-as-equal right hand: action.

– Believes in the power of relationship instead of cold (dead?) canvas when it comes to sales.

– Stays curious and is eager to learn new stuff

– Look at problems as opportunities for growth

– Know that babysteps will get you there too

Social media value chain: the brand is human

value chain social network

In this age of social media and networking, people are reaching out rather than merely waiting for brands to approach them. As a result, discoverability is important – a brand and its offerings need to be discovered with ease on every platform. This is one way of putting your name and brand out there, in social networking.
But making sure that your brand is discoverable is not enough. Today savvy marketers are adopting the full measure of how people consume information and create buying decisions. Audiences are consuming media in different ways – through all kinds of screens, phones, tablets and computers. They have more control of when, where, and how they engage brands making the landscape for marketing so chaotic. But as a brand you should not only navigate the chaos, you should be enjoying it, because it’s so much more creative and exciting At the same time, advances in technology have also made relationship marketing and content marketing more effective.
Marketing based on relationship should make sure that all involvement channels are focused to advance prospects from awareness to consideration to purchase and use so that they become brand advocates. Is that the social media value chain ? Yes it is. I have even published a free downloadable ebook about this, called “Rock your identity” or “rock din identitet” (in danish) which is consisting of my value chain for social networking called the “social media value chain”.
To engage effectively in social media, it is essential to know where all those relevant conversations are taking place, what is being discussed in those conversations and who are the most influential conversationalists. Before you dive headfirst into those conversations, it is important to know that it requires full transparency – identifying yourself and your affiliations – and brands that have tried underhanded tactics in social media such as pretending to be someone else other than they are have generated negative reactions from the communities, often extreme ones.
But transparency is easy – it merely requires simple acknowledgement of who is joining in online conversations – “Hey, I’m from brand X, I hear you talk about this. Here’s our take on this topic.” Or even, “I see you have some concerns about the technology. I think this is where our technology fits in.”

You have to be careful not to engage mindlessly into any conversation, plastering sales pitches all over the place. If you enter in conversations that don’t have natural and immediate connections to what you’re dying to say, don’t bring it up. Just go with the conversation flow, participate based on what the community members are talking about, and stand out from the crowd by making thoughtful and intriguing comments.
By providing valuable insights to the topic at hand, brands can gain the respect of the community. And later, when the context is perfectly relevant, you can bring out your pitch, Or even if you’re lucky they will ask for your pitch themselves.

Surely, this will generate more of a positive impact on your brand by showing the brand is involved, that the brand cares, and that the brand is human.

Business Unusual: create the best viral videos and make your message stronger

I have for years and years been a huge fan of ImprovEverywhere and the work of Charlie Todd.  I’m psyched because it seems like the happenings shakes the status quo for a lot of people (in particular the people in the videos).  I mean if I would have been in one of them, I would surely see the world as more creative and as a place where everything can happen. Well I already do. I think it’s awesome that some people are committed to this instead of watching TV. I loved how they staged a fake U2 concert in the middle of NY Anyway here’s a few of my personal favorites from ImprovEverywhere:

Best Buy uniform prank:

 

Open Mini-Golf tournament:

And an oldie but a goodie: “Look up more”:

You can’t stop smiling watching these right ? There’s a ton of them over on ImprovEverywhere’s Youtube Channel. And if you’re in need of inspiration I would suggest to go in and pick a random video and watch it. You will instantly feel better. But enough of the fan-whoring. Here’s some of the commercials I think is largely inspired by ImprovEverywhere and they grabbing attention as well as some of the best viral videos.

So What makes them into the best viral videos?

Well first of all they have a huge element of surprise. Something is completely out of context.

Then they have a huge involvement of people and community they are both very staged and very planned. Almost in a flashmob kind of way, but then again not quite.

They give the spectors a huge experience with a strong message. I can almost guarantee you that everyone of the people who experienced either the action happening or the stop traffiking happening will tell their friends about it.

They are shot in one take. And you even feel that when you see them on social media and in casestudies afterwards.

I think that’s what you have to aim for to create the best viral videos – here’s two of my favorites:

 

A dramatic surprise on a quiet square campaign:

Stop the Traffik viral campaign:

I love how these campaigns are inspiring and how they speak strong. But I am wondering how the people who where watching the actual events they felt ? I mean do they go ” oh it’s just a campaign” – well it’s not just a commercial message, it’s a viral video! and even though the actual event only have taken maybe 5 minutes to record think about how many times it’s going to be looked upon on the internet.

Business unusual: Becoming a relatable company in tiny steps

Ever since I was an activist teenager rebelling against the world and myself, I have been a sucker for change and companies- my definition of business unusual. I guess it was one of the things I learned most from hanging mentally out with Naomi Klein and Kalle Lasn and staying a whole summer in super rebellic Montreal, at that point in time where you could actually buy a coffin up there to sleep in (hello electronic goth days!). But I can get into total handclapping spasm if a company actually does something to better the world around them, or better themselves to be a larger part of the world around them. And I can as quickly grasp my pen and paper and write columns to the local newspaper if I think they are doing something wrong. Like when I was a teenager, I got so furious because the first thing you see when you enter my hometown Helsingør on top of a hill suddenly wasn’t the beautiful coast of Sweden but a gigantic McDonald’s sign (that was my first column and my mother vetoed me sending it to the local newspaper).

When I was a kid, if the teacher asked us to draw a company or a business we would draw a factory with smoke coming out of the chimney and wastewater coming out of a pipe in a lake and a couple of fish with x’ed out eyes (so they were dead). I wonder what people would draw now if you asked them to draw a company. Some would draw brands. But one problem that a lot of companies encounter is that they are not relatable. This is a HUGE internal problem for a company doing business in a world where business is largely personal and social. I see these companies as standing on the sideline of a football match saying “hey, why won’t you play with us?” and the companies and people playing shouts back “Because we don’t know you well enough”.
We all know that the conditions for business have changed. From business as usual to business unusual. Today the pace of society has made it hard for companies to brand themselves, not only on the aspect of technological pace but also more about how our buying behaviors changed – largely because of the internet and the closeness that social media has brought us together as overall societies. You can’t really do a standalone brand value chain anymore because it has become so incredibly disruptive.
When I get lucky and get hired into a brand brainstorming session, an advisor role or a concept building role (which could happen more you business people out there with a lot of money!) with a new client, I tell them that step one in making your brand more “cool and filled with substance” is to make sure that every touchpoint they have with their surroundings has a person attached to it. Normally the management hesitates for a second and then burst out: “But that would mean every person in our organization would be some sort of personal brand.”

Yes it would. And that’s a good thing. Yes, I want you to do personal branding galore. No, it’s not enough to create personal branding solely for the CEO because normally he doesn’t have a lot of time to talk to people. No, you can’t keep personal brands as a part of your organization if they leave. It’s personal. It’s something that creates legacy for the person who has the brand, and better their chances of getting a job someplace else. See it as employee maintenance. But what if every piece of information going out from a company has a sender attached to it. What would happen if Mr. Larsen asked to talk to Betty every time he has a problem, and Mr. Jensen would ask for Sandy because they became the one to one face of a given company? It would mean that the trust of the company would increase. What if everyone in the company had their name as email addresses? Would you rather write betty@giganticboringcorp.com or BCM57@giganticboringcorp.com? The same on social media – what would happen if everybody knew the blogger/twitter/facebook/instagram team of company xx? It would turn a tiny part of the company from unrelatable to relatable.

Try it out and show the rest of us who you really are.