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Over the last couple decades I’ve worked on a numnber of naming projects. From companies to divisions to even an open source code project for Intel. So when Apple announced the name of their streaming service as AppleTV+ I was amused at what I considered a “meh” name. Then came Disney+, EPSN+, and the announcement of Discovery+. I was sneering at the seeming laziness exhibited in naming these new services.

Except I was wrong. Like, way wrong. Here’s why.

To see why, we need to start with the concept of brand equity. You can think of brand equity like a bank. Some efforts deposit into it, others take out of it. When a company has a solid brand position and applies it consistently over time it deposit into brand equity. …


Why the future of marketing isn’t just personalization — putting it all together is what matters

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Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

Personalization: the action of designing or producing something to meet someone’s individual requirements.

Curation: the selection, organization, and presentation of online content, merchandise, information, etc., typically using professional or expert knowledge.

The promise of personalization as it pertains to marketing has been that companies can leverage customer browsing and purchasing data to merchandize other relevant products they may want to buy. But as much as that data tells a company all about a recent purchase, it rarely speaks to the why behind the buy. Which is where curation comes in. Curation expands the possibilities of what can be merchandized, whether that be in an email, on a website, or in an app. …


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It has never been easier to build a website. Between Squarespace, Wix, and others, one can get a website up and running in hours. Which is both a blessing — and a curse.

The reason it’s a blessing should be fairly obvious. It can be done quickly, with relatively little cost. Gone are the time-consuming days of needing to hire a designer and then find a website developer to create the site. These WYSIWYG services operate using a small library of templates. All one has to do is choose a template and you’re good-to-go.

For SMBs, those efficiencies are a godsend. But for a lot of startups and companies seeking to build bigger brands, they still have designers and developers to create a website specifically for their needs. …


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There’s an old saying that “sales fixes everything.” The idea is that as long as a company is selling, everything is a-ok. But for startups, the reality is that sales won’t fix everything. Robust sales do two things. First, the sales revenue extends the runway — more revenue means more money to cover operating costs and re-invest in the business. Secondly, sales actually provides the opportunity to fix some things that have yet to be addressed. If a company doesn’t solve those things, no amount of sales will save the company.

When startups first launch, getting to product-market fit is paramount. Without it, absent a VC cash infusion, the company stands a good chance of biting the dust. The problem with only focusing on sales as a company scales from product-market fit to a solid business is that some fundamentals get overlooked. Those fundamentals will always come back to bite the company, especially when sales start to slow down. …


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By March of 2020, it was clear that the COVID-19 had come to America and was set to spread quickly. Many municipalities and states issued “shelter-in-place” orders asking folks to stay home and only venture out for essentials, like groceries. This also meant that gyms were deemed non-essential and were shut down.

Peloton, who makes high-end spin bikes for home, and offers classes via the internet from Peloton instructors, seemed perfectly positioned to take off. After all, people who have become accustomed to going to gyms or exercising outdoors were suddenly left with few options. …


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It looks like Apple will be releasing Apple Glass (boy, I hope they don’t name it that. One might think, “Hey, wasn’t Google Glass a total dud?” Yes, but there are some things going for Apple which could make the glasses a hit where Google Glass fell flat.

With the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve all learned that the more you touch things, the more you’re at risk of getting it on your hands. And studies have shown, we all touch our faces without thinking a lot throughout the day. Apple Glass (still hope they don’t call it that) will allow people to get information without touching anything. …


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For my entire eleven-year span of working at Netflix, we were content aggregators. All of our content (with the very brief exception of Red Envelope Entertainment original content experiment) was licensed from TV and movie studios.

This meant that if we were to use any visual assets for marketing other than the DVD box art — what’s known as “cover art,” we had to go through the long and arduous process of getting pre-approval by the studios. For a company that loved to learn and move quickly, this was all but a no-go.


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Photo by Paulius Dragunas on Unsplash

A lot of folks are getting laid off and I just wanted to offer a recommendation about how to think about what’s next. When I left Netflix in 2012 after 11 years there, while it wasn’t a surprise, it was an adjustment. After all, I just showed up every day and just did what I did.

So when people would ask me after I left “what did you do there?” I would respond with my job title. And when I started looking for my next challenge I used the same lens. But that proved to be a limiter. Why?

Because I knew way more than I thought I did. And you likely know more than you think you do. Most of us tend to kind of minimize what we do as to not come off as a braggart. And I’m not advocating you make stuff up or go crazy with self-aggrandizement. But I’d bet you know more than you think you do and realizing that is valuable. …


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Photo source

Many folks hear the word Brand and immediately think “marketing.” The fact is, while marketing and Brand are closely associated, marketing, for the most part, isn’t how a company builds Brand.

(Yes, we’re using big B for Brand as I am writing about the overarching concept as opposed to a brand of soup.)

What Brand Is

The fact that many equate brand with marketing is understandable. Usually, people talking on and on about Brand or writing about it are marketing folks (me included).

But here’s the thing, Brand is so much more than marketing.

Brand is the sum total of everything a company does, how it acts in the world, and how the world perceives it.


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Heads up: I know I normally write about marketing, brand, etc. but this ain’t that. It’s a personal essay on the concept of frailty and the importance of exercise.

In early January of 2017, my 84 year-old dad had to go into the hospital for an intestinal issue. And though the surgery went well, he was never to leave the hospital. Why? In a word, frailty.

While recovering from that surgery, he was advised by doctors that it was almost certain this would recur and that when it did he would have to get a colostomy bag. …

About

Barry W. Enderwick

Brand/marketing executive, former Netflix, MZ. I write on startups, strategy, business, culture & design. Also on Instagram @craftbarry @inthechipswithbarry

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