“With that much horse manure,” she exclaimed, “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
Here’s a useful tool for how to develop a brand, leading your team through the brand discovery process. I’m including it here with relatively little explanation, as most of it is Branding 101 stuff. It isn’t brain surgery, but it takes skill and diligence to pull together a successful brand strategy in actual practice.
The name Pony Sheet came from the old story about the young girl whose parents took her out to the barn on her birthday and announced, “We have a big birthday surprise for you.” Opening the door, she spied a huge pile of horse manure in the middle of the floor, a rather disappointing sight. Yet being a young optimist (most children are), the lass clapped her hands with joy. “With that much horse manure,” she exclaimed, “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
Will public embarrassment cause brands to weed out botnets and tighten security? SpamRankings hopes so.
Would you avoid doing business with a company that doesn’t carefully protect its computer system from hackers? It probably depends.
If you’re buying a cheeseburger you likely don’t care about the back office’s security measures–but consider a hospital that has your social security number, credit card information and private medical records on file. If you discovered that hospital is a regular victim of computer hackers, you might reconsider your options for care, or at least raise a fuss with administrators.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are conducting a spam tracking experiment to see if the threat of reputation damage will encourage organizations to improve computer security. Their laboratory tool is SpamRankings.net, a website that publicizes the world’s biggest spam havens.
Spam = Compromised Security Procedures
Poor computer security is at the heart of both spam and data theft. Spammers use what are called botnets to send spam using computers hijacked without the knowledge of their legitimate owners. Computer systems infected with botnets are likely targets for other malfeasance, including theft of data, which puts consumers at risk.
“Outbound spam is a proxy for poor organizational security,” explains Dr. Andrew Whinston, the e-commerce sage at The University of Texas at Austin, “because outbound spam indicates botnets, botnets indicate vulnerabilities, and vulnerabilities indicate susceptibility to other malware, including phishing, DDoS, and identify theft.”
Whinston and his research team wondered what would happen if they published lists of the top spam havens. Will public embarrassment cause brands to weed out botnets and tighten security?
“We need a brand strategy.”
Those five simple words have an amazingly complex meaning. Over the years, I’ve seen them lead executive teams almost anywhere, from a simple logo redesign to a full-scale restructure of their organization’s operational processes and outcomes.
And it generally begins with the follow-up question, “What is a brand?”
This simple slide presentation, What is a Brand?, is a good place to begin.
Other Branding Resources:
Go see it! Buy the brands! But a nod of appreciation to The Art Guys for the suit idea would be nice.
Photo by Brandon Joseph Baker, Sundance Film Festival
Morgan Spurlock, director of Super Size Me and star of his own reality TV show 30 Days (cancelled?) unveiled his newest film, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, in which the star is, of course, Morgan Spurlock, but the brand is the brand is the brand.
Spur-locks onto the idea that corporate brands are everywhere, even finding their way into our favorite movies, so let’s make a movie about product placement in movies, and we’ll finance it with, you’re way ahead of me here, product placements.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m inclined to agree with movie critic Brendan Walsh who observes:
“Eating nothing but McDonalds is bad for you; the U.S. government, with all it’s resources, hasn’t found terrorist boogeyman Osama Bin Laden; the prevalence of advertising in our daily lives has gotten out of hand: File these in the “No Duh!” section of most of our collective brains. If you arrived at these conclusions on your own, but could use an affirmation and maybe a little bit of evidence to support your arguments, then rejoice! Morgan Spurlock is back to affirm things you already knew!”