November 24, 2009 14 Comments
I was quite surprised to discover this week that my dog, Mystic, is actually considered to be quite the successful marketer in her circle of influence. In fact, she has quite a social network, and, as I discovered when I sat down to interview her (between doggie treats and luxurious naps), dogs can teach us a lot about influence and branding.
Me: Mystic, you seem to be pretty popular in the neighborhood after one year. What would you say is the essence of your Personal Brand?
Mystic: Well, for me it’s all about what we call canine benchmarking. It was clear in our walks around town that best practices in the area of impression management meant a head held high, a glossy coat, and turn-key approach to adding value by sniffing backsides. The rest just takes care of itself.
Me: Did you approach this challenge by trying to define your own niche, or did you seek synergistic partnerships with other leading canines?
Mystic: I took a both-and approach. Obviously, when you’re a startup, you’ve got to achieve some sort of critical mass, so I made sure to relieve myself in the sight of some of the bark-leaders in the neighborhood. Eventually, once I had some best-of-breed backers, I had to recontextualize in order to unleash my own brand positioning. Which usually involves lying on my side and drooling.
Me: What metrics do you use to ensure that your brand is top-of-mind, and not mired in the long tail?
Mystic: Just remember two words. No, not “Down, Girl!” Trend Analysis. All the canines in this vertical maximize insights from these data points.
Me: Final question: I’ve been told that you – and perhaps some other influencers in your sub-group – roll around in your own…you know, doo-doo. What’s up with that?
Mystic: Every dog quickly learns about leveraging recurring assets. When the input/output ratio is unbalanced in the supply chain, you have to morph past deliverables into current value-added resources.
Me: In other words, you just harness back-end action items to produce a fresh brand presentation.
Mystic: Exactly. Can I go out and pee now??
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