Hemingway’s bait & switch

hemingway_ballantine

Are you using the right bait? And what about the line? The New York Times Book Review published an interesting essay – “How Writers Build the Brand” by Tony Perrottet – on the strategies and tactics that authors use to promote their books and themselves.

The article calls out Ernest Hemingway, who so mastered the craft that he was able to extend his author aura to a range of brands, including Pan Am, Parker Pens and Ballantine Ale.

Image: Advertisement From P. Ballantine & Sons, Newark (1951) via The New York Times

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Disruption changes the process of thought and even state of being.

John Sculley here is conflating — if not confusing — creative destruction with disruption. Creative destruction is a paradigm shift wrought by a monsoon of new technology. (To whatever degree pre-existing industries are strong and flexible, this is to their benefit, too. The drastic shrinking of the candle market brought about by the pervasive distribution of kerosene was to Procter and Gamble’s ultimate advantage.)

Creative destruction changes externals, but not the individual’s psyche. Disruption changes the process of thought and even state of being. In the aftermath of a storm of creative destruction, a product still is sold to the customer. With disruption (in either form) the customer is sold to a product.

Yes, Kodak should have understood that their real business was image production, not silver halide laden plastic film. Even so, the needs of the consumer did not change. New grandparents, major newspapers, police photographers, insurance investigators, medical researchers, . . . wanted and continue to want pictures produced quickly and efficiently; digital cameras better serve that need. The many users of WordPerfect, DBase and Lotus 1-2-3 on an IBM XT already were well aware that a personal computer basically had become a necessity. The Mac lowered the learning curve and took the chore out of the use of a computer. Apple did not change the what and the why of computer ownership; that had to wait for the rise of the Internet. As Mr. Sculley points out, Pepsi’s marketing used — but did not cause — a demographic shift. A glass jaw in the strategy of Coca Cola (past experience: old friends, good memories, nostalgia and tradition) left it open to a knockout by Pepsi Generation promotion.

Disruption really refers to two very different things: cognitive dissonance and dissociation / automaticity. Cognitive dissonance affects the schemas. Dissociation / automaticity sculpts identity and habit through memory. An example of disruption is Procter and Gamble’s soap products as candle sales began to contract. An initially rather rough-hewn 19th century USA had to be taught personal grooming in order to be transformed into the great washed.

The risk of ossification and then fossilization for large firms is something that I completely agree with. Procter and Gamble now faces a significant challenge from Green products.

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With disruption the customer is sold to a product.

. . .

Creative destruction changes externals, but not the individual’s psyche. Disruption changes the process of thought and even state of being. In the aftermath of a storm of creative destruction, a product still is sold to the customer. With disruption (in either form) the customer is sold to a product.
. . .
Read the complete comment here:
http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2012/12/brand-strategy-the-disruption-opportunity.html

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Sell alcoholic beverages without marketing?

Dr. Fekjær proves that trying to sell alcoholic beverages without marketing makes as much sense as trying to distribute these products without bottles. Chapter 4 shows that the perceived effects of alcohol are not inherent, but learned — dependant on the set of expectations. Chapter 8 reviews research where consumers can’t tell “better” alcoholic beverages from cheaper versions. Plus, drinkers of a particular brand seemingly are unable to distinguish that drink from others unless labeled.

Brand preference and even the product experience must be learned; marketing serves as the teacher.

# # #

The Psychology of Getting High
by Hans Olav Fekjær, MD, psychiatrist,

Part 1 – Unconscious motives for intoxicant use

Chapter 1: Intoxicants as symbols and rituals

“Having a glass of wine is so nice and cozy”
Symbols generate moods
Symbols are valuable tools
The symbolic functions of the intoxicants
Rituals and the spirit of community
Drug use as a compulsory ritual
Ceremonial chemistry
The wine snobbery and cocaine snobbery
Snobbery is not perceived subjectively

Chapter 2: Intoxication as alibi for performances

The social psychology of intoxication
Explaining behavior and performances
The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Principles
The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Examples
Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Principles
Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Examples

Chapter 3: Intoxication as alibi for actions

Responsibility during intoxication
Forgive them, for they know not…
A sense of freedom – for better or for worse
A strict conscience on vacation
… but more often, a permissive conscience is on vacation
Intoxication for different purposes
Advertising the alibi
The extenuating circumstance in court
What is meant by “drinking too much”?
The cause of counter reactions: Problem behavior
Do they really “not know what they do”?
Intoxication as a collective self-deceit

Part 2 – Conscious motives for intoxicant use

Chapter 4: Are intoxicants magical substances?

Magical substances or learned effects?
Research with humans and animals
How do we identify our feelings?
Can chemical effects be learned?
The power of expectations: The mighty placebo
effect

Can intoxicants be studied by blind tests?

Chapter 5: Do illegal drugs have pleasant effects?

The pioneer study of marijuana
Later research on marijuana intoxication
Do amphetamine and cocaine have pleasant effects?
Are addicts and drugs users motivated by the chemical effects?
Psychological effects of morphine and
heroin

Psychological effects of LSD, inhalants etc.

Chapter 6: What are the psychological effects of alcohol?

Blind tests with alcohol
The “Marlatt Method”
Alcohol and sex
Alcohol and inhibitions
Is alcohol a tranquilizer?
Alcohol and aggression
Alcohol, mood and self-confidence
The effects of alcohol upon skill and performance
Blind tests with alcohol – and so what?
Alcohol as a natural adulterant
The best studies: alcohol in different cultures
Learning the spell of alcohol
“Loss of inhibitions” – only now and then
The behavioral effects of alcohol – conclusions

Chapter 7: The chemistry of “getting high”

The adventurous experiences of intoxication and religion
The pharmacological basis of getting “high”
“Getting high” — not an effect, but an interpretation.

Chapter 8: Do alcoholic beverages taste good?

Taste preferences: inborn or learned?
Is alcohol of vital importance for the taste?
Do “good” alcoholic beverages taste better than “poor”?
Alcohol, taste and illusions

Chapter 9: Research on motives for intoxicant use, in perspective

From superstition to science: demystification of
intoxicants

How did alcohol and other drugs become
“psycho-active” drugs?

Chemical hypothesis or indisputable motives?
Understanding intoxicant use – is it possible?

Chapter 10: May conventional wisdom be changed?

Separating alcohol use from disinhibition
Putting theory into practice
Altered expectations give altered experiences

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Counterfeits as a fashion brand building tool

Gomorrah – A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System
By Roberto Saviano

P. 42
. . .
Besides, the clans weren’t ruining the brands’ image, but simply taking advantage of their advertising and symbolic charisma. The garments they turned out were not inferior and didn’t disgrace the brands’ quality or design image. Not only did the clans not create any symbolic competition with the designer labels, they actually helped promote products whose market price made them prohibitive to the general public. In short, the clans were promoting the brand. If hardly anyone wears a label’s clothes, if they’re seen only on live mannequins on the runway, the market. slowly dies and the prestige of the name declines. What’s more, the Neapolitan factories produced counterfeit garments in sizes that the designer labels, for the sake of their image, do not make. But the clans certainly weren’t going to trouble themselves about image when there was a profit to be made. Through the true fake business and income from drug trafficking, the Secondigliano clans acquired stores and shopping centers where genuine articles were increasingly mixed in with the fakes, thus erasing any distinction. In a way the System sustained the legal fashion empire in a moment of crisis; by taking advantage of sharply rising prices, it continued to promote Italian-made goods throughout the world, earning exponential sums.
. . .
# # #

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