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The Road To Travel Recovery

The Road To Travel Recovery

The Road To Travel Recovery

The Facts
The effect of COVID-19 on the travel industry is not only unprecedented, but will have a lasting impact for a few years. Over half of all global vacations planned for 2020 have been cancelled. Vacations are still front-of-mind for many consumers, but it’s not as simple as reopening the front doors of the resort. Safety has become absolutely vital and is something everybody must consider.

Spiker Insights
Like us, we expect you’ve been gazing longingly at your computer for some time now. Your mind filled with dreams of travel − I just want to meet the family in Disney World this October − and many of you want to hit the road or skies again.

Our love for travel has not changed, and it’s more charged up now after sitting in place for six months. I can assure you that we will share the world again, perhaps sooner than you think.

In the meantime, we’ve been busy working with a handful of incredible North American new partners developing updated brand stories and images for when the time is ready to travel, and it’s getting closer than ever.

Right now we are here to help and guide you on updating your brand message coming off the COVID−19 shock. The time to be working with someone like us is now, and we wish you luck in moving through this ever-changing sea of information, advice and opinion.

I hope you will consider us a part of your next team project.

Our Principle Problem Is Principles

Our Principle Problem Is Principles

Our Principle Problem Is Principles

The Facts
We’ve been writing these marketing insights on and off for over three years now. It’s been a labor of love, but it can be frustrating as I continue to see marketing by others that looks and sounds like everybody else in their category. Almost everybody does it the same way, it all looks the same, it all sounds the same, and feels the same. I was looking at the most recent issue of Mountain Living a few days ago and the real estate messages looked just like the architect messages, which looked just like the interior designer messages, which looked just like the landscape designer messages. I literally couldn’t tell what I was looking at without studying them closer, which is not what we are supposed to be doing in branding. I want to be like Virgin Airlines who changed the experience of flying, Tesla who is changing the experience of purchasing cars, and Apple and Disney who are changing the way we watch television.

Spiker Insights
Building brands is challenging and fun all at the same time. We love to create an almost chemical reaction in someone as soon as they hear the brand name. Brands like Ritz Carlton, Kapalua, Sun Valley, Desert Mountain, Mayacama and The Breakers all create a certain something in your mind as soon as you hear the name. There is no feeling like it on earth when we create the same elixir cocktail for our clients.

Building brands is different and difficult. Initially we observe with no set principles, it’s all an open book to us. We start back at the beginning and work our way to today, and then tomorrow. It’s a free-for-all for a while, all the while avoiding the easy tired clichés that too many brands prefer because it’s easy. Then our principles kick in and we become very disciplined in our thinking. We have seven very difficult questions we have to answer before showing the client where we are at the moment.

I hope you will consider us a part of your next team project. Thanks.

 

 

We’re From Here, Not There.

We’re From Here, Not There.

We’re From Here, Not There.

The Facts
In last week’s e-mailer, we showed a film we produced titled: You’re From Montana? If you missed it, we shared factual and humorous insights on living and doing business in Montana. To be truthful, we left dozens of additional insights on the cutting room floor, as we wanted to keep the film to four minutes in length. But the viewers got a good idea of what it’s like to live and work from Montana. We have clients all over the country, Mexico, Caribbean and even a new client in Germany that we greatly enjoy working with. We are asked all the time, how do we do it, being from Montana? First of all, we are not Montana natives, everybody here came from someplace else, and the experience they learned in a big city or on a large national account was experience you can’t learn in school. We just choose to reside in Montana because we love Montana. And those who watched the film last week saw examples of activities and experiences we have whenever we want it and not just on a few days of vacation.

Spiker Insights
We’ve spent years building an agency filled with talented people who wanted the freedom to create anything. Not just ads and brochures, but to build brands that make a real difference. We shun the traditional model of how to market and advertise our clients’ products, especially upscale real estate. We’ve built an agency to reflect the way people today consume brands and content. We focus across all forms, channels and venues. We are an agency built for today’s modern marketer as everything has changed, have you?

We are an innovation-driven marketing agency that focuses on an idea-centric strategy and lives where digital, content and innovation collide to build world-class brands. It just so happens to be in Missoula, Montana, and we can’t imagine a better place to work and live.

I hope you will consider us a part of your next team project. Thanks.

Don’t Panic, It’s Just Hysteria.

Don’t Panic, It’s Just Hysteria.

Don’t Panic, It’s Just Hysteria.

The Facts
I’ve been quiet this year, just taking it all in from the pandemic doomsday forecasts of how marketing will be changing. It’s amazing to me how many in our industry are proclaiming that the coronavirus and resulting shut down will change everything in this country, and perhaps the world forever.

Spiker Insights
I beg to differ. The economy will recover and return to pre-crisis normal quickly. Humans do not fundamentally change quickly, and they want to return to their pre-crisis lives as soon as possible. Day-to-day life is returning in areas that opened earlier than more hard hit areas, it’s basic human nature that humans do not change that much over short periods of time. Fundamental change happens incrementally and any significant change takes significant time. There will be no “New Normal,” history says so when you look back at earlier pandemics, world wars, gas shortages, airplane crashes, recessions, depressions and other life-changing events. It is my position that people will joyfully return to their routines as soon as they can; a temporary pandemic cannot change human beings overnight. My recommendation is to think calmly and rationally to determine what exactly the pandemic will change for you and our industry and make a few adjustments if you feel they are necessary.

Great Storytelling Principles

Great Storytelling Principles

Great Storytelling Principles

The Facts
I spend a lot of time writing about storytelling. It’s my passion, and it’s a huge point of difference between Spiker Communications and our competition, just like between you and your competition. Everyone seems to understand that storytelling is important because we’re awash in videos that don’t say anything, that we can’t remember, and because these videos don’t tell us anything. There is no copy, just drone footage mostly these days that looks exactly like the last 15 videos I’ve seen.

Connecting with another person is one of the highest forms of social being for humans, and at its heart is great storytelling. So let’s quit this boring “I’ve got a drone too and I’m going to show you a bunch of roof tops and tops of trees that don’t look anything like your roof tops and tree tops.”

Spiker Insights
Effective storytelling involves a deep understanding of human emotions, motivations and psychology in order to truly move an audience. Luckily, storytelling is something we all do naturally, starting at a very young age. But there’s a big difference between average storytelling and great storytelling.

A few principles we use are:

  1. Great stories are targeted to your particular target audience. They are not for everybody. If you wish to target everybody, you will reach nobody.
  2. Great stories are simple and focused. As marketers we naturally want to include as much information as possible in our stories, but we can’t. We have three to four minutes to set the hook.
  3. Great stories are surprising and unexpected. Surprise our audience with our message so they think about us long after the film is over.
  4. Great stories appeal to our deepest emotions. Tell authentic stories that reach and move people where it counts.
The Future May Not Include Your Phone

The Future May Not Include Your Phone

The Future May Not Include Your Phone

The Facts
Smartphone supremacy is starting to wane. The devices aren’t going away anytime soon, but their grip on the consumer is weakening. Global sales slump, lack of new advancements, and the price of today’s new models make smartphones not look so smart anymore. Functions that were the exclusive domain of smartphones are now flying out of phones and onto other products with their own embedded smart connections like wristwatches, televisions that can now talk and listen, and then there is Alexa where voice-activated speakers smaller than a bread box can make more than dinner reservations for you.

Spiker Insights
We may need another word in the future for whatever the smartphone will become because when “smart” is everywhere that term becomes almost meaningless. Like the arc in the personal computer, smartphones now are more of a need in the modern world than a splurge. Manufacturers are now engaged in a race toward the bottom. Chinese and South Korean manufacturers are now making similar devices at lower prices, with newer features and advanced technology.

Consumers are pulling back amid the tech industry’s acknowledgment their products can be addictive, spur anxiety, distract drivers and even walkers on a sidewalk, and cast a ring of silence over restaurants and dinner tables. You’ve all witnessed it, four people at a table and no one is talking, they are all on their phones. Flip phone sales are again inching upward as more people now just want a basic phone. Americans on average spend two and a half hours daily on their smartphones. The need to have something with you is not going away. But in the future, we may be wearing it, a chip implanted in our skulls or glasses that will do everything and more than today’s smartphones can do.