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About five years ago I launched new process that could help brands and companies to break out of their stand still and also help me in creating the right climate for change in the projects I work with. I call this process The Ronnestam Prototyping Process. 

Prototyping-process

The process contains of three main activites; Today, The Future and Tomorrow. 

The Ronnestam Prototyping Process

The Ronnestam Prototyping Process is based on a combination of my own 20 years of experience of working with some of the most known brands of the world merged with ideas from leading innovators such as Hartmut Esslinger (the brain behind Frog Design), Yves Béhar and Dieter Rams and the way the car industry historically have been working with prototypes and innovation.

The car industry that have been working with prototypes for more than 50 years. These prototypes are not only meant to make people go wow. They’re in fact used to show the future direction of the car brand thus also align all expectations from media, customers, staff and partners in one direction. One of the most important thing is to make people look towards the future instead of looking back at history.

BMW-efficient

The BMW Efficient Engineering concept prototype showcased in Frankfurt 2009. In 2014 the BWM i8 has taken large parts of this concept into production.

Five years have passed and I’ve delivered six prototypes containing strategic and tactical recommendations for four of Sweden’s largest brands (Svenska Spel & ICA among others) and two of the worlds largest brands (Danone among others). Until now these projects has been hidden in the dark due to the fact that these brands have chosen to keep these projects secret. However, the projects have been successfully implemented and lead to dramatic changes in terms of how the companies have prioritized their budgets and future plans. Now I’m pleased to be able to give you insight into the process itself [click to continue…]

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Inspired by Swedish blogger Fredrik Wass who stated that he will blog for a 100 days in a row I felt I had to get my blog going again. So here we go!

Photographed by Paulina while forecasting trends at the Creative Summit together with among others Brian Solis and Alf Rehn.

In 2011 I was honored to be selected as the keynote speaker for events all over Europe. I delivered more than 80 keynotes on entrepreneurship, creative ideas, future branding, communication and business development, some of them shared here on Slideshare. In more than 90% of the occasions I was given the highest ranking of all the speakers by the audience. Hell, I even spoke for 24 hours in a row without any sleep. In other words – I’m confident I have some thoughts to share on how to deliver a great keynote presentation.

Here are 15 keys to deliver a fantastic keynote presentation.

1. Before even getting on stage – make sure you’ve got your logos, pathos and ethos wired.

What you speak about is 50% of your keynote, but the way you look and sound giving that keynote is the other 50%. The worlds first branding expert Aristotles knew how to make people buy what he sold. He divided the means of persuasion, appeals, into three categories; Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

- Ethos: the source’s credibility, the speaker’s/author’s authority

My credibility when I’m speaking is of course a mix of how I look, my credentials and the way I bring my message forward on stage. A common mistake I see over and over again is when speakers enter the stage and then go; “Before I speak, let me tell you about who I am and the company I’m representing.” This is more or less totally unnecessary since you’re there for a reason. If you do your thing right people will understand [click to continue…]

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Dear Saab. Your Site Sucks

Usually when I don’t like something I try to give constructive feedback. But in this case there’s just to much of a history involved. About 9 years ago I tried to pitch ideas on Saab. Partly because I really wanted to work with a car brand and partly because they were Swedes. Already back then were the account managed by Lowe Brindfors. I thought Lowe did a shitty job then and obviously they do a shitty job now. Will they never learn? (That goes for both SAAB and Lowe)

Today, as was writing a blog post about integrated communication (soon to be published) I decided to do a quick video analysis of the current SAAB presence online. And let me tell you…it sucks big time. Sorry for the shitty English. But it serves the purpose.

I don’t get it. Aren’t car brands supposed to senior managers employeed that knows their shit? These guys sell products that costs a fortune and they can’t even product a simple site that will convert people into buyers. It scares me.

The first thought that comes to mind is that the marketing department don’t know what they’re doing to the brand, and that’s of course true, but then I think about it a little bit more. This is not a marketing department problem. This is a management problem.

Jan Åke Jonsson and the rest of you ‘silverbacks’ way up in the hierarchy! SAAB is not an industrial company – it’s a B2C product oriented and brand driven car company backed by great technology but emotions and brand comes first. And Jan, don’t come telling me this is a thing for the marketing department. Branding and marketing should be your, the management group and the board of directors first priority. It’s what your future is all about!

So. Jan Åke and the rest of you managers at SAAB.
You’ve sold SAAB to another company outside Sweden, but the a large majority of the cars are still being built in Sweden and lots of peoples incomes rely on you and your management team taking the right decisions. In the long run even I will be affected if you close down. And trust me, if you don’t stop acting like fools when it comes to branding issues (cause personally I think there are more problems than the site) you’ll close down anytime soon. It’s time to stop loving your history and focus on the future!

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Last summer I got on a train leaving Stockholm for Gothenburg. Together with freelancing project manager, planner and colleague Caroline Karlström I had a meeting set up with diving brand Poseidon. This was the start of a project where I truly had the opportunity to work with all aspects of branding and creative communication.

A dream project.

Ingvar Elfström, the founder of Poseidon back in 1958.

The Background

Back in 1958 this brand was founded by a young Swedish diver, Ingvar Elfström. Since then the brand has become famous for unique, different and great products. However over the last couple of years they’ve lost speed when it comes to innovation and marketing initiatives.

But then something happened. The company was bought by a small group of investors three years back. Headed by visionaire Kurt Sjöblom they set out on a journey – to develop the first ever automated rebreather for recreational divers.

This was why we were there. About a year from launch Kurt and his team felt they needed to do something about the brand. And after a successful meeting that actually started with me diving [click to continue…]

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gold_marketing_strategy_social_media

Where are we all heading. Where will we settle, MySpace, Facebook or Twitter? What technology will win? Will we all become iPhone owners or stick to Nokia? PC or Apple? When will we be pleased?

Brands are spending millions and millions in order to understand where people are settling down. Once that knowledge is secured they spend even more millions to develop a presence. But once people move on to another place and another community the same brands have a hard time turning their battleships around.

In order to develop a long term strategy for online communication brands have to understand that no technology will actually win. No community will be ‘the one’ community. We’re merely a population consisting of digital settlers moving from land to land trying to find the next gold rush. Once we find it we dig until there’s no more gold to be found or the place becomes so crowded that we cannot see the gold anymore. Then we move on. Some people stay behind and eventually turn lonely. But as time goes by even they will once again turn into settlers and move on to a new place where they can once again prosper.

Of course today the gold is conversation and the place is anywhere the tribe can prosper.

The digital world makes it easier than ever for consumers to keep moving from one land to another and that’s why brands have to do get ready to do the same. For the last 50 years it’s been about TV, Print and of course other channels. It’s been easy for marketeers to follow tribes or what we until now have defined as target groups. Now the power has shifted and we’re moving from place to place, technology to technology and user behavior to user behavior. So, brands have to do the same.

If you’re a CEO of a company trying to fight your way to the jungle. Don’t stick with one map and one path. Send out trackers constantly. Find new unique places that hasn’t yet been discovered cause one thing you can be sure of is – where there’s gold there will be people. In order to find those hidden gems you’ve gotta try out everything that comes your way. It’s all about being interested in the unknown and being able to filter the information. In other words – reorganize the way your company is working and get rockin’!

Six Degrees yesterday – Facebook today. ICQ yesterday – MSN & Twitter today. Tomorrow? Who knows. But one things for sure – follow the leaders cause they’ll show you where the next party is or become one yourself.

(quite a strange philosophical post but then again I’m on my way to a strange and philosophical meeting)

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Whatever you do online, make sure you provide a value that is relevant to people who might want to use your service. By doing so you’ll generate more traffic, more buzz and finally a higher SEO ranking.

Box UK, a web consultancy agency, are living by this simple rule. The blog on their website is filled with ideas on how to succeed with your online presence. The old school marketing generation would say their giving their competence away. I beg to differ. One of the problem when it comes to digital communication is the competence on the buying side. Most brands won’t buy what they don’t understand. So either you lower yourselves to their level or educate them and thereby also provide a value.

One of Box latest post is an excellent one. It’s called ‘Monetizing your Web App: Business Model Options’.

Box has listed what they believe are the most successful ways to generate money from web applications. They’ve then taken their own list of possibilities and analyzed Webware 100 Top Web Apps for 2008. The conclusion then becomes a great check box model for monetizing your web apps.

taxonomy_of_web_site_business_digital_strategy

The chart above shows the results of their survey: 34% use Advertising, 12% a Variable Subscription model, and 8% each for Virtual Products (typically digital downloads), Related Products (typically a large software company offering a free product to attract you to their platform) and Pay-Per-Use.

So, the question is. Do you wanna challenge the leaders within advertising financed sector or maybe penetrate the not yet so exploited areas?

Results?

  • They’ve provided their visitors with a great relevant value that will drive traffic, generate comments and create positive SEO effects.
  • Kevin Kelly, one of the worlds most respected digital gurus then picked it up.
  • Then it’s spread all over the world and I among many other will talk about it.
  • We all then drive trafic back to BOX.

Thanks Box for a great post!

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lifeboat_change_advertising_sinking

Let me break it to you right away – the old way of planning and executing communication is slowly sinking into the ocean of well paid consultants that doesn’t do shit for your brand and the best you can do is throw yourselves into the lifeboats, get your ass to land and then find something else that makes your brand travel – and it’s not another boat.

You see, in order to paddle on to this new wave of communication you’ve gotta get different gear, different muscles and find new spots and this requires totally new ways of thinking. It’s not really about finding better creatives, cause the creative people out there are top notch, that’s not what I’m saying – I’m talking about choosing problem [click to continue…]

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Piggyback’n Barack Obama and his message of change

refresh_everything_pepsi

Pepsi are on top of their game. With the help of R/GA they’ve created a campaign site welcoming Barack Obama to his presidency. They’ve tied the entire campaign site message to their tag line – Refreshing Everything.

The idea is very smart – piggy back mr President with your own brand message. On the site visitors are urged to contribute and upload their own ideas on how Barack Obama should refresh America.

 

These kind of ideas are nice if well executed. I think the conceptual idea and the way they’re using the refresh tag is on the spot. However, I don’t see why I have to wait for the damn thing to load. There is nothing in that site that requires flash based on the design and the functionality (except for the video streams of course). But, all in all, a great initiative.

The Pepsi campaign is off course not the first. By now you must have seen the IKEA piggy back a couple of days ago. That’s another great example of piggy back advertising.

ikea_embrace_change

I’ve been part of executing the same idea during the presidential campaign when we created the Apathy Party together with Strawberry Frog.

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clown_cloud_playstation3

A couple of days ago ComScore published a Top Social Media Sites 2008 list. The list that I found on Techcrunch is an interesting read since I for one thought that Facebook and MySpace would be on top. But instead we find Blogger as the largest social media site in the world. Blogger and WordPress together actually outnumber Facebook and MySpace which means blogging is the number one social media activity in the world right now.

social_media_sites_2009_chart

Blogger however is only a site while WordPress also provides an open source platform to bloggers who want to host their own blog (like me). This probably means that WordPress is up there with Blogger fighting for the number one spot.

It’s notable to see that Facebook is the one with the most positive trend. Blogs are showing a healthy growth too while Windows Live has taken a dive. Next years graph will show us if Windows Live has changed their trend with the new features launched in the end of 2008. I do however miss sites like Twitter, Digg and YouTube in the results. They’re just as much social media sites as Flickr, Scribd and Facebook.
Personal publishing remains strong and we can expect more people than ever getting involved with social media in one way or another in 2009.
 

Your advertising has to change

Reaching out to consumers however will require a more complex and advanced execution of communication than ever as people distribute their online behavior on more sites than ever. 

your_social_branding

  • Creative advertising that entertains your target group becomes more important than ever if you wanna stay ahead of your competition.
  • Ideas that don’t include a social spread are only half way there.
  • Understanding of technology is key.
  • Brands that focus on distributing their communication rather than trying to pull traffic to their own campaign sites will be the winners.
  • Making sure your content is relevant and close to brand and product is more important than ever.
  • One idea - visible everywhere in every way. (i.e. don’t place video in one place, place it everywhere.)
  • Make sure measurement and statistics is in place to show where to feed more money and where to cut the investments.
  • Change campaign set up on a daily basis in the beginning of the campaign.
  • Don’t forget the technical back end of the social sites – provide applications, widgets and code that supports your overall idea.

If you end up producing valuable content to the masses that have no relation to your products you’ll end up playing clown without getting paid.

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I have spent the last hour looking through some of the latest additions to thefwa.com. What strikes me is how stunning most production are right now. The quality of the latest things released by agencies worldwide is amazing. Its also extra fun to see that a lot of the campaign sites has been produced by Swedish agencies such as B-Reel, Projector, KokoKaka, Northern Kingdom, Great Works, Daddy, Perfect Fools etc. The agencies behind these productions are considered some of the best agencies in the world and they all live up to the reputation!

Apart from the killer quality one thought stays behind – does this really work?

All the campaign sites I’m looking at takes quite a while to load (I’m on a 24mb fiber straight into my home) and when it’s loaded almost every site kicks of with an instruction on how to interact with the site; “Use your mouse to, use your keyboard to, click here to start interacting with, skip loader, etc etc” and very seldom is it the actual product that is being promoted that we are supposed to interact with. On top of this many sites lag – and I’m running them on the latest Macbook Pro released about a week ago.

Since you got agencies like Weiden & Kennedy, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Euro RSCG, Crispin & Porter + Bogusky, 180, Forsman & Bodenfors and other great advertising agencies behind [click to continue…]

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