Don’t automatically take what people say at face value. People change their minds a lot.

Also situations and research changes people’s perspectives all the time.

Listen to what people say, but trust yourself to do a good job and go with your gut, then find a balance.

Many brands with big advertising budgets invest in saturating the consumer’s field of perception, be it in books, on television, or in the metro.

This makes it easy for consumers to come to the conclusion that all advertising is bad when bad or mediocre advertising is all they see.

Assessments can say a lot more about us than about the thing that we believe we are describing.

Pete Hamill “Mind Your Feedback” (via peterspear)

Our selective attention is continually screening out a huge amount of information but that doesn’t mean that this information isn’t being processed.

While we are not consciously processing it, our unconscious mind can be changed by what passes through it, leaving us with no ability to report it accurately after the event.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

Can a successful brand appeal apply to everybody?
No. No one brand can possibly have a universal appeal.

Does quality matter? Absolutely. But where does the concept of quality reside? Quality, or rather the perception of quality, resides in the mind of the buyer. If you want to build a powerful brand, you have to build a powerful perception of quality in the mind.

When you narrow your focus, you become a specialist rather than a generalist. And a specialist is generally perceived to know more, in other words to have ‘higher quality,’ than a generalist.

Most marketing isn’t dishonest; it’s just dumb. The dumbness is usually caused by marketing wonks trying to speak to so many people at once that they end up adopting a tone of epic blandness.

An important aspect of branding is having a better name. All other factors being equal, the brand with the better name will come out on top. Being a specialist and having a better name go hand in hand. Expanding the brand and being a generalist tend to destroy your ability to select a powerful name.

A service is often defined as a helpful action or work done for someone else. Often the only difference between a service and a product is point of view. In some sense, every product provides a service to its user.

Living with complexity by Donald A. Norman, p144

Like any other high-profile industry, the Internet has attracted thousands – if not millions – of players.
And most will fail.

Don’t ask “What’s the next big thing?”. Ask “What’s the next big culture?”

Alexis Madrigal

When you have a large number of customers, you can’t get to know all of them intimately and so you must make certain assumptions about them. But when you have a small startup your customer base is smaller so you can get to know them more intimately. That is an extreme asset to have!

Marketers often confuse the power of a brand with the sales generated by that brand. But sales are not just a function of a brand’s power. Sales are also a function of the strength or weakness of a brand’s competition.

The FUDing creative angle: FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Ask consumers if they are confident, feel safe, know all the risks, and they’re likely to begin to feel unconfident and insecure, and will want you to help protect them.

This is not about creating anxiety, it’s about highlighting risks that people can protect themselves from. This approach is often combined with humor, showing people who haven’t protected themselves experiencing an exaggerated version of the risk.

Advertising is not why we pay attention. Yet marketers must make us pay attention for the ads to work. If they don’t interrupt our train of thought by planing some sort of seed in our conscious or subconscious, the ads fail.
Wasted money.

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

If your competition is weak or nonexistent, you can often increase sales by weakening your brand. You can therefore draw the conclusion that line extension works. But in doing so, the only think you have demonstrated is the weakness of the competition.

Knock the competitor creative angle: This is not something to be done overtly, although references can be made to well-known products and any shortcomings they may have. Comparison advertising is often as simple as showing similar people in identical situations, one having a better time than the other because of the brand being promoted.

While extending your product line might bring added sales in the short term, it runs counter to the notion of branding. If you want to build a powerful brand in the minds of consumers, you need to contract your brand, not expand it.

For any particular piece of advice, I can find somebody who:
1) Followed that advice and made a lot of money
2) Didn’t follow that advice and made a lot of money
3) Followed that advice and didn’t make a lot of money
4) Didn’t follow that advice and didn’t make a lot of money