#64/111: The Experience Effect

What is it about?

Have you ever been in an Apple store and used an Apple product? If so, you saw that there are components that are consistent. There’s lot of white space. There is modern design and simple design/architecture. Even Apple’s ads are created this way. You are feeling the experience effect. Jim Joseph shows you how to create a strong experience effect and how to align your marketing.

What can I learn?

Define your brand: You should start with defining what you want. Do you want to be a high price segment product/service? Do you want to be hip? Try to list what makes your brand special. The next step is to find out who your possible prospects are. Who wants a high priced hip product? Where do they live? What do they do?

Live your prospect’s life: If you can’t live it, observe it (or at least talk to them). Follow a customer one day and register what she does, where she is and what she consumes. This way you can see how you could improve your channels and what is important to your customers.

Be consistent: A brand is about the experience with the brand, not what the marketing manifesto says. If you begin to be inconsistent than your brand will lose value and eventually die. If you brand stands for great customer service but people have to wait 20 minutes in the waiting loop, you brand isn’t trustworthy.

What are the touch points? If you’ve done the first step, you probably registered a lot of touch points (channels), e.g. billboards, radio ads or specific websites. You should find out which touch points are the strongest and build strategies that are consistent with your brand experience.


The Experience Effect is a solid guide to branding. Jim Joseph explains each step very detailed and practical. He shows why Madonna is more successful than Jennifer Love Hewitt and gives you actionable advice on how to improve your brand. Nice book!

Startups Lessons Not Learned or Lame Startup Thinking (via 24 Ways to Start)

What is it about?
Mike Butcher, TechCrunch Europe Editor, writes about lame startup thinking (in Europe). In my experience there is so much truth in this article, it’s a must read.

What can I learn?

Learn about money: Firstly, do you really need outside money? If you don’t want to put most of your money into the idea don’t bother asking other people. If you will need money you should know how much. Furthermore, if you look for angels, look for angels who can help you build your network. Before pitching these investors ideally you should have build some mock-ups or better a product or ideally a product with customers and revenue.

Your company is your product: Don’t outsource your core competency. Do not do it. If you aren’t a product person look for a person how is and make them CEO or learn the stuff for yourself. You should iterate your product and test it often. What do your customer think? How is the user experience?

Startups Lessons Not Learned or Lame Startup Thinking | 24 Ways To Start

How to create advertising that sells (by David Ogilvy)

Read: How to create advertising that sells

What can I learn?

Make your product great and beautiful: A great product allows you to promise great benefits which the product can actually deliver. In addition, your product should look beautiful. Man is a visual animal. If you product looks awful, they conclude that you product is awful.

Sell in the headline and caption: The most people scan pages. They see the headlines and captions. Don’t miss these opportunities to sell your product.

Use news: Often marketers neglect this opportunity (however bloggers often get it). How can you react to topical news? Imagine that there is big news on digital data theft. Depending on what you are selling, you could write an article about preventing data theft, release an ad that your servers are more secure or, if you have deeper knowledge, giving interviews to journalist.


This is a pretty remarkable ad. Firstly, Ogilvy & Mather understood in den 70ies that you can increase your sales if you give away valuable information. Secondly, the last paragraph is brilliant. They show you their 38 principles of successful advertising but say:

Ogilvy & Mather has developed a separate and specialized body of knowledge on what makes for success in advertising food products, tourist destinations, proprietary medicines, children’s product – and other classifications.

That is, you can tackle the problem on your own or hire experts who are specialized into these sectors and who can afford to give away valuable information for free.

(via 1,900 word ad “How to create advertising that sells” written by David Ogilvy)

#48/111: Seizing the White Space

What is it about?

What have Amazon, Hilti and Hindustan Unilever in common? Each company revolutionized its business model. Mark W. Johnson studied these and more companies and found a process for business model innovation.

What can I learn?

What’s the job-to-be-done? Don’t ask your customer what he wants your product/service to be. Find out what tasks he have to do. This allows you to use your expertise to build a better solution. This will be your starting point.

How can you satisfy it? Now it’s time to build a company around your product. What are your key resources, your key processes and how can you make money out of it?

Let’s take the first business model of Amazon for example. The job-to-be-done was offering a wide range of books. You can only make profit, if enough books will be sold. Also the warehouse costs have to be reduced. Furthermore, people want to read their books as soon as possible.

To ensure that you are going to sell enough books, you have to build a platform. So the key resources and processes are the technology for warehousing, IT infrastructure for the website (channel) and a partner for shipping.

Change is hard: Often there’s a discrepancy between your company and your new business model. If possible, take the easy way and build a new company. It will save your lots of time, discussions and compromises.


I really like Seizing the White Space. It is more practical than Business Model Generation which focuses more on building a meta solution. There are lots of interesting case studies with uncommon companies. Furthermore, I like Johnson’s approach of Customer Development, i.e. searching a solution for the job-to-be-done and then building the rest of the company around it. Great recommendation for everyone who wants to start a company and solve a job-to-be-done.