Craft Beer, Design, Marketing, Things I love

Storytelling in 3 videos

I’ve been thinking about storytelling lately. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about how the company I work for might be able to better tell stories.

So I started researching into how other industries and brands tell their stories. The following three videos are all ones I’ve found this week. Each with very different narratives but each one contains the key elements of a great story: a setting, a plot, a conflict and a resolution.

The Contenders

I’ve talked about Dicks Sporting Goods before.

Drink Better Beer – Matt Lane

This is a fantastic story about how BeerBods came to be. Very funny, very honest.

A film about Vitra

I recently treated myself to an Eames DSW chair for my home office. I love the mixture of history, ethos and tone in this video. I now feel part fo the club. Not part of the furniture, that wouldn’t be very Vitra I don’t think.

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Things I love

Things I loved in 2014.

A simple list of some of the things I enjoyed in 2014:

Albums

If i had to pick a top 5 is would most probably be these:

Jane Weaver – The Silver Globe
Hyde and Beast – Keep Moving
Beck – Morning Phase
Teleman – Breakfast
The Dowling Poole – Bleak Strategies

Honourable mentions to: Burial, Angel Olsen, Sharron Van Etten, Clark, Francois & the Atlas Mountains and Mogwai

Gigs

Shamefully, I only got to one. Kurt Vile in Brighton. Which was excellent, if a little stripped back. I did get tickets to two other gigs. However, Francois and the Atlas Mountains got cancelled and we clean forgot about Teleman (still kicking myself about this).

Movies

With out doubt Interstellar is my film of 2014. I simply loved it. The driving away scene is one of the best pieces of cinema I’ve seen for a long while. Wonderful.

Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Guardians  of the Galaxy, Pride and Paddington are the honourable mentions. I should also add Godzilla, purely for the Halo Skydive scene.

Podcasts

Serial is the podcast of 2014. A factual whodunnit detective story. The Kermode/Mayo Wittertainment podacst was still excellent in 2014 and it’s the first podcast I listen to each week. Honorourable mentions should also go to Six Pixels of Separation, Marketing over Coffee and a relative newcomer, to me at least, Slate’s Working.

Longform articles

I have a huge backlog on my Kindle. However, the three listed below are the ones that immediately spring to mind:

Longform have compiled their best of 2014 list if you want more of the same.

Books.

I targeted myself with reading 24 books in 2014. I managed 14. None of which were published in 2014. However, I really enjoyed The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle, Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott and Galveston by Nick Pizzolatto was a great accompaniment to True Detective.

Gadgets

Sonos: It’s everything I expected it would be. The only real drawback is that I think the Sonos contoller app on both iPhone and Android is very poor. No Spotify Radio? C’mon.

Gramofon: my first kickstarter. It’s a great piece of kit. Whilst it’s now largely obsolete thanks to Sonos, it’s smaller than the Sonos which means it will travel well and I suspect it will accompany us on holidays.

Chromecast: Makes your TV smart. Makes your smart TV even smarter. And the kids can use it. Love it.

Grid-it: Phones, pens, chargers, security keys and even chewing gum all held in place by interwoven elastic straps. It’s the simple things that make the difference.

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iloveb2b
Marketing, Things I love

Why I Love B2B Marketing.

I fell into B2B marketing. It was the Video Game Retailer or the B2B ISP. The video game retailer went bust 3 months later. Was I lucky? Perhaps. Did I achieve what I set out to do when I graduated? Yes and No. Yes, I got my first marketing job, proper. No, in so much as I didn’t set out to get in to B2B marketing. Marketing, yes. B2C, almost certainly. B2B marketing, unlikely.

That said, I have no regrets. My career in B2B has had its ups and downs. But it has also given me a wealth of opportunities and experiences and for that I will always be grateful. And that, in part, is why I love B2B marketing. B2B marketing has had a rough time. Throughout my career its always been the slightly misunderstood sibling of B2C. And yet, I continue to work with great people in the space. Great marketers, agencies and partners who are as passionate about the 18-24 month sales cycles as I am. We can see the opportunities in building a relationship and nurturing leads, especially in the days before automation.

And it is the relationship. It’s creating an emotional connection with people. People who have everyday challenges. Who have targets and KPIs. People who make considered purchases, behave rationally. They explore, research, display enormous levels of patience. Seek proof. People who want to know what success looks like in their terms. But also where it will take their department, division, region. Will ask “so, what?” so often, you are always on your toes, thinking, adjusting, amending, learning.

And when that contract is signed. When the direct mail, email, event sponsorship, Customer Advisory Boards, hospitality, meet-ups, case studies and videos have all chipped away at the DMU. When you have reinforced why you have the reliable and innovative service they need. And when you have convinced the higher-ups, the C-suite, that you are the strategic partner, a trusted advisor, that is why I love B2B marketing.

At the end of the day, we are talking to people, other human beings, not businesses in glass buildings. B2B marketing has come a long was since I started out 16 years ago. We can do as much and perhaps a little bit more than our B2C counterparts. Look at what caterpiller, Volvo, Marketo, Thunderhead, Xuber, CBRE to name but a few have achieved and are doing in this discipline. That’s why I love B2B marketing.

#iloveb2b
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Marketing, Things I love

My favourite TED talks

I was reading an article the other day about how to stand out in business and in your workplace, a kind of manifesto on being remarkable. One of the many suggested ways was to not reference TED talks. The justification was that anyone can do it, it’s not clever and in many ways it’s myopic. I didn’t agree with much of the article but that comment stuck. Primarily because I wholeheartedly disagreed with it.

It got me thinking about TED. It’s a much discussed topic. It’s also one of the ultimate pieces of content marketing. And ley’s face despite what that blog post said, It’s a great way of finding common ground with people you know and don’t know as it did with me when meeting new colleagues at the end of last year. There was an immediate common ground and in a way a common purpose. We want to learn more, know more, investigate more, sate our curious minds. Ideas Worth Spreading.

There are around 2000 of these talks. I’ve not watched all of them (obviously), however, those that I’ve listed below are the ones that immediately came to mind. And are the ones that I’ve shared with friends, family and colleagues.

Simon Sinek – Start With Why
He recently talked about being bored of delivering this talk, which is both a shame and unsurprising. Thankfully it’s been recorded for posterity.

Ken Robinson – Are schools killing creativity?
I first watched this many years ago, and I suspect it was probably the first TED talk I watched and the first time I became aware of TED. Since then I’ve become a Governor at a local school, and I’ve revisited this talk several times. However, the message isn’t just about the education system, it also applies to parenting and to business: Are the systems we have in place the most appropriate for nurturing creativity in the modern world?

Jason Fried – Why work doesn’t happen at work.
I mentioned this talk in a previous post and with good reason. Jason talks a lot of sense.

Rodney Mullen – Pop an ollie and innovate
Rodney Mullen is one of my sporting heroes. Skateboarding was my first real passion. As an 8 year old in a leafy English commuter town, skate videos (yep, VHS) from the States where our escape and inspiration. Rodney talks about creating content through context. Essentially, there’s an obstacle, what can I do with this board to overcome or make the most of the situation. Test, fail, learn and adapt.

Photo Credit: Gisela Giardino via flickr

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Craft Beer, Things I love

The Golden Pints 2013

My first go at summing up my 2013 in beer:Image

Best UK cask beer: Oakham 20 years. The tap takeover at Craft Beer Co Brighton was great. 
 
Best UK keg beer: Kernal 4C or the increasingly go to Chiron by Thornbridge. 
 
Best UK bottles or Canned Beer: Oakham Citra
 
Best Overseas bottled or canned beer: Either Racer 5 by Bear Republic or Nebuchadnezzar by Omnipolo
 
Best collaboration brew: Thornygoat was the only one that stands out. 
 
Best Overall beer: Best by Marble Beers. I didn’t have it too often but it always hit the mark and completely surprised me about how good it was. 
 
Best branding pumpclip or label: Marble have the best pumpclips, simple and clean. Partizan have the best labels, illustrated by Alec Doherty 
 
Best UK Brewery: Kernel, for being so consistent
 
Best overseas brewery: Pass
 
Pub/Bar of the year: Craft Beer Co, Brighton (It’s my local)
 
Best New Pub/beer opening: No idea
 
Best city for beer in the UK: No idea
 
Beer festival of the year: didn’t get to one
 
Supermarket of the year: Waitrose. Always has Thornbridge Jaipur and should get points for introducing Westmalle Dubbel earlier this year. 
 
Best beer book or magazine: Craft Beer World by Mark Dredge
 
Best Beer Blog: I don’t read enough of them to be honest.
 
Best beer app: Untappd
 
Best brewery website/social media: Not a brewery, however I really like what Beerbods are doing through twitter.

 

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Things I love

Things I loved in July & August 2013

Why I’m hiring graduates with thirds by Rory Sutherland

How not to be alone via The New York Times

Dick’s Sporting Goods by Derek Cianfrance

Beer vs Coffee: Which drink makes you more creative? by Mikael Cho

The Pixar Theory by Jon Negroni

Why Music discovery services fail for me by Darren Hemmings

How to read faster: Bill Cosby’s three proven strategies 

This is how your brain becomes addicted to caffeine

Let there be tears by Melissa Cole

Finding this great list of Aeropress recipes methods and recipes.

The future of link building by Will Critchlow

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Marketing, Things I love

Getting Things Done: 3 books I recommend

I can’t remember when I first become aware of the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology but suffice to say I’m a fan. Below are three books (with affiliate links) that are in my opinion the best sources for adopting and learning the GTD methodology.

1. Getting Things Done by David Allen

Yes, it’s obvious and it’s the benchmark. As David Ogilvy said about Roman-Raphaelson’s  book ‘Writing that works‘, “Read it three times”.

Here is David Allen’s TEDx talk on the subject of getting things done. Interesting to hear him say that the GTD concept is not so much about getting things done, rather its doing things with focus.



2. The Productivity Ninja by Graham Alcott

Graham Alcott takes the GTD methodology and brings its bang up to date. The principles of productivity are the same, however, Alcott specifically argues that productivity is not time management, rather its attention management that is the problem for the modern worker. The GTD methodology primarily works on the basis of context so that you can quickly decide how and what you work on i.e. at the office, at the computer, calls to make. Context is an underlying principle of productivity, and Alcott builds on this by asking you to look at your levels of attention and matching your actions with those of three levels of attention: proactive, active and inactive. Read ‘Work based on your attention levels’ to find out more on the topic.

If you’re inclined to the buy the book, I would recommend the hard copy. I have the kindle version and whilst it’s perfectly fine, The Productivity Ninja is essentially a reference book and the one thing I think the Kindle falls down on is being able to quickly look for sections and passages.

3. Re:work by Jason Fried

This is now a modern business classic. You can breeze through it in an hour or two and whilst not a productivity guide in the true sense, it still has some wonderful insights in how to run a business in a lean and scalable manner. To get a taste, here is Jason Fried talking about how work doesn’t get done at work: 

What productivity books do you recommend?

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