Updates from March, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Brigit Law 11:40 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: doodle, images,   

    Unfamiliar story more enjoyable after looking at appealing images 

    “Simply looking at images of food that appeals to you can make something taste better, according to a new study by scientists at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland.”

    I guess one could imagine this reasoning applies to story reading too.

    Our eyes are a hugely important instrument for communication.

    Eye contact with image processes important emotional information to us. People, often without consciously doing so, probe images or positive or negative moodsigns, just like in eye-to-eye contact with other human faces.

    What’s more is that eyes send images to our brains. By providing images in addition to text, we can influence and make it more easy for our eyes to understand the text or what is being said. A side note however, if that we need to make sure that we do not overkill with images so our brains become lazy and loose the ability to think creatively.

    Our eyes are our visual system. Our eyes visualize the written or spoken story. In particular those which are still unfamiliar to us.

    So, if you are keen to transmit or digest new information and knowledge this week, make sure you get a stories with taste and clear vision.

    Have a delicious Doodle week!

  • Brigit Law 3:26 pm on March 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Retail, , , Target Corporation   

    The Secret of Social Media Success by Target 

    I just shopped my groceries at Giant which I like, probably because of its Dutch roots of owner Ahold: it almost make me feel like shopping at home in The Netherlands, only much bigger.

    Although, I am not so attracted to ‘like’ big food chains – or any big chain for that matter – on Facebook, but I was curious and checked out the three leading US food stores in my area on Facebook.

    And the difference is huge: Giant has 40 likes and no active page, 2.207 likes and Target has 9.818.115 !!!! likes.

    Of course, we all want to know the secret of their success!

    I did not find much information on Target’s Social Media policy with a quick search on Google, but perhaps it has something to do with this: Target’s Community Outreach program. Target says it is on track of giving 1 billion dollars to support education by 2015.

    Now, how much more social can one get?

    It’s something one just has to like!

  • Brigit Law 4:46 pm on December 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2012, behavior, , , trends   

    New Trend for 2012: Social: Yes! Media: No! 

    According to new Dutch trend predictions for 2012 anything and everyone media savvy like Foursquare is out of fashion and anonymity is the new ‘cool’.

    Here follows a very telling selection of what is popular in 2012 as listed today in Vrouw, an insert in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf:



    AZ (as opposed to media savvy Ajax)

    To love each other (rather than getting married)

    Radio (as opposed to TV)

    Serving Leadership build on thrust and achievements


    Old fashion (made) pictures

    Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (as opposed to self enrichment)

    Say yes to moving


    Pure Nature

    Depth (as opposed to superficiality)

    Crowdfunding (as opposed to Good Cause)

    Full sentences (as opposed to abbreviations)

    I love this human skill of true resilience: making whatever economic situation hot and trendy and 2012 it is depression, slump and malaise that will bring us together in a more simple and less pretentious fashion.

    Despite what all marketing agencies say, when I read this list, I conclude that for 2012 there will be more Social but less Media. And that is probably a good thing.

    Happy 2012!

  • Brigit Law 8:59 pm on July 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Keynote ‘Social Media: Sense or Nonsense?’ 

    Last week, I deliverd a keynote at the seminar ‘Social Media in Germany?’ of the Netherlands General-Consulate in Düsseldorf. You can read it here & feel free to comment! (More …)

  • Brigit Law 10:04 am on March 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , marketing,   

    Should Marketers learn to think in terms of ‘Followers’ instead of ‘Target Audiences’ ? 

    I have always felt there was something not right in talking about Target Audiences when developing a (marketing) communications strategy in my early working years. Why? Because it made people in organisations behave superior over people outside the organisation. Expressions like ‘ah, but they – customers, investors, citizens, – do not understand’ are often heard in meetings. Like ‘us’ against ‘them’. Not very nice, actually.

    In today’s world, where huge populations have 24hrs access to news and information through the Internet, facing cultural, climate, economic and health complexities as something that is right at their doorstep and no longer as something that is far away in a strange world, an inclusive marketing approach with emotional drivers is better placed. Just like with Social Media, audiences will naturally and consciously follow the developments of a company and its activities if they feel part of a common story. Here, marketers will connect not only with people & markets they decided to like, but also to people with a genuine and more engaged interest in their business: people they would never reach with traditional marketing thoughts.

    So, rest us the question: Can marketers change their behaviour with new thought patterns that make their marketing story an inclusive one, within 48 hours? Yes they can!

    In some of my workshops, I give the following exercise as homework:

    1. Take your favourite book or film, best a roman or detective

    2. Identify the script elements such as the protagonist, the hook, the plot and other contextual information like other characters, place(s) and time(s)

    3. Check use and effect of metaphors

    4. Now, knowing about the key story elements, make in your thoughts your own product story

    5. And finally, integrate this story into your marketing approach

    Tip 1: You’d better exaggerate in emotions than stay too close to corporate speak

    Tip 2: When you have difficulties to start writing: put on the dishwasher, start writing and don’t stop until the dishwasher does. Do this every evening until you are satisfied with the story.

    Enjoy & Good Luck!

  • Brigit Law 2:18 pm on February 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    White Space: A Quick Mind Catcher In Social Media 

    Good afternoon!

    Today, I’d like to share with you a new & fresh idea for successful communication & storytelling with Social Media: the use of ‘White Space’.

    In a time where people slowly start recognizing the need for individual Guidelines and Writing Patterns when using Social Media for their online communication and dialogue, I’d like to point out to you the use of ‘white space’ in script writing.

    The Script Lab recommends here white space on the page as a clever and practical way to get the reader to turn pages: fast and furious. Imagine if you could get the same effect when building in blanks – or breaks – in your talk online.

    According to The Script Lab, “the screenwriter must start scenes as late as possible and get out early. The less words that can be used to accomplish each scene without losing the voice of the writer, the better. It’s simple: less words means less reading. And if there is one absolute in Hollywood, it is that NOBODY READS.” Well, – perhaps sadly but truly – the latter is not only an absolute in Hollywood anymore …

    The function of white spaces in writing intrigues me. I remember a participant at one of my workshops – a very skilled female architect who had set up a very decent architect bureau in Germany and now leading a small team of young architects – that she had stopped using Twitter because of the noise. She felt that the way people twittered, prevented her from properly hearing anyone or anyone to hear her. A real shame, because she had like many of us, set out using Social Media for letting business grow and establish contacts in new markets.

    People’s behaviour on Social Media is a real obstacle for many. It is like going to a birthday party with lots of (brand) names, faces, words, noise and flickering images. Not easy to engage in if you prefer a string quartet over disco. No wonder that most people either look for the ‘Exit’ sign or just take on the role of a wall flower and rather watch but say nothing.

    But using white spaces is not only a practical way to bring peace to mind online as a handy Mind Set, but is also a Mind Catcher and, therefore, a great but subtle communication instrument to use in Change and Marketing processes.

    Once more, it seems like that many complexities around Social Media can be solved easily in applying a couple of simple writing behaviour and thinking patterns from traditional (screen) writing.


  • Brigit Law 8:23 pm on February 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Song Lyrics: een geheim wapen in emotionele communicatie 

    Nieuw ‘crowdsourcing’ onderzoek door Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth, mathematicians at the University of Vermont, presenteert song lyrics als een nieuw en effectief instrument voor ‘crowdsourcing’. De individuele woorden in lyrics met hun zeer variërende emotionele waarde – zoals jezelf ervaart als je muziek beluisterd – geven onderzoekers de kans het gevoel en humeur van bepaalde doelgroepen te peilen waar bedrijven op in kunnen spelen.

    Nu geloof ik zelf niet zozeer in marktbenadering via doelgroepen – ik geloof meer in de kracht van de individuele consument in samenhang met zijn omgeving en dus in de kracht van een bepaalde omgeving c.q. sociaal netwerk dat als zich als een organisme gedraagt – maar ik zie ook het grote effect dat song lyrics kunnen hebben in het ontwikkelen van communicatie en marketing strategieën door het sterke gevoel dat de woorden en bovenal de korte zinnen oproepen.

    Denk maar aan Herman van Veen’s lied Anne. Het is een levenslied waar bij echt elke zin op zichzelf in gedachten een kort verhaal vormt of zou kunnen vormen. Alle wereldleiders die ook ouders zijn weten zeker wat ik hier bedoel …

    Maar stel je eens voor dat je een speech kon schrijven, of marketingtekst, of Twitter verhaal in korte fragmenten en updates, dat net zo krachtig is en net zo universeel in interpretatie als de songtext van Anne. De wereld zou aan je voeten liggen en in zwijmel vallen van pure vervoering.

    Dus probeer het eens voor je volgende communicatie activiteit:

    1. Relax en zet je ‘zakelijke pet’ af

    2. Neem songtekst van Anne van Herman van Veen. Zet de muziek aan als achtergrond muziek als het je inspireert, niet als de stem of het tempo je irriteert.

    3. Maak lijst met gevoelswoorden die je product, bedrijf of jezelf als ondernemer beschrijven

    4. Laat je meevoeren en schrijf je tekst op basis van de songtekst van Anne, maar dan met je eigen woorden. Zet gerust een ander lied op als achtergrond muziek met tempo en spirit dat je misschien tot een ander gevoelsniveau inspireert dat beter bij je past, maar hou je vast aan de universeel interpreteerbare tekstopzet van Anne.

    5. Probeer voor elke lyric een apart kort verhaal te schrijven met een ander perspectief (denk door de ogen en oren van de verschillende en belangrijkste actoren in je netwerk)


    • Een goed aantal titels voor je updates via social media (microblogging)
    • Een goed aantal verhalen voor je blog, speeches en communicatie teksten
    • Je eerste stap als Concept Denker
    • Je eerste aanzet voor een positioning als visionaire en sociaal voelende leider, bedrijf of product met een hoog gehalte emotional contagion
    • Je eerste stap in het communiceren naar de nieuwe sociocentrische maatschappij.





  • Brigit Law 7:20 pm on January 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Bye bye ‘Globalization’ – Hello ‘Cities’! 

    It looks that ‘globalization’ – a buzz word that has kept us going for the last decade – is losing its shine. Today, the Dutch newspaper NRC published a visionary article (Wanneer steden de wereld besturen) with research references and talks, concluding that our world which seems increasingly more difficult to manage, cities not countries will form “islands of government” on which the future world order will be built.

    Funnily enough, last Friday I advocated a similar trend when I popped a question at the end of the lecture ‘Crisis Busters: from Marx to Krugman’ by Lord Robert Skidelski (writer of the book “Keynes, The Return of the Master”) at the Maastricht University Campus in Brussels, by saying that the word ‘globalization’ should better be binned. It is getting old-fashioned and simply doesn’t fit any longer in way people see their lives and how they want to live in it today, while securing a good life for themselves and their children in the future. 

    I specifically say ‘see‘ here, because in the end it is all a matter of people’s perception. We’ve always lived in a globalized world (the world is a globe) and cities have always had a tremendous amount of power on people’s daily lives. It’s just the way we decide to look at it in business and politics, how they feel they could make sense of everything that happens around us and then talk about it, that makes Nationalization and Regionalization follow each other up as different trends in history.

    So, ‘Cities’ is the new buzz word, and no doubt ‘Design’ ‘Architecture’ and ‘Citiplanning’ will follow suit. A very important development in emotional communication and Storytelling that allows us to shift from talking and thinking economics to creativity as the drive to life and the new appeal!

    I am glad that my new workshop for brand, marketing and communication managers is right up there 🙂

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