Sunday, 30 September 2007

US DOD guerilla warfare strategy formula applied in commercial brand wars

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
We were once asked by a Director of the worlds leading video games publisher, "how can we improve the way we work and leverage our international brand?". A single, simple answer was forthcoming "you need to think smarter, in order to be better". After the usual gasps and bluster about how they were the biggest, so they must be the smartest etc, he replied "well how can we become even smarter?". A single, simple answer was forthcoming, "you need to look at how companies you really admire operate and are a close match to your company philosophy and your own vision of the future and harvest their knowhow, like your life depends on it.

Why spend years building your own corporate cognitive memory on the hoof when the answers are already out there? There are a billion ways of developing intelligence, the majority of them legal. So this particular games publisher was effectively told to go forth and think and do like Microsoft, which at that particular time was simple, cheap and relevant advice for them.

Paul Strassman a director with the US Department of Defense and second world war Guerilla war hero once revealed an intelligence formula used in the Gulf war which has provided the basis for more than one multi-million dollar brand success over the last 10 years. Although we slightly adapted it, it went something like this:

Rapid and tactical deployment of small technology increments, which are highly adaptable and which fit into an over-arching, all encompassing architecture.

If you want to be the best, you need to think better than the best. Why not try and think up your own brand positioning formula!

For more on Paul Strassmann: http://www.strassmann.com/bio.php

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Best way to predict the future: Is to Invent it. Why?

Brand Killer Robots reveal:
What have Google, Microsoft, MySpace and YouTube all got in common, apart from being among the wealthiest, most powerful companies on the earth? How did they make the big time and how do they remain at the top? What makes their brand more desirable, more trusted, more this that and the other - than anybody elses? In truth, the answer lies in that they all wanted to invent the future. They wanted to invent the future because they knew that this was the only way to have any control over the future. Their desire to predict the future is in fact a flaw in the character of these organisations, born from their founders own emotional security, borne from bad experiences in their childhoods.

Yes, for many CEO's, genius and entrepreneurialship is borne from emotional, physical or psychological abuse as a child. Sometimes all three. Analysis has confirmed that the greater the abuse for these types of people the greater desire to reconstruct the world in their own image.
Such acts serve to pacify the inner child, who is still running away from the subverted image of their childhood.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Digging up Personal Reputations on the Net

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Some years ago we heard of this guy who used his power and influence as a lawyer to leverage his position in the property markets, ie. you might think you were contacting him for some legal representation, only for the guy to turn into a real estate agent or an investment consultant who wants you to sell him your house.This guy had more heads than Hydra, the more that got severed, the more would appear. You never quite knew which hat he had on and what is more, he was a real pain in the ars*.Anyway, to cut a long story short, sometime in 2003 one of his clients made a complaint about him to the U.S legal authority and he was brought to book for using unscrupulous tactics and weazle words to tie the poor woman in knots. Had he not been so sure of himself he might have gotten away with a slap on the wrist, but by then this lawyer was so sure of his himself that he began to attack the whole of the legal fraternity. He used his words to implicate as many people as possible, he used his words to uncover the smells in every corner of the law, finally attacking the highest of legal representatives in the land. His reward - total disbarment from practicing as lawyer. Not a problem he thought, i'll set-up as a real estate agent. No one will find out what happened.

Few months later his legal career obituary was published in full and popped up on the forum of his website.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Warning for Video Game Publishers

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
The Interactive Software Entertainment Industry is globally much larger than Hollywood. Todays run on Halo 3 suggests that consumers are still purchasing video games at the rate of knots -
but the question is for how long? Video games are the next natural interactive step up from TV or Radio, but as the Youtube, Myspace and Secondlife social networking generation swings into action the age of interactive empowerment is switching to a new paradigm. Switching from the game player generation to the game maker generation. Games insiders are increasingly worried about the number of constraints video games place on gamers.
Todays generation are much more at home with making games to play, rather than simply joining in to play someone elses idea of a game. Top game designers in the industry are increasingly worried that the gamer will eventually take the power away from the designer and build their own game spaces, using free design tools. Right now and for the past 20 years games publishers have been able to make a buck or two from defining the games landscape. In the future, it is more likely that gamers will choose to build their own spaces, using open source toolsets that enable them to build, share and collaborate within their own games spaces, using P2P style connectivity.
Many of the worlds most recognised game hackers are increasingly turning their minds to enabling new open source gamespaces. Publishers would do well to consider this new paradigm in video gaming. See the following BBC article discussing Metaplace for more evidence of what is to come. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7002479.stm

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

EWHISPERS threaten to corrode brand messages in the 21st Century

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
As any editor or advertising guru can tell you. 'Context is King.'

If i whispered to you "do you know, this guy over here is gay", you'd probably say "oh is he - good for him". If i whispered the same thing to you, but in a different context, you'd probably think the same thing - but, would you say the same thing? If the context he used was, "I'm your boss, you rely on me and you are surrounded by the same kind of people as me", when he said it, you'd have probably said "oh - that must be difficult for him" or if you were really submissive you might have thought one thing, then said something else like "not sure he fits in here".
Whilst all the time trying to defend your true feelings, you try make a compromise with those of the crooked mindset. Just so you avoid coming into conflict with the very thing you despise.

Power and Prejudice! In compromising in this situation - you dilute your brand - you dilute YOU!

Brands that allow others to whisper stories in their name, whether online or offline, could be conveying some very corrosive images to consumers indeed.
Brands must take steps to protect themselves from being associated with subversive whispers that with the proliferation of the Internet could occur in any context, at any time, from any where in the world.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Subversive management = devalued brands

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Ever been in one of those perpetual nightmares where the world is falling apart, yet no one else seems to realise it? You know, where it seems to take an age for the s*t to hit the fan and when it does, everyone seems surprised - except for those who have long since left for greener pastures or those who gave up caring a long time ago. Today's business is a strange twilight world, where managers are more distracted by enemies within the organisation, than they are those outside. Where short-term patches keep the wolf away from the door and where nights out with the boys is seen as a good strategic move. Yes, this synthetic, shallow, disease ridden business perspective seems to permeate through the ranks of many of our great institutions.

Whilst financial models can be massaged to soften the blow of incompetent management, brand confidence cannot.

If you were ever to measure ROI against brand performance vs revenue/profit, many investors would also be living the nightmare.

Companies need to back brand intelligence up with intelligent operations in the workplace.

It is only by taking pride in the brand, that management behaviour will fall into line with reaching the greatest potential of shareholder expectations.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Media brands attacked over 'climate porn'

BBC News website
A new report was published on 19th September by the IPPR on climate change and the lessons we can learn for encouraging public action. The original 2006 BBC news article read like this. Apocalyptic visions of climate change used by newspapers, environmental groups and the UK government amount to "climate porn", a think-tank says.
The report from the Labour-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says over-use of alarming images is a "counsel of despair".
It says they make people feel helpless and says the use of cataclysmic imagery is partly commercially motivated.
However, newspapers have defended their coverage of a "crucial issue".

The IPPR report also criticises the reporting of individual climate-friendly acts as "mundane, domestic and uncompelling".
"The climate change discourse in the UK today looks confusing, contradictory and chaotic," says the report, entitled Warm Words.
"It seems likely that the overarching message for the lay public is that in fact, nobody really knows."

For more on this report see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5236482.stm
To read the full report see: http://www.ippr.org/publicationsandreports/publication.asp?id=561

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Reputations corrupted by unethical SEO marketers

Brand Killer Robots reveals ::
SEO or search engine optimisation is a planning and implementation process for optimising the positioning of your online resources relative to search engines, in order to improve the quantity, quality and conversion of visitors to your website. In short, you want to use SEO to increase the volume of people visiting your website referred by organic search engines and to turn as many visitors as possible into paying customers. You achieve this by using SEO techniques to attract higher and relevant ranking in the target search engine and therefore your advert appears nearer the top of the search results.
A Search engine optimiser requires multi-disciplinary skills that include marketing expertise, web development, business analytics and a good understanding of writing search engine friendly web copy.
Like the vast majority of pionnering fields SEO suffers from a general lack of agreed standards and is therefore at the mercy of a great many unethical practices and associated conmen. In fact, as search engines become more sophisticated, they are more and more able to detect unethical SEO practices and have taken steps to ban websites they deem unethical from their listings.
For any investor or executive, the first real question for selecting SEO is WHO SHOULD WE HIRE? Choose your SEO service provider carefully. It could cost you your reputation online if you don't and this may take you sometime to turn around.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Executives use hackers on brand marketing projects

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Executives holding strategic positions in some of the worlds top blue chip companies are beginning to realise the advantages of employing the services of so called 'computer hackers'. Apparent benefits of employing hackers to protect and leverage online brands includes:

1. Hackers have superior technical knowhow, than their corporate IT counterparts
2. Hackers understand the subversive opponent mind, more deeply than online marketiers
3. Hackers are used to solving problems heuristically 'trial n error', rather than following formalised procedures, which adds a creative dimension to the way threats or opportunities are tackled.

Specialist recruitment agencies have helped to allay the obvious concerns of engaging with hackers on highly sensitive projects.

See BrandSpy.org for more details.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Subversive programmers siphon off profits for IP???

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
I once uncovered a group of people working inside a games company, who were steering the development of software towards their own personal objectives. "They were mean't to be developing a bespoke system in-house, but were using the time to create a commercial software product instead". These efforts were camouflaged in all sorts of ways, more especially so because they were ensuring they were seen to deliver functionality, albeit very slowly. "I was invited to take a look at this problem, to investigate why the project was now 100 days behind schedule." I analysed the context of their behaviour and approach and provided my report. This ring was monitored and then carefully broken up.

Recommendation: Monitor relationships between fellow software developers. Ensure reporting of project status is regular and software progress is audited. Ensure code controls are in place and security policy is adhered to at all times. Ensure product work is conducted such that dependancy on one or many developers is not high.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Killer free mobile system threatens to destroy GSM mobile brands

BBC - 15.09.07
A new way of making calls directly between phones, for free, is being trialled by a Swedish company. It is hoping to dramatically improve communications in the developing world.
The TerraNet technology works using handsets adapted to work as peers that can route data or calls for other phones in the network. The handsets also serve as nodes between other handsets, extending the reach of the entire system. Each handset has an effective range of about one kilometre. This collaborative routing of calls means there is no cost to talk between handsets.
When a TerraNet phone is switched on, it begins to look for other phones within range. If it finds them, it starts to connect and extend the radio network.
for more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6987784.stm

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

A Trojan program that destroys reputations

Brand Killer Robots reveal ::
Security experts have confirmed the detection of a new form of trojan that targets computers owned by company executives. This new form of virus is designed to open up access to porn, which is then downloaded and left on the executives hard disk drive. Police authorities are alerted to the elicit material via anonymous email. It is thought that the new trojan was designed by black hats and sold to at least one company, who used it to discredit the directors at a major corporation.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Today's Cybercrime and the Crimeware Being Used to Support it

BY SC Magazine
Businesses are under constant threat from crimeware as hackers are using highly sophisticated web-based techniques and methods to exploit the vulnerabilities within the Internet. These web-based threats are being found in common applications that security executives need to monitor and control in order to prevent abuse of their systems.
See the webcast on 10th September 2007 - 16:00 - 16:45 (BST)

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Cyber crime tool kits go on sale

BBC 4th Sept 2007
Malicious hackers are producing easy to use tools that automate attacks to cash in on a boom in hi-tech crime.
On sale, say security experts, are everything from individual viruses to comprehensive kits that let budding cyber thieves craft their own attacks.
The top hacking tools are being offered for prices ranging up to £500.