Tag Archives: content strategy

What’s The “Bunny Cake” of Your Content Strategy?

Everything old *is* new again. No idea is really a completely *new* idea. Perhaps variations on a theme. An idea extension. A different flavor. A different shape. A different angle. But it’s definitely a case of deja vu.

Take, for example, content strategy. It’s a fairly newish term but it’s been a de facto business approach for years… decades… centuries, perhaps! 

Case in point:

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I recently stumbled across a friend’s Facebook post with a picture of the Easter cake she had made. It reminded me that my mother had just given me some old books and papers. One of the papers was page from the March 28, 1976 Atlanta Journal Constitution Magazine (see image), featuring a recipe for a “Baker’s Coconut Bunny Cake” that we made for my father’s 33rd birthday 38 years ago. I promptly posted a picture of the yellowed article on Facebook.

One friend commented that she had first made the cake for a family “bon voyage” party about 38 years ago, another commented that they made it every year for Easter from a recipe in Redbook Magazine, and yet another friend commented that they used to make it when she was younger from a Baker’s brand recipe cookbook for “cut-up cake shapes.”

You know what Baker’s was doing? Re-purposing content… about forty years ago. Weren’t they smart and savvy?!? That recipe was all over the place – BEFORE PCs, the WWW and social media. People were making that cake in the late 70s and it became a spring tradition for many families. It became their star content du jour. Baker’s knew it and they used it. It was an anchor in their content strategy.

Every time I hear someone talk about a new business or technology buzzword, I immediately think “That’s the same thing we talked about in the 80s then the 90s, but with a different moniker.” And I’ll bet the same concepts we buzz to death today existed in the 60s, 50s, 40s and beyond, as well, but with different names.

Content strategy is not new, but perhaps it is more complex than in the not-too-distant past, with myriad potential vehicles to consider, an opportunity to hyper-target content and reach, and technology-enabled communications and metrics. But perhaps businesses can benefit from the simple notion implied by that bunny cake recipe forty years ago: If you have a some great content, leverage the heck out of it. It gets people talking (or in this case, shopping and baking) and can, ultimately, sell more of your coconut.

 What’s the “bunny cake” of your content strategy?

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What A Violinist Can Teach Us About Business

Last night, we went to see David Garrett perform. If you don’t know who David is, you should check him out on YouTube. He is a master of the violin, and a pure delight to listen to and watch. Here are some of my favorite videos:

Mozart’s Turkish March https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJNvpvq7xxk

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbHwYazHiLI

He’s a Pirate (from Pirates of the Caribbean) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGuBYvURSZw

On-stage, David did several things that relate to my philosophy of business. Trust me, I did not think about business during the concert – at all, in fact – but, in reflecting on what made the concert so enjoyable, the business takeaways were crystal clear:

Alignment has lots to do with overall performance: Throughout the concert – despite being on the road touring 300+ days out of the year with the same line-up – David went over to each musician and made eye contact. They were synchronizing and communicating with their gestures to make the performance the best it could be. This is how a business should operate: Keeping a finger on the pulse of each division and team to drive optimum alignment. Constant, interactive, “human” communication is at the crux of alignment success.

Content is king: David is a master violinist, an artist, a maestro. But he is also a master marketer, as evidenced by the diversity in the audience and his content. Where else can you hear artfully arranged and performed live music by ACDC, Chopin, Michael Jackson, Tchaikovsky, Coldplay, Mozart, Nirvana, Beethoven, Queen and Metallica? He showcased his breadth and depth while appealing to wide range of fans. He implements a thought-through, diverse and engaging content plan based on a common theme to engage and astonish his audience.

Everything old is new again: David performed several classics, but with an innovative twist through new arrangements and modern instrumentation. He had been thinking about how to arrange Hava Nagila for the past six years as a tribute to his manager, about how to create something new from a song that is solidly rooted in tradition. He *innovated* but did not re-invent the wheel. In fact, the majority of pieces performed in the concert were highly familiar, but presented in a fresh, innovative way, not the least of which was using a violin as the voice. When you think of innovation, do you consider current assets? You should, just like David Garrett.

(Of note, a review of the Forbes Reinventing America conference: “America’s Greatest Inventors Don’t Dream Up Novel Ideas — They Execute On Old Ones”
http://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2014/03/28/americas-greatest-inventors-dont-dream-up-novel-ideas-they-execute-on-old-ones/?utm_campaign=forbestwittersf&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social)

I am a fan – not just of David Garrett, but of everything his amazing performance delivered. What other artists do a good job of alignment, content and innovation?