As I've mentioned before, I have a keen interest in all things marketing related. So without further ado, I present Tuck School Professor Kevin Lane Keller's BRAND REPORT CARD as it might apply to your blog:
(Rate your blog on a scale of one to ten, one being shitty and ten being fucking-A awesome for each characteristic below. Then create a bar chart that refelects the scores. Then send me chocolate chip cookies--the chewy kind, not the hard crunchy ones)
- The blog excels at delivering the benefits readers truly desire. Have you attempted to uncover unmet reader needs and wants? By what methods? Do you focus relentlessly on maximizing your reader's product and service experiences? If you are a female blogger, have you invested in a good digital camera and lingere? If male, have you invested in these things along with a mask and wig? For all bloggers, have you retrofitted your living space to accomodate all the bondage equipment yet?
- The blog stays relevant. Have you invested in product improvements that provide better value for your readers? Are you in touch with your readers' tastes? With the current blogging conditions? With new trends as they apply to your blog? Are your blogging decisions based on your knowledge of the above? Have you shamelesly ripped off other bloggers' posts a la Caramon the copycat?
- The pricing strategy is based on reader's perception of value. (note: the price a blog's readership pays is time, just as the cost a blogger pays is time) Have you optimized price, cost, and quality to meet or exceed readers' expectations? Have you invested in Photoshop in order to make sure you meet or exceed readers' expectations?
- The blog is properly positioned. Have you established necessary and competitive points of parity with competitors? Have you established desirable and deliverable points of difference? Have you made yourself more brown than mrbrown? More finicky than finicky feline? more intrepid than cap'n intrepid? More, uh, james-like than james?
- The blog is consistent. Are you sure that your blog is not sending conflicting messages and that it hasn't done so over time? Conversely, are you adjusting your blog to keep current? If you start off as an asshat, do you continue to be one?
- The blog portfolio and heirarchy make sense. Can the corporate blog create a seamless umbrella for all the blogs in the portfolio? Do the blogs in that portfolio make sense? Does this question make any sense in the context of blogging? Why is the sky blue, mummy? Are we there yet?
- The blog makes use of and coordinates a full repertoire of marketing activities to build equity. Have you chosen or designed your blog name, logo, symbol, slogan, packaging, signage and so forth to maximize blog awareness? Have you said something inflammatory in someone else's blog to attract hits to your own? Have you posted pictures of scantily clad chicks, regardless of whether they have anything to do with anything?
- The blog's writer understands what the brand means to readers. Do you know what readers like and don't like about your blog? Are you aware of all the core associations people make with your blog? Do your readers think you are an asshat, and is that necessarily a bad thing?
- The blog is given proper support, and that support is sustained over the long run. Are the successes and failures of marketing programs fully understood before they are changed? Is the blog given sufficient R&D support? Have you avoided the temptation to cut back marketing support for the brand in reaction to a downturn in the market or a slump in readership? Have you offered cold hard cash for those who read your blog, or at least threatened to burn down the houses of those who do not? If not, why not?
- The blogger monitors sources of blog equity. Have you created a blog charter that defines the meaning and equity of the blog and how it should be treated? If your answer is yes, back away from the computer, slowly, make your way outside, and scream at the top of your lungs 'god, someone please help me!' Do you conduct periodic blog audits to assess the health of your blog and to set strategic direction? If so, see above and add hair pulling and gnashing of teeth.
There you have it. Blogging fame in 10 easy steps!