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Monday, July 18, 2005

Summer house 'poems' & marketing conversations

While technology is becoming the heart of marketing and communications, conversations are the soul. And some of the most engaging conversations are around talking about ideas, beliefs, opinions, and points of view. Not products.

This week I came across two examples of companies whose points of view instantly engaged me and helped me understand what makes their companies unique and different.

“What we maybe had to relearn as a company is that we’re not in the transportation business, we’re in the arts and entertainment business,” explained GM vice chairman Bob Lutz to shareholders at a recent meeting.

GM in the arts and entertainment business? Now, that’s interesting. I immediately understood that Lutz is trying to take GM to a very different place. It somewhat reassured me as a shareholder, and I’m toying with putting my car buying plans on hold to see what GM might come out with next year.

My favorite point-of-view this week was from Dietsche & Dietsche Architects. While I often hear professional services firms talk about how difficult it is to market themselves, Chuck Dietsche’s positioning is clear and compelling, expressed through this point-of-view:

“The first house is a dictionary. The second is a poem,” he says.

Chuck talks about how our primary homes are about accommodation – “Where do I park, where do I sleep?” While the second home idealizes our lives and helps us express that to the world.

Wow, that’s interesting and compelling marketing.

I’m off to my second home, which is more of a haiku, for summer vacation. Some friends are thinking about building in the area. I’m going to talk to them about Chuck Dietsche because he’s made it so easy for me to do so.

What’s your company’s point of view?