Monday, December 30, 2013

Curse of the One Man Band: Challenges of a (Very) Small Business Start Up

The Curse of the One Man Band: 
Challenges of a (Very) Small Business Start up
by Marc Alan, Br4nd New Media

Starting anything new in this fast paced ADD world we live in is a challenge. It takes a certain ability to hyper focus not to give into a thousand distractions at any given moment: the phone, the dog, the girl, the doorbell, your email. 

On one hand, you're trying to remain focused on achieving your overall goal, making tangible strides forward, and on the other hand you can't ignore the mundane forever, and do have to answer your email. And your social media--haven't updated that in ages. You have to pace yourself. 

So while you keep your eyes on the big picture, and let's face it--you're an idea man. It's what you do-- remember that the smaller tasks are the ones that are going to make or break your company. This is where being a one man company is extremely difficult. This is the curse of the "One Man Band."

The answer of course is to delegate. Build a team. Find people who are willing to work hard because they want to be a part of something new. You can't  assign the work without giving people a piece of the pie, some ownership of the dream, unless you have the money to actually pay a few people. 

It's another case of one hand or the other. One one hand you don't have a lot of money to pay out, and on the other hand you're not sure if you want to give away any pieces of your big idea. Well from where I stand, even 51% of a viable company is worth a lot more than 100% of a stake in the dream of a one man band.

And if you do have some money coming in, maybe hire some folks to do your social media, handle your public relations; hire a CPA to handle the business account. 

And for Pete's sake--answer the doorbell-- it's cold outside.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#Eurielle: Redefining the #Classical #Crossover genre with a Luscious, Beautiful #Sound

Brand New Media is happy to present: Eurielle

From her website "Eurielle is a fascinating new artist whose music redefines the classical crossover genre. Drawing influence from myth, legend, and fantasy, as well as our own human nature, she will transport you into another world."

We discovered Eurielle through twitter, and we are most smitten with her music; we know you will be too.

She really does redefine the classical crossover genre so well you really don't need those terms at all to appreciate her music. Because where she has crossed over to is a very special space of it's own. 

Her years of classical training have obviously produced a very powerful instrument, but within the very luscious setting of her beautiful songs, she is well past any need to demonstrate her technique; instead she prefers to let her music breathe, and the end result is a musical breath of fresh air. 

We are happy to present the link to the video she released this year for the song GOLD. The video was said to be controversially received, perhaps within the classical community from which she sprung, because of the deeply sensual imagery of the video. But this is a woman who makes no apologies, and we love her for that. 

We know Eurielle has an awesome future ahead, and we look forward to watching it unfold.

Monday, December 16, 2013

#Twitter Perfect #Content #Messaging from

In the NYC subway today appears an ad for with the statement boldly stating: The Magic Does Not Just Happen

Then below: "It Takes Thousands of People. Go behind the curtain...."

I was attracted this messaging because it gives you just enough peak "behind the curtain" (on to see that there is a huge world at work to present what you are enjoying out front. It also gives credit to many whose work it is that you're able to witness. It relates the behind the scenes "story," which makes you the audience feel all the more special for knowing there are thousands of people at work to entertain you. 

It does all of this with a total character count of 93-- Twitter perfect messaging.

To those of us in the marketing world just getting savvy with the art of storytelling in 140 characters or less, this movement toward brevity is a new challenge. But to the folks in the print advertising world, this is their specialty, and we can learn quite a lot from studying their work. 

Let's face it, in the content marketing game, what we are competing for most is audience attention span. Telling a story in under 141 characters is not just a useful skill, it's absolutely paramount.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Everyone Loves a Good #Story: A Girl, a Bullwhip, Kenny Rogers, and a Bottle of Jagermeister

Like a lot of stories in the naked city, this one happened in a bar one night.

It was back around 1996, and I was out with my bandmates, enjoying the energy of the city, after one of our nightly rehearsals. We played seven nights a week in those days, and for a few minutes, we were the buzz band of the New York scene. We considered ourselves the "greatest arena rock band on the Lower East Side." And I believe we were.

We had just walked into a bar that in those days was called the 119, and it was run by the Polish National Home. You can't make up details like that. The crowd was thick, and the music was loud.

As soon as we walked in, we knew it was going to be a good night. And because a lot of it is now a blur, I can say I'm sure it was. I have vague recollections of a dart game involving a girl with a bull whip and a bottle of Jaegermeister.

Beyond that, I have only one clear memory of that night, which started with a girl falling into my arms, and ended with her telling me something in my ear that I have never forgotten. She said, "I hear you are in a band. Well I have a song that you have to record, that is going to be a big hit for you!"

This really got my attention, and she leaned in closer so no one else would hear: "The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers, she said matter of factly.


She said, "I'm serious; Record that song, because everyone LOVES A GOOD STORY."

And with that, she basically tumbled away into the crowd from which she came, and was lost to me thereafter. But I've never forgotten what she told me, and now many years later, I know she was right about that. People love a good story.  It took me many years to really even understand that, even more to understand what makes a good story, why people connect to one, why they don't forget. Like Aesop's fables, stories retold for a hundred generations.

 It is more than the 5 W's they teach you in school: the "Who, What, Where, When, and Why." Perhaps you get closest to it with the "Why"

At the center of a good story, is the the moral, the theme, the underlying raison d'etre. You don't find it in the words, but between the lines, in the subtext. It's intangible, almost undefinable, but it somehow brings you into the emotional center, and you identify with the protagonist, and sometimes the writer too.

"You got to know when to hold em! Know when to fold em! Know when to walk away! know when to Run!

"You never count your money, when you're sitting at the table... they're'll be time enough for counting, when the dealings done."

You can just put yourself right in that story, and it plays like a movie in your mind. And meanwhile, it's teaching you abject lessons that you can apply to your life, while you're whistling the happy tune.

Now in the marketing world, there are certain brands that seems privy to this and it's really good to take a look at how they go about telling you about their brand inside a good story. Because they're the ones you can really learn from.

Take the Uncle Drew campaign from Pepsi. It's more than a cute character in a television commercial. It's an identifiable character that pulls you into a emotional connection about something he is clearly passionate about--the love of the game of basketball. And through that sharing that passion with you, you form not only an emotional bond with the character, but with the brand.

Another company that does this less directly, but no less effectively is Apple. Through their marketing, they start with the "Why" and without even knowing which product they are advertising, you know what they're about,  which is a clear passion for what they do. And people who follow Apple are so drawn to that passion connection, they form lines around the block to buy every product that comes out.

Sure they could wait a few weeks, and skip the lines, but they don't. Why?  Because there is a story at play and they are emotionally right there in it.  If Apple told them they believed that the best water in the world was made from Swiss Cheese, and put their little logo on a bottle of it, they could sell it as holy water, and people would buy it (Yes, that was a bad joke).

The bottom line is this. Whether you have a product, a service, or a song, it takes more than telling people what you do. It takes telling them why you do it. It takes telling them what you believe. If you can do this wrapped in a story that they can identify with then the better your chances of breaking through with a memorable message. Never forget in today's world what we compete for most is attention span. Get their attention with a good story, and you've got something.