Brand + Communications Strategy
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ORDINARYPEOPLECHANGETHEWORLD Brand and Communications Strategy VCU Brandcenter, September 2008
The Project: Turn Brad Meltzer’s pet project into a brand • •
Help leverage the site’s early success by creating and communicating a consistent brand offering Build a core audience through an initiative to bridge the site’s early success and its long-term role
The Outcome: A ripple effect
The Client: Brad who?
We took the brand ethos to heart - that one small action inspires many others and built off the site’s existing assets By leveraging its initial momentum, we helped the site appeal to a self-sustaining community that could be periodically rejuvenated by what Brad was used to doing already - promoting his books and comics
• Author of 7 bestsellers • Writer for seminal comics Green Arrow and Justice League of America • Scion of Joss Whedon and Damon Lindelof
How to nurture early brand growth through an intrinsic - and synchronized brand and communications strategy
Brand Background: OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com is a young brand that is primarily known for its founder, Brad Meltzer, and his ﬁrst online initiative, an auction beneﬁtting the former home of Superman’s creator, Jerry Siegel, through comics‐related artwork and experiences. In his newest novel, Brad combined his interests for the ﬁrst time, using the death of Superman’s creator as a key plot point in his thriller.
The site’s mission is “to inspire ordinary people to take action and make a diﬀerence in the world,” however they see ﬁt. To fulﬁll this mission, the site needs to expand beyond the comics community.
Press for The Book of Lies often mentioned both the Siegel auction and OPCTW.
Only the most well‐established or well‐funded non‐proﬁts can aﬀord to appeal to a wide audience. All others can only succeed through sharply clariﬁed purpose and focused targeting.
Attending one of Brad’s book signings and getting to know his fans, we realized he brings together diverse groups with slightly diﬀerent reasons for appreciating his work.
1Brad’s work provides a nexus for three distinct audience groups, which have their
f h b
own literary heroes in addition to Brad.
2The web is uniquely able to cater to the audience’s varied interests and show how they link together.
Expanding the Essence:
Our Approach: Nurture the seed planted by the Siegel auction.
We tasked ourselves with crafting a strategy for the site that expanded from its initial equity and target. By building oﬀ the site’s initial appeal with comics fans, we could focus on growing the audience, not targeting a new one.
Leveraging the existing assets of the site to expand to broader and more sustainable role, appeal and message.
Content: Superman’s real story
Real and literary heroes
Book and comics lovers
Find inspiration to act now
Read Brad’s: comics Ages: 20 ‐ 35 Size: 5.5 Million Look online for news and information
Looks up to those who prompt change despite ﬂaws or circumstances Inspired by seeing support for great ideas
The Ya‐Ya Sisterhood
Read Brad’s: comics and thrillers Ages: 40 ‐ 55 Size: 5.3 Million Prefer Internet and radio Admires doers who know how to draw on all their resources
Read Brad’s: thrillers Ages: 40 ‐ 55 Size: 2.5 Million Stay updated with print and word‐of‐mouth Drawn to people who help through simple yet meaningful ways Inspired by others’ thoughtful actions
Inspired by one man causing a movement
Getting involved with a community of like‐minded individuals will help them see how their interests can be inspiration to incorporate heroic acts into their own lives.
Brand Content Strategy:
Heroism from any source that inspires you to act now
Align literature with inspiration for heroism in everyday life
Strategic Brand Initiative:
Heroic Voices Online Festival
A six‐day online literary gathering featuring popular authors from various genres, the festival uses the audience’s shared literary interest as inspiration to incorporate the acts of heroism they read about into their everyday life. How it works:
Why it works:
Drawn to the festival by our campaign (next page), the audience can create a proﬁle to participate in exclusive content from their favorite authors:
The initiative draws from the legacy of the Siegel auction and its appeal to comics fans, while also making the best use of Brad’s personal assets; he shares a publisher with all of the selected authors.
• Popular authors like Stephenie Meyer discussing heroism in their work • Original works on heroism created by up‐ and‐coming authors • Live chats centered on drawing inspiration for acts of heroism in everyday life • Content updates in the months following
Using this equity to introduce the site to the wider audience will make them more receptive to its message of heroism. Through this, the festival bridges, in both content and audience, the comics‐focused auction and the site’s mission to inspire everyday heroes.
Modeled after levels of interaction with literature
We tailored the brand experience plan to align with all the factors crucial to the campaign’s success, including: • What the audience is looking for in order to progress from awareness to advocacy. • How the Heroic Voices Online Festival and other aspects of our campaign can add value to the relationship to deliver on the project goals.
looking for new, relevant content
learning about and from my favorite authors
Context: SEO: The site will be optimized to appear in search results for terms like heroes, inspiration, and book festival.
• Where the audience spends their time and will ﬁnd our message relevant.
Email List: Brad’s emails to his loyal fans will ask them to spread the word about the festival to other book fans.
• How the content of the site can continue to deliver on the message once the audience visits.
The plan serves to accelerate the audience’s involvement with the site, but each element must act on its own to attract them however they interact with the content and context.
Participating authors will lend support through newspaper and website editorials, interviews with indie radio, and mentions on their websites and at book signings.
Festival Initiative: The central aspect of our campaign, the festival engages the audience by presenting the site’s message of heroism through their shared interest of literature. But the festival oﬀers beneﬁts more tangible than engaging the audience: • Proﬁle creation for interacting with content provides a mechanism for relationship management. • And the press tours Brad and the other authors are used to doing will continue to provide free media.
Please join me on Jan.6th @ 4:00pm EST at OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com
when I talk about Bella, Edward, and Jacobʼs heroic acts!!! It might inspire you!!!
Sponsored Staﬀ Picks Banners & Blogs
HEROIC VOICES ONLINE FESTIVAL January 5 -10
“Join me in fighting for truth, justice, and the American way.”
Recommendations: Based on an extensive list of books with strong themes of heroism, Amazon users who view one of the books will see an OPCTW message and recommendations of other heroic books in the genre.
HEROIC VOICES ONLINE FESTIVAL January 5 – 10 “It is not violence that overcomes hate – nor vengeance that most certainly heals injury” – Jane Eyre ORDINARYPEOPLE CHANGETHEWORLD.COM
interacting in a personal, customizable way
sharing content with others who might be interested
expressing my unique viewpoint
Heroic Voices Online Festival: A six‐day gathering of literature and heroism
As the audience becomes more involved with the campaign and website, content features will help them apply the Heroic Voices literary inspiration into acts of heroism for their everyday lives. Online Forum: Prompts about heroism similar to the author Q&A and discussions will keep users engaged independent of the authors’ content and returning to the site.
Content for online and local heroism book clubs foster user interaction and comparisons to their own lives.
A Twitter‐like, continuously updating page encourages users to interact and help others act as heroes.
Because OPCTW is not‐for‐proﬁt, we used free or cooperative media whenever possible. A multichannel plan immerses our audience in the message, with ﬂighting concentrated on promoting the online festival and the three‐month long author initiative it introduces. Despite spending under $250,000, the plan achieves 32 MM total impressions, helping to build a loyal community that will take to heart the site’s mission of heroism in everyday life.
Apr May Jun
TABLE TOPPERS HANDOUTS BOOKMARKS NOTEPADS BRANDED LOUNGE SPACES
Earned Impressions: 26,920
Apr May Jun
ONLINE BOOK FESTIVAL AUTHOR WEBSITE SPONSORSHIP BOOKSTORE WEBSITE SPONSORSHIP BOOKSTORE E-NEWSLETTERS MELTZER EMAIL LIST BOOK BLOG CONTENT PRINTABLE PROPAGANDA FACEBOOK GROUP / MYSPACE PROFILE AMAZON PARTNERSHIP BOOK BLOG BANNER ADS
Earned Impressions: 5,084,500
Paid Impressions: 1,646,800
Total Impressions: 20,435,300 earned + 11,741,800 paid = 32,177,100 total impressions
Total Spend: $249,765
Traﬃc: • Site visits • WAP visits To ensure our audience grows • Search terms and returns for more visits, we • Prior sources focused on measuring traﬃc • Proﬁles created and engagement. • Click‐through rates
Earned Impressions: 1,000
Print /PR / Direct Marketing
BOOKSTORE NEWSLETTERS BOOK CLUB CONTENT AUTHOR EDITORIALS PRINT ADS
Earned Impressions: 13,666,000
Paid Impressions: 10,065,000
OPCTW STAFF PICKS IN BOOK STORES AUTHOR BOOK SIGNINGS BOOK FESTIVALS COMIC CONVENTIONS
Earned Impressions: 32,000
Paid Impressions: 110,000
Earned Impressions: 110,000
Engagement: • Time spent and Pageviews • Forum submissions • Email subscribers
• SMS subscribers • Social bookmarks • Book club participants • Materials downloaded
By developing a strategy that stays true to its current equity and audience, we gave the brand a head start. And through an initiative that expanded on the legacy and used Brad’s assets to maximum eﬀect, we spread our media dollars far. Ultimately, by synchronizing our brand and media strategy we transitioned the brand from comics fans to a sustainable future focused on heroism.