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MICHAEL SCHMIDT

Brand + Communications Strategy

Call Schmidty 804.836.5475 | HeySchmidty@gmail.com | MeetSchmidty.tumblr.com

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.

Category
Dynamics:

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.

Gathering
Intelligence:

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.


Key
Findings:

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:

B

A B

B

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.

Brand

Target

Strategy

Leveraging
the
existing
assets
of
the
site
to
expand
to
 broader
and
more
sustainable
role,
appeal
and
message.

A B

Content: Superman’s
real
story

Real
and
literary
heroes

Appeal:

Comics
fans

Book
and
comics
lovers

Donate
now

Find
inspiration
to
act
now

Message:


Audience
Segments:

f

h

Clark
Kents

!

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

Jack
Ryans

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

b !

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:


Media
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.


CONNECTIONS

 scan

Brand
Experience:


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.

Audience
Need:

looking
for
new,
 relevant
content

learning
about
and
from
 my
favorite
authors

Communications
Role:

awareness

information

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.

browse

Author
Endorsements:

Bookstore
Dominations

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


PLAN immerse

suggest

submit

interacting
in
a
personal,
 customizable
way

sharing
content
with
others
 who
might
be
interested

expressing
my
 unique
viewpoint

engagement

advocacy

contribution

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.

Social
Bookmarking

Book
Clubs:

Pictures

Content
for
online
and
local
heroism
book
 clubs
foster
user
interaction
and
 comparisons
to
their
own
lives.

Actionable
Items:

WAP

SMS

Downloadable
Propaganda

A
Twitter‐like,
continuously
updating
 page
encourages
users
to
interact
 and
help
others
act
as
heroes.


MEDIA
PLAN

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.

Ambient

Dec

Jan

Feb Mar

Apr May Jun

Jul

Aug

Jul

Aug

TABLE TOPPERS HANDOUTS BOOKMARKS NOTEPADS BRANDED LOUNGE SPACES

Earned
Impressions: 26,920

Spend:

Paid
Impressions:

Online

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

$0

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

Evaluation Measures:

Spend:

$78,400

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


Mobile

Dec Jan

Feb

Mar Apr

May Jun

Jul

Aug

Jul

Aug

SMS ALERTS

Spend:

Earned
Impressions: 1,000

Print
/PR
/
Direct
Marketing

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar Apr

$0

May Jun

BOOKSTORE NEWSLETTERS BOOK CLUB CONTENT AUTHOR EDITORIALS PRINT ADS

Earned
Impressions: 13,666,000

Paid
Impressions: 10,065,000

Event

Dec Jan

Feb

Spend:

Mar Apr

$136,635

May Jun

Jul

Aug

OPCTW STAFF PICKS IN BOOK STORES AUTHOR BOOK SIGNINGS BOOK FESTIVALS COMIC CONVENTIONS

Earned
Impressions: 32,000

Radio

Paid
Impressions: 110,000

Dec Jan

Feb

Spend:

Mar Apr

$35,000

May Jun

Jul

Aug

INDEPENDENT RADIO

Earned
Impressions: 110,000

Engagement: • Time
spent
and
 Pageviews • Forum
 submissions • Email
 subscribers

• SMS
subscribers • Social
 bookmarks • Book
club
 participants • Materials
 downloaded


Spend:

$0

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.

Ordinary People Change the World  

Hybrid project showing how the melding of brand and communications strategy results in more than the sum of its parts

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