This tag is associated with 6 posts

Top 10 Dark Matter Matters posts of 2009

Benjamin sez you all deserve some props!

Ah, late December. The time when bloggers get lazy and start reposting their old crap rather than writing new material. We here at Dark Matter Matters are no exception. For the Dark Matter Matters top 10 posts of 2009, I’ve split the list into two categories. First we have 5 posts that were popular with readers, followed by 5 posts that were popular with, well, me.

Five posts popular with readers:

  1. Brand positioning tip #1: points of parity and points of difference: Perhaps it’s the combination of analyzing Mexican food and brand positioning, but this post, the first in a series of tips that I wrote starting in June, is the most read post I’ve done yet on the blog.
  2. Tom Sawyer, whitewashing fences, and building communities online:  Written in September, this post was the first in a series about community-building where I talk about the difference between creating communities to do your work for you and being a humble member of a community larger than just you.
  3. Brand positioning tip #3: the brand mantra: A short post explaining Scott Bedbury’s concept of a brand mantra.
  4. Maslow’s hierarchy of (community) needs: Comparing a company’s community motivations to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, introduces the Iain Gray hierarchy of community needs.
  5. The top 10 books behind Dark Matter Matters: Exactly what it says it is. Books that inspire me.

Five posts that hardly anyone read. Give them a chance, people:

  1. Tom Sawyer Part 2: where can your company pitch in?: As usual, the sequel isn’t as good as the original, but I still like this post, which has really helped me focus some of my ideas on corporate humility.
  2. How to conduct a symphony of communications: Compares the role of a 21st century communications professional to a conductor in a symphony.
  3. Sharing your brand story (and here’s ours): Introduced the Red Hat Story book (including a downloadable copy).
  4. Why did I just write a post about Viking longships: Compares the job of brand manager to the guy at the front of a Viking longship. Yeah, I wouldn’t read it from that bobo article title either, but this is the kind of post that makes me happy.
  5. Markepoetry Part 2: It turns out I have needs: Talking about making (only) myself happy, no list of the Dark Matter Matters posts that no one reads would be complete without including one of my pieces of markepoetry– the language of marketing, made beautiful. Basically, I take real statements that I find in marketing copy and transform them from ugly marketing-ese into poetry. I thought this one was nice.

So as we close out 2009, I just want to say thanks for everything.

I’m approaching one one year of writing this blog, and it sure has been a lot of fun. I still can’t believe I’ve written over 100 posts. What has made it the most fun for me is getting to meet lots of new people, while also becoming closer to people I already know.

I’m looking forward to 2010. I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about.

Markepoetry Part 5: Once the genie is out of the bottle

It’s been a while since I wrote a piece of markepoetry, but this poem suddenly appeared in my head this morning. This one isn’t traditional old skool markepoetry (which relies on real words of marketing people for its strength), but it does seem strangely appropriate to the marketing world for me.

Once the genie is out of the bottle,

Some people devise strategies to get him back in,

Some people angrily search for the idiot who rubbed the bottle,

Some people cry and remember what life was like before he got out.

Some people make wishes.

Markepoetry is the language of marketing, made beautiful.

Markepoetry Part 4: Harness the power of social media

Got a piece of spam in my inbox the other day that was good enough to inspire a piece of markepoetry all by itself. This short piece takes the form of a haiku, entitled “Harness the power of social media.” Sometimes art shows up when you least expect it.

Harness the power of social media

Use the sheer power

You’ll grow like never before

social media.

Markepoetry is the language of marketing, made beautiful.

Markepoetry Part 3: Mission Soup

All this talk of mission statements made me go take a look in the Googleverse to see what other companies are using for mission statements. Thankfully, the nice people at have pulled together a list of all of the company mission statements they could find.

There are some interesting ones in there (two favorites: Darden Restaurants: “To nourish and delight everyone we serve.” and Harley Davidson: “We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling.”) But once you read a few, it is abundantly clear which companies have put thought and energy into the process and which are simply going through the motions. I’ve taken a selection of the mission statements of Fortune 500 companies from the site and woven them into today’s markepoem:

Mission soup
starts with quality ingredients like:
a friendly, knowledgeable, professional staff,
a dynamic and challenging environment,
teamwork, creativity, and resourcefulness,
a respect for diversity,
an atmosphere of optimism,
and a commitment to create exceptional opportunities for professional growth.

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Markepoetry Part 2: It Turns Out I Have Needs

My friend Jonathan Opp once pointed out to me that his most hated marketing speak is the phrase “Meet your needs,” as in:

This Extra Giganto Super Widget is designed to meet your needs.


Wowzit Consulting and Sparky McSuccess & Sons have come together with a service offering sure to meet your needs.

Now that I’ve pointed it out, you will see this phrase everywhere. And it will start bugging you as much as it does Jonathan (and now me). Today’s Markepoem is dedicated to Jonathan Opp, and is constructed entirely of the fodder that came up in Google when I entered the term “Meet your needs.”

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Markepoetry Part 1: Tell me, o ROI Calculator

In all likelihood, your budget is shrinking.

Based on your unique situation,
Based on your costs and your estimated results,
Depending on your desired outcomes,
Backed by extensive research,
Do you know how much your organization can save???

Pinpoint  where your business can immediately
save money and maximize profits.

Determine the optimal spending level,
Calculate the increased profit potential,
drag the sliders below,
analyze and validate the effectiveness,
see if you are still on budget.

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The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Building Successful Brands in a Digital World

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