Q. How is Bonehook different from other marketing services providers?
A. Bonehook operates more like a media company that brands subscribe to for their storytelling needs than a typical agency that runs on projects.
Q. What do you believe?
A. “Every company is a media company” is part of the MarCom lexicon today. It’s an interesting point made by a smart journalist, but it’s not true. I believe every company has the potential to make compelling media (to augment their equally compelling advertising).
Q. What do your current clients say about you?
A. Most of the time, they say extremely nice things. See this unsolicited letter from Lisa Jones, CEO of Danville Development in Salt Lake City.
Q. “Brand” seems like such an esoteric term. Explain it to me, please.
A. Brand is the culmination of every experience that your customers, prospects, staff and investors have with your company. The reason you support these brand experiences with a strategic communications program is to ensure your point-of-difference is clearly understood. For instance, in Oregon currently, there are more than 500 wineries and close to 300 breweries. These are handcrafted products for the most part. Yet, Oregon-made wine and beer are also parity products that need brand differentiation to stand out, and to encourage brand preference and repeat purchases. Every time I walk into a winery, I am asked to join the wine club. As a consumer, I take it all in—the ask, the wine, the setting, the staff and conclude 99 times out of 100 that I will not join the wine club. What motivates me to say yes, on the rare occasion that I do? The company has to woo me with its story and leave room for me in the story.
Q. Who are your industry guides and heroes?
A. In the beginning, it was Dan Wieden and Lee Clow. They’re the most accomplished ad men of our time. Ultimately, though, I had to go back to the 1960 and San Francisco to find the truly inspiring ad man. His name was Howard Luck Gossage and he ran an agency from an old firehouse. He said, “people don’t read ads, they read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad.”
Q. If you could give a client one book to read, which book would it be?
Q. What is your specialty?
A. Solving complex marketing communications problems, in an elegant fashion, on time and on budget. We don’t confine ourselves to any one industry or type of client. The more we learn, the more we’re capabale of, therefore we’re driven to learn all there is to know about our client’s business and the worlds they inhabit.
Q. Isn’t all this emphasis today on content and social media overblown? After all, I want to sell things?
A. We love sales and we will vow to improve your sales. We do this by recognizing that you sell to people you have a commercial relationship with, and you have a commercial relationship with people by doing more for them than they expect. Content and social media allow your company to address people as individuals first and customers second. From our point of view, nothing could be more essential to overall brand health.
Q. Will you buy me lunches and take me golfing?
A. Golf builds character. So yes, and yes.
Q. What does Bonehook’s ideal project look like?
A. Projects are gravy and we love gravy. The meat underneath our gravy is a long-term engagement where we take on a client’s brand storytelling responsibilities on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis. Specific deliverables vary by client, but it’s a matter of drafting an on-point strategy, knowing the voice of the brand and then delivering a steady stream of interesting material for the company blog, email newsletters, social media pages and more.
Okay, your turn!
Ask us anything. We’re not the Magic 8-ball, but we will do our best to address your genuine thirst for knowledge.