TED Talk: 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand

This talk reminds me of The Cluetrain Manifesto. Attempting to control the message, aka the brand, backfires. Employees doing good things builds the brand. It is especially the small things that count. Therefore, empowering employees to do good, altruistic things is really good for the brand. And those things may not even have to be part of the core business.

I am torn between official and unofficial directives not to assist our users in situations where I obviously can and wanting to feel like I am doing right by our users. It sucks to feel like I could be doing more. (So often I do, but superiors who rarely read this blog have no idea.) I just have to keep upholding our brand under the radar of the administration.

If the below video does not work, then try: Tim Leberecht: 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand.

Plus Size Soccer Jerseys

Some things are easy to buy online. A few times in the past month I’ve gone looking for a soccer jersey for any of the many football (soccer to my fellow Americans) team I follow. Three futile hours later, I am considering changing which football I follow since stores can carry appropriately sized apparel for it. I’m someone who wears a fairly rare to find size of 3XLT. (Or 4XL when tall is not an option. Or sometimes 3XL for teeshirts, but that usually means exposed back when I sit.)

It annoys me to find a design I like for a reasonable price only to discover there is no size available to me. In bricks and mortar stores, it means never returning until I hear they have a “Big and Tall” section hidden somewhere not obvious.

Here is a place where the Long Tail falls down. According to it, online stores, with their enormous warehouses can better afford to carry a more broad selection of less frequently selling items. They give us more choice. Therefore, it means I ought to find more choice online. For things not in my size, this is true. There is tons of choice. The same stores in a mall who carry clothing in the right sizes seem perfectly capable of offering a wider selection. Yet, an online store like Amazon can’t make it easy for me to find clothing that fits?

My main beef with Worldsoccershop.com is the lack of product in a size I can wear. (The one jersey would make me a Chelsea supporter.) They do get a couple things right.

  1. Quality search: I can put 4xl in the search and get back items with a size of 4xl. All these sites have a search. However, for many sites, size doesn’t appear to be a relevant word. The term “4XL” lands items with “XL” in the name. Useless!
  2. Narrow results by size: Brand, price, and seller are options Amazon offers for narrowing the search to more useful options. How is size not important enough to include? Useless!

Ultimately, I guess not enough people my size have enough interest in soccer jerseys. They end up American football or basketball or baseball fans which have clothes large enough for me. Maybe I should switch sports allegiances? It would help my political allegiances.