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Initials, Emos and Egos: the thorny problem of naming your agency

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What’s in a name? After all, we have little say in the matter our own moniker when we enter the world, and yet, for some strange reason, a ‘Burt’ always looks like a ‘Burt’ and you couldn’t ever imagine him being a ‘Sebastian’. And there you have it, shackled to the label imposed on you, not by brand experts or naming gurus, but by your legal guardians.

As an agency executive’s career grows and personal ambition flourishes, some feel ready for the next big step – to create their own little agency-shaped bundle of joy (and bloody hard work). Having taken the plunge, the first big creative decision is often ‘what shall we call it?’

Imagine the tingling creative glee when the time comes to name your own agency. If you’re pondering to yourself 'How do you encapsulate all that ambition, passion and creativity in one name?’ the answer, of course, is that you can’t.

A more useful way to spend your thinking time would be to look around and size up the options currently in the marketplace, a motley crew roughly organized into three groups.

First are ‘The Initials’, a hangover from the 80s era, when agencies where rock stars. Unlike today where the rock stars now stay up all night coding world domination for tech.

Secondly come ‘The Emos’, no, not the far-too-thin, pale, draped in black types, the emotional names that evoke a sense of plucky courage and purpose. Trying to capture the spirit of the time.

Thirdly, ‘The Egos’. These tend to be the Ancient Titans of the ad world. Thingy & Whatshisname. Think Sterling Cooper of Mad Men. Big clients, big budgets, big expense accounts and whiskey fuelled creative genius. This fast and loose approach is now consigned to the history books. (Or is it?)

In all seriousness, though, your company name is the first thing you say when you introduce yourself or pitch to potential clients. Invest time and careful consideration into getting it right. Do not settle. Make sure it’s bang on.

The fun part is in creating your brand identity. Carefully pouring over those favourite typefaces, beautiful kerning considerations and that just-so positioning, a process made all the better because no darstardly client opinions need to be appeased. That said, a word of advice, always test drive your creations – show a mate or the milkman. A fresh pair of impartial eyes is always so helpful.

So, there you have it – a genius never-used-before, stand out name for your brand new company. First priority is to snap up the domain name and social handles superfast, and don’t forget to grab the .net, .org, co.uk while you are there.

As soon as you register your name cyber squatters are lurking ready to buy up your domain name and sell it back to you at vastly inflated prices. They are pirates. Then you either pay up or resort to hyphenating or having to add ‘group’ or ‘hub’ to your fabulous name. Which is not, ideal, however if you have good SEO you can avoid annoying and confusing your clients.

Hopefully now you are armed with the tools to name without shame. Next step, world domination.

Marcus Bennett is creative director of integrated creative agency AB…

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YouTube gives more creators option to monetize channels

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YouTube is dropping the number of required subscribers for access to Channel Memberships to 50,000, a reversal from the 100,000 threshold it set in June.

Why the change? Previously called Sponsorships, YouTube’s Channel Membership program allows creators to offer $4.99-per-month subscriptions to their channels, giving paid subscribers access to account badges, emojis, members-only posts in the Community tab and exclusive content from creators. The update gives more creators who are trying to grow a loyal fan base on YouTube the opportunity to monetize their channel beyond ads.

Why you should care. The Channel Memberships offer creators a way to monetize their content beyond YouTube ads. One success story, According to YouTube, is Wintergatan, a Swedish instrumental band and designers of the Marble Machine musical instrument. The band reportedly increased revenue more than 50 percent using Channel Memberships. The creators behind the channel, which currently has more than 1 million subscribers, are also using Channel Memberships to provide perks like early access to tickets for concert tours or free tickets to long-term members.

PR Play, a channel with nearly 150,000 subscribers, is using Channel Memberships to offer premium content like driving lessons, and Tristar Gym is offering exclusive Brazilian jiu-jitsu instruction videos.

The post YouTube gives more creators option to monetize channels appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Sharpen your digital marketing skills with an SMX East workshop

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Passion drives you to become a more accomplished marketer, grow your career and go the extra mile. You’re the reason we created the SMX® East workshop series.

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The EU’s Competition Commissioner is investigating Amazon

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Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition commissioner, said on Wednesday that the oversight agency is looking into Amazon’s business practices.

Why? While acknowledging that hosting third-party merchants provided a benefit for smaller businesses and collecting data had legitimate uses such as improving customer service, she also noted that access to third-party data may give Amazon an unwarranted competitive edge. The effort is a preliminary investigation, not yet having reached the stage of a formal inquiry.

It’s about data. Speaking during a press conference regarding the Luxembourg McDonald’s State Aid case, Vestager responded to a reporter’s question about whether the commission was looking into antitrust concerns raised about Amazon’s use of data collected from merchants hosted on Amazon’s merchant platform.

“The question here is about the data, because if you as Amazon get the data from the smaller merchants that you host — which can be of course completely legitimate because you can improve your service to these smaller merchants — well, do you then also use this data to do your own calculations? What is the new big thing, what is it that people want, what kind of offers do they like to receive, what makes them buy things.”

She said the oversight agency has sent a number of questionnaires to third-party merchants that sell through Amazon to gather more information about the company’s practices.

What it means for Amazon. The inquiry comes at a crucial time as revenue from third-party selling services comprised nearly 20 percent of Amazon’s revenue in the second quarter of 2018. The company this week also launched a new “Storefronts” initiative dedicated exclusively to servicing 20,000 US small and medium-sized businesses featuring more than 1 million products.

While the EU inquiry is limited to the European Union at this point, the company has come under increasing criticism recently, having recently been called out by president Trump as being in a “very antitrust situation.”

The EU also has a history of levying huge fines against US tech giants. The most recent, in July of this year, was a $5 billion antitrust penalty against Google over Google Play and its role in the Android ecosystem.

The EU previously slapped Google with $2.7B antitrust fine for favoring its own content in search results.

The post The EU’s Competition Commissioner is investigating Amazon appeared first on Marketing Land.

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