The end of Business as Usual ……. via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

I’m passionated about the impact of new technologies on consumer behavior.

In that framework, I’ve developed a new approach called close contact marketing that I’m presentating in a confertence called “are you a white belt or black belt marketer”

The spirit in Close Contact Marketing is basic: Treating your consumer with respect is the best way to win their heart.

The close contact Marketing is based on the following belief: once you convince the consumer, he becomes your best ambassador.

Close contact marketing has its roots in eastern values of the martial arts such as karate that I practice: respect and direct involvement are part of it.

Its six rules are symbolized by belts of the sport that I practice so much.

More on close contact marketing HERE

I’m happy to see that Brian Solis, released a new book called The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution.

In the book, he talks about the importance of brand and brand essence during an era of what he calls Digital Darwinism, the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to adapt.

With businesses chasing the great “friend” grab in social networks, brand and brand essence are more important than ever before. A brand is recognized as the unique identity of a product, service or company. Brand essence, however, is felt.

I’m happy to see some similarities with my approach as :

– Create personal engagement.

– Create Experience.

– Create Enchantment.

Here-below, the approach from Brian Solis : To help make brands socially relevant, he created the following steps for brand managers to review.

  1. Focus: Attention is a precious commodity and to earn it, the brand must make an immediate impression in order to capture attention and convert it into curiosity. Identify a list no more than five words that contribute to the brand, especially in a social setting. Your job is to deliver a unique experience and document what it is you want to evoke through engagement.
  2. Feeling: Social networks are emotional landscapes that are populated by human beings, not consumers. Describe in two or three sentences what it is you want a consumer to feel when she comes into contact with your brand and how she would communicate that feeling through her actions and words to her friends.
  3. Individuality: In these communities, brands are people, too, and they require a persona, character, mannerisms and everything necessary to stand out. Illustrate the persona of your brand. Who is it? What does it stand for? What are its characteristics and mannerisms? The key here is to create a unique and desirable impression. As my good friend Guy Kawasaki says, we must be “enchanting!”
  4. Experiential: When a consumer experiences a product or service, what is that each encounter eliciting? Articulate in a sentence or two the experience you wish your consumers to feel or associate with the brand.
  5. Consistency: Consistency is what a brand conveys every day across all networks, social presences, content, apps, and engagement. List three attributes that must be communicated through all things social.
  6. Personal: Brand essence must carry meaning, something personal that people aspire to become, embrace, and be part of, something that resonates with them. List the top three emotional hooks that will convey why and how people will be drawn to you in social media.
  7. Portable: Networks cultivate unique cultures and how people connect with brands is different within each. Brand essence requires scalability and portability to extend brand value and resonance across each network while still creating a holistic experience. Clearly define in two sentences how brand essence will be communicated or expressed at the top level and within each network.
  8. Longevity: Is the essence designed to last? Is it something that can stand the test of time and patience regardless of medium? At some point a brand must become an extension of the culture of the organization, and now’s the time to put into words how the culture will transfer from the real world into each network. In one sentence, two at the most, capture your culture and describe how it will be enlivened in new media. Define what people are aligning with and representing to their networks.
  9. Credibility: People walk away with an impression based on how a brand is portrayed and enlivened. There must be an alignment between these nine steps and the experience people actually do have. Understand where the disconnect may exist today, list the gaps, and take actions to fill them. Without this step, the brand will lose credibility through engagement and that’s not an option in today’s digital economy.

Everything that we do including the words we choose and the imagery we use is instrumental in the definition of brand essence. Thus, our words, and actions, contribute to the last mile of customer engagement.


Contest : Win an Xbox Kinect !

As you know, Kinect is a controller-free console, in stores from 10 November 2010.


  • Kinect for Xbox 360 (Microsoft) brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways, no controller required.
  • While everyone else puts more gadgets and gizmos into your hands, Kinect removes the last barrier between you and the experiences you love.
  • Kinect will work with every Xbox 360 console.
  • Simply step in front of the sensor and Kinect recognizes you and responds to your gestures.
  • See a ball? Kick it. Want to join a friend? Whether they are across the room, across the street or across the globe, connecting in a whole new way is as easy as a wave of your hand.
  • Kinect (formerly known as “Project Natal”) is the next step in the evolution of the gaming and entertainment experience.
  • More than 15 games (sports, adventure, cuddly animals) will be available this holiday in Europe.
  • Click on the site to know more about Kinect :
  • See here-below, some games available on Kinect for Launch

Contest to win a Kinect

TOP 10 trends for 2010.


There is an interesting website giving interesting consuler insights / trends

Take a look at these ten consumer trends that will inspire you to introduce new products and services over the next 12 months.

Here-below, an overview of these TOP 10 trends for 2010.

To know more and download the PDF document, just click Here



To visit this website, just click HERE

Consumer technology gene: innovating in consumer products and services (Solvay Alumni).


On the 3rd of December 2009, Microsoft and with McKinsey & Company hold a presentation, in front of the Solvay Business School Alumni (Marketing & Sales Club), in the building of Microsoft.

130 people attended to this event, at Microsoft,  organised by Solvay Business School Alumni and McKinsey & Company.

During this presentation, we talked about the following subject:

Consumer technology gene: innovating in consumer products and services?

  • Click HERE for the Mc Kinsey & Company presentation.

  • Click HERE for the Microsoft presentation.


  • Here-below, the speakers for this presentation :
    • Philippe Mauchard (SBSA 1991), Partner, Mc Kinsey & Company.
    • Michael Renous (SBSA 1992), McKinsey & Company.
    • Luc Van de Velde, Director Developer & Platform Group, Microsoft.
    • David Merzel (SBSA 1996), Country Manager Microsoft Entertainment & Devices.


  • As the document is too heavy with the video’s we’ve shown, you will find the key video’s here-below :

For any information / feedback on this, feel free to contact me directly.

David Merzel
Country Manager – Microsoft BeLux
Entertainment & Devices Division

Mobile : +32 (0)477 45 14 90
Tel : +32 (2) 704 31 02
Mail :
Visit my blog |