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3 Reasons You Should Apply to the AMP Agency Insights Lab Incubator

The AMP Insights Lab Incubator is a fully-accredited, in-house course that places AMP's marketing experts into a professorial role ' taking Boston University students through a semester-long class exploring the intersection of creativity, strategy and technology through a mix of lectures, collaborative working sessions and creative problem solving. The 13-week course covers topics ranging from consumer segmenting and user-centric design to an ongoing exploration of trends and technology that are reshaping the marketing industry. Sounds awesome, right? Here are the 3 top reasons to apply to this amazing course. We keep it real. Quinn Rodriguez, a  former Insights Lab student, said, 'My one word to describe this course so far is realistic. It's boosted my confidence as far as seeing where what I'm learning in class intersects with the real world and given me a really great idea of how many jobs and types of people are in the agency." Planning team talking strategy. It's experience-driven. The 3-hour class consists of an instructional and practical application components. For example, during the User Experience portion of the course, our Director of UX, shared the fundamentals of user experience and information architecture. Then, he challenged students to design user stories and wireframes for a current AMP client. The end result: students have a valuable piece of digital work to add to their portfolio. Additional portfolio pieces include: Brand Essence Description Critical Thinking Blog Posts/ Writing Samples Creative Brief Consumer Persona Development Paper Prototypes Integrated Marketing Proposal for Fortune 500 Marketer Brainstorm session.   Connections. We're in the business of building relationships, and this course is no different. You meet, learn and network with your peers, AMP employees, brand marketers and the designated client. We attract some pretty legit clients too. Our client roster has included the following: 1st Semester:  The City of Boston  2nd Semester: Students developed an integrated marketing strategy for SKYN and presented to SKYN's VP of Sales & Marketing, North America 3rd Semester: Students will present an integrated marketing plan for UNO's Pizzeria and Grill, presenting to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Client Kickoff: SKYN client briefing the teams. Sound like the best class ever? To join, apply here by November 19, 2015.

What's a Brand's Consumer Persona?

For the second assignment at  AMP Agency's Insights Lab Incubator, we asked the students to create a consumer persona for an assigned demographic. What's a consumer persona? A fictional profile that represents a segment of the target audience Provides a visual and contextual representation of the target audience's demographics, psychographics and media/technology usage Check out the students' consumer personas. Red Bull Caleb: The Thrill Seeker He's 24 years-old He graduated college two years ago with an English degree He is currently the assistant manager at a ski & board shop He makes $30,000 a year Whether it's jumping over cliffs into powder on a snowboard, racing down treacherous trails on a mountain bike, or hitting the half-pipe skateboard, he's there because he's a daredevil. He welcomes new experiences and loves taking risks with adventurous activities like skydiving and windsurfing. He likes to live a fast-paced existence and he's always on the go. No matter how daring the challenge, he will always be there with a Red Bull in hand, on high energy, and ready to jump. Sperry's Meet Kristin: Aspiring Housewife Gender: Female Age: Mid-to-late 20s, recent college grad Occupation: Entry level corporate marketing job, income of 35K Hobbies: Traveling, reading, celebrity gossip, yoga, froyo and baking Kristen is a young professional who is always connected on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Martha Stewart Living and and Perez Hilton on her iPhone. Her pin boards consist of chic kitchens and destination weddings. She is very responsible with every aspect of her working and personal life. She loves to shop at Anthropology and J.Crew and although she lives on an average starting salary, she always appears very put together and trendy. Kristen resides in a major metropolitan city on the east coast (New York or Boston), but eventually would like to live in suburbia when she gets married. Kristen is very driven and hopes to move up the corporate ladder before becoming a stay at home mom for a few years while starting a family. 'It's important for me to be able to remix the things in my closet. I love that I can incorporate Sperry's into both casual and dressy looks.'?  Skittles Andrew, 16.  Adventurous. Bold. Outgoing. Funny. High School Junior Actively uses Instagram & Twitter Likes: Skateboarding, playing guitar, video games Andrew is a really social, 'live-for-the-moment'? type of guy.  Him and his friends are always up to something exciting & he loves every second of it. 'Nothing beats hanging out with friends.'? He's got a huge appetite, and a major sweet tooth, just like his pals.  They always share snacks. 'Skittles have a rush of flavor.'? He's a down-to-earth guy at the end of the day, and he wants to enjoy being young while he still can.  He's all about making awesome memories and taking pictures of all the crazy, fun times that he has with his friends. Amazon Mark the Multitasker Mark is a 21 year old undergraduate at Harvard University. An on campus innovator, he spends a lot of time wired in programming his site The Facebook. When he's not drowning in CS problem sets he's trying, desperately, to win his BU girlfriend back. Mark has a full plate. He doesn't have time to shop around for best prices and products. As a college student on a budget it's hard for him to keep up with Boston's city prices so he's always on the look out for a steal. He's loyal to brands he knows work - but style isn't his number one priority. Mark is a busy college student but he's up to date on digital trends. He enjoys blogging, streaming Jay-Z on Pandora and keeping up with House of Cards. He's also a voracious reader and is constantly looking for new ways to read on the go. Zappos Amy is a 34-year-old senior research  analyst at a consulting firm. She and her husband settled in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Amy strives to be a responsible leader in the many roles she has and she dedicates most of her time to work.  She travels a lot for business. Even though she is very into new fashions and cares about her outfit, she doesn't have much time to go from store to store looking for her size and preferred brands. Thus, Amy shops online for most of her shoes, clothing and accessory needs. She values fast and friendly service since sometimes she may be in a urgent need for a pair of shoes for the coming business trip or a dress for next Monday's presentation. In her spare time, Amy likes dining out with her husband and sipping wine with friends. As a heavy user of social media, Amy shares pictures and thoughts on her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with her cell phone and tablet. Sprite Sprite consumers are young people who are: Inspired Athletic Individuals Authentic "Uncontrollable" Demographically: 16 to 25 Live in urban areas Mid economic class Jack is a 20-something who lives in Venice, CA. He cares about his image and his 'cool factor' and builds this image through his self-expression. He's an individual who uses his individuality to be authentic. He surrounds himself with people who are 'real' and not preppy or pretentious. Whether lounging on the beach or making beats with friends, his drink of choice is the one that inspires his creativity and encourages him to push the envelope and have fun. Warby Parker Meet Jack Glasses wearer since '87 Jack suffered through years of 'four eyes'? taunts as a child; now, he has emerged from his geeky youth & transformed into a passionate visionary, with killer style to boot. He's truly himself in his style, work, & social life. While his look may be vintage, don't let his horn-rimmed glasses fool you-- he's up to date on all of the latest trends & technologies (& some you haven't even heard of yet). Jack's a thinker, a maker, a traveler' a true go-getter. He is creative & forward thinking. He's not one for big brands or chains. Jack's looking for quality & craftsmanship in his purchases. He's a little quirky, a little unique, maybe even eccentric at times. He likes to know that he's making a difference- whether it be by biking instead of driving or buying local & organic produce instead of conventional' he always makes the effort. In short; Jack's out to change the world & he needs quality, stylish, affordable glasses to see it happen. Uber Meet Anna.  18-24 years old Male/ female Lives in cities University students/ young professionals Upper-middle class This is Anna. She goes to school in Chicago and is the typical urban traveler. She finds herself rushing from her internship to her classes and doesn't really have much time to hail for a taxi and wait. She is an avid coffee drinker, you can find her at the local coffee shop with her friends or on her MacBook getting some work done (but she often breaks to scroll through twitter). She is an early adopter to the new social media platforms, and is pretty tech savvy. She likes to be trendy, and go out at night with her friends, but avoids public transportation when she can because she enjoys on-demand service. She tries to save her money as much as she can, but she will budget enough so she can enjoy small luxuries. She appreciates efficiency and is trying to juggle her classes, social life, and future career. Burton Snowboards Ryan Mitchell Age: 22 Burlington, VT Student From a young age Ryan has loved the outdoors. From skiing and snowboarding to mountain biking, Ryan has always spent his free time in the Vermont mountains. Although he is currently a student at UVM studying anthropology, Ryan still finds time to explore the outdoors. Ryan comes from a wealthy family and has owned brand name products for his entire life. He values friendship and is an active member in UVM's snowboarding club.  What do you think of these consumer personas? Spot on? Share with us in the comments box.

What's Your Brand Essence?

During the first week of AMP Agency's Insights Lab Incubator, we asked students the thought provoking question, "What's your brand essence?"  We provided the following description and prompt: Strong brands have well-defined, easily grasped, simply obvious essences. Think of yourself as a brand. When you are interviewing for a job, what is your brand? According to Kirk Phillips' blog BrandSTOKE, brand essence sums up how your brand connects emotionally with your customers. Articulating how your audience (potential employer) feels about your brand in an authentic and meaningful way is often challenging but important. A brand essence is intangible. Best in Class brand examples include: Nike is inspirational Walt Disney is magical The primary criteria for a brand essence are the following: Single-minded One word is ideal. Maybe two. More than two words indicates that the brand has no focus. As a brand (by design) delivers a unique experience, having no focus makes for a weak brand. Unique The essence of a brand is how it is different from competitors in the same category. e.g., if Apple (and its products) is friendly and approachable, then it is claiming that its competitors are not. Experiential The essence captures what the consumer feels during an encounter with the brand. e.g., 'Driving a Volvo makes me feel that my family is safe.'? Consistently delivered If the proposed essence is not consistently experienced (e.g, if a trip to Walt Disney World isn't magical), then it isn't the essence. Can your organization deliver? Authentic The essence must be credible or the brand will be rejected. To find out what consumers believe about your brand, ask them. It's okay for the brand essence to be aspirational, but only if your customers believe you can deliver on the promise. Assignment: Represent yourself as your brand. If you were a brand and talking about yourself, how would you tell that story (e.g. via a video, the 'about us'? webpage, a print ad, etc.).  You will present your brand essence in the next class. Check out the students' brand essences. Xuyan Zhao - Dynamic  For my brand essence, I choose the word 'dynamic'?. Not only does it mean I like to move around, but also means I always keep an open mind to everything happens in the world. I traveled around the world in all my spare time. No matter metropolis or town, mountain or canyon, beach or everglade, forest or cave, there is no limit for me to explore the world. I am passionate with new things. I love challenges and the processes to overcome challenges. Life is short, I want to try more new things I've never done before. And for my deliverable, I created a Prezi to describe myself through pictures. I think those pictures are the best way to describe how dynamic I am. Amelia Simpson = MVP  I love football. I'm notorious for skipping class to sit on my floor and watch replays of the 1979 Sugar Bowl whenever it's on ESPN Classic. So, for my brand essence I went with MVP. Most Valuable Player is someone who hits the ground running every day and shows up with a can-do attitude. Whatever it takes to get the team a W ' I'm your girl. For my deliverable, I played around with an ESPN NFL player profile and tweaked it to be a player profile of myself. It's rough but with some touch ups, it's the kind of thing I'd like to use as a landing page for an about me of a blog. Lauren Haslett = Bubbly My brand essence is: BUBBLY! I've always been very friendly, outgoing and bubbly. My personality makes it easy for me to form good, solid relationship with both clients and co-workers alike. My bubbly-ness also gives me tons of energy that I channel into producing amazing, creative work. I'm also a great team member, and I work really well with others. I think that people really underestimate the value of having positivity and compassion in the workplace. People are the most productive when they're happy, and I strive to brighten people's days and make them happy. Here's a Vine I made to show off my bubbly personality! I wanted to make a Vine because everyone is busy nowadays, and this shows off my personality in less than 6 seconds! Emma Groomes = Curious In my house I am notorious for always being the one to ask questions and rip apart everything in search of answer so for my brand essence I chose the word 'curious.'? Being curious can sometimes lead to everything getting crazy, but it usually leads you to some pretty amazing information and new ideas. For my deliverable, I created a Tumblr page about 'The 8 Stages of Being Curious'? which pretty accurately describes my process of discovery. http://whatcuriositymeans.tumblr.com/ Dan Reineberg = Calculated Creativity As a former medical student turned advertising student, I understand the research method and the science behind the psychology of design, but still consider myself more creative then analytic. It's a common perception that people are either right brained (creative) or left brained (analytic). I feel that I am able to effectively access and integrate both hemispheres of the brain in a process called divergent thinking. For my brand essence, I chose two words that I feel sum up divergent thinking and who I am as a brand, Calculated Creativity. I took a youtube video that describes divergent thinking, edited and shortened it to create a description of my brand essence. Liana Franklin = Opportunity So for my brand essence, I chose opportunity. I made a simple print ad as a metaphor for my brand (hopefully it posts I had some trouble before). The way I see it, everything around us is something waiting to be discovered or seen in a new light. Everything is an opportunity waiting to be acted upon. When you look a little harder, it can open up new experiences, feelings, ideas, and creativity- you just have to be willing to take it. I made a print ad, kind of playing off of the idea of rose-colored glasses. It's a blank page, but look through the glasses, and you see colors and shapes burst through the lenses.     Quinn Rodriguez = Genuine I'm a writer- not a Photoshop wiz or a Final Cut pro (no pun intended). I could think of no better way to portray who I am than to just tell you. My brand is genuine. At least, as genuine as a twenty something going through a reoccurring identity crisis can be. When you look at my website, it's all me. I'm sassy, pensive, and deciding for who I want to be. I admit to my mistakes and when I don't know something, I will never try to lie and pretend that I do. Coming to college, I figured Communications would be the best fit for me. Writing, creating. Exciting! As my classmates burst with ideas and plot twists and words that would make Hemingway jealous, I realized that I was too logical for COM, but too off the wall for SMG. I'm not going to pretend that I have a strong expertise in using Avid or Adobe CS, or that financial analysis scares me half to death. I've stopped trying to put myself into a box, and just be me. With me, what you see is what you get- I don't know how to be anything else. Lucia Ramos = Curious So for my brand essence, I decided to use a word cloud as my visual because there are a lot of ways to describe me. In a word, I would say I am curious. I am constantly looking to Twitter or the news for what is going on in the world as well as in my own world here at BU. Here is a link to the world cloud I made, the image won't post for some reason. Annie Donnelly = Observer What's your brand essence? Share with us in the comments box.  

How Will the Class of 2016 Change the World of Marketing?

What's it like to eat, sleep and breathe technology? AMP asked the Class of 2016 to answer this question at our Future M session. In the time it takes you to read this, they have switched electronic devices ' twice. They change between 27 content streams per hour. 71% are on Facebook and the majority doesn't watch traditional TV. The Class of 2016 is changing the future of marketing with technology. And you need to know how to reach them. View our presentation to learn about this group of change-makers' behaviors, preferences, buying patterns and key takeaways for brand marketers. How the Class of 2016 Will Change the World of Marketing? from AMP Agency  

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