Brand and Product Management: The Aaker Model for Brand Strategy

I’ve been expanding my knowledge of Product Management by taking IE Business School’s Brand and Product Management MOOC on Coursera. The course is about developing the factual support to define a product strategy, formulating a winning strategy that generates both quick-wins and long-term value, and creating a compelling customer experience journey.

Professor Luis Rodriguez Baptista talks about the Aaker Model for Brand Strategy as a way to bring your strategy to life. I found it useful when I was working on a project, and I’d like to share my notes with you:

Essence: What is it that you want your brand to be known for?

· What the brand is all about. Keep it short, understandable to everyone, and focused.

· Not a slogan or a tagline: a long-term core promise to all stakeholders.

Values: What are your brand’s most important competences?

· What customers experience when they use the brand / product?

· Define 3-5 values & define them precisely. Have a specific explanation of what these words mean.

External Identify: How does your brand connect with its stakeholders?

· Foundation of the relationship between your brand and your stakeholders.

Link to Coursera course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/brand-management

Digital Product Management: Modern Fundamentals

Completed Digital Product Management: Modern Fundamentals by University of Virginia Darden School of Business on Coursera.

This 4-week course stepped through:

Achieving Focus and Winning (Week 1)

Using Today’s Product Management Methods (Week 2)

Exploring a New Product Idea (Week 3)

Amplifying an Existing Product (Week 4)

Some of today’s modern product management methods discussed are Agile, Design Thinking, the Hook Framework, Lean Startup, Story Mapping, Prototyping, Usability Testing and User Experience Design.

The course also explored customer discovery, idea testing/validation, early development, and business model design.

Overall, taking this MOOC was a rewarding experience. For more info about the course, visit:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/uva-darden-digital-product-management/home/welcome

Digital Product Management: Modern Fundamentals

Boston Content Hackaton

I took part in the first Boston Content Hackaton a few weeks ago. The teams were randomly selected and paired with companies. Our team of four was assigned to work with RainTap, a company selling custom tap handle umbrellas.

In the first 10-15 minutes, we learned about the company, their customers and challenges. When we moved to the brainstorming session, we asked lots of questions and explored a variety of ideas.

RaitTaps has been struggling with content marketing. We consulted Ben, the company’s Founder and CEO, on a new content marketing campaign and helped him hack together a new approach to tackle the problems he’s been facing in his day-to-day operations. We followed IDEO’s 7 Important Rule to Unlock the Creative Power of a Brainstorming Session:

  1. Defer judgement – you never know where a good idea is going to come from.
  2. Encourage wild ideas – think about what you really want without the constraints of technology or materials; wild ideas can often give rise to creative leaps.
  3. Build on the ideas of others – be positive, use “and” instead of “but.”
  4. Stay focused on the topic.
  5. One conversation at a time – more likely to build on an idea and make a creative leap if everyone is paying full attention to the person who is sharing a new idea.
  6. Be visual – put ideas on post-its & whiteboards – get creative!
  7. Go for quantity – as many new ideas as possible.

In a hour, we discussed Ben’s challenges, brainstormed and refined ideas, built on the best ideas, formulated our recommendations, and then presented our suggestions to the other teams in 5 minutes.

I learned that the goal of a brainstorming session is not a perfect idea; it’s lots of ideas, collaboration, and openness to wild solutions.

You can read Ben’s blog post about his experience at the hackaton and learn more about how our team helped him here:

You Should Get Hacked – At Least Your Content Should

The Path to an MBA

Started as a Master of Education major, but I took zero ed classes. Changed to Master of Management, then Master of Business Administration (MBA). Then I dropped out. Took a trip to London around this time a year ago. A friend of mine (she knows who she is) encouraged me to go back and complete my degree. Returned from London and started taking summer classes to get back on track. Finished in December.

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About Me

Hello there! Здравей!

I’m Georgi (GEE-yor-gee), and I’m originally from Septemvri, a small town in Southern Bulgaria.

I’m currently based in Boston, Massachusetts and have been working at a Software as a Service (SaaS) start-up since June 2013. I’m a published author: my team’s Major Qualifying Project has been published in international Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) conferences.

I am an ardent entrepreneur, innovator, and a leader. My background puts me at an advantage in an international business setting because I am attuned to the nuances and differences that are involved in both U.S. and European business interactions. Coming from a completely different culture than America, my Bulgarian roots combined with my American higher education have helped me integrate contrasting ideas and thriving in all situations.

I am passionate about innovation and continue to be a lifelong learner who gives back to the community through my dedication to the Boston Rotaract Club and Rotary International.

I hold a Bachelor’s of Science degree in  Management Information Systems (MIS) from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Cambridge College.

By the way, I’m actively looking for a new opportunity as a Customer Success Manager or Associate Product Manager. Feel free to check out my LinkedIn profile to learn more about me and see the awesome projects that I’ve worked on; if you prefer talking to someone, chat with Jorge, my AI chatbot.

Outside of work, I enjoy the outdoors: running, walking, biking. Some of my other hobbies include cooking, reading, and exploring new cultures. I also enjoy writing. I’m writing my first script for a TV / Web series. I also write prose.  It’s in Bulgarian, but I’m happy to translate it to English, if anyone’s interested.

I’d love to hear your feedback about the blog and my script. Feel free to shoot me an email at gkardzhaliysky@gmail.com to get in touch with me.