March 22, 2006


Kevin Roberts has done it again, after Lovemarks he is coming out again with a new book called SiSoMo (Sight Sound & Motion). The theme looks promising. We are definitely going to talk here about marketing emotions, consumer experiences in today's techno world...

March 14, 2006

Intuitive Marketing

Certainly there is a difference between a little market research and too much market research.

Data can sometimes be your enemy.
I'll remember an example in the book BLINK (Malcom Gladwell) about this retired army general who kept the pentagon in dismay over a simulation of war in Iraq. Why ? Because the pentagon was running sophisticated simulation tools who were trying to predict and calculate everything whereas our General was using his experience and intuition built on the battlefield. He engaged in a series of guerilla tactics and moves that the pentagon did not see coming... Too busy looking at complicated spreadsheets ;-)

Well, I think this illustrates well the point today. Too much information kills information. You can loose yourself into it. Remember the Game theory they teach you in school.
- You move they move = status quo
- You move they don't move = you win
- You don't move they move = they win
- Nobody moves = nobody wins.

If your competition starts doing promotions and you do some too at the same time... You go back to equilibrium. Unless this has a global effect of dragging more people into stores overall.... But that's not always the case. Hence you always loose somewhere else.

The point I am making with all this is that when it's action time don't hesitate because often it's the player who makes the move first who will cash in until everyone else follows. Study enough data to make your business decision in confidence. Then keep the studying for later when it will be time to analyze the cost / benefits of your move.

Don't get me wrong research is great... It's just that you could be doing just that ;-)

March 11, 2006

The sales guys & Brand Strategy

Often I come across the same problem. Brand image is this fuzzy idea out there... But sales is what really counts... Yes ? Well this is part of the same thing... And I have been preaching this for years in all the companies I have worked for.
Ignoring this is a bit like running without direction, The legs without the head. The way you sell, the people you employ in sales, how you negotiate on price, your ability to add value to a deal, the kind of promotions you run, the corporate responsibility programs you run, the sponsorship deals you sign... Everything, it all speaks for you as one. It is your brand personality. An because it all comes down to people, it will be about who they want to work with and will impact their confidence in what you have to offer. So at the end it will impact very directly your business results. A brand is an asset. As I already highlighted before... That asset is sometimes worth everything.

March 08, 2006

Consumer acquisition & Brand Management

What does one have to do with the other ?
Well every business dreams to grow its consumer base. Last posting was about the fans.... Imagine a music band who would start to play every different style of music in a desperate attempt to increase album sales and reach out to more people... Well now you are with me... The likelihood of them upsetting their fans is high, their identity becomes confused, diluted... And the reverse effect happens they loose their public without really growing a new one. Its the same in business. The key is what does you business / your brand stand for ? Who are you ? What are your values ? What do consumers like you for ? Try to understand that first - because every brand / business has an image it projects ... Good or bad. You want to capitalize on that image, work on it, develop it, correct it. You also want to filter new ideas, new services, offers, through your existing consumer base to make sure there are no fundamental objections. Focus groups are great for that.
That's it for me today. Cheers.

March 01, 2006

It's all about the fans...

Today I had a discussion with a guy I met who is a music producer. We were talking about the difficulty for young talents to break through. New Zealand seems to have loads of young talents, but then there is a large gap between the base and the top groups which are breaking through.

We wondered why. As we talked about this I couldn't help thinking.
What is the difference between an artist and a tube of toothpaste or a bottle of beer or an MP3 player. Well no difference when it comes to branding. It's all about building and retaining fans, and its always the same challenge :
- Finding your audience (or target consumer) / and for that it is key to understand what / who you are ?
- Understanding who they are and what they want
- Meeting your audience (finding connections with them) hard to think what connection I can have with my toothpaste... but hey I know what I don't like... so there is a connection isn't it ?
- and then it is the fine line of continuing to do what you are best at while you start re-inventing yourself and growing / evolving your audience.

Good brands don't die, they evolve, transform over time, rejuvenate themselves. Check out Kevin's book "LOVEMARKS" if you don't know it... nice and refreshing. Great angle to look at branding / creating emotional connections.
Remember it's all about fans, creating fans and keeping them... Refocus your business around that idea.

Artists ... not an easy one. Painters, poets who become popular post mortem... they were ahead of their time. A brand can be ahead of its time but that's dangerous because no revenue = no business. A brand must generate revenue today. Some companies consider brands as an asset. I would agree with that. It's just that they are difficult to dissociate from people. Because somewhere it's the sum or factor of our combined attitudes which make a brand. In that way it would be hard to cut the ombilical cord... Brands are what you stand for as a company they are a part of yourself as an employee... you live and breathe the brand... (I can hear some laughs in the sales team - someone is talking about intellectual masturbation here... ?) well maybe... but then if you don't feel it that means you are not working for a strong brand. Ask people at Nike if they live and breathe the brand !

Well that's me today. If you read this please post some comments... makes me feel a bit less useless ;-)