Thursday, August 31, 2006
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 2:03 PM
The film describes a world in which the Matrix is an artificial reality created by sentient machines -rather than marketers- in order to pacify, subdue and make use of the human population as an energy source by growing them and connecting them to the Matrix with cybernetic implants. (Sounds like big company marketers trying to find strategies that cajole and control or grow consumer audiences to try and buy their products with dollars being their energy source.)
The movie contains numerous references to philosophical and religious ideas, the hacker subculture, and homages to Hong Kong action movies, Japanese animation and cyberpunk.
But if you are a big company marketer, at say Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com, Nestle http://www.nestle.com, Procter & Gamble http://www.pg.com or Johnson & Johnson http://www.jnj.com, can you see behind the veil of consumer needs and category attributes that, for all you know, account for all consumer perceptions in your business?
For example, Colgate http://www.colgate.com, Procter & Gamble and other oral care product marketers already know that there are only five category attributes that account for all consumer perceptions in their business. They know that there are only five reasons you brush your teeth: for whitening, cavity prevention, breath freshening, tartar control and gum care. No one at P&G cares which agency has the account, as long as the one they choose talks about any one or any number of those category attributes.
But if you were them, could you sell a fan to a consumer? Category concensus has it that all fans are sold to either cool or comfort people. But what other things can a fan do that might alter the competitive landscape of the category - if you wanted to innovate a breakaway positioning that would sell an incrementally greater number of fans with year round rather than seasonal appeal?
Where would you look for an answer? In alternate ABSTRACT DIMENSIONS promoted by innovation consultant Calle & Company http://www.callecompany.com.
Fans, with brand names such as Vornado http://www.vornado.com/index.html and Blizzard http://www.holmesproducts.com/ can do many other things. They reduce stress, provide comforting sounds, mask urbannoise, are less clinical and dehumidifying than air conditioners, improve interpersonal relationships and help you party, or relax (need states). Fans facilitate conversation, an exchange of ideas. Fans improve the human condition and don't always have to have some arctic ice imagery, violent weather brand names or tropical breeze positionings. Carrier air conditioners are called Weatherbeaters, but are also antiperspirants and deodorants for the soul, they make you smell sweet and help you put on a sunny disposition. Wouldn't Garrison Keeler of Praire Home Companion http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/ be an excellent spokesperson? Oh, there are so many other things a fan could do for just one enlightened marketer choosing to look behind The Matrix Effect.
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 12:06 PM
For example, a brand is nothing more than something that someone started that caught on -branding is something you do when you don't have anything important, or highly differentiating to say. A category is nothing more than a bunch of brands all hanging around on a street corner all saying and doing the same things about themselves different ways. Anyway, you get the point. To innovate, you must remain humble, even if you are number one. Otherwise arrogance will blind you to the open mind required to create a different future.
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 11:32 AM
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 10:05 PM
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
We phoned CEOs at the top 100 consumer product companies asking, "who is the leader in charge of innovation driving the growth of the company." In 97% of the phone calls no one was quite sure. I guess no one got the memo on that one. Responses ranged from a disinterested, "He has 17 direct reports - which one do you want to talk to," to "You want Al in product design." Oh, I see...Al in product design is responsible for the innovation driving the growth of a multi-billion dollar consumer products organization. This is true grist for the Michael Moore, Roger & Me http://www.michaelmoore.com or Oliver Stone antagonist documentory film engine. Next.
No wonder the US$ 2 trillion consumer packaged goods industry is losing much of its glow despite solid balance sheets and healthy profit margins. Revenues and market values are going flat, and executives are wondering where the growth is going to come from according to top business consultatant McKinsey & Company http://www.mckinsey.com... and remember, let's not confuse motion with progress. Replacing the old with the new, turning a mop into a Swiffer, is not an "innovation." The update has failed to sell an incrementally greater number of "mops" or caused people to clean their floors more often. Just like old fashioned Lysol http://www.lysol.com, cleaning implements tend to stay in cupboards and closets, out of sight and out of mind, and often purchased only when on sale.
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 1:49 PM
When young, Costco, like any other retailer, would have cow-towed to P&G just to earn the right to sell its covetted brands. Now the shoe is on the other foot. With nearly equal sales (P&G $57 billion & Costco $52 billion) P&G has lost the advantage. The eye of the tiger that enabled P&G to dominate mass marketing (a core competency) with the invention of soap operas to sell its products has given way to an era wherein it will not be long before other retailers demand P&G make the same concession across other categories. Are Board and C-level executives across the packaged goods industry loosing sleep? If not, you'd better sell your stock.
The tail is wagging the dog and Procter & Gamble must innovate new forms of distribution; new product delivery systems to regain the advantage. Chasing consumer ears and eyeballs wherever they can be found, especially on the internet. will not resolve this prickly marketing issue.
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 1:25 PM
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 2:16 PM
Monday, August 21, 2006
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 7:40 PM
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 1:42 PM
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 10:46 PM
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 10:36 PM
Advertising is a learning experience.
Posted by H. Martin Calle at 9:29 PM