Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I never was one who thought much of that Avis, We try Harder shtick to justify being number two. Avis was just less relevant. Same goes for Adidas versus Nike or Maxwell House versus Folgers or Kraft Mayonnaise versus Hellman's/Best Foods, etc. So who wouldn't want to take that also ran brand and turn it into number one? When I used to run sales competitions first place would get a great prize, third place would get the same great prize and second place got a buck. Why? To drive home the point that no one remembers second place. In terms of relevance - that brand and the ones that followed were somehow wrongfully (or fatally) hitting the target between the eyes.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
So studying the past in a petri dish won't engage the future - otherwise every brand, manufacturer and ad agency would be doing a whole lot better. It's a hostile environment in which to create new products or turnaround brands not doing well. No matter what anyone says, you can't measure your way to a breakthrough. Trends that pop out of numbers are like studying an earthquake, by the time you analyze the data, the event will be long past.
Monday, August 11, 2008
doping refers to the use of performance-enhancers forbidden by organizations that regulate competitions. Doping is mostly done to improve performance.
Increase in marketing performance for several brands triggers probe. Prosecutors widen investigation into use of illicit creative steroids; tampering with established CPG category brand positions.
Cincinnati (AP) Prosecutors investigating C-level brand management practices at Procter & Gamble today confirmed use of performance-enhancing creativity to dope brands. Use of Abstract Dimensioning® (known on the street as AD), and other forms of banned creative stimulants manufactured by Calle & Company under the names Multi-Dimensional Consumer-Creativity® and Culturally Influential Consumer Groups® are all practices forbidden by key trade organizations that regulate competition including the 4 As, Marketing Research Association and the Grocery Marketing Association. Each has denied the practice of brand doping exists despite unusual performance spikes attributed to many once flat-selling brands. Prosecutors said they would expand their search immediately to other high profile incidents in consumer packaged goods, auto, retail, restaurant, financial and pharmaceuticals. Facing stiff penalties for illicit tampering with category positioning and new product innovation, unnamed Procter & Gamble executives with a promise of immunity defended the company’s use of performance growth stimulants (such as BGH – brand growth hormone) citing dramatic increases in brand strength and rejuvenation of older slower moving brands.
In a stinging retort to allegations that his brand and team had been using the illegal creative steroids marketing superstar Lance Brandstrong said yesterday that all accusations are without foundation. "We had permission to bring every performance-enhancing product we could envision to use. We do it by the book. We get everything authorized. We seek only unique selling propositions and have no idea what that guy was talking about when he pitched us on identifying new Special User Effects® as the underpinning to every great breakthrough.” In addition he said, “I have never injected or ingested any consumer information that I didn’t already know and I have never engaged the services of Calle & Company’s Consumer-Creative® Assays® to audit something that I did already know or suspect. I would never do that.”
Prosecutors believe the practice of brand doping providing an unfair marketing advantage over rivals, in markets and with consumers to be widespread - but the practice is hard to pin down because brand people don’t apply the illegal creativity to all of their brands all at the same time. “You have to wait for one brand in one category to unexplainably make a significant leap forward overnight. That’s our first clue” said a high-ranking source wishing to remain anonymous.
Companies under investigation in the widespread brand doping and market position corruption scheme include Kraft Foods, Nestle, ConAgra, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, Campbell Soup, Gerber Baby Foods, Pepperidge Farm, Entenmann’s Bakery, Brown-Forman, Miller Brewing, Ferrera USA, The Coca-Cola Company, Frito-Lay, Pepsi, Mead-Johnson. Janssen Pharmaceutica, Johnson & Johnson, McNeil, Schering-Plough, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, The Mennen Company, Chesebrough-Ponds, Clairol, L’Oreal, Noxell, General Foods, Lehn & Fink, The Drackett Company and more. And aggressive young prosecutors looking to make a name for themselves want to land indictments against other companies soon. A Federal Trade Commission spokesman said the agency is investigating the use of banned Abstract Dimensioning® and other forms of breakthrough creativity marketed by Calle & Company. (OK, I admit it. I've been doping brands with enhanced creativity for years. Like Nixon, I just got caught.)
To report suspected brand doping:
Brand Doping Hotline
714 244 9511
Category prosecutors are standing by to take your call.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Hence the current trend to hurry up the maturing of kids faster - or the growth of brands. As workers, we don't have the time to correctly nurture the majority of children or brands. Well nurtured children and brands are now in the minority. Hence, Vanessa Hudgins posing nude for Disney when just 18. Miley Cirus partially nude at 14 or 15. You get the picture. Pretty soon you could run the same Anacin ad depicting 13 year olds in place of mom! "Sure school's tough. You're tense, your irritable. But don't take it out on your little brother!" So many people self-prescribe, who would stop the kids? And that's why companies can't fix themselves.
And that's what's happened in marketing. We no longer sell brands. It's too hard to find an ownable brand specific reason for being that substantively differentiates one product from another. Though I have the know how I can't find a brand in any category that says anything different than their rival. They just say it in a different way. Guess it's called commoditization and it's the price brands pay for not taking the time to do their homework. As a result we are inundated with category sells and not brand sells. It's too hard to find something different to say about your product - so we invented branding - it's what you do when you don't have anything important to say. Sure Starbucks has a headache. Howard Schultz is tense and irritable, but don't take it out on the business! And that's The Anacin Syndrome.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Nordic Spirit professes to be one of the purest premium vodka on the international market. Under the moniker, DQ (meaning ‘distilled intelligence’), this luxury spirit has been in development for the last 10 years. What a great positioning; like that short lived 'think earlier' print campaign for Starbucks which sold caffiene, just like the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup..
DQ is distilled in the government-protected Malmköping springs, a feature which formed almost two million years ago. The water is naturally soft, filtered and fortified. In the Nordic Spirit bottling plant, a connecting pipeline to the natural springs allows them to blend their distilled DQ spirit with this purified water, close to the source.
Even the method of wheat production is steeped in tradition, with seeds planted in autumn and allowed to mature during the eight winter months, making the grains of superior quality.
The result is an ultra smooth, complex vodka that slips down as gently as a shot of pure spring water. The bottle is an appropriately sleek mix of Italian glass and brushed aluminium, topped off with a specially developed nozzle that maintains the quality and freshness within. A must for any discerning drinker. What's your DQ?
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Is making the customer "Believe" in your marketing proposition, a necessary and sufficient condition of a successful sales pitch?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
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The top search engines make billions of dollars a year in advertising revenue, wouldn't it be cool if the users got a piece of that too? Enter Scour Points! Every member is awarded one point for every search, two for a vote and three for a comment with a maximum of 4 points a search. Once you aggregate at least 6,500 points you can cash them out for a $25 Visa gift card... it's more than you currently make from searching, right? On top of that, we offer referral points for the friends you introduce to Scour where you can earn 25% of the points they make. So if you invited 25 friends that used scour regularly in addition to yourself, that's an easy $125 in your pocket for a year of what you already do! Check out how much you could earn with the Scour Points Calculator. This isn't a pyramid scheme and we're not trying to get you rich quick, we just think it's a good idea to share our success with those who help make it possible.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Very often, managers view any product, service, idea, technology, or process that is new (to them) or different as an insight or innovation. (Well just because it's new to you doesn't mean it's new to the rest of us) (An old mentor tipped me off to this type of behavior chastising me for being too busy learning everything all over again for the first time) So I think quality insights are so hard to find because we don't know how to find them. Most companies have reliable resources in place to 'gather' and 'measure' data, but gathering and mining data is only a reflection of current consumer habits and practices and no matter how hard you look at the past it will not deliver what you need for the present. So what do you need instead? Why a knowledge creation process of course! Something that can create new consumer knowledge that has not yet existed to be gathered and measured. That's how you improve consumer behavior and take your highly saturated and penetrated category and take it another quantum leap forward - the same way Pampers learned to take disposable diaper's 'fit' and 'dryness' for granted and put the brand on the much larger 'development' footprint back in the early 1980s. Or the same way Folgers went from generic 'sensory' advertising (Mountain Grown/Richest Kind) to 'control's' best part of waking up is caffiene in my cup - recently sold to JM Smucker for $1.6 billion. That stuff sure does help me work and play well with others - especially in the AM! Now that was an insight!
Why else are good insights so hard to find? It's a matter of exposure. The rule of thumb is "The more you expose yourself too the more likely you are to succeed." But apparently you can't expose yourself to a whole lot by gathering and measuring data. And companies don't want to take on additional external resources. Sounds penny wise and pound foolish!
So if business managers are running businesses and making decisions based on gathered and measured data and have not exposed themselved to knowledge creation processes could that be the reason so much of American business is only managed to meet the numbers? Kraft can predict it's sales based on predicted birth rates over the next 5 to 10 years. Doesn't take many if any profound insights to pull that off. Is that the kind of business management that's going to bail Starbucks or General Motors out of a jam? Is this why technology is king in the new creativity economy? Well, lets forget about technology and product design. It's too easy to reverse engineer and copy.
So what is an insight?
An insight is the realization of value from a new solution to a problem that rewrites the rules of the game. In order for something to qualify as a true insight
- It must engage a creative process,
- It must be distinctive,
- And it must yield a measurable impact.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
- Q-Tips (feel as good as sex when you use them)
- Band-Aids (they stick well)
- Neosporin/Polysporin (never bought anything else for scrapes)
- Hellmann's Mayo (thank Laura Ries for pointing out REAL)
- Coke (and only Coke) (never tried Diet/Zero/New/Vanilla, etc.)
- NPR (National Public Radio is the best)(The Christian Science Monitor was a close second)
- The Beatles (ok, I do like other bands, but not with the same total immersion)
- Walter Cronkite/Chet Huntley/David Brinkley (great news anchor brands - after them, the news became, well, not news)
- Acura (biggest bang for the buck - my 91 Legend is over a quarter million miles without a single repair issue. Have only changed the fluids, tires and brakes - still runs like new)
- Maxfield Parrish (one of a kind great graphic artist)
As far as any other consumer good or category goes, I must admit, I have accepted substitutes, misplaced my loyalty and shopped on price percieving your brand to be a commodity.
So what's your top ten brand list? Post it here. Do you have an imaginary brand list for new products not yet invented? Mine starts off with Vel-Close and ends with OraQuel. What are they? I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Thanks!
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This image courtesy of Dee's Liberature. http://bdee.wordpress.com.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
So those of us who are not so numbed by the barage of reality - wonder about actuality. Are you marketing to actuality? Because that's where the people with disposable incomes are in a crappy economy. They're dealing with Actuality. They're not frittering away their dreams on reality.
Washington Mutual is marketing to reality. They've borrowed billions to remain solvent, and to mask the actuality, tell us they are the bank that makes you say, "Whoo Hoo!" The Germans call that "dreck." Please don't deposit your marketing waste in my Actuality bin. WaMu is using "reality" strategy to mask the fact that it is really the bank that lacks actuality management, and could very well make depositors cry Boo Hoo - if they had a run on the bank and had to lock the doors. Yes actuality fans, disaster at WaMu is really that close.
But as long as we can immerse ouselves in reality, know one will take accountability. And as soon as the credit crunch is averted - because that's what reality helps us do - we'll have dodged actuality again and life will go on taking Visa.
What happened to gold standards.
So in what camp are you placing the future growth of your company, your strategic innovation? Reality or Actuality?