Displaying items by tag: Marketing
Friday, 17 October 2014 21:30

I Killed My Android

I Killed My Android


My 15 month experiment with Android is over. It began so promising only to sour in the end.

I purchased the original iPhone in 2007 which I used primarily for work. I knew then that we were looking at the future of the mobile device which ultimately proved to be true. Today, almost all mobile phones have iPhone-like user friendly screens and software that can accomplish most of what your laptop can. And 2007 was when most companies wouldnt support Outlook e-mail on the device, so I endured a clumsy work-around. Nevertheless, the phone was like purchasing your first car, opening up a new world of freedom and excitement.

Published in My blog
Thursday, 09 January 2014 08:02

The Race for Streaming Music Is On

The Race for Streaming Music Is On

marketing, brand CMO, music

In a seemingly benign product category, streaming music is becoming more and more competitive with a winner yet to be declared. Recently, Spotify took a leap ahead by securing the rights to stream the entire Led Zeppelin catalog, something no other service can boast at this point, not even the vaunted Apple iTunes store (yes, you can buy tracks/albums but no streaming). Additionally, Spotify (out of Sweden) is releasing its 20 million song library free to mobile users, which was formerly available only to paying customers. No doubt this is a response to iTunes newly minted streaming service, iTunes Radio.

iTunes radio and Pandora are clearly meant to link listening to purchasing, which is easily done if you use their service (which is free but limited to a pre-selected songs as opposed to choosing your playlist on Spotify and Rhapsody). While the streaming itself it excellent, its capabilities compared to the competition are limited.

Published in My blog
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 15:02

Sheer Madness - Lululemon

Sheer Madness - LululemonSheer madness Lululemon

So just how sheer is sheer? Apparently, it’s enough to have a product recall, the classic manufacture’s nightmare. Result: embarrassment, tarnished brand and cash spent replacing inventory. Really? Think the brand will suffer? I think not. Not even close.

I maintain that, while expensive for the company to recall product, this will not negatively affect the brand. Why? Consider the following points:

  1. There’s no one else that competes with them in this space. That always helps.
  1. It’s a relatively young brand experiencing massive growth while trying to rein in quality control. They misfired but will be forgiven by their loyal following.
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Truth in Advertising Subway Done In By Social Media

Subway done in by social media- truth in advertising 

When you're not exacting in the way you're marketing your brand, social media will call you on the carpet fast.  This just happened on Tuesday (1/15) and two days later (1/17) I am writing about this due to the negative PR being generated.

What you see in the adjacent picture is a photo of a Foot Long Subway sandwich in Perth, Australia and measured by the customer who purchased it.  As you can see, it fell short of what they advertised and in a nanosecond, the customer posted it on the company's website asking for a response.  In rapid fire response, Subway took the photo and post off their site but before they could, a cadre of consumers copied and re-posted the photo causing an avalanche of bad press that is just reaching its crescendo today.

Published in My blog
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 15:55

Product Line Strategy

Product Line Strategy

I love to read and, like many others, I’ve made the transition over to e-readers.  They’re more convenient size-wise, I can make notes or highlight a passage I want to remember, and most have a built in dictionary. So if encounter a word I don’t know, I can immediately highlight the word and get its’ definition post haste. Most experts predict that the printed book will become obsolete in the near future. Just like records became obsolete once cd’s were introduced and now digital music is replacing cd’s.

But let’s discuss two e-readers that are fighting it out. Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Nobles’ Nook. At this point, each brand has many offerings ranging from dedicated e-readers to tablets that incorporate many functions from web surfing, viewing HD content to books for reading. But Amazon’s and B&N’s profit model/motivation as a book retailer is to provide content either in the traditional form or digitally. The fact that they offer hardware is almost incidental. They want the customer to be sustained and nurtured to continue purchasing content from them. This is where the money is.

Published in My blog
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:51

U. S. Presidential Election, Part II

U. S. Presidential Election, Part IIU.S Presidential Election part II

As a follow up to my earlier article about the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, we’re getting down to the last 3 ½ weeks.  And the battle, as I stated before, is now down to the key swing states and rests with the ability of each side to attract independent voters, in other words those voters with whom the election rests.

What we’ve seen was candidate Obama more or less nursing a lead going into the first debate. In fact, some pundits were prematurely calling the race over.  However, Mitt Romney’s commanding first debate performance was a turning point for his campaign.  Suffice it to say that he more or less gained enough ground on the strength of his performance to pull at least even in the polls if not pull ahead in key swing states. As I mentioned before, I tend to look at the race partially through the lens of a marketeer as kind of a truncated new product launch.  The objective is to get your product sold before competitor B does. What makes this unique is that there are only two competitors.

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012 19:01

New Product Development: Team Process

New Product Development: Team Process

team process

It’s taken me a few weeks to gather my thoughts so sorry about the ‘radio silence’.  As promised, I thought I’d offer a few tips relating to new product development based on my experience.

Today’s article is going to focus on the team process and your responsibility as the leader and manager of the new product effort. Assume you are in charge of developing the next great, breakthrough product for your company. Of course, the term used today for ‘breakthrough’ or ‘paradigm breaking ‘is ‘disruptive’. But anyway you want to describe it, the objective at it’s highest level is to move the collective category, based on your new product, by offering consumers greater value based on needs (there are times the consumer doesn’t even know they need it).  If this is your responsibility, then your first objective is to assemble a team comprised on individuals from across the company.  Most times this cross functional team will come from Marketing (you), Consumer Research, Engineering, R&D, Manufacturing and maybe Sales and Finance if required. And most members will be at different levels relative to other members on the team.  Your job as the leader, is to ensure that ALL members can contribute 100% and not feel intimidated or insecure about their views or creative ideas brought to the table.

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New products are the lifeblood of all companies.

Except in very rare cases, new products serve to:

Brand CMO the branding experience for new products the life blood for all companies

  1. improve consumers lives and/or enterprise productivity
  2. create jobs (is someone in our government paying attention!)
  3. create incremental sales and profits and ergo capital for future innovation
  4. invigorate and energize product categories
  5. increases competition
  6. elevate brands in the minds of consumers

The above list is not meant to be comprehensive as I'm sure there are other positive effects resulting from new products. But the above captures the essence of it. And as a marketer, of all the activities that I engage in, new product development is undoubtedly my favorite aspect of the discipline. You are creating the future for your customers and the company. While the marketing professional (CMO) has to be very skilled in all aspects of the marketing mix, the value and comprehension of what new products brings to organizations

Published in My blog
Sunday, 22 July 2012 23:39

Rickie Who? - Celebrities in Branding

Rickie Who? - Celebrities in Branding

During the past couple of years, Cobra Golf (division of Titleist) and Puma have used young, stylish, hip golfer Rickie Fowler to propel the brands . Rickie brings a skateboarder mentality and image to a sport that sometimes is stuck in the past. His flat brimmed hats and bright colored clothing set him apart from the rest of the pack of pro golfers. Never mind that he’s only won one tournament. Whenever he’s in the field, the TV cameras manage to capture him because his image is interesting, fun and refreshing. He also has a clean and non-controversial personality. Clearly, Puma shoes and Cobra golf have benefitted from his young, clean and hip image. Plus he’s a good communicator and he knows how to manage the digital media side with his web page, tweets, etc.

Marketers know there’s a benefit for associating the brand with a celebrity who can create a big impact. Look at the denim category with the amount of blogs identifying who is wearing what brand. Brand conscious buyers flock to the internet to see these postings and, in some way, store these little bits of information and use them later as part of the purchase decision process. In fact, the use of celebrities show up in more than 15% of all U.S. advertising according to Millward Brown.

I’ve been involved in businesses using celebrities and in consumer research studies, consumers ratings of celebrity impact on purchase decisions can range from minimal to the absolute reason for buying. Some studies have shown that the use of a highly recognized image can increase sales by as much as 20%.

Published in My blog
Friday, 22 June 2012 02:32

Let's Talk Customer Service

Let’s Talk Best Customer Service > J. Crew Shines Again

Let’s be honest. Good retail/e-tail service has never been a strong point overall for most retailers in this country. It’s like we revert to the English definition of customer service: “everything would be just right if we didn’t have all these damn customers!”. But I recently experienced customer service of the highest form. I was greatly surprised and feel the need to make sure others hear about it. After all, how you respond and sell yourself to the customer is part of what separate you from the competition. While not the example I’m going to bring up, Nordstrom built it’s entire franchise on that one feature.

But let me opine. Last week, while my wife and I were having morning coffee before the day really got started, I decided that I was going to write to J. Crew, and more specifically, it’s CEO Mickey Drexler and tell him that, while I loved the men’s clothing that they’re marketing, I had a example, albeit minor, of a change they need to make with their sport jackets. Last year (March ’11), I purchased a jacket from them and needed to the sleeve lengthened. J. Crew didn’t offer and I didn’t ask to have them do it. So I took the jacket to my local tailor who told me that there wasn’t any extra material so the alteration couldn’t be made. So I made due making sure to restrict my wearing of the jacket with shorts sleeve shirts so it wouldn’t be obvious the sleeve length was too short. To my surprise, less than 20 minutes later a reply from him stating they would look into the problem and get back to me. 2 hours later, another reply from Mickey came that moving forward, they would immediately make all jackets/suits with additional sleeve material to accommodate lengthening. Not only that, they offered to take my jacket back and provide me a larger size one that would be altered to fit my body. Incredible.

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