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by Bradley Baker
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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.

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by Bradley Baker
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New Product DevelopmentNew Product Development: What’s in a Name?

One of the fun aspects of new product development is naming or branding the product. It's like naming your baby, once it's born.  It takes on a whole different personality. To be fair, most of the names I've developed are of the sub-brand variety.  For instance, the CrossAction name was a sub-brand of the Oral-B umbrella brand.  But it still comes alive in a way no other aspect of new product development does (except maybe new package development).

In terms of name generation, there are many ways to develop a brand (or sub-brand).  You can take the expensive route. For instance, when Honda developed the Acura brand back in the 80’s, they went to a name generation company and paid thousands to come up with it.  And did you know the root of name stems from the word “accuracy”? In other words, that’s what they wanted to communicate to the consumer, the high quality and precision mechanics of the car render it very “accurate” or “precise”.  Now accurate isn’t a word I would necessarily use to describe a car, but paring it down to Acura works on a sub-conscious level while also giving the car a brand that is unique and not generic.


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by Bradley Baker
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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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by Bradley Baker
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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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brandCMO is a website created by Bradley W. Baker for the sole purpose of demonstrating marketing excellence.  If you wish to converse with Mr. Baker, please contact him through the information listed in Contact Us.

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