Thursday, October 29, 2009

Uniquely Me

Is brand advertising dead?
Jonathan Baskin, in his book: Branding is for Cows thinks it is. Here's a snapshot of his thesis:
Most people don't know it yet, but branding is dead.Sure, we need to know about the stuff we want to buy, but the billions of dollars spent on logos, sponsorships, and jingles have little, if anything, to do with actual consumer behavior. For example:-Dinosaur-headed execs in Microsoft ads didn't help sell software. -Citibank's artsy "live richly" billboards didn't prompt a single new account. -United Airlines' animated TV commercials didn't fill more seats on airplanes. Modern consumers are harder to find, more difficult to convince, and near-impossible to retain. They make decisions based on experience - so what matters isn't how creative, cool, or memorable the advertising is, but how companies can directly target consumer behavior.Pretty pictures and funny taglines should be an after-thought: brands must target what consumers actually do.
Classic challenge between sales and marketing.
In tough economic times, people turn to trusted brands.... like Lego for kids and Campbell's soup for lunch. Even in the recession Cadbury has grown in the UK. Why? People have a limited dollar, they want to make the right choice. So they go back to the products they already trust.
For over 160 years consumers have trusted Proctor and Gamble for household products like Crest, Ivory, Pampers, Charmin and, oh yes, Tide.
A.G. Lafley (Former CEO of P&G, resigned June 2009)says:
We have 13 brands that do over one billion dollars a year in sales. That's extraordinary when you consider that most of our brands sell for $2-$5 per unit in the store. We are very attentive to brand creation and innovation. We also, generally, have enough sense not to change a brand identity when we think we've got it right. If you look at a Tide package from 1946, it was orange with a bull's eye graphic and the Tide name in block letters. While we have continuously improved and refreshed the package design, the primary elements are the same. When the consumer is responding in a very positive way, we try to identify the design elements that have equity and keep them.
In mass environments brand is critical.
When the the service or product lives up to the brand promise there is consumer magic.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I admit, I'm just playing with it (@bfootcreative if you want to follow my random 140 character tweets).
Marketing is all about getting messages to the right people at the right time. So those early adopter types who are engaged in Twitter are able to choose who they follow. They can also try to get me to follow them. That gives them a chance to get their marketing message to me.
So I get tweets like:
Free, Free, Free! These Simple Videos Will Show You How To Make Lots Of Money With Your Twitter Account.
A great read on the importance of Twitter and your company's use of it.
Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world.” #quotes
On Oct. 24, we're walking... and building. Join us, and help build a youth centre in northern Uganda. (via @guluwalk)
OK, enough already.
Now I realize that Twitter is a mini blog. As a writer, it's a fascinating environment. The challenge to put on a meaningful (or not so meaningful but digitally coherent) message is fun. The traditional blog (I can't believe I used "traditional" to define a blog) provides a longer format for me to spew wisdom in my over verbose writer way. People can talk back to me, if they want to.
I assume that they can also talk back to me on Twitter -- where reading some entries is like listening to another conversation with my ear to the door with a glass.
But more than anything, it seems very much like millions of singular conversations -- sort of like everyone on Twitter is talking aloud to ourselves and a few others just happen to be listening in.
It's a little too early to see what the impact of Twitter is on the marketing world. Without a question my little tweets are attracting a remarkably diverse segment of people. Comparatively, @bfootcreative is naive and teeny. My few followers are not interested in what I say, but they're interested in my reading what they say.
I would be very interested in hearing what you think about the impact of Twitter in various communication contexts....