Isn’t technology awesome :)

I’m stating the bleeding obvious here, but I wanted to celebrate it publicly! I see that Tin Tin is coming out in 3D CGI animation. It looks incredible, and kids will absolutely love it. And that’s my point… children of today are going to be impacted by a great story that began as a comic strip in January 1910.

If it wasn’t for the vision (and, let’s face it… the funding) of people like Steve Jobs to give this new CGI technology credibility via the seminal Toy Story series, maybe millions of kids wouldn’t get to enjoy this author’s great work.

As ‘the old folk’ we must continue to embrace the new frontiers of entertainment content invention, because there are so many brilliant stories to tell from our past, and this new tech is probably the only way we are going to engage future generations in that past.

The true beauty is that as we further improve our technological wizardry, it will become easier and easier to bring to life these stories with the feel and style their authors originally intended.

 

Brand Power personified

Red Bull. You know… that energy drink company.

Actually the Mobile Network company…

Will that be a hard proposition for the great unwashed to grasp? I think not

In the not too distant past, marketers (including me) would have questioned the extension of any strong brand into differening categories. Words like “Dilution” and “Compromised Focus” would surface with rational, expert arguments to back them in. But times have changed (how often and how frequently is that phrase used now??)… the average consumer is now completely comfortable with this. Look at the Branson empire… Music, to Airline, to Money, to ??

The defining ingredient is the BRAND. What the brand stands for. In Branson’s case he was the crusader for a better deal for us, his friends. He created an ideal that we easily connected to any product bearing his brand.

Red Bull is enjoying exactly the same halo effect. Red Bull Mobile will succeed with a healthy niche of Red Bull afficionados purely based on the fact the BRAND is in sync with their personality.

So if you are building a company around a product, consider carefully what your brand is saying about you. Is it compelling? Does it add value to someone’s life, even in a simple fun way? If it dissapeared tomorrow would anyone care?

These indicators will define your company’s potential for real growth.

But it can’t work for everyone… I’d love to see a bank in its consumed arrogance attempt to introduce cool surfboards or their own mobile network. The results should be hilarious…

Steal This Idea

I’m often intrigued when I see accountancy firms positioning themselves as “Business Development Specialists”. Yet, in the many times I have pursued their ‘expertise’ to see if Marketing and Brand Positioning played a part in their ‘advice’ I have not found anything. Yes they will help with managing money and staffing, cash flow and wages, but what about getting the customer in the door in the first place? Marketing is often the best investment a company can make, but accountants in general (and this is a generalisation) consider marketing as a cost that needs to be trimmed whenever the sales are down… counter-intuitive?? The world’s best thinkers agree.

Marketing can also be one of the biggest financial drains on a business if it is not executed well, so surely that would be important for the accountant managing a client’s portfolio? A simple checklist would start the ball rolling… Does the client’s message meet the brands capabilities? Does it meet the target consumer’s needs? Do they even know the true consumer needs for their category? Do they have a Unique Selling Proposition they don’t recognise and aren’t conveying to the target? These are questions I would be asking if I was an accountant looking for a niche in the market. I’d also set up a strategic partnership with the media or an advertising/creative agency – the synergies are obvious.

And based on the inertia evident in most accountancy firms, the one who does attempt this Flanking attack, will have plenty of time to establish their own Niche Positioning without counter-attack for months/years.

We all want service… but are we prepared to pay for it?

There are a myriad of articles talking about the degredation of Customer Service. A recent Mumbrella post again highlighted the one metric that seems to be left out of all the research… will the consumer PAY for better service?? In most cases better service comes down to the person serving the customer. To get good people and also execute ongoing training has a hard cost. A higher cost than their competitor who doesn’t make that commitment. 

In my role, we always talk to our clients about enhancing the customer experience to ensure that when we drive the customer through their door via advertising (in any medium) they KEEP that customer. BUT… and here’s the rub… if their prices are higher than a competitor, how do they demonstrate that great service before they buy? And even if they do a great job of taking the customer through the features and benefits of that product (let’s say its a camera shop) how do they stop that person gathering all the info they need, and then going online to purchase it from somewhere that simply offers the best price in the world?? I do not have an answer for this 21st century dilemma… do you?