January 05, 2009
Are you building a business? Or are you building a brand? Silly questions, you might be thinking. Naturally, you are trying to do both. But that might be a mistake.
December 02, 2008
In 2007, the U.S. automobile industry spent $4.6 billion on advertising. That's 3.3% of total U.S advertising spending and 5.9% of total U.S. network TV spending. For all that money, you might think the U.S. automobile industry would have done a lot of brand building. I wonder.
November 05, 2008
Nov. 4, 2008, will go down in history as the biggest day ever in the history of marketing. With its reliance on consistency and simplicity in messaging, the Obama campaign has a lot to teach the advertising community.
October 01, 2008
Holism is the concept that the whole has a reality independent and greater than the sum of its parts. Marketing people should pay more attention to this concept.
September 02, 2008
Every country, every state, every city, every company should consider the long-term potential of sponsoring events that generate PR. They need not be particularly expensive, either. Since 1933, Rockefeller Center in New York has sponsored its annual Christmas tree lighting, which always generates a raft of favorable stories. In 1964, the tree-lighting ceremony became an annual TV special.
August 04, 2008
The rampant proliferation of flavor variations has a downside. Consumers are getting confused. A number of research studies have shown that the more choices a consumer has, the more likely that consumer will be unhappy with the choice he or she does make. (The only people who are getting excited about the proliferation of product flavors and variations are the vice presidents in charge of slotting fees.)
July 03, 2008
What's more important, the visual or the verbal? Neither. It's like asking what's more important in building a house, a hammer or a nail? Both have to work together. The best hammer in the world is useless if the hammer misses the nail. And the best nail in the world is useless unless there's a hammer to hammer the nail in.
June 02, 2008
Have you seen the advertising campaign for "the new Chrysler"? Slogan: "If you can dream it, we can build it." Sounds like an ad for a California custom shop. But more important, is the slogan memorable? In this day and age, it doesn't matter how well-crafted the words are; if the slogan isn't memorable, it's just a waste of space.
May 06, 2008
If mobile devices integrate three technologies in an attractive and convenient package -- GPS, scanning and voice recognition -- the result will be the birth of a new medium as revolutionary as television or radio.
April 01, 2008
In Al Ries' opinion, too many advertising agencies are concerned with fixing the advertising when their first concern should be fixing the problem. All the advertising in the world wouldn't have saved Isuzu, he says. Why? First and foremost, Isuzu is a terrible name. And its agency should have said something.
March 03, 2008
Innovation is not a strategy, and companies that depend on a constant flow of new, innovative products will someday find themselves in deep trouble, as Sharper Image has. Every successful company needs a branding strategy, which may or may not include innovation. Yet many marketing gurus have elevated "innovation" to a point where it is widely perceived as the single-most-important function of a corporation.
February 04, 2008
The race for the Democratic presidential nomination once again demonstrates the power of one of the most fundamental concepts in marketing: owning a word in the mind.
January 07, 2008
The language of marketing has been borrowed from the military. We talk about defensive marketing, offensive marketing, guerrilla marketing. Often overlooked, however, is "flanking," one of the most powerful military strategies.
December 04, 2007
It can cost a fortune for a company to pioneer a new category of product or service. Digital cameras, for example. Or satellite radio. Or internet grocery service. Since it's so costly to establish a new category, why would any company deliberately want to kill an emerging new category? Actually there are good reasons for putting the kibosh on a new category. In the marketing jungle, there are two kinds of companies: category builders and category killers.
November 05, 2007
There's no question the packaged goods industry has fallen in love with the Long Tail. It's "shelf warfare" in the strip malls of America. Each additional SKU of a leading brand has the potential of pushing a competitive brand off the shelf. In many companies, the battle has become one of increasing shelf space, not increasing sales. Two facings are always better than one.
October 08, 2007
A brand is the tip of an iceberg. How big and how deep the iceberg is will determine how powerful the brand is. The iceberg is the category. If it melts, the brand will melt too.
September 04, 2007
From the General Electric Co. in New York to the Walt Disney Co. in Los Angeles, a velvet curtain has descended across the country separating marketing from management. Very few companies get in trouble because of marketing mistakes. They get in trouble because of management mistakes that management usually blames on marketing.
July 23, 2007
Every time a new medium arrives, older media players think, "What an opportunity to extend our franchise." So magazines and newspapers and radio and TV outlets are jumping all over themselves to digitize their brands.
June 18, 2007
Prediction No. 1: The iPhone will be a major disappointment. The hype has been enormous. Apple says its iPhone is "literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone." A stock-market analyst says, "The iPhone has the potential to be even bigger than the iPod." I think not. An iPod is a divergence device; an iPhone is a convergence device. There's a big difference between the two.
May 15, 2007
Branding is so popular in boardrooms today that some companies are overdoing it. "If one brand is good," goes the thinking, "then two must be better." Take the example of Taster's Choice, which made its name longer in 2003.