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.
April 15, 2007
"The most-overpaid CEO in America" is the epitaph often applied to Robert Nardelli, the former CEO of The Home Depot. After six years, he left the home-improvement chain with an exit package valued at about $210 million and a legacy that continues to engender much debate.
March 04, 2007
For every ad that radio stations used to run, it now seems like they run two. Radio, in my opinion, has become RadiADo, an extra "ad" inserted at every possible point in the programming. Radio is a powerful medium with great selectivity at relatively low costs, but advertising clutter threatens the very existence of the medium. Too much is too much.
February 19, 2007
Too many companies focus on trying to make better products when the real advantage is making different products. The video-game dogfight between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo illustrates this point. The Nintendo Wii is perhaps one-tenth as powerful as its two rivals, yet its motion-sensitive wireless controller allows you to produce action on the screen by tilting and waving your hand. It's a dramatically different product.
January 22, 2007
December 11, 2006
Where is the retail chain discount derby headed? If history is any guide, it's headed in the same direction as the airline industry. It was the airline industry that perfected the high-low approach to marketing. High prices for consumers who have no other choice. Low prices for consumers who could find cheap fares on other airlines.
November 12, 2006
Corporations are like stars. Toward the end of its life a star the size of the sun swells up into a red giant and becomes some 100 times as large. As a red giant exhausts its internal energy supplies, it loses its outer layers and finally shrinks to become a white dwarf, perhaps 1% of the diameter of a sun. Sony appears to be well along in this process.
October 01, 2006
J. Walter Thompson has changed its name to JWT and another famous advertising name gets replaced by meaningless initials. The agency now goes into the history books with Doyle Dane Bernbach (changed to DDB) and Foote, Cone & Belding (changed to FCB.) Is nothing sacred?