Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Staying Up in a Down Economy: Eight Marketing-Strategy Tips from Best Buy and Wipro CMOs

Article by Ron Young in www.marketingprofs.com

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Obamarketer: Obama Wins the US Presidency


I am in Chicago, though not near the scene of today's excitement. Am parked in front of a large screen TV as Mr Obama makes his acceptance speech. Seen up close over the past two days, his marketing machinery has been very impressive. It validates my belief that when you are a upstart brand it makes sense to establish a bulkhead through word of mouth and new media, but once you have acquired critical mass, you need to mobilize those channels to expand your coverage and make it (a) immediate (b) broad-based. Getting over a million doors knocked in one week just through volunteers mobilized through a website is awesome. A half-hour commercial on prime time tv shows that the brand has arrived.

I had done a piece in March on the difference between defining yourself on who you are versus on what you have done http://www.jessiepaul.com/2008/03/obama-or-clinton-who-or-what.html The "who you are" camp has won. This is probably the first political victory attributable to a great extent to new marketing skills applied to projecting a personality. And shows how important these skills have become for any brand with mainstream aspirations. Take a look at this earlier map of the Obama electronic footprint ( http://www.jessiepaul.com/2008/08/minibrand-anyone.html ) and see how much can be replicated for your brand. After all it's time for a change :)
Picture: Flickr Creative Commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/briansolis/

Saturday, November 01, 2008

2 for 3 or 2 for 1?

"Two for the price of three". Sounds absurd? Perhaps you mentally translated it as "Two for the price of one" which is a far more common phrase. But 2 for 3 describes luxury branding at its simplest. The additional value is intangible - trust, pride, reliability. Intangible, but valuable. to the consumer.

You may be wondering why I am discussing luxury brands when the economy is pinching even these creamy layer products. (Though the really, really rich may decide that it's a good time to splurge on a second slightly-used mega-yacht for the family!) Well, that's because I think the philosophy of luxury brands - the personalization, reliability, predictability - can be replicated even for brands that aspire to address a broader audience. Everyone wants to be special.

I recently attended a case-study based training program organized by Dominion which had Professor David Bell from Harvard Business School speak on Strategic Marketing. It was more tuned towards products, but there was one big take-away for me - you are loyal to brands you are grateful to. And you are grateful to brands that deliver more than you expect or do something for you. For example, he cited the example of alumni contributing to their alma maters because they were grateful for what the education (or brand stamp) had done for their careers. I remember certain restaurants and coffee shops not because of what they sell but because of what they give free with the food. If a retailer takes back stuff even if you have lost the bill, you are grateful to them. Using a Mont Blanc pen renders a certain cache to the writer - you are grateful to the brand for establishing your credentials. Ditto luxury cars or green products or alternative clothing brands or where you live.

I think this is what lies at the heart of all classy brands, lux or otherwise. Going beyond the ordinary and baking that into the customer experience in a sustainable, scaleable way. And loyalty is a good thing to have when the world is uncertain.

PS: I have my husband to thank for the phrase "2 for 3"