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Archive for October, 2009

Naming Steve Rivkin

When The Name You Want Is Taken

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You've just found out the name you want for your brand is owned by somebody else. So, the temptation is to say, "Let's move on."

Not so fast. Names are property, and can be bought and sold (or leased) like real estate.

Coors licensed the name of its upscale beer Irish Red from a long-defunct brewery. Yves St. Laurent bought the name of its Opium fragrance for only $200 from two elderly perfumers.

The 1999 relaunch of National Airlines came about after the new owners paid $175,000 to buy the name at a bankruptcy sale from defunct Pan Am. (Pan Am had acquired the carrier in 1980.)

Not that long ago, we helped a Fortune 100 company acquire the rights to an automation software name from its Japanese owner. One week of phone calls and faxes produced a letter of agreement.

When the name you covet is owned by somebody else, go after it. Use an intermediary to open a channel of communications. Have a valuation in mind. Make sure the assignment of rights is perfectly clear. (For which countries, for what period of time are you acquiring the name?)

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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Branding Basics

Complex Language Weakening Brands

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"Call the law enforcement officers. We're being robbed."

Not a likely scenario. What the average person is much more apt to say is: "Call the cops. We're being robbed."

Unfortunately, marketing people are not average persons. Marketing people are much more likely to elevate their languages until, in some cases, they lose their meanings.

A few years back a senior marketing person at United Parcel Service asked me what I thought of the company's trademark.

I like it, I said, but what UPS really needs is a motivating idea or rallying cry, something like: UPS delivers more parcels to more people in more places than any other company in the world.

UPS, he said, is not in the parcel delivery business.

Huh. That came as a big surprise to me. We're a customer and I always thought that UPS was in the parcel delivery business.

No. UPS is in the logistics business.

He wasn't joking. At the time UPS was in the process of repainting some 88,000 vehicles with its new theme: Synchronizing the World of Commerce.

A serious impediment to communications is this constant upgrading of the language. No aspect of life is left untouched by the upgrade police. Not only does a term have to be politically correct, it has to be as long and as complicated as possible.

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Derrick Daye Luxury Branding

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #15

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15. Do not sell.

This isn’t arrogance, not at all. The luxury strategy is the very opposite of the volume strategy.

If you pursue the strategy of systematically raising all your prices, as illustrated by Krug, you have to be prepared to lose sales and to lose customers. Most brands don’t dare risk it, or else go running after customers; when you get to that point you’re no longer talking luxury but mass consumption – which of course can be extremely profitable as everyone knows.

Krug did lose some accounts, some importers, it is true. If not supported by the Rémy Cointreau management in the steps it took, Krug’s change in strategy would have been stopped as soon as the first big client walked away. In luxury, not trying too hard to sell is a fundamental principle in relations with customers. You tell the customer the story of the product, the facts, but you do not pressure them into making a purchase there and then.

We said a few words earlier about the campaign BMW had conducted on the internet in the US; a number of the most prominent film directors each made a short-length film around BMW, having been given completely free rein – not a commercial, but free expression. These films were made available on the internet and they very quickly did the rounds in the United States. Commenting on this decision, the marketing director at BMW USA said: ‘When it comes to luxury, the best way of reaching the very well-off is to let them come to you.’

Excerpted in part from: The Luxury Strategy: Break The Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands by JN Kapferer and V. Bastien, in partnership with Kogan Page publishing.

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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Branding Trends Derrick Daye

Top Ten Integrated Marketing Trends For 2010

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1. Less will get done: until we learn to do more with less.

While the year 2009 was marked as the 'great recession', we won't feel its full effects until 2010. Both marketers and their marketing services agency partners are dealing with reduced resources in terms of head-count and budgets. We won't likely see enough breakthroughs in the marketplace, simply because marketers and agencies alike have to remain focused on 'getting the work out the door'. The only way to 'do more with less' is to align resources toward a single and powerful integrated marketing solution. Individual marketing tactics will simply become marginalized and highly tactical with 'less'.

2. Marketers will mistakenly 'whack' a medium of the marketing mix.

With reduced marketing budgets, 'something has to give'. Unfortunately, marketers are making wholesale cuts to specific marketing/media channels in the process. We've seen the most dramatic cuts occur in print media: newspapers and magazines. I caution marketers to consider whether the remaining media in the market mix can compensate for the cuts. For example, does the internet behave like print? Is the consumer experience the same in both media? Are the message formats the same? The answer is a clear NO. Reduced resources should not come at the expense of an integrated, multi-channel mix.

3. Marketers rush to employ 'social networking' strategies.

Marketers are in a mad rush to enter the social networking space with 'tweets', 'widgets', 'apps' and 'fan pages'. However, social networking is not a marketing tactic; nor is it a surrogate for the brand's social experience. It is not a line item on a marketing plan, a specific channel, or a form of content. Rather, it is an outcome. And, no single channel has a lock on the 'social' nature of content. Most any medium can serve as the 'originating' medium in a journey that can take a great piece of content across channels and into vast networks of hearts and minds.

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Marketing

Marketing Is Not Communications

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A 5-page foldout magazine advertisement opened up with the following 39 attributes spread out over two pages: Renegade, fearless, unexpected, bold, true, spontaneous, curious, intriguing, unwavering, rare, brash, provocative, intuitive, genuine, daring, uncommon, irreverent, brazen, absolute, unusual, visionary, idyllic, proud, maverick, wild, undaunted, resolute, poetic, dynamic, soulful, unconventional, strong, romantic, authentic, brave, unorthodox, deft, radical, dreamer.

What brand could possibly combine all these wonderful attributes? Turn the page and get the answer: The 315-hp FX45. And who makes the renegade, fearless, unexpected, bold, true, etc. etc. FX45?

There in small type at the bottom of the next page is the answer. Infiniti, accelerating the future.

What’s wrong with this advertisement and thousands more just like it? It assumes that the primary function of advertising is to communicate. ‘Tell more, sell more’ was the old advertising adage.

The idea that advertising is a form of communications is deeply embedded in the corporate psyche. Many Advertising Departments are now calling themselves the Marketing Communications Department or ‘Marcom’ for short. Too bad. The name encourages advertising people to go in exactly the wrong direction.

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