The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
Change is hard. That’s why the future can look so much like the past. And why brands and the marketers who manage them often lose their edge. For those marketers who see comfort zones as a dangerous place, we have designed a unique experience around brand strategy for you. One that challenges the thinking about brands and brand management. And one that breaks free from yesterday’s marketing conference format.
The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World, Featuring John Sculley of Apple and Pepsi Success
For two days next week, May 16 & 17 in San Diego, California we will focus on the most important concepts in brand strategy in a competitive-learning workshop where marketers compete and learn in teams. The walls are down — no podiums, no stages, the experts are embedded in the teams. Next, let’s look at the agenda, which does not include the BIG surprises we have planned.
Wednesday May 15th, 2013
Meet & Greet Mixer 7:00-9:00 pm at The Andaz Hotel Rooftop Pool, where you will meet your teammatesRead More
No business these days can just sit pretty. But the extent and nature of changes confuses many. Brands evolve. Or die. But they must also retain something of what consumers know. Or they fade. So which is more important? And how should a brand act, when? I get asked about this a lot. So here are my takes on what must stay and what can go (sometimes):
1. Your good name (in every sense) – it’s the thing people know you by. Unless of course you need to re-engineer your reputation or your old name doesn’t fit what you do anymore.
2. Your purpose – the ways you intend to change the world should remain an inspiring constant for staff and customers (providing it’s inspiring to start with, of course)
3. Your values – only change them if you’re going to make them more challenging
4. Your promises – trust is the basis for any brand’s success. Without that, you’re nothing.
5. Your principles – in today’s transparent markets, transgressions will be discovered. It’s just a question of time.
6. The category you compete in – if the current category isn’t working for you, if you can’t achieve breakthrough in that space or if there is a disruption opportunity in another market, look for a different place to compete, or change the business model under which you compete.
7. How others must compete against you – look for ways to shift how you do business so that any reaction from a competitor disadvantages them by forcing them to work in ways and/or places where you have advantages.
8. Where you’re positioned – adjust your market position to put daylight between yourself and others.Read More
The category killer of advertising was invented a long time ago. It still rules. It’s called TV.
One of the longest-running predictions in the history of marketing is the death of TV, a prediction that has been wrong decade after decade. TV has enormous staying power.
TV’s death knell chronology is instructive. From the very outset of broadcast TV to this day, lowest-common-denominator content and consumer resistance to advertising have been proclaimed as nails in its coffin. Remote controls were going to kill it by ending attention to ads. When I was a neophyte researcher in the early 1980s, cable was heralded as the end of networks and thus the end of TV as we knew it. The next batter-up as TV killer was videotaping. After that, pay-per-view, premium cable, satellite TV and videotape rentals.
By the late 1990s, the Internet was in full flower, with streaming and small screen videos being touted as the end of TV. Next up was video games, especially because it took away young men. Then TiVO. Then piracy. Then online video. Then DVRs. Then smartphones. Then cord-cutting.
On and on goes this belief that TV has hit the wall. But take another look at this chronology. What you see is not the emergence of TV killers but, instead, the evolution of TV. TV evolves. The business model of TV has gotten more complex and more sophisticated over time. TV is a robust medium unique among other media in its ability to morph its content and sources of revenue to stay current.
Henry Blodget of Business Insider wrote last year that TV would crash into a wall just like newspapers because of fundamental, underlying changes in consumer behaviors that have antiquated its business model. Blodget warned that newspapers looked great until the very moment they went off the cliff. That, wrote Blodget, is why the current success of TV is not a relevant guide to the future. But Blodget is not clear on what he means by TV because TV is not, nor has it ever been, any one sort of content or business model. TV has always responded to shifts in its competitive environment by changing. It will do so yet again.Read More
I swiped this cartoon image from a wonderful TED Talk by Sheena Iyengar on the art of choosing. If you are managing a brand, do yourself a favor and take some time to watch it. It has significant implications for brand marketers.
As I listened to her scholarly presentation, I thought how the power of choice affects our collective work in building the value of brands. Obviously choice, and more specifically free choice, is what we Americans have built our entire cultural narrative on over the past two and a half centuries. But is our cultural inclination for more and more choice really serving us? I ask the rhetorical question because I think it’s worth thinking about.
We have abundant choice. We are surrounded by options. This is not so in other parts of the world. It is interesting to note, that in those cultures where many choices have not been previously available, the sudden available of choice causes tremendous stress and anxiety for people. People simply have a difficult time sorting things out. In some cultures, choosing for oneself is viewed as disrespectful to the harmony and collective well-being of all concerned. For example, in Asian cultures, it’s better to have the “buy-in” of others, particularly those who are admired and respected, who participate in the choices an individual makes. For these people community trumps individualism.
When it comes to the brandscape, our available choices in all product categories seems more and more endless. So much so that I am beginning to believe that choice is dumbing us down as a culture.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating less freedom to choose. I’m simply throwing the idea out there that we might have more choice than is really good for us. At a minimum, we have more choice than what is truly useful to us. I don’t believe ubiquitous marketing online or off is helping bring more clarity to people about choice. More marketing and more choice just adds to the slush pile.Read More
24 Just sell marginally on the Internet
Selling on the Internet is strictly hype in luxury marketing. Many marketers seem to think that if you do not sell on the Internet, you are ‘out’. There, the distinction between luxury, fashion and premium strategy of prestige brands operating on the luxury market is crucial. Internet sales are extremely well adapted to fashion and premium, but not to luxury. Self-proclaimed ‘web specialists’ fault the luxury companies for not selling online, forgetting – or ignoring – that all the ‘plusses’ of digital trade (instantaneity, permanent change and actualization, availability, accessibility, price reductions, automation of service, crowdsourcing, etc.) are huge ‘minuses’ for luxury. Luxury purchase needs time and effort to be deserved, true price and no discounts on excessive prices, one-to-one relationships with the salespeople and not with a machine, feeling of belonging to a ‘club’ of selected people and not being part of an anonymous crowd. The Internet can be used as a complementary service for existing customers, or as initiation to the brand story or to the product for potential and selected new customers. It cannot be used as a selling tool, except for products that are not part of the luxury strategy of the brand, such as fashion lines or entry products.
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: JN Kapferer, excerpted from his book, The Luxury Strategy with permission from Kogan Page publishing.
See all of the Anti-laws of Luxury Marketing here.
Sponsored by: The Brand Positioning Workshop
Action vs. Reaction: The Un-Conference: 360° of Brand Strategy for a Changing World
Featuring John Sculley May 16-17, 2013 in San Diego, California
A unique, competitive-learning workshop limited to 100 participants
As in the marketplace — some will win, some will lose, All will learn