avatar_48x48
Contact BSI
Derrick Daye
888.706.5489 Email us

?Branding Bag?

?Branding Bag?

Of Threats, Boycotts and Brands

By

In 2007 14 Tesco stores closed their doors following bomb threats. Speculation grew about the motives. An initial suggestion that Tesco was being targeted by religious extremists was immediately rejected by police. Several national newspapers then suggested a link to animal liberation and pointed out that on the day of the threats there was a national day of action against Tesco by several animal rights groups.

While I do not know the identities or motivations of those who made the threats, I can provide some insight into why Tesco was targeted rather than key competitors Sainsbury's or Waitrose. It was almost certainly not down to ethical or religious reasons, but rather a number – specifically, a proportion: 31.3%.

To understand this numerical significance, we have to look back even further. On 29 September 1982 Adam Janus, a 27-year-old postman from Arlington Heights, Illinois, dropped dead unexpectedly. Adam's family gathered to discuss funeral arrangements. His 25-year old brother Stanley and his 19-year-old wife, Theresa, were both suffering from headaches. Stanley found a bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol in Adam's kitchen; within minutes he and Theresa were dead.

Chicago police realised that all three victims had been poisoned. Eventually seven people died in what became known as the 'Tylenol murders'. Investigators concluded that the culprit had visited various stores in Chicago and added cyanide tablets to bottles of Tylenol before returning them to the shelf. Why Tylenol? In 1982 it was the leading pain-relief brand in the US with a 35% market share.

Read More
?Branding Bag?

The Greatest Brand Builder

By

Some years ago a British real-estate chain decided to implement a reverse formula when selling houses and apartments. We all know the usual real-estate jargon, using words like breathtaking, stunning and exquisite in every sentence when describing even the most miserable apartment: “This stunning apartment, presenting an exclusive panorama view of a breathtaking backyard in the central city is a must see…”

The interesting fact is that we all know the descriptions hardly reflect the reality but rather a realtor's imagination.

The reverse formula? Describing reality… yes you read it right – as it is!

Gone were the clichés replaced with realistic snapshots of the real apartments of houses of the streets of London. “This bump of a house needs more than love to turn it into something anyone can live in. The hall is less attractive than the worst you possible can imagine in Bangladesh – the walls are flooded with water and the floors are hardly visible due to the dirt spread across the whole house.”

Yes this was in fact the way the ads looked. Would you dare use this strategy?

The success was enormous – suddenly people actually began reading the ads, they were in fact so motivated by this new writing style that people were looking forward to reading them, sometimes as good entertainment but in most cases as they were real and honest.

Read More
?Branding Bag?

Advertising Age’s Marketing 50 Awards 2008

By

Earlier this month Advertising Age announced their selection for the Top 50 marketing ideas of 2008 and the marketers behind them. This February they will be honored in New York. Congratulations to this years nominees…

•    AmEx Members Project
     Belinda Lang, American Express Co.
•    Bakugan Battle Brawlers
     Ronnen Harary, Spin Master Ltd.
•    "The Biggest Loser" Product Line
     Mark Koops, Reveille
•    Blu-Ray
     Chris Fawcett, Sony Electronics Home Product Division
•    Bounty 
     Brad Schwan, Procter & Gamble Co.
•    Campbell's low-sodium soups
     Lisa Walker, Campbell Soup Co.
•    Carol's Daughter
     Steve Stoute, Carol's Daughter
•    CTS
     John Howell, General 5Motors Corp.
•    Coors Banquet
     Andy England, MillerCoors
•    Dunkin' Donuts coffee
     Audra Schlegel, Procter & Gamble Co.

Read More
?Branding Bag?

Listen to Consumers, Not Marketing Gurus

By

A variety of newspapers and trade magazines run a piece themed 'Campaign of the Week'.

The format is probably familiar to you. A senior marketer names their favourite advertising campaign of the moment and explains why it works as a piece of marketing communications.

For example, I recently read a marketing director extol the virtues of the latest campaign for Levi's. She was taken with the "incredibly haunting quality of the ad, noted that it "held my attention for the whole minute and concluded that the campaign would "engage people with the brand on an altogether different level than in previous campaigns".

A marketer in another article found the ads for X-Box "clearly adult in tone and "deeply disturbing".

The problem with these reviews is that they display a fundamental ignorance of the prime directive of marketing. The first stage in becoming a good marketer is to appreciate the difference between being a producer of products and a consumer of products. As a marketer your job is centered on connecting the latter to the former.

When marketers forget this essential dichotomy and start reviewing ads, products and prices as if they were consumers, they become marketing gurus, and there is no place for gurus in marketing. It is simply impossible to step into the shoes of a consumer for a few moments to review the quality of a marketing output.

Read More
?Branding Bag? Marketers For Charity

Of Retailers And Sustainability

By

Retailers and marketers are in the front lines of the long journey to Sustainability. No one connects with the world like we do. No one has so many touchpoints with consumers. No one has more responsibility for making a difference.

In the store people choose, and in the store we find out what really matters to them; here reputations are won and lost; here experiences captivate or don’t; here ideas soar – or crash.

From everything I’ve heard, one conclusion is absolutely clear: Being Responsible about Sustainability is today’s table-stakes. If you can’t bring Responsibility to the game – don’t bother to pull up a chair.

Being Responsible is not enough. We’ll win this one by becoming Inspirational. People are 80% emotion, 20% reason. “Reason leads to conclusions. Emotion leads to action.” We need fewer words, fewer conclusions and more action. We’ll have to attract the heart as well as the head so people want to make the choices that make a difference. This is the most important challenge of our time. The role of business is to make the world a better place for everyone.

Today the idea that business has a key role in our sustainable future is embraced everywhere. But we are all just beginning to learn what sustainability means. The desire for sustainability has to be part of our dream of a better world. About doing the right thing.    

Read More