Sunday, March 28, 2010

Impactful Branding

What makes brands powerful?

Making line-extension brand names recognizable by (logical) sequence allows immediate association and understanding of the brand category/classification and supports differentiation strategy and recognition. Here are some case studies:

Cars: Everyone is familiar with the 3-series, 5-series and ultimate driving machine 7-series (BMW). Another example is the S40, S60, S80 (Volvo)which one can easily distinquish the sedan class and catagory. Unless you are an E-class fan, or S-class, or C-class, or B-class,'ll probably get confused at some point of time on the category difference. (of course each code has a distinctive meaning; E = Executive, S = Luxury, SLK = Sports, SLR = Exotic...but isn't each Mercedes model supposed to be executive, luxurious, sporty and exotic?).

Microprocessors: Back in the old days, (marketing brand names) Pentium I, II, III, 4... is so much easier to understand and remember rather than Athlon, Turion, Sempron, Phenom... Unless of course (again) you are a huge computing fan and you've scrutinized and memorized each processor features because of your specific needs.

Mobilephones, Laptops, Digital Cameras and other gadgets: When you have new products every 3-6 months, it's a bit difficult to keep labelling them in series (a case of brand dilution). That's why most manufacturers refer to the category as often as the brand-series.

Laptops: TT Series, Z Series, SR Series, BZ Series, G Series (Sony Vaio series).
To avoid confusion, laptop manufacturers use categories such as Mini, Everyday computing, Ultra-Portable, and High Performance which is so much more user friendly.

Digital Cameras: Usually brand distinction by the simple digital "point and shoot", and professional DSLRs series are more effective rather than the IXUS, Powershot, Powershot Pro, EOS (Canon camera).

Golf: Product categories for Game Improvement (MX-25, MX-1000, MX-100, MX-200, MX-300), Game Enhancement (MP-58, MP-68, MP-52, MP-62) (Mizuno).
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.

Therefore it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.
Read more on branding strategy here

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Marketing for a Sustainable Future

“The financial crisis is a result of our living beyond
our financial means. The climate crisis is a result of
our living beyond our planet’s means.”

Yvo de Boer,
Executive Secretary of the
United Nations Climate Convention
Learn about climate change - download the WWF pocket guide to Climate Change

Friday, March 26, 2010

Earth: Every Marketer's Responsibility


Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.
Earth Hour 2010 takes place on Saturday 27 March at 8.30pm (local time) and is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to Asia to the Americas will stand in darkness. People across the world from all walks of life will turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet. So sign up now and let’s make 2010 the biggest Earth Hour yet!.

It’s Showtime! Show the world what can be done.