Thursday, November 18, 2010

Misleading Marketing

"Enjoy 0% interest for 12 months with (bank) c/card Balance Transfer. No upfront fee. Now till 31/8/10. For enquiries & to enroll, call (the bank). T&C apply"

Sounds like a great deal, but the shocker will be revealed in the account statement! In the above misleading marketing strategy, (the bank) does not explain that any payments made for the next 12 months can only reduce the Balance Transfer amount, leaving any/all retail spending to be charged the standard interest. A nice cost saving promotion turns out to be an interest-charging scam in disguise (customer's perception).

When the competition gets tough, companies resort to various creative strategies to lure more business. Even the most reputable companies, may eventually resort to scam tactics to deceive unsuspecting customers. While the customer(s) may have fallen for such scam tactics hook, line and sinker, the experience and (negative) post purchase effect will continue to impact the next purchase decisions. It takes years to build a strong brand, but only seconds to destroy it. 

Only 10% of customers complain, the rest, simply take their business elsewhere. But even for the 10% who complained, the once, positive perception of the company/brand could have been marred especially when the product/service is more personal level. We've heard a dissatisfied customer normally tells 10 others, but in the internet (social marketing) age, the dissatisfied customer tells the world!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

When Brands Become Personal

Remember the scene from Up In The Air where Ryan Bingham (played by George Clooney) a corporate downsizing expert having conversation with another frequent-traveler, Alex Goran, who later turns out to become the woman of his dreams...

Ryan: Are you satisfied with Maestro?
Alex: Yeah, I am.
Ryan: A little stingy with their miles. I like Hertz.
Alex: No, Hertz keeps its vehicles too long. If a car has over 20,000 miles, I won't drive it.
Ryan: Maestro doesn't have instant checkout. I like to park and go.
Alex: Hertz doesn't guarantee navigation.
Ryan: It's funny. You don't seem like a girl who needs navigation.
Alex: I hate asking for directions. That's why I get a nav.

This scene is quite common when we discuss about highly competitive and personal brands. For most of us, unlike the movie scene above, we probably didn't get turned on, or spark a romantic relationship while talking about our personal brand preference, but I'm quite sure we may have experienced some tense moments instead defending our preferred brands and attributes.

These are some common brands that always attract different personality customers. You'll like one and have something you dislike about the other.
Toyota - Honda
Coke - Pepsi
AMD - Intel (processors)
McDonalds - BurgerKing
Microsoft (Kinect) - Nintendo (Wii) - Sony (Playstation)

Brands get their own personality. Similar to (EBA) Emotional Bank Account, brands affect us through their display of positive (or negative) messages through public relations, advertisements, sponsorship, CSR activities, and these activities will have some impact in customer's mind.

Brand personality also play a critical role in (new) product diffussion of innovation. Customers become less defensive when trying out new products from the brands they associate with and are confident and comfortable with.