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Humanizing brands

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Recently I came across a blogpost written by Sean Hazell ” 8 Reasons Misery Loves Your Non-Human Company”. Few years back I wouldn’t have understood the relevance of this but today it holds true more than ever for most of the brands. We see brands like Comcast, Jetblue, Best Buy constantly talking to their customers getting a feedback, addressing issues. Social media has enabled two way communication between the brands and their customers. Customers, who are loyal to these brands and would like to play a significant role in the brand’s evolution. Today it is okay for a brand to make a mistake as long as they own up to it. Customers trust their brands to do the right thing. They share a love-hate relationship with their brands just like they do with their friends.  Customers use their favorite brands as a means of self-expression when they tweet about their experiences, like a post on Facebook or pin pictures of their new google phone. As the customers interact with their brands on various online platforms they build stories and memories around their brands and when the brand reciprocates with good customer service or a quick fix to their problem it is well-appreciated. They attach certain attributes to these brands which is above and beyond the functional attributes and much more emotional and human. It is real, honest and sticky. Without these personalities the brand is meaningless.

Developing countries going mobile

December 6, 2012 Leave a comment

According to Statcounter, there were 431 million mobile Web users in China alone at the end of 2011. A rise of 50% percent from the last year. If these stats are accurate, then China has more mobile Internet users than there are people in the US. Growth in mobile Web penetration is strongest in Asia and Africa, where PC penetration is lower. In many developing nations, the majorities of mobile web users are mobile-only; highest include Egypt at 70 percent and India at 59 percent. In Kenya, 99 percent of Internet connections are mobile.  The sheer number of mobile users in these countries is enough to make the marketers include mobile as an integral part of their marketing strategies. Despite of all the statistics and data, showing the increasing popularity of mobile phones, marketers still under utilize it.

When looking at the adoption of mobile phones, it is the access to mobile technology that is reshaping the way people and communities are finding information about products and services in developing countries.There is most assuredly a tremendous opportunity for a brand to set itself apart from the competition by taking full advantage of the fact that more and more consumers are going mobile. It’s all about reaching an audience at the right time and right place. So why not market the customers via sms and banners that ties in with rich media and other media platforms.

Cornetto-Enigma_shazam_900

One of the good examples is the campaign designed for Cornetto to engage young ice-cream eaters and included SMS, PR, interactive outdoor and promotional marketing. Using a wall projection system, Cornetto took over the outside of a building in Taksim, Turkey’s equivalent to Times Square. Anyone with any phone could play a game in which people texted to move images around the projection. Winners got a free ice cream, redeemable on the spot. It made the national news and became the talk of Turkey.

http://adage.com/article/global-news/mobile-marketing-campaigns-u-s/148886/

Impact of the tech war on the consumer

December 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday I came across a very interesting article titled Another game of thrones in the Economist, as I was browsing through the magazine for a news story to present for my Advertising class. I particularly liked the reference to game of thrones. The article talks about the battle between the four big player in the technology industry: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Today, competition in the tech industry is fierce with executives criticizing each other, forming alliances and filing lawsuits to crush competition.

Companies like Apple and Google are competing for market share in operating systems for smartphones and tablet computers and also competing with Amazon. Google and Facebook are trying to drive users to their respective social networking sites. This looks like a great news for consumers, as they can now choose from an ever-wider range of innovative and cheap or free technologies. But the downside of all this is the use of unfairly means by these companies to promote their own services at the expense of consumers.

In a move to seize Google’s ad revenue, Apple does not to support Flash on iOS. Google has turned search into a huge money-spinner by tying it to advertising and promoting its social media platform Google plus. Facebook is in the process of doing something similar with the way people’s interests and relationships are revealed by their social networks. Earlier this year, Apple controversial decision to take Google Maps and YouTube out of iOS and replace it with the company’s own, was not received well by Apple users. Amazon has Amazon silk as it’s default browser for it’s tablets. While the battle between these companies is healthy for powering forward advances in technology and ensuring a quality service. It forces consumers into using only their services and no one else’s. Hence, changing the way people will find information, consume content and purchase products and services now and in the future.

Google-FacebookAppleAmazon

http://www.economist.com/news/21567361-google-apple-facebook-and-amazon-are-each-others-throats-all-sorts-ways-another-game

Categories: Uncategorized

Why is brand authenticity important?

December 6, 2012 Leave a comment

In an increasingly crowded market where every advertiser is trying to bombard consumers with twisted messages and fictitious experiences, consumers are drawn towards a brand, which is original, engaging, sincere, human and committed to deliver what they promise. Companies like Toms, Jetblue, Redbull and Nike have something in common, they all have authenticity at their core. Consumers search for greater meaning and sincerity from the brands they choose. When a brand shifts from its original story just to cash in more monbey from customers they sense it right away. Today, every brand is required to build its own primary source code for authenticity to stand out in the clutter and its not always about doing the right thing or being real. It is brand’s values the emotional connection it makes that truly define its realism. The brand story should echo in its communication.

Authenticity emerges from brands with a deep passion for what they are doing. The energy drink maker Red Bull has experienced great success within a short time by taking deep dives into various sports tribes and using the resulting insights to become more relevant–and therefore more authentic. Red Bull’s breakthrough initiatives are designed to make meaningful connections with the “red bull” generation while building brand awareness and preference. Over the years, Red Bull has undertaken many initiatives like under my wing, backyard digger, red bull trail but with the Red Bull Stratos initiative the company reaffirmed that there are no set rules in marketing. The company sponsored Felix Baumgartner, a fearless skydiver to plunge to earth from space. The breathtaking stunt took place on the 15th of October and more than 8 million people watched Felix Baumgartner become the first person to break the sound barrier, starting in a freefall 128,000 feet above the Earth. The stunt was covered by press as well as mentioned roughly 10,000 times on Red Bull’s Facebook page alone within 40 minutes of the fall. It is not only the initiatives that make’s Red Bull special but also the experiences and the connections that it allows the consumer’s to make and feel inspired, making the brand more authentic.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/red-bull-stratos-marketing_n_1966852.html