McKinsey - New strategies for consumer goods

Many companies in the industry are struggling despite improved productivity anda focus on core brands. What can they do to spark growth?


Making the Perfect Marketer

A study from the Association of National Advertisers and Booz Allen Hamilton suggests five ways to make marketing more relevant than ever.

Read the article. You have to register with the site, but it doesn't take but a minute.

Cool Quote - 12.28.04

Scott came across this quote and thought we would enjoy:

So, in 2005, marketers will need to understand the essence of their brands -- the one thing that they stand for -- then communicate symbolically to reach these consumers (all of us) who are struggling to process the information load that comes their way on a daily basis. Keep it simple, sensory (sensorial experiences reunite us with our biological rhythms), empathetic (understand our time-pressed needs), and optimistic (give us small moments of joy as we go about our day).


Back to the ABCs--Make That the Three Ps--of Marketing

Marketing in America is adrift today. More than 90% of all new products launched are not on the shelf two years later. Manufacturers are scrambling to maintain brand share in the face of a sea of private-label entries. Consumers are showing less and less willingness to pay a premium for "national brands."

A hundred years ago we had it figured out. Marketing was about product, place, and price. Get a good product to a place where someone could buy it for a price that reflected the intrinsic value of the product and how difficult (or dangerous) it was to get it to the buyer.

In the decades since, while creating more product and place options than we can effectively use, we've forgotten the basics of product, place, and price. In the face of this myriad of options, consumers are reverting to a simpler approach to making choices.

Consumers, it seems, haven't forgotten the basics of product, place, and price. Just as we followed consumers into the frontiers of cable television, online shopping, warehouse clubs, and dollar stores, now we must follow them again as they change the rules of the game to fit their needs.

Read how to profit from the three Ps of marketing.

By Ben Ball, PROMO


Cool Quote - 12.20.04

"Marketing is not an event, but a process . . . It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end, for it is a process. You improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely." - Jay Conrad Levinson


Cool Quote 12.16.04

"To have great poets, there must be great audiences too." - Walt Whitman

For all you current & former youth marketers...

Ypulse is an independent blog for teen/youth media and marketing professionals providing news, commentary and resources on commercial teen media (teen magazines and websites), entertainment for teens (movies, games, television, music), technology used by teens (cell phones, instant messaging, SMS), the news media's desire to attract teens (newspapers, cable news), marketing and advertising (targeting the teen market) and civic youth media (highlighting organizations' efforts at promoting youth voices in media).

Check out Ypulse.

Ypulse is affiliated with a cool guerilla marketing agency called ALT TERRAIN.


Cool Quote - 11.30.04

"If you wish in this world to advance your merits you're bound to enhance; you must stir it and stump it, and blow your own trumpet, or, trust me, you haven't a chance." - William S. Gilbert (1836 - 1911)


Brand Loyalty 2004

Search engine extraordinaire Google has shot up to No. 1 among consumers in the latest Brand Keys' Customer Loyalty Leaders survey, overtaking Avis, which held the top spot for the past seven years. Brand Keys adds new brands yearly according to respondents' unaided mentions in the twice-yearly study, which polls 16,000-plus men and women aged 21-60.

Read More

BRANDWEEK, October 25, 2004


The Marketers' Challenges

The marketing and advertising industries are feeling the pressure more than ever to change and innovate. Commenting on what the persuasion industries are confronting today are Kevin Roberts, CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide; Douglas Atkin,chief strategy officer for Merkley+Partners; Bob Garfield, columnist for Advertising Age; Andy Spade, Song Airlines' creative consultant; Naomi Klein, author of No Logo; and Mark Crispin Miller, media critic.

These excerpts are drawn from their extended FRONTLINE interviews.


Cool Quote - 11.11.04

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all." - Helen Keller


The Decline of Brands

Sure, there are more brands than ever. But they're taking a beating - or, even worse, being ignored. Who's to blame? A new breed of hyperinformed superconsumers. (That's right - you!)

Read More

By James Surowiecki, WIRED, November 2004


Cool Quote - 10.21.04

"Consumers build an image [of a brand] as birds build nests. From the scraps and straws they chance upon." - Jeremy Bullmore


The Next Generation of Global Branding?

Coca-Cola is not an American brand, L'Oreal is not a French brand, and Samsung is not a Korean brand. Rather, they are global brands.

They are symbols of a global culture created by the Internet, travel, music and other influences that easily seep across borders. So what are the implications for brand strategists?

Read More

Nick Wreden, MarketingProfs.com, October 19, 2004

Can anyone say, "Matrix Boots" ?

Online Experience Shapes Shoppers' Perception of Brand

By Rama Ramaswami

At last--one place where Wal-Mart isn't at the top. The retail behemoth placed fourteenth in a study of the customer experience offered by 20 leading online retailers. The survey of 2,000 customers, conducted by market research firm Vividence Corp., evaluated each retailer's site on more than 250 measures of the customer experience. Not surprisingly, Amazon.com topped the list, followed by Barnes & Noble, Circuit City, and eBay. Wholesaler Costco hit rock-bottom, coming in at No. 20. So why should you care?

Read More


Where Do the Great Brands Come From?

...For 80 years they (brands) floated on the periphery of marketing, an interesting by-product of our process, convenient for organizational purposes, but nothing special. Then we took a closer look, and were we ever astounded by what we found...

Read More

BRANDWEEK, October 11, 2004, Sam Hill

Mantra of the Day - 10.15.04

"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person." - Dr. David M. Burns

From Morning Mantra

More Networks Are Pulling the Plugs

The Ad World is Changing...

Commercial-Free TV Shows Gain Traction as Marketers See Benefits of Such Deals



The Power of the Industry Blog

Word of mouth may be one of the more informal elements of the marketing mix, but it's by no means less effective.

In fact, if your company is releasing a new product or service, no formal marketing method meant to increase its exposure can match the power of people talking to each other about it.

When it comes to Internet marketing, one of the ways to kick-start this process is to get your piece of news mentioned on possibly the most effective online mouthpiece around: the industry blog.

Get the full story

Catherine Parker, MarketingProfs.com, October 12, 2004


Airwalk & Burton Making Snowboards Together?

Am I reading this right? Does it say Airwalk/Burton snowboards, meaning they are the same company, or are they just being grouped together?

Edgy, hand-painted (snowboard) graphics get mainstream ride

"If you want to get freak-nasty and pipe at high speed, you need the right snowboard. And to do it with style, your board needs the right look. Art that expresses individuality, provokes thought or gives offense. Graphics that convey your wicked sense of humor or intense energy."

Denver Post; Mon, 11 Oct 2004 0:37 AM PDT


Cool Quote - 10.04.04

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them." - Henry David Thoreau


Andy Mac Makes Pogo-Sticks

Flybar - a new company by Andy Macdonald and CBI Enterprises. They go for $299 - that would have been a nice licensing gig for Airwalk, no?

Check out the Flybar website - at least you can see the Airwalks on the homepage...

Or if you want to buy one, its for sale on Amazon.

Starbucks, its brand, and toilet paper...

A Brand Is the Sum of All Touchpoints

by Guy Smith, MarketingProfs.com, September 28, 2004

There is a legendary story about Starbucks, its brand, and toilet paper. From within the offices of Starbucks, a branding guru had summarized the Starbucks brand into an extremely concise brand statement: A great coffee experience.

Read More


The "New" Rules of the Corporation

From Greg Woodman:

This “rule book” is from a best selling book back a long long time ago in 1993! Why I pulled out this classic was purely to enlighten (people) that a book 11 years old is still somewhat an “aspire to” here in 2004. And I sense continuing schisms in philosophy. As we develop fully to our outsourcing model I am continually challenged on how to communicate my plans as it relates to people and roles and vendor partners. Certain people just do not get it, and continually challege these ideas. So with that in mind enjoy the basic tenants of the book “Reengineering the Corporation”…..a manifesto for Business Revolution…this book was all about processes and the cover said “Forget what you know about how business should work-most of it is wrong!” How are we doing 11 years later on the following……and if anything you can see why certain people do not fit into the following rules...

Old Rule: Information can appear only one place at one time
Disruptive technology: Shared databases
New Rule: Information can appear simultaneously in as many places as it is needed

Old Rule: Only experts can perform complex work
Disruptive technology: Expert systems
New Rule: A generalist can do the work of an expert

Old Rule: Businesses must choose between centralization and decentralization
Disruptive technology: Telecommunications networks
New Rule: Businesses can simultaneously reap the benefits of centralization and decentralization

Old Rule: Managers make all the decisions
Disruptive technology: Decision support tools (database access, modeling software)
New Rule: Decision-making is part of everyone’s job

Old Rule: Field personnel need offices where they can receive, store, retrieve, and transmit information
Disruptive technology: Wireless data communications and portable computers
New Rule: Field personnel can send and receive information wherever they are

Old Rule: The best contact with the buyer is personal contact
Disruptive technology: Interactive videodisc
New Rule: the best contact with a potential buyer is effective contact

Old Rule: You have to find out where things are
Disruptive technology: Automatic identification and tracking technology
New Rule: Things tell you where they are

Old Rule: Plans get revised periodically
Disruptive technology: High performance computing
New Rule: Plans get revised instantaneously

Cool Quote 9.27.04

"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent van Gogh


Cool Quote - 9.16.04

"Ordinary people can spread good and bad information about brands faster than marketers." - Ray Johnson


What Should I Do With My Life?

The real meaning of success -- and how to find it

It's time to define the new era. Our faith has been shaken. We've lost confidence in our leaders and in our institutions. Our beliefs have been tested. We've discredited the notion that the Internet would change everything (and the stock market would buy us an exit strategy from the grind). Our expectations have been dashed. We've abandoned the idea that work should be a 24-hour-a-day rush and that careers should be a wild adventure. Yet we're still holding on.

Read More

Fast Company, Po Bronson, January 2003

How Much Music Can You Make?

On November 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, came on stage to give a concert at Lincoln Center in New York City.

If you have ever been to a Perlman concert, you know that getting on stage is no small achievement for him.He was stricken with polio as a child, and has braces on both legs and walks with the aid of two crutches.To see him walk across the stage one step at the time,painfully and slowly, is a sight. He walks with difficulty,yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits down, slowly, puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the braces and clasps on his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward. Then he bends down and picks up his violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and proceeds to play.

By now, the audience is used to this ritual. They sit quietly while he makes his way across the stage tohis chair. They remain silent while he undoes the clasps on his legs, they wait until he is ready to play. But this time, something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violinbroke. You could hear it snap -- it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no mistaking what hehad to do.

People who were there that night thought to themselves, "We figured that he would have to get up, put on the clasps again,pick up the crutches and limp his way off the stage to find another violin or else find another string for this one, or wait for someone to bring him another violin.

But he didn't. Instead he waited a moment, closed his eyes and then signaled the conductor to begin again.The orchestra began, and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such passion and such power and such purity, as they had never heard before.

Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings. I know that,you know that. But that night Itzhak Perlman refused to know that. You could see him modulating, changing and recomposing the piece in his head. At one point it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to get new sounds from them that they had never made before.

When he finished, there was an awesome silence in the room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of the auditorium. Everyone was on their feet, screaming and cheering, doing everything they could to show how much they appreciated what he had done.

He smiled, wiped the sweat from his brow, raised his bow to quiet the audience,and not boastfully, but in a quiet reverent tone said,


Cool Quote - 9.13.04

"Only intuition can protect you from the most dangerous of all, the articulate incompetent."

- Robert L. Bernstein, president, Random House, on his experience interviewing MBA graduates

Cool Quote - 9.13.04

"Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning."

- Igor Stravinsky


The New Nike

The cover story in this week's Business Week. Talks about how NIke is no longer the brat of sports marketing, and has a higher level of discipline and performance.

Some points of interest and relevance...Nike has shortened its development cycles, getting products to market faster; embraced the operational/financial, bottom-line orientation, not just the aggressive top-line, market share building of its past; and embraced fashion, hiring an ex-Polo designer to head up the apparel division. Not to mention a solid aquisition strategy. And the results are impressive.

Full Story


The Customer Is -- and Always Will Be -- King

Every so often a customer will really try your patience. Consider him a blessing. If you can figure out how to keep him happy (at least for a while), you'll have developed skills and resources that will bowl over your other customers.

Leadership Strategies used the following story as an example to try to make a case that customers "aren't always right":

"When Citizens Financial Group CEO Larry Fish heard that a customer had treated one of his tellers poorly, he called the customer and suggested that she close her account. Although the customer had $172,000 deposited at the bank, Fish arranged for a check to be mailed to her."
Leadership Strategies praised Fish not only for protecting his teller but also for making the happiness of his employees his No. 1 priority. "People work for more than their pocket," Fish told Ronald Alsop at CareerJournal.com. "You can't have a successful business without happy employees."

I don't know the details -- I'm definitely looking at this as an outsider -- but it seems to me that Larry Fish, CareerJournal.com, and Leadership Strategies have gotten things mixed up. Businesses do not exist to make employees happy.

Businesses provide products and/or services to customers. It is the customer who, ultimately, pays the employees' wages. The employees are getting paid to service the customer. Toward that end, their main job is to make the customer happy.

When we say, "The customer is always right," we aren't naive enough to think that this is literally always true. There are many times when a customer may be uninformed, out of line, unrealistic, or downright unpleasant. What we mean is that in any employee-customer transaction, the end result must please the customer, not necessarily the employee.
If you think otherwise, you will destroy your business. If you begin with the idea that your business is about your employees, it's only a short leap to believing that if your customer interferes with your employees' happiness, you ought to "fire" him. That sounds like what might be happening at Mr. Fish's bank.

You can see this employee-first mentality on most airlines today. Whereas once the cabin attendants (Don't call them stewardesses!) were pleasant and bend-over-backward helpful, they are now self-centered and often belligerent (see "Word to the Wise," below) Hollywood wannabes who have no idea how to do their jobs. (They are, after all, nothing more than glorified waiters and waitresses.)

"One more word out of you, you filthy swine, and I'll have you manacled and dragged off the plane!"

I recently "softly" fired (i.e., relocated) a business manager who had that kind of attitude. She was hardworking and eager to please her bosses, but she treated her customers as if they had the plague -- and within a few short months, every member of her staff was treating them the same way. Eventually, they were treating me like something the cat dragged in. And I was paying their salaries!

If you want your business to grow, ignore the self-indulgent, inwardly turned, unforgivably naive management philosophy of the Larry Fishes of the world and stick with the old-fashioned customer-is-king approach.

Absolut Cool

Sure, the company's new website is sexy. But will it move the wheat juice?

Absolut is a leading producer of corporate chic. It has to be. Why else would you pay $35 for a clear, odorless liquid when a nearly identical bottle of Popov or some other supermarket brand is priced below $10? Is it Absolut's superior distillation process? Is it a company history stretching back 160 years? Perhaps it's the organic wheat, grown and harvested in idyllic Ahus, Sweden?

No, sucker. It's the mental image Absolut has created of you, sipping fabulous cocktails in a swanky nightclub, surrounded by beautiful people who hang on your every witty word.

Read More

Business 2.0, Thomas Mucha, September 07, 2004


180s in USA TODAY! - Exciting News for Scott!

More companies tap location, location, location of inner cities
By Del Jones, USA TODAY

Think the inner city is riddled with crime and uneducated labor and is a ghost town for business?

Consider 180s, a company that seems properly named for going in the opposite direction to the herd. It set up headquarters in the inner harbor of Baltimore, which might be known as a touristy area but which also has a 20% poverty rate and a 50% high school dropout rate...

Read the Full Story


Payless Has Stores in Australia?

Airwalk Parent Inks Licensing Deal Down Under

Collective Licensing International, LLC, owner of the Airwalk® brand, recently announced that the company has entered into a Master Licensing Agreement with Brand Direct to license the Airwalk® brand. Brand Direct International Pty. Ltd. will be responsible for all Airwalk® branded product including footwear, apparel, accessories, and hard goods throughout Australia and New Zealand.

"Collective Licensing is pleased to embark on a long-term license agreement with Brand Direct," said Scott Cain, vice president of global licensing. "Brand Direct has a proven track record - they are the consummate brand building experts in Australia and New Zealand and will help further strengthen Airwalk's brand presence."

Known as brand builders that can identify fashion trends and develop footwear and clothing that is specific to customer's requirements, Brand Direct has an excellent long term retailer relationships in their markets. Their team travels the world frequently developing and building well founded business relationships to ensure its customers are receiving up-to-the-minute fashion intelligence, product styles and competitive pricing.

"We at Brand Direct are confident the Airwalk Brand will be accepted in all target retail categories in Australia and New Zealand", said Tony Pistikakis, chairman of Brand Direct. "We look forward to the opportunities ahead and are delighted to have the responsibility of positioning the Airwalk brand to our territory and delivering superior product, which is something we at Brand Direct and Trade Innovators pride ourselves on."

Source: SportsNewsSource, 8/23/2004

Airwalk's Yahoo! Profile


What is Marketing?

This is a very good question and answers on the web typically ends up being a lot of tactics, like advertising, brand management, sales, service, pricing, email marketing, etc. That's a good start, but far from complete. And that's one of the problems with the web. If you go to search engines like Google and type in "marketing expert", you'll come up with over 27,000 web pages! When you've got that many people claiming to be experts in marketing, it's difficult to even know what marketing means.

Want to find out what is really means? Go here...

Marketing Profs.com; Allen Weiss


A Letter To Garcia

The hypermediate blog would not be complete without this one...

Read A Letter to Garcia, by Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), 22 Feburary, 1899

Including Blogs in the Marketing Mix

As a blog about marketing, it seemed appropriate to post an article about using blogs for marketing. Plus...a footwear and a candy company are both mentioned...two soft spots for me...

Companies That Don't Include Blogs in the Marketing Mix Are Leaving Money on the Table. What Blogging Opportunity Is Your Company Missing? Read More

- B.L. Ochman; whatsnextonline.com

Do You Have Marketing Myopia?

It's been 42 years since Theodore Levitt first introduced the term Marketing Myopia, and our marketing eyesight has not improved much. Even today, most companies don't market their product correctly. At the heart of the issue is focus: Marketing should focus not on product, but on the customer. Do you have Marketing Myopia as well?

MarketingProfs.com; Michael Fischler

And since we're talking about it...and since Woodman reminded me of the article...here is Levitt's "Marketing Myopia."

Every major industry was once a growth industry. But some that are now riding a
wave of growth enthusiasm are very much in the shadow of decline. Others, which
are thought of as seasoned growth industries, have actually stopped growing. In
every case the reason growth is threatened, slowed, or stopped is not because
the market is saturated. It is because there has been a failure of management.

Read Marketing Myopia


Chuck Taylors have endured for years as the anti-trendy sneaker, and now new owner Nike has launched an ad campaign to make them, well, trendy. Ad campaigns? When it comes to his trusty Chucks, Jeff Hess don't need no stinkin' ad campaigns. That's because Hess, of Jefferson County, has faithfully worn Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers for nearly two decades. Read More

From the American Marketing Association's website: www.marketingpower.com
Aug 22, 2004 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Author: Jeff Daniel


In Defense of Greed

Mother Teresa helped many people, but Michael Milken helped more.

Read this article from Forbes


Cool Quote - 8/23/04

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
- Bill Gates

Cool Quote - 8/23/04

"Morale is faith in the man at the top."
- Albert S. Johnstone

Cool Quote - 8/23/04

"If the primary aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever."
- Thomas Aquinas

Airwalk is in Payless - The Party is Truly Over

Airwalk(R) Lifestyle Footwear Is the Latest Brand in Expanded Athletic Line From Payless ShoeSource

Back-To-School Collection Features Fleece, Contemporary Casual Looks and Classic Skate Styles. Payless is helping parents send kids back to school in style without breaking the bank by offering many new brandsthat deliver the hottest new footwear fashions at prices everyone can afford. The latest in the new Payless(R) branded athletic shoe collection isAirwalk(R) lifestyle footwear, available at Payless stores nationwide andPayless.com for men, women and children beginning at under $20 a pair. Read More

I saw the TV ad on national TV, I believe MTV to be exact. And check out the homepage at payless.com. OUCH...



Thinking Outside The Cup

Speaking of entertainment as a branding vehicle...
Surprise! Starbucks barista-in-chief Howard Schultz is making a big, bold push into the music business. He aims to transform the record industry -- and turn Starbucks into the world's biggest brand, period.  Read More
Fast Company, Alison Overholt, Issue 84, July 2004, Page 50

Sales and Marketing 2003: Sell Me The Money

We used to love sitting in meetings, sipping cappuccinos, and talking about "the brand," too. In 2003, it's time to jump into the trenches with the great unwashed: your sales people and your company's prospects.  Read More

MarketingProfs.com, Tom Barnes, February 4, 2003  

Using the Business Case to Close the Deal

Marketing executives invest a great deal of time and money building the brand, only to see it diluted at the most critical point—in front of the customer. Depending on how your sales force executes—the process they follow, the questions they ask, the messaging they use—the brand equity you work so hard to create will be either reinforced or undermined by their actions.  Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Jonathan Sharp, July 20, 2004

Trading Up

Middle-market consumers, in the United States and around the world, are trading up to New Luxury products and services that deliver higher levels of quality, taste, and aspiration than conventional ones. Because New Luxury goods sell at premiums of 20-200% over standard midprice goods, they deliver higher profits. They also sell in much higher volumes than superpremium products.

Read More

Where Are the Women?

By now, plenty were supposed to be in the corner offices. It's not working out that way. In many fields, men still rule, while women often choose more nuanced paths that keep them from reaching the top. But who are the real winners? Read More
Fast Company, Linda Tischler, Issue 79, February 2004, Page 52

The Company as Magazine

This one is for you Woodman. And Scott, what's the status of "7 Magazine" anyway?
Imagine that your company is a magazine. To be a little clearer, you're still in whatever business that you're in, but there's an important magazine component to what you do. Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Chris Maher December 17, 2002

Top Six Sales Guide Mistakes

Most companies spend their marketing budgets generating market awareness, but spend precious little equipping their sales force with the knowledge to sell. And in today's economy, selling is anything but easy.  Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Gwyn Finnell, February 11, 2003

Selling ROI: Beyond The Numbers

If you are in marketing or sales, chances are it isn't because you aced linear systems in college. Truth is, math intimidates many of us, and so the attention around ROI can be daunting.
What gets lost in the math phobia is that selling ROI does in fact require very human, very relationship-driven, qualitative skills. These skills are far more important than the financial formulas that are so alien to most of us. 
Read More

MarketingProfs.com, Tom Barnes April 13, 2004

How Women Buy

What women want is the eternal mystery, and we can’t all tweak our product lines to fit a woman’s top ten desires (true love, regular pedicures and sculpted upper arms, among others). So, if you want to reach women with your wonderful widget, and they don’t yet realize that they need your widget at all, what do you do?

The buying mind of a woman is a sophisticated and powerful tool. Marketers should try to tap into the characteristics of her buying mind that will guide her to thinking that what your company provides is, indeed, what she wants. Here are those characteristics...
Hey, it's quicker than a trip to Venus.
Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Andrea Learned and Lisa Johnson, July 23, 2002

The Trouble with Segmentation

Despite bigger and better data warehouses, fancier analytical tools, and a growing body of data-mining knowledge, companies continue to struggle with the concept of database segmentation. For now, segment profiles in most companies remain simply good bed-time reading.Put these suggestions to use, and your CFO will leap out of bed. Yikes! Read More

MarketingProfs.com, Stephen Shaw August 6, 2002

The One True Secret of Email Marketing

With years of combined experience, we've discovered quite a bit about what works, and what doesn't, in the email marketing arena. More than that, we've also divined the true secret of marketing via electronic mail.

Scootch up your chair and lean in close to your screen. Here's the single great truth of email marketing: It's the content that counts. Pay the most attention to what really matters: the words in your message, and the words on any web pages the email links your customers or readers to. Seems obvious, eh? Unfortunately, that's not obvious from the way most companies do things. Read More

MarketingProfs.com, Ann Handley and Nick Usborne, August 20, 2002

Cool Quote - 7/29/04

"If this business were split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would take the brands and trademarks, and I would fare better than you."
- John Stewart, Former CEO, Quaker

The Brand Connection - The Link Between Corporations and the Executives that Lead Them

In this day of celebrity brands, and branded cities, it is not only becoming common, it is becoming essential, for senior executives to build and communicate their personal brands to expand both individual and corporate success. To develop and implement communications plans that nurture corporate brands, it is essential to have an in-depth understanding of branding. Read More
MarketingProfs.com, William Arruda, 8/27/02

Making Brand Promises You Can't Keep

Just as you don't like to be let down or mislead, neither do your customers. Although it may be tempting to make claims of greatness or leadership to stand out within a cluttered marketplace, it will not lead to long-term success and customer loyalty if you can't deliver.
If you lie to your prospects and customers you cannot hide. In the end, you will lose and your competitors will gain.
Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Tony Bombacino, September 3, 2002 

A Question of Value

"What's the value-add?" "I just want to add some value." This question and comment are ubiquitous in business conversations all over the world, and are abstract enough that they apply to myriad customer situations and interactions. When you hear these questions/comments, you should then ask: How do you define value? What does it mean to "add value?" How do you know if you're successful? And finally, what do you do if you know that the value attributes are changing and/or migrating?   Read more

MarketingProfs.com, Michael Perla, October 1, 2002


"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence...Keep interested in your own career, however humble;it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time...Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth...With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

Read all of Desiderata

Leadership - Honeywell CEO Interview

Larry Bossidy, ex-CEO of Honeywell and AlliedSignal, has been presenting an unfashionable message—execution matters. David Creelman  of HR.com spoke to Mr. Bossidy about why he thinks execution should be your top priority and what it means for human resources.

Read the full interview.

What To Do With What You’ve Got: Using Testimonials Effectively

We know the value of securing customer testimonials. But once you have them in hand, it’s what you do with them that really counts.
Read full article from MarketingProfs.com

Cool Quote - 7/29/04

"A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd."
- James Crook


Commentary from Greg Woodman: Sport Style(Fashion)  Entertainment ( Music) away from Mass Market (where did the mass go---I guess he thought CBS and Life Magazine still existed) says McDonalds guy about NEW direction…see below.  They need Janice to explain local marketing to them…..
CMO Larry Light Calls for Move to 'Brand Journalism'
June 16, 2004;
AdAge.com; Hillary Chura

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Declaring that mass marketing no longer works and that "no single ad tells the whole story," Larry Light, McDonald's CMO Larry Light said the company was moving to 'brand journalism' techniques. 

McDonald Corp.'s chief marketing officer, said McDonald's has adopted a new marketing technique that he dubbed "brand journalism."

Speaking at the AdWatch: Outlook 2004 conference at the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Mr. Light described the concept as one marking "the end of brand positioning as we know it." He went on to say that effective marketing should use many stories rather than employing one message to reach everyone. In effect, he declared that McDonald's was abandoning the universal message concept.

Big idea"Any single ad, commercial or promotion is not a summary of our strategy. It's not representative of the brand message," he said. "We don't need one big execution of a big idea. We need one big idea that can be used in a multidimensional, multilayered and multifaceted way."

He went on to define brand journalism, which he also referred to as a brand narrative or brand chronicle, as a way to record "what happens to a brand in the world," and create ad communications that, over time, can tell a whole story of a brand.

Mr. Light said the fast-food giant wants to deliver its "I'm Lovin' It" message in four cultural languages: sports, fashion, music and entertainment. To branch out, he said, the company is using many platforms and has shifted the advertising budget. Two-thirds of that budget was once dedicated to prime-time broadcast TV. Now, only one-third is, he said.

Ideas from everywhereThough McDonald's has a bevy of advertising agencies, the bulk of its work comes from Omnicom Group and its agency DDB Worldwide, as well as Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide. The company, however, has said it wants ideas from everywhere and is not limiting that to roster ad shops or their U.S. operations.

He said that when a company executes a major shift in strategy, it should do so with a bang rather than a whisper -- and that is why the first "I'm Lovin' It" efforts used hip-hop music not usually associated with the worldwide chain.

"If [companies] are going to declare a new direction, close the door on the past and announce your future. Don't be subtle about it," said Mr. Light, who was the architect of the "I'm Lovin' It" idea and has overseen McDonald's improvement in fortune over the past year. Analysts are uncertain to ascribe the improvement to the advertising, store design, better menu driven by new salads, the rebounding economy or other factors.

$577 million ad spendMcDonald's spent $577 million in measured media last year, compared with $572 million in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

How We Keep Score in Life

Savvy selling requires the wisdom to occasionally look beyond improving our selling skills and strategies to see the bigger picture, to put our careers in the overall perspective of our lives. After all, who wants to have on his tombstone, "John Doe, Great Salesman"? Please don't think me morbid for raising this, but I can't help thinking of what author Ed Brodow says in Beating the Success Trap: Life is like a long weekend -- it really will be over before you're ready. The trick is to enjoy your journey.

Read the full article.

The Brand Called You

Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here's what it takes to be the CEO of Me Inc.

Tom Peters, Fast Company, Issue 10, August/September 1997, Page 83


Cult Brands

The BusinessWeek/Interbrand annual ranking of the world's most valuable brands shows the power of passionate consumers
Click here to read the article.

Business Week's 100 Top Brands - 2004

Business Week's ranking of the top brands. Interesting to look at this list versus the Superbrands list. The question..although there are models, can a brand be quanitified? We know strong brands matter and have financial implications. More importantly, how do you replicate it?

"An orange…is an orange…is an orange. Unless, of course, that orange happens to be a Sunkist…”
Brand Equity = A set of assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand that adds to (or subtracts from) the value provided by a product or service.  The effects of a strong brand: 
Product related effects: High perceived quality, high purchase rate, positive brand association, confidence increase, positive attitude, purchase intention

Price related effects: Larger market share that is less affected by price increases, key player in setting the price 
Communication related effects:
Positive halo effect that can positively bias the evaluation of brand marketing, repetitive ads are accepted more positively, strong brands experience increases in purchases when advertising increases

Channel related effects: Much higher chance of acceptance in a distribution channel, better shelf space, stores feature well-known brands to convey a high quality image  

Source: Aaker, David A. (1996). Building Strong Brands. Pg 7, NY, NY: The Free Press 

Superbrands 2004

First came the supermarket, then the supermodel, and thanks to BRANDWEEK, the Superbrand.
For the Airwalkers out there, the top brands are: Nike, Reebok, New Balance, Adidas, K-Swiss, Converse, Vans, Asics...in that order. Ahhh...what might have been...
Click here for the Superbrands of 2004 report Published June 21, 2004

Greetings & Welcome to hypermediate!

This is the first of I hope many posts to the hypermediate web log. Those that helped found the marketing services firm, hypermediate, back in 2000, know what the term meant. hypermediate means, "to being buyers and sellers together at a rapid pace." While the company is no longer around, the idea and the participants are.
However, the purposes of this blog are broader. The hypermediate crew is notorious for sharing articles and learning with each other - both professional or personal subjects. Most of use saved them in a binder we lovingly called "The Book of Woo," named after our boss. We're extending this idea online.

Primarily hypermediate will focus on marketing, capitalism, entrepreneurship, brands and business. However, it will also discuss personal and professional philosophies. So hypermediate in this incarnation is really about the bringing together of ideas and the people around those ideas, at a rapid pace.  We'll see where it goes.
Those of you reading this already know who you are. Hopefully we will find and invite others into this discussion. Those that strive to live, love and learn. Those that wish to constantly challenge themselves. Those that have twisted senses of humor.