Few others have architected the same control of their product ecosystem. Still, the takeaway is that all companies must adopt a focus on integrating brand with product and service. From those that do it well (Amazon, Tiffany & Co.) to those that still need fine-tuning (Facebook, Walmart), all brands are challenged to consistently deliver coherent and satisfying product and service experiences to customers.
Companies need to start thinking about the holistic experience between their brands, products, and services. Crafting an experience requires design that considers these three elements of brand, product, and service in order to generate successful results. Any company can be analyzed through these lenses to evaluate the experience it creates for its customers.
Put another way, a product is an experience that occurs in the moment. A service is a relationship that extends over time and across platforms and mediums. A brand is much more than the logo; it is the pattern our brains expect based on everything we have previously heard, seen, and felt. All of these components roll up into the larger experience.
a brand’s voice and promise should inform the products that are built and the surrounding services that are delivered to customers.
An algorithm can create 40,000 logo shapes in 12 different color combinations, providing the Media Lab an estimated 25 years’ worth of personalized business cards.
To honor 25 years of backseat-driving robots and vision-scanning iPhones and touchscreen-keyboard-3-D-display hybrids, the MIT Media Lab tapped Brooklyn-based designers (and erstwhile Media Lab rats) E Roon Kang and Richard The to dream up a fresh visual identity. The result is pure, unadulterated Media Lab: an algorithmic logo that generates a sui generis image for each of the Lab’s sui generis brains. (Cue spazzo nerd gasp.)
Some years ago, with increasing globalisation, there was a drive to identify best demonstrated practice, to codify it and coach it. We developed acronyms, characterful shapes and ring-bound folders. We attended conferences, bunjee jumped together and went home with wittily sloganned T-shirts.
With the pressure at Board Room to demonstrate ROI, we became obsessed with proof and measurement, with norms and traffic light systems. What gets measured gets done and what gets green gets made.
Now of course the development of a common Marketing language and a culture of effectiveness has to be a good thing. But few noticed, as the industry professionalized, that the Cavaliers were being marginalised. A steady stream of mavericks made their way to the exit door, their hitherto precious gut instinct no longer deemed valuable.
Beautifully shot, a different insight and strategy for Ikea from Mother London. The campaign comes with a YouTube channel and a Facebook page. Online, the campaign cleverly leverages people’s love for, and the interweb’s obsession with, cats: Facebook Likes at 4,982 and counting.
Recently, the country of Guatemala hired a global branding consultancy to develop a new tourist strategy.
According to the consultants: Extensive focus groups were carried out to understand the perspective of a broad range of Guatemalans, including the business, artistic, literary, hospitality and indigenous communities.
‘Working from the values of Mysticism, Intimacy, Diversity, Evolution, and Authenticity, states the consultancy, we defined a distinctive and credible brand essence.’
Guatemala’s new brand essence: ‘Soul of the Earth.’
Is ‘Soul of the Earth’ a good idea or not? Are there any objective criteria to determine if a new position is going to be effective or not?
If you’re sitting in a boardroom listening to an agency present the concept for your new advertising campaign, how do you respond? Do you go with your gut? Or do you have another way to figure out whether the proposed idea is going to work?
Is facebook just another marketing channel? Does every brand need a fb page? Is a fb post on your page always better than sending an email? How do you increase your fan numbers? These questions and more are answered in this revealing presentation by Soap Creative in Australia.
Last week, Apple overtook Microsoft as the world’s most valuable technology company. How has it managed to be so successful? Pundits love to say “innovation”, but if you go beyond the generic answer and break down the specific steps in Apple’s business model, an intriguing picture emerges.
Let’s take the iPhone, and follow the stream of money from its origin of an initial consumer purchase all the way to the ocean that represents Apple’s incredible profits.
Our journey begins with a consumer who heads into O2, Vodafone or another network provider to purchase a new iPhone 3GS. If Apple was any normal company it would now expect to give away up to 15% of its revenues in margin for the retailer. But Apple’s brand strength combined with the latent threat of its own retail stores means it usually sells its products to retailers for virtually the same price as they will charge their consumers. That’s right – zero profit for the retailer. Apple can do this because it is a destination brand that every retailer wants and one that often confers lucrative peripheral sales.
Look at how the company executes a pre-launch strategy to build anticipation and generate awareness. Examine closely how Apple uses its retail partners to make the launch events an actual occasion rather than just the start of availability. Study carefully how Apple initially uses premium prices at the outset to maximise profits and communicate exclusivity, and then later as the reference price to discount from in order to drive sales from less involved market segments. But most important, look at how Apple always runs out of product long before the initial launch ends.
Sales managers and finance people must think Apple is insane. Why make less stock than the guaranteed demand? Only marketers, the good ones at least, understand that the success of the iPhone 4 hinges as much on running out of initial supplies as it does on the phone’s sleek new design. By running out of iPhones, Apple actually ensures its product will eventually be more successful. Scarcity keeps its retailers like AT&T, Vodafone and O2 onside by restricting their supply. It also ensures a vital additional hit of publicity as media coverage of retailers selling out of iPhones underlines both the massive demand for the new product and the continued success of Apple.
Comcast is in the process of rebranding some of its offerings to “Xfinity,” although the company name will remain Comcast.
Consumers in 11 markets will have a choice of Xfinity TV, Xfinity Voice and Xfinity Internet. Presumably, Comcast will soon be rolling out these high-speed, high-definition services to other prospects in the 39 states the company serves.
Is this a good move?
Lawyers will tell you the best trademarks are “coined” names such as Kodak and Xerox. So we are seeing a raft of coined brand names you can’t find in any dictionary, including Xfinity.
But wait a minute. There’s a well-known automobile brand called “Infiniti.” Isn’t Comcast worried about the confusion between the two? If not, did Comcast consider using Xonda or Xundai or Xoyota?
But there is a bigger issue here. Comcast is a large company with revenues last year of $35.8 billion. In addition to its cable, telephone and internet services, Comcast has cable programming interests (G4, Versus and The Golf Channel) and also owns entertainment channel E!
Not to mention the company’s 51% interest in NBC Universal, a joint venture with General Electric.
It makes sense for Comcast to have a pure “company” name like Procter & Gamble and have its services, programming and cable channels defined with their own brand names.