Why should anyone care about brands in times like these? Because it's during these times of transition, internally or through market shifts, that businesses simultaneously have the highest level of vulnerability and opportunity. Those responsible for shaping and maintaining a brand have much more influence over whether the current news climate weakens or strengthens their brand than they may realize.
A Rose-Gold Alloy Mostly Made of Copper Wouldn't Smell As Sweet Coming From Anywhere But Tiffany's. Press releases trumpeting Tiffany’s posh “new jeweler’s metal,” coined and trademarked Rubedo (Latin for “red”), continues unabated. But many specialists have taken umbrage with both the “new” and the “metal” portions of Tiffany’s claim.
In an era when entire companies and long-time brands are disappearing, why do Americans trust certain brands and not others? What is trust?
There are a couple of things that make a brand great: engendering good feelings to consumers and using those feelings to inspire them to make a purchase.
I had an inane exchange with a social media consultant on his blog last week that reminded me of a truism: just as the rule for understanding politics is to follow the money, an important quality of social media experience is revealed when you consider the role of the megaphone owner...or, in this case, the guy who operates the guillotine. Our topic wasn't important and the guy is probably an otherwise fine human being; I'm much more interested in what our "conversation" told me about the role of social tools like blogging, especially when they seem to be considered by many people to be viable alternatives to traditional media outlets, or often an outright replacement for them. I'm troubled by that prospect, even as I'm thrilled and encouraged for the future potential applications of social media technology
For years, Seventh Generation Inc. co-founder Jeffrey Hollender liked to say "hell would freeze over" before his company's environmentally friendly household products would be sold by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He feels differently now. Starting next month, Seventh Generation staples, including laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose sprays and disinfectant wipes, will be sold in about 1,500 Wal-Mart stores. By September, other cleaners, diapers and baby wipes will be available on Walmart.com.
Integrity isn't the first word that comes to mind when you think of burritos. Chipotle is out to change that with a new marketing overhaul, Food with Integrity. Though they won't be tampering with the tasty (and caloric) burrito recipe, they hope to alter the way American think about fast food and fast food advertising. Chipotle, a former subsidiary of McDonald's (the company went solo in 2006), partnered with San Francisco-based design and strategy firm Sequence to create an informative and somewhat irreverent campaign for its website and product packaging. Just click on the knotted string at the bottom of the screen, and The Chipotle supply chain appears. "While we have never sourced these ingredients to be a marketing platform, it is what makes Chipotle so different from other restaurant companies” the company’s chief marketing officer Mark Crumpacker said in a release.
The Internet giant Google said Friday that the Beijing government had renewed its license to operate a Web site in mainland China, ending months of tension after the company stopped censoring search results here and pulled some operations out of the country.
In case you missed it, the beer company arranged for 36 rather attractive blonde ladies to wear snug fitting, orange dresses during the Netherlands vs. Denmark match. Now, there was no Bavaria branding apart from a tiny and invisible tag on each dress. And orange is the Dutch team's colour. Despite this, FIFA saw it as a threat to Budweiser, the official beer. They marched the girls out. And arrested the 2 ring-leaders, or cheer leaders should I say. Amazing. There was a resulting frenzy of TV and news coverage, all promoting the Bavaria brand.
Undeterred by criticism of a new TV commercial featuring its leader, BP PLC is pressing ahead with a major ad campaign—in an effort to rescue its badly damaged image—as torrents of oil continue to spew into the Gulf of Mexico. "We are preparing a series of ads to air over the next days and weeks," said Andrew Gowers, a spokesman for the British oil company. President Barack Obama blasted the company on Friday for reportedly spending $50 million on television advertising as the company scrambles to fix its leaking well.
One caller raised the fascinating issue of forgiveness, raising the legitimate concern that punishing failures like what happened with BP in the Gulf would lead inevitably to people denying responsibility, blaming others, and seeking to hide their failures. She highlighted the importance of allowing people to communicate bad news without fear, as well as learn from their failures. She advocated a culture of openness and forgiveness that would contribute to learning.
P&G's Dawn dishwashing detergent is facing an immense and somewhat delicate opportunity: it has been donating product to help clean wildlife impacted by oil spills since the Exxon Valdez in 1989, and it is already making a contribution to BP's Gulf disaster relief. I understand that its marketers are considering how much more it might do without getting accused of opportunism.
BP's chief said the company could have done more to prepare for a deepwater oil leak, as the British oil giant met with affected residents Thursday and embarked on fresh efforts to stem the vast slick now threatening the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. BP PLC Chief Executive Tony Hayward has come under mounting pressure over the spill, caused after a drilling rig BP was leasing, the Deepwater Horizon, caught fire and sank last month. The accident killed 11 workers and raised fears of widespread ecological damage.
Consumer groups have been fighting what they see as the prevalence of online tracking, where online advertising is selected for a certain user — perhaps because he once visited a company’s home page, perhaps because he showed an interest in automobiles or baby products, or perhaps because he is a middle-aged man. As opposition has intensified, companies like Google and Yahoo have adjusted their own privacy policies in response to consumer concern. Industry groups, while arguing that free Internet content depends on this type of sophisticated advertising, have issued their own self-regulatory principles.
"Not all recalls are equal, and in this case, McNeil was proactive, instituting the recall before anyone got hurt," he says. "And the very fact that they are doing it is likely to generate a 'yes, they are the brand that is doing the right thing at the right time' response." When the company announced the voluntary recall, it made a point of saying that there was little possibility of the products causing any harm or untoward side effects to people using them. "This recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events."
From Bolivia comes the fascinating branding tale of Coca-Colla. That's right: it's called "Coca-Colla." It's also being called trademark infringement, and "a socialist-tinged affront to western imperialism." It's even being called, jokingly, "the real thing" owing to its use of real coca leaf. What it shouldn't be called is a threat to Coca-Cola. Paradoxically, Coca-Colla's existence only serves to strengthen the brand it imitates (and maybe mocks). Whether Coca-Cola's lawyers see the humor in the parody reamins to be seen.
Allergan and Medicis Pharmaceutical are the Coke and Pepsi of vanity medicine. Allergan makes Botox Cosmetic, the well-known injectable anti-wrinkle treatment. Medicis markets Dysport, a competing anti-wrinkle shot, in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration has approved both drugs to smooth skin furrows between the eyebrows. And now Medicis has introduced a new marketing campaign that pits Dysport directly against Botox, essentially issuing a Pepsi challenge for the wrinkle wars. The campaign is even called the Dysport challenge.
Just under a year ago, Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, wrote a blog post describing how Twitter has made him a better (and happier) person. In it, he poses the following question: "What would you do differently if there were a permanent public record of what you do or say?" Fact is, there is a permanent public record of what you do or say -- online, at least. And, thanks to deals between the major social platforms and the major search engines, that permanent public record is pretty well accessible to anyone. And what it's meant is a greater necessity for people and businesses to display integrity.
To me, these seem like the key components of a good infographic / data visualisation / piece of information design: * Information needs to be interesting (meaningful & relevant) and have integrity (accuracy, consistency). * Design needs to have form (beauty & structure) and function (it has to work and be easy to use).
In media and blogger relations, PR typically wields two powerful tools to help boost the effectiveness of pitching and potential placement of news: the embargo and the exclusive. In the case of an exclusive, a story is usually packaged prior to official release for one particular writer, fully understanding their style, nuances, and audience. If the story is accepted, it is not pitched to any other media outlets until after the story runs. The benefit for PR is that it can bank on the publishing of a guaranteed, high profile story. The advantage for the reporter is that they maintain a position of authority on that particular event. The con for PR, is that usually, other media properties will forgo participating in the round of coverage because it quickly become old news.
It took 30 years of playing guitar in Grand Central Terminal and on New York City streets, but Luke Ryan finally landed a corporate sponsor. Mr. Ryan, 58, usually plays a couple of mornings a week at Grand Central, making him a fixture there, whether commuters notice or not. On Thursday, Mr. Ryan had set up his microphone and speakers in front of where the Times Square shuttles scoot in and out, and there were near constant lines of people heading in both directions. Some people glanced at the source of the sound, some even tugged at their pockets as they passed as though retrieving a dollar, but no one dropped in any change.
Lots of negative feedback from our post the other day on Cash4Gold’s amazing growth and profitability. This year, their third year of operations, they are on track to make $160 million in revenue and $50 million or so in profits. All from encouraging people to send in gold jewelry in exchange for cash. Making obscene profits may make you jealous, but it isn’t evil.
We are now in a “New World” where many rules have changed. We have loss of credibility of the corporations and institutions that speak to us, as well as an increased skepticism in messaging that speaks to an employee, consumer, or customer. We no longer trust an ambiguous graphic treatment or brand claim made by a product or service; instead we now turn to “word of mouth” opinion. Social media channels such as Twitter have redefined and accelerated the way brands and companies are perceived.
These U.K. HSBC spots from JWT London that focus on "integrity" and "responsibility" are gorgeously filmed, but they're so achingly ironic and hypocritical, they make my head spin. Yes, HSBC has refused government bailout money, but the firm is now cutting 6,100 employees, yet still managed to find $1.67 billion to bid on ING's private banking business. Meanwhile, the bank holds forth on the topic of social justice in ads that show a paparazzo and fisherman who "do the right thing." It must be comforting for the C-suite suits to see their gold-tinted vision of reality reflected back at them during commercial breaks. Would they spike the photo of the year or toss back the first big catch in weeks, if it meant losing a ton of money? Of course not. Would you? Integrity and responsibility begin with honesty, something these ads sorely lack.
Three years ago, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees determined that synthetic additives in organic baby formula violated federal standards and should be banned from a product carrying the federal organic label. Today the same additives, purported to boost brainpower and vision, can be found in 90 percent of organic baby formula. The government's turnaround, from prohibition to permission, came after a USDA program manager was lobbied by the formula makers and overruled her staff. That decision and others by a handful of USDA employees, along with an advisory board's approval of a growing list of non-organic ingredients, have helped numerous companies win a coveted green-and-white "USDA Organic" seal on an array of products.
In the eyes of imaginative and opportunistic advertisers and marketers, bloggers and online influencers are the new celebrities and athletes. Brands are showering them with endorsement deals rich with products, cash, trips, exclusive access to information, and VIP treatment each and every day, creating a new genre of star spokespersons.
Yesterday we got the results from the Treasury regarding the stress tests. The results were on one hand extraordinarily troubling, i.e. how is it possible that banks still need another $75 billion in funding to withstand future buffeting? On the other hand with this additional capital, the US Treasury deems these institutions financially capable of handling whatever future financial troubles befall them, which provides the confidence we need to grow our economy. The market has responded by bidding these banking stocks up, the NYSE Financial index is up about 10% this week and 87% off its low. While I am encouraged by the strong response of the market to these financials, I told you earlier in the week that I would be revealing the results of my own “brand” stress test.
The legendary advertising innovator David Ogilvy created an enduring organization using culture, integrity, and charm.
Bloggers, particularly moms, are an audience of such growing importance to General Mills that the consumer-goods company has built a formal network to feed them free products and enable them to run giveaways for their audiences.