At the moment, we are good at making meaning (Facebook) and good at making money (Amazon), but we are not good at doing both.
Going to market effectively these days, no matter what business you're in, means relating to customers as individuals — even if there are millions of them.
There’s no shortage of big initiatives going on at Facebook these days. We sat down with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week to talk about the state and future of Facebook and its surrounding ecosystem. Zuckerberg shared his thoughts on recent changes to the Facebook Platform, competitive dynamics he desires amongst developers, the surprising growth of the social games business on Facebook overall, his vision for Facebook Credits, market perceptions of Facebook’s revenue streams and overall revenue numbers, what the company learned from its period of serious interest in Twitter, and Facebook’s company culture around money.
Apple has long been the little guy in the Mac vs. PC debate, but that's no longer the case. As of trading on Tuesday, Microsoft and Apple both have roughly equal market capitalizations of around $230 billion. By another measure--adding in debt and other factors--Cupertino has actually surpassed Redmond in total value. The fact that Apple has reached this level of valuation represents a remarkable turn of events in the history of computing.
A year ago, as television executives prepared for the 2009-10 season, they suffered double-digit percentage losses in advertising revenue because the economy weakened demand among marketers for commercial time. Now, as those executives get ready for the 2010-11 season, they are optimistic for a rebound in revenue, and higher rates, because demand has improved in recent months.
To change an organization from within, it helps to understand four basic circulatory systems, analogous to the channels of communication in a living body.
Apple Inc. plans to begin producing this year a new iPhone that could allow U.S. phone carriers other than AT&T Inc. to sell the iconic gadget, said people briefed by the company. The new iPhone would work on a type of wireless network called CDMA, these people said. CDMA is used by Verizon Wireless, AT&T's main competitor, as well as Sprint Nextel Corp. and a handful of cellular operators in countries including South Korea and Japan. The vast majority of carriers world-wide, including AT&T, use another technology called GSM.
So the Dow hit a bull-market high last Wednesday and gas costs more than $3/gallon. You know what comes next, don't you? It's not a question of if but rather when we'll all be complaining about falling stocks and rising gas prices. We should be particularly aware of this inevitable reality since most of us are still smarting from the wounds we received over the past year or two. You'd think that the branding brain trusts at big financial services firms and oil companies would have gotten together and recognized these facts -- the context of reality in which their brands exist -- and modified both their business operations and marketing accordingly:
In this second post on topics from the new brandgym book we look at gaining leadership in a segment, rather than the total market. We illustrate this with the example of the UK potato chip market, and the battle between Walkers and Kettle Chips.
It's a beautiful time to be a man -- or at least to market to men -- as personal-care marketers rev up for what looks to be the biggest array of product launches for men in nearly a decade and maybe ever.
At a McDonald’s Corp. test kitchen in an unmarked Illinois warehouse, next year’s menu plan for the U.K. has hit a snag. When the visiting British team adds wrap sandwiches, service slows. “This is the place to find out,” said Jeff Stratton, McDonald’s chief restaurant officer, as he considered the fate of the wrap. It’s among dozens of new products being tested at the Innovation Center to make sure service isn’t disrupted. “We will probably not recommend they add this one until the bugs are worked out,” he said. Speed is increasingly the focus, as McDonald’s tries to increase customer satisfaction and gain market share amid an economic slowdown that’s driving people to eat at home.
Global consumer confidence is rebounding, and in the United States has risen for the first time since 2007, amid signs the world economy is picking up although spending is still restrained, a survey showed on Wednesday. Confidence was highest in India, followed by Indonesia and Norway, and was weakest in Japan, Latvia, Portugal and South Korea, although in Korea it had improved markedly, according to a quarterly survey by The Nielsen Company, conducted between September 28 and October 16.
The world’s largest media markets will return to growth in 2011, according to the latest advertising spending forecast, but with only a “meagre” recovery as emerging markets take a greater share of global ad budgets.
It's an increasingly common dilemma for CMOs with brands in the middle or top end of the market. Should you tackle the threat head-on and reduce existing prices on your premium brand, knowing it will reduce profits and potentially damage brand equity? Or should you maintain prices, hope for better times to return, and in the meantime lose sales from customers and support from your CEO? With both of these alternatives often proving equally unpalatable, many marketers have decided on a third option: launching a fighter brand.
You didn't think Google was going to take the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal lying down, did you? The Mountain View, Calif.-based giant hasn't taken an official position on the proposed deal, but it is quietly disseminating a view to regulators, politicians, analysts and journalists: that the need for scale is not a valid case for approving Microsoft's search deal with Yahoo. This, of course, is the core argument in favor of the deal: that Microsoft and Yahoo cannot compete effectively against Google in search on their own and that their deal would make the search market itself more competitive.
As far as economic indicators go, consumer credit isn't a market-mover. But it is telling a pretty compelling story. A tally of outstanding borrowing, ranging from credit cards to auto loans, shows consumer credit contracted for six straight months through July, when it slid a record $21.6 billion to $2.47 trillion. August is expected to show a seventh contraction, by $7.5 billion, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The Federal Reserve reports the number Wednesday afternoon. Usually consumer credit doesn't move markets because of the hefty delay in the timing of the report, and because -- until lately -- it usually rose. And, ultimately, it is good for consumers to start living within their means.
For over 15 years I have been looking at the world of marketing, advertising and public relations and seeing things a bit differently. I was not alone. Countless others also saw the real need for systemic changes, or dare I say reform, across the board. The fundamental challenge became that the broad concept of “the market” was not fair nor efficient – the ones with the power (and money) won, and they often won at the expense of other’s loss.
When TV watchers turn on the tube this fall, they'll see a new Samsung commercial that shows girls--and a gorilla--holding cameras in front of their faces, doing what everyone seems to be doing these days: taking pictures of themselves. Samsung Electronics is spending some $50 million on a year-long ad blitz to promote its new DualView cameras that give consumers an easy way to take self portraits--they have a display screen in the front and one in the back.
Chinese brands have come a long way since the days of Mao where coats and boots came in two colors and consisted of dubious quality. Rising in complexity and caliber, brands such as Haier and Chery are not content to rule the middle kingdom and instead seek to invade new markets. Forget bringing your brand to China, are you prepared for the onslaught of Chinese brands in your home market?
The breakdown of two of Detroit's Big Three is bringing urgency to the scramble among the world's automakers to forge alliances with former rivals, carve inroads into new markets and shop for well-known brands.
It is not what a company sells but what the customers buy, so it's a fundamentally flawed exercise for marketers to start dictating where a market begins and ends. The archetypal example of the strategic vulnerability of categories has always been the early American train companies.