Tag Archives: brand

A Clever Take on What Brands Cannot Do for Us

24 Apr

Sorry brand marketers, but your brands cannot solve all of our lives’ problems or issues. :-)

Enjoy this slideshow by Michael Paredrakos, Strategic Planner at the Curious Brain.



Lifestyle Branding – Reaching the Market-of-One

26 Jul

A guest post by Alan L. Codkind — Thanks!


Anonymous, one of the most dynamic and creative thinkers of our time, once said, “There is no brand loyalty that two cents off can’t overcome.” How profound. A simple way to understand how brand loyalty works. But is it the least bit true? And, just how prevalent is “two cents off” as a strategy for attracting new and return buyers in omnichannel environments?

I just checked the last ten messages that I received in G-mail that were categorized as Promotions.  (Let’s not even go there…) At the top were, “Final Hours Semi-Annual Sale!”, “Its Back! 72-Hour Extreme Coupon Sale – Prices Slashed!” and “Alan, Open Sale – Last Day to Save 15%!”  The remaining E-mails were pretty much the same.  I didn’t even consider opening any of the fifty or so that I haven’t had a chance to delete yet, even if I did need a new printer cartridge and prices were slashed! They were just not compelling.  It reminded me of barkers at the County Fair calling for my attention. “Three shots for a quarter! Win the lovely lady a prize!”

50 off

So how do you rise above the noise and get a prospect’s attention?

I maintain that this has to do with appealing to a customer’s view of themselves not their image of you.  In the buyers’ mind, they are a market-of-one, because they really do not care about other shopper needs — just their own.  As a market-of-one, more differences than consistencies become visible as you drill down on buyer characteristics.

I believe that the door to engaging customers like a market-of-one is through lifestyle. To do this, you provide day-to-day experiences that resonate with them as relevant and interesting.  For everyone, it is different, not just in product, but supporting their perceptions of self and how they define themselves.  Of course, perception is reality. So their view of their lifestyle is the buyer you must attract.  And with it, “two cents off” becomes increasingly irrelevant. Ask Harley-Davidson. People buy a Harley because of who it says they believe they are, not what price the bike is.

MSN.com has terrific home page of lifestyle topics called the Wonderwall.  It dynamically illustrates how celebrity news, photos, and gossip on are presented in a compelling way. Links to related products are seamlessly integrated into the rest of the site and constantly update. Click to see the image current wall.

Another great example is Jimmy Jazz. This is a retailer of street-inspired products for urban men and women. Its market is truly a collection of market-of-one buyers.  For many of its customers, dressing differently from others is a sign of distinction — their own signature label.  And that attitude includes knowing more about what’s going on in the street:  Being the first to get the lyrics just released by their favorite group.  Interacting on edgy social sites far ahead of the traditional Facebook variety.  Getting advanced notice about new footwear from Shaq.  Seeing videos of celebrities in Jimmy Jazz stores looking at clothes or accessories.

Jimmy Jazz visitors come to keep in touch. And also buy.  As Anonymous also said, “The longer you keep a customer engaged, the better the chance he will buy.” And what better way than lifestyle experience intermingled with product? And it seems to be working. Jimmy Jazz is becoming a cult store. It now has over 175 retail stores and its E-commerce site is the third-fastest growing site on the Retail 500. And that is from near zero revenue online three years ago.

Now, how does “two cents off” sound?


Alan L. Codkind is a Principal Consultant with Disruptive Marketing Solutions. Previously, he was a co-founder and Associate Fellow at The Marketing Lab at Young and Rubicam. At IBM, he was  a Principal Consultant for five National Practices and Product Director for eCommerce. He has been on the founding team of a half dozen venture-funded software start-ups, where he learned the nuances of how disruptive marketing differs from traditional marketing. He can be reached at alan.codkind@gmail.com and 336-870-2226 in East Brunswick, NJ.

From YouSendIt to Hightail: What’s in a Name?

24 Jul

One of the biggest marketing decisions that any firm makes is to change its corporate brand, which represents the foundation of its positioning message. So, what do YOU think of YouSendIt’s rebranding itself as Hightail?

Here’s the company description of itself from its Web site: “Founded in 2004, YouSendIt was working in the cloud before the term was even coined. At first, the service was a simple way to send the large attachments that E-mail couldn’t process, but has since grown to offer robust online sharing, storage, and file management capabilities. Today, the company serves more than 40 million registered users across 193 countries and 98 percent of the Fortune 500.”

View this video to see the company’s rationale for its recent name change.



The Most Valuable Brands for 2013

12 Jun

Each year, Millard Brown (a company involved with advertising, marketing communications, media, and brand equity research) publishes an annual report on the leading global brands.

Click here for a nice infographic.

Click below for the full 78-page 2013 report.


What’s Ahead for “Clean Slate” Brands?

25 Apr

For decades, leading companies have focused on brand extensions that build upon the heritage of their most popular brands. So, the question is: Can clean slate brands (new brands) succeed in the face of all of these brand extensions?

According to Trendwatching.com: “the consumer arena has never been more fixated on the ‘new’. Thanks to the democratization and globalization of innovation (not to mention the celebration of entrepreneurship), brands and individuals from all corners of the world are now working around the clock to dream up and launch endless new products and services, that are truly better and more exciting than current offerings. And to underscore the ‘for and by’ element of the democratization of innovation, new players are by default more nimble and laser-focused on what consumers want now (as opposed to yesterday) than the bigger legacy-laden brands they compete with. So from being something that was pushed to consumers by businesses (‘new and improved’), the ‘new’ is now subject to an increasingly strong pull from consumers. Excited by positive experiences of a ‘new’ that is genuinely ‘better’, consumers are hungry for more.”

Click the image to learn more about clean slate brands.



Trusting Brand Recommendations from Friends

31 Mar

As has been widely reported, consumers consider friend recommendations to be more trustworthy than company advertising.

A recent major research study bears this out. According to a story by Todd Wasserman for Mashable: “Seventy percent of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends, but only 10% trust advertising, according to a new report from Forrester Research. The study, based on responses from 58,000 respondents, also found that 46% of consumers trust consumer reviews and 9% trust text messages from brands. The findings come after at least one Facebook partner has affirmed that the social network’s Sponsored Stories — which are based on friend recommendations on behalf of a brand — are more effective than standard banner ads.”

Click the chart to read more.


Post suggested JD



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