Category Archives: Branding

Sex sells

What’s a better way to start the year than a great article in the Economist on the essence of marketing: people are irrational.

And indeed, my posts on stunning babes hired by Dutch beer brand Bavaria last year and this very post are ranked 3 and 4 among the best read posts ever (see menu at the right), and counting…


Facebook’s next challenge

With a simple and brilliant idea Mark Zuckerberg (and the others) turned social network Facebook into the most successfull venture of our generation with over 750 million users. Magazine Time was fully right when they elected him Person of the Year 2010. Facebook did and is changing the world.

But what’s next? Recently, Facebook launched integrated business network BranchOut in an attempt to get a piece of the pie that LinkedIn is baking really fast. But is it wise to add a business platform to a social network? Do these two go together? Can you shift your positioning just like that? I’m not sure.

Then there is Google+. Can somebody please tell me what the pros and cons of this platform are? For techsavvy persons like my brother it’s probably very clear. But I bet 99% of the people don’t know what Google wants or what the features exactly are. What I do know, is that I get the idea they’re trying to tap into both the social and business networks. (Check out this poll on Campaign Asia about FB vs. Google+. Guess who I voted for?;-)

My point is: social and business networks are still early cycle. With a huge members base as Facebook and Google have, you might think they just launch anything they like and try if it works. But at the same time, you do have a brand that you’re building. You don’t want to confuse visitors. And brands need a lot of attention, especially when markets grow up.

And that’s the phase online networks are in now. The pie has to be shared with more hungry competitors and positioning becomes key. There are so many others around already. I just mentioned the big three, but for the smaller ones it’s at least as important. Branding and marketing will be on top of the list. What’s the competitive edge? How do you distinct yourself? Facebook didn’t need a slogan so far. But they might in two years time from now.

Facebook will probably stand out, because of its ridicilously huge members base. On the other hand, they grew big, because they focussed on social network alone. Will adding a business network confuse their members?

Just look me up on Facebook, Mark. I’m happy to discuss.

Sony remains Asia’s most popular brand

Survey today revealed Sony remains Asia’s most popular brand. It’s an Asian party, with Panasonic and Samsung at top rankings. Remarkably, the full top 5 are all consumer electronics brands. This sais all about current consumer behavior in Asia and the phase of the consumer cycle.

Campaign Asia conducted the yearly survey together with TNS. Check out the full ranking here (subscription needed).

NIBC advertising campaign live!

THINK YES! The past few months been busy working on the new campaign for NIBC together with advertising agency ARA. Last monday, the campaign went live with this TV-commercial. The first print ad (scroll down a little bit) was being placed today, radio and online are following next week.

Goal of the campaign is to increase name recognition and to position NIBC as a bank with a can do mentality, just like their entrepreneurial clients. Pay off of the campaign is THINK YES.

Judge kills eiPott

A German court decided that the company Koziol has to drop the name and design of their egg holder eiPott, because it looks too much like Apple’s iPod. As till now, the product is still available at the company’s web shop. Feels like we’re in China!

Now have a look at the name, logo and design of eiPott. Of course Koziol did this on purpose. But, what marketeer would do that? Actually, it’s not even worth the PR. It can’t be a joke, because it’s a serious company actually selling the product. So, come on people, please try to be at least a little bit original. That’s exactly how Apple grew big and is still growing. And now don’t come up with changing the name into Pott, which is what they really threaten to do.

One more time: marketing is about creating Unique Selling Propositions. Copying really is not a USP. If you don’t agree: move to China or make a serious career shift.

Humor sells

Yesterday results of a recent scientific study were being published on the effects of humor in advertising. The study showed that humor in ads does have a positive impact on customers. The study was being performed by Madelijn Strick from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, Holland.laughing

If humor helps to bring across messages to your partner, colleagues or family, it is not very surprising that it smoothens communication with other target groups, like customers.

I was pretty surprised though by one other fact that had been proved by the researchers: viewers of a funny tv commercial or an ad next to a cartoon, for example, do not always remember the brand, but do make a positive association with the right product once they are in the store. This is called the ´humor paradox´by Strick. And even better, this positive association makes them move in the famous AIDA-customer behaviour model from the letter D (Desire) to the letter what we all target for: the A for Action. Bingo! Humor sells!

I do not exactly remember how many, but I wrote several articles in the (recent) past, stating how much I disliked advertising trying to be funny (of course there are lots of really funny ads), but do not succeed in making me remember what brand is being advertised. Now I know that that is not important at all, according to Strick, I think I have ask Google to delete these articles. After all, they might make some people laugh. Oh wait…that´s good!

Power to Albert Heijn

Albert Heijn (part of worldwide Dutch retail giant Ahold) is Holland´s biggest supermarket chain. And probably the oldest, too. Having been positioned as a high quality retailer with dito prices, they were forced to lower their prices the past few year under competition pressure and the ´supermarket war´ a few years ago in the Netherlands. Actually, this war is still going on with just a bit fewer gunshots at the moment.

Albert Heijn is one of the strongest brands in Holland and they do a great job to keeping it that way. Look at the current commercial to convince yourself. The power is original and smart simplicity; and that is scarce in today´s advertising. (Sorry for those who don´t know the Efteling or don´t speak Dutch.)