Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

34 posts categorized "Reputation management"

31 October 2014

Dear Jeff Bezos...

Jeff

Dear Jeff Bezos,

Your latest financial earnings report really got me thinking. Why do people buy from Amazon today? Two reasons spring to mind:

1. Because Amazon is convenient (customers know they will find everything they need, at a good price that they don’t have to spend hours comparing).

2. Because Amazon is reliable (fast delivery and easy returns process).

In short, Amazon is easy and you know you won’t be disappointed. It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Differentiation is great, but it’s only necessary in a few relevant aspects. Being the first to do ‘XYZ’ may be cool, but online shopping has grown up and today people don’t buy from you because it’s cool - they buy from you because it’s easy and they won’t be disappointed.

Continue reading "Dear Jeff Bezos..." »

23 September 2014

Is Coca-Cola Big, Bad and Stupid?

Coca-Cola is the giant of the soft drinks industry, yet the original mass marketer with the distribution reach of God has received quite a bit of negative press lately: carbonated soft drinks are losing their fizz with volumes down and profits harder to maintain. On top of this, it seems that the Coca-Cola Company has become the company we all love to hate. 

It’s Coca-Cola’s fault we are obese. It’s Coca-Cola’s fault that our kids are out of control and high on preservatives. It’s Coca-Cola’s fault our rivers are polluted with empty bottles. It’s Coca-Cola’s fault our teeth are rotten.  It’s Coca-Cola’s fault we don’t understand what “in moderation” means. Big, bad Coca-Cola.

But it’s not just Coke that is suffering from being big or being viewed as bad, multinationals everywhere are under constant threat of diminishing returns, lacklustre results and bad press, but it’s the effect these have on organisations’ behaviour that is the real threat. When big companies feel threatened, introspection and fear are familiar by-products. Whether the source of that threat comes from the City and shareholder demands, market changes or competition, this introspection and fear translates into organisations not doing what they need to do but rather what they can do; in other words, creating “stuff”.

Continue reading "Is Coca-Cola Big, Bad and Stupid?" »

05 December 2012

Starbucks or Star'sucks'?

By Cream Editorial

I’m not much of a Starbucks loyalist, so this 2012 Starbucks campaign called ‘Every Coffee Should Be a Starbucks’ leaves me oddly amused, considering the current ‘tax-ing’ environment the brand is in, no pun intended. The American coffee chain recently faced turbulence in the UK when it was widely criticised for evading corporation tax over a period of time. And that makes this summer campaign strange to look at – with its tone of voice almost bordering on arrogance. A trifle baffling! 

Continue reading "Starbucks or Star'sucks'? " »

15 May 2012

The new era of emotive advertising

by Danny Turnbull

Over the last few years we have seen ad campaigns focus largely on the financial benefits of purchasing a specific product, rather than building loyalty and brand values to incentivise purchases. BOGOF deals, half price sales and aspirational products became the order of the day for advertisers. But there has been something of a sea change over the past year or so, where ads are becoming more emotive. Take John Lewis and its runaway success with its ‘The Long Wait’ advert over Christmas, which had viewers reaching for the tissues. Google’s ‘Dear Sophie’ ad also pulled on the heartstrings of the British public, culminating in Google’s VP stating that “If we don’t make you cry, we fail.” So what do advertisers want to achieve with this tactic of emotive advertising?

John Lewis The long wait"The Long Wait" for John Lewis, by Adam & Eve

This emotive trend aims to develop brand loyalty and moral values. Companies are cautious of being viewed solely as money-grabbing and unsympathetic of people’s situations in a credit-crunch economy, with political leaders extolling the benefits of ‘responsible capitalism’. What better way to portray a million – or in Google’s case a billion – dollar business than as a friend with the same morals, values and drives that the public have. The ‘Dear Sophie’ ad oozes ‘family’, ‘love’ and ‘security’, and merely by association it suggests that this is what Google will provide – exactly what many yearn for in hard times.

These emotive themes also trigger audiences to interact with brands far easier because they are not presented as faceless corporations. Brands want to drive customer loyalty, and create genuine relationships between customers, companies and products that hasn’t been seen in the past. A brand that acts and supports a lifestyle – be it green, socially conscious or family-driven is more likely to be granted with a consumer’s custom. Don’t be surprised if John Lewis’ competitors start building a brand image that conveys a specific set of values in attempt to overshadow the department store of choice.

Another intriguing correlation with this emotive branding exercise is the rise of the happiness index. Various countries and governing bodies have conducted wide scale investigations into the wellbeing of their populations. However tenuous and flimsy you think this metric is, it is a revealing coincidence that the rising public profile of the nation’s happiness (or lack of it) has been matched by an increase in emotive advertising. The economic outlook over the past few years has turned from bad to worse, and this has caused a change in the outlook of the population. No longer is there such a focus on financial benefits (maybe because there simply isn’t enough money lying around anymore) and so the general consumer now aspires to other things – namely emotional happiness and their overall wellbeing. It is clear that advertisers have sensed this and realised that a change in tactics must be locked in.

The switch of aspirations by the general public from wealth to emotional wellbeing naturally has caused a shift in tactics by marketers. Such a major cultural shift means that marketing must now appeal to more than just the customer’s wallet, and must provide benefits that go beyond financial gain. The age of big business, advertisers and corporations making unchecked profit has been consigned to the gutter, and now society wants companies that will give back not just in taxes and jobs, but in social wellbeing and long-term morality.

Brands must align themselves with this new way of thinking, or risk losing customers. This brings us back to the theory of ‘responsible capitalism’. Many consumers are re-assessing how they live their lives and it’s down to brands to help them live more sustainably. Business and advertising must also follow their path to cement loyalty in the long-term.

Danny Turnbull is Managing Director at gyro

04 April 2012

What's In A Name?

Kodak
News

Last week’s post focused on Kraft’s risqué new name for their snack food spin off. This week, we decided to look at Kodak, who some claim might have survived if they had created new names for different markets.

Continue reading "What's In A Name?" »

18 January 2012

More than just a simple marketing idea

With the launch of the BRAVES, the new awards that celebrate excellence and innovation in the online video space, here at Cream we're discovering some amazing work on a daily basis. This film is from Japanese denim manufacturer Edwin, and is one of the most striking corporate videos we've ever seen. 

In this perfect contender for the 'Best Art Direction' category, there's no dialogue, no corny messages and no brand mission statement. Instead the film manages to convey the craftsmanship, the technology and the people that are essential to the Edwin brand and its heritage as a Japanese firm. 

"For 35 years, Edwin Japan have worked on improving efficiency, quality, construction and washing methods by studying and engineering machinery used in the denim manufacturing process.

Edwin-japan-denim-production-3

Continue reading "More than just a simple marketing idea" »

11 January 2012

The danger of being a star-struck brand manager

Celebrity endorsements have long been a powerful marketing tool. Like all strategies, the idea of getting a famous person to act as a brand ambassador comes with its own unique pros and cons.  Lots of commentators covered this subject during the various indiscretions of Tiger Woods, which saw the professional golfer sacked from a number of lucrative ad contracts over his marital indiscretions.

But while some relationships do not end well, it is a sad fact of media that some partnerships are doomed from the start. Some are very successful and in some cases you have to wonder if it’s just a case of brand managers abusing their position to meet their favourite actors and pop stars.

Fiat and Jennifer Lopez

At the start of 2011, Fiat launched its new Fiat 500 campaign in the States, enlisting a dream spokeswoman in the face of Jennifer Lopez. After a few years in the pop wilderness, J-Lo was back in 2010 with a hit album and worldwide smash single. Her appearance as a judge on American Idol confirmed that her star was in the ascendant.

Continue reading "The danger of being a star-struck brand manager" »

24 November 2011

Qantas competition twisted by Twitter

626934-qantas-grounded-brisbane-airport-oct29

The airline industry and Twitter were never going to get along. As a method of getting about, air travel is dependent on so many variables that delays, cancellations and missed flights are going to be inevitable. Frequent flyers are used to all manner of disruptions called by fog, mechanical failure, ice on the runway and refuelling delays – and this assuming that the air traffic control staff aren’t on strike in one of the countries you have to fly over in order to reach your destination.

Continue reading "Qantas competition twisted by Twitter" »

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  • Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.

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