Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

35 posts categorized "Reputation management"

24 November 2011

Qantas competition twisted by Twitter


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.

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16 November 2011

Social science and insight clichés - An infographic

Social media has been around long enough now to allow a number of universal consumer insights to have emerged. In their worst form they appear as hackneyed phrases in most media awards entries. It seems that at any given time, half the marketing on the planet is driven by the revelation that "teenagers are passionate about music" and the idea that consumers want to "engage with brands that provide entertaining content".  

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13 September 2011

Everyday brands bring comfort and reassurance

By Nigel Hollis

Plymouth, Vermont, is still digging out from the damage caused by Hurricane Irene. The road, power and phone crews have done a fantastic job to stabilize and repair the local infrastructure. That said, travel is still difficult and people hardest hit by the flooding are still in need of help and supplies. And brand name goods are playing a starring role in meeting people’s most immediate needs.

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18 August 2011

Telling consumers where to get off

Much has been made of the dilemma facing Blackberry and RIM (Riot In Motion? Sorry – Ed.) which saw the mobile phone brand effectively hijacked by a group of consumers who probably didn’t feature very highly on Blackberry’s target demographic. BlackBerry for its part has maintained a dignified silence, no doubt made all the more frustrating by the countless number of media pundits who will insist on analysing the role and responsibility of the brand in the recent London incidents.

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09 August 2011

Blackberry’s reputation and the London riots

Could Blackberry experience the same problems of undersirable customer associations like Burberry? About six years ago, Burberry was suffering something of an identity crisis. The historic British brand, famed for its beige check fabric and trench coats had once been a desired designer on the backs of A-listers everywhere. But by 2005, the name Burberry had become synonymous, in the UK at least, with the much maligned ‘chav’ class.

For the uninitiated, the term ‘chav’ has come to be applied to a disruptive youth sub-culture, epitomised by loutish behaviour, a penchant for ostentatious jewellery and most famously, Burberry print clothing. The theory that the term originally derives from the acronym “Council House And Violent” might be apocryphal, but is an engaging story nonetheless. 


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01 July 2011

Middleton and Moss: When two Kates collide - An infographic

There's no denying that both of the world's Great Kates are powerful forces in media. One has been the queen of cool since early 1990s as the party-loving anti-supermodel, the other is the future Queen of England with the ability set a new high street trend with every public appearance.

The past 18 months has been a busy time for both the GKs, and thanks to those clever folks at LBi you can now compare and contrast the coverage of the very public lives of these two very different women. 

Infographic Click to enlarge

Not that it's about picking favourites, but given the choice I'd rather go for night out on the town with Kate Moss. But Middleton is the woman who seems to be single handedly saving the British high street. So both Kates, we salute you. 

03 June 2011

Why Roland Bunce could be a PR coup for Next

The UK press has taken much delight in reporting the story of Roland Bunce. To bring you up to speed, Bunce is one of the contestants who took part in an online modelling competition with UK clothing retailer Next.

Next is a mid-price high street fashion name, present in most town centres across the UK. As part of its latest ‘Make me the Next Model’ competition, potential models can post photographs to a website for public vote. The highest scoring entries are shortlisted for final adjudication by jury and the winner gets to appear in a Next photo shoot and receives £2,000 for being good looking and popular enough to win the competition.

As marketing ideas go, this is a nice idea but fairly unremarkable. That is until 24-year-old Roland Bunce decided to take part. In modelling terms, Bunce is not what one might term ‘classically good looking’, but then since this is a competition open to the public, Bunce gave it a go and submitted his picture.

Next presumably wanted to encourage submissions from people of all shapes and sizes, but what they might not have counted on is the astonishing popularity of Bunce in the competition. His unlikely appearance in a competition of tall, dark and handsome men has struck a chord with the online audience, who have voted him into the top 10. To date his profile page on Next has been "liked" an astounding 32,000 times.

The UK press has reacted very strangely, with the Daily Mail claiming the competition has been sabotaged. The insinuation being that the competition is a mockery if Bunce wins. If the rumours surrounding the controversy surrounding Britain’s Got Talent are true, it’s nice to know that we can still have an honest competition in the UK.

Next were no doubt surprised – but since the final decision rests with a judging panel they can obviously pick a winner to suit their purposes, but I can’t help but feel that if Next had the guts to go with what seems to be the public favourite, there is massive PR potential in turning the Roland Bunce into a stylish man about town, kitted out in Next clobber.

I wonder if the people in charge are up to the challenge.

WHY IS THIS ON CREAM? Getting the public involved in a campaign is always going to be risky, but even the most unexpected result has potential – provided the brand involved has the vision to deal with and the backbone to see it through.

By Mark St. Andrew

04 April 2011

Social Media Changing the Face of Luxury Brands?

Oscar de la Renta

When it comes to luxury brands, exclusivity is crucial to their survival as they thrive on their elite image. So how can these brands cope in today’s social media age where the power is shifting from the brand almighty to the consumer?

After all, marketers and so-called social media buffs all champion this new era as the time when consumers need to be listened to and appreciated. Many brands have even taken this a step further by giving up partial control, taking up the curious activity dubbed ‘co-creation,’ where consumers actually take part in the creation of the product.  

How can luxury and more specifically designer brands who rely so heavily on their unattainability survive in this brave new world? Few have succeeded. In fact, Gucci and Burberry are the only ones who come to mind. Burberry’s Art of the Trench website, where fans shared pictures and anecdotes via Facebook about the emblematic Burberry trench coats, was a triumph.

Thus, while every other brand is desperately trying to figure out how to jump on the social media bandwagon, luxury brands are increasingly pressured to follow suit. Gucci has succeeded in getting four million fans to “like” their page on Facebook. Does every single one of those fans own a Gucci product? Most definitely not, but social media is allowing the designer brands to communicate with their audience in whole new ways. These new digital platforms allow high-luxury brands to share pictures, videos, and all sorts of information about upcoming collections and events. While not everyone will be able to afford that five thousand pound dress, people can dream about it, talk about it, and who knows, maybe someday own it.

Oscar de la Renta is taking things to a bold new step, as it launches its first fragrance in ten years on Facebook. Indeed, in order to generate buzz over the new scent, these next few weeks will be dedicated to giving out samples of the perfume, Esprit d’Oscar, on a special section of the social media platform. Michele de Bourbon, Oscar de la Renta’s head of marketing for fragrance claims that through social media and its more affordable fragrance line, consumers have been able to “experience the world of Oscar.”

Although this is not the first fragrance to be launched via Facebook—Marc Jacobs launched a perfume through a Facebook game last year, it will be interesting to see how Oscar de la Renta fares with this digital launch. I certainly think it’s a brave move, but if the brand wants to make waves, it can’t do this halfway. Just giving out samples on Facebook seems a bit shy to me. But I’ll be watching this closely as this could mark a new era for the luxury industry and social media marketing.


See also "Watch Building Tutorial," where Jaeger Le Coultre creates an app that teaches people about the craft of luxury watch making and JCDecaux installs scented airport posters to deliver perfume sampling.

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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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