Tag Archives: market analysis

Smart German car makers just waking up to US opportunities?

According to the FT story that ran a few days ago, German car makers Volkswagen and Smart “microcars” (is this a new product category that’s been so tightly and strategically defined that you can automatically be the market leader?) have realized there’s money to be made in the USA.  Driven by a steep fall in its sales, Smart’s CEO Deiter Zetsche admits the company “might not have done enough active selling” since arriving on American shores in 2008.  Maybe the 20% drop in 2011 sales compared to 2010 is what prompted the realization.  Surely the US consumer, screaming over gasoline prices above $3.50/gallon, is now ready more than ever to entertain a microcar.  Turning up the marketing and sales loudness dial for the US must be something every brand traveller must know?

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Chilean Miners: Recap of my BBC Breakfast Interview

As I discussed this morning in my BBC TV Breakfast interview, the successful rescue of the 33 miners is a welcome respite from the otherwise depressing news about economic turmoil, banker bonuses, paltry pensions and property prices.  What is key once the miners have had a chance to process all they’ve experienced, is that they get good advice about any marketing opportunities that are presented to them.  It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that life insurance, beer, personal hygiene manufacturers amongst others approach them to endorse their brands.  No doubt the William Morris agency is already on-site to secure movie and TV rights for their amazing story which might bring them at least a financial cushion on the back of the horrendous trauma they’ve experienced and the fact they are now all unemployed.  The happy ending in any case is one that delights everyone, regardless of where in the world they are.

An unexpected benefit I suggest is Chile’s country brand is now much more favourably viewed than before the miners were rescued.  It demonstrated to the world it can manage expectations (having told the media it would be Christmas at the earliest before the miners are rescued) and projects, having engineered the rescue capsule flawlessly and ahead of schedule.  Hopefully their inward investment team are working overtime to capitalise on this unexpected success and showcasing of talent.

Burberry checks… its results in Asia

(13 October 2010) Today Burberry checks its results which will no doubt continue to be stellar.  Growing its Chinese business by stealth has proven very successful as it targets the wealthy Chinese buying their goods in the UK at 35% less than at home.  Shouldn’t be long before they open their own stores in key cities there, but will have to localise their range for that market, including the homewares products.

For additional insight, read  Michael Kavanaugh’s coverage for the FT.

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Spotlight on America | In-Depth Analysis | Marketing Week


International Marketing Partners Director Allyson Stewart-Allen’s 2001 book Working with Americans highlights, among other things, that even though British and American culture is linked through history and language, key differences in approaches to business are worth understanding. She also revealed in her recent session with the Marketing Week-sponsored Marketing Academy that Americans put less importance on relationships but are more task-focused, and want to see numbers-based results and insights over qualitative commentary.

For Nicole McDonnell, marketing director of children’s food brand Ella’s Kitchen, cultural differences in her team’s personality in the US has been very obvious and unexpected. She gives the example of company job titles – Nicole’s business card says “head of making friends”, and the company managing director is Ella’s dad, and his job title is simply that. McDonnell feels this adds to the brand identity, but it has not gone down well with her colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic.

“In the States, it’s all about being the CEO or the vice-president. I would like them to use the job titles we use because they epitomise what the brand is about, but in the US they feel it doesn’t give them enough credibility in their market,” she explains. “I appreciate the titles we like to use might not give the right understanding of how senior somebody is, so getting the right balance on this is something we are in discussions about.”

Diageo’s Cristina Diezhandino, now regional marketing and innovation director for Africa, also discovered some key differences when she embarked on her first role in the US about 15 years ago. First, that the customary greeting of kissing a business colleague in Spain was not appropriate in the US. Second, that meeting formats were a lot stricter than what she was used to.

“Meetings had a set beginning and end, stated in advance, with specific agendas and an outcome to be achieved in that time. What surprised me was that people would simply stand up at the end of the period of time, say goodbye and leave.

“I now regard that as very normal, but when I first experienced it I thought it was not a polite way to end things. Then I realised that it is equally impolite to take up more of people’s time than necessary when they are very busy.”

 

Click here to read my comments in Marketing Week’s  cover feature: Beware the culture gap on global growth trail

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How to Measure Brand Value: Likes, Followers, Influencers, Views? No, Social Currency

This is a really interesting article by FC Expert Blogger Kevin Randall – read it and tell me what you think!

“A new confluence of market forces (including popular interest in charitable giving post-Haiti quake, the coming of age of the idealistic Millennials, public anger over Wall Street bonuses, the Sustainability movement and near universal hostility directed at BP–“Beyond Pollution”) is requiring brands to be socially “good”–hence more rankings and metrics: Brandkarma.com; PSFK Good Brands.

Of course there are already rankings for brand financial value: Interbrand; Millward Brown BrandZ; Credit Suisse Great Brands; Equitrend; brand equity; and brand word-of-mouth buzz/promoting from McKinsey–all of which try to correlate a brand’s score with its bottom line.

Add to the rankings list now: Brand Social Currency. The inaugural study was completed earlier this year. “Building Social Currency is probably the most important investment companies can make to create value for themselves,” says Erich Joachimsthaler, Founder and CEO of Vivaldi Partners, the author of the study. He views Social Currency as a new, strategic dashboard to help corporate leaders diagnose, build and monitor the long-term heath and value of their “brand assets” in the shifting marketplace.

The methodology was developed in conjunction with MIT Sloan statisticians and Lightspeed Research. Brand Social Currency is defined as the extent to which people share the brand and/or information about the brand as part of their everyday social lives at work or at home. It is made up of six key dimensions or “levers”–Utility; Affiliation; Identity; Conversation; Advocacy; and Information. The study surveyed 1000 respondents on more than 60 brands across a dozen categories. Questions for each lever were posed to brand users. Results then rolled up into a composite Social Currency score.”

a>via How to Measure Brand Value: Likes, Followers, Influencers, Views? No, Social Currency | Fast Company.

Common Sense: BP’s Stock Rebound Means It’s Time to Sell – WSJ.com

Worth reading if you’re holding BP stock – when I scanned this article quickly I read, “BP’s stock rebound means it’s time to Shell” – maybe not such a bad idea!

via Common Sense: BP’s Stock Rebound Means It’s Time to Sell – WSJ.com.