Tag Archives: relationship building

Two Countries United by a Commoner

This article was just published in the Summer 2011 issue of Market Leader magazine (the house mag of the Marketing Society), showing the power of the “Will & Kate” brand and how well it travels across cultures, even before they were married… their effectiveness in opening the doors for British business around the world will be impressive if this is what brands have done before their marriage… (click here to read the full article)

“Who’d have thought a former British colony of 320 million people which declared UDI in recent history (well, recent by British standards) would so keenly want to rediscover their Britishness, embracing the idea of Royal weddings, calamari hats and pageantry with such gusto, such preoccupation, such envy, such marketing opportunities?

A number of Americans and their local brands celebrated the British milestone marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in various ways – some tasteful,
some not:

  • Diet aid Slim-Fast launched a tweet campaign to capitalise on the excitement of the event by spending $120,000 to tweet anyone interested in William and Kate.  The Royal Wedding enthusiasts found the #royalwedding delivering tweets from Slim-Fast
    with the message “look good for your own wedding with the Slim-Fast diet and check out our Facebook page.”  At the start of the actual ceremony, 11% of all tweets on Twitter contained the #royalwedding hashtag.  A very successful strategy for the brand, as from the day before the wedding until early-May, its followers increased from 930 to 1,356 while their Facebook page fans jumped from 16,000 to 21,400 by 2 May.  Not a bad ROI from the investment despite this untargeted tactic.
  • Sign the giant Royal Wedding congratulations card in LA at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood, where you can write your personal best wishes to Will and Kate.  The oversized greeting card “… (read more)

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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Marketing Week’s Cover Story on the Marketing Academy

Marketing Week’s cover story, Have faith in the future, is an in-depth analysis of the Marketing Academy’s Boot Camp, for which I conducted its International Marketing curriculum.  Marketing Week comments:

“Young marketers face a dearth of opportunities to develop their business and leadership skills and companies are frustrated by a lack of top-level talent. But a new Marketing Academy is molding tomorrow’s stars and inspiring marketing’s elevation to the board.”

The Marketing Academy Scholars are truly enlightened global citizens who are very worldly for their age – then again – they have grown up in a more globalized era than any previous generation and so they innately think and act with global awareness.

It is essential that as part of Marketing Academy’s curriculum in developing the next generation of future business leaders, they understand the tangible benefits of this worldly outlook that will include fewer conflicts and warfare as international commerce bridges people and cultures.  Given that, it comes as no surprise that the Marketing Academy sponsors include Google, one of the world’s most successful global brands.

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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.

For American Eyes Only: “Making It Right” BP’s TV Ads

Why isn’t BP showing these US television ads in the UK and other EU countries where their image has also been badly eroded?

This one ad has had 847,091 views to date:  via YouTube – MuseOfMarketing’s Channel.

My CNN “Connect the World” Interview Highlights on BP’s Uphill Battle to Restore Its Credibility:

BECKY ANDERSON: … At the end of the day, if you were crisis managing for this company and and helping them decide where they go next worldwide and looking at their public image at this point what would your advice be?

ALLYSON STEWART-ALLEN: Firstly, always put forward a local voice. If you’re ever in a crisis again, God forbid, always put forward someone who understands the local landscape and has that local cultural understanding, number one.  Number two, be transparent. You know, why wasn’t the public invited to look at some of the designs for some of these fixes and get the best brains in the United States and around the world who could look at them and say, actually, that one is good, that wouldn’t work.  And get input.

You don’t have to do everything by yourself. And they became very inward looking, very defensive, when, actually, they didn’t have to be. They would have engaged everyone and changed the conversation if we all were invited to contribute something.

BECKY ANDERSON: This is an easy one, Allyson, surely for Obama.  There’s no way he wants to be associated with big oil now, is there?

ALLYSON STEWART-ALLEN: Well, so far it hasn’t really helped him hugely. I mean he’s been getting extremely bad reviews for not demonstrating empathy, not taking action quickly enough. And, in a way, I mean I’m a bit sympathetic about his position, because he has gone there. He’s trying to demonstrate empathy. He’s trying to do what he can. But he is the president of the United States.  He’s not a scientist.