Showing posts with label Brand strategy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brand strategy. Show all posts

Customer Experience, listen, indulge and embrace

Or as we call it in branding “ Brand offering “ … the unique selling proposition 

Brand Promise

Because we know how important it is to get your food on time…
If we are more than 30 minutes late on your confirmed order  time , your order is FREE….
"we delay, we pay”. 


It's the tangible benefit that makes a product or service desirable. And assures  brand stand out position in online food delivery spectrum in KSA


A practice embedded in each policy and procedure of brand daily operations.


Manifested in operations , monitored and controlled by customer service  after the set procedure is confident in its abilities and has developed a controllable and consistent customer experience


  • First 30 days,  internal and external communications + penalties funded by marketing budget
  • Next 30 days customer care will fund
  • Final 30 days and forward each team member fail the promises will pay for the order value.

Worldwide practice

  • FedEx —when it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.
  • Careem — if we are late on your airport trip, its free
  • Apple — Own the coolest, easiest-to-use cutting-edge phones, computers and other consumer electronics
  • McKinsey & Company — Hire the best minds in management consulting
  • — High-quality training that’s affordable and convenient
  • IDEO — Industrial design for companies that want to innovate

Industry: Food & Beverage, QSR, Online food order application
Brand: Local, 9 months since launch.
County: Saudi Arabia
Date: September 2016 

Hitchcock as a movie marketing

Hitchcock wasn’t only a master of moviemaking, he was pioneer of movie marketing. Psycho was a low budget film ($800K) that could have easily tanked.

When Hitchcock finished the movie, the studio refused to premiere it. Which forced him to come up with his own marketing strategy. He filmed this message to moviehouse managers across the country to show them how to “sell” Psycho, which (brilliantly) advised them to forbid anyone entrance after the movie started. This resulted in long lines of ticket-holders outside theaters and drive-ins, jittery with anticipation, which translated into great WOM, much harder to achieve when social media required social contact. Psycho became one of the hit movies of 1960 and was nominated for an Oscar.

Scarcity to increase a product’s appeal

There’s nothing like a little planned scarcity to increase a product’s appeal, and we’ve seen several strategic uses of it over the years. Now joining that list is The Doughnut Vault, a Chicago venue that closes up shop each day as soon as its doughnuts sell out.

Situated in the Windy City’s River North neighborhood, The Doughnut Vault opens at 8:30 am each day from Tuesday through Friday and 9:30 am on Saturday mornings. Patrons are given good incentive to get there promptly, however, because the store closes its doors for the day as soon as the last doughnut is sold — often within an hour, PSFK reports. Some 600 pastries are reportedly sold by The Doughnut Vault each day.

Doughnuts are easy to find in your average North American city — what better way to set yourself apart than by making sure yours aren’t? A get-it-while-its-hot model to emulate in the category of your choice?

Technology meets creativity | Invisible Mercedes-Benz

To promote the technology of fuel cell based hydrogen that has issued zero pollutant, the Mercedes-Benz has developed an "invisible car" lined by hundreds of LED's, where a camera on the other side showed the pictures and created the illusion of invisibility.

Twelve Ways to Create Barriers to Competitors

The only real way to grow sales and profits is to create innovative offerings with some "must haves" that define new categories or subcategories for which competitors are not relevant. The goal is not only to find and successfully introduce such offerings but to create barriers that inhibit or prevent competitors from entering and becoming serious customer options.

The firms that have enjoyed years or even decades of life with no or weak competitors have created such barriers. Here are some twelve routes to real barriers the last six of which involve the brand. I would be interested in examples of others.
  • Proprietary technology. Diamond's (formerly P&G's) Pringles, Prius' Hybrid Synergy Drive, and Dreyer's Slow Churned Ice Cream all have technologies not easily copied.
  • Ongoing innovation. Becoming a moving target as Apple did by following the iPod with products like the nano, shuffle, and iTouch, and Gillette did with razors from the Trac II to the Fusion ProGlide. Chrysler went for 18 years without a serious competitor in the minivan category it created in part with innovations like sliding driver side doors, swivel seats and removable back seats.
  • Scale. IKEA, Starbucks, eBay, and Apple's iPod all have scale economies often based on first moverstatus that provide ongoing competitive advantages.
  • Investment. A high investment protected brands like CNN, ESPN, and Kirin's Ichiban for many years.
  • Execution. with its Wow! experience, its culture celebrating weirdness, and its 24/7 call center that will even find an open pizza shop presents a high bar.
  • Brand networks. Supporting networks such as the Apple App suppliers and the Pampers' links to organizations involved in raising babies and keeping them healthy can be hard to duplicate.
  • Customer involvement. Some brands can organize a community around the brand as Harley-Davidson has done with their Trip Planner and General Mills has done with the Betty Crocker Kitchen. Others can associate with a common interest such breast cancer research (Avon), creativity (Sharpie), or outdoor hiking (Columbia).
  • Self-expressive benefits. Functional benefits are often quickly copied; it is much harder to copy self-expressive benefit such as those offered by Prius. A driver of a Focus may or may not be driving ahybrid but there is no such doubt about a Prius driver
  • Brand equity. Muji, Zipcar, PowerBar, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car all have strong brands with visibility, associations, and a sense of authenticity.
  • Brand loyalty. If a brand can capture the customers most likely to value the "must haves" and can keep them involved and happy, competitors will be faced with less appealing segments on which to build a business.
  • Branded differentiators. A branded feature, service, program, or ingredient that will define a "must have" such as the EarthGrains Eco-Grain, Aquos' quad pixel, Weston's Heavenly Bed, Oral B's Action Cup, or Amazon's OneClick can be owned by the firm.
  • Exemplar status. If the brand represents the category such as Fiber One, iPhone, Whole Foods Market, Geek Squad, or Jeep then other brands will have a difficult time getting considered.
These barriers can inhibit competitors from getting traction, becoming visible, and being perceived as authentic or credibility. As a result, they may be weak players for a long time. Even better, they may be discouraged from entering in the first place. To paraphrase Bruce Henderson, the founder of BCG, "the essence of strategy is to convince competitors not to invest in areas of strategic importance to you." It really is a different way to look at strategy. Don't try to beat competition but, rather, make them irrelevant and discourage them from even competing.

David Aaker is the Vice-Chairman of Prophet and the author of Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant and the blog on branding.

The Brand Gap

How to bridge the distance between business strategy and design

View more documents from coolstuff.

Rebranding exercises in Arabia::: Looking ahead of Logos

In Arabia Mainstream brands have undertaken rebranding initiatives to shed their old corporate images and position themselves in a new, more modern light. Some have simply upgraded their logos, while others went much deeper. Which leads branding enthusiasts to wonder, just what is the difference between an identity refresher” face lift” and a true rebranding?

People are sensory beings. Yet branding is typically defined through the single sense of sight. To merely focus on the visual element of a person's interaction of a brand (logo, pantone colours and so on), it fundamentally misunderstanding people. Sound alone has an immense impact on the experience that people have with a brand. This realisation amongst brands has led to a significant increase in brands investigating what the Sound of their Brand is, what it means to consumers and how it needs to evolve.

It is true that the rebranding goes beyond logos but it is an interesting place to start. As visually oriented creatures, we conceptualize a brand into a logo (and perhaps the sum of its parts). If the brand represents an interface, through which the consumer interacts with the organization, then the logo is a useful touch point.

Is changing the logo enough?
In situations where firmly established brands become outdated, rebrands can be tricky, and often resemble identity makeovers rather than full-blown rebrands.

But is this logo change enough to bring brand’s into the modern marketplace—especially one that’s hypercompetitive?

There is no reason to completely rebrand a brand that isn’t suffering from an internal identity complex. Sometimes creating an effective logo is enough to upgrade an identity and penetrate markets. According to an executive creative director “There are some brands where heritage is important and it is foolish to get rid of it, in order to stay relevant with the times.”

Brand identity in Arabia
“The notion of brand identity as representative of something more than a recognizable symbol is relatively new in India…brand names and symbols in the past often did not represent something that the brand stands for.”

Today, however, brands in Arabia are moving beyond a simplified view of the marketing and advertising world and see the need to comprehensively rebrand themselves. The proliferation of several international brands in recent years has caused several homegrown brands to undertake an all-embracing approach to their brands.

Simply because of:

1. Higher disposable incomes,

2. change in consumer demography

3. and greater reach through media

Brand makeover boutiques.

pressure on brands to resort to an identity makeover, to realign themselves in the new environment is increasing “It should not be like a trip to a hair salon, where after two weeks your hair goes back to normal. It should go beyond just a cosmetic change, where only the logo is altered, but should reflect a fundamental change in the company.”

Rebranding beyond logos

Tweaking a logo and leaving everything else unchanged is pointless. “A logo change raises expectations, both internally and externally,” . The branding exercise should not be isolated to the letterhead; it should be an experience for the customer. The moment one steps into the office, employees should be able to feel it just as they expect their customers to. As a rule ;The old logo portrayed trust, warmth and confidence. However, with the entry of many me-too’s trust could no longer be the key differentiator for the brand. So the new logo, along with the tagline supporting the logo upgrade might add a fashionable, young and international image of any brand.

The logo change was only a small part of the rebrand. “ a deep-rooted A 360-degree approach across customer touch-points to be taken to convey the new identity (merchandising display exhibits, new uniforms …etc.)

But change isn’t always easy.

In organizations that are several decades old, employees are entrenched within the system and find it difficult to come to work one morning and adopt newer systems.” Change must be gradual in order to be effective.

For a new identity - image overhaul -to be effective ..the makeover has to be an experiential makeover, and not an advertising makeover in a way to involves integrated transition in systems, processes, employee orientation and customer experience without destroying the core values it was founded on.

Smart transformation is the key driver here to retain the essence of the brand’s heritage, while projects a contemporary image in sync with today’s lifestyle.

Finally , talk to your users “consumers”… they know better …

Afia TVC executions

When you are a pan Arab mega brand? What is the best strategy of your TVC’s communication

  1. 1. Do you produce one and hope that “one size fits all”?
  2. 2. Do you isolate the audio element and adapt it to local dialect?
  3. 3. Or do you produce market specific communication while maintain core values?

Simplicity like no other

Admap Magazine
September 2008, Issue 497
Marc Lawn

We are constantly reminded that brands and agencies need to keep evolving to stay ahead of the competition. This nagging anxiety comes from the fact that existing brands can quickly move into new categories, such as Starburst starting with sweets and moving into ice cream, while new brands can seemingly emerge from a couple's spare bedroom or a graduate's garage in a matter of months, such as Facebook.

Faced with these threats, more often than not, brands and agencies alike are looking to make things more complicated. The thinking seems to be that the more complicated a marketing initiative, the more impenetrable it will become to rivals and the greater revenue it will yield.
Furthermore, the temptation is to spread risk across multiple activities in the belief that the more a brand does, the greater the reward. However, doing more doesn't necessarily guarantee a greater return. In fact a blurred vision or approach can actually make things less effective. Many organisations create difficulties for themselves in this way.

In truth, the most effective marketing ideas work best when things are simple. The best schemes align an organisation behind them and perform a clear role within that organisation. Furthermore, the best schemes are clear for consumers to understand, are ones that make life easier for all, and importantly make it easier for consumers to spend.

In addition to making things more complicated, there is often undue focus on developing new products when altering existing products can be more successful. 'Innervention', the art of balancing the desire to innovate new products versus making the best of what you have, deserves greater attention, as there are generally very few really good new ideas out there.
Vauxhall's promotion that ran in the late 1990s where customers could pay 50% at the point of purchase and the rest over two years is a prime example of simple, clear messaging. This promotion resulted in the majority of cars being sold in this way and in turn generated a sales uplift.

The best activity should bring the brand to life, and not be clouded with financial jargon or complicated detail. Mixed messages can prove costly.

Famously in the US, a shopping channel changed the phrase 'call now, our service team are standing by to take your call', to 'if you can't get through at first please keep trying'. This subtle change of language and tone made a huge difference. Calls to the channel increased by 70%. This example just goes to show how straightforward and intelligent language generates results.

When Manchester United Football Club, in the 1990s, started using a variety of colours for its away shirts, the brand suffered a severe downturn, as did the team's away performances. Grey, blue, black and yellow simply did not represent the brand or the club, due to the overwhelmingly positive association of Manchester United and the colour red. The initiative, intended as a money-spinner, backfired and the multi-coloured shirts were later scrapped.

When marketing truly aligns a business and a brand the results can be spectacular. Sony Bravia's acclaimed 'colour like no other' campaigns demonstrate the virtues of simplicity. In an age of time-poor consumers, brands need to cut through the clutter with clear and simple messages.

This year, Walkers has launched its biggest promotion to date, marking its first promotional activity since its successful 'Win an iPod' campaign in 2005. The new Brit Trips on-pack promotion offers consumers the chance to take up one of 14,000 offers on trips to destinations in the UK such as Alton Towers, Madam Tussauds and Butlins.

The digital mechanic requires consumers to register online, where they can enter the on-pack codes and collect points. Amazingly, a total of 32 parties have come together to create the promotion yet, despite the inevitable complexity behind the scenes, to the public the promotion is simple: eat crisps made from great British potatoes and visit great British attractions.

All the public has to do is register online, collect points, choose the reward and redeem the voucher. Lateral thinking has cleverly extended Walkers' use of British potatoes to create a promotional campaign that is simple, effective and one that ties into the brand's over-arching advertising campaign.

The mechanics behind a simple idea may well be complicated, but they should remain out of sight and not be overly disruptive within an organisation.

With reports indicating that growing numbers of UK consumers are using ever-increasing amounts of media at any one time, such as reading a magazine while watching the TV, successful marketing ideas are those that excite, enrich, amuse and shock but, most of all, are ones that are simple.

Marc Lawn is director of retail operations for Dubai

Strategies from a new generation of challenger brands

Quarter 1, January 2009

Adam Morgan

As we move into what looks to be the most severe downturn most of us have worked through, we will obviously need to consider what changes and what stays the same in how we approach brand building, marketing and sales.
The tendency will be to think in terms of a profound change in tactics. But I would argue that what is needed is a profound strategic shift in the way we think about marketing, and using what we have to build stronger relationships with consumers.

For years many marketers have been unintentionally lazy. They haven't explored the full potential of the marketing tools in front of them because they haven't needed to – they've always more or less worked. Over the next two to three years, the consumers are going to be short of money, time and attention. A recent study by OMD and Yahoo! suggests that the average global family man or woman was getting through 43 hours of activities in a 24-hour day, because they were doing a number of them at the same time – 36% of texting in the UK occurs in front of the TV.
So the challenge facing us is not just one of consumers being more value conscious, or having reduced budgets and resources. It is how we gain the attention, interest and renewed relationship with a consumer who has less time and inclination to listen to anything from people they do not have a strong and valued relationship with.
So what can we learn from people who have already been in this position?
Analysts typically tend to look at how brands generally have succeeded in previous recessions. I would suggest a different model – let's look at recent examples of brands that have built strong relationships with time-poor consumers in busy marketplaces with very limited budgets. In other words, people whose circumstances have always been those we are now suddenly finding ourselves in. Let's take a recent generation of challengers and see what we can learn from how they have succeeded in creating stronger relationships with challenged resources.

I would suggest that there are five thought-provoking themes for us to draw on.

1. Make Yourself Visible
At the risk of stating the obvious, if you are competing in a world where attention is at a premium, the first thing you need to be is visible. Yet most of the brands around us are, to all intents and purposes, invisible. Unremarkable in their product or service offer, they rely instead on communications to give them visibility, and difference.
But if we cannot rely on adspend to make us visible, we will have to find ways of creating more intrinsic visibility.
Look at method, for instance (Figure 1). Unable to rely on advertising they have built unique visibility into their structural packaging by investing in eye-catching iconic design.

In the service sector, npower has recently looked to compete against British Gas' boiler service by creating a hometeam who want to make visible the respect they give to their customers' homes when they service them. They make this respect instantly visible by literally rolling out a red carpet to protect the floor and furniture while they are working – a brilliant piece of theatre that has led to business increases of up to 50%.

2. Be Startlingly Useful
Google has risen from being one of a number of search engines to become not simply the global leader in search, but one of the world's favourite brands (in May, it was voted 'the UK's Best Loved Brand'). And yet it has done this without any active marketing of itself at all.
For those of us trained to believe that powerful marketing was the way one built brands with strong relationships with consumers, this is an extraordinary disruption. How on earth did it do that?

The answer is that it did it by being startlingly useful. I search for the 'meaning of life' and it gives me 20 million possible answers in 0.08 seconds. Or if I want to see what my neighbours' gardens look like, I punch in their details on Google Earth and there they all are. I have forgotten to send my party guests directions – Google Maps helps me do it in a couple of minutes. It is this startling usefulness that makes Google loved without doing any marketing – over and above, of course, having an exceptional product.
Not all of us can offer startling usefulness in everything we do. But we can look for places to create it. And those challengers that do are rewarded with word of mouth and affection disproportionate to their actual size. Virgin Mobile in Australia has offered its users a variety of startlingly useful services that show it understands the real lives of its customers – rescue services that help you get out of a bad date, for example, or that stop you calling up your ex when you are a little over-refreshed. Without any paid-for communication, it became the talk of every bar and party every weekend.
Of course I am being a little glib here because Google is not just offering startling usefulness, it is also free. But the challenge to us holds: how could we make all or some of our offer startlingly useful?

3. Find a Source of Conflict
So we have made ourselves genuinely visible, and are looking at how to make our product or service startlingly useful. What next? We need to be more compelling as brands.
There is much that we have forgotten from English classes, but the one thing we do remember is that what makes any story compelling is conflict. Not necessarily in the sense of person vs person, but in terms of the protagonist needing to overcome something in order to succeed. And if we look at challengers who break through with very limited resources, it is because they are often creating compelling stories for us by finding something else in popular culture to rub up against. They recognise that having a clear sense of themselves is only half of what they need in order to capture our imaginations – they need another surface of some kind to rub up against.
There are said to be seven kinds of conflict to create a drama that draws us in. The seven types of conflict are:

  1. man vs man

  2. man vs nature

  3. man vs societal environment

  4. man vs machines

  5. man vs religion/God

  6. man vs self

  7. man vs supernatural.
The conflict that deserves a little more attention is the last of these (man vs supernatural), and particularly the idea of how challengers create and use monsters to make themselves more compelling to us.
Monsters have a number of important values in stories. They raise the stakes by creating drama, emotion and conflict. They throw up a hero. They give the hero a very visible adversary and clearly position the hero as being on the side of right. They highlight what his or her virtues are – there is nothing like a little darkness to give definition to light.
Perhaps most important from our point of view, monsters unite the community against them. This is one of the important differences between a monster and an enemy: an enemy is a threat to you, but a monster is a threat to the larger community. This is what brings the community together: however disparate, divided or simply indolent the community had been up to that point, the presence of a monster brings them together in unity against it. And in fighting the monster, the hero (or challenger) is thus fighting not just for themselves, but as the champion of the community as a whole.
We have seen challengers use monsters in this way for years. In many ways Richard Branson's brilliance has been to convince us that his personal business enemies (such as BA) are in fact monsters working against the interests of us all, and that he is our champion, fighting them on our behalf.
Fast forward 20 years. What makes this strategy much more interesting and powerful for a challenger today, is the ability we now have to mobilise these communities against our chosen monsters. This kind of mobilisation can take place in both grass-roots marketing and within social media and networks. The monsters we see such challengers rallying their chosen community against are not always other brands – they are often historical characteristics of the category that they are making redundant (the postal film service Netflix railing against late fees for DVD return) or social tendencies such as conformity (Vivienne Westwood's bĂȘte noire).
The household cleaning range, method, whose packaging we noticed earlier, has created a monster in the US called Toxicity. Method goes to a city, sets up in a pop-up store and invites people to 'Detox their lives' – to come and exchange all their toxic products for method's environmentally friendly ones. All of this, of course, is publicised and the community engaged and mobilised through blog and press. Through the careful creation of a monster, method has created a compelling and involving story which people tell each other for them.
We tend to think of the classic challenger as 'little guy vs big guy'; in fact, it is far more often 'hero vs monster'.

4. Rethink your Media
We all know the innocent story, yet we continue to misinterpret its real relevance. To judge from the tsunami of imitations across all categories, you would be forgiven for thinking that the key learning from innocent is to be a little more chatty on the side of our packs.
But innocent's thinking as a challenger was much more profound than that: it was to recognise that packaging of all kinds, delivery vehicles of all kinds, and POS presentation of all kinds are all media. These media are, in many ways, the most effective media you can ever 'buy' because every single piece of it is reaching your desired target audience. If you characterise them as house media, they need as much creativity, refreshment and senior attention as any other kind of media we have more traditionally put on a conventional plan.
So as paid-for communications budgets are pared down, look at putting our house media on the media plan, and behave towards them with the creativity and senior attention they deserve. Packaging, leaflets, service plans, stacking trays – think of these as the canvas for brand expression.
Next is social media – not to be automatically confused with digital media. There may be all kinds of social media that would create more goodwill and attention than a viral communication.
For example, Umpqua Bank, a regional challenger bank in the North-west of the US, has for a number of years operated what it calls 'handshake marketing' – acts of neighbourliness in its physical community that create goodwill and conversation. So for instance, at one point they rented and branded vans that simply drove around distributing free ice cream in summer and free hot chocolate in winter. This simple act of social goodwill inexpensively positioned it as the bank that really is a friend of the community, and created considerable social conversation and coverage in the process.

5. Take Personal Responsibility for Talkability
Which brings us to talkability. We know that challengers thrive on PR. But up to now we have left it to our PR agency to come up with an episodic series of initiatives planned out in advance throughout the year to generate on- and offline buzz. What a more recent generation of challengers is teaching us is that the people in charge of the marketing take personal responsibility for making sure the brand is always being talked about.
42BELOW, the New Zealand super-premium vodka, has never had a formal advertising budget and so constantly sought to keep itself in the news through PR. When the founder felt the brand had been out of the news for a few weeks, he would convene his team, they would look at the day's papers and see what topical stories they could attach themselves to that week.
In one meeting the team read that that morning the New Zealand Navy had announced it was selling off one of its frigates. By early afternoon that same day the team had sent the paper an illustrated story that they were pitching to buy the frigate to turn it into a 42BELOW nightclub. The paper published the picture the next day alongside the story, and the radio stations soon followed. 42BELOW was back in the news again.
Reframing your objectives for your story will help you push it as far as it needs to go to really break through. Skandia had sponsored British sailing for years but coverage had never got beyond the sports pages. Looking for more mainstream coverage before the Olympics, it asked itself what it would take to get in the main body of the papers. The answer it came up with was to get the future Olympians naked, and then paint them gold. The story and picture got a double-page spread in a leading Sunday newspaper and was then picked up by a number of dailies in the week that followed.

This is not a time for tweaking, or simply falling into temporary tactical offsetting. It is a time to embrace what it will take to succeed as a brand in an environment where it will be much harder to genuinely engage a consumer's imagination and pocket.