lifestyle marketing

Next Big Brands // Random Thoughts

map_of_asiaIn a recent article, the Financial Times argues that the next big brands are likely to come from Asia, not Europe or the US. They might be right, but their logic suggests they don't really understand branding. The article talks about Burberry opening a new store in Singapore, its sixth, with the suggestion being that brands who want to be successful in the future are going to have to dominate Asia. While it's true that Asia is a key market and the consumer population alone makes them crucial for brands, what the writer doesn't seem to get is that successful brands today are built on much more than just opportunity. They are built on possessing a rich understanding of their customers, on knowing how to weave into their lifestyles, on employing conversation-worthy customer service, and on "getting it" when others don't.

Asia has a huge population, which gives them purchasing power and the ability to manufacture goods cheaply. But brands built just on manufacturing and distribution are the ones who are struggling. They are the past. The future will be dominated by brands built on marketing. And let me be clear, I mean marketing, not advertising — on giving people real reasons to care about them. And they might come from anywhere.

Branding Without Brands // Random Thoughts

imedia-connection-logo2This is a little late. Back in December, our friend Adam Broitman at Crayon wrote an article in iMedia Connection about the power of subtle brand presence in lifestyle and digital marketing initiatives. Although December seems like a long time ago, the advice is just as relevant today (that was a joke, people, try to keep up). In so many words, Adam says that an important job of marketing is to create value for consumers. We’ve couldn’t agree more, and have always preached that effective marketing needs to have its own inherent value beyond just communicating the promises of the product. He references Dell’s creation of a consumer community for nomadic lifestyles fueled by technology which has very little Dell branding, and an Alternate Reality Game created by McDonald's which is very similar to programs we’ve worked on for The Dark Knight and Nine Inch Nails.

Both the programs he mentions as well as our own are all about giving great experiences to consumers, not shoving logos down their throats. His final example is about Denny’s “Adopt-A-Band” program in which up-and-coming bands get to eat for free in exchange for their undying loyalty and occasional blogging. This is another win for Denny’s. Oddly enough, it’s almost identical to a program we pitched to Chili’s in 2006, except that in our program, the bands would eat for free at Chili’s instead of Denny’s. See how clever we are?

Meanwhile, Denny’s is killing it while Chili’s is busy running those god awful tv commercials with the giant peppers and annoying music, watching its stock price and market share dwindle.