Posted by Jossie Clayton on October 29, 2010
‘What is originality? Undetected plagiarism’ – Dean Inge
‘Unfortunately, there’s no recipe for originality. Each brand must build its own primary source code for the authentic’ – Bill Breen
‘Originality is nothing but judicious imitation’ – Voltaire
‘Chasing after originality can lead to the death of a good idea’ – Virginia Nussey
‘Ad originality may have detrimental effects when consumers pay more attention to the ad at the expense of the advertised brand’ – Anon
Borrowed with pride from all over the place.
Posted by Kamil Michlewski on October 28, 2010
In a new series of posts Polish born Kamil Michlewski, Senior Consultant at The Value Engineers, looks at the big questions facing Polish brands trying to make it in the UK.
Can the Polish community in the UK make Polish brands a success?
The Polish community in the UK has been spreading the word about Polish products with great vigour. We can’t stop advocating the qualities of Polish beers, meet-based products, fruit and vegetable juices as though they were the best thing since sliced bread (which, by the way, is rather less appealing than our delicious Polish sour bread). Our product-patriotism even leads to some hilarious situations. Take for example a commonly expressed view that Polish orange juices are the best in the world: I once had to come to the rescue of my Spanish friend who nearly choked on a piece of tapas when he heard the claim!
Practically every Londoner now recognises the ubiquitous words “Polski Sklep” (Polish shop). They are absolutely everywhere. In this respect the Polish community is helping to make Polish brands successful. Where there is still a lot of work to be done is in Polish brands becoming something really meaningful for the mainstream UK consumer. As Wally Olins, with whom I did some work on branding my home country, believes: brand export is one of the essential pillars of nation branding. Poland has so far failed to produce any big consumer brands that are recognised as Polish and bought because they are Polish.
It is one thing to praise the qualities of Polish produce; it is something very different to spread the word about Polish brands. From a quick poll amongst my colleagues at The Value Engineers, it would appear that Polish brands have not even began to persuade Brits that there is something about those brands that is worth taking notice of. No matter how vigorously the Polish community praises brands such as Tymbark, Lajkonik, Bakoma, Morliny or Mlekovita, if those brands are not differentiated and adequately adjusted to British tastes and aesthetics, they won’t be selling as well as they could.
Marketers will have to help position Polish brands in a way that is attractive and motivating to the more mainstream consumer if they are to leverage the positive momentum built by the Polish community.
Note: Some of the questions in the series have been supplied by Monika Bodera, Managing Director of Polarity UK Limited – a Polish panel provider and a consultancy. They were part of a report put forward by Polarity UK which was covered in a Cooltura/elondon article.
Posted by Giles Lury on October 28, 2010
I sometimes call this week’s definition the Titanic definition for obvious reasons. It is also the definition that is most easily and most often accompanied by a picture.
The definition is that a brand is an iceberg.
It builds on or rather challenges the Philip Kotler definition discussed previously: “A name, term, symbol or design, or a combination of them which is intended to signify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors”.
The Titanic definition would claim that Kotler’s definition tells only part of the story. Kotler’s definition focuses on the visible elements of the brand – the name and identity – but misses the importance of the brand’s meaning, values and internal culture.
As branding has spread from fast moving consumer goods to services and corporate brands, there has been increasing recognition that branding isn’t just about the public face of an organisation but is also an expression of an organisation’s internal beliefs, cultures and behaviour.
In other words the outward facing name and identity (and advertising) is the visible tip of the iceberg but it should be the expression of the invisible but vitally important elements of the brand.
Posted by Liana Gregorians on October 27, 2010
Over the last decade, Marks & Spencer has effectuated one of the most successful brand revitalisations in recent history. Once haunted almost exclusively by grannies and the ghost of St Michael, the last ten years have seen M&S perform a complete 180, appealing more than ever to younger shoppers and those in search of a little more quality. And it’s not just the food – these days it’s not uncommon to see stylish 20- and 30-something young professionals scouring the M&S rails for a vintage-looking tea dress or a sharp suit, improved even further by designer collaborations and deluxe lines.
Of course, a large part of M&S’ new feel has been enhanced by its undoubtedly fantastic ad campaigns over the last few years – from the sumptuous “This is not just…” food porn to the Bond-esque Christmas TV ads and the tongue-in-cheek lingerie billboards. But adverts alone make for a rather empty brand identity – the cleverest thing M&S has done is to make its new brand ethos completely intrinsic and essential to the way the company present themselves and actually work.
Take, for example, their CSR policy: dubbed ‘Plan A’ (“because there is no Plan B”), it places M&S firmly at the forefront of responsible retailing, and thanks to the initiative’s wide-reaching scope and visible implementation (e.g. charging for plastic bags), as well as excellent publicising in-store, customers are now well aware of M&S’ active attitude to Corporate Social Responsibility, and respect them all the more for it.
This week saw M&S roll out a compostable dissolvable chocolate box tray – an incredibly on-trend invention that reinforces the brand’s position as a CSR leader. The tray, which in previous incarnations has been unrecyclable, will now be made of a material called plantic, which can be broken down on a compost heap in 3 weeks, or dissolved in minutes under a running tap. Excessive food packaging has long been a bugbear for many consumers concerned about the environment. With this new solution being rolled out across their chocolate line in time for Christmas (which, lest we forget, tends to be the season of ultimate gluttony and waste), M&S are showing that they truly have their finger on their consumers’ pulse.
Just a great example of how brands can avoid the classic “me-too” trap of CSR, proving to their customers that they take the challenge seriously (and aren’t just going through the motions), marking themselves out as leaders in a trend, and doing their bit for the planet at the same time. Bravo!
Posted by David Brown on October 25, 2010
As an American only recently living in Britain, one of the first things I noticed when I moved over here was the strength of the Cadbury brand. It is all over supermarkets, top of mind for an afternoon snack, and a pillar of British industry. Above all else one product stood out for me: the Creme Egg.
With the commercial depth of Cadbury, its eggs are available all year round in Britain. Not only that, but they come in a mind-boggling array of boxes, sizes, and configurations that are simply unheard of in America. Imagine my surprise upon a first visit to the shop – Creme Eggs available year round!? I bought as many as I could.
Back on the other side of the pond, however, these treats are not always on shelves. Only at Easter do these eggs pop up in the US. With such seasonality, they became part of my childhood ritual: opening my Easter basket with family, a treat during spring time, something to grab at local shops after school. I looked forward to Cadbury Eggs because of their temporary status – they were a reminder of good things to come.
In Britain, Cadbury is the industry standard. To me, and perhaps many Americans, Cadbury means nostalgia. Nostalgia derives from two Greek words meaning ‘a return to home’ and ‘ache’. As winter approaches, I do indeed feel an ache to years past as I queue in my local shop. Luckily, with Cadbury’s Creme Eggs available so readily, I am never far away from a chocolatey reminder of home.