Posted by Giles Lury on April 25, 2013
Budweiser is introducing what their website says is “the World’s Most Unique Beer Can – a bowtie-shaped aluminum can that mirrors Budweiser’s iconic bowtie logo” and which will be available in a special 8-pack in US stores from May 6.
“The world’s most iconic beer brand deserves the world’s most unique and innovative can. I think we have it here.” said Pat McGauley, vice president of innovation for Anheuser-Busch
Now the marketer in me whole-hearted approves, a distinctive pack can be a real CEq – communication equity – for your brand as Marmite, Orangina and of course Coke all ably demonstrate.
However when McGauley added “This can is incomparable, like nothing you’ve ever seen before,” I did wonder if he was opening himself up to a few lighted hearted challenges
And sure enough, finedininglovers.com and others couldn’t help but comment that they feel it might be reminiscent of something; in fact it looks “like someone drank then crushed it”
Posted by Anna Eggleton on April 24, 2013
An interesting new trend emerging is the power of the Clean Slate brands. However I am not sure the trend is that of clean slate ie I don’t think consumers are looking for brands without baggage so much as it’s so much easier and less risky now to search and buy the new – with personal recommendations driving trust and appeal.
KEY FACTS: 92% trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising, up 18% since 2007. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information with a 70% trust rating, up 15% since 2008. Television ads were trusted by only 47%, down 24% since 2009. (Nielsen, April 2012)
My favourite new brand (which my children have introduced me too) is Tinc. Taps into the eternal passion that children have for stationary combined with cool packaging and really touchy feely products. Each of the products has a name which gives a pencil a moshi monster type appeal and personality. They even have an app that you can use to earn ‘pebbles’ (by marketing Tinc to your peers) to get money off products.
Posted by Giles Lury on April 17, 2013
Make mine a Big Mac
For many commentators the stock market is the barometer of economic performance, but recent years and its volatility must raise a few questions about its accuracy.
Others have advocated talking to taxi drivers - and while I’m always interested in their views, and like Faith Popcorn feel that if you take enough journeys you do get a feel for what’s “going on” in society, I’m not sure their perception of their own prosperity is a good indicator for the whole economy.
Some advocate the length of women’s skirts but (partly wishing to avoid any challenges of sexism) I would note that there is not only less consistency in skirt lengths in recent years, but more and more women are wearing trousers, leggings and jeans, so I’m not putting my money on that
No for me the best indicator is the level of that McDonald’s puts on its value offering.
As Annie Gasparro in the WSJ put it recently:
“Typically investors look to McDonald’s for a broad sense of how the global economy is affecting consumers. To put it simply if McDonald’s can’t sell a $1 cheeseburger, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of industry”
Given the recent pronouncements from Chief Executive Don Thompson that promotions on higher priced items weren’t “resonating with consumers” and the continuing emphasis on The Dollar Menu I would predict the economy has a long way to go yet before we’re really in recovery.
Posted by Giles Lury on April 5, 2013
One of the challenges facing many FMCG marketers today is the LAPD of NPD
The issue is that too many new products or services are being “caught” by the LAPD…
- Launch (in a blaze of glory and if you’re lucky some A&P in year 1)
- Abandon (budgets get cut, focus shifts to next big thing and so sales drop)
- Panic (ensues)
- (Retailers’) Delist
The reality of increasing product portfolios, continual pressure for new news and increasing media costs, means that the old models of innovation need to be reviewed
Our experience suggests that there needs to more focus in the development stage on
- The development of clearer, simpler and stronger propositions and their supporting reasons to believe coupled with the use of more initial idea screening
- The role and development of the pack -the silent salesmen – which must work harder and often is the most important communication vehicle the new product will have. This in turn leads to more Packcept or Pack focused research – rather than full concept testing. The rationale being that the consumer won’t get to see or hear all the “words” there are on a standard concept – or the communication that would have done this role – so a truer test is to focus on the pack
Posted by Will Butterworth on March 25, 2013
Sexuality, political leanings and even intelligence are, according to Researchers at Cambridge University, just some of what can be gleaned from your trail of ‘likes’ on the social networking site. Campaigners have reacted angrily to the study which, once again, highlights the privacy issues at the heart of most of the company’s negative publicity.
A year ago I wrote a blog describing a similar image problem encountered by Target as their data scientists were left holding the baby having, through highly sophisticated data analysis, found out that a very young, very Christian shopper was pregnant before her father did. By couponing her for baby accessories they let the cat out of the bag and the story went global very quickly thanks to journalist and writer Charles Duhigg.
The paradox of course is that Facebook loves your data. It needs it. Data drives almost everything it does and monetising that data is the key to the company’s long term success. Given that the ROI from its original advertising platform is reported to be up to 200 times lower than that of Google search, more or at least better use of data might help. Strong investment in mobile advertising is attempting to win back investors burned by the inflated IPO however given most users are not in ‘shopper mode’ when on the site I would suggest that there are some bigger strategic issues to be addressed. Whatever happens, the use of user data will play a huge role in the companies continued quest for a profitable, sustainable and scalable business model.
For the moment, where user data goes privacy concerns will ultimately follow. The big data gatherers out there must strive for transparency up front and refrain from shifting the goalposts too often in order to build trust with end users. Users can participate by accepting that nothing really comes for free, especially not something as universally popular as Facebook.