Dyson has just launched a blade-less fan called Air Multiplier. This clever idea is born from the insight that the blades on conventional fans cause unpleasant buffeting because they chop the air before it hits the user.
Being a Dyson invention, it works very differently to conventional fans. It uses Air Multiplier™ technology to draw in air and amplify it 15 times. The fan has no blades and this means it’s safe and easy to clean.
This new innovation fits very well Dyson’s brand values. Dyson has always worked hard to ensure all its products depart from the old ways of doing things by taking time to painstakingly re-design them. According to the company’s website, it took 4 years and every discipline from Dyson’s 350-strong team of engineers and scientists to develop the AirMultiplier and it has 11 separate patent applications.
Just like Apple is making waves in the IT world, Dyson has created for itself a clear niche in the home electricals market that will be difficult to displace. The series of creative innovations being launched by organisations like Dyson shows that though it might take time before innovative ideas can come to fruition, it’s vital to uphold a innovation-led brand such as this.
I believe this blade-less fan idea will blow Dyson’s competitors away!
My offical title is Director of Branding but unofficially I am also known as the Director of Deviancy. I champion rule-bending and rule-breaking. To quote Frank Zappa I believe that, ”without deviation there is no progress”.
So I feel it only right and proper that we salute Malcolm McLaren – a man who broke the rules and succeeded. A man who deviated from the disco/glam rock pop norms of the seventies and breathed life back in the UK music scene.
He has been described in recent days as both a genius and someone who just happened to be in the right time and the right place, he was probably both but he certainly made a difference.
I would say RIP but I’m not sure he wouldn’t find peace a little too dull.
Burger King’s new US campaign sees the brand sneakily stealing ideas from McDonald’s HQ, only to flog them for a dollar at the local BK outlet.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, it’s an odd strategy because it appears to credit the comeptition as the category innovator, the brand bringing great new ideas to fast food consumers. It’s possible that Burger King is trying to establish a competitive consumer proposition: “whatever McDonald’s does, we’ll do it cheaper”. But this is not a category that is particularly financially punishing even in recessionary times, and the small print at the close of the ad reveals the lower prices are only temporary anyway.
That seems to suggest there are two messages in the ad: 1. Burger King is cheaper on some of its products than McDonald’s, but only temporarily. and 2. McDonald’s is much better than us at coming up with great ideas you like.
Surely I can’t be the only one thinking Burger King have done McDonald’s a bit of a favour here!
It’s one of the staple innovation anecdotes for marketers: “Guinness can’t innovate. Consumers don’t let them. The brand might be iconic but it’s too tied to the product”.
As a result past successes have mainly come from fairly conservative innovations in stouts that stick within well-worn tramlines and play to the perceived strengths of Guinness draught; characterfulness, confidence, complexity, and almost certainly a black colour. Guinness Red (which, come on, is black) plays by these rules and so did the successful BrewHouse series which our Director of Innovation, Richard Oldham, helped Diageo to develop.
Now though, the brand is being much more brave. Guinness have launched a lager, “Guinness Black Lager”, in Northern Ireland and Malaysia. According to Michael McCann, head of Diageo Northern Ireland, “like all lagers, it is characterised by its refreshing taste. The addition of Guinness expertise, roasted barley and a late hopping imparts a taste that is unique among lagers” and of course… makes it black.
It’s a very interesting departure for Guinness whose only real forays out of stouts have been into licensed merchandise (golf umbrella, anyone?). Certainly some of the hallmarks of successful Guinness innovation are there, but the old marketer’s tale about consumers not allowing the brand to innovate might come true. The danger is that it may be seen as the worst of both worlds: a bad lager and a bad Guinness. As a fan of the brand I only hope they got the product right and that consumers prove the marketers wrong and are open enough to give it a try.
In honour of Ned’s now legendary Quotations Quotient I am delighted to continue his weekly quotable column on our blog.
The power of quotations is that they cause us to pause; they challenge, question or confirm the way we think by using eloquence and brevity as their tools. Quotations summarise a whole way of thinking in just a few words and are often inspiring as a result. Successful marketing is similar in its success: it communicates a clear message in a memorable and sometimes interrupting way.
I hope that this section continues to inspire and interrupt your weekly thoughts…it seemed right that this week’s theme begins with “change.”
“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” (Winston Churchill)
“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine” (Robert C. Gallagher)
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” (Mary Engelbreit)
“Thought has been constantly evolving and we can’t say when that system began” (David Bohm)
“The art of progress is to conserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order” (Alfred North Whitehead)