Yesterday the world saw the release of the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III. What struck me more than anything during the launch, was the way Samsung attempts to position the handset via its 60 seconds ad.
If you are looking for clichés, this ad has got them in abundance. Samsung may be trying to create a tension between the statements and the feelings in the spot, which it hopes will result in a burning question in consumers’ minds: “how does the product do that?”. I think, however, that the gap between the ephemeral nature of the ad and the nature of the smartphone means that the gap is so big that people may not register this question at all.
Granted, many people will buy the phone because there is no doubt it’s a worthy piece of tech. How much this ad and positioning encapsulated in it will help its cause, I’m not entirely sure.
The attempt to own a more emotional territory in people’s hearts is commendable but the brand risks looking a bit empty with the promise of a phone that is “Designed for Humans”.
It occurs to me that they were much more solid both emotionally and functionally in their humorous and zeitgeist-y Galaxy Note ad. There were plenty of emotions backed up by credible product functionality, resulting in an engaging, intelligent and effective ad.
What do you make of it? Are you a fan of the new expression of the Galaxy S III positioning? Does it conform or contradict what this phone is to you?
Everyone knows that brand positioning is important. All brands have a brand key, pyramid and so on but they should be more than mere words.
It’s pointless having a fantastic brand positioning key that only sits in the marketing department gathering dust. It needs to be brought to life through communications, the customer experience, product features and inspiring the business (not just the marketing department), otherwise it’s simply not fulfilling its potential. Another common problem is that brand positionings (or re-positionings) are sometimes passed down from someone on high (or from the advertising agency) but they are not embedded into the company and are not delivered across the different customer touch-points. So how do you make this positioning a reality in your business and for your customers?
Some of the best brands bring their brand positioning to life through a hero product feature or service. This is a simple, yet really powerful way of bringing your positioning to life. Here are some great examples of how brands have done this in the past…
Virgin Atlantic brought their ‘seamless journey’ positioning to life by offering a limo service for Upper Class flyers where the Chauffeur checks customers in so they bypass the terminal at Heathrow and head straight to the exclusive club.
Sheila’s Wheels brings their ‘female insurance’ positioning to life by offering free handbag insurance for up to £300 for all car insurance customers.
Amex brings their ‘premium credit card’ positioning to life by offering Amex Harrods card.
Clinique reinforce their clinical expertise by having all their staff wear something similar to nurses outfits (a white dress and coat).
So what will make you famous and stand out from the crowd? What hero product feature or service should you talk about to bring your positioning to life and ultimately deliver meaningful growth for your business?
Strolling around Westfield recently I came across a really fun brand called Diva Popcorn – a relatively small player in a niche segment of the snacking market. As a fan of small brands (and popcorn itself), this was a fascinating find.
For years, popcorn has been the poor relative to the far more popular crisp, invited out only on a very specific occasion – movie time, whether that be at the cinema or at home. However, more recently a series of new brands have thrown off their movie shackles, positioning themselves as a healthier snacking option – essentially, as the un-crisp.
There seems to have been a veritable explosion of popcorn innovation of late, accompanied in equal volume by popcorn related puns!
Existing popcorn brands have been launching sub brands, snacking brands have extended into the market and totally new brands have emerged (popped up?) all over the place, leveraging new occasions and consumer segments. For example, for some time Pret A Manger has stocked Skinny Topcorn, supported by the rallying cry “The crisp is over. Long live gourmet popcorn!”; Butterkist, the old boy of the UK popcorn market, has launched a premium Gourmet range; more recently, Tyrells entered the market with its Proper Popcorn launch for the “Popcornoisseur”; and finally, along came “popalicious”, no oil “air popped” Peter Popple’s Popcorn, answering the call of mothers from across the UK for healthier kids’ lunchbox options. Popcorn seems to be starting to give the mighty crisp a run for its money.
Per capita consumption of popcorn in the UK remains relatively low, despite popcorn emerging as one of the fastest growing snack markets in the UK, suggesting the size of the prize is highly attractive to would-be popcorn market entrants. I wonder how long will it be until a major snacking player, or alternatively those in adjacent categories, move in. Crunchy Nut Popcorn perhaps?
Here at The Value Engineers we pride ourselves on using accurate language and carefully crafted positioning and propositions to ensure total clarity around the promises / changes that the brands we help are communicating.
Quality is one of those words which we come up against all of the time and which simulataneously means an awful lot and very little. We often find ourselves asking: ‘but what type of quality?’ / ‘what does ‘quality’ mean in this context?’
So….what does ‘quality’ mean for your brand’s positioning and proposition? Here are some ideas which might help you to think more accurately about what ‘quality’ means for you..
‘Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric’ – Philip Crosby’Brand quality is the mean, while brand equity is the end’ – Anon
‘Brands have a function to perform, and one of the most important functions they perform is communicating the brand’s price level and its equivalent quality level’ – Al Ries
‘Even though quality cannot be defined, you know what quality is’ – Anon
‘Quality…represents the wise choice of many alternatives’ - William A. Foster
‘Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected’ -Steve Jobs
In my earlier post, I suggested that BMW seemed not to be sticking to a coherent brand positioning. Admittedly, this rather stark hypothesis was based on several pieces of TV advertising, not on the wealth of marketing data we would normally be reviewing. Nevertheless, I felt that there was something not entirely in order with how BMW was joining all the marketing dots.
I wasn’t hugely surprised, then, when Campaign recently posted news about BMW calling a pitch for its advertising, digital and direct marketing accounts. The article stated that “the review is part of a statutory process that requires its accounts to be pitched every five years”. It so happens that the review will also include their UK advertising account led by US agency, GSD&M Idea City, appointed earlier in the year and responsible for their latest TV campaigns.
It looks as though BMW also think that brands like theirs deserve a robust, coherent and joined-up marketing plan…