Rediscover the Soul

It was meant to be THE launch. The event that would help rescue ailing telecoms company Nokia from its perilous slide into brand irrelevancy.

Last week to a packed audience in New York, Nokia Senior VP Jo Harlow unveiled the Lumia 920 smartphone; the device many predict will either make or break the struggling Finnish company.

Harlow beamed as she proudly proclaimed that the Lumia is ‘the most innovative smartphone in the world’. Unfortunately, the markets didn’t quite share her enthusiasm. Nokia’s share price slumped by 11.4% to a meagre $2.51 following the announcement.
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Smoke and Mirrors

Enron is a name that is synonymous with scandal, corruption, greed and arrogance. Its collapse in 2001 left 20,000 employees out of work and $1.2 billion missing from their retirement funds.

In its heyday Enron was the poster-child of Wall Street. A true stock-market darling, reporting revenues of $100 billion and shares trading at an eye-watering 55 times earnings. It was America’s 7th largest corporation and valued in excess of $70 billion.

Analysts everywhere praised the organisation for its game-changing approaches. Fortune magazine named it “Most Innovative Company” six years in a row. Its trading floors were packed full of the smartest and brightest minds. Enron was a force to be reckoned with.
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Selling a Lie

Tiger Woods was once the epitome of the all-round American good guy. He was a devoted family man, uber-successful sports star, and brand figurehead for the likes of Nike, Accenture and TAG Heuer. He’d won a total of 71 official PGA Tour events, including 14 majors, and was hailed as the world’s most marketable athlete.

But in 2009 things changed. Tiger crashed his Cadillac into a fire hydrant, yards from his Florida home. The crash set in motion a chain of revelations, in which fans learnt that Tiger had been a very naughty boy; cheating on his wife with over a dozen women, ranging from porn stars to cocktail waitresses.
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The Holidays are Coming!

Seeing as I’m a big fan of Christmas, it’s time for a festive post! I love everything about this time of year; seeing friends and family, giving and receiving presents, Christmas trees and indulgent overeating!

Now, take a moment to think about the main character adorning retailers, houses and children’s minds at this time of year – Father Christmas. Thinking of him conjures up thoughts of the glowing red outfit, the huge snowy white beard, jet black boots and the bulging sack of presents.
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Alleyway Sex

Through my consulting work with a number of clients, I’ve started to notice a very common trap which many of them are falling into.

Technology firms, whether vendors, resellers, or systems integrators tend to have numerous product offerings. They want to market these offerings in the best way possible, however the common trend is to market each product, in an unstructured way which varies from month to month.

For example, in January an e-Shot is sent talking about product one, in March some telemarketing occurs on product two, and in May an event is run on product three. It’s a bit like a one night stand, or a quick fumble in an alleyway – the customer is hit with various products at various times, with zero consistency. Each product does something different; the company pushes mixed, confusing messages. There is no central theme or strategy which underpins the campaign – its pure hit and hope.
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Theme without the Park

A good friend once told me that to be effective, any marketing message should be written in a way that an intelligent 12 year old can understand.

Spending the majority of my working life in the software world, it’s common for me to witness technologists promoting products in techno geek speak – language which nobody understands but them.

Think about how you market your product or service. Can you summarise it within 20 seconds? Is it clear enough for your young niece or nephew to understand? Do you promote it in a creative manner, or are using the same tired techniques all your competitors are?
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