Identity Crisis

Back in 2006, a video was uploaded to YouTube which perfectly captured the stark contrast between Apple and Microsoft’s thinking on marketing and design.

The humorous clip takes Apple’s original iPod packaging through a Microsoft-ified restyle, presenting a very clear view of each company’s approach to product packaging.

It would be easy for us to assume that the video was produced by some Apple nut, but in fact it was created by Microsoft’s packaging department, in an attempt to educate their own marketers! Read more

Let the Games Begin

Originally released in 2003, The Call of Duty video game series has become one of the most popular and profitable ever released. The latest episode in the saga “Black Ops” raked in more than $650M worldwide within just five days of going on sale, making it the fastest selling video game of all time.

Players simply can’t get enough – latest statistics show over 600 million hours of gaming time has been logged on Black Ops since its launch in November 2010. Every day, thousands of fans compete on-line for badges, improved firepower, XP (eXperience Points) and coveted ranks of honour.

Outside of the video game industry, you don’t have to look very far to see “players” competing for points and rewards. Take Facebook for example; ever noticed how close your number of friends (aka “high score”) is displayed in relation to your profile name?
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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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Waving the Flag

Today millions of England football fans worldwide get behind their beloved team. Many have travelled thousands of miles to South Africa to cheer them on in person. You don’t have to look very hard to see painted faces, flags flying proud from houses, cars and shop windows. Some fans are so die hard that they even have England tattoos on their body.

The question is how die hard are your fans?

Creating loyal customers is one of the first rules we learnt in building a business. Customers that will recommend you to other customers. Customers that even continue to sing your praises when the chips are down. Everything ultimately comes down to product and exceptional service.

Who’s waving your flag today?

Bacon and Eggs

I’ve just got back from a fantastic lazy Sunday morning breakfast at my local cafe. There are plenty of cafes where I live. Plenty of choice for any hungry consumer on a sunny Sunday morning.

However, when I’m at home, I wouldn’t ever spend my Sunday mornings at any other place. Why?

Because it’s the nearest? No. Because it’s the cheapest? No.
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