What are you Selling?

I got a call this week from a customer of mine. He was ecstatic. His company had just scooped IBM’s prestigious Business Partner of the Year award; a real testament to the sheer grit, determination and passion that his entire team brings to work every day.

As part of collecting the award, he got some time with one of IBM’s Marketing Execs.

The Exec shared a story of getting his bathroom redone. The usual happened. Plenty of workmen came; some huffed, some puffed, some quoted sky high, some quoted rock bottom. But the one he selected didn’t talk about baths, sinks, or even price. Read more

Why Don’t You Drink It?

When it comes to advertising claims, the majority of us are sceptics. And it’s no surprise. From beauty creams that make our wrinkles vanish, pills that make our hair grow back, or chocolate bars that are actually good for us. We’ve heard it all before.

A few years back, American entrepreneur Eric Ryan was in London launching his new product; a line of toilet cleaner.

As expected, the audience heard the usual spiel about amazing cleaning qualities. But Eric also claimed something else. He reckoned his product was harmless too. Unlike others, his contained no poisonous nasties. Read more

Gone in a Flash

It started life over 130 years ago as a single chemists shop in Leicester. After years of trading, its owner Frank began to see an unusual demand from customers; they wanted to buy raw ingredients for photographic chemicals.

Frank’s son Alan immediately spotted an opportunity. In 1930’s Britain, photography was a pastime solely for the wealthy. Alan’s dream was to make it accessible to the masses.

He set about transforming his father’s chemists into a haven for photography. With prices at an average of 25% below his nearest competitor, Alan attracted immediate attention. The idea grew, and it wasn’t long before the father and son duo had opened a huge facility in Hinckley Road; later crowned the largest photography store on earth by Guinness World Records.
Read more

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

The New Brand Guardian

There is no doubt that the Internet has revolutionised how we all shop. We’ve kissed goodbye to the endless stress and queues, opting instead to spend our hard-earned cash from the comfort of our own armchairs.

Our only concern when it comes to buying on-line is making sure that we are home when a courier calls. For one FedEx employee however, it doesn’t matter if you are indoors or not. He’s delivering regardless.

In this incredible clip snapped on a home security camera, the thoughtful driver carelessly tosses his delivery (an expensive computer monitor) straight over his customer’s fence. Read more

Your Customer is the Hero

Back in the early 1950s, the tobacco industry had started to focus on the development and promotion of filtered cigarettes. This was mainly in response to scientific data that proved smoking was indeed harmful to human health. One brand in particular – Marlboro, started to be sold with filters. The knock-on effect was that Marlboro began to be viewed as a cigarette for women, much to the dismay of the brand’s owner Philip Morris.

Motivated by making Marlboro more universally appealing, Philip Morris tasked its advertising agency Leo Burnett to create a new image. An image that would reinvent Marlboro for a wider market.
Read more