Thursday, August 21

P&G Brands on the Market


Ever since P&G announced that it would be cutting a massive number of brands from its line-up, there's been incredible speculation around what brands will be on that list and what will happen to them.

Will the brands just merely go away? --- Like the iconic brand Ivory that appears to be on the list of possibilities.

Will these brands be sold off to another organization who is willing to reinvent them?  --- It's very typical for a brand to go through phases of its lifecycle.  Perhaps some of these brands just need a refresh, which could be a priority project for another company.  I have experience in this area myself, when I worked at Johnson & Johnson and relaunched Clean & Clear, a brand we purchased from Revlon.  They didn't make the brand a priority, but we certainly did by reinventing it as a teen skin care brand.

Will smaller companies buy some of these brands because while they may be small for P&G, they are huge for a smaller organization?  --- This seems like a no-brainer and would keep some of these brands (that many people still love) alive.

There was no stated timetable attached to the P&G announcement, but that hasn't stopped the scenario mapping from consumers to fellow marketers to Wall Street.  I'm betting that's because the company is managing the exit strategies of each of these brands, which could fall into any of the categories above.

Time will tell.  What's your experience?  JIM.

Tuesday, August 19

Lands' End

When it comes to marketing, the devil is in the details.  And data can certainly help you navigate those details and help you make good decisions.

Just ask Lands' End.

They recently sent out free magazine copies in their shipments, but apparently they didn't check the content carefully.  There were some covers that customers didn't think were brand-friendly, or family-friendly for that matter, and they got quite vocal.

Provocative magazine covers that may be suitable for some, but only if you have your targeting right.

And only if your customer data points you in the right direction in terms of what's appropriate to add to a shipment.

Here's the GQ cover that was added to many a shipment, with some customers getting quite upset:


The Moms in particular were quite vocal.

This is why we do CRM (customer relationship marketing) and this is why we use data to do it right.  To avoid these kinds of mistakes.  A free gift with purchase is a wonderful thing, but only if your customer thinks it's wonderful.

It's important to learn from each other.  The lesson here is to check your details twice.  Make sure everything is aligned towards what you know will add value to your customer.  Pay attention to the details.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Monday, August 18

Toyota Sing-Along

I love it when a brand taps into a known, acknowledged, and universal consumer behavior as a way to make a connection.

In this case, that behavior is our love of singing ... singing along to our favorite songs.  Also in this case, it's to launch a new hybrid car.

Sure, it could have been singing in the shower but in this case it's singing in the car.  I mean, who doesn't sing along in the car?  I've been caught at many a red light myself, as have my kids.  Let's face it, we all do it.

Well Toyota certainly gets it, so they embraced the fact and made it a way to draw attention to their new car.

The brand turned the center of Prague into a jukebox matrix, where each street was renamed for a classic pop hit.  Like "I Will Survive" Street. As consumers test drive the new Toyota Yaris hybrid car around the city center, at each turn the music in the car changes to the music that matches the renamed street.  Inside the car, a camera captures the sing-along fest, song by song.

Unless there's a picture, it didn't happen ... so here's the video proof.  Loads of fun!


Makes me want to jump in and sing, and drive that car around those streets!  Exactly the point.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Sunday, August 17

Old School Positioning


While there are many approaches to building a brand positioning, sometimes old school is still the best.

Here's a post I wrote for Entrepreneur where I put it to the test for a small business.

Give it a click here if you are interested.

What's your experience?  JIM.