TRonMarketing

August 21, 2008

YouTube a PR dream for Obama – a nightmare for John McCain

In PR land  if there was  to be a high noon between Obama and McCain the quickest shot would be Barack  Obama.  His public relations and marketing team is a class apart and very very quick on the draw.

Take as an example the the McCain interview with Politico in Las Cruces, N.M which is a nightmare  public relations moment for John McCain.   When asked how many houses he owned John McCain said   “I think — I’ll have my staff get to you”

Boom he was gone.

The correct answer is he owns at  least four houses , located in Arizona, California and Virginia and  Newsweek has  estimated with condo; etc he owns at least seven properties.

Now news is starting to surface that about the spending habits of the McCain’s.  Apparently (“Cindy McCain charged as much as $500,000 in a single month on one American Express card and $250,000 on another”)

All  this against the backdrop that apparently McCain’s passion is “wasteful spending “.

As a Canadian with little understanding of American politics how can someone oversee the housing crisis when he doesn’t have any day-to-day concerns about his own mortgage? Or mortgages, as the case may be? How can this person set tax rates for the middle class? All of that is implied, I suppose…

Go figure…

Brothers and sisters in PR … make sure you .. very  quickly – YouTube:

This was posted in less than 2 hrs  after the story broke. Obama’s  team is fast.

Barack Obama’s team gets it.

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August 13, 2008

6 essential naming tips


BRANDS AND NAMING

Naming is an art that all of us have tried to figure out. It’s a brand strategist’s nightmare. When it comes to choosing a name  we all want to know what works best – should the name be literal, evocative, new, or a historical allusion?

As I said naming is art, craft and magic. To find that perfect name learn from the past and use these 6 classical essential naming styles that will help you find that perfect name. (They all have a cost so beware!!)

Enjoy them and you’ll be on your way to winning the naming game.

Good Luck..

THE CLASSICAL 6 NAMING METHODS

  • DESCRIPTIVE
    Descriptive names describe a brand’s offering. Salesforce.com is a good one. Its straightforward and self descriptive. My tip is use a descriptive name when developing a suite of offerings under one larger brand or company name.
  • SUGGESTIVE
    Suggestive names imply a market position (or positioning attribute) Yakking away on your cell phone and online is absolutely evocative of twittering. Twitter gets my vote. The benefit of “suggestive naming” is that it allows one to be more evocative or emotional opportunities.
  • METAPHORICAL
    Now this is an odd one- hopefully you don’t choose something to obscure. When you use a metaphorical name what is happening is the brand is being directly compared to seemingly unrelated subjects. Jaguar wins my vote. When using metaphorical names, it’s a great way to imbue a car brand in this case Jaguar, for example, with the attributes of a jaguar that is full of grace and sophistication.
  • NEOLOGICAL
    Kodak gets my vote. It’s a new word and .why not create a new word? (PS just have a big budget to explain what its attributes are) Ps: One way to make this a success is to add morphemes—the smallest unit of language that carries meaning into the name.
  • HISTORICAL
    Historical names work best when the brand has a heritage allusion or reference. If your brand has equity in its heritage, use it but do it carefully. Historical characters have skeletons in the closet. Consider the name of the founder, or the first product ever launched. This method often has great “legs” and allows for meaning to be unpacked for years. Voyageur gets my vote- I can see the canoes with strong reliable finding a safe passage.
  • ARBITRARY
    Apple is an example of and arbitrary  brand  with developed distinct characteristics. Arbitrary brands take time and cost a lot of money and these names have almost nothing to do with the brand’s position in the market, nevertheless, people will make meaning of it by connecting your name with what the brand does . Arbitrary names are among the most legally defensible.

Good luck with your naming.. email if you have trouble. TR

August 12, 2008

Rooibos Tea exposes Whole Foods

Filed under: BRANDS,Economy,Lifestyle,Marketing,Marketing /Lifestyle — Tony @ 7:50 pm

WHole Foods

WHole Foods

Whole Foods is one of those stores that met the boomers and the great wave of the happy days  Those were the years from 2000- 2007. We all remember those times   when being hip and cool meant paying the price.  It seemed to be so cool  – “hey we can be cool even though we have gobs of money look we are organic etc”.

I am a South African expat and I love  rooibos tea.  It’s tasty and it has loads of health benefits.

So how does this tie back to Whole Foods. Here is the rub- this is a company that  didn’t read the tea leaves and their roibos is crazily priced.  In the happy days they were unique when the selling point was luxury. Now  the  economy has turned, other competitors have joined the fray and  Health Foods seems to be a price gouger. There is nothing unique on their shelves. For half the price you can get what they have and more.

Their positioning is horrible and their revenues are consequentially down. Its no surpries that the  shareholders spoke. How the hell does  management explain why consumers are fleeing in droves.

May I suggest that it may be  a serious dose of management hubris coupled with an average selection and inflated prices.

In a nutshell – they are not positioned for the market. And may I say that their Rooibos tea is grossly overpriced. Simply put Whole Foods didn’t get it. They are on gross margin strategy and forgetting they need to read the market  have an authentic positioning.

Here’s my advice to Whole Foods: Dudes and Dudettes – smell the roses- reposition as the best priced deliverer of yummy and healthy foods.

Remember selling retail- is about the consumer and their delight.

Good luck Whole Foods !!!

Simple question- who was asleep at the switch ???

August 8, 2008

What is happiness ?

Filed under: Lifestyle,Marketing,Marketing /Lifestyle — Tony @ 10:33 pm

In my time I have sown doubt and elevated hapiness as a marketer. I do know the power of desire. What I am struggling with is the reality that most of us – including me are asleep at the switch.

As we are all searching for hapiness let me share a You Tube classic that features Epicurus. ITs in three parts so make sure you watch them all. You will be happier. PS make sure you follow through with all of them.  Part 2 and Part 3.

Enjoy and share your comments on Happiness

Are we stupid and other summer thoughts

Filed under: BRANDS,Lifestyle,Marketing — Tony @ 9:37 pm
Proust and the Squid

Proust and the Squid

First I must apologize and do my “mea culpa” … I skipped town as soon as a taste of summer touched the air- without explanation  and my readership understandably  plummeted. Go figure the writer left the building- and that is not good.  My deepest apologies but I needed to do it.

I needed to step back from the art and craft of marketing to review my place on this little blue planet of ours.

I have done a lot of thinking and I will share that over the next few weeks.  Hopefully it will make sense. One thing that has really got me bothered is close to home. I love tech and I love the reality of the web- easy search- comments and interaction- social networks and the global community. That was until I read over the summer Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf.  Its a rough read and unnecessarily academic but it has a punch. Is she right is it possible we are getting stoopider?

I think she is onto something – we have become lazy and  we allow Google to think for us…..

Summer has been glorious but that is  another story.

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