Managing a brand is a simple affair. Simple, but not easy. A brand is simply “a promise kept”. You’ll hear marketers and advertisers spin much more rhetoric around this concept, but the hallmark of a strong brand is saying you’re going to do something and then doing it. It’s “a promise kept”.
Of all our recent politicians there has been only one who has had a dominant and clear brand: “John Howard”. His promise “I’ll make Australia feel a little more 1950’s”, and he kept that promise throughout his entire reign. The current lot are fledgling brands compared to his icon status. There is not a clear promise among them – and even fewer promises kept.
How has the latest Labor brouhaha affected brand Julia Gillard? It’s a mixed result, but at least she now has a chance to prove brand Gillard can lead.
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It’s not often you hear an apology from a big corporation that sounds like it really means it, but Jenny Craig’s statement last night that it “badly misjudged public perception of Kyle Sandilands” sounds genuine enough - perhaps because it’s so bloody obvious.
Hmmm, brand heavily skewed towards women with body issues, linked to the “fat slag” king, what could possibly go wrong?
The language marketing departments use when one of the stars they throw millions of dollars at to flog their products step out of line, is often at best hilarious, at worst mealy-mouthed.
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So the ACCC has allowed another acquisition that over time will be detrimental to competition and consumers.
If you were not otherwise distracted by the upcoming extended long Easter/ANZAC day weekend, you would have noticed that last Thursday the ACCC put out a media release stating that it will not be opposing the Woolworths acquisition of the Cellarmasters Liquor Group.
Now apart from sending out the release just before a long weekend where for obvious reasons less media attention would be given to the ACCC failure to act, the ACCC’s decision not to oppose the Woolworths acquisition is not surprising. In fact, the ACCC only opposes a tiny number of mergers and acquisitions under our existing competition laws.
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The so-called supermarket milk price war is not the only thing heating up. The debate surrounding the future of brand name products on our supermarket shelves is also heating up.
Central to both is the growing power of Coles and Woolworths. Together the supermarket giants operate 87 per cent of full line supermarkets over 2,000 square metres. As we know, they have spread their tentacles to petrol, liquor and banking services.
Like major armies on the march, Coles and Woolworths first establish a beachhead in a particular targeted sector of the economy and then spread out to take more and more territory in that sector until they are either stopped or they march their way to “victory.” Once victorious they can impose their “way” on those they deal with, including suppliers and even consumers.
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You know the scene. We’ve all been there, checking out the shelves of goodies in Toys ‘R’ Us, searching for the perfect gift for our kids, nephews, nieces or grandchildren.
Suddenly a child runs past, squealing in delight after spotting ‘the toy’. The very same they’ve been diligently saving up their pocket money to buy. Everyone else has one. And now, finally, it’s their turn.
As they thrust the box into the air like the captain of a championship-winning football team, the parent in tow reluctantly takes it from them, skipping the name and any other pointless details as their gaze heads straight for the price tag.
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The above headline is a Vegemite-free reworking of Men At Work’s “Down Under”, shamelessly pilfered from Twitter as an example of the hundreds of negative and abusive comments being directed at Kraft over the iSnack2.0 debacle.
On current projections the iSnack2.0 disaster will be taught for years to come in marketing courses as a step-by-step example of how to upset everybody - the oldies who are fiercely loyal to Vegemite in its existing incarnation, and the youngsters who regard the internet-driven name of this (woeful) new brand as patronising gimmickry, akin to Sorbent trying to corner the youth market with a “hip and groovy” new toilet tissue called iShit.
AS any student of yeast-based food extracts can attest, the history of sandwich spreads is a volatile one where passions run high and careers, even entire companies, have risen and fallen on the back of their marketing campaigns.
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When Ben Hannant appeared at his door this week to reveal he had played Origin while suffering from swine flu, he wasn’t only sending shivers down the spines of league fans. A lot of surfers would have felt a pang of anxiety too. Not because of any fears about the Origin series, but because Hannant was photographed in a hoodie with a surf label emblazoned across the chest.
There’s nothing wrong, per se, with footy boof heads pulling on a surf label. Australian surf companies have clad most of the free world in reasonably stylish, affordable clothes, and for footy players to feel part of this phenomenon is perfectly understandable.
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