Must read this article.
It is an example of the seismic shift we will continue to see across all industries and retail is no exception (see also Walmart and Apple retail).
Welcome to the new way of working. Transparancy and efficiency.
I love his customer understanding and respect “The customer knows the right price,” Mr. Johnson said. “We can raise the price all we want. She’s only going to pay the right price. She’s an expert.”
Change is a-coming. Oh yeah!
One of the (many) characteristics of Apple which leads to its success is them being a ‘people company’ – natural, real, and employing the best people and then trusting them. No beauracracy, appreciating differences, open and honest.
This is evident in the relationship they had with a startup called Transitive, based in Manchester UK. Transitive is the company behind the Rosetta technology, which allowed Apple to introduce Intel processors into Macs in 2005, thus opening them up to a wider audience.
Co-founder of Transitive Alasdair Rawsthorne, said this about working with Apple:
“Apple was a wonderful company to work with, they’re very relationship oriented. As soon as we got the contract in place it was like we were working for the same side – it was a very single-minded development.”
Steve Jobs’ final piece of advice to his friend and now CEO of Apple was “don’t think about ‘what Steve would do’, think about what YOU would do”. In other words – trust yourself, like I trust you.
You’d be amazed at all the wild and wonderful thoughts and connections one makes whilst on maternity leave, especially in the quiet hours of the night when most people are sleeping! But those thoughts fade away with the sunrise and ideas turn quickly to the daily grind instead.
But now I have a moment.
This morning i read an interesting article about milk production (Not your grandma’s milk). I know not many people are as interested as I am in the fraud, corruption and lack of integrity of the food industry but, what the article showed was that the milk we are drinking is not what we think it is.
Now, if we cant trust the companies who bring us milk – a wholesome, supposedly pure and healthy drink – then I think we need to reconsider and question just what is happening to our society and our relationships. Who can we trust?
Trust is a powerful human emotion, which has been eroded over the recent past and especially in light of the financial crisis, corporate scandals (Murdoch, BP), government corruption etc.
Increasingly it seems less and less people, brands, corporations, are worthy of our trust. And if they are not worthy of our trust, then are they worthy of our loyalty and expenditure?
On the other hand, brands who we can trust are brands we can love, respect and reward.
So if I was a brand or marketing manager, I’d be very keen on gaining people’s trust through my superior product performance, quality parts or ingredients, intuitive customer service, honest CSR activities and other faces of my brand.
If only things were that simple ;-)
If you do any of the following, please stop it :-)
I think ‘strategy’ is the most over used word in this industry. Too often it is misunderstood, and too often people use it inter-changeably with just ‘a thought’.
Good strategy is creative, just like good creative has to be strategic.
Good strategy is a jump from the mundane. It’s based on an idea. It makes a statement about what the brand is up to. Following from this people either buy into the brand or they don’t.
When you think about campaigns like Avis’s ‘we try harder’, or Honda’s ‘power of dreams’ it is very obvious what the brand is up to, the strategy stands out.
Here are some jump starters for writing good communication strategy:
1. Develop an insight or story, and then summarise it as a strategy.
2. Think ‘what is my creative angle on this problem’ what’s the larger than life proposition to the world?
3. Think ‘what is my point of view’ on a subject matter?
4. Work out what it is your brand or product is ‘against’ – what do you oppose?
5. What is the consumer benefit? How do we demonstrate this in the creative?
6. The problem – Great ideas start with big problems. What is the consumer problem you are trying to solve?
Your position – What is your position on the things that the consumer cares about? Show you care about the problem. For example: ‘The campaign was created to communicate the Pampers brand’s philosophy that children perceive the world very differently from adults, even the simplest things are opportunities to learn and experiment, and children should be given the freedom and comfort to do so’
Your promise – The promise is the way in which you (implicitly or explicitly) prove to the consumer your credibility in holding that position and what you intent to do about it. E.g.: ‘Pampers provides comfort to your child so they can be free to experiment’.
The Brand Idea – This is an outward facing crystallisation of the position and promise. It’s the brands point of view ‘Look at the world through the eyes of a child’.
7. What do we want the target market to think, feel, do?
8. What is our unique ownable property? The unique aspect that only our product / service has? It could be a product feature, something inherent in our design. For example:
- FJ Cruiser’s unique retro look, going back to basics, the type you can use for a long time – product concept is ‘the rebirth of rugged’,
- Audi’s Vorsprung durch Technik, How can we relate that to the key proposition?
Today, good brand strategy is based on mutual benefit, takes into account sustainability. Is transparent and honest.
Till next time, enjoy!