Monthly Archives: May 2012

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: Samsung and Organic Eaters



 
 

Brand Winner…

And Loser…


 
 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week

Winner: Samsung 

 

Loser:  Organic Eaters

                                              

WINNER:

Folks, as much as I have praised Apple, I have always kept the door open to one grim possibility: that Apple could make the same error it did in the 1980s when strategic closemindedness prevented the company from tackling the rise of Microsoft and the PC before it was too late.

Samsung is our winner this week as it prepares for the European launch of its latest Galaxy S smartphone.  The expectation is that this phone will do even better than earlier versions.

But here’s what really matters, the terrific success of those earlier versions has already made Samsung the top global maker of smart phones beating Apple.

That’s right and not only are Samsung’s products selling like hotcakes, but just like Apple, people are lining up around the block to buy them.

Bottom line, the lesson is this.  If you focus on the quality of the product, hit the right price point and deliver for your target market, your brand will grow –no matter what the odds look like when you start (and against Apple, Samsung’s chances initially didn’t look great).


LOSER:

This just in: the “organic eater” brand has just taken a hit.

According to a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, organic eaters may be meaner and nastier than non-organic eaters and even develop a holier-than-thou complex.

Interesting point to also note, one of the lead researchers was drawn to conduct the study because he had noticed that alot of the marketing language around organic foods seemed to have moral terminology built in (like “Honest Tea”) and wondered if this said something about the organic eater.

Turns out that many organic eaters felt morally virtuous after purchasing organic products and even led to so-called “moral balancing” which meant that since they felt they had done something good, they were entitled to do something bad.  The study actually suggests that what it called a “halo of green consumerism” made people less kind to others and even more likely to steal and cheat.

Folks, what do you think?  If true, I guess the marketing is dead on.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.

 

TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY: Focus on making sure that your product and service delivers to your target market and your brand will take care of itself.


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: GM and Kraft



 
 

Brand Winner…

And Loser…


 
 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week

Winner: GM 

 

Loser:  Kraft

                                              

WINNER:

Folks, General Motors has been getting a lot of flack for backing away from advertising on Facebook.

GM became a symbol –at least last week—of a company going against the social media trend and thinking for itself.  In other words, GM is asking the question, if Facebook doesn’t work for them, why should they use it? 

For some this was negative, but I think it shows great strength.

This is the new GM, leaner and stronger and very competitive.  Leaving Facebook behind because GM couldn’t justify the ad dollars in terms of results was the best advertisement for the company as truly a world beater again.

One other thing to consider, Facebook was never going to have as big a news week as this past week with its historic IPO.  Did GM basically ride those coattails to get the best publicity to show that its new global marketing approach is streamlined, smart and taking a hard look at how best to spend advertising dollars. 

No surprise then that they have also decided that they will not be advertising during the Super Bowl this year.  They are a brand actively looking for value and my guess is that they will be keep delivering it to their customers.


LOSER:

When a global giant makes the kind of mistake that Kraft just made, what can you say?

I’m shaking my head in disbelief.  I really am.  Kraft has just decided to rename its global snack business Mondelez.

Folks, it took them four months and it’s no joke.  The company said the name is a combination of the Latin words “world” and “delicious”.

It’s worth reprinting a few paragraphs from the Associated Press story on the decision:

The four-month odyssey of how “Mondelez” was picked — and how it was
received — illustrates the great pains companies take to come up with
powerful names for their businesses, products and services. For them,
it’s akin to parents obsessing over a name for their newborn: it’s a
moniker that sticks for better or worse, so it better be good.

“You
have to generate thousands of ideas, even if it’s just for a cookie,”
said Nik Contis, the global director of naming at branding company
Siegel+Gale.

That’s just what Kraft did after it decided to split
into two publicly-traded companies — one for its North American grocery
business that makes products like Oscar Mayer and Miracle Whip and the other a bigger company to focus on selling snacks worldwide.

It
was clear to executives at Kraft’s Northfield, Ill., headquarters that
the name of the snack business would have to appeal to a global
audience. So the world’s biggest maker of sweet snacks started the
arduous process of picking a name in November by soliciting suggestions
from its 126,000 employees.

What do you think?  It sounds like the lunatics just might be running the asylum.  Lucky for Kraft, the name still has to be approved by shareholder vote.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.

 

TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY: Too much cleverness can be a brand killer


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: Spirit Airlines and Yahoo (CEO) and



 
 

Brand Winner…

And Loser…


 
 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week

Winner: Spirit Airlines

 

Loser:  Yahoo (CEO)

                                              

WINNER:

Folks, the worst thing a brand can do is refuse to apologize.

Your Target Market will forgive many things but a persistent inability or unwillingness to say sorry can be fatal to a brand.

Spirit Airline’s CEO, Ben Baldanza, was reminded of this after a week of refusing to apologize and refund money to a dying Vietnam War vet.

Why is he the winner?

Because after a week, Baldanza did the right thing and not only that he apologized robustly –no half-hearted sorry for the Spirit CEO.

His statement didn’t pull any punches:

“Sometimes we make mistakes.  In my statements regarding
Mr. Meekins’ request for a refund, I failed to explain why our policy
on refunds makes Spirit Airlines the only affordable choice for so many
travelers, and I did not demonstrate the respect or the compassion that I
should have, given his medical condition and his service to our
country.”

The bottom line is that it is never too late to apologize and the bigger and bolder and more sincere your apology, the better.

Don’t only say sorry; really mean it and in meaning it, your brand will become better.


LOSER:

Everybody probably takes some liberties with their resumes, trying to cast their experience (or lack of it) in the best light.

But folks, what Scott Thompson, CEO of Yahoo, seems to have done goes well beyond the pale: apparently he never received a degree his resume, SEC filings and official company bio have claimed that he did.

He says he’s sorry that this issue has prevented the company from moviing forward, but so far no one has been fired and Yahoo seems to be muddying the water with a lengthy review.

This is a case, if the allegations are true, that sorry won’t fix.  Thompson will have to go and Yahoo will have to explain how he was hired in the first place and why the person they will replace him with and the policies they institute are worthy of trust and will restore the brand.

Perhaps there are some people out there who think it doesn’t matter that he might have lied about his resume –but my position is that brands –personal or corporate– must be solid.  Lying isn’t the way to get there.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.


 

TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY: It is never too late to apologize.


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: Couric (Online) and Nutella



 
 

Brand Winner…

And Loser…


 
 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week

Winner: Couric (Online)

 

Loser:  Nutella

                                              

WINNER:

Folks, most people who had a terrific broadcast platform would rest there: but most people aren’t Katie Couric.

Couric, who’s syndicated daily show is going to start this fall on ABC, is going online for her fans. 

That’s the idea behind a digital series she, ABC News and Yahoo launched May 1.

Couric is going to do what she does best help her fans cut through trends and fads. 

Actually, it’s a fascinating decision…She’s giving her target market and possibly new target markets a taste of the Couric brand while simultaneously expanding her reach on a new medium and building momentum for her show’s fall launch.

Great brands seek new points of contact and fresh ways of building relationships with their audience.  Couric has done it again.


LOSER:

Brand damage seldom happens overnight.

That’s what’s happened to Nutella.  

Sure, you could say that the 3 million dollar class action settlement in California was a one off and even silly.  But I’d say there’s more.

Here’s the story.  A woman in California sued Ferrero, the makers of Nutella, for promoting the chocolate spread as being “healthier than it actually is.”

People might say that it’s ridiculous that a consumer would assume a chocolate spread was supposed to be a healthy option, but here’s the point: brands need to be true to themselves and I think Nutella was “fudging” here (excuse the pun).

Fact is, Nutella is promoted as “an example of a tasty yet balanced breakfast.”  but has the properties of a candy bar.

This is a classic example of overstating the facts and when brands do this for long enough, the facts eventually catch up.

It might seem like a spectacular event, but this lawsuit and settlement –and the resulting bad press– simply didn’t happen overnight.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.


 

TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY: Brands need to stick to just the facts.