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Posts Tagged ‘brand strategy’

Louis Vuitton Decides Nothing Sells Leather Better Than Leather

In advertising, Branding, Brands, Consumers, marketing, strategy on March 8, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Agency Spy is stronger than I am in resisting cheap, senseless jokes about aging rock stars. Be that as it may, Leather Face is the new face of Louis Vuitton, who has decided that they might just be a little too glamour-bling for the changing recessionary times.

While that may be true, I’m not sure that an aging Keith Richards is what the brand needs right now. He lacks the sophistication and relevance to bring younger customers to the venerable brand and I’m not convinced that he’s going to make the older ones consider returning to the store with freshly minted money. And while I’m in an area of complete conjecture I’ll go ahead and question his International appeal, one segment that is still clicking for Louis Vuitton.

But a strange thing does happen sometimes when formulating a brand strategy. You look at all your deficits, your attributes and your values and realize that a gradual shift won’t do the brand any good because it will be too incremental for anyone to notice. You realize that what your brand needs is a bit of seismic change. So you decide to swing wildly to the other side of the spectrum with the foregone conclusion that you’ll pull the brand back to the middle ground within 6 months to a year. The press notices, blogs notice and if you’re lucky your customers notice. You’re able to bring it back to the center before your successful consumer conversation transforms itself into alienation. Maybe that’s the thought here. Maybe.

Red Bull Says Carpe Diem and Enters the Water Fight

In Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, innovation on January 17, 2008 at 11:02 am

Holy Waters

Originally uploaded by ~FreeBirD~

We were recently doing a competitive audit for a client and came across Carpe Diem waters. The packaging isn’t much to look at (frankly, most of the category isn’t) but it does communicate freshness and enhanced benefits better than most brands in the water-Plus category.

The surprise came when we turned the packaging around and recognized the Santa Monica address as that of Red Bull. The fact that it comes from the adrenaline pumping, fly-off-a-pier-in-homemade-plane place makes it a bit more impressive in my mind.

Most companies work hard to not take any risks and to leverage the heck out of their equity until it is diluted to, well, something not unlike water. I’m impressed with the creativity and the soft brand that they have created here and how it creates a nice contrast within their portfolio. If anyone has more information on Carpe Diem or how it came about, write in and let me know.from the Carpe Diem site:
Carpe Diem is both – philosophy and brand.

Carpe Diem is a philosophy: an appeal to the people of our time – to live consciously and seize the day because today is the first day of the rest of your life. Carpe Diem unites all those who value conscious enjoyment with all their senses. Those who demand authenticity and functionality just as much as modernity and style.

As a brand, Carpe Diem stands for drinking with a purpose – for innovative functional drinks that equally combine drinking pleasure with effectiveness. The beverages of Carpe Diem are based on traditional methods of preparation and knowledge that is thousands of years old.

Carpe Diem has made it its goal to offer this ancient knowledge to the consumer in form of modern drinks. Carpe Diem – drinking with a purpose.

Brand Strategy: Mirror Brands vs. Beacon Brands

In advertising, Brands, communications, Consumers, market research, marketing, research, strategy, trends on January 7, 2008 at 10:51 am

one tree

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Sometimes marketers get confused about what their brand is vs. what their audience would like it to be. While the latter philosophy is logical to the point of wanting to please customers, it can be problematic since customers rarely give two bits about the state of your marketshare, your margins, what your brand is capable of, or the general health of your business.

Thinking that brands should mirror the lives or desires of their audience, marketers often enlist the use of focus groups, IDIs, ideations, expert panels, surveys and the like to try to figure out what the market wants. The basic problem with this is that customers inevitably want brands to be “faster, stronger, more reliable, cheaper, easier to use” etc., and they’re often short-sighted on how they want your brand to serve them. And why shouldn’t they be? Do they want your brand to enter into a new category? Maybe, but not if they have a brand there that they already trust. Do they want your brand to retool? Maybe, but not if they already like it. If used as input and inspiration, this type of research can be invaluable in opening up lines of thought and creating possibilities. But if used to find actual answers, you’ll likely end up with a very bland brand with all of the edges buffed off since the majority of the audience will find this acceptable. It’s the law of averages.

The real question should be: how can you use the market and insights to achieve your business and brand objectives? How can you create a Beacon brand that represents your audience’s unspoken aspirations and drives them to you? How can you use your competitive advantage to create a marketplace advantage?

The advantage of Beacon brands is that they take a stand. They connect deeply to your audience in a way that is differentiating and unique. By comparison, as the name implies, Mirror brands simply look to mirror the audience. They can succeed, but the task is much more difficult since Mirror brands only reflect what is on the surface and not the deeper, underlying values of an audience. They can also be more easily replicated by everyone else in the market.