Archive for the ‘Marketing’ category

Steve Jobs Fashion Evolution

28 July 2010

Although Apple technology has changed dramatically over the years, the way Apple operates has not changed at all. Anyone familiar with their products knows that he will pay more for an Apple product than a competing item. In addition, there will fewer choices as to size, shape, and color compared to similar products made by others.

Perhaps this is because Steve Jobs doesn’t like change. Take his choice of clothes over the years:

steve jobs fashion statement

See what I mean?

H/T: Super Pérolas


Distribution Is More Important than Advertising

25 June 2010

First, a disclaimer: I do not drink bottled water. I use filtered water using the same process most of the major brands use: reverse-osmosis. Almost all bottled water is either filtered tap water or water from springs that are usually less healthy than New York tap water. In fact, some bottled water is merely unfiltered tap water.

You may be interested to learn that US consumers spend more on bottled water than on iPods or movie tickets, although sales have fallen in the past few years due to environmental concerns and the bad economy. New York, Illinois and Virginia state governments have banned bottled water at public events and in state offices. Some eco-conscious companies like Cisco and Google have removed it from their corporate campuses as well.

I will not discuss why consumers would pay up to 10,000 times more for bottled water than what they can get in their own homes; I want to discuss who gets the major share of the 50 billion bottle per year sales in the US and why.

The top two sellers in the US, Aquafina from PepsiCo (launched in 1994) and Dasani from the Coca-Cola Company (launched in 1993), both originate from municipal water systems. But they did not start the bottled water business. There were hundreds of smaller, family-owned companies that were operating for more than a century. For example, Mountain Valley Water (launched in 1871) became the first bottled water to be available coast to coast in 1928.

But despite hundreds of companies, bottled water was barely a business in 1976 when the makers of a small green bottle opened an office in New York. By 1988 Perrier had 80% of the imported bottled water market by convincing restaurant owners that they could make more money touting bottled rather than tap water to their patrons.

So the two big Cola bottlers were decades late to the party. In addition, most of the century old bottlers were selling water from natural springs, while Coke and Pepsi were merely selling filtered tap water. But being first or having a superior product is not what drives a market.

As much as advertising and packaging are important to sales, nothing pushes consumer purchases as shelf-space. Advertise all you want, make it look pretty, but if your product is not in every supermarket, on the right shelves, you are not going to turn over product.

If there is one thing that Coke and Pepsi have, it is distribution. By tapping into their large network of bottlers, they have immediate access to the same shelf space at every supermarket in the country. If a new type of drink comes along, say goat-juice, as disgusting as it may sound, if Pepsi and Coke put it on their shelves then you can take it to the bank that those particular brands of goat-juice would outsell anyone else.

And with a little bit of advertising and the right packaging, it could be a national drink in short order.

By the way, Nestlé is the world’s largest water bottler by virtue of having many more brands, such as Poland Spring (3rd in sales), Deer Park, S. Pellegrino and Perrier. Nestlé as well has great distribution powers.

Even Vandals can Have Brands

26 March 2010

If Jesse James (the train-robber, not the bum who blind-sided Sandra Bullock) were alive today, I have no doubt he would be pushing his own line of clothes and have endorsement deals with Nike (Rob a train? Just do it!) and Adidas (first daylight bankrobbery in peace time – Celebrate Originality).

Today if you’re the best at any endeavor, you can be rich and famous.

graffito artist slick - Adidas Slick Artillery Mid sneakerTake graffito artist Slick who heads up his own successful brand Dissizit. Adidas has put Slick on their truly awesome Artillery Torsion retro Basketball shoe (note the Slick Artillery logo on the tongue).

Check out Adidas’ ad video here.

To some, graffiti is an art form; to others it is vandalism. Know how you can tell? If it’s done without the property owner’s permission, it is vandalism – I don’t care how beautiful it may be.

But suppose you’re not Nike or Adidis but a small business that could profit from a tie-in with graffiti? Step in Man One Design who will create graffiti art for your brand, targeting the youth market that just doesn’t respond to traditional advertising.

Marketing the Cure for Cancer

25 March 2010

First, let me give you the beginning of the story (with a Hat Tip to Skirmisher):

Live Longer Now Blog, Nanobots Kill Cancer Cells

The image below shows an exciting development in cancer cure: nanobots successfully attacking a cancer cell, disabling it. The “attack nanobots” do the work by safely delivering what is called small-interfering RNA (siRNA) to deactivate the protein, thereby starving the tumor cell to death.

nanobots attacking cancer cells

A Caltech-led team of researchers published the first proof (in the March 21 online edition of the journal Nature) that a targeted nanoparticle injected into a patient’s bloodstream can turn off a cancer gene. This also bodes well for therapeutics other than those that attack cancer at the genetic level [see Caltech Press release].

Now comes the end of the story: just because one finds the cure for cancer does not mean anyone can get it soon.

So You want to be your Own Boss

In today’s world, even more than in the past, business success has nothing to do with your product or million dollar idea. You can have the cure for cancer, but unless you know people in the FDA and pharmaceutical business you will get nowhere. Believe it. On the other hand, you can sell frozen dog-turd and make millions if you have contacts, a customer base for any other product, thousands of retail outlets that already sell something, distribution channels, distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers reps, and significant web traffic (and it doesn’t matter what you’re already selling).

So will nanobots be considered a drug, a procedure, or a tiny medical doctor all on its own? Because the FDA requires testing in the hundreds of millions of dollars before they will approve any drug or medical procedure it will take years for anyone to actually get a hold of the tiny devils.

But people are dying of cancer now – so here’s a business idea: buy the bots from Caltech and take them to Mexico where rich Americans can go to get treatment as many already go for prostate cancer treatment, cosmetic surgery, weight loss surgery, dental treatments and many others. About 40,000 Americans travel to Mexico for medical treatment each year.

You set up a website, provide air transportation, taxi (or limo), medical consultations, hotel arrangements, and even provide for post treatment stays at resort areas. The commissions from the various service providers can quickly add up to a significant amount of money. All this courtesy of the stupidity of the bureaucrats at the FDA.

People with zero medical experience have already set up clinics throughout Mexico.

Related: See video of Mexico’s Distinction In Medical Technology Development.

Something Better than the iPad

29 January 2010

In my previous article The iPad is Just an iFad, I asked, “How is this product [the iPad] any better than what I already have?”

Here is what Apple should have introduced, the Light Touch™:

Light Touch™ interactive projector

From the Light Touch website:

Light Touch™ is an interactive projector that instantly transforms any flat surface into a touch screen. It frees multimedia content from the confines of the small screen, allowing users to interact with that content just as they do on their hand held devices – using multi-touch technology.

If Apple had introduced this product, we would be hearing ooohs and aaahs from everyone, instead there’s hardly a murmur from the main stream media and tech journals; see MIT’s Technology Review and the Independent.

Apple has momentum from the successes of the iPod and iPhone so I wouldn’t be surprised that even if they came out with an electronic toilet paper dispenser, they’d still sell 4 million units in the first month, wiping out [ow – sorry] the competition.

electronic toilet paper dispenser

Photo courtesy: Walyou

How to Get a Million Dollars of Free Press

19 November 2009

mailorama melee
Photo Credit: Turban Bomb

Here’s the deal:, a French Internet marketing company similar to fatwallet planned a great publicity gimmick to promote its website which offers cash-back to visitors who click through their site to make online purchases.

The idea was simple: drive around central Paris throwing cash in envelopes from the windows of a double-decker London bus. The plan was to distribute a total of 5,000 envelopes, each containing €5 to €500 ($7.50 to $750).

But the scheme went agley. Just before the event was to have started, the Gendarmes freaked out when they saw an unruly mob of 7,000 that had formed near the Eiffel Tower in search of free cash. As soon as the cops announced that the whole thing was being canceled, the crowd ran amok.

About a dozen people were arrested, store windows were broken, a car was overturned and at least one man (see photo above) was beaten by thugs. SWAT had to be called in to restore order.

Some of my readers may view this promotion as a flop; however, as the New York Times noted, “… the uproar brought the company notoriety beyond its wildest dreams.”

A Beautiful Woman and 3,000 Dollars

26 October 2009

BMW M3 AdAlthough this has happened to you many times before, you cannot stop watching it happen again.

An airplane lands; a beautiful woman approaches your new BMW M3 2-door Coupe; she opens the door, sits down, stares at you invitingly, opens her purse and fans 30 crisp 100 dollar bills.

You’ve got the go-ahead, and so you rev your engine to 8400 rpm. Highways, tunnels, buildings speed by as your comely passenger revs her internal motor in sync with the flashing lights.

Before she utterly faints, you’ve brought her back to the airport. She gets out making sure to drop her purse in gratitude on your seat.

Sadly, some of my readers may never have experienced this; for them I offer this video

Although not made by BMW – this is some ad.

Hat tip to Biertijd

The song in the background is Emiliana Torrini’s Gun

BMW “Living in the Lights”
Production: Bandito’s Garage
Creator/Director: Mouse McCoy
The Car: BMW M3
The Driver: Greg Tracy
The Girl: Niki Huey
Director of Photography: Vic Huber
Editor: Steve Prestemon
Producer: Sumer Friedrichs

Here is one of their press releases:

Reuters, BMW M3 Races Out of Bandito Garage

A new film by Mouse McCoy featuring the BMW M3 may do more than relate to the passion of car fans. If you’re an advertising agency or client in the automotive world, you may have dreamed of an extreme production environment, a one-stop shop that refines the process of producing industry-leading content for commercials, content footage, branded entertainment, and product placement by servicing all of these needs under one roof. As evidenced by a new BMW ad and print campaign created on spec, this dream has become a reality in the form of the Bandito Garage, a cost-effective, seamlessly-integrated approach to car content and positioning.

Overseen by a pit crew of seasoned Automotive and Production professionals, the Bandito Garage has rolled open its doors in Culver City, under the auspices of full-service media company Bandito Brothers. “Clients are more conscious of the money they spend on advertising – you now have cross-brand shooting at once, and it’s hard to define a means of executing it,” said Sumer Friedrichs, formerly of Campbell-Ewald, now the Garage’s Detroit-based Producer. “As tier one and two advertisers struggle to assemble the spots they need, our model offers a perfect solution. As a producer, I sought a combination of excellence and flexibility.

All elements may not be running on a simultaneous calendar but need to connect. We mold the production as needed, with top-of-the-line talent handling everything.”