Tag Archives: Apple

What U2 and Thom Yorke can teach us about online content

U2 Apple launchThe last month has seen two of the world’s biggest music artists – U2 and Thom Yorke (of Radiohead fame) – release albums exclusively through digital channels, but with vastly different distribution methods.

U2 were widely criticised for ‘forced gifting’ their album into the iTunes libraries of 800m unsuspecting users. Thom Yorke was applauded for continuing to find new ways of selling his/Radiohead’s music online.

We can learn a great deal about how to best create and distribute online content from the music industry. The stark contrast between these two releases provides a great list of dos and don’ts for brands and agencies. Read More »

Money can’t buy you affinity

Money by Tax Credits:FlickrIncreasingly, consumers and the markets alike favour brands offering content that can be easily shared. The news site BuzzFeed, for example, has just secured $50m of funding which, according to The Guardian, raises its value to three times more than the Washington Post. BuzzFeed’s whole concept has been designed with social media in mind (apparently 75% of its traffic comes via social media users) and it rewards its writers not by the number of readers attracted by their work, but by the number of times their articles are shared online.

It’s clear that BuzzFeed is becoming one of a new breed of ‘strong’ brands. However, traditional methods of evaluating brands don’t take social status into account. So current brand rankings such as the Interbrand index are more likely to reflect the size of a promotional budget rather than the loyalty and engagement of customers.

For instance, Samsung has featured highly on the Interbrand index for the past five years. Yet it’s known for mimicking the design of competitive products and buying market share with large advertising budgets. On the other hand Apple earns its valuation by investing in product alone. Read More »

Did Apple and U2 officially make music worthless?

U2 Apple launchMusic stars do want to have it both ways. First they complain that music is not being valued properly, that piracy is killing new music and then they go and give away an entire album and wonder why people don’t value music.

U2 and Apple have continued their collaboration in a much missed announcement at the launch of the iphone 6 and iWatch last week by giving away U2’s new album for free.

U2 have been promised over $100m worth of marketing by Apple in return, however this is merely promoting Apple more than U2.

Why? Because the angle is that you have to have the iPhone and iTunes to enjoy the new U2 music for free. That’s not promoting U2 it’s promoting the platform that you can listen to U2 on. For free.

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Education is key for the connected home

connected home by Hans KylbergThe connected home, moving beyond the early adopter stage, is now trickling into the mainstream. Research we recently undertook highlighted that 17% of Brits would like and have no concerns about installing smart devices into their home. While on the other side of the pond a study by Accenture illustrates that 69% of consumers are planning to buy a connected home device in the next five years.

The entrance of the world’s biggest tech companies into the smart home market is likely to reassure consumers and accelerate adoption. Google’s £1.9 billion acquisition of Nest at the beginning of the year demonstrated its desire to be at the forefront of smart technology while Apple recently unveiled its HomeKit – a suite of tools for controlling home appliances.

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Amazon’s Fire phone and the future of brand relationships

Amazon Fire phoneThe reaction to Amazon’s recent phone announcement followed a pretty typical pattern: gee-whiz live-blogging in the morning and cynical analysis in the afternoon. But dissecting nifty hologram effects and price points is beside the point.

New product features have a retail half-life of 90 days and a media half-life of 90 minutes. In a few years these phones will come in the mail for free with an Amazon Prime membership.

The real lesson here is that Amazon has made a pragmatic decision to use the world’s most relevant consumer platform, the smartphone, to help cement one of the world’s most seamless brand relationships. Read More »

Brand gaffes: Three lessons for marketers from brands that went badly off-message

Hull City AFC logoI have come across a number of stories recently, about brands that have tried to ignore their customers or their brand values (or both) in the process of a repositioning.

The outcome is rarely a good one.

So, what does happen when senior management runs with a vision that doesn’t fit with what customers believe about the brand? And what can we learn from the people who didn’t do it right?

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What’s app-ening in emerging markets?

The Apple iPhone 5The app and device battlegrounds are rife with established players and newbies fighting it out to provide the emerging markets with new handsets, alternative app stores and fresh mobile content. New moves include Nokia’s alliance with Android with new releases including the Nokia X, Apple covertly re-releasing the iPhone 4 in India and Samsung set to launch the Galaxy S5 in the UAE.

However, none of the major mobile players have quite cracked the code to success in emerging markets. Competing factors include price point, brand popularity, localised content and viable payment options, but no one has yet found the winning combination. Read More »

Great brand blunders on social media

Great Brand BlundersDissing President Obama, making light of natural disasters, launching fluffy promotions amid bitter industrial strife, mocking followers and actively inviting sarcastic put-downs: these are all real gaffes made by brands on social media. Ever wondered how digital marketers can get themselves in such a mess?

My new book Great Brand Blunders (The worst marketing and social media meltdowns of all time…and how to avoid your own)  covers more than 175 marketing misadventures spanning Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia.  With a roll-call including Apple, BA, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Nestlé, Virgin, Ikea, Microsoft and many others on the global A List, it proves that even the mightiest brands can misjudge their marketing from time to time. Read More »

Will Ahrendt’s departure from Burberry signal a shift from theme to scheme?

burberry London Fashion Week catwalkWe’ve heard that Burberry chairman Sir John Peace did his very best to persuade Angela Ahrendts to continue as Chief Executive, knowing full well the likely adverse impact on the share price.  But the joint lures of Apple and homeland were too strong for him and her.  Christopher Bailey is to be promoted to the new role of Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer and the share price duly fell amidst City scepticism.

No doubt one of the first big challenges the new man in charge will face is the spectre raised by Ahrendts in one of her last public statements as Burberry CEO.  In it she expressed concerns to newspaper Les Echos that China’s slowdown could be more than just a passing phase for the luxury goods sector.  Given the importance to Burberry of its business in China this would undoubtedly put pressure on the short term balance sheet.

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What has any government ever done for us tekkies?

Apple think different(The Not So Secret E-commerce Entrepreneur continues…)

Answer: Well Government did help in giving us Apple and Google

Don’t believe me?

Then check out Marianna Mazzucato’s new book; “The Entrepreneurial State” – it’s certainly an eye-popper.

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