Sunday, September 27, 2009

╠ iSnack 2.0 ╣

Those of you watching the AFL yesterday would have been introduced to the new name of what is overall growing to be one of my least favourite marketing campaigns...It's definitely trying very hard to beat Pimp My Kettle.

So iSnack 2.0...You know what, it's not even worth going into every detail wrong in that name. The blog would become too long and boring for anyone to read.

Zac Martin over at Pigs Don't Fly was the first in my list of bloggers to post about the iSnack 2.0. His goal is to be listed No. 1 for iSnack 2.0. So this is me helping. By filling up iSnack 2.0 with blogs complaining about it we may just send a message that may be heard. If you want to help be sure to link the words iSnack 2.0 to Zac's or my blog post.

Friday, September 25, 2009

╠ The Perplexing Case of Aldi ╣

One of the things that has changed since I moved out is that I've been located a lot closer to an Aldi store and there is quite an experience.

There has been one thought I've been toying with for the past week though. Does Aldi's neglectful treatment of merchandising actually possibly help them?

My main thought on this came to do with their high seller products. Do you want to buy something from Aldi where it looks like the entire shelfload of stock is still there, or does the fact that it looks like it's selling well further improve your perception of value in a peer pressure type sense?

I keep managing to jump back and forth however I think I may have finally come to a conclusion. Thinking back a full shelf does look better, more professional and more aesthetically appealing. However Aldi's personal treatment reinforces their brand image and associations which are about the fact that they save money by cutting down costs anywhere. The visual manifestation of this further instills the brand image in your mind and makes you believe that these must be the cheapest things around.

So in all it's a bit of a wash consumer wise, so it comes down to the fact that Aldi is saving money doing it this way as well. So as long as it's working for them they should keep their crummy stocking setups.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

╠ An Unhappy little Vegemite ╣

Now I love my vegemite. Whenever a tourist comes to town I'm the first to try to convince them to try the wonderous goo that they sometimes confuse for chocolate. But unfortunately when it comes to their last campaign, I'm not as proud as I used to be.

I refer of course to the New Vegemite. I'd add a slogan here but the only message I seem to remember is that apparently it's just like the old Vegemite. Hmm, something that goes in a sandwich that tastes just like Vegemite? Wait, isn't there already something that does that...idno, maybe original Vegemite.

So a campaign centered around completely cannibalizing your own product by replacing it with could it ever fail? Especially when the product has no name and it becomes the consumers job to name this product that tastes just like original vegemite.

My complete confusion at this campaign seemed to be endless. So I thought the best way to solve it would be to stop listening to the campaign and actually just try the thing...and you know what...It tastes just like vegemite except that you have to keep it in the fridge, and the list of ingredients on the back is about 10x as long.

The only possible upside that this campaign could stumble would be that having vegemite in the fridge as well as the upboard would increase exposure and possible usage? Long shot but maybe, or secondly this new vegemite seems to require more substance to achieve the same level of taste so it could be increasing turnover due to it's own sheer inefficiency...

I would've thought I would at least be able to understand a campaign by people who were able to create such a strong brand image as the happy little vegemite. But it just eludes me. If anyone knows the secret to why this campaign isn't a complete waste let me know v_v

Thursday, September 17, 2009

╠ Solve your problems on my terms ╣

I recently moved and of course what comes with that is calling up all of the people who offer services and being put on hold indefinitely. Now I understand that this is what people are used to but it could be so much better.

Why should I be sitting at the phone waiting for someone to be free and pick up the phone. Is there any value to me being on the line? Unless you're Telstra and you're making money prolonging phone calls then there is no value.

Waiting on hold is annoying, plain and simple. One thing I found recently in my search for internet was how Dodo had the ability to register your interest and they would call you when they're free.

Sure you may have to wait by the phone for a bit, but you're not on the phone wasting money and time. I don't understand why companies cannot adopt a system like this. Call up or register online that help is needed and then they call you asap. If you're online you can even have a nice little animation showing expected call time or something.

Sure it costs you a call but I can tell you, after you've spent twenty minutes on hold, the degradation to your personal brand in that individuals mind is well worth the effort. An example I have is where I had an issue with Telstra's bill. So I had to spend half an hour of my time, and probably $30ish of credit just to get them to fix a problem that they created.

So this is my cry out for customer service that actually serves a changing customers needs. Move with the times. Being on hold should be being pushed to be a thing of the past.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

╠ Marketing is boring ╣

...Or at least it appears to be by what Universities have to say about it. I've reached the half way point of my final semester and I've just taken a small step back and realized that what I'm learning doesn't match the career. Marketing is about innovation and design, quite artsy really. However University paints it as rules, guidelines, almost a mathematical formula to success.

Now this actually appeals to me to a degree, hence why I can get caught up in it and it becomes a surprise to look back for a second. University seems obsessed with theories...however the unfortunate thing with theories is that they usually ignore variables. Unfortunately this is the fault with all theories, they try to summarize things, which can only be achieved by removing bits.

I know I keep calling out for it but I'd really just love Universities to listen a little and try and teach us how the marketing life really is, rather than theories. Especially when some of the innovations must come at the price of ignoring a few of even the most basic theories.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

╠ Social Experiments Gone Wrong ╣

One thing that always gets to me on Facebook and similar networks is when people change their personal details s part of what they usually call a 'social experiment'. The most common one is people changing their birthday in order to see if people realize that you change it or simply just follow the cues and wish you a happy birthday on another date.

Personally I believe that such experiments are a complete waste of time and in the end noone really feels the better. Basically it shouldn't require you to perform an experiment to prove that when you lie to someone, they get the wrong idea. Your respondents will fall into 3 categories. Thse that know your birthday that pick up that you're lying, those who thought they knew and just get confused and those that go with the flow and wish you a happy birthday only to feel like a dick once the experiment is over.

No matter which group you fall into you are left feeling worse than you originally did in regards to the person conducting the experiment.

So the data itself earned from the experiment is basically worthless and you've just screwed over your entire facebook network. Kudos.

I hope that this post at least deters one person from conducting a social experiment...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

╠ Sharp Dressed Man ╣

What has probably been the thing I've been learning most this semester is the mind games that go in behind everyday life. The little things that can be the defining pont between a good first impression and a bad one.

In the past I had believed, thanks to my mum's teachings, that being myself and standing up for what I like is important. Unfortunately I turned out to be a weird kid and as much as I'd like to believe it, showing up to an interview in my giant Mario Bros Mushroom Hoodie isn't going to earn me any bonus points...unless Im going for a VG company.

The viewpoint that was originally in my mind was that I could be what I want and it was that being different that would add me value. But this is not the case. Simply being different isn't enough to make you special. As weird as it sounds, to a degree you have to be like everyone else to be different. It is by reaching those minimum requirements of correlation with the norm that you will be accepted. Only from there do you have the balance board to be different and be rewarded for it.

This applies to businesses as well to be accepted there must be things you do the same before you can do things different. Even in the most differentiated and out there firms you can find most of the base jobs are still all the same.

The true way to being successful isn't in being different, it's in being the same...differently.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

╠ Utilizing Twitter ╣

One of the things I've been determined to do since finding twitter is actually find a way to use it for something useful. At Manifest the main thing with twitter that I did was to run a competition where during the weekend if you made a tweet with #manifest in it you were eligible to win. It went down quite well...

The question as to whether it was worth the merch is yet to be raised, however the point is that it sparked discussion and we were getting quite a few tweets, all aligned with the right tag.

The reason I bring this up is that I saw another style of competition today, except this time you had to tweet this '@GuitarHero: “Today is the day I’m getting @GuitarHero 5!” RT for your chance to win 1 of 5 #GuitarHero 5 bundles!'

Basically a set message. One message posted a million times, that my friend is spam. Creating content based around your brand, that's community building.

So what are your thoughts, do I get to feel the pride of one upping a worldwide brand, or is there some trick to this Guitar Hero tweet that makes it more valuable?