Impactful Marketing

Impactful Marketing

Saving banks | Statute changes versus brand changes

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Recently, with the Spanish saving banks reform we are attending the creation and deployment of new financial institution brands. What is the aim of these changes? Changing a name is actually quite different to changing a brand. Logos had changed, but what about the internal structure? Does it respond to a concrete strategy? A brand has its value; create a new one has costs.

The following chart shows a rough cost of each step supporting the change of a brand. Spanish financial system is known as one of the most serious in Europe. This consideration leads me to ask:

  • Is such change indispensable? Considering the crisis, is this the right moment?
  • Since it is not a legal obligation, was it necessary to change the brand? Couldn’t they think of umbrella brand systems, like ‘Star Alliance’?
  • Does it communicate confidence to investors and clients? And to employees?
  • Couldn’t be better to explain to clients the change from saving bank to bank instead of changing the brand?
  • Is it possible to come together seven brands into a unique one? And the culture?
  • With such names, can the enterprises expand all over the world?

Maybe saving banks had rushed too much. The new names are lacked of originality and/or rather similar, like Bankia, merger between seven saving banks, and Rankia, community of finance interested persons. Others didn’t thought either about the sense of the word they were going to use as a new name: existing brands, animal name, etc. being deep in a small crisis.

Now that the implementation of those brands has started, the aim for new bank entities and their communication department is to convince their stakeholders before to take the company public in a maximum of one year; they have to get renown

  • Do you think they can do it?
  • What do you think about the new brands?
  • Do you consider it will have a positive effect on the bank business?
  • How can new banks transmit this confidence that Spanish financial sector needs so much?
  • Will they be influent in an international way? Is it possible?

The Tendentious Dr. Utterson | The ‘innovation disruption’ trend & Branding | Chapter 4

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During the last years, we have segmented and studied different tribes. Actually, we have arrived to “almost one member tribes”…

The real issue, behind the scene, is that thinking of this situation we have converted our gray matter in a sort of mashed potato. We have thought a lot… Gray puree!

And some results are as great as interesting… Probably the most important event is that our lifes are becoming disrupted… and so our innovation processes.

Disruptive innovation is not to invent the square wheel, because it would be useless… It’s to come with new categories of products/services that are answering a real need (although that this could be a philosophical discussion, I’m assuming that needs exist adn are not created).

Hence, our disruptive lifes should be followed and anticipated (both at the same time) by disruptive innovation.

Trend #4: Disruptive innovation

Disruptive innovation is part of a conversation between people who belong to a tribe and companies that love to give something relevant to that people.

During the last years we have saw companies giving especific answers to:

  • Old people (retired)
  • Women
  • Gays
  • Kids

Also, we have seen that due to the conversation, products and services are becoming the result of a co-design between people of each system (company + providers + clients + customers + strategic partners + …). As a result of this we envisage three main drivers for innovation disruption:

  • Co-creation: People as part of the innovation event
  • Convenience: Products come to the market faster than ever… and this is better and more convenient… Dont’ you think?
  • Customization: Instead that ‘generosity’ is a trend, we will continue wishing to be unique and that requires personalization of the products and services that we use

Challenge #4: Brand customization

We are disruptives, innovation is disruptive… so, your brand experience should be also disruptive… Don’t be afraid, people will thank you!

A great number of brand experiences are changing and innovating. New categories are emerging and giving answers to especific tribes. Some examples:

  • Tiffany & Co. is developing customized dinner ware
  • Sephora has vending machines for cosmetics
  • Barcelona has a bike system for citizens with their correspondant bike stations
  • The Satndard Hotel has vending machine with socks and swimwear
  • Underwear for left-handed people
  • JVC’s Youtube camcorder
  • And we can add products fro tribes, from women to baby boomers 😉

In a continous timeline, we are jumping as kids 😉

Thinking of strategic marketing

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What I read

Some days ago I was reading and article published in the McKinsey Quaterly talking about marketing. The tittle was “The consumer decision journey”.

Although that the article is not saying anything new, the way the authors (David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder and Ole Jørgen Vetvik) stressed the new marketing problematic is quite interesting.

There were four points which arose my attention:

  • Marketing’s goal is to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions
  • Due to the explosion of product choices and digital channels, plus the emergence of an increasingly well-informed consumer, a more sofisticated approach is required
  • Due to the shift toward a two-way communication, marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth
  • During the customer journey, marketers must integrate strategy, spending, channel management and message across the organization

I do agree with all those concepts, however, I’m not so sure if they are strategic marketing decisions… Actually, they look like the “new issues” of marketing under the perspective of the function and close to sales…

What I thought

First of all, marketing as a function continues to be so operative and in the best case, tactic… If this is true, I would have some questions:

  • Is it right to continue thinking of influencing consumers? Would it be better to think of helping the dialogue between people who belong to our key audiences?
  • Is it right to consider that the “marketing goal” is to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions?
  • Do marketers need a more sophisticated approach to deal with complexity? Wouldn’t it be better to go back to basics and make it simple (which doesn’t imply linear)?
  • Isn’t it a simplification to consider that we only have a two-way communications? Are our world and our behaviours so easy to understand?
  • How can a function integrate the whole organization?

So, if we understand marketing as a company process [neither a businees process, nor an organization one] my thoughts, in a “simple” way are:

  • Marketing is “the” responsible of the first line of the company P&L [incomes] and co-responsible of the long term value creation, and it must balance both issues
  • Marketing should understand its key audiences which means, it should know the people [within its key audiences] insights and take care of the people journey
  • Maketing should take care of the experience that the company wants to create an this is “branding”
  • Marketing should maintain the company’s relevance, and this means that it should innovate in the way of developing new businesses, markets and products

At the end it’s a question of observation, anticipation and execution to innovate and be unique…

Is it the fault of the gun? | Sales driven companies

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It is so important, a t the end of the month, to pay salaries, expenses … no doubt about it … That if we do not sold this doesn’t happen, too. But to think that this means that sales will take the reins of the company is somewhat different.

Al Capone

Let me put it this way:

Sales executes a plan designed by marketing (the only one responsible for the first row of the business’ income statements) which in turn responds to a business strategy which is coming from a specific and permanent company purpose (permanent in this case is not an absolute term)… And not the other way around!

However, it appears that in some cases, more than desired, things are not as well, moreover. They are exactly the opposite and I think that this is as saying that the gun is guilty, not the murderer… “It was the gun that killed him, not me pulling the trigger, nor the one planning the murder”

There are books written on sales, finance, marketing,”¦ driven companies”… and there are many executives following their recommendations … and the results are there!… Branding does not escape to this, there are thousands of pages written with this kind of wonderful ideas (perhaps this is one more to add to the list … you decide).

The brand experience is part of a marketing strategy which summarizes the intent of the business, conveys the purpose of the company (a call to action idea), and makes it a living experience that will add value and, of course, generates better incomes.

Is it so hard to understand? Am I missing something? Or am I completely lost?