Archive for month: december, 2009

Hade rätt reklambyrå räddat Saab?

18 Dec
18 december, 2009

Dagar och minuter tickar just nu ner för Saab, och vettiga lösningar verkar tyvärr ligga allt längre bort. Alla är nog överens om att General Motors inte har varit den ideala ägaren för Saab. Man har från början helt missat varumärkets själ och steg för steg gjort en Opel av den svenska udda bilen. Men har reklamen hjälpt till att hålla Saab under armarna eller bidragit till att stjälpa företaget?

Tyvärr är jag benägen att tro det sista.

Låt mig då först säga att jag tycker Lowe Brindfors är en av Sveriges bästa reklambyråer. Man utvecklar intelligent reklam med själ och känsla, och detta har inte minst avspeglats i Saab-reklamen som jag verkligen tycker om (den senaste filmen om genierna i Trollhättan är t ex fantastisk). Men faktum är att reklamen inte lockat mig att köpa en Saab, liksom den lockat allt färre kunder i världen att köpa en Saab.

Lowe Brindfors och Saab hävdar att reklamen gett bra resultat. Frågan är om man över huvud taget kan ha det perspektivet om marknadsandelar och volymer sjunker år efter år. Visst, de skulle kunna sjunka ännu mer med annan reklam – men företagets strategiska mål har varit att växa och reklamens uppgift är att stödja den. Och den enkla konklusionen av detta är att reklamen misslyckats med vad den borde leverera.

Varför säljer då inte intelligent reklam med själ och känsla? Jag tror att det i alla komplexa processer finns en X-faktor, dvs något svårdefinierat som gör att det fungerar – eller inte. Det är inte konstigare än att vissa idrottslag, med på pappret de bästa spelarna och den bästa tränaren, inte kan leverera. I idrottsvärlden har man förstått detta och agerar – man byter oftast tränare. Det må vara osjyst mot en duktig tränare som på pappret gör allt rätt, men det förvandlar ofta laget från förlorare till vinnare.

Så Saab, dra lärdom av detta. Om affären med Spyker går igenom, eller om en ny köpare dyker upp i elfte timmen, byt reklambyrå! Det är antagligen det snabbaste och med effektiva sättet att komma på rätt bana igen.

Vi håller tummarna!

Ulf Vanselius

Pyramid Communication AB

Bring presenterar sitt erbjudande

17 Dec
17 december, 2009

bring_tg_nasjonalBring är Nordens ledande leverantör av logistiklösningar. Bolaget ägs av Posten Norge och har sitt huvudkontor i Oslo.

Bring Frigoscandia och Bring Logistik, två av Brings sex specialister, förser årligen sina kunder med en omfattande produktpresentation för varje specialistområde och land, där produktens egenskaper presenteras tillsammans med olika avtalsmässiga förutsättningar.

Pyramid utvecklade detta paket för 2010, vilket består av 10-talet omfattande kataloger.

It’s time to bury the four P’s.

14 Dec
14 december, 2009

In 1960 E Jerome McCarthy published Basic Marketing. In it, he suggested that a company or product’s strategic position in the market could be described by four P’s: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

According to McCarthy, the 4 P’s are the tactical tools at companies’ disposal to streamline their marketing, and they collectively became known as the marketing mix.

A few years later, Philip Kotler built further on McCarthy’s P’s. Kotler’s books were much more popular than McCarthy’s, which probably explains why most marketers now give Kotler credit for the 4 P’s.

Kotler, however, soon realized that the four P’ s were insufficient, and tried in the 1980s to introduce two more: Public opinion and Political Power. Other marketing thinkers have come up with more suggestions that further complement – including Packaging, People, Process and Physical Evidence.

Despite their obvious shortcomings, McCarthy’s soon-to-be 50 year-old 4 P’s remain one of the elemental laws of nature in the marketing universe.

But the world in which the four Ps first prevailed held completely different marketing conditions than today’s.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Western world was in the midst of unprecedented social change and growth. After World War II, there was a strong need for practically everything, and the rapidly growing consumer machine had to be fed with more and more products. If anything, in any way, benefited the standard of living, it essentially sold itself.

The media world also looked different. The consumer obediently adapted him or herself to the relatively few media channels through which news, information and advertising were trumpeted out – with neither opportunity nor expectation of being able to influence when, where or how he or she would consume the messages, or contribute to public thinking or opinion on the subject.

Those who made and sold products quite simply held both the baton and the megaphone.

And it was thus, in this from-the-inside-out world, that the four P’s were born – as well as a number of other fundamental marketing theories.

Common to these post-war theories is that they assume that the seller has the power to define how the buyer should interpret the offer – and thus the value, usefulness or experience of the product, service or idea.

That power no longer exists.

Firstly, globalization and ever increasing competition have marginalized the importance of product features and functionality, as competing products in almost all categories now offer essentially the same basic functionality. In addition, prices have become almost completely transparent, and geographical distance now very rarely has any real significance. Last but not least: customers no longer want to listen.

The typical ‘stupid’ consumer, who previously had neither voice nor influence, has now – thanks to the Internet and social media – been replaced by ever more knowledgeable and critical participants – each with a growing influence on how brands are perceived and experienced.

In short: the buyer has grabbed the baton and seldom even hears the megaphone.

Yet many marketers continue desperately to try to make the 4 P’s work. Maybe the P’s time has passed. Maybe it’s time to bury them once and for all.

That’s the opinion of marketing professor Robert Lauterborn, author of books like The New Marketing Paradigm: Integrated Marketing Communications. He proposes an alternative approach based on the customer rather than product, which helps us see the business from the buyer’s point of view, not the seller’s. Lauterborn’s 4 C’s are  Consumer, Cost, Convenience, Communication.

The starting point is a Consumer (or customer, if you wish). Forget about the product. There is simply no longer any reason to develop something just because it is possible to do so, and expect that it will automatically sell. Focus instead on really understanding the customer’s needs and wishes. People, after all, no longer buy products. We want what the product results in: a value, a utility or an experience. What do customers expect of your business or product?

As a strategic positioning and tactical variable, the product’s actual price is also irrelevant. Price is just one part of the buyer’s total cost to experience the usefulness or value of the product. Think instead in terms of Cost to Satisfy. Most companies do not compete, after all, with a few percent price difference here or there, but with the sum of the customer’s perceived costs – both monetary and emotional. In addition to the price tag, for example, a tin of snuff costs the time it takes to go to the kiosk, the guilt of being nicotine-dependent and even the remorse that the money is not being used for something more valuable – maybe a summer vacation with the family. ”The most snuff for the money” is not the main value measure – not even ”the best nicotine kick for the least money”.  The value, benefits and experience are determined instead in a multitude of complex relationships, each of which differs slightly from customer to customer.

‘Place’ is, if possible, even more irrelevant. People no longer need to go anywhere to buy just about anything they want – unless they want to. Everything is available on a computer screen or in a catalog right in front of them – around the clock. Think, then, in terms of ‘Convenience to buy’. That does not mean that the distribution channels are unimportant – only that their role has changed. Think about how your customers would like to buy, and how the buying process itself can make your customers’ lives easier and less time consuming. Think about whether there is anything related to your product that the customer wants to experience, something that will give you her undivided attention. If you can manage that, you can actually get customers to travel great distances and still experience it as an easy, convenient, timesaving way to buy.

And, lest we forget, promotion is an obsolete way to look at the role of marketing communications. Mass marketing is history. Customers expect, rightly, a two-way communication with the brand. Think Communication (or conversation, if you wish). To communicate is to exchange thoughts, knowledge, feelings and ideas – to both listen and speak. In brief, it’s collaboration between buyer and seller in order to create a desired value and a desired benefit or experience on both sides.

Lauterborn’s four C’s reflect a thoroughly customer-oriented marketing philosophy. One which, in my opinion, much more accurately describes a brand’s strategic positioning and tactical opportunities than McCarthy’s four P’s.

Whether it is wise to limit ourselves to the number 4 and the letter C, is open to discussion.

So let’s do it. Discuss, that is.

Originally posted in Swedish on The Brand-Man, here.

Santa takes lessons from Wall Street

08 Dec
8 december, 2009

With his dwarves on the street and his reindeer all eaten
Santa’s on welfare and is totally beaten
But what can he do?
Then out of the blue
Came a scheme that made his broken life sweeten

 He started a bank to make himself rich
At first things ran smoothly without any hitch
But then it went bust
And crashed in the dust
Which made poor old Santa develop a twitch

 But shortly thereafter cash started to flow
As the large central bank pumped in so much dough
He thinks it so funny
That with taxpayers’ money
Just like fat Wall Street he shouts: ho, ho, ho!!

Merry Christmas!