Marketing Idea No. 96 – Play Up to Line Up

While its expected that we encounter different kinds of music in different places we shop, have we ever thought their might be some story behind it? Or even more importantly, have brand builders here really put to good use the power of music in point of sales purchase decisions?

You might find it pointless. You go to a fast food joint, you hear rock music (and loud one too). You go to a good restaurant, you hear classy tunes. You go to a lounge, you hear a jazz tune. Isnt that obvious? Whats the big deal?

Well, Victoria’s Secret, the worlds favorite lingerie brand did not think so. They have conducted years of research and found out that by playing a certain kind of music in store, they can influence the purchase decision heavily. I mean believe it or not, they have backed it up with data and experiments.

Not only that, fast food joints also used different types of music to influence sales pattern. When they wanted people to eat slowly, so that their waiters can take their time as they are short in numbers, they play a kind of music. When they want people to hit their eating overdrive, they play another kind of music. 

Come to think of it, its quite obvious. Music has a very stong affect on our mood. And our mood has everything to do with our purchase behavior.

But its not just a question of playing  a fast tune and line up for the customers. Its not as simple as that. The brand has to find out what it want the music to do for them, find a tune that suits their brand essence and play it accordingly.

Marjeting Idea No. 95 – A blind date with your favorite concert

With the first puff of winter breeze comes the season of concerts. And we do have quite a few variation of them, namely, open air, unplugged, underground, indoor, fundraising etc. However, with more than 20 glorious years behind them, we need some change in the concert scenery as its all getting too predictable and one dimensional.

I mean think about it. You see the poster, know who is playing, buy the ticket, gather around and do some major head banging. Thats the routine.But what if you didnt know whose playing? What if you d idnt have a clue whats gonna happen in the concert? Wouldnt that made it more intriguing?Imagine this. There is this big hoopla surrounding a concert. Everyone is talking about it. But none really knows whose gonna play and whats gonna happen. Your responsibility is have faith in the power of music, buy a ticket and just be there. And once you are there the big opening act is a duet between Hyder Hussain and John of Black, followed by one band after another. The beauty is, you just never know whats gonna happen and whose gonna play.

This kind of concerts were introduced in USA by Miller Draft Beer and they were a huge success. It’s a matter of time we should do something similar. Its time to inject some new energy.  

Marketing Idea No. 94 – Turning your country into a superbrand

This idea is contributed by Rizwana Tasneem 

Suppose you want to buy a car and you were given two options:- one made in Germany & the other made in Turkey. Which one would you choose? Like most people, you’d choose the one made in Germany because it has established a reputation for products that are of high quality, of good design and secure.

A country brand is everything! It not only ensures healthy earnings from tourism but also creates consumer perceptions that earns respect for your country.

Depending on the image the country wishes to establish, the branding strategy will differ. The branding strategy for a country that wishes to promote tourism will be different than the one that wishes to foster international relationships.

In less that two years’ time, New Zealand had increased its tourist traffic by 56% thanks to a movie. Or three. ‘Lord of the Rings’ did it for the country. Is this just a coincidence? Not really. Since the 1990s, countries like New Zealns & Autralia have allowed movie-makers to use the country’s pristine & breath-taking landscapes in big-budget movies.  Mission Impossible II and Finding Nemo were set against the backdrop of Australia.

The NZ government offered the production team of Lord of the rings special governemnt taxe incentives and grants.

Movies are just one of the many tools that can be used to  brand a country. International tournaments and global sporting events are instrumental in building a country’s image. During the Sydney Olympics 2000, snapshots of Sydney were shown during every televised event. This was part of a very well-rounded branding strategy. Even during cricket matches, you’ll see clippings of the local attractions, beautiful places, commentators indulging in local actions- all part of a calculated strategy to promote the country or the place hosting the event.

It is possible to build a strong country brand and it most definitely can be done. It took Nokia 5 years to turn Finland into the master of wireless technology, India to turn into a progressive and efficient place where their goods and services can be relied upon.

So, what can Bangladesh learn from all this? We have been endowed with so many natural attractions. We have the longest beach at Cox’s bazar, the largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, the Bandarban Hill Tracts, tea gardens at Sylhet, just to name a few. It’s true that maybe the time hasn’t come for us to go into country branding yet. But it soon will and we need to work on it from now.

Marketing Idea No. 93 – 10 rules for giving your brand a good name

Think how much effort we go through to give a good name to our children. Multiply it by 100 and thats the kind of effort should go to naming your organization / brand. But, as a prime example of “Criminal business behavior” we do exactly the opposite.

Thats why though naming is probably the most important issue about creating or destroying a great brand, its the issue that gets the least focus from us. Our whimsical naming strategy starts from giving our brand a name based on our children, mother in law, wife, us (yes!! ourselves) and stretches down to something as unbelievable as giving a name that already exists in the market! 

So here are 10 rules that must be followed to give a great brand name.

  1. Keep it short and simple. Example: Google.
  2. Be suggestive of the category and benefit – Example :Etc.
  3. Don’t use common widely used words – Example : Tripty
  4. Use alliteration – Example : Volvo
  5. Be easy to say and read- Kodak
  6. Be shocking and different and from existing names – Voot
  7. Don’t put one name for all products – Example : Fresh Atta, Fresh Cement, Fresh Water 
  8. Don’t put your or any person’s name unless established
  9. Use a name, not an acronym – ICDDRB
  10. Always register your name

Marketing idea No. 92 – Why marketing research cant pick our mind?

As we carry on believing that we are inherently capable of reading the demand of the market or conversant in picking all the latest trends, here is a thought.

Do we really know what we like? Or is what we like a by-product of what other people like? 

If history taught us anything, it is that we are really “clueless” in terms of predicting what people want and what will be popular. The Harry Potter book was turned down by 8 publishers before it managed one. The same fate happened to Star Wars, to The Beatles, to Xerox copy machine and many, many more. On the other hand, we confidently put our bet on winners which turn out to be colossal losses – New Coke to be a prime example.

If it was so simple as simply conducting a market study, asking people their preference and giving the market what they want – why do 80% of the new products fail? Why do movies that never get big budget or distributorship like, My Big Fat Greek Wedding become a phenomenon?

The answer my friend lies in the fact that in market research we ask each individuals what they like in isolation, without giving any reference to what other people like. But in reality what we REALLY like is what other people like. When everybody loves Titanic, we believe it must be a great movie. Hence Titanic became the most successful filom of all time. What we buy is based on what is currently in the Top 10 book or movie ranking. The doctor we choose is basically based on the recommendation of the others.

This phenomenon is called “Cumulative Advantage” or “Rich get richer” phenonmenon. To be put simple, we like to ride with the winners. So when everyone is buying something that is of course the winner and we choose to stick with it. If that is the case, if all we like is so much dependent on what others like, is it possible for conventional market research to work? Or even more importantly, can we actually predict trends or future?

So next time the answer of a question like, “Why did X succeed?” might be as simple as “Because millions of people bought it, thats why.” Nothing more, nothing less.

Marketing Idea No. 91 – A lifeline for our aspiring band groups

In a recent groundbreaking move, Radiohead, the immensely popular rock group has decided to sell its new album “In Rainbows” exclusively through online. I repeat, no CDs. The cause behind the move is to allow the fans determine how much price they are willing to pay for each song / album, not the record labels. Also, not to mention, kick some record label executive’s butts.

We maybe witnessing the death of 3 things

1. The death of the middleman’s (record lables like Warner, EMI) overpowering role in music industry

2. Shift of pricing power from the hands of manufacturer to the hand of customer

3. Internet becoming a major distributional force

Such incident is neither new or isolated. The bands who have exercised such power before are Pearl Jam, Madonna, Nine Inch Nails and Prince.

Now here’s the result.

With an average pricing of $8 per album, Radiohead have sold 1 million albums through internet in 1 week.

I know that charging through Internet is yet not possible, but i am sure there are ways around. The aspiring bands of Bangladesh waiting around the corner who thought their fate lies in the hands of record labels, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Marketing Idea No. 90 – Brand applications, facebook style

A few months ago I have talked how brand managers can integrate facebook as an extension of their 360 degree brand experience. As it turns out, some brands found out even more ingenious ways to do it. Smart trend-watchers found out that external parties can develop applications for Facebook. And that’s the path they took – developing brand based applications. Here’s a recap of some of the most innovative applications and the brands that adopted them  

  1. Energy drink Red Bull has its own version of the rock-paper-scissors game and has 7,800 daily active users.
  2. Travel portal Trip Advisor has an application where members can mark out the cities they have visited around the world.
  3. Quasar Media, the digital agency of Smile Interactive Technologies Group is developing an application for Zoomtra, a travel fare search engine where members will be able to check out fares instantly.
  4. is providing video content through an innovative application
  5. Tribal DDB India is recruiting people through Facebook applications