I recently attended a conference by the PR Academy on “Markets and Brands – Positioning for the 21st Century”, and was pretty inspired by some of the speakers. One of them was Ho Kwon Ping, Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and creator of one of the world’s most highly respected and heavily awarded resort brand.
In his keynote speech “Branding, Marketing and Credibility in a Connected World”, Kwon Ping dispelled the marketing myth that “branding is everything and everything is a brand”. His chief contention is that people are paying far more attention to hype than reality. Advertising after all is largely self praise and this leads consumers to treat them with suspicion.
Anybody who has been reading anything in the media or spent anytime at our bus stops recently would have noticed this teaser campaign by Out of the Box Pte Ltd. In a radical departure from how traditional FMCG companies market new brands, the company has decided to name their new beverage brands “Whatever” and “Anything”.
This was accompanied by an extensive nation-wide teaser campaign on both mainstream media channels as well as outdoor media. Most of the ads had clever copy playing on the words “Whatever” or “Anything” accompanied by an eye-catching photograph or visual in bright colours. It certainly generated an extensive amount of buzz in the marketing circles.
Here is one of its TVCs aired on Singapore TV channels.
Classical music never looked this good (Courtesy of www.tangquartet.com)
As a marketer for the arts and heritage, I am often faced with a conundrum when promoting culture. How far should we go to attract the masses? Is there a way to balance popular appeal with artistic finesse?
For the purposes of this post, let me focus on classical music which is a request by my heritage kaki Oceanskies who plays a mean double-bass. How does classical music, long considered the poorer cousin (at least in album sales) of other genres like rock, pop, jazz and electronica, make the mark with the masses?
Driving along Victoria Street after a meal at the famous Jackson Kopitiam at MacPherson, I spotted this anomaly right smack in our city area just outside Bugis Junction.
Yes, your eyes ain’t kidding you. We do have a Wholesale Centre just outside the city called the Victoria Street Wholesale Centre. Apparently, they have 41 units of tenants who specialise in all manner of dry food supplies and special ingredients that you can’t get elsewhere. Now aunties and housewives from every corner of Singapore have a place that they can go to for that extra “lemak” curry!
Spotted this funkily dolled up postbox just outside UE Square along Unity Road recently while waiting for my son and wife. Its a bid to add much needed colour, vibrancy and art to the city. Apparently, this is part of STAMP, a nation-wide competition organised by URA and Singpost which looks at making over 40 postboxes in the city.
Nice touch there which helps to rejuvenate the old and weary brand image of snail mail. After all, we do know that it is fighting a losing battle against email and other forms of online communications. These splashes of art certainly gives us more reasons to visit our mailboxes to pay our bills!
Now, if only they would do it for all the 800 postboxes around the island instead of just those in the city. That would definitely add a few notches in rebranding and repositioning Singpost as a creative and fun loving provider of an essential service.
I have been reading Derrick Daye’s awesome blog for its unique branding insights and came across the idea of the Attraction Economy and its accompanying concept of Lovemarks. Both were created by CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, Kevin Roberts.
According to Kevin,
“Human attention was the principal coinage of the Attention Economy; human emotion is what funds the Attraction Economy. Emotion is tough to nail down because its complexities are beyond measure. Just take that at face value. Our facial muscles can move in 10,000 possible combinations to reveal what we are feeling. The Attraction Economy is not “one hit and you’re it.” Attraction demands emotion, but emotion with purpose.”
I came across this awesome blog on branding by the Blake Project which offers truckloads of fabulous advice and insights on the art and science of branding. This is probably one of the best blogs on marketing which I have seen. What’s great is that they do offer lots of free stuff too.
How does one measure brand equity? There are many ways to do it. Interbrand–Businessweek’s methodology is probably the most famous for listed companies, and many marketers are familiar with their Top 100 Global Brands.
I personally like the approach which Blake Project has adopted. According to them, there are five key attributes which drive customers’ brand insistence, namely:
I am sure everybody would have noticed lately Singapore’s biggest pop export Stefanie Sun’s elfin face peeping out at you behind a bag of rice. Part of the New Moon advertising campaign for its new brand of rice, she beckons with a disarming “Ni chi fan le ma” which translates to “Have you eaten rice?”
It is interesting to note the marketing strategies of food manufacturers and importers in recent years. What is especially intriguing is how they can take a commodity item – like rice – and put a sexy spin on it to make it more palatable to the market.