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Posts Tagged ‘brand image’

Marketers can sometimes create a powerful influence over customers by taking advantage of their believes and practiced rituals.

So if I want to sell you a bottle of juice and convince you that it is good for your blood pressure, bones, aging skin, hair, and the bonus, it helps you lose weight! Then, this is how it gonna be:

  • Give it a strange name, and preferably a name of something real, rare, and its benefits have never been scientifically proven. So try a fruit name from South America!
  • It should be pricy; you know, scarce stuff cost!
  • It should not be available everywhere. Choose only some big stores as your distribution outlets; or better yet, try phone and home visiting marketing techniques!
  • Now the big trick! To convince people that a singe kind of unknown drink can virtually solve all their health problems, they better perceive it as some kind of medicine! So regardless of the fact that you are selling it as 100% natural juice, you better convince them that they need to take it in dosages. You know, small spoon before breakfast, and one after sleep, I mean before sleep! That would emphasis the image of a medicine, wouldn’t it?
  • Give them an extended period of time to start noticing changes. Again, to start noticing!  Something like a month could be good! And hey, if it did not work, they must have done something wrong, maybe did not commit to the precise dosages or times of taking the medicine, I mean the juice!

p.s. this post is based on a true story!

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[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=iPhone+4&iid=9199086″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9199086/customer-displays-iphone/customer-displays-iphone.jpg?size=500&imageId=9199086″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]I really hope some undercover Apple agents were present yesterday around the retail stores of the phone company that officially released the iPhone 4 in Saudi.

The scene of customers, all types of them: technical savvy, young, mature, students, and employees, all waiting in lines for hours to have the chance to get their hands on that magical device called iPhone 4 is an indication that Apple products are having a good opportunity to grow even bigger in the Saudi market (read more about it in this Saudi Mac post).

So the logical question in such situation would be: how come that a central country in the region with a huge fan base (and huge disposal income!) does not have a direct presence  in the form of Apple Stores or at least a certified representative! To get an answer to such question, a one should be able to penetrate the Apple management minds, which is not a very wise nor save thing to do?!

By choosing not to be in the Saudi scene, Apple has allowed its products and its prices to be manipulated in the market and its fans to be taken advantage of (a friend told today that he knows someone who bought an iPhone4 before it was released in Saudi for about SAR7000 = $1866.5). And let’s not start talking about warranties and technical support.

Will Apple ever listen to its Saudi fans? lets wait and see …

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[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=airlines&iid=292693″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/292693/airplane-over-runway/airplane-over-runway.jpg?size=500&imageId=292693″ width=”234″ height=”350″ /]The Saudi low budget Sama Airlines is suspending its operations in the Kingdom starting today until further notice.

Should this be a surprise? I would say: No, it was expected!

The whole scene of civil aviation industry in Saudi does not look that good. Whether we are talking airports or airliners, It is a mess, to say the least!

Operating an airlines is a tough business, no doubt about it. Lots of head to head competition and very turbulent business environment. And when you are working in a messy market like the one both Sama and Nas had stepped in, the situation becomes even harder.

I am not sure what kind of business plans they had both studied to reach the decision that the Saudi market is an attractive investment opportunity. Maybe by only looking at the status of Saudia and how almost all Saudis agree that it suck! the idea of having a second airlines should’ve looked appealing. The fact of the matter is that Saudia is a company both owned and supported by the government. And what makes it even worse for commercial activities in such market is when the regulator (GACA in this situation) does not provide any guarantees to protect the fairness of competition. Maybe the new comers received some promises, but businesses are not usually built on promises, they are built on facts, at least when it comes to the market environment.

Now both of the companies are waiting for the promises to be fulfilled especially for fueling prices. It could be a tactic played by Sama to get the attention of higher authorities although it is a hugely damaging move to the company name (especially that Nas did not play along, if it was a tactic!!)

It is another sad story added to the book of sad stories of Saudi airlines business!!

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[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=google+logo&iid=7459154″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/7459154/the-google-logo-shown/the-google-logo-shown.jpg?size=500&imageId=7459154″ width=”380″ height=”245″ /]

I believe that there are a lot of things we could learn from Google even when they take a wrong step and make a wrong decision!

About a year ago, Google introduced a new product called “Google Wave” which was presented as the new and revolutionary way to communicate online. It combined instant messaging, documents sharing, emails, and many other features that promised instant interaction on the network.

Few days ago, Google decided to stop developing “Wave” as a single product; simply, It did not accomplish its targeted goals!

Here are some Google lessons:

  • The company that does not fear innovation is the same company that does not fear setbacks. There is no doubt that Google spent a lot of resources on “Wave” and was, in a way or another, betting that it will change the online interactive scene. But the moment it felt that the product is not harmonious with customers, the company had the gut to stop it!
  • A message to customers; we are here to serve you. We thought that a new product will be beneficial to you all, but once we sensed that you did not like it, we stopped it and we are working on something else to meet (or exceed!) your expectations.
  • A message to employees; the company is ready to believe in and support your innovative ideas. We are ready to accept the risks to make a difference in our customers lives. And if that idea did not make it, we are ready to accept the consequences. Just go there and bring us some fresh and innovative ideas.

All in all, innovation management does not mean that all ideas should be introduced to the market without proper market analysis, but it certainly means that a company should know when to retreat and learn its lesson instead of being stubborn and start losing customers loyalty.

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For any business owner or leader out there; the moment of truth kinda of question could be the following one asked by Jim Collins (according to this HBR blog post):

If your company went out of business tomorrow, would anybody really miss it and why?

Although it’s a simple question, its answer contains the essence of the organization, its soul, and its whole purpose of being alive and competing in the market. If a leader or a number of executives failed to answer such question, then there must be something wrong!

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=confused+woman&iid=5191135″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5191135/close-young-woman-with-her/close-young-woman-with-her.jpg?size=500&imageId=5191135″ width=”234″ height=”234″ /]There are some interesting points the blog post is referring to in case a leader wants to know why his/her company should be missed. But let’s look at it from the other way around. Let’s see it through the eyes of you; the customer. Think for a moment of a company that you will be really missing if you heard now that it will be a history starting from tomorrow, and why would you miss it?

If you honestly answer this question, your answers will be almost the same as those mentioned in the HBR post, the answers that every business leaders should be aspiring to and working on having in his/her company.

Allow me to be the first to start … These are my choices:

  • Starbucks: This is by far my most favorite brand in the world. You could even say that I am emotionally connected to it. Noting that I am neither a heavy coffee drinker nor someone who spend a lot of times in coffee shops. But I admire it because I feel that they care. They care about the quality of their products and the quality of the services they are providing.
  • Sony: The Japanese electronic manufacturer will be my second choice. I trust whatever products they’re producing. Whenever I see Sony, I see high quality.
  • P&G: Proctor & Gamble, the known FMCG manufacturer. There are no choices whenever that one of the products to be choosing from carries this company name. They have a vast range of brands under P&G, and they are all my first choices especially in Health & Well being and Household care categories.

Now, what are your favorite brands and why?

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Surprisingly enough, the day our fellow blogger Qusay published this post about the iPhone 4 and its antenna issues (The Truth About the iPhone4 Antenna Problems), I was going through a heated discussion, to say the least, with a number of friends about how Apple handled the aftermath of the whole antenna story.

I have to start by saying that as an engineer, I totally agree with all opinions stated that the whole issue has been really overblown and taken out of context. It would not get that much of attention if it was not for Apple. If you want to exercise your brain cells a bit and read about some engineering stuff, read this post discussing the issue in a very simple and direct way.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=iPhone+4&iid=9364152″ src=”http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9364152/apple-holds-press/apple-holds-press.jpg?size=500&imageId=9364152″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]As for Apple the brand, nothing new, it has always been controversial. From where I see it, Apple did a good job in its disaster recovery actions. Maybe I am saying this because I am an Apple fan, but even this should not be so surprising. Apple has always looked to its customers as a niche market, as a community, and Apple likes to play according to its own rules. Steve Jobs had acknowledged the antenna problems, he talked about what the company is doing to rectify it, how the company cares about its customers, and how the company understands its potentials, its competencies, and its mistakes. And guess what, I believed him, and most, if not all, Apple fans believed him as well. Maybe coming from another company or another CEO, we would doubt it. But this is the kind of relation Apple has built over the years with its customers, they trust each other! And this is a point that should not be taken so lightly, it is a lesson in the long term brand equity building, and how customers may react to a brand they value and believe in, especially in times of wrongdoings or disasters.

If there is anything I would say that Apple should’ve done better, then it is the timing of reaction. They kept silent for days without a response while the Internet was going mad over the issue. Steve Jobs himself admitted this point when he said that ‘If we could do this again, we would have tried to mitigate the problem.’

The iPhone 4 is the most successful product launch in the whole history of Apple; isn’t that enough to realize the kind of a relationship Apple has with its customers??

I am willing to buy the iPhone4 once released in my country … are you?

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The videos you are about to see have been around the Internet since the beginning of the year. However, I’ve just got the chance to see one of them via an email that my sister sent me.

And let me tell you; beside having fun watching it … I am impressed  🙂

Now, we all may agree that traveling is fun. But the worst part of it is definitely going to the airport, any airport! I mean who really loves the waiting lines, security checks, dragging or pushing bags all over the place, and the constant anxiety over delaying or canceling flights at any moment. Add to that the glooming sensation that usually occupies airports at seasons when everybody wants to go back home or fly out and start vacationing.

So can you quickly think of any thing that could ease such situation and make it fun. Think … any thing … I am not sure you came up with any thing near this. The Portuguese airliner named TAP Portugal turned the airport floor … into a dancing floor.

Before seeing the video, let discuss some marketing stuff:

  • The Power of Surprise: For advertisers and social media marketers, nothing beats surprises in determining how successful a campaign might be. One of the videos had been seen by more than 300,000 people in only 3 days after being released through the company YouTube channel. Just to have a glimpse of how successful that campaign is, just think of what are the odds of you ever hearing about TAP Portugal!!
  • The Happy Brand: I am not sure you will be seeing the staff of TAP Portugal dancing all over the place every time you travel with them, but you will always remember that these people made you genuinely smile. That video was shot during the christmas vacation. So the company was actually celebrating with its customers, and easing the whole airport experience on them.

I cannot help but thinking about what our local carrier, Saudi Airlines, might do to entertain its customers in such a way??!!

Enjoy …

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