Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

12
Jul

Today I wanted to paraphrase a well-known business article (It is the Distribution, stupid!) to showcase the importance of managing Media properly when building the Personal Brand Identity. And for doing so we have two perfect examples that reflect what should be and should not be done.

lebron james

IKER CASILLAS AND HIS MISSTEP

Iker Casillas has managed its Personal Branding relatively well for many years. I am not sure how systematic and structured he was in his approach, but in the end of the day he came across to Spaniards as a brilliant goalkeeper, with a human touch (reflected when he gave a call to Xavi from Barcelona to end up a club discussion) and passion for what he did and achieved (just recall what happened with Sara Carbonero 4 years ago upon winning the Soccer Wordlcup).

iker casillas

Moreover, he has managed relatively well his presence in Social Media, where we can find him in Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram, and has actually got really good PR thanks to some of his prizes, such as the one granted by the UNPD:  Goodwill Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals.

What came out of it? Casillas managed to create a pretty good Personal Brand around himself, as it was reflected in the research by Personality Media, and actually some advertisting contracts with well-known companies such as Liga BBVA and Procter & Gamble.

iker champu

So far so good, till recently… The misstep came two weeks ago when he published a picture of his new-born baby, one “follower” attacked the baby (he basically said that he wished the baby would drown) and Casillas replied with all kind swearing and curse words…

comentario-iker

Had Casillas the right to response back like that? Yes, of course. Was Casillas right when responding like that? Absolutely not. Casillas needs to understand that even if he has the right to do so, he has created a Personal Brand, needs to protect it, take good care about what he does and does not say in public and specially take care of Media and Digital Media. For whatever he says, specially if it is a misstep, is going to be viral and promoted all around the Globe…

 

LEBRON GOES BACK HOME

The story of Lebron is somewhat similar to the one of Iker Casillas in a bigger scale. His Personal Branding started when he was only 17 and made it in the cover of Sports Illustrated: The Chosen one was born.

lebron the chosen one

Number 1 of the NBA draft in 2003, he was really up to the expectations he raised and managed to beat quite a few records during his 7 years in the Cavs, with only something missing: An NBA Championship. In 2010, he became an unrestricted agent and had to decide whether to keep on playing in Cleveland or moving somewhere else… Everybody was awaiting and he finally made his move… A move that he announced in an ESPN TV Program (The Decision)…

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Did he have the right to look for another Team where to win the NBA Championship? Of course. Did he mange it properly from a communication perspective? Definitively not. It was considered a brutal communication misstep, an arrogant move that made him a public enemy in Cleveland and in the minds of big chunk of NBA followers (myself included).

4 years later, Lebron was facing the same situation again. He had spent 4 years with the Heats, won 2 NBA Championships, had the right to choose his team again and got everybody was awaiting his decision. And today, he announced his decision and, in contrast to what happened before, he communicated it smartly: He wrote a well-thought and respectful letter published by Sports Illustrated, where he exposes the reasons for “I´m coming back home”.

lebron coming home

The reactions are yet to come, but I can bet that his Personal Brand Image will be strongly reinforced for:

  • He has amended his previous mistakes.
  • He admits the communication mistakes he made in the past.
  • He comes across as a respectful and considerate person, that looks for something else.

SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS

  • Personal Branding has to do with who you are and specially with how you come across.
  • For the latter Media in a broad sense is critical and needs to be carefully thought and manged.
  • When being a well-known Personal Brand, you need to be mindful and aware that everything your claim is subject to be published, promoted and made viral. This works both for offline and online media.
  • Having said that, you need to define your values and positioning and stick to them, even if rational or irrational critics show up.
  • And last but not least, please consider a professional assessment for managing your Personal Brand. Brand Management well deserves some professional help.

personal branding

Look forward for your comments @ignaciogafo.

Reset!!!

Ignacio Gafo

22
Jun

Can you disrupt the market with a best-in-class shopping experience? Amazon thinks so.

Marketing and Strategy books claim that you should strive to create a Monopoly, to come up with a Blue Ocean where no competition takes place. This approach is also know as becoming a Game Changer, breaking the existing rules and coming up with something that sets you appart.

blue ocean

When analyzing companies that have managed to do so, we mainly encounter companies that came up with innovative products, that outperformed everything available in the market. However, as competition and globalization evolve, this has turned out to be more and more difficult and nowadays, most companies happen to succeed through innovations in the Business Model (Google) or Customer Experience (Apple with the I-phone).

In this context, Amazon has just launched its new Fire Smartphone, an expected move  supported by analysts, that enview it as a Game Changing through a top-notch shoppping experience.

amazon_customer_service

Is it the case?

Before responding, let´s analyze brevely what they have launched and where does Amazon stand.

The launch has been somewhat different from the one done with the Kindle Fire Tablet for two reasons:

a) The smartphone is a top-class one from a spec perspective (compared to a stripped down version from the initial Kindle Fire tablets).

b) The street price has not been undercut (which was the case with the Kindle Fire tablet).

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The latter is basically telling us that Amazon feels more comfortable about its positioning and confident to demand somewhat similar prices than those from Apple and Samsung.

In this regard, it is fair to say that Amazon has done an impressive job in terms of attracting its customer base (mainly the in US) and getting app developers on board (you can now download more than 300k apps through the Amazon Portal), whilst providing a state-of-the-art shopping experience

Being this the case, I do think that Amazon is taking a reasonable risk, that sets the basis for its long term strategy: Reaping the benefits of a loyal customer base, that is expected to keep on purchasing from Amazon, even when discounting is not applied.

Amazon-Phone

My first guess is that the initial results will be positive but will not tell if the bet works. This will be the case for the Phone will be just launched in the US with AT&T, which is where Amazon is stronger and gets most of its loyal customer base. The challenges will show up in the mid-term, when they need to go beyond the american market and convince other markets (like Europe) to pay full price for an Amazon device.

And my second guess is that this will be an all or nothing initiative. For if they are unable to reach in two years to a critical customer base, key app developers and distributors (mainly Telecom Companies) will stop supporting them.

Time to time then. But let´s welcome Amazon Phone on board!

Reset!!!

Ignacio Gafo

PS: This post is dedicated to Teresa Serra, my mentor at IE Business School, and to all my loyal blog readers that have being patient with me. Sorry about so many months without posting. Just needed a small break to Reset!!! and go beyond Think Different!!!

28
Apr

En un entorno de marcas y consumidores hiperconectados se debate con asiduidad sobre la necesidad de que las marcas dialoguen con sus consumidores . El objetivo parece claro: establecer una relación más fluida y continua en el tiempo.

Se habla de dialogar, de conectar, de storytelling; de crear contenidos, de distribuir contenidos, de conseguir recomendaciones, word of mouth, de seguidores, likes, tweets, retweets …

Buscamos community managers, SEO y SEM managers, creamos attribution models y pensamos qué contenido será mejor para atraer más consumidores, más clicks y generar más difusión e impacto.

Sin embargo, en la mayoría de las estrategias de las marcas echo de menos una palabra mágica: empatía.

Para establecer una relación duradera entre personas o entre un marca y sus consumidores no sólo es necesario dialogar, es necesario dialogar mostrando empatía.

El dialogo sin empatía puede ser correcto, circunstancial, incluso muy frecuente; nos hace ser conocidos pero no construye sólidos vínculos afectivos ni entre las personas ni entre las marcas y sus consumidores .

Mostrar empatía significa comprender y tener la palabra justa ante los sentimientos de las personas , anticipar sus reacciones y compartir sus momentos. La empatía implica capacidad de escuchar y de expresar al otro que le hemos entendido, que podemos ver las cosas desde su punto de vista, no sólo desde el nuestro.

Traducido al lenguaje del marketing es importante resaltar que mostrar empatía no es lo mismo que descubrir “insights”. Los insights son revelaciones puntuales para las marcas que les ayudan a hacerse visibles, presentes y relevantes en la consideración de los consumidores.

La empatía es lo que hace que un “insight “perdure en el tiempo y se convierta en una ventaja competitiva sostenible.

Por mi experiencia profesional en marketing e innovación considero de un enorme mérito la estrategia llevada a cabo por la marca Dove en estos años. Alguna vez ya he comentado al respecto en este blog

Sin embargo, lo que más me llama la atención de esta marca es su capacidad de empatía.

Me gustaría que viesen estos tres anuncios.

Probablemente el primero ya lo conocen, Dove Sketches.

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Quizas los otros dos aún no. Dove Selfie y Dove Shy. Echenles un vistazo.

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La transición del primero a los dos últimos es fenomenal.

Para Dove hubiese sido mucho más “simple” exprimir al máximo su exitosa campaña Sketches, buscando mas posibilidades creativas de “sketches”, nuevos targets mas jóvenes; diseñar concursos, promociones y tweets sobre los “sketches” de los consumidores y un sinfín de prolongaciones de la campaña que ustedes pueden imaginar…. Pero esto, aunque diálogo, no es empatía. Sin embargo, con estas nuevas comunicaciones Dove dialoga con sus consumidores con una nueva perspectiva, demuestra que conoce de lo que está hablando, empatiza con sus consumidores mostrando que sabe como se sienten o como se han sentido.

Desde el punto de vista estratégico para la marca el avance es inmejorable. Un target más joven, un tono menos dramático , más alegre y positivo.

Con los buenos amigos las conversaciones no se repiten hasta el aburrimiento. Descubrimos nuevas perspectivas. Hablando con ellos, nos conocemos mejor.

 

Espero que tengan una buena semana, seguiremos dialogando

 

puedes seguir la conversación en @carmenabril1

 

24
Apr

Globalization….

Written on April 24, 2014 by María López Escorial in Bottom of the Pyramid, Branding

taza de cafe con logo

It is amazing how brands become global without even being in the country or close to it. In my recent trip to Ghana to help Financial NGOs to upgrade their microfinance capabilities, I stopped over Starbites Food and Drink, the Ghanaian version of Starbucks…

starbites 1

A similar name (3 letter from one to the other), similar typography, a round logo and a winding waves made us instantaneously think of the well-established Starbucks brand concept, and inmediately stop and try… just an appealing value proposition or nostalgia???

Starbites poste starbucks poste

The localization of Starbucks value proposition (Premium Quality coffee, Physical Environment and Service Philosophy), to local needs has made Starbites not feature only coffee but ambience and service philosophy…

Service, referring to speed is extremely difficult overall in Ghana, (something to work on for consultants), but they have managed a very nice ambience specially compared to the existing offer.
If we take out premium coffee and service…the only element remaining of Starbucks value proposition is .. “Ambiance”.

Starbites 2 starbucks ambience

This made me think. Is Starbucks what is appealing or just the concept of having a drink (coffee was not even promoted) in a nice & different place on a dusty road?

Would then the Starbucks concept as such be successful in Ghana or the Ghanaian Starbites version is more suitable for the Ghanaian average consumer?

What do you think?
Waiting for your comments! Here and @marialescorial

And the most universal concept of all: Soccer!!!!!
soccer 1

12
Apr

Desde el Retail

Se publicaba esta semana  el ranking de la consultora Interbrand sobre los detallistas con más valor de marca, con segmentación de la información tanto por sector en el que operan como por área geográfica http://www.interbrand.com/es/BestRetailBrands/2014/best-retail-brands-2014.aspx.

Los criterios de evaluación de marca incluyen tanto financieros como basados en el consumidor. Los tres factores considerados son: resultados financieros de la enseña, función que la marca desempeña como tal en la decisión de compra del consumidor y la generación de beneficios, y por último, la fuerza de la marca como capacidad de ésta para construir fidelidad

¿Cuáles son las enseñas “ganadoras”?

En función de la posición ocupada, hay pocas sorpresas. Fuerte liderazgo de enseñas americanas, con alguna incursión puntual en el primer puesto de Francia, Méjico, y sobre todo Suecia.

lista

Aparte del criterio de primer puesto destacan algunas enseñas entre las primeras de cada sector por el fuerte crecimiento en valor de marca obtenido. Mencionar las tres primeras marcas en el sector de tiendas de conveniencia y precio englobadas bajo el término Dollar Stores (Dollar General, Dollar Tree y Family Dollar), o la fuerte aparición de enseñas de conveniencia japonesas (Lawson y FamilyMart), o la continua ascensión en valor de marca de Amazon y ebay. Todas ellas asociadas a sectores donde conveniencia y precio se convierten en atributos clave que aportan una clara ventaja competitiva y enlazan con las tendencias del consumidor.

Pero por encima de todas destacarían en evolución de valor dos enseñas. Por una parte WholeFood, líder americano en las categorías de productos naturales y orgánicos para una alimentación sana. En segundo lugar, los grandes almacenes Macy´s, que a  pesar de operar en un formato muy maduro encuentra la vía para incrementar de forma continua su valor a través del refuerzo de su imagen conectada con la moda y el lujo, en un entorno tienda cada vez más experiencial

logos 2

En el informe de Interbrand se resumen lo que podrían ser los ejes predominantes en el desarrollo del valor de enseña.

El primero se centra en el refuerzo de la experiencia de marca y compra en el punto de venta. Personalizada y diferencial, y con continuas innovaciones que buscan comunicar emocionalmente con el comprador en las diversas áreas de contacto en lo que se ha llamado experiencias multidimensionales.

Empty Stage

Se concretaría en el uso de formatos pop up, el refuerzo de las experiencias sensoriales, la integración de elementos de arte y diseño, el desarrollo de experiencias multicanal, y el creciente uso de la tecnología. Es lo que el informe califica como teatralización del punto de venta físico, para sorprender y cautivar al consumidor para motivarle a abandonar la comodidad de su hogar y la facilidad de compra online para acudir a un punto de venta. Adjunto el link en este blog al post sobre la enseña Story, espectacular como teatro y experiencia, y en la que realmente costaría definir cuál es su negocio, formato y posicionamiento http://marketing.blogs.ie.edu/archives/2013/10/historias-de-amor-y-retailing.php

El segundo eje del informe se refiere a la explosión digital en la distribución detallista, intentando adaptarse a un consumidor que combina distintas formas de acceso a tienda en función del valor aportado y el momento concreto, y donde el acceso a través de un ordenador se ve complementado por el creciente uso de móviles y tabletas. El fin sería facilitar al cliente una experiencia de compra multicanal con independencia del punto de contacto del cliente con la enseña, integrando de forma creciente la compra física con la digital, eliminado sus barreras, aproximándolas para convertirlas en partes de una misma compra.

digital-shopping-capabilities-retailers

En resumen, foco en valor aportado, teatralización del punto de venta e integración de lo físico y lo virtual

Saludos muy cordiales

 

8
Jan

Escaparatismo y ARTE

Written on January 8, 2014 by Roberto Manzano in Branding, Distribución, Innovation, Trade Marketing & Retailing

Desde el Retail

Hace ya algún tiempo escribía en este blog un post titulado “Escaparatismo espectáculo” (http://marketing.blogs.ie.edu/?s=escaparatismo), donde se recogían algunas tendencias en la utilización de ese espacio tienda con el fin principal de captar la atención de los consumidores y motivar su entrada.

Entre estas tendencias se incluían algunas como la creciente importancia del escaparate para comunicar fuertemente la marca, su personalidad, o sus valores. O la creatividad creciente por dejar de ser un espacio estático e intentar convertirse en una especie de teatro, que asalte al consumidor en su camino y le haga participe de un espectáculo continuo. Destacaban así tanto los escaparates que incluyen personas como los escaparates interactivos por medio de pantallas digitales o de realidad virtual.

Como continuación del tema recojo un escaparate de la firma de lujo Loewe (Gran Via, Madrid) que combina admirablemente los principales elementos de la identidad de su marca. Tradicionalmente los escaparates de Loewe se han movido entre la presentación cuidada y somera de su surtido de productos, donde este era el elemento principal, y la creación de espacios artísticos por medio de la combinación de productos con distintos elementos y materiales, integrando con distinto peso los mensajes de diseño, estilo y exclusividad.

diez 3

Con motivo de la apertura de su Galería Loewe, que incorpora un espacio dedicado a recoger la historia de la firma en su proceso de diseño y producción, la citada tienda de Gran Vía utiliza el escaparate como un museo, y expone una pieza referida al famoso bolso Amazona  realizada en acero por el escultor Jordi Diez Fernandez  (http://www.behance.net/jordidiez)

dos bolsos

Sencillamente espectacular.

Es espectacular como consigue parar al transeúnte, captar su atención e interés, y generar notoriedad hacia la marca. Y debe ser espectacular por el número de personas que se detienen y se hacen una foto enfrente del escaparate, como máxima muestra de su implicación personal, emocional, con un elemento artístico aunque sea en un espacio comercial.

Y es espectacular, sobre todo, por cómo consigue trasmitir la esencia de la imagen de marca en sus elementos más diferenciales frente a la competencia y relevantes para el consumidor. Tradición y proceso artesano. Calidad, exclusividad y lujo actual.

Puro arte en un escaparate. Arte en estrategia.

Saludos muy cordiales

2
Nov

“When a man’s knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.”

-          Confucius

Most marketers would be surprised to learn that an important objective they have was so concisely summarized by Confucius many centuries ago. Companies, just like individuals, must strive to attain and hold on their objects of desire. The only difference is that whereas individuals usually have a diverse set of objectives (for consumers’ pursuits to attain and maintain whatever is desirable for them, see my previous posts here, here, and here), companies frequently have only one: CUSTOMERS!

Customer loyalty has been an important focus for both managerial and academic research. Hundreds of reports have been published, dealing both with general loyalty-related issues (e.g., by McKinsey) as well as with loyalty in specific business sectors (e.g., by Bain, on retail banking). This “research frenzy” on loyalty is well justified, as there is little doubt that increased customer loyalty leads to increased profitability. A seminal paper (Reichheld & Sasser 1990; Harvard Business Review) identifies the sources for this increase in profitability. Specifically, loyal customers are usually less costly to have (compared to acquiring new ones), are more likely to buy other products and services from the company, are less price sensitive (allowing the company to charge price premiums), and finally are the best ambassadors for the brand, generating thus additional sales via referrals.    

Despite the great amount of work investigating customer loyalty over the last decades, the topic is still “hot”. Why? Well, first, because it is super-important. And, second, because we still need to understand it better.

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IE Business School has partnered with Travel-Club (the biggest multi-sponsor loyalty program in Spain, handling loyalty programs of companies such as Repsol and Eroski) to respond to this need for further investigation. They have created a “Loyalty Research Chair”, the purpose of which would be to combine the resources and expertise of Travel-Club with the research capabilities of IE Business School in order to answer questions like:

  • What are the benefits of a customer loyalty program for a company?
  • What are the benefits of a customer loyalty program for loyal customer?
  • How can these benefits be reliably measured?
  • What variations of a loyalty program maximize these benefits? Do they differ by business sector?

IE marketing department has compiled a team of excellent researchers (marketing professors Dilney Gonçalves, Shameek Sinha, and myself), leaded by the head of the marketing department, professor Teresa Serra, to carry this task

If customer loyalty is an interesting topic for you, stay tuned for the exciting outputs of this initiative!

Antonios (Adoni) Stamatogiannakis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Marketing
IE Business School – IE University

Antonios . Stamatogiannakis @ ie . edu

1
Oct

I am not worried about the buzz that says Apple is not as innovative as it used  to be in the past. This company has disrupted three different markets in just ten years. Most companies are not able to do it even once in their history.

I am also not worried  about the fact that Apple stock value has decreased so heavily. They have more cash than they’ve ever dream of.

I am worried about one problem that is reflected in two anecdotes:

  1. The most popular comment about iOS7 is …..how similar it is to Samsung’s interface.
  2. As heavy Apple consumer, I have never carried out more different plugs in my entire life

Haven’t you experienced these issues?

These two anecdotes are strong symptoms of a deeper problem from my point of view : Apple is losing its DNA.

Some Apple’s DNA genomes:

 

genome

-       Simplicity, Taste

  • I like this quote from Pascal 1656  “ I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter” . Simplicity as Apple understood it requires a strong focus and leadership.
  •  Apple devoted a huge effort in the past to avoid superficial product features and to deliver true value to its consumers. This has been a key component of Apple’s culture reflected in their product and ecosystem design.
  • I am not sure Simplicity  is in Apple DNA anymore…
  • Gold I phone is great for China, however I am not sure if it is related to what Jobs called “taste”..

-       Outstanding consumer experience

  • Investor’s or consumer experiences?
  • Who is deciding the pace of Apple innovation, the consumer’s needs or the investor’s needs?
  • Who should be driving the agenda? Apple should announce news when they are ready to hit the market, not just because September is coming. The pace of innovation is not predictable, and sometimes is not even sustainable. Innovative companies know it.
  • Put first the value to the consumer,  the stock value will come short after.

-       Strong personality , Out of the norm

  • What is Apple’s image on young people? It is comparable to that of Apple’s early adopters?
  • Is Apple spirit started to be confounded with fashion?

Look at how Surface is pointing out this sensitive area in their recent communication

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I believe Apple is one of the most beloved and strong brands in the world. But this is precisely why they need a Time Out.

Breath, Take some air, Re cap, Recover the passion, Commit to the vision …and then…. Beat the market again.

 

Your point of view?

 

Have a nice weekend

 

@carmenabril1

15
Sep

Desde el retail

Sea cual sea el texto que se lea sobre experiencia de compra del consumidor, es prácticamente seguro que entre los ejemplos ilustrativos que ese texto recoja aparecerá el nombre de Disney como una de las marcas que mejor la gestiona.

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Y parece natural partiendo de la base de que el origen de negocio y la imagen de Disney se centran en parques temáticos cuyo objetivo era hacer volar la imaginación de niños y adultos y vender fantasias.

En busca de un crecimiento relativamente fácil en ventas Disney empezó a abrir tiendas en los años 80, tiendas que a partir del año 2002 empiezan a ser gestionadas a través de acuerdos geográficos de licencia con otras empresas. El resultado fueron unas 300 puntos de venta en el mundo que con una política de precios altos y bajos costes operativos  intentaban rentabilizar el negocio a partir de la fuerte imagen que la marca aportaba.

entrada tiendaprincess_mirror_disney_store_0710

La siguiente fase arranca en el 2008. En ese año Disney inicia un proceso para retomar el control de su distribución detallista, recomprando los derechos a las empresas licenciatarias. Con el fin de relanzar las ventas y reforzar la imagen se cierran numerosas tiendas a la vez que se procede a la implantación de un programa de remodelación para todas las demás que con el referente de las tiendas de Apple (resultado de la toma de control de Disney por Pixar y Steve Jobs), tuviesen en la experiencia del cliente y la tecnología sus pilares fundamentales.  Teatralización de la tienda, participación del consumidor, marketing sensorial, accesibilidad a productos, tecnología…

Magic happens…

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“The Disney Stores play a critical role in how millions around the world experience our brand. The new store design allows kids and families to have a fun and immersive experience while shopping for their favorite Disney products.”. Bob Iger, Disney President and CEO

Se trata de tiendas que recogen los elementos clave de lo que se ha dado en llamar una experiencia “wow”, o sencillamente, una experiencia memorable para el comprador tanto en los elementos ejecucionales, como de imagen de marca, operacionales, de solución de problemas y compromiso con el cliente (“Discovering ‘WOW’ — A Study of Great Retail Shopping (http://www.verdegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Discovering-WOW-June-2009.pdf)

La última fase en la estrategia multicanal de Disney tiene dos ejes de desarrollo.

Por una parte la expansión en la cobertura de mercados y la generación de tráfico de clientes por medio de acuerdos con la gran distribución, consistentes en la apertura de cornes o shop in shops, como el firmado el año pasado con la cadena J.C.Penney para abrir tiendas Disney de 100 m2 en 520 tiendas de la cadena.

El segundo eje es el refuerzo de la venta online, consistente en la remodelación del sitio web y la apertura a finales de los años 2000 de tiendas.com en Francia y Alemania para sumarse a las ya existentes en USA e UK (http://www.disney.co.uk/).

But magic…disappears

web

Es difícil imaginar una mayor desconexión entre la promesa de valor de la marca trasmitida por dos canales de distribución complementarios, como son tiendas propias y su sitio web. Porque al final se trata en la mayor parte de los casos de los mismos consumidores, en distintos momentos de compra o distintas fases de un mismo proceso. Los nuevos sitios web son sobre todo funcionales, operativos, centrados en producto y precio, excesivamente densificados, donde se hace extremadamente difícil una conexión emocional con la marca, no ya para reforzar esta sino al menos para no afectarla negativamente.  Cualquier cosa menos teatralización, emoción, participación o implicación sensorial.

En definitiva, muy lejos de una experiencia memorable.

Y sobre todo, muy lejos de la magia.

Saludos muy cordiales

 

14
Sep

Hello again, I hope you had a nice summer!

In several discussions I have about sports marketing and sports business in general, many people seem to confuse the “sports” with the “business” side. A frequent confusion is the one of “sports value” with “brand value”. This point is subtle, because the two are frequently correlated. For example, Real Madrid FC is doing great from both a sports and a business perspective. It is both a great brand and a great team, and one side helps the other.

A recent case from Greek football however clearly illustrates that these two aspects can be very different. Here is a summary of the story. The formerly public Greek betting agency (ΟPAP), was always the most important sponsor for the Greek football “Super League” (the Greek equivalent for “La Liga”). The plan was the same for the coming 2013-14 season. However, the situation changed when a major club of “Super League” (AEK Athens) was relegated  to play at a lower-level league.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new management of OPAP, judged that this major drawback from the sports side would have a little impact on the value of the brand “AEK Athens”. Thus, it decided to keep sponsoring AEK, with an amount that is a lot higher than the amounts received by many current “Super League” clubs. From a marketing perspective, this seems to make sense. If many eyes are watching AEK every weekend, then putting your brand on the jerseys is clearly desirable.

This decision however was not accepted as easily by other interested parties. First, the clubs that will be playing with AEK Athens (and which have a lot less commercial value) next year, see this sponsorship as contaminating the competition. They would have to play against an opponent with much more resources. Then, the “Super League” clubs are furious to see that a club not competing at top national level is getting more money than they are. Many of these clubs (including the champion Olympiacos FC) have already publicly declared that they will deny the sponsorship from OPAP this year, as a sign of protest.

This case, although extreme, is not the only one. For instance, Liverpool FC has been struggling sports-wise for many years, but it is still a great brand in the UK. Similarly, the Chicago Bulls have not won the NBA title for some 15 years, but their brand is still strong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To conclude, in several businesses (e.g., sports, education, health), marketing actions that make perfect sense from a business perspective, might raise problems if the non-business perspective is neglected. Reconciling the two perspectives is the job of a good marketing manager, but the question “How much should we consider business vs. non-business” is not an easy one to answer.

What do you think?

Antonios (Adoni) Stamatogiannakis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Marketing
IE Business School – IE University

Antonios . Stamatogiannakis @ ie . edu

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