Archive for the ‘Product Management’ Category

24
Jul

Desde el Retail

Uno de los síntomas de la incipiente recuperación económica, y directamente conectado con la mejora del consumo interno, sería la recuperación parcial de la innovación en los mercados de gran consumo. Como dato, el peso de las productos innovadores sobre el total ventas supera en más del 50% el alcanzado en el año anterior (6.4% acumulado a Marzo 2014).

Se trata de una recuperación basada principalmente en extensiones de línea y mejoras parciales de producto, ya que el 5% que corresponde a marcas nuevas e innovaciones radicales está aún muy lejos del 20% conseguido en el año 2007. A pesar de lo anterior, en un 30% de las categorías de gran consumo la innovación aporta más de la mitad de el crecimiento conseguido.

Y dentro de esta innovación destaca cada vez más la realizada directamente por la distribución detallista en relación con sus marcas del distribuidor. Sobresale Mercadona, con el desarrollo de espacios específicos en algunas tiendas (doce en la actualidad) donde se facilita el acceso de los clientes a nuevos productos para directamente recoger su opinión sobre ellos, sus sugerencias, y sobre todo acceder a la utilización real del producto para ver como es la experiencia de uso.

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No sorprende que Mercadona sea considerada como la empresa líder en nuevos lanzamientos, con 400 registrados en el año anterior. No se trata solo de una cuestión de cantidad, ya que además coloca dos nuevos productos entre las diez primeras innovaciones del año según un estudio de Kantar Worldpanel.

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La distribución detallista no solo prioriza cada vez más el desarrollo propio de innovaciones como alternativa a la mera copia de los productos de fabricante sino que cada vez más es reconocida por el consumidor en este sentido, percibiendo la aportación de valor del producto adicionalmente al eje precio y dándole cada vez más credibilidad en segmentos de prestaciones y calidad superiores.

Y como ejemplo comentar el caso de Eroski. Recientemente tuve la oportunidad de asistir a una presentación de Ana Cuevas, directora comercial y compra de productos frescos, sobre un nuevo concepto de alimentación llamado Eroski Cooking (http://cooking.eroski.es/)

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Consiste en una línea de productos compuesta por tres componentes precocinados preparados para ser acabados en un proceso de ensamblaje . El primero sería el producto principal, la base, consistente en una relación de carnes, pescados y pasta a elegir. El paso dos incluye las guarniciones, mientras que el último paso se refiere a la elección de salsas entre un surtido de distintos sabores.

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Entre los principales encontraríamos pasta con albahaca, muslo de pollo relleno de jamón, merluza al vapor, bacalao confitado y salmón a la plancha. La guarniciones incluirían champiñones estofados, salteado de guisantes con jamón, wok de verduras, arroz con langostinos o patatas carbonara entre otros. Por último, las salsas incluyen salsa verde, de oporto y hongos, de tomate, de quesos y nueces, al curry, de mostaza o piperada. Claramente se trata de propuestas alejadas de la comida preparada funcional y más próxima a la alta gastronomía.

A partir de lo anterior el número de combinaciones posibles es muy elevado ya que permite a al consumidor la personalización del producto final combinando los tres pasos o incluso reduciéndolos a dos. Esta flexibilidad de elección facilita la adaptación del menú elegido a la ocasión de consumo (regular / especial).

Otros elementos de valor aportado se refieren a la confianza que genera, ya que es el propio cliente quien manipula en última estancia un plato preparado al acabar su preparación en el momento de consumo, los beneficios referidos a calidad de componentes, o su comodidad por la rapidez de preparación.

El punto de partida en su concepción y desarrollo se sitúa en dar una nueva solución al cliente en el mercado de platos preparados que se aleje de procesos percibidos como industriales y desvinculados de la calidad y disfrute gastronómico. Y para conseguirlo se crea una línea de trabajo que intenta cambiar la forma de relacionarse entre fabricante y distribuidor, siendo los dos participes de un proyecto completo de co-creación enfocado en las necesidades del cliente y al que se unen distintos proveedores.

Proceso

Fabricantes como Angulas Aguinaga, que aportan conocimiento del producto para liderar el desarrollo de un nuevo segmento de platos semi-preparados pero que priorizan el placer de la comida y el disfrute como valor principal. O proveedores como el Basque Culinary Center, que desarrollan las recetas y asesoran en lo referido a la cocción y conservación de todos los componentes para potenciar su sabor. O como el centro tecnológíco AZTI Tecnalia, encargado de garantizar los procesos productivos y la calidad sensorial, nutricional y garantías de este nuevo proceso.

Con independencia del resultado que esta propuesta pueda obtener en el mercado supone un avance en ejes muy claros en el desarrollo de la marca del distribuidor por parte del detallista.

El primero sería el acceso a segmentos de mercado de cada vez más valor, alejados de propuestas basadas exclusivamente en el precio bajo, como forma de diferenciarse, reforzar la marca, generar fidelidad, y mejorar rentabilidad.

En segundo lugar, una integración total de todos los participantes en el proceso así como un claro foco en el consumidor.

Y en tercer lugar, y como resultado de los dos anteriores, un sustancial cambio en la ambición de desarrollo de marcas del distribuidor. Huyendo de productos de imitación, rápidos y baratos en su desarrollo, para atacar proyectos mucho más ambiciosos, más largos de llevar a cabo y mucho más complejos, y por lo tanto, que exigen una inversión considerablemente más alta

Confianza, personalización, alta gastronomía…. Valores aportados al consumidor bastante alejados del tradicional eje precio para una marca del distribuidor.

Saludos muy cordiales

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.

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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!!!

2
Apr

 

Some months ago we wrote in this blog about the outstanding change of P&G advertising strategy for the London Olympics. Being used to their rational and functional copy strategy we were caught by surprise with their beautiful Iñarritu ad.

Well, the same feeling was coming to me a couple of days ago when watching the latest Danone advertising campaign ( not as beautiful as Iñarritu’s I have to say).

New Danone ad was trying to convey pure emotions showing no signs of their well known “reason why” and “functional value” so characteristic of their communication strategy.

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Interesting change, or should I say desperate change? I recently see this common trend in lead brands losing market share due to uncompetitive  value proposition in the market.

I have to admit upfront that my personal view in advertising persuasion strategy is that you convince consumers with the mind but conquer them through the heart.  Competitor brands can copy and challenge your arguments but they can’t trade and copy the genuine feelings consumers experiment with your brand.

I confess I am biased by my professional experience at Pepsi and Unilever as well as my close partnership with former BBDO executives, now Sra. Rushmore owners. Our work in these years with Pepsico brands has shaped my vision in this regard.

It is interesting to notice that when companies traditionally stubborn in functional advertising see no exit at the end of the tunnel, their reaction is dramatic. Often shifting from white to black without exploring the grey areas where probably the equilibrium is.

This is the case of Danone. Danone  focus in the past years has been  to communicate their innovation superiority ( facing some legal problems with the claims they used in their Activia and Actimel products) , to disregard private labels as a decent rival ( communicating they don’t co-pack private labels) , and just recently to communicate their value price ( ie. Price reductions to finally fight private labels and economic recession) .

So, as you can see the change with the new ad has been dramatic.  In this regard, I need to point out that as dangerous is the white as the black. I mean, as dangerous is to be 100% emotional or 100% functional ( with some exceptions).

The reason is that despite emotions are not so easy to copy, they are if too generic, difficult to differentiate.

Have a look at these smily logos, how unique and different are they? can the smile become an unique and differentiated icon as the Nike swoosh?

 


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Captura de pantalla 2013-04-02 a la(s) 00.31.00

 

 

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I don’t buy the argument that they belong to different product categories, do you still think consumer perceptions have borders and don’t relate product categories?

I actually understand the strategic vision of Danone. I also like the “smile” approach and their core idea about “feeding smiles” . However I wonder whether the execution they have delivered has the right balance. Even more, I wonder whether they have realized the extraordinary effort and integrated communication that will be  required to implant this brand belief in consumer’s minds.

In any case, I admire their brave decision and hope they will have the patience and strength  to steer the brand in this new direction of renewed consumer trust and confidence.

 

I actually will be very interested in knowing your point of view. Would you like to share it?

 

Have a nice April month, hopefully sunnier than March :)

 

 

 

@carmenabril1 follow the discussion also in twitter

 

 

3
Mar

Acabo de volver del Mobile World Congress 2013. Muchas cosas que contar y pensar, pero ante todo una marca sobre la que escribir: Samsung.

El artículo del ExpansiónSamsung reta a Apple en el campo publicitario” del pasado 25 de Febrero lo explicaba muy bien:

  • Samsung quiere dejar atrás su posicionamiento técnico y pasarse al lado funcional.
  • Samsung apuesta por ello por la publicidad, en la que invierte del orden de 4,000 millones de € anuales (4 veces más que Apple). Cifra que se incrementa a 12,000 millones de € si incluimos otros conceptos como promociones de venta y PR.
  • Samsung ya está en el noveno puesto mundial de ranking de marcas de Interbrand, y se espera que llegue al 5ª en los próximos años.
  • Samsung ofrece hoy por hoy uno de los más amplios (si no el mayor) portfolio de productos en movilidad, superando objetivamente en prestaciones a Apple y sus I-Phone.

samsung vs apple

 

Muy en la línea con el macro despliegue que Samsung hizo en el Congress, que  venía a reforzar este estrategia de combinar Producto y Publicidad mejor que nadie: El stand más grande con diferencia, con la mayor variedad de smartphones  y tablets del mercado, con interesantes innovaciones en formato y prestaciones y, con una presencia omnipresente (fueras adonde fueras, te encontrabas alguna publicidad suya).

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Lo que contrasta notoriamente con Apple (y Google), que no sólo no presentaron grandes novedades, sino que además no contaban siquiera con stand… Como si el Congress no fuera con ellos…

Es cierto que a día de hoy la percepción de marca de Apple es todavía superior: Los smartphones y tablets de Apple se perciben como superiores (a pesar de tener importantes limitaciones técnicas y de ecosistema), y que la marca presenta unos índices de fidelidad incomparables. También que Samsung deslumbra pero no enamora, y que a pesar de la inversión, sigue todavía sin contar la imagen de exclusividad de Apple.

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Pero, y es a lo que voy, ¿cuánto tiempo va a poder Apple permanecer por encima de su competidor? ¿Puede una compañía vivir de las rentas durante varios años? ¿O va a tener que dar un golpe encima de la mesa y lanzar algo revolucionario y reiventarse en publicidad?

Hacer cualquier predicción negativa de Apple es condenarse al escarnio público, pero lo voy a hacer: O Apple “makes it happen again” en el próximo año (es decir, antes del Mobile World Congress 2014), o el artículo de Expansión va a llamarse “Samsung supera a Apple”.

Ya lo veréis! Samsung está haciendo las cosas muy bien (a golpe de talonario y de “prueba y error, pero muy muy bien),  y es una cuestión de tiempo que la realidad supere a la ficción, o al menos la difumine…

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Espero vuestras predicciones y comentarios en @ignaciogafo.

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

PS: De muestra un botón. El 14 de Marzo Samsung presenta en Galaxy SIV. Si el III y era superior al I-Phone 5, no quiero ni pensar el diferencial que va a haber con éste…

28
Jan

It was a question of time before Starbucks enteered in to the singke-serve expresso machine business with its own end-to-end ecosystem.

The launch took place in the US last October, with a range of Verismo coffee machines and  different options plastic capsules filled with pre-ground coffee or powdered milk. It was not innovative at all, there were quite a few options avaialable at a market clearly dominated by Nestle´s Nespresso and Green Mountain’s Keurig. However, the chance to enter a market worth 8 billion US$ globally, that was expected to grow by 147% in 2012, seemed to convince Starbucks to make the bet.

Starbucks opted at the launch for a premium pricing ($200 and above for the coffee machines and $1 for the coffee capsule) over Nespresso ($150 and above for the machines and $0,75 the capsules), assuming that its Brand Loyalty and Preference would make the difference.

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Morevoer, it advertised heavily the product through Social Media and make the product available for purchase at Starbucks online store, its 4300 american stores stores and in a selection specialty stores.

Fiscal Q1 sales results have gone up to 150,000 machines according to the company, and Howard Schultz reminds me to Steve Jobs when commenting on the I-Pad first sales analysis:

“We remain committed to attaining leadership in the single-serve category, and I can tell you today that with Verismo we are in the nascent stage of building a multi-billion dollar platform for Starbucks over the long term,” said Schultz. “And we are in it for the long term.”

 

“I think it’s very important that you all understand that we are deeply, deeply committed to becoming the leader in this space domestically and internationally,” Schultz told the analysts.

 

“Our commitment, our interest, our motivation to build on single-serve and build on Verismo is 100 percent and we are going to maintain a high level of commitment and investment in this, where we are going to be the global leader,” he continued.

 

No question from my side about the Company commitment to this new business: The CEO and the company is fully committed and have actually promised new features, designs and alternatives already placed in the Verismo Roadmap for the next years.

But, at the same time, some “What if” questions show up in my mind:

- What if cannibalization from the Stores take place?

- What if after some early success coming from Starbucks fans, the sales drop?

- What if they are not able to cope with Nespresso´s brand equity and broader assortment of flavors in the mid and long term?

- What if it does not work when bringing the system out of US?

- What if the market matures at the time they are to compete?

- What if Sara Lee replicates what it did with Nespresso and launches capsules for Verismo as well?

I am a big marketing fan of Mr Schultz and believe he can make it happen again. However, the what if questions make me doubt whether Verismo creates or destroys value for Starbucks. At least for the time being…

I look forward for your comments and views @ignaciogafo / @ieweblog.

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

13
Nov

I find the battle and transformation of the digital industry fascinating. Everyday I find news and data that makes me think about the importance that positioning has over technology in many cases. Let me explain it.

Just over 10 years ago this industry was basically divided between software companies and hardware companies also called OEM’s ( Original Equipment Manufacturers)

The profitability of the sector has worked brilliantly for Microsoft that dominated the software industry and not so brilliantly for some hardware manufacturers that realized too late about the importance of the cost advantage to compete.

The only exception to this business model was Apple, who as you all know, played in both sides of the industry. However, remember that at that time Apple was a niche player with around 6 bn revenues far from their current 110 bn $.

It is interesting to notice than ten years ago, Microsoft envisioned a change in the industry paradigm when they thought digital apps (or software)  could take over some paper tasks like reading, writing and organizing all documents at once. To develop a device “as handy as paper” was Gates vision. And the Tablet PC was born.

The idea was really visionary but the business model and positioning chosen to implement it was proven very wrong.

Microsoft allowed the OEMs such a high level of flexibility on the hardware design that made it impossible to clearly position the new product producing a great level of confusion on consumers that weren’t sure about what the product was offering

 

 

 

After the humiliation of Apple success in the market with the Ipad , a similar idea than Microsoft TabletPC- less ambitious I must say , key players started to realize that consumer experience is driven by hardware and software along. This fact,  together with the evidence that digital convergence was inevitable, lead to start thinking that traditional industry division might not have sense in the (near) future.

Last week Tim Cook boasted that Apple sells more iPads now than any OEM competitor sells PCs, and company achieved more than 150 million icloud users.

PC’s are being replaced in education by ipads or tablets, the world is becoming “mobile” , information need to be at hand everywhere and under these circumstances the question is: what is happening to the “hardware” part of the industry?

Google needed a Hardware (Motorola), Nokia needed a Software ( Microsoft). But what do the traditional OEM’s -those dependent on third-party software and pushing low-cost hardware at high volumes- like HP, Lenovo, Acer need? Is it just Windows 8?

How are they going to compete in the new market ? Lighter, thinner, sleeker, cheaper models…? PC tablets with no ecosystem network?

Aren’t they facing the innovator’s dilemma remaining slave of the tyranny of the served customers ?

How is this situation going to affect their relationship with their software providers?

At the end of the day, are they now Friends or Foes?

 

Complex but fascinating,

What would you do?

 

continue at @carmenabril1

 

 

27
Oct

Let me start stating that I am really glad that Microsoft is back. After many years of struggle they have been able to come up with two products that could make the difference: Windows 8 and Surface. With them, they can end up competing with Google and Apple in the new IT and Mobile scenario, and become a serious third option for most users…  However, one question comes to my mind: Has Microsoft chosen the best marketing strategy for Surface and Windows?

The other day I spoke to a colleague from IE that claimed something interesting: It is not good to try to become someone you are not. It is like being introverted and try to become extroverted because you think it is more appreciated… This can do no good to you!”  For two reasons I would add: It is unlikely that will be able to go through such a transformation + could eventually lead to a squizophrenic disorder

So, you may say, what is the connection Microsoft? Easy. They might be pretending to be someone they are not!!!

Let me go through what has happened during this week: Microsoft organized a superb and extremely cool p. Product Launch that included

  • A worldwide launch, connecting different cities from the World at the same time, that you ou could watch real time with Microsoft News Center.

 

  • The Microsoft Holiday Store in NY, that was opening the day of the launch at midnight.

 

  • Microtropolis: An immersive and interactive 160-foot “mini” Manhattan  where the neighborhoods are represented through Windows 8 touch-enabled PCs and devices.
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My first reaction was “Wow, they have gone beyond Apple!” but, once the hype passed away and feelings settled down, I somehow felt that they were actually pretending to become cooler than Apple, by doing what the latter does amazingly , even better…

This was applicable to the Product Launch, but also to the Product Strategy, where they now try to target end customers with an end to end solution that incorporates hardware + software all together…

 

Having said that, some questions come to me:

  • Aren´t they trying to emulate from Apple their Cool Positioning and Product Approach + improve it, in order to become the Next Big Thing?
  • Is this the best strategy the can follow? Does it fit strategically with their strengths and competitive advantages? Is it sustainable?
  • Is it replicable what they have actually managed to do with the X-Box and Kinnect for their tablet and Operating System? Or are we speaking about a different business scenario, with different players?
  • And the most impotant ones: Aren´t they pretending to be someone they are not? Aren´t they challenging their own NDA? Will the organization (and Microsoft Brand) end up in a squizophrenic disorder? Or will they be able to reinvent themselves?

 

I really look forward for your comments in @ignaciogafo and @ieweblog.

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

 

PS: Special thanks to my IE colleague for inspiring the post :).

19
Feb

LA NBA LANZA LA LINMANIA

Written on February 19, 2012 by Ignacio Gafo in Branding, International Marketing, Product Management

Si os gusta el baloncesto habéis tenido que oir hablar seguro de un tal Jeremy Shu-Who Lin, la nueva estrella de la NBA, nacida hace apenas un mes… Toda una sensación que ha conseguido revolucionar a una necesitada NBA americana…

Para entender el nacimiento de esta nueva figura tenemos primero que entender qué es la NBA y cuáles son las reglas que la mueven. La NBA es la National Basketball Association o liga profesional de baloncesto masculino americana. Que viene a ser básicamente un gran negocio magistralmente orquestado por su Comisario, David Stern. La idea es bastante simple pero está perfectamente ejecutada: Crear un gran espectáculo, armando un negocio superlativo alrededor del mismo. Negocio que se calcula en aproximadamente 3,8 billones de US$, con un crecimiento la pasada liga de un 5%.

¿Cuáles son las claves de este negocio? Posiblemente muchas, pero si tuviera que apostar por 5, diría lo siguiente:

  1. Asegurar la máxima competitividad  entre las franquicias, dejando que las grandes ciudades tenga un pequeño margen de maniobra.
  2. Ofrecer el mejor espectáculo del mundo, de la mano de los mejores jugadores del mundo..
  3. Potenciar a los llamados jugadores franquicia, verdaderas marcas vivientes alrededor de los cuales se forman equipos y por supuesto grandes negocios de derechos y merchandising.
  4. Explotación del negocio a nivel internacional, con un marcada apuesta por economías emergentes como la asiática.
  5. Prevalecer el negocio por encima de todo.

La parte de la competividad la aseguran de la mano de una serie de mecanismos internos que evitan que cualquier equipo con deep pockets, pueda contratar a los mejores a costa del resto (o sea evita situaciones como la de la Liga Española de Fútbol). Se lanza así el sistema de elección del Draft, donde los equipos perdedores pueden elegir y contratar a los jugadores con mayor potencial, y se establecen límites salariales que pretenden frenar (hasta cierto punto), a las ciudades más pudientes desde un punto de vista económico, como Los Angeles y New York. Y digo hasta cierto punto, puesto que dichas ciudades casi siempre acaban formando equipos ultracompetitivos a costa de pagar penalizaciones millonarias…

El tema de atraer a los mejores jugadores es en gran medida una consecuencia del poderío económico de esta Liga: Es la que más ingresos genera, la que mayor audiencia tiene y por ende, la que más puede pagar a sus jugadores. Que en último término, añaden a sus aspiraciones profesionales, una fuerte motivación económica. Con lo que ofrecen los mayores sueldos, y consiguen directamente a los mejores a nivel mundial.

Por supuesto, una vez que tienen un gran espectáculo y un cierto nivel de competividad, queda todo el tema de explotar el negocio. Lo que les viene de una explotación soberbia de todo lo que es merchandising de equipos y jugadores, así como de la explotación de derechos de retransmisión (locales e internacionales) y de los patrocinios de marcas todo tipo para jugadores y estadios.

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Teniendo todo esto, queda por supuesto la explotación internacional. Que consiguen enrolando en sus equipos a jugadores de todas partes del mundo, con un mínimo nivel de competitividad. Y que a la larga les debe ayudar a conseguir mayores audiencias y las consiguientes ventas de merchandising en dichos equipos.

Y por último, lo más importante: Business is Business. Lo tienen muy claro. Se dejan de sentimentalismos. Lo importante es el Negocio del Equipo. Por lo que no importa si hay que “matar” o intercambiar a un jugador estrella. Ser hará lo que sea por ofrecer el mejor espectáculo de la mano de un equipo competitivo. Para más información, preguntar a Pau Gasol sobre el trato que le están dispensando los Lakers…

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Estamos en definitiva ante un gran producto – espectáculo, con las  mejores marcas – jugadores y un muy rentable negocio que, como en todos los sectores, necesita nuevos lanzamientos para renovarse. Y así,  hemos asistido a un nuevo lanzamiento estelar de la referida marca – jugador  JEREMY LIN, que viene a aglutinar todos los elementos clave de este negocio:

v Jugador de origen taiwanés (con todo el atractivo que tiene para Asia, sobre todo tras la retirada de Yao Ming).

v Que juega en los New York Knicks (no sé qué hubiese pasado si jugara por ejemplo en los Charlotte Bobcats).

v Que con apenas 4 buenas actuaciones ha sido ascendido por la propia NBA al Olimpo de los Dioses (es decir, a jugar el All Star Game sin haber sido votado!).

v Que en un mes ha disparado tanto la audiencia de la NBA en NY y China,  así como las ventas de merchandising de su franquicia y de su nombre.

v Impulsado por una extraordinaria campaña de comunicación (Join the Linsanity!!!) , en el que se habla del sueño americano y de su capacidad de superación…

Para quitarse el sombrero, la verdad. Toda una lección de cómo lanzar y posicionar un marca en un tiempo record, revitalizando todo el negocio de la compañía NBA. Donde como ellos mismos dicen: “(The NBA) where amazing things happen!”

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THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

 

Follow me on @ignaciogafo

 

NB: Popularidad no equivale a calidad baloncestística. Que ni Lin es tan bueno de repente, ni PAU GASOL tan malo. Sirva este post de reflexión y apoyo a nuesto querido Pau Gasol, al que mando desde aquí todo mi apoyo y un abrazo.

NB2: Lo sé, estamos ante una Marca Fugaz. Veremos qué evolución tiene. Esperemos eso sí que tenga más recorrido que otros

12
Feb

BREAKING A MARKETING MYTH…

Written on February 12, 2012 by Ignacio Gafo in International Marketing, Product Management, Uncategorized

Today, I would like to share with you a real story in order to break one of the most common myths around marketing.

 

 

The story, that was published in the Washington Post and can be found in social media says:

 

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

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The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context? If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

 

 

The experiment, that was meant to be a social one, can also be applied to the Marketing Area and be used to breaking a myth: The one that states that a great product enough in itself to succeed. As the story shows, this is far from reality, for you can have a great product and fail completely with its commercialization. Why? Because Marketing goes beyond Product Management. Specifically, in Marketing we are doing three things:

 

  • Value creation
  • Value communication
  • Value delivery

…to the right target group

 

The Marketing Process starts with the selection of the target group and then follows up with the rest of the phases. Because:

  • We might have the best product in the world, but will not work if we have chosen the wrong target group (the violin play for instance, is not going to be appreciated by everybody).
  • Even if we have the right product and targeted segment combination it will also fail to succeed if we do not manage properly both the communication and delivery.

 

 

Thus, make sure to find the right balance between all these variables if you want to succeed and be watchful! The next time you listen to someone playing a violin at the tube, he might be Joshua Bell running another test in your town…

 

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

22
Jan

19 January 2012: Kodak files for bankruptcy protection.

I do not have words to express how I felt when reading it. Past memories came to my mind. They brought me to my early years in , back in the  mind 90s, where all the Photography Industry was dominated by this american company. Some of us were selling cameras, or films, or printing solutions but, above all of us, was KODAK. They were playing is a separate league. Not even Sony catching up with them! You just had to go to the Photokina Fair at Dusseldord and compare the size of the stands: The one from Kodak at least 4 times the size of oursat Canon!

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How is it possible that a company that came up with the first film camera in 1883, launched the first commercial camera and actually was fully dominating the Photo Industry in the late 80s, came to this end?

You may claim that they did not have the right know-how to cope with the digitalization of the photo industry, but you may turn out to be wrong! Kodak actually invented the first digital camera as soon as 1975, and had the capabilities of making a massive commercial launch of the digital camera as soon as 1992. That would have meant that they would have found a completely new market the develop with no known competition at that point but, as Kodak recognized later on, they did not proceed because of fears (some people term in lack of guts) of cannibalizing their film business…

I know positively that it is easy to be critical after things have happened. I presume that most of us would feel comfortable in a situation where we have more than 70% of the market and attain really high margins on our business. Market leadership is great, but experience shows that it might work as a sort of organizational chloroform that makes uslay down, relax and stop stretching our minds… And, as it has happened to Kodak, there will be a moment where we want to awaken and realize it is too late…

In the case of Kodak, they rejected initially the digital initiative because of the referred risk of cannibalization and met a situation in the late 90s, in which japanese companies like Canon, Sony and Nikon, pushed aggressively the commercialization of digital cameras. It actually took them some years to come up with digital cameras with decent specs and affordable pricing, but they eventually did the breakthough much sooner than expected in the early 2000. Kodak tried then to react and introduced some OEM models while trying to develop their manufacturing capabilities. The result was a good pool of patents (that are by the way the most valuable asset that the company has) and a manufacturing camera capability that came too late: At the time they had them, the market was already dominated and somehow massified by japanese brands…

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After some desperate struggle and internal changes, they finally decided to enter into the printing business. They believed they could revolutionize the printing industry with new state-of-the-art technologies, but again brought them in too late: The printing market was also massified and, to make matters worse, they found a new competitors really well positioned and with deep pockets: Hewlett Packard.

The rest of the story was actually business as usual:

- Competition became stronger and the low end business of the camera industry was absorbed by a new market and technology (the phone indsutry).

- The stock price plummetted down to 0,36 US$ (from 30US$ in 2004!).

- They changed their managing team several times and hired desperately a digital expert as CEO with the hope of relaunching the business.

- They laid off a big chunk of their labor force, ending up prior to the bankruptcy with only 19,000 employeess (there was a point in the 90s where they had 145,000 people!).

And we end up with the key questions:

  • HOW CAN YOU FORESEE THIS HAPPENING?
  • HOW CAN YOU DECIDE IF A MOVEMENT IS LEADING TO CANNIBALIZATION OR SALVATION?
  • HOW TO AVOID LEADING COMPANIES TO RELAX? HOW TO INTRODUCE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF PRESSURE FOR INNOVATION? HOW TO INTRODUCE INTERNAL COMPETITION?
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Not sure that we can find a response. However,  make sure to learn from Kodak and avoid relaxing too much while leading the market. Tough times will surely come!

 

Look forward for your views and suggestions.

 

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

 

PS: To be continued with more leading companies in short. I leave up to you the list of candidates :).

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