Posts Tagged ‘Branding#8217;


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 … 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:



-       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




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


Volvemos después de un necesitado descanso. El verano ha dejado muchas cosas tras de sí y tenemos mucho que comentar por delante. Y hoy quiero empezar haciéndolo con el reposicionamiento de Lady Gaga y Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus).

Jeff Kravitz

Aunque ninguna de las dos necesitan presentación, os hago un esbozo del punto de partida:

  • Lady Gaga es un icono musical, con un excelente posicionamiento entre veinteañeros y grupos alternativos, logrado entre otras cosas a golpe de performance. Entendiendo como performance su capacidad para sorprendernos una y otra vez con disfraces imposibles. De tal manera que llegó a un punto en el que ya daba igual lo que dijera o cantara, lo que esperábamos y queríamos ver era con qué nuevo look aparecía.
  • Miley Cyrus era hasta hace poco un icono contrapuesto. Fruto de la fábrica Disney, era más conocida como Hannah Montana, icono adorado por el público adolescente y que encarnaba los mejores valores familiares y tradicionales.

hannah montana

Iconos de gran éxito las dos por lo tanto, con una imagen muy bien definida y un problema en común: Las dos parecían haber agotado su recorrido, y necesitaban evolucionar. En el caso de Lady Gaga, por motivos de salud (su atuenda atentaba contra su salud), la imposibilidad de estar toda la vida deslumbrando, y la necesidad de llegar a un público más amplio. Y en de Miley Cyrus, para explotar sus dotes artísticas, llegar a un público más adulto, posicionarse a sí misma como artista más madura, y hacer olvidar a la buena de Hannah Montana.

Ante esto, ¿qué ha hecho cada una?

La aproximación de Lady Gaga ha sido bastante inteligente. Después de una forzosa retirada de los escenarios (y de los medios sociales) por motivos de salud, rompió de repente su silencio con un look sorprendente, que ha ido mostrando poco a poco: Su look natural. Es decir, una imagen sin disfraces, aunque manteniendo su discurso alternativo e integrador para con sus “little monsters”.

lady gaga normal

En definitiva, se ha reposicionado sin renunciar a atributos base, que hacen que su público no se haya sentido alienado y abrace el cambio, mientras migra a una imagen sostenible y de mayor alcance.

Y en el otro extremo tenemos Miley Cyrus. Hablo de otro extremo pues su camino va en sentido exactamente contrario al de Lady Gaga, y ha sido completamente desacertado.  Porque en el mundo del Marketing en general, el cómo puede llegar a ser incluso más importante que el qué; y aunque el qué tenga sentido, un cómo mal diseñado puede ser devastador…

Que es lo que a mi entender, sucedió en los premios de la MTV con un show esperpéntico, en el que efectivamente dejó claro que Hannah Montana había muerto, para dar paso a una suerte de pelele de mal gusto y bastante vulgar:

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Dicen que Miley Cyrus sabía perfectamente lo que hizo. Creo que no. Hizo lo que le dijeron sus asesores, pero no era consciente de los efectos de la actuación… No dijo que la escena no sea remontable, pero sí que va a tener mucho mucho trabajo para hacerlo olvidar…

Con lo que adelante con las reinvenciones y reposicionamientos, , pero cuidando en detalle el cómo, no sea que nazca algo indeseado.

Espero vuestros comentarios en @ignaciogafo.


Ignacio Gafo


Congratulatory messages are flooding in from around the world to mark the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son, the third in line to the throne.

Which is a unique occasion for the BRANDS to join the congratulation showing off how creative they can be + engage with their customers.

I am enclosing a sample of the Advertising carried out. I look forward knowing your favourite one.



royal george j&j




 royal george coke



royal george oreo



Mini Royalty has arrived video



royal george magnum




royal george charmin 



royal george delta 



royal george granola 



royal george hostess snacks 



royal george hMumm



 royal george smurfs



royal george sb



Look forward for your comments here or @ignaciogafo.


Ignacio Gafo


How should you manage a traditional business like a Retail Store?

How far should you go in terms of online sales? What is the right balance between online and brick-and-mortar stores?

How shall you play in terms of global branding versus local heritage?

How to incorporate new technologies in order to enhance customer experience?

ahold supermarket

Ahold CEO, Dick Boer, explains in this interview from Mc Kinsey how he successfully managed to reshape Ahold business.

Some points to be considered would be :
- The importance of focusing on what you are really good at.

- Power to innovation… provided it will reinforce your positioning and provide with an enhanced customer experience.

- Do not get obsessed with Global Branding. Global Brands are not the best choice for all Industries.


- CSV can also take place in retailing. In this case, in what has been termed Responsible Retailing.

- Conflicts are going to be there. You should not escape from them but look for the right trade off.

- Last but not least, give things a trial. Step by step approaches are very sensible choice.

ahold brands

Ahold seems to be in the right track by focusing on their customers and their postioning. whilst keeping an eye on continuous improvement.

Good approach for Retail Busines, that will definitively give an edge to Ahold over other traditional players.

Look forward for your comments @ignaciogafo


Ignacio Gafo

PS: Sorry not not posting as usual. It has been quite hectic but I promise to come back to the usual delivery rates.


In two previous posts, Nacho and myself tried to approach the “Mou@Real Madrid” issue from a marketing perspective:




Now Mourinho is gone, and officially continues at Chelsea FC. Interestingly, marketing discussions followed him to England.

Marketing Magazine has an interesting article on what marketers can learn from Mourinho. Here it is:

My personal favorite is lesson number 1; “Do not be afraid to polarize opinion”. Evidence that Mourinho does this well comes from both the debate that Nacho and I had here, at the the IE Marketing Weblog, and the mixed reception that Mou had at his last game in Santiago Bernabeu:

Although polarization of opinions may sound negative at the first glance, in my opinion it is something to be embraced by any marketeer who wants to follow successful “segmentation-marketing-positioning”. In simple words, it is impossible to target “tech-lovers” without alienating (at least a bit, at the beginning) “tech-haters”. Or, a rock band cannot target a younger – revolutionary audience, without alienating older, more conservative audiences.




Finally, Real Madrid cannot have really loyal supporters, without making the Real Madrid brand disliked to Barcelona FC fans.

In sum, the moment a marketeer decides to position a brand at a segment, he/she decides that a different segment will probably dislike the brand. If the marketeer does a good job, the two segments may end up fighting on whether the brand is good or not. So, such a polarization of opinions, is a stamp of a job well done. Something marketeers should crave for, not be afraid of.

Oh, and I promise to stop Mourinho posts here. Enough with polarization :D



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


Ya los dijo Denise Shifman en The Age of Engage: El Marketing actual precisa conectar y enganchar con sus clientes. El Marketing ya no puede basarse en una comunicación unidireccional donde las marcas le dicen a sus clientes lo que tienen que hacer. Estamos en una nueva etapa, donde abordamos a clientes bien conectados e informados, que quieren interactuar con sus marcas, ser escuchados por éstas e incluso decirlas lo que tienen que hacer. Interacción en la que, como venimos diciendo en este blog, todo lo relacionado con el Marketing Digital es clave.


Dicho lo cual, hoy os quiero hablar someramente de una compañía que está arrancando iniciaitivas relacionales bastante interesantes, en aras de crear una Comunidad involucrada, activa y fidelizada en España. Os hablo de NIVEA, de la que quiero destacar 4 acciones:


1) Lanzamiento de “Nivea bajo la ducha”

El producto es un nuevo acondicionador corporal, que en este caso están entre otras cosas comunicando con un flashmob que se organizará en Madrid el próximo día 7 de Junio en Callao, donde regalarán muestras del producto y camisetas de Nivea.

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2) Stresswedding en Facebook

Esta segunda inciaitiva está en Facebook. Es una suerte de juego online, donde se invita a participar en las bodas de terceros, votando por la música a bailar en su boda.

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3) Nivea Tester Experience

Viene a ser una especie de foro de discusión basado en Facebook, donde las personas que se han registrado como testers de la marca, comparten sus opiniones sobre diferentes productos, y lanzan sus opiniones y recomendaciones.



4) Patrocinio del Real Madrid

Esto, es una línea diferente, puesto que está dirigido al público masculino de Nivea for Men. Patrocinio con el cual han iniciado diversas campañas y promociones, como la que lanzaron hace dos meses con una aplicación móvil con Marcelo, Higuaín, Arbeloa y Ramos entre otros, amén de diversos anuncios ATL.

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Los resultados están ahí: Crecimiento de la empresa en España a pesar de las crisis económica, 256,708 seguidores en Facebook y un posicionamiento de marca reforzado a golpe de innovación promocional. Bien por ellos. Esperamos más!

Espero vuestros comentarios en @ignaciogafo.


Ignacio Gafo




Vodafone transforma el Metro de Madrid

Written on April 25, 2013 by Ignacio Gafo in ADVERTISING, Branding

Esta semana Vodafone nos ha sorprendido a todos con el lanzamiento de la Línea Vodafone y de la Estación Vodafone Sol en el Metro de Madrid. Se trata de una iniciativa de patrocinio entre la empresa y la Comunidad de Madrid, por la que esta permite a la primera renombrar tanto una línea como una estación, a cambio de una cuantía no revelada.


vodafone metro
Se trata en realidad de una extensión a mayores del piloto que hizo Samsung esta Navidad, solo que con carácter permanente. Y que curiosamente ha despertado, a diferencia de lo que pasó en Navidad, un fenómeno binario en redes sociales, con firmes detractores y partidarios de la misma: Detractores que claman por lo que consideran un expolio comercial de un espacio publico; y defensores que respaldan la iniciativa por ser un win-win para ambas entidades.

Antes de pasar a mi(sesgado) análisis particular, arranco con algunos hechos que me parecen relevantes:

1) El estado financiero del Metro de Madrid: El metro es un servicio publico claramente deficitario, en tanto en cuanto genera 400 millones de € en ingresos, mientras tiene que hacer frente a 1.200 en gastos. Lo que se traduce en que la Comunidad tiene que afrontar un déficit de 800 millones de €,  en medio de una crisis donde le exigen que cuadre sus cuentas…

2) Las iniciativas de patrocinio de diversa índole de estadios y monumentos es una tendencia mundial arraigada, que poco a poco se va introduciendo en nuestro país. Tenemos así el Teatro Kodak y el American Airlines Arena de Miami en EEUU, el  Allianz Arena en Alemania, el Emirates Stadium en Inglaterra , y en la misma España, la Liga Endesa de Baloncesto, la liga BBVA de fútbol y el Teatro Caser Calderón por citar algunos ejemplos.


vodafone metro 2


Situación ante la que la Comunidad de Madrid y Vodafone, han trabajado en una acuerdo con el que:
– Se alivia la tensión de las arcas madrileñas.

- Se innova en un modelo ya presente en otros países. Que además puede ser replicable en el medio – largo plazo.

- Vodafone logra un publicity signifficativo, tanto a nivel nacional como internacional.

- Vodafone logra impactar a través de una publicidad notoria, relevante y efectiva de forma continuada a los madrileños y turistas de la capital.
¿Que se trata de un expolio publico? Que yo sepa el acuerdo solo contempla el rebranding durante el alcance del acuerdo. No se produce una transferencia de su propiedad. Además, la alternativa dada la coyuntura actual es clara: O se incrementan los ingresos (vía subidas de precio o mediante fórmulas como ésta), o se emprende el cierre parcial del servicio, con todo lo que implica de cargas sociales y despidos… Porque los servicios públicos, al igual que Whats app, ¡sí tienen un coste!

¿Que es perjudicial el impacto en marca para Vodafone en tanto en cuanto se va a haber asociada con un servicio público de calidad muy mejorable. Sinceramente ni creo que el servicio sea muy mejorable (para mi el servicio es e los mejores del mundo), ni creo que el efecto a medio- largo plazo sea negativo. ¡Más bien lo contrario!


vodafone metro3
Por lo que aplaudo la iniciativa de Vodafone y animo a las Administraciones a seguir explorando y explotando nuevos modelos de negocio y financiación. There is no other way!


Espero vuestras opiniones y comentarios en @ignaciogafo.

Ignacio Gafo

PS: Gracias Sr J. Gómez por arrancar la discusión en Facebook y provocar este post.


In a recent post (in Spanish –, my good friend Nacho explained why, Real Madrid should not keep José Mourinho – from a marketing perspective. In this post, my purpose is not to defend “poor Mou”, but rather to explicate reasons why he is a valuable asset to the Real Madrid brand. After all, marketing is not math, and usually correct marketing analysis brings together seemingly opposite views.

For starters, I completely agree with Nacho that today’s great football clubs should take good care of their brands and must reach global & diversified markets (with TV rights and merchandising) in order to secure revenues that will allow them to remain great in the longer run. Along these lines, Mou is clearly a valuable asset. He “sells” a lot – more than any other coach does (or ever did). For instance,  Mou merchandising is clearly a good source of income for Real Madrid.

In addition, the “Mou Show” is a central part of every RM, raising the value of RM TV rights. Would you prefer to watch the left or the right moments of coaching…


and joy?


These two sources of income of course will exist only as long us Mou stays. But the benefits that he brings to the RM brand are not only those. What is most interesting, in my opinion, is the effect that Mourinho has on the Real Madrid brand, if the two factors mentioned above(brand values & global markets) are examined  together. The critical questions are “How is the RM brand perceived by the new, global, consumers it tries to reach? What is important for these consumers? And how can Mou communicate these important brand attributes?”

To answer these questions, we must understand that traditional RM consumers (Madrid or Spain based Madridistas) have grown with the RM brand. On average, they know its values, its history, etc. in great detail. They are, in a way “experts” when it comes to Real Madrid. Newer RM consumers (e.g., in the Asian market), on the other hand, know only a little about the RM brand, and this little they have started learning recently. They are, in a sense “novices”. A seminal paper of consumer research (Alba and Hutchinson, 1987, Journal of Consumer Research) argues that these two types of consumers (experts versus novices) understand brands very differently.  Even if they have the same amount of information about the brand, novices tend to pay attention to the aspects of the brand that are easy to understand, and they view the brand as a whole, without necessarily examining all its aspects.

What this means in our case? That Asian consumers, for instance, would be more likely to understand the Real Madrid brand as representing “the best football team”, than to see it as representing “the best football team, with a strong attacking focus in its game, that follows the principles of Spanish sportsmanship”. The second, probably sounds like Greek to them, although it probably is perfectly understandable by traditional Madridistas.

And Mou? Well, he is (based on title wins) the best football coach. That makes him a PERFECT fit for the simple values of RM that consumers in the new markets understand, but merely an average fit for the more complicated view of the RM brand that more traditional Madridistas have. So, if the RM brand is to enter the global market, Mou is the man for the job. If they want to focus on their loyal, Spanish, customer base, he may be not. Of course, as time passes and new consumers get educated and more acquainted with the RM brand, Mou may stop being the man representing the brand values that new consumers understand the best. And then, it will be time for change.

A good example on this point comes from the Premier League. Both Liverpool and Manchester United have very strong brands and brand values in England, and in Europe in general. But who is getting more, from the Asian markets? Well, the one who is winning titles.


I would like to end with a more extreme point. Mourinho’s behavior (e.g., attacking everyone and anyone), which may look inappropriate to us, Europeans, is nothing but a manifestation of aggressive competition. Significant amount of research (a little part of which I am involved in*) shows that compared to people from East Asia, people from The Western world are more competitive and individualistic. So, in the eyes of Asian consumers, Mourinho may just be adding a validity stamp by being so aggressively competitive. He is the best at the sport that has dominated the competitive western world. So he should be himself, very competitive – even in a bad way. And he is. Consider this in analogy to food. Everyone knows that unhealthy food is bad, yet the correspondence “unhealthy=tasty” is frequent in our minds.

So what is the answer? Should Mou stay or should he go? Well, the answer probably is the usual as in many marketing problems. We have to do our research J.

What I think will happen? I believe that Mou is an excellent manager of his own brand. He understands that the Real Madrid brand is bigger than the Mou brand, and if he stays for long, it will weaken. So, chances are that he will leave, especially if he wins the Champions League (creating thus a tradition of winning and leaving).

*This Research has received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions ) of the European Union´s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under REA grant agreement No. 298420, and from the Asian Consumer Insight (ACI) Institute.
Antonios (Adoni) Stamatogiannakis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Marketing
IE Business School – IE University


El Año de Beyonce: Las reglas del Personal Branding

Written on April 5, 2013 by Jesús Rebollo in ADVERTISING, Branding

Estaréis de acuerdo conmigo en que si hay una artista que está marcando este primer semestre de 2013 es Beyonce.

La verdad es que no me interesa su aportación al mundo de la música sino su increible rol como Marca en sí misma.

Beyonce, como algunas otras artistas (Shakira, Lady Gaga, Madonna…) ha creado un universo de marca en el que el glamour, la sofisticación, la simpatía y el éxito se conjugan en una especie de fórmula maestra que la ha llevado a protagonizar 5 meses espectaculares que empezaron con su impresionante actuación en la Superbowl de este año celebrada en New Orleans.

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Y es que Beyonce ( y todo su equipo de asesores) ha implantado con un éxito indudable las claves del personal branding:

1.- Potenciar los rasgos de tu personalidad que te hacen diferente y atractivo para las marcas globales

2.- Crear y desarrollar una poderosa imagen que evolucione y se convierta en un trending topic cada vez que haya un cambio. (En el mundo de la moda y el deporte han habido muchos como el de Agassi cuando se quitó sus famosos vaqueros para jugar en Wimblendon, el cambio de look de Nadal cuando se convirtió en nº1 del mundo…)

3.- Ser el mejor en lo que haces. Y sino, al menos ser el líder en un aspecto (innovación, atractivo, notoriedad…)

4.- Fijar tus puntos de diferencia con la competencia y potenciar tu valor añadido a las marcas y empresas.

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Es evidente que Beyonce va mucho más allá y que ha conseguido ser una figura imprescindible para las principales marcas del mundo (L’Oreal, Armani…) Y ahora acaba de firmar un multimillonario contrato por más de 50 millones de dólares con Pepsi. Y su primer anuncio no puede ser más espectacular.

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A pesar de que por aquí nos gusta ser críticos, lo cierto es que en este caso, pocas razones hay para ser críticos. Una marca que genera una gran empatía y atractivo (Beyonce) y un universo de marcas globales que necesitan de personalidades únicas a través de las cuales transmitir sus mensajes.

No sé qué pensáis vosotros pero a mi, me parece una alianza difícilmente superable.

Pasadlo bien y decidme qué pensáis en @jesusrebollog!

Jesús Rebollo

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