Posts Tagged ‘Nuevas Tendencias#8217;

2
Oct

Jeff Bezzos took last september the 28th the role + image of Steve Jobs in a Apple like event, to introduce what he termed as a new service: The Kindle Fire.

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Thousands of articles have been written since then. They basically analyze the step taken and attempt to respond to these questions:

What is the Kindle Fire? Is it a new low cost tablet? A new concept? Or an Apple killer?

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Before jumping into the question, let me go through what I consider the ksf of Amazon:

- Customer Experience through closed ecosystems

- Collaboration

- Brand Loyalty

- Differentiation


The Customer Experience is key for them . As I explained in previous posts, Amazon is providing with an end to end experience by controlling all the steps of the value chain. The result is that the customer deals with Amazon from beginning to end, from selecting the items to be purchased to receiving and enjoying them. And the result is  a straight, simple and enjoyable experience, with no surprises at all.

Brand loyalty is a natural combination of this customer experience + the fact that Amazon is evolving and providing its customers with whatever they may need to be entertained (no matter if we are speaking about books, music, magazines, films, etc).  The latter, the width and update of content, is critical for, you may be tempted to purchase in other store if your natural supplier is outdated…  And being able to be up to it, had required Amazon to rethink their business model and launch a B2B business model where content providers and suppliers fit in a sustainable way.


And last but not least, they need to attain Differentiation. Great customer experience + collaboration + brand loyalty do not seem to be enough if you are competing with an industry killer like Apple. And here is where the last piece of the equation comes. In Bezzos´s words:

There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.”

Nice words, I know, but I really feel that Amazon is trying to be up to them. When all competitors (call it Samsung, BlackBerry or HP) are trying to launch an improved “me too” , Amazon has sticked to its basics and launched something consistent with their NDA.

So, what is the Amazon Kindle Fire? -Is it a new low cost tablet? A new concept? Or an Apple killer?


Could be all of them , and could be none. But to me, it is more about smart and differential follow up from a company obsessed with their customers and competitive principles.

Think Different!!!

Ignacio Gafo

PS: Sorry for writing again about Amazon (I realize that I did so two weeks ago) but after exchanging around 30 posts at Facebook with my friends Daniel Cuñado and Jorge Gomez, I could resist writing this down… Ths Daniel and Jorge to make me think further and dfferent!!!

22
Sep

Netflix is an Internet subscription service streaming television shows and movies. The Company’s subscribers can watch unlimited television shows and movies streamed over the Internet to their televisions, computers and mobile devices and in the United States, subscribers can also receive digital versatile discs (DVDs) delivered to their homes.

The company on Thursday morning revised downward its subscriber estimates for the quarter of the year that ends in two weeks.  The revision reflects the negative reaction to Netflix’s decision, announced in July, to separate its DVD-by-mail service from its faster-growing Internet streaming service. Before, DVD-by-mail was a $2 add-on for some streaming subscribers; now, each service now costs $8. Some subscribers were upset by what was effectively a price hike, and a subset of them have cancelled their Netflix accounts.

To make matters worse, the company announced a plan to split Netflix into two separate businesses, one for Internet streaming, which will still be called Netflix, and one for DVDs by mail, which will be called Qwikster. The company’s Web site was inundated with angry messages.

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Netflix viewed the pricing scheme as a necessary step that would allow it to keep mailing DVDs and would give it more money to spend on licenses for streaming content.

But the change has spurred about a million of its 25 million customers in the United States to drop their subscriptions, , and its stock has fallen almost 52 percent since the change was announced.

Amazing, you will agree with me.

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Why didn´t they manage the price increase in a different way? Why not doing some research or at least some testing for understanding the potential effects? Didn´t they realice why people where purchasing from them? Didn´t they consider the side effects n branding and customer loyalty?

And if you realice that you messed  it up: Why not apologizing with your customers? Why not launching a win back campaign? Why not going back to your original price level? Why going forward with the company split if you have suffered such a reaction from your customer base?

Quite a few questions for which I do not have a response but a warning:

Keep connected to your customers. Listen to them and understand why they are purchasing from you. If not you are the perfect candidate to mess it up again and again…

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

18
Sep

BIENVENIDO MR AMAZON

Written on September 18, 2011 by Ignacio Gafo in International Marketing, Trade Marketing & Retailing, Uncategorized

El pasado miércoles 14, Amazon abría su filial española. Y lo hacía con unas palabras de Jeff Bezos, fundador y Consejero Delegado de la Empresa en las que decía: “España es un nuevo comienzo que nos ofrece la posibilidad de crecer añadiendo productos y categorías. Hoy también estamos abriendo las puertas a nuestro marketplace, que brinda a los vendedores y clientes de España la oportunidad de vender en Amazon.es“.

Grandes palabras, pero ¿qué va a suponer la apertura de esta filial? ¿Va a ser realmente una ansiada revolución o una proclama vacua, sin más efecto real que el ruido inicial? Vamos por partes.

La Oferta de Amazon en España

La tienda de Amazon ofrece nueve categorías de producto, con más de 2,5 millones de libros en castellano y otros idiomas, como el catalán, el euskera o el inglés; más de 450.000 CD de música; más de 130.000 películas en DVD y blu-ray; más de 15.000 productos relacionados con los videojuegos; más de 65.000 artículos de electrónica, y otros productos como pequeños electrodomésticos, relojes y juguetes.
Entre las principales novedades será la posibilidad de adquirir el Kindle, el lector de libros electrónicos de Amazon, aunque no será posible la compra directa desde el portal español. Al que lo quiera, se le redirigirá a otra web del Grupo, para poder acceder a un catálogo con más de 13.000 libros electrónicos en castellano.

Los productos se distribuirán en el mercado español a través de los centros de distribución que Amazon tiene repartidos por otros países europeos, aunque los costes de envío variarán en función del país.

Teniendo el consumidor español, la posibilidad de contratar una ‘tarifa plana’ de 14,95 euros que cubre los gastos de envío de todo un año. Lo que forma parte del programa de suscripción ‘Amazon Premium’ y permitirá disfrutar de un número ilimitado de envíos garantizados en 2 a 3 días en Península e Islas Baleares.

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¿Qué podemos esperar del desembarco?

Las credenciales de Amazon son impresionantes. Realmente ha revolucionado el mundo de la Distribución Minorista, sobre todo de libros, llevando en EEUU a que librerías muy sólidas y consolidadas como Borders se llegara a declarar en bancarrota…

En España no está tan claro. Si nos centramos en el mercado de los libros, que es donde a priori más impacto van a tener, nos encontramos con un gran dominador a nivel de distribución, El Corte Inglés, seguido de La Casa del Libro y Fnac. En los tres se pueden comprar los libros tanto en las tiendas como a través de sus tiendas online, aunque hoy por hoy parece prevalecer todavía la venta en el primer canal.

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Si consideramos que por un lado Amazon en España viene de momento a ofrecer algo parecido, y que por otro, hoy por hoy la experiencia de compra online y presencial en su competencia es bastante razonable (así es por lo menos mi experiencia), parece que a Amazon sólo le quedaban tres caminos a seguir:

a) Apostar por desarrollar a sus clientes españoles que ya le estaban comprando (libros en español o en otros idiomas), de tal manera que ganen wallet share de los mismos y potencien por boca a oreja la marca y ventas de Amazon.

b) Apostar directamente por precio, tal y como hizo en sus orígenes en EEUU, para ganar cuota de mercado y construir sobre la misma. Estrategia a ejecutarse considerando los límites establecidos en la Ley de la Lectura, del Libro y de las Bibliotecas (Ley 10/ 2007).

c) Apostar por un nuevo formato: El libro electrónico y su dispositivo Kindle. Que supone desarrollar  un negocio creciente pero todavía limitado en España, sujeto a una compleja normativa legal.

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Sinceramente, esperaba que Amazon hubiese desembarcado con su esperada Tableta y con el tercer formato. Pero de momento, nos vamos a tener que conformar con una mezcla de las otras dos: Gran variedad de artículos en español y en otros idiomas, con promociones de fidelización como la mencionada tarifa plana. Con limitada respuesta por parte de sus competidores que han lanzado ofertas paralelas, como el envío de libros a 1€ por parte de Fnac…

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Aunque, ¿quién sabe? Puede que esto sólo sea la primera oleada de un gran desembarco, y que este blogger tenga que volver a escribir por Navidad…

Como sea, bienvenido Mr Amazon. Ojalá que esto no sea como la película, y que derive en mucho mucho más…

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

PS: Mis disculpas por adelantado si el simil con “Bienvenido Mr Marshall” no es el más adecuado en el parecer de alguien. La película es para mí una obra maestra y fue lo primero que me vino a la mente cuando pensé al pensar en este post…

12
Aug

Me meto a sabiendas en un tema delicado. Dado la cual quiero empezar haciendo dos matizaciones:

  • Este post no pretende más que ser un reflexión de lo que supone la Visita desde un punto de vista económico y de marketing. Simplemente pretende analizar la visita desde esta perspectiva, lo que seguramente hará de este análisis algo incompleto pero no sesgado.
  • Hablo de coste o de inversión, y no de negocio, puesto que doy por supuesto que una visita de carácter religioso, no se rige por términos mercantilistas. A menos que se demuestre lo contrario; cosa que en esta situación no ha ocurrido.

Aclarado esto entro en faena. La discusión en todos los medios sobre las Jornadas Mundiales de la Juventud, parece de todo menos racional. Tengo la impresión de que es claramente ideológica y que, a partir de una postura tomada, se emprende una búsqueda de argumentos para defender la convicción asumida… Lo que ha llevado a plantearse una pregunta incorrecta por lo limitado de su alcance: “¿Cuánto cuesta a España y a los españoles la visita?”. Cuando a mi entender lo que nos debemos plantear es otra cosa diferente: “¿QUE APORTA A ESPAÑA LAS JORNADAS MUNDIALES DE LA JUVENTUD?” Entiéndase que desde un punto de vista económico y de marketing, como he dicho al principio.


Aportaciones que podemos enfocar desde cuatro puntos de vista:

Þ      Impacto económico directo

Þ      Impacto económico indirecto

Þ      Impacto en la Marca España

Þ      Impactos Personales, Económicos y de Marca

Los impactos económicos directos son lo que han salido publicados en todos los medios, en los que parece haber un claro consenso:

  • Coste directo estimado de 50 millones de €.
  • Ingresos de 50 millones de €. Provenientes en un 65% de las aportaciones de los peregrinos que acudirán al acto (entre 500.000 y 1,2 millones), y en un 35% de aportaciones de empresas.

De momento todo claro. Parece a priori que se llega a una situación de equilibrio, pero hay otra serie de consideraciones económicas indirectas igualmente relevantes:

  • Desde un punto de vista de costes, la Administración tiene que asumir unos costes extraordinarios en materia de seguridad y servicios sanitarios, de muy difícil estimación; el Estado asume igualmente una pérdida retributiva al marcar el evento como acto de interés especial y permitir a las empresas donantes, deducirse el 80% de lo que donen. Que da lugar a 15.000.000 x 0,8 = 12 millones de € que se dejan de recaudar.
  • Desde el punto de vista de ingresos, es evidente que se genera una serie ingresos extraordinarios derivados de la organización del evento per sé + el consumo y gastos de los peregrinos mientras estén en nuestro país. Que se vea como se vea, tiene que ser claramente positivo. No me atrevo a validar el dato facilitado por la organización de JMJ de 100 millones de €, pero sí a hacer un cálculo rápido: Si tomamos la base de 700.000 peregrinos, asumimos que van a estar un promedio de 4 días y van a gastar en promedio 30 € diarios, el impacto positivo asciende a 700.000 x 30 x 4 = 84 millones de €. Lo que a priori es mucho más elevado que los 12 millones que dejamos de recaudar, y arroja un amplio margen para sufragar los otros costes referidos…

Esto es básicamente lo analizado en medios. Pero también tenemos que pensar lo siguiente: ¿CUAL ES EL IMPACTO DEL EVENTO EN LA MARCA ESPAÑA? ¿Se crea o se destruye valor para la marca España por la organización del evento? ¿Cómo queda la imagen de la capacidad organizativa de España después del evento: Favorecida y destruida? ¿Qué sucede con la imagen turística de España? ¿Se incrementa o disminuye la probabilidad de que los peregrinos vuelvan y prediquen las virtudes de España como conclave turístico, gastronómico y cultural? Y aquí, a falta de analizar el ultimo factor del que hablo a continuación, creo que salvo hecatombe mayúscula altamente improbable (como caos organizativo o desastre impredecible), la imagen de España sale claramente reforzada, En un momento por cierto, en el que necesitamos hacerlo… (de muestra, preguntad a conocidos vuestros de Alemania o USA para tener una idea de lo que hablo). Para modelar una percepción de Marca que sin duda, tiene un valor económico muy relevante.

Hasta aquí, desde la óptica que hemos tomado, parece que el efecto neto es bastante positivo. Pero, algo que a priori es constructivo para un país y su marca, puede devenir en algo negativo por la incursión de intereses personales, que pretenden anteponerse al colectivo. Intereses personales que aprovechan la cobertura internacional y mediática para reivindicarse y lograr un impacto comunicacional inalcanzable en circunstancias normales. Lo que es perfectamente legal, aunque conduce a que gran parte de las economías positivas que he mencionado, posiblemente se diluyan y pierdan, pudiendo hasta tornarlas negativas. Porque, ¿qué tipo de imagen va a proyectar España si se llega a producir un boicoteo del evento o una fuerte alteración del mismo? ¿Qué tipo de experiencia van a tener los peregrinos al encontrarse con calles cortadas y la imposibilidad de movilizarse adecuadamente? ¿Qué tipo de cobertura va a tener España y cuál va a ser su impacto? ¿Qué capital conversacional generamos?

Insisto en que esto último puede ser justificable pero, desde un punto de vista económico y de marketing, sería como si en una corporación convaleciente y con múltiples líneas de producto, algunas de éstas, para lograr posicionarse y ganar en el corto plazo, arremetieran contra la marca corporativa y hundieran todavía más el valor de la acción…

Como decía, al principio, esto es solo una visión marketiniana. Faltan por supuesto otras muchas variables a considerar. Pero desde las estrecheces de esta perspectiva, solo parece tener sentido un apoyo  a la iniciativa por sus economías positivas en ingresos netos, marca y experiencia de cliente.

La consultora PwC se ha comprometido a auditar a posteriori los impactos del evento. Esperemos a los mismos para ver qué ha prevalecido y qué tan cerca o lejos hemos estado de la realidad.

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

11
Aug

DOLL WARS: WHEN THE BRATZ HIT BACK

Written on August 11, 2011 by Ignacio Gafo in Branding, International Marketing

Everypbdy thought it was a quick an easy win of Matterl over MGA Entertainment. A disproportionate legal action of America´s (theoretical) favourite doll over its new and ambitious contender, Bratz… However, a  federal judge has just ordered Mattel, to pay MGA Entertainment, which introduced the Bratz line of multi-ethnic dolls a decade ago, more than $309m in damages, fees and other costs arising from a legal dispute that started in 2004.

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In 2004 Mattel alleged that one of its former employees, Carter Bryant, had come up with the Bratz line of sassy dolls while he was working at the company that left the company and brought the idea to the much smaller MGA.

It was contention that at first found favour in the courts. In 2008, a jury agreed that Mr Bryant had violated the terms of his “inventions agreement” with Mattel by developing the Bratz brand at the rival company. That ruling was overturned on appeal and a new trial was ordered. In April this year, a new jury said Mattel had not demonstrated copyright infringement. Instead, it said Mattel had been stealing ideas from MGA.

The award announced by Judge David Carter late on Thursday confirmed that finding and was welcomed by the MGA chief executive, Isaac Larian, as the fruit of his company’s years of efforts to stand up to its much larger accuser.

The original case centred on Mattel’s contention that Mr Bryant dreamed up the hip-hop Bratz dolls in 1999 when he was a full-time employee at the company. He has insisted on the stand however that first glimmerings of the Bratz line actually came to him one year earlier when he was on a break from Mattel.

The Bratz camp is not satisfied yet, however, and says it will seek further compensation for what it claims has been the “criminal” assaults against it by Mattel. “We will now pursue our anti-trust case against Mattel and its CEO Bob Eckert in order to get fully compensated for the damages Mattel has caused MGA,” Mr Larian added.

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Mattel can’t claim a monopoly over fashion dolls with a bratty look or attitude, or dolls sporting trendy clothing – these are all unprotectable ideas,” Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said.  Mattel should take note and instead of showing up their disasspointement with the verdict they should walk their talk (“Mattel first priority is, and always has been, to make and sell the best toys in the world”) and forget about trying to reinvent marketing through Prosecution. It will be the only way to keep on leading the 1 billion US$ doll market.


This way, Mattel will surely invest on delivering best in class products, and not engaging in legal suits that distract investors, employees and stakeholders. Hopefully, MGA will also learn from this.

To be continued…


THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

10
Jul

You have surely heard about the recent launch of Google´s new social network: Google +. You might have actually received an invitation to join the elite that has been carefully selected to kick off the project.. And you are definitively wondering if they will manage at last, this is the third attempt they make, to become a dominant player in the social network arena. That is not surprising, if you realize that a big  chunk of the digital advertising is at stake…

It is funny to me when I think about what they are doing to succeed, for they are replicating pretty faithfully what their most criticized enemy, Microsoft, did some years ago: Play hard leveraging on a complementary product where they have a sort of monopoly.

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Let me make a quick draft of what they are doing for making the launch work:

1. Build and play with scarcity

2. Keep on launching till it works

3. Make the most out of your enemy

4. Leverage on your core dominating products

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The first one, build and play with scarcity is business as usual for Google. Whenever they go with something new, they go for a beta version that is only available for an exclusive target that will work with the product and provide Google with valuable input for free.

In this particular case they have not called it Beta but made the product avaiable to a selective amount of proud users (from what I have observed mainly well-connectd techies), that have not only played with the new product but boasted restlessly about their new discovery.  Because, you got it, you can only join by invitation…

The latter has created a strong buzz, getting quite a few aspirants demanding to join urgently the new club. Situation in which the aspirants have been joining little by little because, according to the Company, the unexpected level of demand was much higher than their supply capabilities. Which has led to an increasing demand and perceived value due to the scarcity generated…

The second point is an interesting one. Only big pocket companies can afford to launch again and again till it works. This has been the case of Microsoft with Windows Mobile and is also the case of Google with social networks. They have already failed twice, but gaining this battle is a must that the company cannot lose. Not sure if they have really learned about previous experiences, but this time they are putting more pressure and resources to give it the final push…

The third one is a well-thought one: Facebook has started to lose a bit of its appeal as long as it has massified too much, and has not properly protected the network information it possess. Google is therefore pushing hard against them, introducing something positioned as unique and exclusive, while providing tools to Facebook users, to export (and invite) all their contacts to the new social network with a good level of discrimination. Facebooks has responded by blocking the export tool; let´s see how long does it take for them to improve the ability to discriminate…

And last but not least, it has integrated the new product with the ones where they are dominant: The Google search, Gmail and other Google functionalities., through which you will be continuously be invited to join. Similar to what Microsoft did with the Explorer, that ended up giving to the so much trouble… Google claims that this will provide the end customer with a unique customer experience, but that is something that still needs to be seen…

Tough time for Facebook and great one for the end customer, that will end up benefitting from a wider range of products with better functionality and end to end experience. We will see what happens, but it is fair to admit that Google has done a pretty smart move.

The Empire (Google, the scientists) has striken back; time for The Jedis (Facebooks, the hackers) to return.

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

18
Apr

Hay ciertos momentos en la vida en que la irracionalidad se apodera de nosotros. La emoción nos embarga y nos impide pensar con claridad. Son momentos que afrontamos como únicos, en los que nuestra ansia de perfección impide cualquier atisbo lógico en nuestras decisiones. A uno de ellos ya me refería al hablar del matrimonio; hoy hablaré de otro, que es el nacimiento de un primer hijo…

Un amigo me había prevenido al respecto: “Ten cuidado; hay un gran negocio armado alrededor de los bebés” y de hecho pensaba estar perfectamente prevenido, hasta que claro, me he hayado en situación de comprar…

Mi historia comienza con un carrito. Sí ya sabéis, un carrito para un bebé. Que uno, inexperto en estos temas, asociaba como algo parecido a lo que era una silita para niños algo entrados en edad…

Y ¿qué hace uno cuando tiene una compra teóricamente de bajo compromiso y tiene horarios laborales absurdos? Pues muy fácil,: Ir a El Corte Inglés.  Centro al que fui acompañado por mi mujer un sábado cerca de las 10 de la noche. Para variar, nadie me atendía cuando, oh sorpresa, se me acerca un vendedor que me pregunta que qué modelo busco en concreto. El mismo se relame cuando le digo que nada en particular, dando comienzo a su exposición… Empieza explicándome que lo que busco no es una sillita, sino un medio de transporte para mi bebé que, dada su indefensión y trote al que seguro voy a someter, requiere de por lo menos una solución completa compuesta de capacho, sillita de paseo y sillita para el coche. Aclarado lo cual me enseña un modelo de dudosa reputación, para inmeditamente llevarnos al best seller, Bugaboo, que duplicaba en precio al anterior por una combinación de tecnología, funcionalidad, diseño y no sé qué más…

Sorprendidos por la evolución del producto, en funcionalidad y precio, optamos por lo que hubiera sido nuestro primer paso, de haber sabido a qué nos ateníamos: Información intensiva sobre el mercado y su oferta a través de Internet + Amigos, en este mismo orden.

La parte de Internet fue fácil. Hicimos un google con coches para niños y a bucear… Por supuesto empezamos por los listados de arriba (hábilmente colocados por su conocimiento de SEM y capacidad financiera), para continuar con críticas y revisiones en diversos foros más o menos actualizados. En los que curiosamente encontrabas opiniones de todo tipo, aunque en su gran mayoría extremas, sobre las prestaciones de cada modelo en particular…

Información que acto seguido cotejamos con amigos que se han visto o están en situación, y que tienen lógicamente una opinion formada al respecto.  En la que de nuevo encontramos dos opiniones extremas: Gente que te venía a decir que no merecía la pena pagar un premium price de un 50% , y gente que te venía a decir que el price gap se justificaba por dar algo mejor al bebé.

De lo anterior hicimos una preselección de lo más ilustre (Bugaboo, Stokke y Mima) guardando en la recámara otras opciones más asequibles (Chicco, Jané, etc), que complementamos con una búsqueda intensiva de precios y ofertas por Internet y conocidos ahora selectos.

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Hecha la cual, volvemos al punto de origen: El Corte Inglés.  En el mismo nos vuelve a atender alguien, que parecía más abierto que el anterior, y que no parece un promotor. Le preguntamos por lo ilustre y, después de centrarse en Stokke y Bugaboo (ignora directamente a Mima), nos enseña una nueva marca que acaba de llegar y que parecía tener buen precio, hasta que le incluimos los accesorios correspondientes… Preguntamos por el resto de cochecitos, y decidimos no comprar al no haber ofertas, pues sabíamos de dos sitios con precios mejores…

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Vamos al primero de elllos, que habíamos encontrado por Internet. Nos gustaba por que tenía una amplia variedad de marcas y por que queríamos ver algo más. Pero al atendernos nos preguntan directamente que qué modelo buscamos y se les tuerce el gesto cuando pedimos que nos enseñen algo más. Los precios son un poco más baratos que El Corte Inglés y nos vamos; no estamos dispuestos a que nos hagan un favor por vendernos un producto de 1.000 €…

doo

Así que optamos por la última opción. Era una macrotienda especializada (Todonenes) en la que aparte de buenas ofertas, nos habían dicho que el trato era inmaculado. Llegamos y, por hacerlo corto, se pasan con nosotros dos horas de reloj enseñándonos modelos y explicándonos las diferencias entre los mismos. Nos terminan de convencer de comprar un modelo de los selectos , en parte por la explicación, en parte por que tenía un paquete a precio muy competitivo y en parte por estar recién lanzado y no estar muy visto. Comprado lo cual, aprovechamos el paseo hasta allí para comprar accesorios varios cuya existencia desconocía hasta ese momento…. Ya de vuelta de Villaviciosa en el coche, mi remordimiento por haber tenido a una vendedora más de dos horas se desvaneció, pues en un instante de lucidez, comprendí que habíamos arrasado con media tienda.  Eso sí, sin tener la sensación de haber hecho un mal negocio, puesto que sí es verdad que me hicieron un descuento importante por todo lo que nos llevamos… De momento, que cuando vayamos a recoger el carrrito, seguro que nos vamos con la otra mitad que dejamos sin comprar…

Las lecciones son muchas y sólo apunto algunas:

-       Aunque la gente se embauque de irracionalidad, siempre hay un espacio para la lógica.

-       Tenemos que tener mucho cuidado con la experiencia de cliente que estamos buscando. Figuras como los promotores pueden promocionar la venta, pero no necesariamente generar la experiencia adecuada..

-       Para los que no se hayan dado cuenta, el posicionamiento en Internet y sobre todo la recomendación (capital conversacional) que generemos son vitales, sobre todo en productos de compromiso medio y alto.

-       A final, lo que importa es dar un buen servicio al cliente, apostar por su satisfacción y fidelidad, y por el medio y largo plazo. Aunque tengamos que dedicarle dos horas…

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

7
Apr

Let me start this blog by making a guess. I bet that these questions have come to your mind in the last months:

-       What is Marketing?

-       What are the key principles applicable to it?

-       What are their KSF?

-       If it is an art or science?

-       Has it changed so much over the last years?


You can definitively find a wide variety of defintions about Marketing and I guess that most of them would be ok. Marketing is wide and complex entity made of different perspectives, that each one of us adopt based on our professional and personal experience.

We seemed to be pretty sure about our own interiorized Marketing Definition but nothing seems to be like in the old days! We are facing a new context where:

-       The  customers have evolved amazingly (they really know what they want, want to have a say in our company and are pretty well informed).

-       New Marketing Tools have gained momentum (just take a look at all the Digital Apps to understand what I mean), and the old ones do not seem to work as they used to (take a look at tv campaigns for instance).

-       Efficiency and ROI seem to mandate any marketing decision to be made.

Has it changed so much?  I do personally have the opinion that the principles have not changed and we actually keep on doing the same: Satisfying needs in a profitable way, by the successful management and application of three core attributes:

1.     Common Sense.

2.     Trust

3.     Think Different!!!

Those of you that followed my postings for years, know that I have placed most of my emphasis in the latter (THINK DIFFERENT!!!), assuming that the other two where there.  However, I have systematically found in the last years that is not the case and need to bring them back to our marketing management…

COMMON SENSE should be the basis of any management decision. I would say that it is not only a question of being logical, reasonable and fact based. In the specific case of Marketing it would imply applying the described logic, upon considering the core marketing principles underlying the science of Marketing.

The latter is the first step but is not enough in itself. Sticking to it would lead us to a non-creative approach, to a lack of innovation, that eventually lead our brands and propositions to a “me too” positioning, where the only differential element is price. In consequence, we need to apply a THINK DIFFERENT!!! approach based on new ways of thinking, new ways of addressing our customers, new business models and new ways of management. That will lead us, at least for the short and medium term, to an edge over competition.


So the question would then be, what do we need to make the edge sustainable? Very simple: Build (real) TRUST . Trust with your customers, with your stakeholders, with your employees, with your investors, with your suppliers, with the society you are dealing with.  Believe me, it is the only way!

Think for a second about what is going on right now in the world. To me it is not a question of economic crisis or paradigm-shift, it is basically a lack of Trust. People are tired of being cheated, of companies that are not up to their promises, of brands that not comply with their generated expectations …  Which  has led them to look for new alternatives and companies and brands they can really trust, being the result a new scenario where:

New companies that convey respectability have flourished.

- Existing leading companies like HP, P&G and Ali Baba, are pushing their corporate values and demanding their employees to comply with them , no matter what.

SO WHAT IS MARKETING ABOUT? COMMON SENSE + THINK DIFFERENT!!! + TRUST. It works like mathematics.

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

6
Mar

ANGRY BIRDS is a puzzle video game developed by Finland-based Rovio Mobile, in which players use a slingshot to launch birds at pigs stationed on or within various structures, with the intent of destroying all the pigs on the playfield. Inspired by a simple sketch of stylized wingless birds, the game was first released for Apple’s iOS in December 2009. Since that time, over 12 million copies of the game have been purchased from Apple’s App Store, which has prompted the company to design versions for other touchscreen-based smartphones, such as those using the Android operating system, among others. Rovio Mobile has supported Angry Birds with numerous free updates that add additional game content, and the company has even released stand-alone holiday versions of the game.

Angry Birds has been praised for its successful combination of addictive gameplay, comical style, and low price. Its popularity led to versions of Angry Birds being created for personal computers and gaming consoles, a market for merchandise featuring its characters and even long-term plans for a feature film or television series. With over 50 million downloads across all platforms, the game has been called “one of the most mainstream games out right now” and “one of the great runaway hits of 2010″.

The application has recently been awarded at the 2011 World Mobile Congress as the Application of the Year on the Apple Platform + Best Mobile Application.

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Quite impressive but, WHAT LIES BEHIND ITS SUCCESS?

In the video that I enclose, Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio hints the key success factors that have made the difference for them.

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Among them, I would like to emphasize the following ones:

- Smart Brand Management, that started in one niche of the Mobile Areas has expanded gradually, first to the rest of the Mobile and then to other areas of entertainment.

- State-of-the- art customer experience, through a game that is easy to play and turns out to be really catchy (you can spend hours playing without noticing it!).

- Adaptation to the new trends and market. Specifically, it was designed to the new touch devices, that have been mainly focused on early adopters.

- Gradual and segmented approach. Did not try to go for the whole market at once but first started to the i-phone early adopters and trend setters, and then moved to aother platforms such as Android.

- Simple but adapted process of monetization, familiar to every segment: 0,99 pay per download for the Apple Store + download for free with advertising support model for Android.

- Focus on retention. A download is not enough for them. They want users to keep on playing and manage to do so by providing them with free and continuous updates.

- Right tracking. Focused on two core kpis.

- Brand and game extension once they have achieved a very consolidated position. Specifically, they are to launch a game for Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii and have just launched Angry Birds´Toys.

- Think hard about Marketing + Branding. Took their time (8 months) to make sure to come up with something really differential.

I am really curious how they will evolve the Brand and Business further in the future. But, as Peter says, bearing in mind that only Apple users spend 65 million minutes per day on their game, it looks that they have a bright future ahead! I leave you with a trailer of a new version of the game in Rio de Janeiro, to be realeased within this month…

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Enjoy the game but be careful. It is really addictive!!!

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

16
Jan

It has been a while since we spoke about Starbucks. Last time I did so, the company was going through a deep crisis, that plummeted the share value and made Mr Schultz taking back the reigns of the Empire.

What is going on with Starbucks now?  What have been the key measures adopted in the last year and a half? What can we expect from the new measures adopted? What can we say about the new corporate and marketing strategy under implementation? And last but not least, what does the future look like?W

Quite a few question to be addressed and answered in a blog. So let me stick to the core initiatives and raise some comments and questions around them.

Mr Schultz had to deal with a very difficult situation: Sales were going down dramatically, profits followed the same trend, the brand has lost momentum and the product was compared to that of Mac Donalds and Dunkin Donuts.

The first decisions were painful. In early 2009, Starbucks announced it would cut thousands of jobs and close 300 stores — but the fortunes of the chain and Mr. Schultz have improved greatly since then. Thanks to more traffic in the stores and renewed earnings growth, shares of Starbucks have risen above $24 a share What is more, in the spring of 2010, Starbucks announced its first dividend to be paid in cash to investors and said its profit rose more than eightfold in the second quarter, as more customers visited its stores and spent more.  If we add that in fiscal 2010 the firm’s operating margins rebounded to 13.8%, the highest in its 40-year history, it looks that the company is in good shape again…

Good and positive scenario for Mr Schultz, that has decided to move forward with two very controversial decisions:

1. To stop the deal with Kraft Foods, for getting their Consumer Packaged Goods sold directly by them.

2. To change their logo, and skip from it the wording. The words “Starbucks” and “coffee” will disappear. And the mermaid, or siren, will be freed from her circle.

Decisions that bring up the following questions to my mind:

1. What is the business of Starbucks? Where is the future growth coming from? It is expected to come from sales at coffee shops or from packaged goods sold? And is it coming mainly from international expansion or from the domestic american market?

2. What are the long term consequences of the change of the logo? It is an evolution like the one we saw with Nike some time a go, or a involution towards chaos? Will they succeed in their diversification or will it be the beginning of another downward cycle?

I will not take the questions for now. but raise some points that will shed light on the analysis to be done:

- where is the real growth coming from

- till what extent the growth attained is sustainable

- the side effects of their expansion and diversification

- the role that rejectors of the change will play on the Brand and Corporation

Which are closely linked to something fundamental, we could not lose out of sight:

What does Starbucks is actually sellng? Product? Service? Brand? Image? Quality? Customer Satisfaction? Experience?

Whatever the response, as long as the Corporate and Marketing Strategy reinforces it, they will succeed in the mid and long run. If not, the siren queen, will be betrayed again…

THINK DIFFERENT!!!

Ignacio Gafo

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