Grey is the colour of our price gouge salvation »

In this BRW article, Mark Ritson addresses the burning question:  Why are prices in Australia so much higher than elsewhere?

I have had this conversation many times and people usually try to justify it by pointing to our geographic isolation or arguing that wages are so high in Australia that it costs more to get products to us.

My view is that in most cases this is frog shit.  As Ritson points out, the root of the problem lies in our willingness to pay higher prices.  There has been a lack of real foreign competition in Australia that cosy oligopolies have grown accustomed to fleecing us on everything from books to sneakers to downloads.  Australian consumers got used to this and now we don’t bat an eyelid at paying 70% more than Americans or Europeans pay for the same products.

Fortunately for us, there is hope on the horizon (but only if we get off our collective arse and do something about it).  The combination of strong demand for brands in Australia and the huge disparities in the prices we pay versus other markets that Aussies are increasingly searching our grey market goods.

A grey market is the trade of something through a distribution channel that, while legal, is unauthorised or unintended by the original manufacturer.  Whilst the goods are legit, you’re buying them from a source that the manufacturer did not intend.  For example, I recently bought myself a Bally duffle bag through a Japanese online marketplace called Rakuten.  David Jones in Melbourne was charging $1,500 for it.  I paid $700. I did this again at Christmas time and saved almost $1,500 on a Celine handbag for my wife.

This gap will only close if more Australian consumers cotton on to the fact that they are being royally shafted and seek out lower prices through alternative channels.

9 months ago / 0 notes
How to Brand a Next-Generation Product »

Carmen Nobel, HBS

Many companies choose either the sequential naming approach (Sony’s successive PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 video game consoles, for example) or the complete name change approach (Nintendo’s Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii). Professors from Harvard and London Business Schools conducted a series of experiments to determine when and why each approach made the most sense:

1.  Brand name continuation vs name change

"With a name change, participants tended to expect features that were distinctly different or new," Ofek says. "With a name continuation, they just expected improved performance on existing features."

2.  Risk vs reward

"The perception is that if it’s a brand name continuation, it’ll be somewhat better than the previous model, but it won’t be buggy and there won’t be a learning curve," Gourville says. "With a brand name change, you infer that there may be a steep learning curve, and it may work differently from your previous camera."

3.  Creative sequences

A brand name change also comes with the risk of disappointing consumers who expect more from the product than they otherwise would have.

"If you’re really just tweaking the previous generation of your product, it’s probably much better to use brand name continuation than brand name change," Gourville says. "Otherwise people will be led to believe that there are massively new features in there, and you’ll just lead them to disappointment."

1 year ago / 2 notes
Lego:  Imagine (Jung von Matt, Germany) 1 year ago / 4 notes
Lego:  Imagine (Jung von Matt, Germany) 1 year ago / 4 notes
Crap: Why the single biggest threat to content marketing is content marketing »

The growing deluge of content marketing will inevitably result in consumers raising barriers against content marketing in the same way they now ignore traditional advertising.

Only those who can build great content brands will be in a position to protect themselves. A great content brand is a brand that’s famous for producing intelligent, useful and entertaining content that’s always worth consuming.

1 year ago / 4 notes
1 year ago / 0 notes
Coca Cola:  Christmas Can (Ogilvy, China) 1 year ago / 2 notes
1 year ago / 0 notes
7 Basic Types of Stories: Which One is your Brand Telling? »

Tim Nudd, Adweek

From Shakespeare to Spielberg to Soderbergh, there are only really seven different types of stories - seven archetypal themes that recur in every kind of storytelling.

The challenge becomes finding which one best suits your brand, and then telling it skillfully, believably and - if you’re going to invite customers to join in the story - extremely carefully.

1.  Overcoming the Monster

Literary example:  David and Goliath

Ad example:  Apple’s attack on Big Brother in “1984”

2.  Rebirth

Film example:  It’s a Wonderful Life

Ad example:  Droga5’s “Day One” of retirement campaign for Prudential

3.  Quest

Literary example:  Lord of the Rings

Ad example:  IBM’s “Predictive Maintenance” campaign

4.  Journey and Return

Film example:  The Wizard of Oz

Ad example:  Corona’s “Find Your Beach” campaign

5.  Rags to Riches

Ad example:  Johnnie Walker - “The Man Who Walked Around the World”

6.  Tragedy

Literary example:  Greek classics

Ad example:  PSA’s such as St John Ambulance’s “Helpless” campaign

7.  Comedy

Ad example:  Old Spice Danger Zone

1 year ago / 0 notes
1 year ago / 8 notes
1 year ago / 2 notes
Burberry Sets Benchmark for Digitally Led Retail »

Burberry is bringing the best elements of its into its new London store on Regent Street.  The aim is to blend the online and offline environments to create a more immersive and intelligent brand experience.

There are floor-to-ceiling screens that wrap the entire store so it can change into a completely immersive video experience at a moment’s notice.  RFID chips have been attached to many products so content showing how the product looks, how it has been made and other aspects of the product development story, can be displayed on any of the couple hundred in-store screens.

Burberry has realised that people are interested in more than just buying a product.  The customer needs to be part of the story.

1 year ago / 1 notes
McDonalds:  Open At Night billboard (Akestam Holst, Sweden) 1 year ago / 0 notes
Simplicity, the Most Powerful Branding Principle »

Russ Meyer, Fast Company

Google, Apple and Amazon are among the strongest brands of the past decade.  What do they have in common?  Their brand success can be directly tied to simplicity - to making life easier for their users.

They also adhere to simplicity rules to define their brand experiences:

Amazon: Consider the context

Great brands look to where the brand and the experience fit within their user’s overall life, looking to make not just the experience easier but a user’s overall life easier.

Apple: Go deep

Brands that succeed due to simplicity understand that everything must work together, clearly and seamlessly.

Google: Avoid ‘feature-itis’

Rather than continuing to add incremental features to a brand experience over time, great brands stand firm once they reach a level of simplicity, resisting the urge to add brand bells and whistles.

1 year ago / 2 notes
1 year ago / 2 notes
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