2007 – Interesting Year Start in Brands and Branding

2007 definitely started with a lot of agitation in some of the big brands courtyard.

I’d start with the Apple Computers who dropped computer from its name. The move is rather normal considering that iPod or iTunes are two of the main products of Apple Inc. and was announced in the same time with the buzzy launching of iPhone. Now, getting to this, cannot help myself not to admire the Apple capacity to create a buzz in the media, no matter that we’re talking about the internet of the classic mass media. The phone they launched is, I admit, a work of art and has a lot of great features but I wouldn’t hurry to name it neither a Blackberry killer, a computer or a smart phone. It’s more like a beautifully designed, big brand sustained swiss knife of mobiles.

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Millward Brown classification of Great Britain’s best-known brands in 2006

Google was the best-known brand in Great Britain in 2006, although it only spent EUR 2 million on advertising, a survey carried out by consultancy company Millward Brown indicates.

2006 was the first year when Google was included in the Millward Brown classification since 1998. The world’s most popular search engine has risen to the first place in the Great Britain top of brands; the position Google occupied comes counter to the connection Millward Brown usually set between the brands’ advertising expenses and the position in the top. Most of the EUR 2 million Google allocated to advertising last year went to online advertising, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

The second place in the top went to Microsoft, with EUR 59.6 million advertising budget; the next places went to McDonald’s (EUR 48.6 million), Nokia (EUR 26 million, the former first place in 2005) and Tesco. The remaining positions in the top ten went to Coca-Cola, Colgate, Nescaf�, Ford and Vodafone.

Millward Brown considers the brands with a potential for growth one should keep an eye on are Marks & Spencer and the Apple iPod, alongside Google, 3, Asda, Red Bull, O2, MySpace, Virgin Mobile and Starbucks. Despite the negative publicity brands such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola were affected by in 2006, as a result of debates over obesity among children, both companies managed nevertheless to rank high in the top.

Google Tops Landor Associates Top Brands of 2006

Landor Associates, the world’s leading branding and design consultancy conducted a survey of the most popular brands among consumers, which rates the best and worst brands.

The rankings were compiled from more than 2,000 interviews carried out by a New York design agency, Landor Associates. Its managing director, Allen Adamson, said inclusivity was a critical factor for the year’s successes.

“One thing they’ve all got in common is that they appeal to multiple segments,” he said. “Google’s become the starting point for the internet experience of almost everyone – be it the chief executive or the head [lavatory] man. At Vegas, you’ve got families with kids sitting next to people who are there to escape from their families.”
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In Case You Missed It – Branding News Roundup

Since I had a quite long break from brand-blogging I thought I should point out some of the posts I found interesting in the branding blogosphere, just in case you missed them:

Marketing a Strong Nonprofit Brand

Laura Ries has run a list of 7 important things to consider when building a brand for the non-profit organizations:

1. The name
2. The spokesperson
3. The position
4. The enemy
5. PR, PR, PR
6. A signature event
7. Color and logo

What is your (personal) brand worth?

David Sandusky has an interesting list of questions people should ask themselves when they’re evaluating their own personal brands. What about you? What is your personal brand worth? How do people feel when dealing with you? Do they think of you when looking for an expert in your space? Do people hear from you only when you need something like a job; or are you making networking deposits regularly.

More, he has a 4 steps strategy to define and maintain a personal brand:

1. Define yourself
2. Understand your environment
3. Formulate a career and brand strategy
4. Execution

Branding to further boost economy

China plans to further boost its world economic status through branding.

“Branding is a decisive factor in the world’s economic development, and in some cases, an established world brand’s overall value is even bigger than that of a middle-sized country,” said Sun Bo, director of the quality management department of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, yesterday.

China now has seven products with six brands that are famous worldwide – Haier refrigerators and washing machines, Huawei programmed control switchboards, Zhongxing programmed control switchboards, Zhenhua container cranes, Gree air-conditioners and Sunshine worsted woollens.

The sales volume of the products ranks among the top five in their world markets.

“We will still have to make them even more recognized worldwide,” Sun said. He said the bureau would help enterprises upgrade quality insurance, measuring and testing systems, and encourage them to apply international rules and standards.

More here.

Seven Steps to Building a Strong Brand

1. Develop your benchmark.
2. Compare your organization to the various competitive choices available to your target market.
3. Analyze your SWOT.
4. Focus on the Opportunities.
5. Identify your message.
6. Time & Money. Layout the timetable. Identify your budget components.
7. Implement the branding tactics.


How to Write a Marketing Plan

Most businesspeople agree that good planning is essential for success. Even so, it’s surprising how many companies don’t create a thorough plan to generate and manage their customers.

1. Start with your annual goals
2. Highlight your competitive position, value proposition and brand strategy
3. Outline any plans for your products & services
4. Outline your major marketing campaigns
5. Develop your tactical sales plan
6. Develop a budget
7. Revisit your plan regularly

Popular Brands May Brand the Brain

A new study finds that familiar brands evoke faster, more positive responses in the brain than lesser-known brands.

In tests on young adults using real-time functional MRI, the logos of well-known auto and insurance companies “lit up” areas of the brain associated with warm emotions, reward and self-identity.

“Furthermore, strong brands were processed with less effort on the part of the brain,” said Dr. Christine Born, a radiologist at University Hospital, part of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

In contrast, less-recognized brands triggered more activity in brain regions associated with working memory and negative emotions — suggesting these products were less easy to “process” and accept.

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Gap To Review Its Brand Strategy

Gap, the company that helped make khaki beige a fashion statement, is to review its Gap and Old Navy brands after the retailer revealed disappointing sales in December and expected increased pressure in January.Total sales for December were down by 10% on results posted two years ago, at $2.34bn. The company has been in the middle of a two-year rebranding operation but has admitted it has failed and will review its strategy at the two divisions.

Gap has suffered in recent years and each new set of financial results have brought new problems as the San Francisco retailer finds competitors have emulated its essential casual style of T-shirts and khakis and at a cheaper price.

Alternative strategic decision, helped by ongoing speculation in the market, is that Gap Inc. is ever closer to a takeover is being stoked by a news report that the struggling retailer has hired the investment firm Goldman Sachs to consider such offers or other dramatic changes.

A story to follow…