Monthly Archives February 2014

Does “Content Marketing” matter?

The Big PR issueLast week I sat in a meeting with colleagues from across the PR industry that was discussing precisely this question as part of the “Content Marketing” work stream set up by the PRCA, the largest body representing PR professionals in the UK and the largest body of its kind in Europe.

By the middle of 2014, the PRCA hope to have moved our thinking forward on the subject and attempted to clarify what is – and what is not – “Content Marketing”. For the moment, the field is wide open for interpretation and potential confusion. So why does “Content Marketing” matter and is there any merit searching for some form of clarification that will enable our thinking to be bit less fuzzy on the subject? A quick search on Google comes up with 789m references to “Content Marketing” and ...

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Lush declares war on Amazon with landmark ruling at the High Court

I-feel-dirtySales and marketing practices of online retailers selling similar products and services of well-known brands will need to change after the High Court ruled that online giant Amazon can’t use a Google Ad Word of soap and beauty brand Lush to lure customers to its own retail site for alternative products as this amounts to a breach of the Lush trademark.

Lush has built a brand platform based on its own code of ethics – something which it jealously defends and contends that Amazon doesn’t subscribe to.

As a result, Lush decided it won’t sell its products on the retail giant’s website and probably never will...

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‘Brand Wars’ at Sochi Olympic Games 2014

Tapping over Apple logo at Sochi 2014So the question on most marketers’ lips at the half-way stage of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games 2014 is who’s winning brand gold and who’s coming last in the multi-million dollar sponsorship stakes?

Well, this picture sums up the problem, doesn’t it?

An Olympic Official at Sochi with duct tape sticking it over the Apple logo of the laptop belonging to Associated Press director of international video Mark Davies. As if this pretty innocuous indirect view of an Apple logo on this laptop justifies this type of treatment?

Well, it’s bonkers really but then you need to understand the reasoning behind this extreme form Olympic brand protection.

Non-Olympic partners such as Apple are considered to be in direct competition with the official Olympic sponsors at Sochi 2014, such as Samsung t...

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Are you a consumer-ologist?

mash upAmazon built a gigantic global business on the back of choice and delivering products when the customer wants it.

As I mention in my previous blog, Amazon has taken this a step further and is planning to box and deliver products that it expects customers in a specific area will want based on previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping cart contents, returns and other online shopping practices it gleans from its customers’ shopping patterns, even before they’ve clicked ‘buy.’

However, some researchers are predicting a backlash to these and other strategies that are all designed to get us to spend more.

The main contentious point of consumer-ology, a term coined by Philip Graves, one of the world’s leading consumer behaviour experts, is that enough really is enough when it ...

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The Power of Crowds

The-Power-of-CrowdsEntrepreneur, lawyer and international deal-maker Clive Rich spotted a gap in the market for delivering high quality legal services to small-medium sized companies at the fraction of the fees that would normally be charged by a high street law firm.

The difference was that this legal advice would be delivered online and LawBite the brand was born.

But rather than go to a private equity provider or a bank in order to bankroll the new venture, Rich decided to use crowd sourcing to finance the enterprise.

In fact, seeking investment from the same small-medium sized companies that would want to use these legal services in the first place was a stroke of genius.

This deceptively simple approach, that tapped into the power of social media, has netted Rich a cool £550,000 in investment in a littl...

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Samsung gives Apple a Love Bite!

SamsungOver the past eight years the South Korean giant has gone from being a virtual unknown on the high street to one that’s on the cusp of becoming Britain’s ‘most loved brand’ and has come up with a brand marketing platform that’s as good as anything its rival Apple could’ve dreamt up.

‘Launching People’ is an advertising funded programme (AFP) series to be broadcast in Spring 2014 where stars from film, music, photography and cooking mentor promising new talent on the back of a nationwide competition.

It’s a neat way for Samsung to humanise its brand rather than constantly rely on technological innovation to get people talking as the product gap between itself and rival Apple has all but evaporated.

In a string of endorsement deals, Samsung has enlisted the services of Mand...

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“Brand Love” is in the air!

Brand loveRomance with privately-owned companies and their brands looks like going from strength to strength in most global markets but the same can’t be said of the public’s view of governments where urgent action is now required to reverse a global ‘trust deficit’ among political leaders.

These and other fascinating findings are contained in the 14th Annual Edelman Trust Barometer 2014 that maps trust and other sentiment levels among 33,000 respondents from around the world.

The online survey, the largest of its kind in the world, was conducted towards the end of 2013 and the early part of 2014.

It sampled the views of 27,000 general and 6,000 informed respondents aged between 25-64 years-old living in 27 countries who were asked, among other things “how much you trust the institution to...

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The Olympic Rings look like getting tarnished at Sochi 2014

Sochi Olympics

This may be unbelievable but true. The Mayor of Winter Olympic and Paralympic host city Sochi has said gay people do not live there. Anatoly Pakhomov told the BBC’s Panaroma programme: “We don’t have them in our town.” When asked if he was sure, he remarked: “I’m not sure, I don’t bloody know them.”

Russia’s law banning the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” has provoked widespread international condemnation since it was introduced last year.

Predictably, its also caused something of a diplomatic incident with many prominent people across the world saying they will stay away from the Sochi Olympic Games because of such draconian laws.

Sensitive to world public opinion, Mayor Pakhomov added in his interview to the BBC: “Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who res...

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