26 November 2009
Conversation in the office today on gender stereotypes. Apparently, "men overplay everything and women underplay everything". I was outnumbered.
The most obvious example of this in the branding world is deodorant packaging.
Think about men’s deodorant, we like tough, endurance, extreme, rock solid, power, blast, performance in straight, utilitarian bottles, full of efficiency and functionality. We like blacks, silvers and navy blues and contrasting lime green, it’s techno, it’s dynamic.
According to the unwritten rules of deodorant packaging, women like caring, smoothing, pure, replenishing, indulging, curvy bottles. They like pinks, powder blues and the white. It doesn’t matter which brand, from economy supermarket own brand through to expensive designer fragrance deodorant, the same rules apply. But, should they?
19 November 2009
This has to be the most personal advert I've seen in an awfully long time.
It was handwritten and hand-delivered to my house in Fulham in blank envelope. I'm fortunate to live in South West London, a reasonably affluent area with a surplus of cleaning services for uber-busy, cash rich / time poor City types, but I've never received such a personal little note to advertise such services.
She could do my aeroning any day if only Barbara (my Czech cleaner) wasn't doing such a sterling job. I hope one of my neighbours gives her a go, or perhaps with her get-up-and-go she'd more suited to Account Management for a London ad agency...
4 November 2009
There is news today that Marks & Spencer is going to start selling over 400 non M&S-branded products in their food stores. Is this damaging the brand's credibility or a sensible move to boost sales and footfall?
I can see the benefits from both points of view, M&S stores have always seemed a little too spartan to do a fully-fledged 'big shop' so to be able to pick up branded goods like Heinz ketchup and Kellogg's corn flakes is going to strike a chord with a large percentage of customers.
As for loyal M&S customers, the worry is that by introducing non-M&S products, the consistency in product quality is no longer guaranteed. I certainly think it's handy to be able to pick up Heinz ketchup and Kellogg's Corn Flakes, but perhaps M&S just lost their USP.
What it does do however(and most likely intentionally), is move the brand well and truly into Waitrose territory. However, it's the brands that M&S choose to sell that will be the deciding factor of whether this move proves to be brand intelligence or brand suicide.