- Let a Thousand Brands Bloom -- the Chinese consumer is changing, and multinationals are responding with their offerings. From different brand offerings, to different products catering to the needs of different market segments. Business is simple -- customers of all incomes have money, and can be enticed to part with it.
- It Sure Ain't Old Navy -- Getting the above 35-years-old women into their stores isn't working for Gap. They continue to be perceived to be a brand for the younger generation. What's Gap to do? Open a new chain that caters specifically to older women: Forth & Towne. Forth & Towne is being designed around an experience. It's supposed to be a place where women want to hang out and spend their spare time -- and dollars. Will the gamble work?
- And Now, the Chief Endurance Officer -- Here's one to inspire you. Think the fat cats at the top really are fat? Apparently not. And they're not leaving their staff behind either. Makes me think that after this past weekend's feat from my CEO, that maybe he does deserve the "endurance" in his title as well.
- Daggers Drawn Over DVDs -- This is one of the few times you'll find me siding with Bill Gates. In the battle between the next generation DVD formats, Microsoft has come out on the side of what may very well be the loser: Toshiba's HD DVD format. Sony's Blu-ray technology is set to win, for a number of reasons -- the first, and least important, is that is is probably the superior technology. The second, and most important reason, is all about control -- not control you will have, but control that media giants will maintain. Blu-ray will come with more robust security than HD DVD, and that's where Gates and Co. have a problem. There is little incentive for Sony to build support into the format for Windows, as it would allow consumers to shuffle content from their DVDs around their homes (and possibly the internet) from their PCs. The big media companies apparently are sticking to the tried and true -- when you buy something, you really don't own it.
- Hey, Advertisers, TiVo is Your Friend -- Here's an article about the new face of advertising. Rishad Tobaccowala is apparently a new-media ad guru, and thinks that businesses need to recognize the importance of on-demand media, social marketing, forget TV and go for video, and move branding efforts online. Says he, "The spine of our business has collapsed, and what we are looking at are the organs, blood, and connective tissue on the floor in a pile of goo. We have to imagine what the new structure is going to look like." Yes, he's also colourful of speech.
For related reading, check out:
The Continuing Evolution of Advertising [PDF] -- from the October Jordan-Edmiston Group's client briefing. Integrated Interactive Marketing [PDF] -- a Nielsen/NetRatings white paper on online marketing. Why ROI is a False Standard [PDF] -- an article from Tobaccowala in Advertising Age's point magazine. Word of Mouth Marketing Summit 2005 -- see some interesting topics presented at this summit. All presentations are online.