Tag Archives: Apple

My Social Media Marketing favourites of 2014

2014 has been a great year for advertising and marketing. With brands moving further into the digital space, newcomer social media like Vine or others started to see the first big campaign bang. I could probably call many campaigns great campaigns, yet a few stood out in terms of creativity, use of audience relevant media and, from could be gathered publicly, campaign ROI.

#emojiscience by GE

GE has made the transition from a global brand into a social brand some time ago. Yet the multifaceted giant still surprises by its creative tackle of various out of scope fields to position the GE brand in potential (future) customers`minds. For its latest stunt, GE has partnered with Bill Nye to create the emojiscience campaign, which runs on almost every thinkable social media channel, ranging from snapchat, vine to the bluechips of social like Facebook or Twitter. The heart of the campaign is however surely the campaign microsite, which details the science driven approach, howe to enter the campaign and be “revined” by GE. The cross-social approach deserves a virtual high five and surely boosts GE yet again to the top of brands I didn`t expect to be at the forefront of Vine or Snapchat. In my eyes, GE is doing a tremendous job to both experiment in these new social media spaces, while attracting new crowds of followers which eventually transform into GE customers, directly or indirectly in the future.

always #LikeAGirl 

always, a leading P&G female hygiene brand, managed to pull of a campaign during the soccer world cup earlier this year, which attracted almost 54million YouTube views, without starring any soccer players. Without going into further campaign details, that could lead much to a philosophical discussion as one can tell from the many YouTube comments, the campaign surely paid of and smartly capitalised on a less heavy targeted audience during the World Cup. It also shows, that touching stories can still create brand friction for the good.

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#ShareACoke Campaign

Coke`s 2014 summer campaign embraced what social media is all about: sharing. Replacing is brand presence on Coke bottles with the most popular names in various countries, coke animated its fans to share virtual coke bottles with friends on Facebook, instagram and twitter under the hashtag shareacoke. The campaign was supported with both online and offline media and resulted in much publicity and the hunt for name tagged bottles. According to the WSJ, coke sales spiked by a little over 2% during the campaign period. A good campaign performance in a very competitive and highly saturated space.

Samsung vs. Apple

For both consistency and bravery, Samsung deserves a spot in the top 4, too. Whilst Samsung`s aggressive anti-Apple campaigns also backfire by becoming a little to blunt, Samsung deserves to be mentioned by sticking to its uphill battle against the Apple fanboy community. Whilst the Apple vs. Samsung debate surely spikes religiously driven discussions, from a pure technology standpoint, it is fair to say the technological trajectory of the mobile space has long been surpassed by the strength of brand perception in the mobile community.

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2015 will surely be an interesting year for some brands to catchup, for others to still learn how to navigate in the social media space while a few will power ahead to occupy new media and boost brand engagement to new heights.




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Why Adobe and Apple get what a few hundred million $ SuperBowl ads miss

Contrasting many SuperBowl ads screening for $4m, Apple has yet again put a masterpiece out to view, not even 24 hours after the big event the entire advertising world has been waiting for.

Whilst Microsoft screened a similar ad during the SuperBowl, it missed to my taste a few crucial details. While Microsoft celebrates technology on a wide scale and only at times shows Microsoft tech in the picture, Apple celebrates its 30 year brand promise and continuously shows Apple products at work throughout the entire world. To top it off, the entire Apple clip was filmed by using only the iPhone 5s on a single day of filming (granted by having various crews around the world).

So it seems, not everybody finds the need to spend a couple of millions to air their message, or in contrast, if the message is good enough, it will be seen and heard on a lesser budget and thus a more ROI friendly way only hours later.

Adobe trumps the game of advertising with its post-SuperBowl sarcasm. As with their 2013 ad, Adobe yet again questions the effectivness of SuperBowl ad-spendings in a very funny and creative way. I’d say HOMERUN Adobe and MVP Apple are the winners of the 2014 SuperBowl ad-frenzy.

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5 notable differences between Apple and your brand

This blog post might become a little humorous at times, yet in the Post Jobs’ Apple Mania, it is worth to look at some of the difference of Apple and your brand to not fall into the Apple-wanna be trap.

  1. You are not Apple! This is probably the most obvious one. You can of course dress up in black turtlenecks, run around with an ipad all day and start naming your own products iSOMETHING, yet you are still not Apple. Make peace with this fact. The sooner you get it over with, the easier your life will become. Seriously, I have seen this happen (in real life; and no, I am not drunk).
  2. Simplicity! every 5 year old can explain the difference between an iPhone and iPad. Apple sells high-tech nicely designed electronic consumer products built around a very smart and far reaching closed eco-system which Apple controls. If you do sell tractors, sewing machines or the world’s most advanced vacuum cleaner, you are still not going to get the hype of Apple BUT, start to learn from Apple’s early days. Keep it simple and focus on the important things – your customer. Have you ever tried to buy a suitcase from a well known US suitcase manufacturer? If you just look at one of their product lines (let’s say check-in hardside luggage), what is the difference between these various models? For the fun of proving my point, I have visited various retail stores and asked for the difference of products and which item would most likely suite my needs of frequent long distance travel. 5 stores, 8 answers, 10 models and a confused customer. If that is you – you are not Apple! Ask your accountant to explain your product portfolio – if he fails, your customers are likely to fail as well and worst case, drive of their buying decision. It sometimes help to put on the customer hat and look at your product and service offering from the outside – little changes can have big impacts!
  3. Aspiration! The Iphone5 has made it to the top of all headlines like no other, but Apple, product in history. Many critiques embarked on rants and raves about Apple losing it’s edge against their main smartphone competition based on pure tech-specs. You judge for yourself, but the same seemingly underdesigned, underequipped and sluggish product sold out within 1 hour and is expected to sell 58m times in the remainder of 2012 which equals roughly $36billion in sales. Since Apple has already sold 8m units in hour 1 of day 1, this number might actually become reality. Aspirational marketing or emotional brand values are the strongest link between a brand and its consumer. No tech-spec could ever come close in the short term and beat the strong emotional link of a brand and its fanboys :-)
  4. Reach! Apple’s iPhone launch reaches about as many people as the US election over a period of one year (measured globally). In other words, unlike very few other brands on this planet (most notably some game franchises), it is highly unlikely that you will have such an unordinary brand or message reach – especially on a seemingly organic level. Thousands of bloggers post clips and stories about every little detail of an Apple product. In most cases, private youtube channels are better marketing efforts than Apple’s ads themselves. Since you are not Apple and you have made peace with it (if not, go back to no1), think about effective ways to reach your target audience. You might have to repeat messages to position your brand or product in your customers’ minds. Be creative in your channel selection and messaging and don’t copy. “Light luggage – the biggest thing that happened to luggage since the luggage” won’t cut it for you!
  5. Credible uniques! With the exception of a few glitches, Apple has staid very true to its brand values for a very long time. If you have followed the Apple history, these values have been ingrained by the founding team over the years and of course fostered under a very exotic and charismatic lead-character. Find this unique and yet credible style for your brand. I have been in many meetings in which a sales VP has pulled out and ad from some organisation he liked, mostly for personal reasons, and asked to have it copied. This won’t help to create a unique look and feel or character for your brand. Be yourself, find or define the core and stick to it. This might be the only differentiation you have in your market; also, this might be the differentiation your employees need to form a relation with your brand and be outspoken (positively) about it.
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Insanely Simple (Marketing…) <> just a dream?

Ken Segall talks in his book “Insanely Simple, the Obsession that drives Apple’s Success” about Apple’s mantra of simplicity in its organisation, it’s customer dealings and products. Learn more about Ken Segall and his view of the world in his blog “Ken Segall’s Observatory“.

After having read the book, which I recommend not only Apple fanboys (and -girls to stay politically correct), I had to contrast my work experience with excerpts from the book. Most of my organisational experience is pretty well described in the 37 Signals founder’s book “Rework” (its not a must read but will surely bring up a smile or two if you have worked in a similarly agonising setup as most people who can sincerely laugh about the daily Dilbert while knowing deep in the back of their minds that there is quite some truth to the comic). Having said that, most organisations spend an immense amount of time with increasing organisational complexity both purposely and not so purposely. Let me explain that further, have you ever gone through an organisational budgeting period? If so, you will know that sometimes in Q2 or Q3 there is a 99% chance you end up sitting in front of your a screen and key in numbers which apparently have some future relevancy (I would personally like to take on Rework and call it “planning is guessing” – for most parts anyway). After you are done with this planning exercise, you are likely to go through various revisions, depending on the organisation. For most parts, you will then end up being measures against (in the worst of cases) your fulfilment of the plan – or in other words, you are forced into a linear type mode or organisational thinking driven by rigid parameter setting.

Now, whilst I am not trying to go into a critique on planning or budgeting, despite my strong believe that most plans are nothing but hot air ratified on thin paper, I want to emphasise that this tendency to create complex systems and or adapt to the complexity of systems by throwing more complexity at them is likely the reason why most organisation to customer interaction will take an irrevocably wrong turn at some point. Why? Many organisations are very intrinsically occupied, this usually starts with product development and ends up with product naming. This intrinsic focus is evoked by many organisations’ cultural setup and thus  deeply engrained.

However shouldn’t we as Marketers not think about breaking the vicious cycle of organisational complexity by stimulating the product / service to customer relation and thus setting the focus on the “obvious”? Most startups seem to do an excellent job in this respect. Contrast Apple’s product offering, and with that their website experience, with Canon or Wabcom. It took me forever to find the product I was looking for on either site of the last two despite the endless pages of prose, pictures and videos which should me make want to badly buy one of these products.

Why is that? Why, as it seems, do only very few companies excel at keeping the product to customer interaction simple and to the point? Why are billions wasted in cookie crunching meetings with the top tier consultancies, who just happen to have sold one of the SVP’s another life saving project? Why is it that so many critiqued Porter’s generic strategies for the generic part (vs. the uniqueness of strategy)? Why, why, why?

I am not drunk btw, but I believe, going back to the roots and getting the basic’s right will stand above the best planning, the most thought out systems and the biggest budget:

1) know your customer

2) know their needs & wants

3) satisfy that need with either a product or service

4) don’t screw up in the process

5) repeat from 1 (and apply some double or even triple loop feedbacks)

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