Everything on ‘Brands’

BrandZ: Apple overtakes Google as most valuable brand

In the brand value ranking maintained by BrandZ, Apple has now succeeded Google as the most valuable brand with a value estimated at $153 billion. That’s a 859% increase since 2006, the year before Apple introduced one of it’s biggest hits until now, the Iphone (announced in January 2007). In the BrandZ ranking IBM remains third.

Comparing Apples with ‘peers’

It’s interesting to remark that in another ranking by InterBrand, Apple scored only 17th in last year September’s assessment with a value of only $21.143 billion. That’s almost 8 times less. This should all have to do with the methodology differences in measuring the brand value. » More: BrandZ: Apple overtakes Google as most valuable brand

10 things not to do when dealing with China

The Chinese market is unique

The Chinese market is unique

Hong Kong television station Pearl showed an insightful lecture by a J Walter Thompson consultant about marketing in China. Most important lessons: traditional marketing principles don’t work and don’t listen too much to Chinese experts.

Here’s his list of “10 commandments”, as he called it, which I enriched with some examples:

  1. Don’t take your CEO to dinner in a rich neighborhood of Shanghai » More: 10 things not to do when dealing with China

Would you buy her apples?

Evil witch offering apples at Albert Heijn

Evil witch offering apples at Albert Heijn

Like most kids, when I was young, I learned not to buy apples from evil witches. I normally buy my apples at the Albert Heijn supermarket, but today I decided not to. See the picture at the right.

This supermarket has a temporary Snow White promotion, during which you can collect miniatures of all 7 dwarfs and other characters of Snow White’s fairy tale. It’s kind of weird to associate the apples you want to sell with an evil witch and the poisoned apple that caused Snow White to suffocate.

Small seats for tall people

Well equiped train in Taiwan

Taiwan train with large comfortable seats

Last week I enjoyed a perfect holiday in Taiwan. We encountered nice weather, nice people, and nice landscapes. For a two day trip to a national park we took a train. Expecting a typical Asian train as you (used to?) see them in the movies, so prepared for the worse, Taiwan again brought me a very good experience. Used to the Dutch trains with uncomfortable chairs with very limited leg space, if there is actually a seat available, I considered that the fact that Taiwanese people on average are less tall than Dutch people would not benefit me. I was pleasantly surprised » More: Small seats for tall people

Was playing with Twitter bad for Habitat?

In June this year, Habitat caused quite some fuzz when an intern misused Twitter by using keywords related to the Iranian political situation to promote posts about special offers. This was generally seen as wrong decision which has damaged their brand. However, I’m not sure this is the case.

Habitat generated quite some attention for its Twitter channel, its brand and its website. One might argue that this attention was negatively focused. And that is mostly true. On the other hand, as many others at the time of the incident, I was not a Twitter user and I heard about this in a less detailed way. I was told that this English furniture brand Habitat (which I knew from some nice shops here in The Netherlands) had accidentally messed up some online campaign. My association was not of a negative nature. Actually I thought it’s funny that a typical offline brand like Habitat (with it’s nice shops) makes mistakes in it’s online activities.

Most people probably don’t associate Habitat with ‘online’. In general people tend to try to put things in their context. The default context of Habitat is furniture, which is a relatively traditional kind of product, usually not bought online. (I for one would first want to experience the sitting comfort of any sofa I’d buy.) The Twitter incident does not relate to the most likely context of the brand. It does not say anything about the quality of its products. Also the overall ethics of the company are not really in question either.

Therefore it seems unlikely that the mistakes Habitat made with Twitter have damaged the company or its brand. They might even have benefited it. Most people might not have associated Habitat with ‘online’ before, but maybe some more people might now. And probably not even in a negative way. They might even visit the website.