Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I just finished reading The Brand Bubble by two senior Y&R Execs. John Gerzema and Ed LeBar.

The book is great. it brings together the threads from 'Competing for the Future' to BAV really well and shows a huge grasp of the impact of technology etc etc. It deserves the praise that it is getting from the Business Press -

The Brand Bubble #12 on Business Week’s Best Seller List #1 on CEORead’s Monthly Top 25 Best Selling Business Books #3 Best Business Book for 2008 By Amazon’s editors Best Book of 2008 in the marketing /advertising category, CEORead Advertising Age List Of Tens: Books You Should Have Read: “A wake-up call for marketers.” - Harvard Business Review “A huge reassessment of brand-owning companies may still lie ahead.” - FT “Could a collapse in brand valuations be the next bursting of a financial bubble?” - Los Angeles Times “Fasten your seatbelts for when the bubble bursts.” - Toronto Globe & Mail “What Corporate America is Reading” - Sacramento Bee

The Book outlines a really thorough approach and I have heard many people talk of doing this as an agency but I think agencies are all trapped by the need to make ads do logos etc in order to liquidate their costs of creative directors and writers etc etc. This means they very rarely get to the types of conversations that should arise from the book. The legacy system and IP of the agency hinders their ability to be TRUE brand people (i.e. consumer centric) because they sell a craft (TV Design Web build) and could thus be called craft centric.

If you were to have a business that delivered for clients the things you talked about, how would you do it? My view is that I would have planners who came from say psychology and anthroploogy backgrounds, and project managers who were ex-management consultants who could mix creativity and rigour. I would also have the 'Creative Director' employed by the company - like at Apple and LVMH - and report to the CEO. That would be a good gig!

I would outsource creative to agencies on a project basis and as a creative consultancy orchestrate all agencies on behalf of the client...with the Chief Brand Officer as my client. Anyone know a company where the Chief Brand Officer is a real Role and reports direct to the CEO? That could be fun? find a different way to look at clients' needs we need to have a different structure to support a different strategy.



I just spent five weeks in California. Apart from the weather being spectacular, the things that struck me most (apart for the usual Theme Parks that is) ? The SUPERMARKETS!!!

What do I remember the most:-

- Polite staff. "Excuse me where can I find batteries?" "Right over here sir let me take you to the aisle" What, is this person hitting on me ?
- Helpful staff. "Would you like help with these packages to your car Sir?" Pardon?
- Involved Staff -"Let me check that those eggs for you, Sir?" Weird!!

And that is in the standard 'Ralphs' store....

When we get to Whole Foods it is a different story altogether. Fantastic ambience, great choices and an out of home pre-prepared meal section that would blow your mind!

What is preventing us form having the same shopper experience here in Australia? Well it is, to me, a mindset issue. In the US they know that you have a choice. And they make money from selling goods and data - not just selling space and providing a channel to manufacturers.

Anybody out there wanna start a Trader Joes? Somewhere between Aldi and Whole Foods? I reckon it is a serious space that is unoccupied....Hmmmm

Food for Thought!