Posts Tagged 'distribution'

word up

Nicole, a colleague at BBH Singapore, shared this fantastic piece of activity yesterday:

[image © Gunther Gamper, used with thanks]

It’s an initiative for the Fondation pour l’alphabétisation – an NGO that aims to promote higher levels of literacy amongst the French-speaking population in Canada.

The fundamental premise is very simple: by ‘buying’ words – either from vending machines like the one in the picture above, or from the “words depot” website – people can make donations to the Foundation that will fund literacy programs for the 800,000 Québécois who are hindered by low levels of literacy.

[screen grab of the motsdepot website]

I particularly admire the facility to buy the words in your Facebook status update for 10¢ each, which the site then posts to your Facebook page with a link back to the initiative:

Developed by Montréal-based agency Bleublancrouge, it’s a beautifully simple, yet incredibly powerful way to make giving to charity more personal and resonant.

As the Foundation’s overview says,

“Imaginez tout le plaisir qu’il peut y avoir à posséder un mot qui nous plaît ou auquel nous nous identifions. Car tout est pos­sible lorsque nous achetons un mot. Avec un peu d’imagination, ce n’est plus « royaume » que nous achetons, mais un royaume. Ce n’est pas « amour » que nous offrons, mais de l’amour. Alors, redonnons aux gens leur attachement aux mots, redonnons-leur le plaisir de jouer avec ceux-ci.”

Loosely translated, this means:

“Imagine the great joy of owning a word you like, or with which you identify. Everything is possible when you buy a word. With a bit of imagination, you’re not just buying “kingdom”, but a kingdom. It’s not just “love” you’re buying, but love you’re giving. So let’s help people rebuild a relationship with words; let’s help them enjoy the pleasure of playing with them again.”

By taking the benefit beyond simply relieving people’s conscience, this activity makes donating fun.

CSR at its best.

planning for the future (4): blend the mix

blending the Ps

As we saw earlier this week, brand communications have the opportunity to evolve from a promotional tool, into a new avenue to deliver brand benefits.

However, this opportunity isn’t limited to communications; it can easily extend to the rest of the marketing mix too.

Rationale

When it comes to branding, everything communicates: packaging, purchase experience, and after-sales support all play critical roles in shaping people’s perceptions of our brand.

However, brands often approach these elements as distinct activities, and deliver a range of different experiences as a result.

To address this issue, brands need to adopt a more holistic perspective, aligning everything they do to a common objective.

This isn’t about image consistency; it’s about maximising the opportunities to actually deliver what people really want and need (another case of starting from your audience, not the brand)

As we move towards a more holistic approach to marketing, planners need to think beyond ‘advertising’ to identify the ways we can help marketers to blend the various ‘Ps‘ into a truly seamless mix.

Let’s start by looking at distribution.

Take it to them

One way planners can help is to fundamentally re-think the role brands play in people’s lives.

A big part of this is helping to shift the marketing mindset from selling products to selling benefits.

Let’s take FMCG brands as an example.

The vast majority of these are sold through conventional retail channels – supermarkets, drugstores, etc.

Withing these channels, many even have their own dedicated category ‘aisles’.

Until recently, our concept of ‘innovation’ in distribution has been to locate brands in different parts of the store, like putting men’s toiletries next to the beer.

This is a good start, because it starts to think about people as they think about their needs.

But brands don’t belong to just one distribution environment.

Indeed, many FMCG brands have evolved beyond their core product offerings to become ‘lifestyle’ choices, and consequently, their relevance extends far beyond the supermarket shelf.

For this reason, I’d argue that a brand like Axe would be much more at home in a Diesel store than it is in the aisles of Walmart.

Furthermore, it could really come to life in nightclub bathrooms and gym locker rooms.

So what does this have to do with planners?

The answer lies in value delivery.

Getting involved in distribution strategy doesn’t fall into the traditional planner’s realm of influence, but demonstrating and delivering the brand’s benefits at the times of greatest relevance lies at the core of a new planning manifesto:

Identifying the most relevant and engaging times and places to deliver specific brand benefits, and the most efficient and effective ways to deliver those benefits in that context.

If planners are to help brands create real value, they need to get involved with all aspects of the marketing mix.

Key Benefit

Developing a distribution strategy around delivery of brand benefits helps build brand equity at the same time as expanding sales and revenue opportunities.

It also enables brands to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with other like-minded brands.

Alongside these growth opportunities, a unified ‘one brand‘ approach allows brands to reduce costs by harnessing operational synergies.

Key Action

Rather than limiting our thinking to conventional retail norms, we should re-examine the times and places where our brands’ benefits have the greatest relevance, and use this as the basis for developing distribution strategies instead.

Previous posts in the ‘planning for the future’ series

Introduction: a new planning manifesto

Use communications to deliver value: moving from advertising to adding value

It’s all about the benefits: a simple example of how to deliver a brand’s core benefit with a TV ad

Add CSR to everything you do: how contributing to the greater good can help your brand too.

blending the 4Ps

domino's doors c-o springwise

The trendspotters over at Springwise featured this great piece of activity from Domino’s Pizza in the Netherlands, developed by agency Indie Amsterdam.

They’ve placed ‘doors’ in parks and on beaches, highlighting the fact that Domino’s will deliver almost anywhere, provided the location is within the catchment area of one of its stores.

These ‘doors’ serve as actual delivery ‘addresses’, expanding the brand’s sales opportunities, but they obviously double as engaging communications too.

They’re a great example of something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit recently: the convergence of communications and distribution.

In a world where ubiquitous access to brands is becoming increasingly realistic, and where even the boundaries between product offerings and advertising are blurring (Nike’s Run London being a good example of something that fits in both disciplines), the lines of demarcation between the classic 4Ps are blurring.

This is very exciting: for those with creative minds, this evolution into ‘transmedia offerings’ opens up a whole new universe of opportunities.

Expect more on this soon…

Image taken from the Springwise article, with many thanks.

makku

quarter pounder

[screenshot from quarter-pounder]

notcot reckons these new burger outlets in tokyo’s omotesando and shibuya east districts are by mcdonald’s.

a very different approach to the chain’s traditional family focus, these restaurants are clearly targeting tokyo’s coolest.

the only thing on the menu is the quarter-pounder.

there doesn’t seem to be any mention of mcdonald’s on the website though, which makes this all the more intriguing.

if it really is mcdonald’s, it’s a very interesting piece of portfolio planning that takes the brand far away from ronald and the golden arches.

find out more here | from notcot

powerful stuff

motorola solar-powered charging booths

[image from trendwatching]

There’s a lot of inspiring stuff on trendwatching. This month’s briefing profiles solar-powered cellphone charging kiosks from motorola in uganda.

As well as meeting a real market need – cellphones aren’t much use without power – these kiosks perform a variety of marketing functions.

On a simple level, they’re great for driving brand awareness. Even better, they take sales opportunities to potential buyers.

But Motorola score the big points for their CSR efforts.

Firstly, the kiosks are solar powered. Brilliant.

Secondly, they’re run by local women with an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ – as motorola put it, they’re

Giving women the opportunity to run their own business, learn valuable entrepreneurial skills, and generate a positive income.

A great balance of give and receive. Activity that not only meets basic marketing needs, but gives people a reason to like the brand beyond its products. and to talk about them too.

Read more at trendwatching.com or their sister site springwise.com