Tag Archives: brands

Book Review: Authenticity – What Consumers Really Want by James Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II

Perhaps Variety would describe Authenticity as "Aficionados of Academic Books will Savor The Approach"
Perhaps Variety would describe Authenticity as “Aficionados of Academic Books will Savor The Approach”

Authenticity by Gilmore and Pine has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com, from 27 reviewers. I found it dull, boring and purely academic.

In 1999 I went to the cinema with my wife to watch the award-winning “The Thin Red Line”. I like war films, especially about the Second Word War. After a while we walked out of the cinema because we were both bored and thought there were better things to do. 15 years later, it now has a rating of 7.8 out of 10 by 121,086 users on IMDb. Perhaps we missed something from the film.

Perhaps Big Data can show a correlation between The Thin Red Line and Authenticity. At least with the film I think we saw about an hour before leaving. With the book, I left it on page 27 (out of 251). And that was on my third attempt – I trudged through a few pages, left it for weeks and tried returning. Continue reading Book Review: Authenticity – What Consumers Really Want by James Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II

The licensing business model

This is the eighth part of the monetisation series. We started discussing advertising and marketing monetisation techniques, and now we’ve moved on to other areas. This post deals with licensing.

Licensing is a specialist area and requires a particularly strong brand. In the past I’ve used football teams as good case studies of licensing, but nowadays I use Angry Birds. Continue reading The licensing business model

Generating value from social data in real-time, Dara Nasr from Twitter

These notes are from the adtech London exhibition in September 2013. Apologies for any brevity, grammar or spelling mistakes, I did the best I could! Here is a full list of all my presentation notes from adTech London 2013.

How the Jay-Z hashtags are linked by Dara Nasr from Twitter
How the Jay-Z hashtags are linked by Dara Nasr from Twitter

Dara Nasr is the Head of Agency Sales at Twitter, and had an arsenal of amusing, anecdotal case studies about brands on Twitter.

His opening slide was “Twitter: the real time pulse of the planet

Case studies:

  • @policiajun – 3,000 inhabitants in a town in aim. All civil communication handled by twitter
  • “Other companies preach mobile first…” 80% of access to twitter is via mobile, and mobile was truly before the web for Twitter
  • It took 3 years to serve a billion tweets. They now serve a billion tweets every 2 days

Successful Twitter users and brands:

  • Plan for everyday moments. He showed the use of everyday keywords such as shopping, which are cyclical around the days of the week. Time your tweets to coincide with everyday activities.
  • Plan for live moments. E.g. There were 6m tweets around the champions league final.  Nokia’s imitation is the form of flattery was retweeted 18m times when the new iPhone 5 was launched (and I retweeted their tweet because I thought it was funny). Successful brands and users have playful banter between competitors, which ends up successful for both. This ranges from political parties and politicians to CPG brands to sports personalities
  • Plan connected moments… Twitter and TV. Twitter bought Bluefin who connect Twitter to TV adverts. Twitter claim 60% of people use Twitter while watching TV. Dara went through a case study on Jay-Z boosting music sales
  • MTV ran a competition with [a staggering] 166m entries

Answers to questions from the audience:

  1. The brands who use Twitter well try and try again to get it right. Key companies are Samsung, Mondelēz, Paddy Power. They make mistakes, learn from them, and end up with successful campaigns
  2. On commercialisation: There are 3 ways Twitter makes money: from promoted tweets, promoted accounts and prompted trends, i.e. pushing results higher up on all 3 listings
  3. On commercialisation after a potential IPO: Twitter might not change that much because it’s very user focussed, and doesn’t want to do anything users don’t want.

Here is a full list of my presentation notes.

Evian’s Wimbledon Wiggle by We are social

This is the sixth year of Evian sponsoring Wimbledon

We are social found that people we already using the live young tag line in tweets without any prompting

Out of office brainstorming session led to an idea that wasn’t received well by the client. Back to the drawing board…

Wimbledon wiggle came from how the server in a tennis game does a quick ‘wiggle’ before serving. Its obvious and recognisable.

They commissioned some music and created this video:

There was a low barrier to entry for the wiggle.

They created a Facebook app for users to upload their video. Then celebrities including Jonathan Ross joined in. Then Sharapova, who was already an Evian brand ambassador, wiggled.

The best wiggles were shown on outdoor public screens.

80,000 people interacted with Evian, with a 90 million reach

Evian achieved almost 75% share of voice for Wimbledon last year despite having a lower budget than other sponsors such as HSBC and Rolex.

See the other presentation notes from ad:tech.

How IT reinvents technologies


Continuing my theme about naming conventions in the IT world, I think our industry is better at branding and marketing than branding and marketing professionals!

I mentioned that I took part on a Big Data/ BI (Business Intelligence) workshop recently. My first job after university – in 1994 (no gasps at the back please – I know I don’t look old enough) was as a developer providing an EIS (Enterprise Information System) for NHS clients.

We took large amount of data from Patient Administration Systems (PAS – again, no sniggering at the back if you work for Endava please (private joke)) and provided graphical dashboards which often exposed ‘intelligence’ in the data which would have taken much longer to process in standard databases. And the data was too large to import into Excel.

There are many off the shelf products, many of which are open source, which makes implementations far quicker to implement today than fifteen years ago.

Another great piece of re-branding is thin-clients. In the late 1990s, moving to a thin-client model (i.e. most of the processing was done by a server) was fashionable. We then moved back to thick-clients – where the processing is mainly done by the desktop. Then the Internet age was born, and we never heard about thin or thick clients, because they were rebranded as ‘browser-based’ and apps. Exactly the same model, just rebranded.

Infrastructure has gone through some great rebranding. The term ‘hosting’ was left untouched for 10 years, before virtualisation – which wasn’t really a new concept. Citrix have been doing it for ages in the desktop industry. But suddenly every CIO felt compelled to virtualise virtually everything (pun intended).

And then… “Cloud”. I remember speaking to clients early on about Amazon Web Services, and within three years every hosting company rebranded their virtual environments as Cloud. Nothing more than rebranding. My personal website is stored “in the Cloud”. When I first took out the contract it was a Shared server, then a virtual server… now a Cloud server. It’s just the IP address has never changed!

My final example of brilliant branding is Enterprise social media. Lotus were doing Enterprise Collaboration in the 1990s – boasting shared documents with workflow and permissions.


I’m looking forward to future rebranding – green screens becoming “eco-screens”, dot matrix printers becoming “banner printers”, email becoming “enterprise messaging”, word processors becoming “information asset collation”… the list goes on.

Photo from Blake Paterson on Flickr

Direct to consumer has its challenges


Following on from my earlier post describing Endava’s Supplier and Partner day, one of the presenters talked about how some brands have faced new challenges when moving into the direct to consumer space.

Many of the brands that we see, in face most of the superbrands that we recognise, require a retailer as a middle man. 

The top 10 brands of 2011 are:

  1. Coca-Cola 71,861 ($m)
  2. IBM 69,905 ($m)
  3. Microsoft 59,087 ($m)
  4. Google 55,317 ($m)
  5. GE 42,808 ($m)
  6. McDonald’s 35,593 ($m)
  7. Intel 35,217 ($m)
  8. Apple 33,492 ($m)
  9. Disney 29,018 ($m)
  10. Hewlett-Packard 28,479 ($m)

Out of those 10, you usually need to walk into a retailer to buy Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, GE, Intel and HP’s products. Of the remaining four, I would estimate most people buy Apple and Disney products not in an Apple or Disney store, leaving only Google and McDonald’s as direct to consumer superbrands. I think you get the picture.

The Web created a link between brands and consumers. Remember, many brands took a while to create a website, and it took several years to break out of the ‘brochureware’ style site. 

Interacting with consumers? It took the social media revolution for most brands to start communicating. 

However the web didn’t create customer service issues. This started happening with mobile apps. The two main reasons for this is the fundamental difference between web and mobile apps; and charging for content.

The first point is that a website can be changed by the brand, and the customer won’t have access to an older version of it. Now, a brand can produce a mobile app for a current campaign, and needs to think what will happen to that app once the campaign finishes. Think of all those London 2012 apps out there on smartphones… what will happen to them after the Olympics? They will be legacy applications, and it takes a strategic brand to think about the migration post the campaign. In the web world, you can simply redirect the user from the finished campaign to another page. 

The second point is when brands charge for apps, or for the content inside an app. For many brands, it’s the first time they are taking revenue directly from a customer, and this brings on customer service issues they have previously never needed to deal with.

Photo courtesy of Katie Lips on Flickr


How Shazam is helping brands and broadcasters

This week we held our annual Endava Digital Media Supplier and Partner event, where we invite all our suppliers and customers together, to show some case studies and for suppliers to demonstrate their latest products and roadmaps.

There are always a number of interesting facts and trends that are discussed by each of the presenters, and I’ll cover some of them in the next few days.

One of the key case studies this year was from Drum, who we’ve been working with on some recent Cadbury projects.

Drum presented some Shazam case studies, which are particularly interesting to us because we’ve been working with Shazam already, and I already love their mobile app.

Shazam have been well known for a while for their music recognition service. You point your phone at a speaker for a few seconds, and a few seconds later you either receive a text message or an App alert to tell you exactly what the piece of music was.

Shazam are now helping brands with TV advertising by providing a second screen experience. So while you’re watching a TV advert, when the Shazam icon appears you point your phone at the screen and very quickly, you’ll get ‘extra features’ from the TV ad. It might be a competition, or a game.

This is one of the main reasons sport is so valuable to TV broadcasters. Almost all other types of show can be recorded, and users can fast forward through the adverts. However most people want to watch sport live, which means watching the adverts in ‘real time’. 

NBC have taken Shazam into the actual TV production process. As the video below demonstrates, when a users Shazams a snowboarding show, they saw any extra first person view of the snowboard run in their mobile providing an excellent experience.

3 components for perfect m-commerce


Every day I receive a link to a news article describing how powerful mobile shopping, or m-commerce has become. 98% of mobile commerce revenue is from iPads and there were $240 billion of mobile payments in 2011 – rising to $1trillion in 2015, Amazon have sold $1bn of products in the last 12 months, and eBay sold $5bn of products last year.

However, I think we’re about to see a step change in these revenues, because most m-commerce offerings are simply migrating their web offering to a mobile equivalent – either through app or a web browser. The statistics above are still mightily impressive, however there’s a lot more room to grow.

Amazon’s one click ordering makes it easy to buy a product, and eBay’s feedback rating is a brilliant piece of loyalty marketing – once you’ve won an item via Buy It Now or through an auction, the feedback rating psychologically compels consumers to go through with the purchase without any of eBay’s manual overhead.

Both of these systems are great for impulse buying, but are separated from marketing.

The next version of m-commerce will marry brand marketing and impulse buying. Consider these two scenarios:

  1. A consumer sees a poster advert in a train station promoting a new film. The consumer will soon be able to connect their smartphone to the poster – whether through the camera, wireless or another communication channel, and order tickets to the film at their preferred cinema.
  2. A consumer sees a poster advert of a perfume. They connect their smart phone to the poster, enter a quick and fast security check, and that perfume is then ordered and delivered to the consumer.

These scenarios require a number of barriers to be broken down before the purchase process can be made quickly and easily. Consumers won’t have the time or inclination to enter 4 pieces of information from their credit card for each purpose – it needs to be simplified. A current example of this is PayPal’s mobile app which has been simplified recently to remove long passwords and replace them with a 4 digit PIN number.

In order for this new world to occur, three things need to happen:

  1. The technology needs to be in place. As pointed out, with PayPal and existing smartphones, I think this is already in place.
  2. Marketing agencies need to help design the buying process. The agencies will need to help the commerce store with the actual purchase rather than a brand awareness exercise – and this will be difficult to achieve. It will be a huge educational process and mindset change for marketing and design agencies.
    I don’t think this can be achieved with QR codes because they are still clunky; require their own app and a decent Internet connection. Most consumers still don’t understand what a QR code is. QR codes also fragment the buying process, sending consumers off to websites rather than enabling a one-click, under 20 second buying process.
  3. The single fulfilment store.  One key player that has the infrastructure to do this is Apple. Imagine if they rebranded the App Store as simply ‘The Store’. A consumer sees the perfume poster above, links their iPhone to the poster, and orders through ‘The Store’. Apple already has the payment information and owner’s address – in the App Store. They also have the cash to setup the distribution infrastructure.
    Other contenders to be able to do this are Amazon and possibly Google. Or we could see a new player/ brand emerge, who won’t need to worry about the legacy of ‘old’ e-commerce systems and behaviours. Tesco have tried a system in Korea, however I think it was more of a marketing stunt or a proof of concept. And when I mention legacy systems, the future of m-commerce described above will be single, impulsive purchases, probably linked to brands, unlike the Tesco video which is a small step forward from shopping online.

Once these three component are in place, consumers will consider this as standard shopping behaviour. The holy grail of marketing will have been achieved – Marketing will have become directly linked to the purchase.

Photo courtesy of Eric on Flickr.


Why the single mobile device isn’t possible

A true story (all the stories I tell on this blog are true – it’s just this makes the story more dramatic) – I was standing in the kitchen washing the dishes last night whilst watching the television.

I find this to be the second most therapeutic place in the World – the first is in the shower (for more information about why we seem to think clearer in certain positions but never at our place of work, read Future Minds.

Anyway, back to washing the dishes, and I saw the new Sony Xperia Play advert shown below.

This got me thinking the same thing as the R&D guys and girls in every handset company in the World – what is the perfect handset/ mobile/ slate device? By perfect, I mean “what device will take over from all the other devices we own?” I remember conversations in the late 1990s when I worked at the Finnish Telco Sonera (for accuracy, I worked at a subsidary called SmartTrust – now part of G&D, however these conversations took place with the parent company) where we discussed more than 100% penetration of handsets in the World (i.e. more active handsets than people).

Why would people want more than one handset? Because you’d have a super smart/ fashionable one in the evening, an email device with QWERTY keyboard during the day, a sporty/ waterproof one on weekends and so on.

I remember hearing that the market research teams at Nokia (despite the recent bad news I’d recommend anyone with any technology interest to visit their amazing corporate headquearters in Finland) kept hearing that their users wanted tiny phones and massive screens; they wanted as few keys as possible and full QWERTY layouts; they wanted the simple, original, ‘flat’ Nokia menu and a gazillion functions on the phone. The users wanted the impossible – mutually exclusive functions.

After I’d finished the washing up (we have a large family and had guests that evening – these things take a while), I sat down and caught up on some recorded TV – Secrets of the Superbrands: Fashion when the penny dropped.

We won’t be able to have a single device because of the following factors:

  1. Fashion – too many of us want the latest new shiny (or distressed as I learned on the Secrets programme) thing, for the sake of having the latest new thing.
  2. Best of breed. I use the toaster because it makes the least mess; I use the microwave because it makes hot chocolate quickly and without getting a saucepan dirty; I use the oven to roast chicken because I imagine it’s going to taste nicer than the small microwave/oven (and I’m worried all future hot chocolates will taste a little chicken-ey).
  3. We want change. I like love Dairy Milk. But every so often I’ll have a Flake, or a Twirl or a Wispa. Think of your favourite yet balanced meal – why don’t you have it every night?

And for these reasons I don’t think the single device to take over our wallet, mobile phone, laptop and paper pad is ever going to come along.