Monday, May 28, 2007

Sailing and Sales

How many people who follow the America's Cup races are influenced by the brands shown on the yachts' sails? Sponsors often hire "brand counters" such as Arbiter to determine how much media exposure their logos receive during sports events. (For more on sponsors and the America's Cup series, see this New York Times article.)

Without question, the brand logos on the BMW Oracle Racing yacht were highly visible and received prominent media play during the semifinals last week. But does this kind of exposure always result in positive attitudes and associations? When a yacht loses, what are the repercussions for the sponsoring brands? And does significant media exposure during the America's Cup races translate into higher sales for the sponsors?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Intel Likes Light and Skinny

A B2B brand that became known in the consumer world as an "ingredient" brand (remember the "Intel Inside" campaign for its computer chips?), Intel has now made its mark in laptops. Working with Ziba Design, Intel's engineers have created the world's skinniest laptop--not even an inch thick and a featherweight 2.25 pounds, with user-friendly design details that any Mac (or iPod) lover would appreciate. Business Week has a story and slide show about this snazzy laptop, which puts design at center stage as Intel works to combat competition from rival AMD.

Friday, May 18, 2007

E-mail Signoffs as Marketing

Do you add a signature block to the end of every e-mail? If you include more than your name, address, phone/fax, and e-mail, you're using your signoff as a marketing vehicle. (My own signoff includes a link to this blog as well as to my Web site.)

Today's Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about signatures that go way beyond subtle. Here's the subhead on that article: "Re: annoying email sign-offs. Katherine Rosman on packing the 'sig' with graphics, links and logos -- and why it's about to get worse."

I've seen quotes, logos, and links at the end of e-mails, but no photos or video snippets (yet). When does a personalized signoff step over the line from subtle marketing to annoyance? A signoff with bandwidth-hogging animation/video or with sledgehammer political or religious preaching would annoy me, having the opposite effect of what the sender probably intends. Your thoughts?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Marketing Books: Do Quirky Titles Work?

Notice how quirky book titles are becoming more commonplace? In such a crowded marketplace, capturing buyer attention is increasingly difficult--therefore, quirky titles are one way to get a book noticed. But do quirky titles sell books? The answer is: sometimes.

Recently I gave a 5-star Amazon review to Your Gut Is Still Not Smarter than Your Head by Clancy and Krieg, because it's a thoughtful antidote to "blink marketing." The title is definitely quirky but the contents are not; judging by its ranking, Amazon buyers have been adding this book to their shopping carts.

I haven't read the following books but their titles are certainly evocative and intriguing:
  • The No-Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One that Isn't (office politics - I've seen this reviewed in business publications)
  • Presentation Skills for Quivering Wrecks (public speaking how-to - I found it posted on Amazon's UK site)
I'll add to this list as I come across more books with quirky titles.