Branding

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Building an SUV society

The sport utility vehicle (SUV) category is the victim of its own success in that it has become jam-packed with new models – so much so that it is tricky for each automaker to stand out in all the traffic.

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How would you get the Golden Arches to shine again?

As a ‘who’da thunk it’ moment in marketing history, it was a doozy. After 47 years of enticing most of the munchers on Planet Earth to chow down under the Golden Arches, mighty McDonald’s humbly posted its first-ever quarterly losses on Jan. 23.

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No more brand personality – we’re at the molecular level

Brands are often compared to people. It is a convenient mental model for understanding how they behave, and one of the oldest tools in the consultant’s kit bag for articulating key attributes. You’ve heard it a million times: ‘If this brand were a person….’

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Who owns your brand?

Time was when branding was simple. You would establish the attributes and the value proposition of your brand; dress it up to communicate those elements and take an educated guess as to who might buy into your promise. Then you’d send the whole works out into the cold, cruel world to find new friends. And, of course, bring back the cash.

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HP’s insane premise doesn’t just brand, it sells

It’s funny about branding. I mean how a word that until rather recently stood for using a hot metal tool to place a burn-mark on the hide of some livestock to identify ‘em as belonging to you or me got to be a big-time marketing buzzword in the late ’90s.
A brand is basically a label, right? And taken literally, every proper noun is a kind of a brand. Switzerland is a brand. (So is Iraq!) The New York Giants is a brand. Madonna is a brand. You are a brand, buddy, so shape up!

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Good corporate citizenship is good for the brand

In these days of corporate penitence and punishment, as blue serge is replaced by grey sackcloth, and the music in Bay Street’s high-speed elevators takes on a monastic tone befitting the spartan conditions of an unrelenting bear market, it’s tough to get excited about where to look for brand value.

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Everything old…

There used to be a time when a girl could go to the drugstore, and there was only one shampoo she would think of buying – it had that unmistakable fragrance, and if she used it, she would be known as a Breck Girl. Go into a drugstore now, and you’ll see hundreds of different shampoo brands lining the shelves, all promising to make your hair bouncy one moment and smooth as silk the next. Soon, Breck may re-join the shampoo queue in Canada.

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How can mutual fund marketers restore consumer confidence?

In September, net redemptions hit the $1 billion mark, according to the Investment Funds Institute of Canada in Toronto, culminating in six consecutive months of redemptions.

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Bottling primal instinct

In the summer of 2000, Canada’s largest winery/alcoholic beverage producer – the fourth largest in North America – called on Toronto-based strategic branding and design firm Strategies International (SI) to help them come up with a ‘cooler-type beverage’ that could compete with drinks like Rev and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

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Design Deconstructed: Water bottles

Panelists: Chris Plewes, VP, design strategy, Anthem Group, Toronto, Ont.; Maria Kennedy, president, CD, Karacters Design Group, Vancouver, B.C.

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Marketers keep it real

It’s not an advertising tactic that could resurrect the reputation of Enron but for Wal-Mart, Tim Hortons, and Buckley’s, the use of real people or employees in their communications has helped reinforce their brand character over the years.
New campaigns starring employees have recently been launched by Canadian Tire, The Standard Life Assurance Company and, from Domtar, the paper company, a B2B effort.

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Letter

Brand stewardship should focus on what, not who
I read with interest Will Novosedlik’s article on the continuing fight for brand stewardship between traditional agencies and business consultants.

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Communicating the new you

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But a corporation that botches its rebranding might become a real stinker.

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What’s in a name?

The Bangles once sang about a loathing for ‘manic’ Mondays, tapping into sentiments that likely still ring true for many of us. But that didn’t stop PricewaterhouseCoopers from naming its consulting practice after the dreaded day of the week. Reaction was mixed, to say the least.

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Examining the jean pool

You can never own too many pairs of jeans.
That seems to be the thinking of late with such a vast selection of denim on the market – from Brazilian cut to embroidered to the dreaded acid wash.
The jeans market is doing very well in Canada, according to Randy Harris, of Toledo, Ohio-based Trendex North America. Harris says sales of jeans have been climbing steadily in Canada over the last 10 years and they have always been a staple in the Canadian wardrobe. According to Trendex, in 2001, Canadian women spent almost $600,000 on jeans while men spent $650,000.