Dr Dan Herman, Competitive Strategy, Innovation, Marketing, Branding

Articles

 

The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO)
 

I first observed this phenomenon that I later named "The Fear of Missing Out" in the mid 90's, while listening to consumers at focus groups and during individual in-depths interviews. Despite the variety of research topics and business categories being explored, most consumers expressed - at one time or another –a clearly fearful attitude towards the possibility of failing to exhaust their opportunities (and complementarily, to miss the expected joy associated with succeeding in doing so). It struck me as an extremely significant new development in consumer psychology, and in the following years I have been researching FoMO as a socio-cultural phenomenon, as a motivation, and as a personality factor. Having studied its implications for marketers, my belief is that this motivation might be one of the central factors in the  decline of brand loyalty.

 

 Categories: FOMO, Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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Creating Meteoric Successes in Marketing –

The Marketing Hits Formula


From time to time the marketing world is taken aback by huge, quick, unpredictable and seemingly inexplicable successes. These hits are products or services, entertainment locales or vacation spots, shopping malls or specialty stores that enjoy puzzling immediate popularity. There are incognitos that become hot celebrities, there are events, festivals or concerts that capture the masses, real estate development projects that evoke huge demand, or styles that become trendy. In nearly all cases, there are also new brands that are immediately adopted by the target population. For example, Harry Potter or
 The Da Vinci Code, Apple's iPod and the Blogs, the Hamptons in Long Island New York, Toyota's Scion brand, the Crest electric toothbrush and many more examples.  

 

 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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A reality check on your marketing strategy

The 'Marketing Scenario' is a practical tool designed to help you make sure that you have a winning marketing strategy to support your brand. You will do a reality check on those dreams of success to learn if they make any sense.
The 'Marketing Strategy' is the way we have come up with for achieving our marketing goals and it should include two mandatory elements:

  1. Which target consumers whom we can reach, hold a viable potential to buy whatever we intend to sell?
  2. What is the offer (the entire marketing mix) we will be presenting to these consumers in order to appeal to them and thus realize the said potential, given their alternatives?
Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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Every blue ocean will eventually turn red.
Create an unfair advantage instead

 

The vast red and blue oceans of the marketing world tsunamied into our awareness and vocabulary a few years ago, when two INSEAD professors, W.Chan Kim and Ren?e Mauborgne, claimed that competition can be rendered irrelevant.

Their book, Blue Ocean Strategy, heralded the news to marketing managers and CEOs all over the world: after years and years of surviving in red bloody oceans, swarming with murderous competitors, finally there's a better alternative!


Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands

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The 5% That Determines Your Company's Success 

I have encouraging news for you: many of your competitors are afraid of strategy. You might call it strategophobia. Strategy has two terrifying characteristics. First, strategy is a choice. "We are going to go for target customers X, and not the rest," or "The major benefit we will offer consumers is Z and not all sorts of other things." It seems that when you choose, you have to give something up.

 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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The Best Kept Secret of Successful Differentiation


A successful differentiation is not imitated by your competitors, even though it brings you unmistakable success with consumers. It seems impossible? Not quite so. I am about to reveal to you the unexpectedly simple and wonderful secret of successful differentiation: you must think beyond the core benefits of your product category. Think: Off-Core Differentiation.

 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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Contextual Segmentation –  

A New Method for Understanding Your Market 


This is how we, marketers, usually think: "Find out what they want, give it to them nicely wrapped and with a big shiny smile, and let the surveys show that they are satisfied." Good old Satisfying Marketing…right? Well, not any more. Consistent data from all over the globe indicates that even the most satisfied customers tend to keep an open mind towards other offers.  

We live in the post customer loyalty era and… guess what? Customers simply do not want to be loyal any more. Forsaking all other options – is no longer an option. So yes, it is important to keep them satisfied (otherwise they will be gone in a split second) but do not expect them to be loyal.  

So, what do you do? Get an alternative thinking cap. 

 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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Marketing Reinvented - Electrifying is the new Satisfying!  


If you’re trying to segment your market in the traditional way, what you may be looking for would be groups of consumers sorted out in such a way that a certain likeness exists within each group, and a difference exists between them. The variable determining the meaningful likeness or difference between those groups would be the segmentation variable. A trivial segmentation variable, just for the sake of demonstration, would be hair color. However, after having segmented the customers into groups, it is reasonable to assume that you would expect to do something with it.

 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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The Strategy IS the Brand


 

About 95% of what executives in competing companies do is pretty much the same all around. This is good management. If you are CEO’ing a wireless communication services provider, you strive to put up an advanced technological infrastructure with a promising future, cool end-user phones, other devices and accessories, a great service system and competitive prices. Well, this is precisely where your competitors put their efforts as well. The 5% (give or take) that you do differently constitutes your strategy. The CEO of Southwest Airlines, the revolutionary domestic American airline, most of the time does exactly what her colleagues do. But her firm offers Ticketless travel, and serves meals in the airport during waits, and not on the plane. 


 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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Creating Brand That Can Do a Lot More
Than the Product  


 

The main reason for the general fascination with brands is their ability to provide the consumers an extra value in addition to what the product\service\company themselves can provide. A value which becomes the major motivation for consumers to desire the product. Everybody agrees about that, but from here on it becomes foggy. First of all, what is this value exactly? Also, how precisely is this value being added and incorporated into the brand? In this short article I attempt to provide a clear answer to both of these key questions and to suggest a workable approach to creating value added brands. 


 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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How can you lure consumers into loving your brand?


Our starting point is to be clear as to what we mean by "love for a brand". The love of a brand is more similar to the love of ice-cream than the love for a spouse. Love for a brand is actually a strong feeling of anticipation for something good, pleasant or beneficial that we believe with great certainty that we will get from the brand. It is the anticipation for good experiences, pleasant sensations or positive emotions. Consumers love the M&M chocolate candies, buying at IKEA, driving a BMW, using a Nokia telephone or searching for information in Google, exactly because of the focused and intensive anticipation which they enthusiastically describe as "love". But we, as professionals, need to understand what is behind the verbal descriptions of consumers, so that we will be able to stimulate such feelings. To stimulate anticipation for benefit is a more approachable task than to "stimulate love".  


 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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The Eternal Principles for Creating Luxury Brands 


By definition, a luxury brand is an outstanding brand, justifiably priced highly and destined, at least primarily, to a select group of the social-economic elite. Luxury is not about unattainability though. After all, you cannot profit from consumers that cannot buy your brand. However, luxury is about the consumer outstretching herself a bit to buy something extraordinary but rather expensive for her financial ability. When you are used to driving a BMW 760 (price tag: over 85,000 Euros), it is no longer a luxury for you, although you might be pleasantly aware that it is for many. Alternatively, paying 115,000 Euros for a Maserati Quattroporte Executive GT Automatic – will probably be more of luxury to you. 


 Categories: Marketing, Strategy, Brands 

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