Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Hyperloop transportation is the future and it looks incredible!

If you're not familiar with the concept of Hyperloop transportation, it will allow the world to transport people and goods inexpensively, safely, and at speeds never thought possible.

Basically, it's a pod that is fired down a tube, on a bed of air, very fast. 760mph fast!

They are very energy efficient too and with electric propulsion provide carbon-free transportation. Hyperloop pods are also much smaller than most planes and trains and are designed to depart as little as every 10 seconds! Read more on Hyperloop

One of the problems though is claustrophobia. No one wants to be the first to step inside a windowless pod that shoots down an airless tube at almost twice the speed of sound. No one wants to imagine what could happen to their bodies if something goes wrong.

One company is working on easing those fears by using pretty pictures and technology. The company, which is based in LA, released a video that shows what a passenger experience could be like inside one of their pods.

Monday, 23 May 2016

why i'm loyal to a product, not a company's brand

For the last 25 years or so my skincare regime has involved shaving my head every couple days and moisturising straight after.

When your scalp is on show 24/7, you need to look after it, and in searching for that perfect combination I've tried more brands of razor blade, shaving gel/foam/cream and moisturiser than you can shake a stick at. But for as long as I can remember I've used a Gillette Mach 3 razor, Lush shaving cream and Body Shop moisturiser.

Posed by a model, not me!
Yet Gillette produces a shaving cream and moisturiser as well as razor blades; Lush produce a moisturiser as well as a shaving cream, and Body Shop sells a shaving cream as well as a moisturiser - so why don't I make life easier and buy multiple things from the same brand? After all, people are loyal to brands all the time aren't they?

Put simply I'm product loyal rather than brand loyal. I don't care who makes what, as long as I get the best product to keep my head feeling smooth and looking shiny. Yet companies don't seem to understand this.

What many call "brand loyalty" is more a reflection of habit than any type of loyalty itself. Customers in most categories are readily willing to switch brands if there's something in it for them - and I'm no different. If King of Shaves or Wilkinson Sword produced a blade that stayed sharper for longer, handled better (trust me, when you shave a lot, how a blade feels in your hand is important) and was about the same price, I'd show no loyalty to Gillette in the slightest. Sorry Gillette but I'd be off like a shot.

I just want the best product and the best value for money - the brand which delivers that is irrelevant. I don't care about you; I'm not attached to you nor do I have an emotional connection with you.

Trust me; I'm the rule rather the exception.

Friday, 20 May 2016

we create a 'great' brand for GMPTE...

Transport for Greater Manchester plans to bring buses back under its control with a London-style franchising arrangement overseen by an elected mayor.

There has been no word of what livery they might wear, but we've created something appropriate for the new regime...

Thursday, 12 May 2016

no bears were harmed in the making of our latest campaign

Bear Flat is a popular shopping area in Bath, a short walk from the centre of town but with a massive hill to negotiate.

click to enlarge
First wanted to take advantage of this, and try to help save people's legs from having to walk up the big hill. So they approached us to help brand and launch a new flat bus fare.

Just £1.20 gets you a single journey on any service between Bath Bus Station and Bear Flat.

But what could we call it? Well, the Bear Flat Fare of course!

We then set about creating a fun, friendly campaign including a mascot - Barry the flat bear. The campaign involved posters, leaflets, on-bus vinyls, social media and even a bear suit!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

the new TV ad for TransPennine Express

They've got a new franchise for the next seven years, some new routes around the north and a new livery to go with their shiny new trains. 

All that was missing was the new TV ad. You've not seen it you say? Here you go.

Monday, 9 May 2016

nobody lies awake at night thinking about your brand

Marketing Week magazine has a columnist who goes by the name of the Secret Marketer.

Each week he/she writes a short piece in which the reader gains an insight into the challenges this particular marketer faces in taking their brand to market leader status. Budgets, boards, agencies, planning, evaluation... you name it, they've written about it. 

This week's article, entitled 'Brands need to understand the real reason customers buy them and deliver on those needs', struck a real chord with me. So before you spend ages thinking about your next hashtag, planning your ground-breaking viral, or thinking of a prize for your Facebook competition - have a read of this (copied in full).
Every now and then the Secret Marketer has a Damascene moment. A blinding flash of the obvious; something I’m sure everybody else has noticed, but not me. The most recent one was this: we make the basic mistake of believing that there is a world of people who are lying awake at night thinking about our brand – and awaiting, with bated breath, to engage with it. Guess what: they are not. 
Mostly, they are hoping that when we take their cash our brand will deliver what they want. Or in marketing spiel, deliver on the customer’s needs.
I recently attended a Marketing Week event where I talked to lots of marketers from big brands, small brands, charities and banks. To my relief everybody has the same issues. How to win over senior management. Working with manual systems that should have been automated. Silos and turf wars reared their ugly heads again and again. But the one thing that was not for discussion was the most basic of marketing premises: delivering on the promise of the brand and what the customer wants. Hard to believe, when this is what the customer is buying.
To be blunt, there are few categories that are bigger offenders than banking and telecoms. If I’m signing up for a mobile phone contract, I should expect the network operator to deliver on a promise of coverage and speed. But is this our everyday experience? The amount of times I have had no signal on a motorway within a few miles of a city is unbelievable.
There is a reason why Ronseal’s tagline ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin’, created by agency HHCL, has entered popular culture and has resonated for over 20 years. And why ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ has been around for more than 10 years. They speak to the real reason that customers are handing over their cash. Ronseal manufactures wood stain and paint, hardly the most interesting of categories, or something we use everyday of the week. Yet, each and every person in the land can relate to the meaning of the phrase, and it peppers the conversations in the pub. Many of us do not experience the real life of our customers. We are cocooned, often by necessity, within our offices, talking to the boss, to the team and our agencies.
Perhaps we should try the life of our customers by going to the shopping centres and seeing what they are actually doing. Maybe we need to convince the boss, the board and the team to be more prosaic, a little more gritty and engaged in the hand-to-hand combat of our customers’ daily lives. Maybe being just a little bit more alert, curious and responsive to their world will actually deliver on the brand promise.
You can read more from the Secret Marketer in Marketing Week here 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

three minutes of watching paint dry on TV

During a break in Channel 4's Gogglebox programme last Friday, Ronseal did something not many brands could get away with.

They took the whole three minutes of ad space to promote their One Coat Fence Life product, and did it in near enough silence. This is at peak viewing time, in the middle of a programme that delivers their highest viewing figures.

Watch the ad below, and you will see it is just one bloke rather patiently painting a fence, for three whole minutes. And for some reason, it's strangely compelling and rather therapeutic.

Ronseal’s marketing director, James Smith, said: "We continue to be straight and open about the fact that for many people DIY isn't always the most exciting task. We don’t glamorise DIY.

"We know our products won’t change your life but they will help get a difficult task done quickly and easily. Never is that message more important than on a Friday night before a Bank Holiday weekend."

A great ad, a different ad and one that is most certainly on brand.