19 Jan

When more is less

I recently had a chat with the CEO of an industry association who showed a great understanding of brand value. Traditionally, membership organisations like this rely on subscription revenue to grow, so it would be logical to simply flog as many memberships as you can.

The problem is that the key value of this brand is that membership represents a higher quality, offering an automatic “seal of approval” to buyers. That is the core value of the membership and of the brand. So what did this guy do to grow? Read More

11 Jan

First impression disasters – Windows Vista

One of the blogs I read, Lifehacker, had this post about a preview of Windows Vista. I love a bit of technology, so quickly navigated to the site to have a look and a play. You would have to assume that this is exactly what the marketing people at Microsoft would have hoped for.

So I switch browser (I use Firefox rather than IE), give them my email address, install a bit of software (ActiveX) and start clicking…this is what I got. Read More

04 Jan

210,000,000 reasons to get fired…

Firstly, let me state I am a great believer in our capitalist system. It’s the best system around as long as it is moderated to control the worst excesses.

Did I say control the worst excesses? How about this: the CEO of Home Depot in the US, Robert Nardelli got fired after growing the company only 1% over five years and severely damaging the brand by alienating customers, employees and investors.

According to my information he got US $210,000,000 to leave…you don’t have to be a Home Depot employee to get riled up about that.