Tuesday, 29 April 2008
I love the way trams glide past you when you're sitting in a traffic jam on the Hanauer Landstrasse or somewhere. And even better than the standard aqua issue are the trams in full advertising regalia. There's one I see regularly done up like hundreds of Maggi enamel signs and I saw a real beauty today: a Lufthansa tram with a clouds and sky artwork to rival that of Michelangelo (well, almost). Maybe there's something not quite right about an airline pushing its wares via an older and more mundane form of transport but as I watched it serenely sailing past, I didn't really care. This streetcar evoked exactly the "consumer response" that I'm sure was desired.
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Sunday, 20 April 2008
Thursday, 17 April 2008
But, fair enough, perhaps it is time for a change. After all "Account Planning" is a term left over from the 1960s when people worked on "Accounts" in "Advertising Agencies". I remember that word "Account" seriously putting me off in my days as a naive graduate when Monty Python's derision of Accountants was still fresh in my mind.
And, as a German group, maybe an English name is sending out the wrong signals. I won't get into that particular debate here but I do have my views...
So some options were kicked around and the "working title" of Strategie Verband has been decided on - or has it? Some have it that this has yet to be officially agreed while others note that what used to be http://www.apgd.de/ is now redirected to http://www.strategieverband.de/ : a fait accompli?
I won't go into my view on the proposed new name just yet - maybe next time - but I know how I would have gone about the name change if I were on the apgd Vorstand: from grass roots up. The joy of Germany is that it's still a collection of princely states in some ways: surely each Vorstand member could have taken one of the big cities: Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, München - oh, and Hamburg of course, held an informal evening meeting there then reported back to base with ideas and views. That would surely have got round any accusations of not being 100% democratic.
Sunday, 13 April 2008
The website was pooh-poohed by the experts for having a "distinct lack of marketing" and for have "too much information" on how Bionade is made, rather than "talking about how it tastes". Now, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't think many people spend sleepless nights trawling the Web to chance upon descriptions of how new products that they might like to try taste.
And then comes the comment "it should at least tell an interesting story about the company, the founders or the origin of the product. It doesn't even have to be real, just a good yarn." Excuse me, but the joy of Bionade is its authenticity. They don't need marketing hype and spin because they have a real story to tell, as compelling as that of any malt whisky or Real Ale.
Finally, the Canadian expert also suggested changing the name: "it lacks the zest of same-suffixed beverages such as Gatorade or Powerade. It sounds like I'm drinking some sort of medicine. I'd change the name to something snappier that reflects the product more or come up with a story and market that." I suppose the English pronunciation is a little different to the German one...but I think it has some nice associations with "bionic" which sounds pretty "zesty" to me.
I did wonder whether the article was written on April 1st but I fear not. Let's just hope that Bionade don't take it too seriously otherwise we'll have "Mega-tasty Schnappi-Ade, brewed by cute baby polar bears" on the North American market before we know it. Cheers!
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Well, "True Fruits" beat my friend to it and, for the last two years , more and more of these "baby bottles for grown-ups", as the Stern puts it, have smoothed their way into the chiller cabinet. It started with the Innocent lookalikes, such as True Fruits, but the big brands (interestingly, from quite diverse categories) such as Schwartau, Chiquita, Knorr and Mövenpick have also been quick to leap on the bandwagon. And the discounters have their own versions, too: Lidl's presumably with a micro-camera for surreptitious consumer research into "how do you slurp yours?"
By all accounts, the market is growing healthily (it should: it has only been in existence for two years) but a sneaky feeling inside me wonders if I really should be kicking myself. Germany has no real chilled fruit juice culture like the UK or USA and when it comes down to it, these seductive little bottles are incredibly expensive. Leaving aside the niche of urban on-the-go young singles, I have the feeling that the bulk of pragmatic, thrifty, down-to-earth Germans will vote with their wallets and stick to munching fruit in its original form.
Monday, 7 April 2008
Friday, 4 April 2008
There's a wonderful thought (among many) in this book that gives me encouragement that blogging is the right thing to be doing. I quote from Paul Arden: "Do not covet your ideas. If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish. Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you."
There's an interesting article from the Independent here about Paul and his books.
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
I probably should lay off kicking them when they are down, but British Airways managed to annoy me again yesterday with an e-mail from the Director of Operations. There were so many apologies in this e-mail that it sounded like that dreadful yowling "hit" that we've been subjected to on the radio for what seems like the last year.
But in my case, it was unnecessary to apologise. I have my bags, I am back home and I just want to put the experience behind me. It is now rather alarming, but not altogether surprising, to learn that, with all their sophisticated methods, BA don't actually know if I am still waiting for my bag to reappear after its little holiday in Milan or not.
At the end of the e-mail, in case I was wondering, it states that "you have received this email because it contains important information regarding your relationship with British Airways." No it doesn't. And much as we may talk about "relationship marketing" among ourselves, I don't think that the average person really wants to be told that they have a "relationship" with British Airways.
So, for light relief, here's a fun game I found. I would suggest an extra level where Willie starts packing bags off to Milan, Barcelona, Timbuktu and the South Pole.