From Heathrow to Brisbane: There are no coincidences in life

Brisbane
Everything happens for a reason, whether you figure it out or not. There are no accidents. James Redfield, author of ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, helped many connect to their deeper, more sacred spiritual selves. Life takes a new meaning when you seriously consider that people who cross your path have a message for you. When you seek meaning and purpose, it comes to you like most good things in life. I narrated my entrepreneurial story recently when Dr Shane Pegg, during a lecture at the University of Queensland, asked me to share my experience with the class. Continue reading From Heathrow to Brisbane: There are no coincidences in life

The Ghastly Alfatah Flyer

Alfatah Shopping MarketingA few years ago we thought of running a blog which would be called www.whataneyesore.com. The idea originated from the poor aesthetics in general and design sense (graphic, visual and UX) in particular that Pakistani marketing collateral suffers from. Most of the creative works are an eyesore. They hurt your senses, your mood, and sometimes make you angry somewhere deep inside. While we maybe doing somewhat decent work in TV advertising and print materials in terms of creativity and skill, the story of digital marketing in Pakistan is a dark one with websites that are shabbily designed and basic information like contact numbers (common sense anyone?) are hard to find. Eventually we decided to pursue more constructive things than this blog as eyesores were too many which would have resulted in content overload. There was so much wonderful stuff that we could create at Obscure UX and that is just what we did.

Who is paying so much to agencies of all sizes to create such eyesores?! We have too many companies suffering at the hands of agencies who do not care about reputation, lack a belief system, and would sell their soul for making a quick buck. I thought of visiting the grand mall that Alfatah launched in Lahore only recently near the all famous Hussain Chowk of Gulberg. The Mall has it all from a Pakistani standard – groceries, imported and local brands, various floors that are categorised thoughtfully, but this flyer was something worth sharing. This is what happens to a brand with a reasonable size in retail but limited experience in marketing communications.

Purpose brands: A Likely Cure for Marketing Malpractice

Purpose brands create powerful means of differentiation in the minds of customers as they are tightly associated to the job for which customers hire them. Advertising and WoM communication play a vital role in building awareness for the purpose brands and creating positive and strong brand associations, which result in brand equity. Brand equity is the added value a brand name brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits. Brand equity in case of purpose brands is built when the product does the job and people talk about it. High brand equity implies that customers perceive that the brand is of high quality, have positive and strong associations related to the brand, and are loyal to the brand.

The in-depth interviews conducted in my research revealed that the purpose brands in the selected product categories of Search Engines and Portable Digital Media Players were closely tied to the job for which customers hired these brands, and they were primarily built on WoM communication. The findings of the online questionnaires suggested that the two purpose brands had relatively higher mean scores, and enjoyed significant differences in mean scores in terms of the three core dimensions of brand equity (brand awareness / associations, perceived quality and brand loyalty), compared to the relatively more generic brands. It was concluded that there is a difference in the influence of purpose brands, compared to relatively more generic brands, on brand equity, and the influence seems to be positive.

The purpose brand approach has significant implications for marketing communications. Job-specific brands create meaningful differentiation in the customers’ minds, which could imply that marketers may need to spend less on overall advertising, other than the occasions of creating brand awareness when the product is launched and for reminder advertising. This in turn could improve the profitability of the companies. Purpose brands should be able to create a strong ‘pull’ for a brand and in this event, Internet marketing becomes a powerful tool for information dissemination. The limitations of the research were that the brand selection could be refined to enable selection of more combinations of purpose brands and relatively generic brands, and the sample could include more than just student samples.

Glossary

Advertising

Any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor

Brand awareness

The ability for a buyer to recognize or recall that a brand is a member of a certain product category

Brand associations

Anything linked in memory to a brand

Brand equity

The added value a ‘brand name’ brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits

Brand loyalty

Tendency to be loyal to a brand, which is demonstrated by the intention to buy the brand as a primary choice

Perceived quality

The consumer’s [subjective] judgement about a product’s overall excellence and superiority

Purpose Brand

The brand of a product that is tightly associated with the job for which it is meant to be hired

WoM communication

Oral, person-to-person communication between a perceived non-commercial communicator and a receiver regarding a brand, a product, or a service