Wednesday, April 18, 2007

De Kijk van Van Dyck: "The bucket"

Brands heavily invest in their marketing-communications campaigns, but the small things in the services or products they offer are often at least as important as fancy ads.

Last sunday I drove home from the seaside, and stopped at my favorite gas station. Wanted to clean the windscreen with the spunge provided there for that purpose. It was however pretty dirty, with the result that my windscreen ended up more dirty than at the start.

The customer only sees one brand, that is shaped through (expensive) advertising, but also through a dirty spunge on a sunday afternoon.

Read all about it in this week's column.

Brands: Google most powerful brand

The second annual BRANDZ™ Top 100 Most Powerful Brands ranking published in cooperation with the Financial Times was announced today by leading global market research and consulting firm Millward Brown. Google has risen to the top of this year's ranking, taking the number one spot with a brand value of $66,434 million. This was followed by General Electric ($61,880 million), Microsoft ($54,951 million) and Coca-Cola ($44,134 million).

think BBDO's 20-something study of beginning 2005 already showed that Google was the brand youth said to be most in line with youth's personality. Also in the top 10 were Microsoft and Coca Cola.

Millward Brown and FT discern 4 major trends in this year's BRANDZ™ Top 100:

1. The rise of the East
2. Converging technologies
3. Delivering on Corporate Social Responsibility
4. Fast food brands react to health conscious consumers.

Read the full BRANDZ™ Top 100 Most Powerful Brands report here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

De Kijk van van Dyck: "It will be a warm summer"

With summer starting very early this year (at least in Belgium), a lot of you probably are worrying about what clothes to wear. This summer's fashion will probably be more vital than in previous years.

International Herald Tribune's fashion editor Suzy Menkes did not manage to see the underlying trends. She talked about the "delirious diversity of the summer dress".

However, that "delirous deversity" shows a quite consistent pattern:
- Vital colours: green and blue, and for those who dare yellow and orange
- Skin: naked shoulders, short skirts, deeper décolletés.
- Playful and sheery motives: especially flowers and abstract geometric figures

Read all about it in this week's column.

De Kijk van Van Dyck: "Maternity coaching"

A couple of law firms, investment banks and other employers in the London City are starting to introduce "maternity coaching". Financial Times recently covered this in an article.

"Maternity coaching" involves confidential one-to-one sessions before, during and after a woman's maternity leave. But it can also be delivered in group.

It's the emloyers' way of dealing with the costly brain drain of women from middle and senior ranks.

In the war for talent employers are currently in this is obviously another way of answering to the need of the 'new employee'. Research suggests that the work/life balance is highly valued by the new generation of employees.
In the 80'ies it were the "dinkies - double income, no kids" that built the succes of the law firms and investment banks. Now the talented youngster at those banks want to have kids, and spend time with them. Employers are forced to adapt.

Read all about it in this week's column (Dutch).

Monday, April 02, 2007

De Kijk van Van Dyck: Fab Lab

I saw Neil Gershenfeld last week at Technopolis inaugurating the first 'Fabrication Lab' or 'Fab Lab' in Belgium.

A Fab Lab is a small scale workshop with the tools to make almost anything. This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production.

The Fab Lab program is part of the MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) which broadly explores how the content of information relates to its physical representation.

The striking thing about the Fab Lab is that it points to the undisputable fact that the future will be digital, more than ever. The Fab Lab also makes technology easily accessible for common people like me and you. Gershenfeld talks about the 'personal fabricator', in analogy with the 'personal computer'.

If you have some 18 minutes of time you can have a look at a speech of Gershenfeld about "Life after the digital revolution", where he talks about some of his projects at MIT, among which the Fab Labs.

Or, read all about it in this week's column.

Media: First Joost Commercial

In a previous post we already talked about how Joost is moving TV to the internet.

This is Joost's first commercial by Albion.

Research: ROI of blogging

Forrester Research has identified a three-step process that it says will help companies create successful corporate blogs that will increase brand visibility, customer insight and sales generation, according to a new report.

The study, which is called The ROI of Blogging: The Why and How of External Blogging Accountability, was developed by Forrester Research analysts Charlene Li and Chloe Stromberg, with the aim of outlining a three-step process for marketers wanting to create successful corporate blogs.

Forrester Research said that from the companies and individuals canvassed, the most common benefits identified for corporate blogs were increased brand visibility; savings from customer insights; reduced impact from negative user-generated content; and increased sales efficiency.

Li has also included a separate analysis on corporate blogging on her own blog, which discusses the difficulties of quantifying a blog's success rate, and how following a three-step plan can increase a company blog's chances of generating a positive response.

The full report can be obtained direct from Forrester Research.

Source: brandrepublic