Monday, February 25, 2008

A brand in bad times

The power of communication is widely acknowledged, but most of the times communication is used to announce good news. However, communication is at least as important in bad times or during a moment of crisis. Dexia has understood this well in the trial against the bankrupt speech and language technology company Lernout & Hauspie. It created a special website, where visitors are informed about the case. Objective is not to plead through the Internet, but to inform all stakeholders in a correct way. The site is a good example of modern information management and a mean to reinstall trust.

Read all about it in this week's column.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Taking over the PBS

Consumer empowerment is a hot topic. We’ve seen it in our recent articles about the iPhone and Postbank-Ing, and now youngsters are planning a coup on our PBS, the VRT.
On, a group of young, creative people started a campaign to find like-minded people who want to change the VRT, and make more shows suiteable to younger generations. These youngsters, between 14-18 years, get the chance to promote their own creative work. If the campaign is a success, and enough talented youngsters are found, the work of the most talented youngsters will be broadcasted on television, radio and internet. Is this for real or is VRT's advertising agency behind 'the coup' ? To be continued.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Participation in brand landscape

Another example of consumer participation and involved is shown in the Netherlands. After the takeover of Postbank by ING, the latest decided to abandon the Dutch brand and rebrand all branches into ING. No doubt ING has good reasons to replace thé financial brand of the Netherlands, Postbank, by the ING brand. But the decision is much debated, since the 2 brands are perceived as opposite to one another and people have a real emotional relationship with Postbank. The risk for unsatisfied clients is thus real.
One of these clients, Wim Luijk, decided to create the website to express his dissatisfaction. How to react as a marketer?

Read all about it in this week’s column.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I bet some of you are proud owner of an Apple iPhone. And it seems you are not alone. About 8000 Belgians are iPhone users, though the phone is still not officially for sale in Belgium. But also in the US, where the phone was launched last year, about 1.7 millions phone don't work with AT&T and are thus hacked. An ultimate expression of the empowered consumers, who wants to be in control and doesn’t like restrictions enforced by brands?

Read all about this week's column here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The new communes

How do communes, the co housing projects that were popular in the 60ies and 70ies amongst people revolting against capitalism- look like anno 2008? Do they still accommodate former hippies? It seems that a lot of pragmatic 20-somethings also choose to live together with friends or like-minded people.

Read all about it in this week's column.