Monday, November 26, 2007

Irish Director magazine

Seems a piece I co-wrote with one of my lecturers earlier this year has found its way onto the pages of Irish Director magazine, a magazine for Irish managing directors... good stuff!

Ford Pinto - The barbeque that seats four

Marketing classes have helped me look at things a little differently this year, and one of the main themes running through all the courses this year are to look at what effect any major decision a company has to make will have on its long term brand image.
A story I heard in one class this week really drove home the importance of having someone make sure that any decision made keeps that long term brand image in mind.

This may not be entirely accurate but I looked this up and for the most part the general story is fairly accurate. In the late 60s the car manufacturer Ford sold a model of car called the Pinto. It was found out after 11million units of production that the Pinto had a problem... a fairly major problem.
It seems that due to a fault in the way the car was designed when it was impacted form the burst into a ball of fire on wheels, usually killing or chargrilling those inside.

The Ford board of directors faced a costly recall of all 11million units to repair this fault and was like to cost them in the region of $150m to sort out.
HOWEVER... the geniuses on the board came up with a much better decision, it was estimated that although the fault would probably kill a FEW people, the lawsuits were more than likely going to be in the well below the $100m region, so pretty logical, rational and profitable decision eh.

Well this information was leaked (click on the pic) and when the public caught wind of this it did massive amounts of damage to the Ford brand image and caused many people who were loyal to the brand switch to competitors next time they bought a car rather than stay with the company responsible for "the barbecue that seats four"
One good example of what happens when you lets Finance people steer the ship!
A good comparative example to a brand is a person, you build up a relationship with them and have certain ways you view them, and then you find out that your friend/acquaintance was willing to kill you... your opinion of them may change...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dublin Coastal Development

I want to live here.

My fave part is the small text at the bottom of the screen at 2:03

Friday, November 9, 2007

Smelly marketing

Ed is busy busy BUSY at the moment so not much posting. Just wrote this about my consumer and Buyer behaviour class, pretty interesting I thought...

I found the reading on smell to be very thought provoking, and it changed my opinion on the importance of smell in the sale of certain products. I had previously believed that when all other characteristics were held equal smell could indeed be an important factor in shaping a decision, but these readings suggested that in some cases it is actually the primary motivating factor.

The examples of Palmolive soaps and Starbucks were quite interesting to me seeing as I am a user of both of these products on a reasonably regular basis. The soaps produced by Palmolive do have a quite appealing smell, and you can sniff it through the paper packaging that it comes in, however recently there changed the packaging to cardboard boxes that were in turn wrapped with cellophane. This meant that the smell of the soap could not examined while in the shop without opening up the packet, something retailers would most likely not be particularly happy about, soon after this sales of the single bar in the new packaging began to drop off, but interestingly sales of the paper wrapped soap multi-packs increased as customers switched to the product that they could smell before purchasing.

The coffee retailer Starbucks ran into similar problems when attempting to sell coffee beans in packs that would allow for greater storage time and freshness due to their innovative vacuum packed wrapping that again did not allow for inspection of the products aroma, a feature that is especially important in the sale of coffee, and ultimately sales fell. Starbucks thought about this for a while and rather than change the packaging altogether came up with an innovative adaptation to it. They incorporated husks of the coffee into the paper label that went around the pack, enabling people to smell what the product in the pack was like. A feature that I noticed in some of the branches in New York was that they would also include a trough of the relevant beans in front of the packs that you could sniff to get a sense of what you were buying. And as soon as they did that sales rose again.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Friday, November 2, 2007

Oil - everything ok?

I was up at my usual unusual hour of the night not too long ago and I was watching a program about oil. In this fine piece of BBC programming (only the best for me eh?) and they mentioned that there may only be in and around 30 years worth of oil left in the world, now excuse me for being silly but is that not a bit of an emergency? And if its true why aren't Oil companies/petrol retailers/car manufacturers wetting their pants more? I know that companies engage in short termism, but if your company will be effectively DEAD in 30 years I reckon its time to do some good old fashioned panicking.