Thursday, May 08, 2008

Marketing Benefits the Community

Today's Post is a bit of a diversion from our core topic, but still an observation of Marketing. I was in attendance at a local awards ceremony last evening where organizations were being honored for programs that represent collaboration to enhance the local community. It was great that four recipients were a collaborative client team that I've worked with, but what influenced me as I listened and learned about what various organizations were doing for the local community, was that it reinforced a fundamental belief that there is a great deal of good to done in the world. And, importantly, the marketing professionals can and do play an important role in many of these achievements. As I listened, I was encouraged by the passion and commitment demonstrated by the individuals who comprise these collaborative efforts. So, my message to everyone today is that while marketing may often be demonized and, at times may be used for less than honorable goals by less than honorable people, marketing can and is often applied for the betterment of consumers and citizens. Go Marketing!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Will brand personalization generate profit?

Interesting comments are popping up in the marketing literature regarding the advent of personalization of brands. This trend has been growing over the past several years and has become more prominent as technology permits efficient implementation of persoanalization. Jim Holbrook, CEO of eMak, summarized the shift toward personalization of brands in a recent eMak e-mail, saying "Now its about brands conforming to consumer preferences, rather than consumers being conformists." In other words, why wear an Izod logo shirt or a Nike cap, when you can personalize your blue jeans to your exact style and size, wear a personalized cologne, and create your own pizza combination (including naming and posting the pizza combination for others to view)?

As consumer marketers, this trend toward personalizing the brand experience is exhilirating because of the many marketing opportunities that it creates (can't you feel the energy of the agency creative teams buzzing on this topic?), but care must be taken to ensure that both short and long-term ROI can be generated from impact of personalizing the brand. Can it be achieved? Yes. But not in every instance. Marketers should evaluate the cost structures implicit in personalization and ensure that the consumer response will justify the operational impact. Ask whether the personalization of the brand permits the brand to command a premium in the marketplace.