Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Media?
Your Rocket is Waiting

Sorry, I just couldn't resist the chance to sponsor our very own company rocket!
You can get one at GlassGiant.
Since the Virgin involvement in private sector space travel, this is not such a far fetched idea after all. Maybe it's scalable too!
But this is not just about paid media passivity, we would actually have to get involved in the mission. Probably by getting Myth Busters to solve something really weird that only happens in orbital space. They say the only way that that can work is if we sponsor them. OK, I guess that makes sense, but that will push us way over budget.
But hey, now we have Discovery Channel on board. So we will need to produce some really dramatic video on the "making of the making of", if that makes sense.
Now some really savvy client wants to sponsor a web page that kids can interact with. Wow, now our sponsorship idea has its own sponsor. Great, we also get the budget back in line.
Somebody else just called who wants to make the whole thing into a video game.
It's late, I had better call it a night before this gets out of hand.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Mexican Middle Class Revival?
Fragile to be sure, but it's there.

Most economists agree that the fundamental engine of sustained economic growth is dependant on an expanding middle class. In Mexico the middle classes have still yet to recover from the massive crash of 1982 and the "lost decade" that culminated in the Tequila meltdown of 1994. So, news of a Mexican middle class revival (from a number of sources) is welcome news indeed.
An article in the Economist points to a resurgence of the the lower middle (D+) class in Latin America, specifically in Brazil and Mexico.
" According to Alejandro Hope of GEA, a consultancy in Mexico City, the number of (D+ and lower C class) families with a monthly income of between $US6,600 and $US17,600 has increased from 5.7m in 1996 to 10.7m in 2006." An increase of 88%.
As the Economist article points out, evidence of an expansion in the Mexican lower middle class are plain to see:
> The growth in low cost home construction and mortgages
> Expanding credit (the Mexican Bank Association recently announced that 3 million new credit cards will be distributed to lower middle class consumers.
> First time use of air travel. A survey by a new low-cost Mexican airline found that 47% of its passengers had never flown before.
> Record levels of new car (sub compact) sales

Data from AC Nielsen (a leading market research company) points to growth, but at the upper end of the middle class, the C+ and Middle C groups: from 29% of the population in 2000 to 32% in 2006. Nielsen produces an excellent market overview of key trends (Cambios en el Mercado Mexicano 2007) which you down load as a pdf here
As one might suspect, these trends are far from being uniform across the country. According to AMAI, 2004 data, the C class represents 22% of the population in Monterrey, 21% in Guadalajara, falling to 15% in Mexico City and 12% in the south of the country.
What is interesting, are the ways in which middle class values and aspirations are changing. The Economist article sees new middle class as being well educated and more self-reliant than the traditional middle class, that relied on their political, professional, commercial contacts and protected markets to succeed, rather than initiative, innovation and competition which are beginning to provide the opportunities for people now entering and climbing the middle class ladder. Aspiration, status and upward mobility are still the key drivers of middle class habits and attitudes. But, perhaps, now joined with a self-reliant northern work ethic. That should be wake up call for brands wishing to connect to the new emerging middle class.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

World´s Top 100 Brands

The Business Week - Interbrand Top 100 Brands listing is here again. You can down load the full article pdf here and check out the the Interbrand methodology for arriving at a brand’s economic worth.
Top 10 brands show little change: Coca Cola is still valued as the most valuable brand in the world at $US 65.3 billion, followed by Microsoft, IBM, GE, Nokia, Toyota, INTEL, McDonald's, Disney and Mercedes Benz. For a closer look at the McDonald's, BW has an interview with CMO Mary Dillon, who talks about the brand dialogue they have developed with consumers.
Probably the most interesting trend in this exercise is the difference between the big winners and the big losers according to the tables.
The big winners are Google (#20) with a gain of +44%, Zara +22%, Apple +21%, Nintendo +18% and Starbucks +17%. These brands stand out as being innovators that have successfully redefined their categories and challenged existing conventions. BW has an interview with David Lawee VP marketing for Google, who summed up Google's innovation very succinctly:
"You can't say your are innovative. You actually have to be innovative. The best marketing for innovation is to put out a new product or improvement every two weeks. We're releasing stuff almost every day. That's much better then an ad saying we're innovative."
The big losers stand out as brands that have not kept pace with the pace of innovation and have seen their brand value decline as a result: Ford -19%, The GAP -15%, Kodak -12%, Pizza Hut -9%, and Motorola -9%. "Hello Moto" has faltered by not being able to capitalize on the huge success of the RAZR model. The others seem to belong to another era and have failed to innovate sufficiently for the new century.