Apparently, blenders aren't just for smoothies and margaritas anymore.
Ever try blending golf balls? Light bulbs? Cell phones? A rake handle? An iPod? I bet not, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you have watched Tom Dickson from Blendtec blend some of these things on YouTube.
Since then, the campaign has continued on (Tom blended an iPhone this summer, for instance) and is now arguably one of the best examples of YouTube-based social-media marketing (SMM) to date.
The YouTube-based … Read more
UPDATE: A few minutes after I first published this post, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announced a tour for 2007. I've removed him from the running because (a.) he has no tourdates scheduled for 2008 and (b.) for this experiment in predictive markets to be interesting and valuable, I feel that it has to run for more than a few hours.
Although the recording industry's in the doldrums, the concert business has been pretty good of late.
The Rolling Stones just wrapped up its two-year-long Bigger Bang tour. The tour started in fall 2005, and a … Read more
Loopfuse and CentricCRM announced today a partnership that brings tight integration of Loopfuse's demand-generation software into CentricCRM's Customer Relationship Management suite. I'm a big believer in what Loopfuse is doing, as I've written. This is a logical next step for Loopfuse as it seeks to broaden the reach of data-driven marketing for companies that do business online (which is pretty much everyone).
I like the combination:… Read more
Last week the new "Baby Einstein" study came out suggesting that "educational" baby videos are ineffective teaching tools. The most memorable conclusion from one of the researchers: "I would rather babies watch American Idol than these videos."
Over the weekend I was invited to debate BabyFirst TV co-founder Sharon Rechter about the relative merits of these products. BabyFirst TV is a 24-hour cable channel that broadcasts "educational" shows aimed at infants and toddlers. Their programming includes the Brainy Baby video series, some of which were included in the recent study.
Unfortunately, a technical glitch meant I didn't get to participate in the discussion as planned, but preparing for the segment gave me a chance to examine the culture behind these products. Why are these videos so appealing to today's parents? As I thought about it over the weekend, and re-read Susan Gregory Thomas' new book Buy Buy Baby I came to realize that there is a perfect match between the marketing messages coming from companies like BabyFirst TV and Baby Einstein, and the culture and socialization of Gen X parents in particular. … Read more
Most start-ups fail. There are lots of reasons, but in my experience, the most common cause is that they develop technology and not products. Lots of people confuse the two terms, but the distinction is critical in start-ups. Here's why.
According to the book Marketing High Technology by the field's godfather, Bill Davidow, "Marketing must invent complete products and drive them to commanding positions in defensible market segments." Bill called this the Strategic Principle.
In case you've never heard of him, Bill Davidow was senior vice president of marketing and sales at Intel, where he helped the Santa Clara company to become the chip goliath it is today. Later, he founded Mohr Davidow Ventures, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm. The man has credibility.
Let's break down the Strategic Principle.
The first part means this: it's one thing to develop technology that does something cool, perhaps even something that's never been done before. It's another matter to deliver a complete product that meets a critical market need better than the competition. And by "complete product," I mean hardware, software, infrastructure, sales channel, promotion, customer service--the whole nine yards.
The second part means that if your product does not have what it takes to be a market leader, then you might consider segmenting the market more narrowly. Perhaps the product will then have a chance at sustainable market leadership. The catch is that the narrower segment still has to be big enough to be of interest from a business standpoint.
Now tell me, who can argue with Bill's logic? What company, start-up or otherwise, doesn't need marketing?… Read more
If you've been following the technology business for any extended amount of time, you would know that Apple has gone missing in the business world. If you look back at the nineties, Apple computers were not only few and far between, most IT managers would cringe at the site of an employee bringing an Apple product in-house.
But in just a few short years, Apple has made some significant headway in the business world and has done so without doing anything. Take a look back at the latest releases from Apple and you won't find a product designed … Read more
Among them: South Korea is the new Hong Kong, nepotism is the new polio, Samsung is the new Sony, RSS is the new WWW, Karl Lagerfeld is the new Steve Jobs, and cocoa is the new red wine. (No, it isn't.) Tuesday is the new Thursday, but everybody knew that already. And knitting is apparently the new rock 'n roll, a trend which thankfully appears to have disappeared with … Read more
This Web site for Chef Boyardee was brought to my attention earlier this morning. What looks to be a simple page dedicated to showcasing various pasta products holds a darker secret--mainly a young boy eating spaghetti, who ends up looking like he's got bigger problems than indigestion.
My two big questions here:
1. How did this make it out, live and to the Internet? Better yet, out of the brainstorming meeting?
2. When did regurgitation become a popular marketing tool for food?
[via We Are Scientists]
When I wrote about "marketing to your reptilian brain" on Tuesday, I was just hearing the news breaking about the new study that suggests that babies' viewing of Baby Einstein videos may hamper rather than accelerate language acquisition. Since I was writing about unconscious marketing techniques, I ran with the McDonald's Wrapper research rather than the Baby Einstein findings.
The runaway reporting of the Baby Einstein story caught me by surprise, because I had assumed that on some level we all knew these videos were just a crutch we used to keep the kids occupied while we … Read more