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There were two interesting announcements today that point to trends in the marketing world and both originate in China. Tsingtao Beer profits and sales are way up, due to increased consumption of brew in China and Chinese car companies like Great Wall Motor and Cherry Automobile Co. are growing faster than expected — and not just because they are selling to a new, emerging class of Chinese with disposable income. It’s because other developing countries, such as those in Africa, are finding value in Chinese automobiles. A new car in Africa doesn’t have 10 airbags or new age catalytic converters (not that there’s anything wrong with them), so their prices are lower and they’re outselling US and European brands. China is growing, consuming and growing smart.
AGfK Roper Consulting study just reported that American brands are taking a major image hit around the world. Iconic brands like Coke, MacDonald’s and Gillette are losing their luster, while BMW, Sony and Honda are gaining. Could this be tied to our foreign policies around the world? Of course, it is.
Chrysler’s new Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl Meyer has been brought in to energize this bobbing-in-the-water brand. Her background with Lexus and chops in luxury marketing is supposedly her edge. If she can actually come into Chrysler and affect real change, she may be successful. But frankly, it comes down to the cars…to the design.
Hey, Ms. Wahl Meyer. What’s the idea?
If you’ve heard about Kid Nation, the new CBS reality show beginning in September, you know it has been discussed recently in the press because of parental concerns about how the kids were treated during production. The show sounds like another installment of Survivor, this time with teens and tweens. Check out a promo video of the show at:
I’m on a plane to San Jose, sitting next to a rather geeky young lady and she’s typing in a foreign word processing application. I squint and squint and finally figure out it’s Notepad, or Wordpad. Bare bones typing. Then I show up at Dave Berlind’s Mashup Camp the next day and happen to sit next to another nerd — a consultant of some sort — and he, too, is typing in Notepad. Weird.
I’m in the heart of the tech country (Stanford, Google, etc.) and people are typing in a foreign, retro and presumably hard-to-use word processing app. I gotta know why. A few days later I mention it around the office, and the geeks think I’ve been smoking something, so I remain quiet. I know what I saw.
Today, many weeks later, I decide to go to Wikipedia and look up Notepad. You know what it said? Notepad is a non-formatted text application that removes all tags and format from copy cut and pasted from a website. And vice versa.
Clearly, the people I espied were heavy web users/publishers and found it to be a much more facile approach.
Ergo, I am writing this document in Notepad and will paste it right into LiveJournal. I’m betting that instead of my normal formatting problems — cutting and pasting and taking extra steps — copy will slide right in.
Of course, as the world’s worst typist, speller and editor, this excercise might be a major mistake. Let’s see.
What is it about this marketing stuff that is so hard? Sergio Zyman once said marketing is about “Selling more product, to more people, more times, at higher prices.” Why can’t we just focus on that?