How difficult is marketing?

How difficult is marketing? This is the question I ask myself. The smartest people mostly do difficult stuff such as engineering, accounting, medicine and nuclear physics. The most creative: paint, write books and design beautiful things. The most business minded run companies, become investors and go into banking. The most entrepreneurial start businesses and become…

Are you suffering in a commoditised market?

Business owners often say to me they operate in a commoditised market and that they have little influence over the price they ask or the features they offer. In my experience this is mostly not an accurate assessment of market conditions. Operating in a truly commoditised market is the opposite of a monopolised market, but…

Can a profitable sale kill your business?

How a profitable sale can kill your business? By Bernard Jansen, Brand Consultant   There’s this trick question in accounting: Can a business go bankrupt despite being profitable? The answer is not obvious for a marketing type like myself – but it is “yes”. It can, because profit isn’t cash. Profit is an academic number…

Why pay R20,000 for a good logo!

    Last week I wrote about the importance for a company to look really good. This week I want to talk specifically about the company logo. One of my clients recently asked me what the “Return on Investment” (ROI) is on spending money on a logo. I find this a fascinating question. Let’s start…

In which league does your business play?

In which league does your business play? The A-league? B-league? Or C-league? How do you separate the top league from the bottom ones? How do you know where you play and how to win? I think these are interesting questions for business owners. Your business doesn’t operate in isolation. It competes. Whether you like or…

Marketing [should] make you faster.

Why do business owners think that marketing will slow them down? I see this often: A business idea gets developed to the point where Marketing gets into the room and immediately everybody braces themselves for a major speed-bump. Why? Because “Marketing” is going to slam on the brakes and talk about strange things like emotions,…

The lowest price? Don’t give it.

It happens often. Your customer tells you the only thing that matters to them is “price”. And you accept this, because somehow this makes logical sense. Price is how much your service costs the customer and by driving down cost, the customer can make more money. So the lower your price, the easier the customer…

The days are numbered for digital marketing

I read a fascinating article recently on the death of Digital Marketing. The author, Mark Ritson, a professor in Marketing at Melbourne Business School, draws the interesting comparison between the popularity of “International Marketing” as a subject for MBA students in the 1970’s – just as companies were starting to “go-global”, and digital marketing today as companies…

Local brands should beat global brands

Why do international brands beat local brands? Why is McDonalds cooler than Steers? Dominos over Debonair’s? Why will Starbucks certainly kill a local coffee brand? I saw 2 articles over the last week about local brands struggling against global entrants: These are examples from the clothing industry, but no doubt it has wider relevance. Local…

ABSA brand migration to Barclays

Is the ABSA brand silently being swallowed by Barclays?   I’ll be honest. I’ve been with the uncool bank since day 1 – ABSA. In fact, my first savings account was with one of its predecessors – Trustbank. My parents banked at the other predecessor, Volkskas. So clearly I’ve got a long history with the…