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Pinch! For those who dont believe in ‘YOU’ empowerment campaigns

When it comes to Branding, whom do trust more? Your consumer’s interests? Or some supposedly (grey-haired blabbering) self-proclaimed brand expert who has probably always been focussed at criticizing current trends because they won’t work out for him?

As surprised as I could ever be, I came across this recent article (‘The Danger of You Centered Branding’) on Branding Strategy Insider (BSI). Don’t get us wrong, we don’t have anything against BSI, in fact as new age Branding Experts we look up to them for quite a lot of deep trends and insights.

The article revolves around the author (who I doubt was the actual brain behind this article) comparing his personal life (about how he became bored of his early girlfriend who was kind of always okay with him doing his own stuff, ignoring her and her interests) with brands like Yahoo, Vodafone and T-Mobile who have recently launched campaigns centering ‘YOU’ (you = customers). The “Expert” argues that moves like the ones adopted by the above mentioned big brands won’t work because when they don’t stand for any-thing, they get eaten alive by competitors who do [Note: It’s taken for granted that ‘You’ (your customer) means nothing]. And then the article keeps going blah, blah over being yourself and not whatever anyone wants you to be.

Man, did this force me to think of today being 31st March 1930 when the Selling Concept existed!! I’m thinking… ‘What the hell am I doing thinking about my consumers welfare, when a branding expert wants me to just SELL, SELL and FORGET’. Pinch!!! Snap back to reality!

For the record Mr. Branding Expert, Yahoo and Vodafone still command their respective markets at least in India. T-Mobile does not operate here. Dell’s customized orders helped it sore its sales orders by over 15%, according to a recent report I read somewhere on the Internet. (InterBrand report for Top Global Brands of 2009 also indicates Yahoo climbing one stop despite Microsoft retaining its position). ‘You’ empowerment campaigns are not mere mass marketing initiatives, but carefully researched ideas based on assurances that it is indeed what consumers want. Unlike careless boyfriends who impose their personalities on their sweet girlfriends… lol.

Those who choose not to believe with the BSI Article… know your consumer. Segment accordingly. Target sparingly. Position specifically. And center your ‘YOU’ campaign only to your target group. Then just wait until other brands follow your footsteps.

Waiting for BSI, to respond!!

5 Responses to Pinch! For those who dont believe in ‘YOU’ empowerment campaigns

  1. ED ROACH Reply

    May 5, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Meheer, I read the BSI article and I have to say I’m leaning in their direction. I haven’t seen the ads but it sounds like a running scared strategy to me. Each one following the tail of the other.

    I don’t think they are positioning themselves other than whatever you want them to be. I hope that what ever that is, it is profitable for them. I like when a product differentiates themselves to the point that it’s a clear choice.

  2. rOhit Reply

    May 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Meheer, I agree with your point of view. I had the same view point when I was working on a product launch report at college a few years ago…..and they laughed at me……now i know that I was well ahead of my time :)

  3. Meheer Reply

    May 6, 2010 at 1:51 am


    Nice to hear from you after a long time.

    Brands that are positioning themselves to what consumers want, are doing a great job with their financial ans sales numbers (atleast most of them). In my opinion, its a simple logic that works better. When you go to, Dont you love the fact that you can choose your ingredients and the amount of those ingredients you want in your sandwhich? Subway’s success is synonymous to that model.

    Why would you want to buy a MAC, if a windows based laptop, say VAIO (FYI, VAIO has not done this yet. But I reckon It’ll work big time in their favour against their long sustaining rivalry with MAC), is allowing you to choose your hardware and software capabilities? With MAC your choice is limited, With VAIO your choice knows no Limits!! You can customize your machine to your needs and as deep as your hands can dig into your pockets.

    Take Yahoo for another example. If you visit, Yahoo.com Homepage. I can add my favourite links or even change the way my homepage displays. ANd it keeps getting better. I can change the looks and features of my EMAIL after I Sign-in… After my overall experience with Yahoo on any particular day, I feel ‘THIS IS FOR MEEE…’ .. on the contrary, what do I get from MSN??? Nothing but an old inbox which looks as pale as it was when hotmail was the BUZZ.

    Brands like Yahoo… Mean more than something… and in my personal opinion are more than clear with their deliverables to their consumers. “IF YOU WANT SOMETHING… YOU GET IT”… rather than waiting for your plate to be served with limited options, it is better to have the whole menu and order what you’d like.

  4. Ed Roach Reply

    May 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Meheer, I didn’t take it to mean that they deliver what a customer wants but rather “their brand stand for whatever you want it to stand for.” I think this causes confusion. If a computer is basing it’s strength on customizing then they have to be the clear choice in customizing. Mac isn’t a great example because they’re strength is the customer relationship. They will tell you, they are not in the computer business. Compare VAIO with Dell. With no clear choice, in the end it just boils down to a price.

  5. Ed Roach Reply

    May 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Oh, yes I apologize for not visiting sooner. No good excuse. I’ll be posting a new article soon. :)

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