Tag Archives: market research

Bad Taste for MAC Name Choices in Collaboration with Rodarte

Abe Sauer from Brand Channel provides an interesting example of brands looking to be on the bleeding edge of cool who otherwise become completely untethered from reality.

Creative pitch sessions go off the rails and devolve into a feedback loop of hip, where relativist style means there is no longer any such thing as good or bad taste. Only later, in the daylight and the fallout, does the insanity of the concept become clear. That is about the time a brand finds itself muttering, “We never intended…”
MAC Cosmetics has found itself in just such a place with its latest collaboration.
“We never intended to make light of this serious issue and we are truly sorry,” went the crisis management statement from fashion brand Rodarte, the National Design Award-winning clothing line, after announcing a line of cosmetics inspired by the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez.

The problem was the product names in the line, such as “Factory” and “Ghost Town.” Ciudad Juárez is considered the most violent municipality in Mexico, the site of widespread drug violence, and the epicenter of hundreds of murdered women in the last few years.

Fashion brand Rodarte has little to worry about, as its brand operates at the highest levels of fashion, where poor taste is often meaningless. MAC, however, is a different story. As an Estee Lauder-owned brand targeting a wide swatch of consumers (and women), a positive public perception that promotes women is of huge importance. More on this story on Brand Channel.

Spotlight on America | In-Depth Analysis | Marketing Week


International Marketing Partners Director Allyson Stewart-Allen’s 2001 book Working with Americans highlights, among other things, that even though British and American culture is linked through history and language, key differences in approaches to business are worth understanding. She also revealed in her recent session with the Marketing Week-sponsored Marketing Academy that Americans put less importance on relationships but are more task-focused, and want to see numbers-based results and insights over qualitative commentary.

For Nicole McDonnell, marketing director of children’s food brand Ella’s Kitchen, cultural differences in her team’s personality in the US has been very obvious and unexpected. She gives the example of company job titles – Nicole’s business card says “head of making friends”, and the company managing director is Ella’s dad, and his job title is simply that. McDonnell feels this adds to the brand identity, but it has not gone down well with her colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic.

“In the States, it’s all about being the CEO or the vice-president. I would like them to use the job titles we use because they epitomise what the brand is about, but in the US they feel it doesn’t give them enough credibility in their market,” she explains. “I appreciate the titles we like to use might not give the right understanding of how senior somebody is, so getting the right balance on this is something we are in discussions about.”

Diageo’s Cristina Diezhandino, now regional marketing and innovation director for Africa, also discovered some key differences when she embarked on her first role in the US about 15 years ago. First, that the customary greeting of kissing a business colleague in Spain was not appropriate in the US. Second, that meeting formats were a lot stricter than what she was used to.

“Meetings had a set beginning and end, stated in advance, with specific agendas and an outcome to be achieved in that time. What surprised me was that people would simply stand up at the end of the period of time, say goodbye and leave.

“I now regard that as very normal, but when I first experienced it I thought it was not a polite way to end things. Then I realised that it is equally impolite to take up more of people’s time than necessary when they are very busy.”

 

Click here to read my comments in Marketing Week’s  cover feature: Beware the culture gap on global growth trail

Share on Facebook

Share

Robert Reich: Why Growth Is Good

Robert Reich: Why Growth Is Good

What will be the fall-out from the predicted global economic slow growth? What brands will survive, succumb or override this sustained downturn? Read this excellent article by Robert Reich and let me know your thoughts:

“Economic growth is slowing in the United States. It’s also slowing in Japan, France, Britain, Italy, Spain, and Canada. It’s even slowing in China. And it’s likely to be slowing soon in Germany.

If governments keep hacking away at their budgets while consumers almost everywhere are becoming more cautious about spending, global demand will shrink to the point where a worldwide dip is inevitable.

You might ask yourself: So what? Why do we need more economic growth anyway? Aren’t we ruining the planet with all this growth — destroying forests, polluting oceans and rivers, and spewing carbon into the atmosphere at a rate that’s already causing climate chaos? Let’s just stop filling our homes with so much stuff.”

Read the full article at:

Robert Reich: Why Growth Is Good.

Share

Share on Facebook

“What can BP’s new CEO Bob Dudley do to restore the brand?”

I was interviewed by Al Jazeera about BP’s newAmerican CEO,  Bob Dudley.  When asked if it’s ‘too late’ I replied, “Better late than never – though it’s unfortunate on many fronts that BP didn’t appreciate the interest and diversity of stakeholders back in April…”

Click the link below to watch and tell me what you think!

via International Marketing Partners TV Interviews.