Two distinct macro trends have been challenging the way brands market and engage with their customers over the last few years. The first is generally referred to as the sharing or access economy, while the second has no specific title but refers to non-transactional rewards for customer loyalty, such as encouraging gym use or other forms of self-improvement. Although I have described them in discrete terms, they are in practice very much inter-related and part of brands’ attempt to tackle the emerging post-materialistic thinking, which pervades many sections of Western society, challenging industrial unhindered consumerism.
The allure of brand extensions has always been strong, especially for the luxury sector, which operates on high gross margins. Luxury is relative — what is luxurious for someone (depending on their income) may be rather standard to someone else, so there are logically degrees of luxury. Many luxury brands have made downward extensions of their brands by developing secondary products and thus making certain items available more easily for the average consumer. A person, for example, who aspires to be able to afford a Ferrari sports car (Ferrari’s primary product), could buy a Ferrari wallet instead (secondary product) or someone who admires Gucci luggage could substitute through having a Gucci key ring.
Why we need a new approach to training in brand communications
I have attended many courses over the last decade and I have come to an increasing realisation that much training, despite its best intentions and content quality, has simply become less relevant to the rapidly emerging business environment to which it is supposedly designed to serve.
I was very distressed to learn about the catastrophic floods that have swept large parts of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia. I was shocked to witness the extent of the devastation in the region and the loss of life and property damage. Although LSPR can do little by itself to help given the magnitude, I would simply and sincerely like to express my emotional support for this region, which I love so much for its people, the beauty of its landscape and its chance of a future. All of us at LSPR will pray for a speedy recovery and hope that the correct agencies come to help in good time.
This is the final article in our series about social media monitoring. So far I have explained the reasons and benefits of monitoring your brand and products online. I also gave you the description of ‘Top 5 Free Tools to Monitor Your Brand Online’ which can be used if you don’t have the budget for this kind of activity. Today I will talk you through the paid options of getting information about your brand and customers online. I will also explain why it is almost essential to use one of featured tools (or others of your choice) to make the most of your brand’s online presence.
The worldwide web and social media allow everyone to express their opinion, and in the past few years we have been witness to an informational revolution. The rise of social media means that over 50 per cent of internet users share their thoughts via various platforms. Over 700,000 status updates and half a million comments appear on Facebook every minute. In the same time, over 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.
I recently had the opportunity to take part in a very interesting discussion on Facebook regarding the art of writing press releases The conversation included PR professionals and journalists from around the world.
The Public Relations profession still holds the stereotype of being a glamorous and lavish industry to work in. It certainly has the perks of perhaps the odd luxury lunch meeting, much like many other client focused industries – but this comes with the reality of hard work, long hours and sheer dedication.
Consumers on a daily basis are bombarded with advertising and PR messages, so it’s no wonder some people choose to ignore them as much as possible. Trying to get noticed through today’s media is tough and it urges brands to do the extreme to be visible to the public. Red Bull had to send a man to space in order to capture the world’s attention! It is as though everyone in today’s societies holds a ‘nothing shocks me’ complex.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) expands every year to include the newest commonly used words in our society. So what makes a word ‘official’ and not just slang? The reality is that what was once considered slang has now become accepted as official. Vernacular words and phrases enter the dictionary regularly. In 2013, the entries for ‘tweet’, ‘follow’ and ‘follower’ have been readjusted in the OED to represent both a noun and verb, in order to reflect use in social media.