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Showing posts from August, 2014


Over the years, “positioning” has become a highly used word in marketing, but as I watch what companies say, I wonder if anyone understands what I’ve been writing about these many years. That said, maybe it’s time to clarify things: Positioning is how you differentiate yourself in the mind of your prospect. It’s also a body of work on how the mind works in the process of communications. The first words on this subject go back to 1969 when I wrote an article in Industrial Marketing magazine entitled “Positioning is a game people play in today’s me-too marketplace.” (Here’s an untold secret: I chose the word “positioning” because of a dictionary’s definition of strategy: “Finding the most advantageous position against the enemy.”) Since then, I’ve written a number of books on the subject, but let me boil it down to the five most important elements in the positioning process.
1. Minds are limited. Like the memory bank of a computer, the mind has a slot or position for each …


It occurred to me after getting some comments about my last post that I hadn’t clearly stated how you can apply my experience to refining your own personal brand, which was really kind of the point! So here is the exercise in four sort of simple steps.

This exercise will provide you with a powerful statement of who you are that is backed up by your own real life revelations, trials, tribulations and joys. If you get stumped, feel free to give me a shout from the contact page, or via the comments section.

How to refine your personal brand:

1. Take stock of the last 1-3 years of your life
Write down your major events and life experiences. Highlight both the bad and good. Even during a tough year, you’re sure to find some beautiful moments. Write them all down as either a list or a story – whichever your preference. I find it easier to write them as a story because it helps me process the events and find connections. Writing things down like this can be tough, but the reflect…


Building a Brand is like building a culture. Today, I am not going to tell you about how to nurture a culture. I'll be sharing 10 tips that usually helps build a successful brand.
1. Focus on what your business achieves for its customers. Your brand is no good to you if it is not delivering what customers want (Want is a big word. So, be extra careful with it). 2. Take ownership of your brand. Pay attention to customers’ needs. But you should still control what you want your brand to mean to them. 3. Be honest. If you do not believe in your brand, no one else will. 4. Keep your brand simple (in most cases). Attention to details are the key to success. 5. Be consistent. Every aspect of your business should make customers feel the same way about you. 6. Be thorough. Look at all your systems to make sure they help to support your brand. 7. Involve employees. Make sure they understand your brand and believe in it. 8. Communicate your brand. Make sure every advertisement, brochure and le…


Making the right media choices is absolutely fundamental to successful marketing communications programs, but how do we evaluate all the media choices available to us?
Here are seven questions that will help:

1) Does the media fit my brand?
In addition to the messages you are communicating, the media itself says something. For example, it’s very rare that you see luxury brands advertising on public transport, because “luxury brands don’t take the bus”. It’s just not right for the image. Every media says something about who you are.

2) Is there an editorial context I can benefit from?
Media such as television and print (newspapers and magazines) provide an editorial context: your message is seen in the context of the surrounding editorial. This is important, because the editorial can help prepare your audience for your message. For example, if you are selling financial services, then the ‘Personal Finance’ section of a newspaper or magazine is a good option.

3) Does the frequ…


Things have always been highly competitive in the business world. But today’s fast moving, technology-driven, and hyper-competitive marketplace is more vicious and erratic than ever. I was going through a blog few weeks ago. The blog was about how clothing industry got affected by the new iPhone 5 in some parts of the US and the EU. Clothing industry altogether falls under a different category and/or industry. However, from a macro point of view, marketers from both the industries are actually targeting the same group of people who possess limited discretionary income. In business terms, we call it intra-industry competition. I think this should give you a picture about how complex the market has become. As the competition is getting severe, it has become obvious for the companies as well as for the marketers to differentiate their products and services from others.
Yes, I am going to talk about branding. The problem is that the term “branding” has been overused and abus…


“Customers are selfish and cruel” – this is what I personally believe in. I do not blame them. They have the rights to be selfish. It is their hard-earned money that keeps the companies alive. Every company serves a certain group people and/or market. Markets are ever changing. What is considered as a value added service today, maybe considered as the obvious part of the product tomorrow. So, I was just wondering, who defines the market for the companies. Who instigates all these changes? Who pushes the companies become more innovative? Is it the company itself, its customers or the competitors?
I was having a discussion with one of my colleagues lately. He is senior to me in terms of age and industry experiences. According to him, it should be “you”. How can he be wrong? It is the company/brand that takes all the risks. Any industry that you want to pick, the competition is severe. The power is no longer with the companies; it is with the customers. They have more optio…


The topic I am doing to discuss today is pretty new in the subcontinent. However, it has been practiced in the western parts of the world since 2000. The interesting fact is that, many firms of our country are practicing this concept without even having any clue. Marketing is all about commonsense indeed. So, my approach here would be to fine tune the “commonsense”, describe some of the benefits and principles.
We are going to talk about co-creation. Let me start with the bookish definition. Co-creation is a form of marketing strategy or business strategy that emphasizes the generation and ongoing realization of mutual firm-customer value. It views markets as forums for firms and active customers to share, combine and renew each other’s resources and capabilities to create value through new forms of interaction, service and learning mechanisms. It differs from the traditional active firm – passive consumer market construct of the past. In easy words, co-creation is a cu…

স্বপ্ন যার ব্র্যান্ডিং

স্বপ্ন যার ব্র্যান্ডিং
পড়াশোনা শেষ করেই যোগ দিয়েছিলেন বিজ্ঞাপনী সংস্থায়। আরও চ্যালেঞ্জিং কিছু করতে যোগ দিলেন ব্যাংকে। কেতাদুরস্ত নতুন কর্মজীবনেও চমত্কারভাবে নিজেকে মানিয়ে নিলেন। বর্তমানে তিনি কর্পোরেট অ্যাফেয়ার্স ও ব্র্যান্ডিংয়ের দায়িত্বে রয়েছেন ব্যাংক এশিয়াতে। শুধুই হিসাব-নিকাশ নয়, ব্যাংকেই জড়িয়ে থাকে নানা গল্প। আনোয়ার এহেতশামের সেই গল্প লিপিবদ্ধ করেছেন সাজেদুল ইসলাম শুভ্র, ছবি তুলেছেন দীপঙ্কর দীপু ‘প্রত্যন্ত এক গ্রামে একবার যেতে হলো ব্যাংকের কাজেই, দুপুর পেরিয়ে বিকেল গড়ালেও দেখা নেই খাবারের! আশপাশে তরমুজের ক্ষেত। তরমুজ চাষিদের আন্তরিক আহ্বানে ওই যাত্রায় ক্ষুধা মিটেছিল তরমুজ খেয়ে। দেশের এই দরিদ্র কিন্তু মহত্ মানুষগুলোই যখন গ্রাহক হয়ে ব্যাংকে এসে আন্তরিক সেবা নিয়ে বাড়ি ফেরেন, তখন হয়তো ব্যাংকের নামটা ঠিকমতো বলতে না পারলেও মুখের হাসিটা লুকোতে পারেন না তারা। আর এ হাসিমুখগুলো দিয়েই প্রতিষ্ঠিত হয় একটা ব্র্যান্ড’, ব্র্যান্ড ম্যানেজমেন্টের গোড়া নিয়ে বলছিলেন তরুণ ব্যাংকার খন্দকার আনোয়ার এহতেশাম।

এহতেশাম ব্যবসায়ে প্রশাসনে স্নাতক করার পরপরই যোগ দিয়েছিলেন দেশের শীর্ষস্থ…