Posts Tagged ‘Sony’

WHAT TO LEARN FROM TOP RATED CONSUMER BRANDS

January 27, 2009

In the January 19th issue of BrandWeek,  columnist Kenneth Hein listed  the”Top Rated Consumer Brands of 2008″ according to research from BrandIndex via 1.2 million online consumer interviews they conducted.  As I looked over the list, I thought it would be interesting to go through each brand, write down what consumers probably see in them, and then see how we could implement that into Live Entertainment.  So here we go.  Please note that the first two on the list are both TV networks (just interesting fact)

DISCLAIMER TO BRAND MANAGERS: I’m not aware of your official brand messaging and don’t have time to look it up, so if I’ve got it wrong know that this is just one consumer’s take.

  1. Discovery Channel – Quility programming that covers content others don’t.  They also do a good job with brand extensions and how they touch consumers.  LIVE’s lessons here are first, quality is always important in driving sales,  and second, to develop entertainment for consumers that are being under-served.
  2. The History Channel- Again we see quality in their programming as a key to the network’s success.  Also, many are just fascinated by history.  LIVE’S lessons from History would be to create more programs like the live Titanic exhibit that combine the past with a live emotionally engaging experience.
  3. Google – First to market, easy to use, consistent, and almost everyone has access…this is a great brand.  Why not a Google for LIVE?  There really isn’t anything out there that is reliable, consistent, easy to use, etc.
  4. Craftsman – You can rely on your tools…  Craftsman is a great brand because they make a quality product at a good price point that lasts forever.  My idea here is to hook-up with Sears to produce the ultimate Handyman/DIY consumer show.  Do-it-yourself is big in a down economy!  Sears, please call me!  I already have the deck done.  Branded Live Entertainment at its best!!!
  5. Sony – You’re staying home more which means more time in front of your television.  Your Sony TV works great.  So does your DVD player.  LIVE should be able to create quality products that you can rely on to entertain you…but we don’t always.
  6. Rubbermaid – They make your waste basket and the containers you use to store your food.  In other words, Rubbermaid makes products that you need… that last.  Figure out what consumers and fans need and produce that show.  Observation works a lot better than research groups in for this.
  7. Barnes & Noble – Don’t really get this one.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the brand and read a lot.  It’s just not clear why they would be so high in consumer’s minds.  As for an idea, LA has a very successful book fair at UCLA every year sponsored by the LA Times.  Newspapers are looking for anything right now.  Here is your chance to partner with them. 
  8. Whirlpool – We need washers, dryers, and refrigerators.  That’s not going to change.  Whirlpool makes good ones.  No ideas here for LIVE…yet.
  9. Clorox – One bottle has so many purposes at such a low price.  One must be careful not to try and be all things to all people…especially in Live Entertainment.  Festivals are the LIVE version of bleach.  Lots of entertainment for one price. 
  10. M&M’s – If you are hungry and standing in front of the candy rack, M&M’s look like the best value.  You get more than one M&M, they come in different colors, sizes, and packages, and now you can even customize them.  Ever been in an M&M’s store?  Crazy!!!!
  11. Tylenol – It’s the choice of hospitals.  That’s enough for me.  They even made it through the “Tylenol Scare” and managed to invent a safety package that everyone else had to copy.  If you are in LIVE, find who is at the “white hot center” of your show theme and get them to endorce you.  If it is doctors for Tylenol, who is it for you?
  12. Duracell – High-end electronics (like those for products that keep you alive such as pace makers) come with Duracell batteries in them.  See above. 
  13. Quaker – In tough times, people turn to their health.  Quaker Oats are healthy and inexpensive (I’m assuming they aren’t talking about the motor oil company).  How about producing a health related event?  Before Ben Silverman joined NBC, I pitched him and his production company on a “Biggest Loser Live” concept”.  Now might be the time. 
  14. Pillsbury – Easy and quick to make, good price points, and an iconic lovable mascot.  Pillsbury saves the over-scheduled consumer precious time.  You should be using ever means at your disposal to break down any barriers for consumers to finding your event, buy tickets, and attend. 
  15. Lowe’s – Surprised that they are on the list and Home Depot isn’t, but hey that’s consumers for you.  I would pitch Lowes the Handyman/DIY show I want to run by Sears.
  16. Black & Decker – Tools again.  Reliability.  LIVE, see above on Handyman/DIY…again.
  17. KitchenAid – They make appliances you need with good design…and have Kitchen in their name.  In LIVE, food shows and festivals are continuing to grow.  The Agency Group Events & Entertainment has two different concepts we are producing in 2009 alone. 
  18. Campbell’s – Soup makes for filling, inexpensive meals.  Campbell’s has been around forever.  Time to start a food show. 
  19. Maytag – Years of advertising the same message of “the lonely Maytag repair man” seems to have paid off.  What’s your message?  If you are still marketing your shows line-up (product attributes) you are doing it wrong.  Market the experience!
  20. Kenmore – One would think with Craftsman so high on the list that Kenmore would be higher.  Again, with consumers…  Anyway, Bruce Springsteen is our Kenmore.  So is Sesame Street Live and Disney’s Broadway shows.  Like Kenmore, you know the brand and the experience are going to. 

Keep the ideas flowing.  During trying times like these, great things can happen. 

Talk with you soon… and please visit our new company website @ http:www.theagencygroupevents.com.   Also don’t miss the Customer Service Panel at the Concert Industry Consortium on Friday, January 30th at 3:30 pm in the Santa Monica room at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel. 

Jim

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INTERSCOPE HAS THEIR BLACK FRIDAY

January 23, 2009

The music business continues to take body blows as more of our friends join America’s unemployed.  Interscope records is in the process of laying-off what we here is many as 55 staff (maybe more)  including Robbie Snow, Chris Clancy, Lisa Frank, and Tim Reid.  How does this effect LIVE?  Well, from this side of the fence it would seem that the record labels have always been there to develop the acts over time.  They paid for them to go on the road and learn to be artists.  Labels worked their records in the local markets where the acts toured.  Back in the day, artists were allowed to develop over 3-5 albums.  People like Robbie Snow at Interscope and Nick Light at Sony were a big part of that…so what now? 

No label money or support…no patience for artists to develop over time, and a consolidating industry everywhere you look (radio, print, concerts, label, distribution, retail, etc) has created fans of singles, not artists.  It’s why Rihanna can’t headline a tour.  My two girls, nine and eleven,  love to dance around the house to Rihanna’s songs, but want to go see Greenday in concert.  What will the future hold if the record labels are not around to help develop an artist’s career?  Will the money and marketing come from brand partners?

We at The Agency Group Events & Entertainment believe that Branded Live Entertainment will continue to grow and prosper in the 21 Century.  At the same time, we have also seen managers take on roles previously handled by their artist’s labels.  Azoff/Frontline and Redlight are just two examples of large music management companies that have PR, radio, and marketing staff in-house.  Agencies like William Morris and CAA have brought on marketing and sponsorship people to service their clients.  Will it be enough?  What about the passion and expertise of those label people?  What about tour support…and distribution…and broadcast time?  All things we talked about at the Aspen Live Conferencethis past December…but we didn’t come out with any concrete conclusions (lots of good ideas though). 

What we all do know is that we have talented friends that could use our support right now.  Call or email them…show your support.  As for the above, there is a huge 10X shift going on in our industry.  Keep changing or you will be left behind.  Not sure what to do, try something.

BTW, please visit our new company website at http://www.theagencygroupevents.com 

Talk with you soon…

Jim

TOP 10 LESSONS FROM THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN

December 18, 2008

First, the news coming from record company land isn’t good.  Friends of yours have either lost their jobs or are about to (EMI, Sony and now Interscope).  Always nice how these things happen around the holidays, isn’t it.  Show support and help anyone you know if you can.  There will be a lot of really good talent out of work.  Remember change brings opportunity!!!  Speaking of opportunity…

Advertising Age titled their December 15th issue “Book of Tens 2008”.  It covers top ten lists from “stories of the year” to “top tech toys” to “lessons from the Obama campaign”.  Since LiveWorks Newsletter subscribers have read the “Political Marketing” newsletter so many times, I thought it would be fun to use Ad Age’s Top 10 “Lessons From The Obama Campaign” and add a live entertainment twist.  So, here we go…

•1) IT’S THE PRODUCT – Ad Age’s Ken Wheaton (who wrote the piece) says that at the end of the day, “it’s likely that Barack Obama won because he is Barack Obama.”.  Or to put it another way, he doesn’t suck.  If everything is marketing, start with a great product and you are more than half-way there.

•2) KISS – No Gene, not you.  “Keep it simple, stupid” (ok Gene, maybe you).  You have heard this a million times, but always worth repeating.  The Obama campaign’s message was simple and never changed.  As Ken Wheaton wrote, “The product may have been complex, but the branding was simple and consistent.”

•3) DON’T PANIC – Although it is important to be limber in these times of change, it is also imperative to think before acting.  Shooting from the hip could get you shot in your own foot.  When Obama went through the Reverend Wright controversy, he never blinked.

•4) LET OTHERS BUILD BUZZ – Give fans the tools they need to spread the word for you.  Provide them with “all the proper fonts, logos and talking points”… and then sit back and watch it go.  For instance, you can’t get into the “KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas” concerts unless you are a “KROQ street team member”.  Get in the club, and you have access to purchase tickets.  No club membership, no tickets.  This policy gets people to tell their friends and it builds buzz…along with a database for KROQ.

•5) GET OPRAH ON YOUR SIDE – I don’t think there is anything to add here.

•6) PUT ON A SHOW – Ad Age’s list talks of Obama’s nomination acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver in front of a crowd of 80,000…then doing it again in Germany and St. Louis.  We all know how to put on a show.  How about putting on a show to announce your show?  I bring up Ringling Bros. circus parade again to you as an example.  We need to be doing more parades.

•7) GET THE MEDIA IN THE TANK – My parents always taught me that if you treat the media with respect, they will do the same for you.  Obama was treated like a rock star by the media.  Think about it, we actually have rock stars.  Now we just need them to be nice to the media.

•8) DON’T FORGET THE BASICS – Ken Wheaton points out that “For all the talk of change, for all the rhetoric about new media, Obama rode to victory the old-fashioned way: He outspent his opponents, and much of it went to TV”.  TV is a visual medium and we in live entertainment just don’t do a good job marketing our products on television.  Time to step it up.

•9) EMBRACE WEB 2.0 – Although the Obama campaign didn’t do much in the way of traditional web advertising, their use of social networking will be studied for years to come.  Figure out how you can start a movement like that online and you are headed down the Yellow Brick Road.

•10) NOTHING – After all that, writer Ken Wheaton points out that a political campaign “has almost nothing in common with a marketing campaign.”  Of course he is right.

I guess the big message here is to have a great product and then do all your homework three times.  As the saying goes, “good luck comes to those that work hard”.

Talk with you soon…

Jim