Monday, November 22, 2010

Why Nutritional Information on Packaging is too Late

Mumbrella reported last week that cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has been named the main villain at the Fame & Shame Awards, organised by campaigning group Parents Jury.

smoke n mirrors award Parents Jury handed out the “Smoke and Mirrors” award to Nutri-Grain which is for the use of claims on children's foods that make an unhealthy product appear healthier than it is. Nutri-Grain won for promoting the sugary cereal as a suitable breakfast cereal for boys who aspire to become elite athletes.

In response, Kellogg’s points out that it is a signatory to the industry’s codes of practice on marketing of food to children and abides by those standards. They also advised that “We take our responsibilities seriously. Nutritional information appears clearly on the product labelling”.

For me, that information comes way too late.

The decision to buy Nutri-Grain has already been made prior to getting to the supermarket and therefore circumvents any negative perception of the product that may be communicated on the package. How many parents who decide to start buying Nutri-Grain will seriously stop and read the nutritional information? Not many because the ad has already convinced them to buy it or maybe the kids have pestered them enough to buy it.

Printing nutritional information on the product simply forces Nutri-Grain to head upstream in the buyer decision process and create positive nutritional messages in a  forum where they are not required to be as forthcoming with the truth as they must on packaging.

That’s not rocket science I guess and they are playing within the rules but it makes a mockery of an industry code.

I wonder whether one day TV, print ads etc will be forced to carry nutritional information in those channels? How effective would TV advertising be if the Nutri-Grain ad had to carry a note on the screen that informed us that a 100g serving provides the 32g of sugar at 37% of your recommended daily intake?

For those that work in the advertising industry – would you be scared by this prospect if Nutri-grain was one of your clients?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Because Someone Has a Knife …

Bloody Doctor

My boss was in a meeting with client the other day when somebody’s qualifications were being discussed.

Someone piped up with “Just because someone has a knife doesn’t make them a heart surgeon!”

It’s a cracker observation and one that sharply brings into focus the difference between having access to tools and being able to use tools effectively.

Then I saw this video today, from xtranormal, which pretty much shows it in practice.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thought Leadership as a Marketing Stratgey – Part III of III

Read Part I here>>

Read Part II here>>

It Is All About Publishing Content

With the increase in thought leadership as a strategy to position a company as a trusted expert we are starting to see companies embrace a more public attitude toward publishing what they know. This distils to various content marketing tactics.

While whitepapers have long been a traditional vehicle for thought leadership, blogs have exploded as a much less formal, easily accessible and personal vehicle. Hosting events is also a particularly relevant option. This list is certainly not exhaustive but most tactics have their pros and cons.

Big companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have embraced blogging, allowing employees to publish to a sanctioned space, as a method of creating or maintaining corporate thought leadership. These companies do not necessarily expect senior management to be the content creators/authors.

The key with the above 3 example tools (blogs, whitepapers, events) is that they are not selling. Thought leadership is not about selling. It is about thinking and sharing those thoughts which in turn shape the market and build trust.

This is an important shift in business in that we need to be far less guarded in sharing of intellectual property or thinking in the P3 field. Jamie Oliver doesn’t keep all his secrets to himself because he is worried that someone will use them to open a restaurant across the street and put him out of business (hat tip Jason Fried). It goes a long way, however, to helping sell cook books and TV shows and as such becoming a thought leader by embracing the exchange of information that can help to propel the business.

Push vs Pull

Think of it in a marketing “push” vs “pull” approach. Push is all about interrupting and convincing the market to buy services. The pull (of clients to a business) is what thought leadership provides because they trust the company and see it as an authority. They are drawn to it.

The Results Of A Thought Leadership Strategy

The tools used to pursue a Thought Leadership strategy will provide and/or contribute to;

  1. A pre-educated market resulting in a shorter selling process,
  2. The ability to maintain trusted relationships through the provision of value in information,
  3. The ability to shape the market both on a macro and micro level,
  4. Brand Awareness, and
  5. Attainment of premier/trusted provider status

The True Test Of Thought Leadership

The true test of a thought leadership strategy, and resulting tactics, is to ask the following six questions.

Ask “Does our thought leadership efforts”:

  1. Add real value to our client’s work?
  2. Position us as a trusted advisor engendering trust in the company/brand as the leader in our field?
  3. Help underpin sales?
  4. Provide a content rich platform from which we can write, talk, publish online and share with clients our valuable insights?
  5. Position our company as the experts and ‘go to’ people in the field?
  6. Ensure our brand is not focused on product and sales and instead on market leadership and in the process deliver long-term, sustainable advantage over our competitors?

In conclusion I would like to acknowledge the following sources that contributed to my thinking.