Star (Wars) branding

Ain,P20,28epsilon,P20Tauri,29.jpg.pagespeed.ce.e8qA1SMH5lWhen it comes to brand stars, Geogre Lukas seems to be at the zenith. But is the war really over? Not yet… The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is also picky and decided to enter the race of star branding using online democracy! That’s how Switzerland won the first star war. But let’s start from the begining.

Since 1995 and the first discovery, astronomers (not Jedi) discovered many exoplanets – so orbiting around other suns, but still in our not so far own galaxy. As we know thousands of these new worlds, some scientists felt the need to communicate about this with the general public. But let’s be frank… naming a new planet PSR1257+12 b is not very helpful when it comes to communication. So, being the only organization authorized to name objects in space, the IAU decided to name or brand its research.

As there are many exoplanets, only 31 of them where picked to be named by voters online. Propositions were sent by astronomical associations from all around the world and then submitted to the polls. The strategy seems to pay off even if Star Wars (the movie!) was going to be released in December, still many media picked up the news about these new worlds, which are really far, far away from us.

Marked in this Milky Way panorama are the 20 ExoWorlds that are available for naming proposals.

Marked in this Milky Way panorama are the 20 ExoWorlds that were available for naming proposals.

Wait, but how Switzerland won a war – even more a star war – while being neutral? Well the first exoplanet was discovered by a Swiss team and it seems that people decided to keep this fact on the sky, as the star nesting this first exoworld is now named Helvetios. The proposition came from Luzern, Switzerland, so well done!

Does it mean that the star previously named Cancri 55 and now Copernicus is a Polish national pride?!? Not exactly… The name was proposed by a Dutch association… As on the screens, the matter is not only about having the best name, but also about being well promoted.

If you still feel that there is a Jedi waiting inside you to be revealed by communication, take a deep breath and be inspired by the force:

So let the force be with you and don’t forget that if penguins can fly, you can also reach the sky!

Branding: se faire entendre

Organiser un concert pour vendre des prothèses auditives, une blague? La société Neuroth semble ainsi avoir trouvé un moyen original de se distinguer dans ce monde peu glamour.

Dans l’univers impitoyable du branding, les marques qui proposent ce genre de produit se contentent trop souvent de l’image classique qui leur est assignée. Dépoussiérer cette image est une évidence, une nécessité. Toutefois, à moins de faire table rase du passé, il faut garder un minimum de son identité pour ne pas couper avec sa base de clients. Un exercice d’équilibrisme délicat.

Les prothèses auditives s’adressent en grande partie aux seniors, il fallait donc leur proposer un événement qui pouvait les intéresser. Le concert de musique classique est donc un outil tout trouvé. En plus de s’adresser au bon public cible, la méthode permet d’associer une déficience plutôt perçue négativement à un moment positif et agréable. Trop facile? Pas tant que ça. En mettant en avant sa démarche sur Youtube, la Neuroth vise la bonne clientèle: plus branchée, prête à faire le pas et surtout avec un pouvoir d’achat plus élevé. La cerise sur le gâteau? Un ancrage qui se fait aussi chez les plus jeunes pour garder une longueur d’avance dans le temps auprès de la future clientèle.

Gardez l’oreille tendue et n’oubliez pas que theflyingpenguin est à votre écoute.

Let’s get social (the branding world #2)

pinterestWhen it comes to social media, many companies are scared or simply copy the stuff designed for traditional medias. Please, don’t! To build a strong brand, it is essential to create a genuine relationship with your customers and/or partners. And to do so, use the proper communications tools for each channel. Can you imagine to promote a product in Chinese in an English speaking country? No, of course. Here are some easy tips to follow.

1. You don’t have the resources to manage your own ‘onliners’ team? Don’t worry, there is a plenty of amazing guys that can help you. For example, Lipton promoted its sparkling ice tea thanks to a well known youtuber:

The result is a not too expensive video and have created a small buzz online. But the main strength of this approach is that the brand identity can be customize. If in a store Lipton’s products are linked with your granny kitchen, here – online – they look much more younger and funnier, which is the aim for a sparkling tea can. If you have different market shares, don’t hesitate to adapt your strategy using social media.

 2. You can’t afford to manage your customers’ negative reactions online? Of course, social media can be ‘dangerous’. As in real life and even faster, customers can spread a bad opinion about your company. But the trick is that you have the same advantage to rebuild your image! For example, when a man criticize on Facebook your advertising for a menstrual pad:

Well done, isn’t it? Of course, not every CEO is ready to be involved… But, turning the weakness of being on Facebook into a strength is certainly a very good idea to show to your customers how much you care about their reactions. In that specific case, showing that you are funny enough to be realistic about your own products and their advertising is a perfect solution to create a kind of complicity with the customer.

 3. You can’t or don’t want to plan a complex online strategy? Social media are even more created for you! For example, Sephora created a really strong trend on Pinterest. People can share products’ pictures on their boards directly from the brand’s website. Nothing complex, just pictures to advertise. This ‘simple’ approach created a large community – some hundred thousands followers – which is an important provider for the online shop traffic.

Sephora's Pinterest

If you’re looking to show a broader image of your company or products, visual contents, as displayed on Pinerest, are an easy solution to do so. It can even lead to completely rethink your business, as for GoPro getting media.

So don’t be scared by social media, simple solutions exist for your first steps online and don’t forget to keep it cool and fun. If you need some advices, don’t hesitate and get in touch with your favorite penguin!

Congo is beyond the Irish brand

Saint Patrick's Day GuinnessSaint Patrick’s Day: Ireland, shamrocks, beers, Guinness and… Elegant people of the Congo! As an Irish beer, it would be very easy for Guinness to use all the symbols and the strength of Ireland as brand’s improvers. But – when it’s a about a stronger spirit than a cliché – it’s very hard to find something strong, relevant and creative enough to catch people’s attention and share the spirit. Guinness branders perfectly succeeded in that challenge, making a short film on the Society of elegant people of the Congo:

 

Promoting common values through people from Africa not using a cliché too is a real achievement (and the perfect way to buzz online). So, if it is not about the suit, but the men who wear it, it certainly not about the beer, but about those who drink it! And notice how the beer brand is not at all underlined, in order to keep the focus on the values and – even better – puzzling people about the origin of such promoting.

The Guinness involvement seems to be genuine, as the brand decided to withdraw its support of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York, to support the LGBT rights to be a part of it expressing their LGBT pride. The New York Times reports.

Totally into elegant people from Congo? Have a look on the making-off – which is a great way to strengthen the first impact of the campaign.

Do you need new ideas and elegance (and a beer)? Get a penguin!

Rock you like a Huracan

Lamborghini HuracanChaque produit suit ce que les spécialistes appellent un cycle de vie. Les raisons peuvent être techniques – par exemple le VHS s’est fait supplanter par le DVD, puis le Blueray -, mais aussi purement liées aux besoins d’image de marque pour renouveler l’offre proposée, correspondre aux nouveaux besoins ou d’un point de vue du marketing pour simplement relooker le produit et maintenir son attractivité. Le fameux changement d’emballage qui justifie l’augmentation de prix…

Ces futilités peuvent sembler vaines lorsqu’il s’agit d’une voiture vendue à plusieurs centaines de milliers d’euros. Pourtant, il n’en est rien! Ainsi, la marque italienne Lamborghini déploie une stratégie marketing sophistiquée pour maintenir son ‘niveau d’exclusivité’ dans les différentes gammes qu’elle propose. Et oui, même à ces prix, il y a des entrées de gamme, comme des segments plus onéreux. La ‘moyenne gamme’ est ainsi souvent la plus intéressante pour un constructeur, car elle offre une meilleure marge que les premiers prix, tout en assurant un volume conséquent, soit quelques milliers d’exemplaires (à comparer au millions de voitures des marques traditionnelles).

Le problème du super luxe, c’est qu’on a vite fait d’entrer dans la légende… C’est ce qu’à fait la Gallardo de Lamborghini, qui achève son cycle de vie. Certes, pour devenir une légende qui se respecte, il faut s’éteindre, mais reprendre le flambeau est une gageure pour le successeur. Comme les équipes marketing ne manquent pas de ressources, la stratégie pour la nouvelle Huracan s’appuie fortement sur le story-telling ou capacité à véhiculer (sic!) une histoire en français. En effet, quoi  mieux que de raconter un bolide pour continuer la légende?!

Le clip de présentation de la Huracan a donc été élaboré en reprenant les codes d’Hollywood – les meilleures pour raconter des histoires à grand spectacle. Agents secrets et missions périlleuses sont convoqués :

Il reste un drôle de sentiment d’inachevé malgré tout. Non, ce n’est pas forcément le souvenir de la Gallardo (que vous n’avez peut-être d’ailleurs pas). Regardez bien le film… Au début, on vous prépare à suivre une histoire et finalement on n’y comprend rien, la tentation de montrer la voiture sous toutes ses coutures l’ayant emporté. Certes, les amateurs apprécient, mais la frustration de ne pas comprendre gâche le plaisir. Suivre le titre de la chanson des Scorpions ‘Rock you like a hurricane‘ ne se borne pas à mettre des effet spéciaux, il faut réellement emporter le spectateur. Un exercice plus difficile qu’il n’y parait, puisque même les meilleurs peuvent s’y fourvoyer.

Et si vous voulez qu’un vent nouveau souffle, n’oubliez pas que les pingouins en plus de voler, vivent dans les régions où sont enregistrés les fameux vents catabatiques de 300 km/h… Contactez-nous!

Branding? What does it mean?

A force de devoir expliquer ce qu’est le branding – ou la gestion d’image de marque pour les francophiles -, je me devais de donner une explication! Rassurez-vous, ce n’est pas une question spécifique aux francophones, les anglophones sont tout aussi dubitatifs lorsqu’il s’agit d’expliciter ce qu’est exactement le branding.

Réponse en moins de 3 minutes :

Besoin d’un spécialiste? The flying penguin est là!

When the kitty starts to roar

Few months ago Jaguar started an important rebranding process in the USA. For the Jaguar’s branders, the aim is to switch from a soft velvet English saloon car image to a strong sporty ‘bad boy’ car, to target a younger market share.

The buzz started on December 2013 when Jag USA posted a video on his youtube channel, directly positioning his strategy in opposition with the establishment brand: Mercedes (see the original commercial).

As marketing specialists know, the best way to build or rebuild a brand is to underline your differences with the current market. Of course, this approach is based on the complete renewal of the Jaguar’s cars design. The apogee was the brand new F-type coupe – which is still promoted in Europe as a direct link with the E-type’s DNA from the 60’s – and positioned as the ultimate sport coupe in the USA and unveiled in 2013.

The campaign was planned to tease people during January 2014, announcing a real ‘bad guy’ attitude commercial to be unveiled for the Super Bowl on February.

And finally, the ‘British villains rendez-vous’ (The Jaguar top class spirit is still alive, don’t worry):

Still persuaded that Jags are for old calm people? Just to remind you what was the previous brand positioning, check this old commercial:

Keep an eye on the cat, other roaring surprises are coming.