Friday, 26 September 2014

Monopoly No More

Hungry Jacks is throwing down just as much heat as their new counter campaign claims - Get your free food at Hungry Jacks instead of at ‘You Know Who.’ How much more clever and ruthless can you get?

Hungry Jacks seems to be very, extremely, confident in the superiority of their food as opposed to their competitors who are giving out small concessions in their monopoly board game imitation. This is all in hopes of converting potential customers into loyal customers. These customers who are being targeted by Hungry Jacks have probably been burned by spending $10.00-$20.00 on their meals with a competitor to only get a small Sunday Ice Cream or small chips in return. Chances are, this is the perfect time to offer those same people more value and potentially better taste at Hungry Jacks.

Many people have reportedly been concerned with the ethicality of this hijacking campaign. Other instances of hijacking have occurred around major international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, where competitors like Addidas and Nike confused patrons over who’s actually sponsoring the event. This campaign however, can either work brilliantly or horribly backfire because fast food customers may get confused as to where they’re supposed to go for the taste they’re craving or the free item they want to claim.

Above is a preview of the website Hungry Jacks specifically set up to explain the T’s & C’s for the swap, but ultimately, providing additional choices of items which allow people to redeem their free food vouchers in more ways will make them feel more empowered and thus, potentially successfully hijack some of the competitor’s campaign.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

When Beauty & Fashion Collide – Collaborations & Changing Expectations

Brand partnerships are no new feat in today’s collaborative marketing environment, and so when NARS Cosmetics announced their next collaboration during London Fashion Week, it came to no surprise that it would be with a fashion designer that closely echoed the brand’s own ethos, and whom they had worked with for many years.

Although not completely obvious, designers in the fashion industry form partnerships with beauty and hair brands as a means to produce the looks required for their runway shows during fashion week. MAC Cosmetics, for example, were reported to have covered 120 shows, worked with 350 make-up artists and made over 4700 models during last year’s global autumn/winter collections. It therefore seems like a natural progression for the tables to turn, and for designers to then collaborate with makeup companies to produce product ranges inspired by their design archives, or more recent collections.

The collaboration I was to alluding to earlier, is between NARS Cosmetics and Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane. As mentioned by the designer himself, ‘NARS has been a long-standing and valued partner of ours, so this collaboration was an obvious fit. NARS has the same unapologetic aesthetic that is signature to the Christopher Kane brand and I'm excited to share what we've created together.’

Model’s wearing NARS Cosmetics at Christopher Kane’s Spring/Summer 2015 Show  (Source: The Independent UK)

Although not a new concept, what I found most intriguing about this collaboration was that the makeup looks worn by the models at Kane’s show last week were from the new collection, and served as a precursor to what NARS customers can expect once the product line officially hits the stores next May. Although the sneak peak was a clever idea, what I was initially expecting was the collection to be available right after the show had ended. What’s becoming more and more common place in the fashion industry is that designers are allowing consumers to ‘shop the show’, with major brands like Burberry taking pre-orders for their latest collections within minutes of the fashion show’s completion. These short lead-times are also happening in other industries, with Apple, for example, announcing their new iPhones just over a week before the phones are able to be purchased by customers in store (probably not a coincidence, as former Burberry CEO, Angela Ahrendts, is now Senior VP of Apple Retail).

Although there are obviously concerns with competitors copying new innovations when lead times are much greater (a topic we’ve been looking at more closely in our Ethics class), the problem here is more related to consumption patterns, with consumers wanting something now, as opposed to waiting half a year to get their hands on it.

So whether fans of both brands determine that the collaboration was worth the wait, we’ll have to see, but it’s undoubtedly a smart partnership, and with time, one that will hopefully be profitable for all parties involved.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 19 September 2014

Balloons and Internet for all, coming at you from Oceania

Google is set to launch one of its biggest and craziest (in a good way!) innovations yet - Project Loon. This initiative was started from right here in our own back yard as well! The project's purpose is to create widespread and low cost internet access for all areas of the globe in order to further increase the spread of knowledge and the speed with which the diffusion of information occurs. The project involves large weather balloon like devices that will circumnavigate the globe at very high altitudes to create a constant flow of Wi-Fi access. The project was tested right across the Tasman in central New Zealand and is proving to be on track for future success. Check out the video below for more information.

I had the distinct honour of being able to meet the Google Head of Marketing for Australia and New Zealand, Lucinda Barlow, while during her visit to The Women's College within the University of Sydney in early August. Lucinda shared with me the importance of these big ideas and how marketers and project managers keep them alive and create opportunities for everyone through strategic planning, promotion, and testing of course. She further emphasised how crucial it is to have big ideas of your own and be known for 'out of the box' thinking within your personal brand in order to be more well recognised and sought after to start implementing your life changing ideas. 'The bigger the idea the better' is what she was basically saying, and companies and teams like Google can always provide inspiration for setting those big ideas into motion.

Another important aspect of this project is the fact that marketers are in charge of making sure each of their projects align with the company's overall Value Proposition; something we talk about very intricately throughout our Internal Marketing and Innovative Marketing Strategy courses here in the Master of Marketing Program. For example, Project Loon very clearly fulfils their overall proposition, which states, "Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." This is further supported by the video above. Creating a cohesive brand, while inventing new projects, and innovating or disrupting the way the world functions is all part of being a successful marketer.

What idea will you come up with next? And how do you plan on implementing it or setting it into motion?

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

SMS Mentoring Program 2014 Graduation Event

Not long ago, I featured a post on this blog regarding a mentoring initiative run by the Sydney Marketing Society (SMS). The 8-week program that I participated in, ran throughout July to September, and was a unique opportunity for young marketing talent to connect with leading employers in the marketing sector.

To mark the completion of this year’s program, SMS held a graduation event at the University of Sydney Business School CBD Campus, inviting all current mentors and mentees, as well as guest speakers Allan Herman van Breukelen and Amer, who spoke about their involvement in the program in the previous year.

My personal experience as a mentee of this program was very positive, and I found it an invaluable opportunity to seek advice from an industry professional that had successfully navigated the daunting prospect of seeking graduate employment, and was more than open to assist me in making the same transition.

Among this year’s Master of Marketing cohort, it was great to see familiar faces such as Melissa Downes also participating in this program, and I hope that students from our course continue this involvement with the various initiatives offered by SMS, and in particular, next year’s SMS Mentoring Program.

Myself and the President of the Sydney Marketing Society, Samantha Roberts
(Source: Sydney Marketing Society Facebook)

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 12 September 2014

City of Melbourne – Re-branding for the Future

Having recently just visited Melbourne with Christine, I couldn’t help but notice the prominence of the city’s own branding. Whether it was on event tickets, billboards or magazines, Melbourne had been given a very clear identity, and one that perhaps is a lot more memorable than some of Australia’s other capital cities. 

Re-branded by Landor Associates in 2009, the brief for this project highlighted the need for an identity that could not only represent the city itself, but also the various sub-brands, programs and events that are connected to the City of Melbourne. The resulting logo of this re-branding exercise (pictured below) is at the heart of the new corporate identity, and as mentioned by the Creative Director of this project, ‘the bold ‘M’ presents a full expression of the identity system - immediately recognizable and as multifaceted as the city itself: creative, cultural, sustainable.’

The Multi-faceted City of Melbourne Logo
(Source: Landor Associates Website)

What I personally love about this (fairly) new identity is that it is not only contemporary, but also incredibly flexible and could be easily tweaked to suit the needs of different collaborators that are involved in promoting the city as a destination and lifestyle experience. Having also read the city’s 2013-2016 Marketing Strategy, I can see this identity working for the city in the long run as they plan to place an even greater focus on community involvement, and leveraging the experiences (whether it’s dining, night life, shopping or markets) that are unique to Melbourne.

What makes this new Marketing Strategy quite innovative for destination marketing is that it is focused on the consumer journey in both offline and online spaces. This journey is not only limited to the City’s own online and physical platforms, but also those of the local businesses in Melbourne that make it such a memorable destination. With the launch of a digital marketing mentoring program for local business in the near future, the City of Melbourne is clearly committed to encouraging community participation in the city’s own marketing strategy, and with its new identity, it should have no problem doing so.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Partners in Crime

Master of Marketing students go to Melbourne

Although Salil and I both spent much of our Melbourne shopping weekend with our own vast retail agendas, we came together where, and when, it counted most. Our ‘shop until you drop’ instincts took control as we fought our way through the plethora of fabric, countless discounts, and long fitting room lines during a busy Monday afternoon at H&M. This ideally situated flagship store in the Bourke Street Mall alongside numerous tram lines has now created the perfect storm for Australian shoppers and foreigners alike. 

Seen below, I’m holding my recent purchases and Salil, yet to decide on his own. What you wouldn’t see from the photo however, is the size of the store. Not only is it massive, but it is catered to everyone’s taste and sense of direction with clearly marked sections based on style and department. In order for the brand to excel here in Australia, being that this store is the first of its kind nationally; the shopper experience has to be perfect.  

The Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne’s CBD was a well planned and coveted location from the very start. H&M can also capitalise on its positioning here specifically because its clothing is costing less for many customers then the other stores nearby, such as David Jones, Bardót, Forever New, etc. The product and price, alongside its location (place), help initiate the marketing plan for this retail giant. Fortunately, H&M has a very international and well-traveled consumer base in Australia, so most of their promotion has already been done through the foreign markets and shopping abroad.

Finally, although the brand is planning its opening of a second location in North Ryde, NSW, it could probably benefit further from retail partnerships such as with Westfield, in order to get better positioning in the following year when they plan to open up a Sydney CBD location in the Pitt Street Mall area. You have to be strategic when you go international, and coming from Europe while supplying daily updated New York fashion is not an easy task.

Ultimately, I think Salil and I both had an exciting and successful shopping weekend, but hit H&M the hardest since we can’t yet shop the brand in Sydney. The price was right, the location was central and easy to get to, and you couldn’t go wrong with the variation of styles offered for both men and women. So marketers, pay attention! This was a good example of how to create a strategic marketing plan in a ‘hard to break into’ retail market.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 5 September 2014

Advertising: Our new best friend

Our first course of the semester is finally complete! MKTG6208 Marketing Communications came and went, but not without colourful friendships, a few all-nighters, and one very (hopefully) proud professor (Kate Charlton, featured below).

 (Picture by Elle Liu – Current Student)

The course took its students on an incredible journey through the ins and outs of the creative process within Advertising – which is of course an integral part of marketing. The creative process in this course consisted of a creative brief and its later execution. We all quickly adopted roles within our groups to be the most effective agencies we could be in solving a communications problem based on market research, strategic planning, media planning, and much more.

We were exposed to real industry processes and even current industry directors. We were also given the tools to analyse and evaluate advertising to see how effective it could be by using the S.C.O.R.E criteria – which stands for Simplicity, Creativity, Originality, Relevance and Ethicality.

If you want to hear more about our experiences, feel free to get in contact with our program coordinators or find us on LinkedIn in the Master of Marketing group. We have many more success stories to share about the effectiveness of this course and the amazing challenges we’ve grown from.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School