Branding in Industry 4.0

We had a great time today with creative writing, advertising and journalism students at the International Islamic University Malaysia. The discussion revolved around “Branding in the era of industry 4.0” and we talked about what Malaysian brands must do to to thrive in new economy and more relevant perhaps to these guys, how the advertising … Continue reading

Overtourism is coming to a destination near you

Overtourism is putting immense pressure on destinations around the world. From Bali to Phuket and from Venice to New Orleans and Ibiza, popular places are creaking under the weight of millions of visitors. 28 million people visited Venice last year, swamping (excuse the pun) the local population of 55,000. Venice has for years considered limiting … Continue reading

‘Think Big’ yes, but first Malaysian business owners must stop thinking cheap

There’s a thought provoking piece in the business section of freemalaysiatoday.com that reports more Malaysians buying Chinese made goods ‘out of economic necessity’. The article says that Malaysians look past the stigma of Chinese products even though there are concerns that they of inferior quality and possibly even dangerous compared to products from other countries. … Continue reading

UNIFI you are better than this

One of the key tenets involved in creating a brand is to demonstrate a high level of competency and authority in your industry. And with that competency and authority comes trust. And trust is key to the success of any brand. Poorly written content dilutes the potential for trust. If that trust is diluted, a … Continue reading

Newspapers, fridges, grapes and 7 series BMWs

Like the rest of the planet, Malaysian consumers are spending more time online and this has seen a dramatic fall in the circulation of newspapers. The New Straits Times, the oldest newspaper in Malaysia and once the pride of the industry has been through at least two ‘rebrands’ in the last 10 years but this … Continue reading

How to save the Proton brand

So finally it’s official, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings has withdrawn its bid to buy a controlling stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton. No reason has been forthcoming, but Geely’s Chairman Li Shufu told Bloomberg in early March that, “They keep changing, today it’s this, tomorrow it’s that. They haven’t decided what they want.” There are rumours … Continue reading

Why Mercedes Benz is a global brand

This interview with Mark Raine, Vice President Sales and Marketing Passenger Cars offers some excellent insights into what makes a global brand and should be compulsory reading for anyone in the automotive industry in Malaysia. Actually it should be compulsory for anyone in any industry. Everything MB says they are doing – the borderline obsessive … Continue reading

Which is the most valuable brand in the world?

Ever wondered what is the most valuable brand in the world? Apple right? Nope, now it’s Google. Ever wondered what is the most valuable brand in Asia? Samsung right? Correct. The most valuable brand in SE Asia is Petronas, valued at US$10.6 billion although that’s probably changed significantly since the oil price tanked. Courtesy of: … Continue reading

Advertising DOES NOT build brands

Here’s a very well written and very passionate article about the Devaluation of creativity. It’s written by Bob Hoffman best-selling author and one of the most sought-after international speakers on advertising and marketing. His profile on Linkedin has some impressive testimonials. The article is particularly relevant here in South East Asia where creativity is increasingly … Continue reading

Is this the best Christmas ad ever?

If you’ve experienced the build up to Christmas in the UK, you’ll know that the launches of the big retailers’ Christmas ads are eagerly awaited. In 2015 we ran a poll of the favourite Christmas ads and even though it was considered sadvertising (take note Petronas with Chinese New Year coming up) by many pundits, … Continue reading

The most interesting thing about the iPhone 7

In April 2016, Apple announced its first ever reduction in iPhone sales. The company played down the decline suggesting it was in line with slowing smart phone sales around the world but the reality is that Android is becoming an unstopable force and consumers are getting bored with the iPhone. So the launch of the … Continue reading

Even brand consultants are human

I wrote a blog post last week about how I was told I could not use the Malaysia Airlines lounge at KLIA if I wasn’t flying Malaysia Airlines. I also shared the post with a blog that I have a lot of time for and they responded with a very balanced article suggesting I was … Continue reading

Volvo needs to quickly join up its branding dots

Back in February 2016, Volvo VP of global marketing Thomas Andersson talked to marketing week about the new global vision for Volvo after the launch of their rather cliche ridden yet compelling emotive ad questioning the motivations of automotive manufacturers around the world. You can read the full interview here. To be honest, I found … Continue reading

Can Yuna save Malaysia?

More than 4 years ago the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak set up a department tasked with building the Malaysia nation brand. We had a number of meetings with the head of the new department but her understanding of what constitutes a nation brand was very different to ours and so we didn’t get involved. … Continue reading

Another Malaysia Airlines marketing fail

Malaysia Airlines’ latest Twitter campaign is live. It really seems as if the struggling carrier sees digital and social media as another version of mass media – as a channel for pushing a corporate message onto an unsuspecting public. Over the last couple of years they’ve made some terrible blunders online and you can read … Continue reading