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So finally it’s official, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings has withdrawn its bid to buy a controlling stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton.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

How to spot a shit brand consultant

A friend sent me a great link to a Mark Ritson rant in marketingweek yesterday. Mark Ritson is something of a God for many in the marketing business and sells himself really well. And so he should as he’s won more medals than Michael Phelps. In the rant which you can read here, he recalled … Continue reading

Does Malaysia Airlines understand what is branding?

Proofreading business communications should be considered one of the most important aspects of any brand tactics. It’s one of the thousands of pieces that make up the branding jigsaw. Get it right, and the picture is perfect, get it wrong, even one little bit and it can do the complete opposite of what you set … Continue reading

Stop Advertising Start Branding – the first book to help Malaysian, Singaporean and other Asian firms build brands that not only survive but thrive

Stop Advertising, Start Branding is the controversial new book by Malaysia based brand consultant Marcus Osborne. It’s already attracted flattering reviews with one reviewer calling it “South East Asia’s business book of the year.” Marcus Osborne says, “If you are spending more on advertising yet struggling for sales, it could be because you are still … Continue reading

How to make better advertising and advertising better

There’s a small creative agency in London called Sell! Sell! The agency is run by Vic Polkinghorne and Andy Palmer and they’ve co-written a potentially interesting new book called ‘How to make better advertising and advertising better‘. This new book shouldn’t be confused with the equally new book ‘Stop Advertising, Start Branding‘ which was written … Continue reading

Rapidkl scores a branding own goal

RapidKL the operating arm of Government ownded company Prasarana recently took 8 corporate leaders on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) so that they could experience public transport and more importantly, be seen to be taking public transport in an apparent effort to “encourage the culture within their organization(s) and the public in general, as well … Continue reading

Where is Malaysia in terms of world happiness?

Sticking with the Nation branding theme of the previous post, the 2016 World Happiness report is out. You can download the full report here. Of the 157 countries that participated in the project, Malaysia is the 47th most happy country, 25 places below Singapore at 22 and way above Indonesia at 79. The sample size … Continue reading

Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysia nation brand

Place branding is a generic term for all the elements of a nation or country brand, cities, states and regions and even destinations within those areas. In South East Asia alone there are more than 600,000 destinations competing for investment, talent and tourists. In an effort to match their destinations to stakeholder requirements for value, … Continue reading

Mazda should stop advertising, start branding

Malaysia’s January automotive sales nose dived 12% to 44,591 units although this was expected after the record highs of December 2015. Japanese firms were hardest hit with Toyota sales down 27%, followed by Nissan 22% and Honda down 12%. Proton continued its slide with sales down 13%. And even though Perodua sold less cars this … Continue reading