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

Lexus fails with its website

There is a lot going on in the world of website design and development and it can be hard to keep up. As a result, some CEOs believe the only way to stand out is to give creative people free rein over the design of their website. Now I’ve written about Lexus before and I … Continue reading

Malaysia to ban cigarette brand names

Malaysia has joined Australia, Ireland, France and the UK by anouncing the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products, however unlike the other countries who have announced a deadline of May 2016 for the new law to come into effect, Malaysia has not given an implementation date, saying only it will happen in stages. Price … Continue reading

Is Malaysia Airlines serious about rebuilding its brand?

I’ve been looking forward to the new Malaysia Airlines (MAB) brand from both a professional and a personal perspective. Professionally, I’m eager to see what direction a global company with a huge reputation proposes for the carrier. Personally, I’m a big fan of Malaysia Airlines and have been for over 20 years. I also believe … Continue reading

Malaysia Airlines offloads key routes to Emirates

The tie up between Malaysia Airlines (MAB) and Emirates is an interesting one. On the one hand, there must be money to be made from these routes otherwise Emirates wouldn’t touch them and the cost to Emirates will be minimal because they are flying all these sectors anyway. MAB will still be able to show … Continue reading

Which is your favourite 2015 Christmas ad?

According to a recent Nielsen report, 9 out of 10 Malaysians believe the country is currently in a state of recession and are tightening their belts as a consequence. This has led the Malaysia Retailers Association to lower their retail growth forecast to 4% with quarterly growth rates at their lowest since the Asian financial … Continue reading

Facebook Malaysia ad is not real but is that bad?

There’s an ‘ad’ for Aston Martin cars doing the rounds on Facebook in Malaysia. A lot of men, and probably a few girls are salivating at the image of a scantily dressed, leggy woman leaning against a counter in a kitchen. The caption with the ad says “Aston Martin’s newest advertisement for pre-owned cars” and … Continue reading

Where is the new Malaysia Airlines brand?

I was under the impression that September 1st 2015 was the planned date for the launch of the Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) rebrand. As far as I can see, all that has happened is the name has been changed to Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB). To launch the new company, MAB CEO Christoph Mueller led a … Continue reading