Logos with customer appeal – Apples and Marmite

A recent post on the Graphic Design Blog showed the results of their readers top five logos of all time.

I guess I really wasn’t that surprised to see the Apple logo sitting at number one.

Apple Logo

Although I am old enough to remember the original Apple Corps logo used by the Beatles pop group. Apple and the Beatles: The End of a Long and Winding Road?

Apple_Corps_logo

This talk of logos got me thinking about the power of brands and trademarks in protecting products and services.

The harsh truth about business, is that if you are successful you will have competition, even if you have an invention protected by a patent.

An example would be the Dyson vacuum cleaner, whose Dual Cyclone technology is protected by patents, and yet the courts have allowed a somewhat similar looking cleaner from rival firm VAX to compete – Dyson loses design case.

dyson cleanerVax cleaner

My favourite brand of all time would have to be Marmite yeast extract spread.

(Marmite jar - 250g size Photo by User:Malcolm Farmer, 28 June 2003 Category:Spreads)

This is not because the logo or image are particularly strong, but because since the creation of its secret recipe in 1902, it has managed to maintain a virtual monopoly, with the only rivals being Australian Vegemite and Swiss Cenovis. With sales of 60 million jars a year at over £5 each, one would assume this a market to attract heavy competition.

However, the Marmite brand is so strong that no-one seems to be trying, or certainly succeeding in competing.

As with many products not everyone is a fan, and Marmite have very cleverly used the strong reactions to the flavour of the spread in their recent marketing campaigns.

Marmite - Love it or hate it

More consumer trends from Insider Trends

My colleague Frances Taylor recently attended an Insider Trends workshop in the Business & IP Centre.

Although I wrote a report on a similar workshop, How to become a cutting-edge retailer, Francis has noted some additional useful points.

Predictions from Insider Trends

Key trend 1: The recession

§        With the new government, spending cuts and changes in policy, it’s entering a new phase.

§        Food and energy costs are rising.

§        There is worry amongst consumers about the recession, even if it does not affect them personally.

§        Consumers are making more considered choices and buying budget brands.

§        Premium or ‘added-value’ products are still doing well, but only if they have real benefits, e.g. helping the environment or offering customised services.

§        Consumers are spending more time at home on activities such as baking and gardening.  Now 1 in 5 consumers grow their own fruit and vegetables.

§        The community is important: consumers are buying locally and supporting green initiatives. There is concern about pesticides and additives in food, and distrust of large corporates.

Tips for marketing:

§        Be clear and transparent in your messages.

§        Avoid hidden costs.

§        Offer free trials, 30 day guarantees and testimonials.

§        Focus on benefits not features.

§        Create new benefits to stand out, e.g. same day delivery.

Key trend 2: Genuine individuals

§        By 2020 there will be more single people than married people in the UK.

§        By 2018, 18% of households will be ‘single person households’.

§        This is affecting buying habits, e.g. people are buying smaller portions of food such as smaller loaves of bread.

§        Living in urban areas and single-person households means that interior design has become more compact.

§        Co-creation has taken off i.e. consumers helping to shape the products they buy, such as the Nike ID trainers.

Key trend 3: Technology

§        The mobile internet is really taking off.

§        Mobile apps are a growth industry which will be worth over 50 billion by 2020.

§        Smart phone owners are buying on average one app per month.

§        Location-based apps are becoming popular such as Foursquare.

§        The ‘perpetual beta’ has become the norm.

§        There is more experimentation e.g. retail trucks and pop-up shops, secret restaurants, etc.

§        Consumers feel like there is too much choice which can be overwhelming.

§        There is a movement of consumers that are ‘unplugging’, which is also called ‘the slow movement’.  For example slow cooking, gardening, home brewing, etc.

§        Some technology solutions have hidden complexity, e.g. the iphone.  It can perform a lot of functions, but is very simple and intuitive to use.

§        QR codes are being used on products for more information, for example, to show the ingredients on McDonald’s products.

My own cooked meal for one from Scratch

curry-head-onWhilst browsing in  Sourced Market in St Pancras on my way home the other evening, I came across a package promising a meal of Chicken & Chorizo Jamabalaya cooked in one pan… from scratch.

Scratch is the clever name for a new business selling pre-packaged meals with fresh ingredients and instructions to cook a tasty, wholesome meal.

You get a box with all the chopped, washed and weighed ingredients as well as the instructions to cook your meal from scratch.  The meals are for one and cook in around 15 minutes with one or two pans.

As they say, ‘We do the hard bits, you do the fun bits’.

I have to admit I was rather cynical and mainly tried it out in the interests of research, plus I really wanted see what Chicken & Chorizo Jamabalaya tasted like. I have to say that the product definitely lived up to its promise, being incredibly easy and fun to cook, with a tasty meal, and only one pan to wash up at the end – result!

Scratch staffFrom a business opportunity aspect, I find it interesting to see how Scratch are addressing the needs of the growing number of single householders. This is a trend identified in the How to become a cutting-edge retailer workshop I attended recently.

Changing family structure leads to convenience trend
–          more singles than married in the UK by 2020
–          more single person households in the UK – impacts how people shop – from weekly shop to convenience shopping.  Growth from 19bn 2000 to 41bn 2015
–          Asda have bough Netto
–          Easier payment – Visa PayWave system
–          Debenhams – mini-wok is most popular item
–          Dinner for one packages
–          Waitrose – small stores with fresh food, warm bread, deli

Smarta – Five business tips from Paris Hilton

Five business tips from Paris HiltonSmarta are great at finding engaging ways to talk about entrepreneurship.

This example using Paris Hilton is an excellent case in point.

Go to the Smarta website to see the full story Five business tips from Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton: heiress, celebrity, porn star, entrepreneur and permanent resident of the brat pack. Love her or hate her, Paris Hilton is one of the most successful celebrity brands of the past decade. She may be famous only for being famous, but she has made some canny business decisions to market herself. In February 2007, the Associated Press tried to curb Hilton’s fame by refusing to report her name for a whole week. Needless to say, the experiment failed. Here’s what business owners can learn from Paris Hilton.

Cash in on your connections

All publicity is good publicity

Create lucrative partnerships

Be seen on the scene

Get political

How to become a cutting-edge retailer

Last week I attending an absolutely fascinating workshop on future trends in retailing.

Cate Trotter the founder and Head of Trends at Insider Trends was the speaker, and had an impressive knowledge of the key issues affecting on-line and off-line retail business.

Here are my notes from the information packed two hour session:

What are the main trends that will affect retailers over next two to five years?

Why?
Trends are like ocean tides an cannot be controlled, but if you recognise them you can ride them to success.

Who?
There is now a more sophisticated and more connected customer base than ever before.

Segmentation for individuals – more tailored products and stores

Examples:
* Alton Towers’ Sleepover Suite (sponsored by Superdrug) for teenage girls
* Blends for Friends – an online tailored tea store – unique flavours and labels
* Elemis Skinlab – technology to assess skin leading to tailored products

Co-creation such as product modification.

Examples:
* Nokia phone covers – an early example
* Nike iD range of shoes (choose from 60 shoes and select design of each element) – not a new service, but sales up 20% in last year
* Zazzle – uploaded designs printed on thousands of different products – recent sales surge
* Chocri.co.uk and Chocomize.com

Concept development and product development

Examples:
* BMW – asking for ideas for new cars with online voting for favourites
* Denham – store designed around what the customer wants

Use SurveyMonkey – to find out what your customers want, or how about a coffee morning discussion. Much more than just a focus group asking for opinions.

Changing family structure leads to convenience trend

–          more singles than married in the UK by 2020
–          more single person households in the UK – impacts how people shop – from weekly shop to convenience shopping.  Growth from 19bn 2000 to 41bn 2015
–          Asda have bough Netto
–          Easier payment – Visa PayWave system
–          Debenhams – mini-wok is most popular item
–          Dinner for one packages
–          Waitrose – small stores with fresh food, warm bread, deli
–          Reprise of the milkman – milkandmore.co.uk – findmeamilkman.net

What?

Two types of retail – Online vs Offline

Online
–          strong advantages
–          price and value
–          convenience – to your door

Offline
–          needs to compete with online success by expanding on…
–          experience
–          relationships

Don’t get caught in the middle – if you are on the high street, don’t try and compete on price or you will fail

Online Retail
–          Moving onto portable devices and digital television
–          Growing at 20% a year – more people online – more confidence shopping online
–          Brand loyalty reducing online – one click away from a competitor + price comparison engines
–          Small business shouldn’t not be drawn into price competition – e.g. with Amazon
–          Make shopping easier for your customers – one click shopping – PayPal – clickandbuy.com and buxter.com (for Facebook shopping).
–          Move to ‘right first time’ e.g. Levis curve fit
–          Problem of home delivery – 10% of deliveries fail first time
–          Example of collectplus.com can deliver to home or to a local store (later hours than local Post Office). Makes returns easy with label and convenience store, with post paid if wanted.

The more unique your business the more loyalty you will get from your customers.

Examples:
–          Trunkclub.com online personal shopper who makes a commission on clothes bought.
–          Plan B Salon – Skype interviewing
–          Tissot.ch/reality – create a paper watch which generates facsimile of their designs.

Tissot.ch/reality

–          Neuvomonde.com – watches on your wrist
–          Supermarketsarah.com – Portobello Road market in her house – a new photo each week. Also collaborates with designers

Growth of mobile retailing
–          Expected to double in next four years, but is still a tiny fraction of sales
–          Will use phones to find out about products so website must include phone capability
–          Phone apps will grow, but might be out of the reach of small business.

Offline Retail

Examples:
–          Abercrombie and Fitch – more of an experience than shopping – all five sense are covered – loud music – A&F scents –
–          The Brand Showroom – e.g. Disney Stores – putting the experience before the product
–          J Crew (share of life retailing) – a range of products for a particular segment of the market / customer
–          Monocle Stores – London, New York, Tokyo, Zurich – sell their magazine plus accessories for readers of the mag
–          Mellow Johnny’s in Texas – bicycles, café and related
–          Lomography Gallery, London – retail and support services

Lomography Gallery London

Competition now comes from other experiences instead of other retailers

e.g. kids, shopping, theme parks

ROBO shopping – Research Offline – Buy Online

Maximise sales by
–          selling closer to the time of need – rollasole.co.uk
–          selling closer to time of consumption
–          exclusives
–          charge for stocking goods – ladenshowroom.co.uk in the East End
–          own label products – e.g. Apple – use stores to promote products – don’t mind if customers buy online
–          Own label – houseoffrasser.co.uk – Dyson have tried a pop-up store

Where?

13% of stores are now empty – lower rate in the South East

Increasing demand for accessible / high street stores

People losing trust in big name brands – moving to local stores and farmer’s markets

Authenticity and localness – you don’t want to be located in a mall

Choose you neighbours carefully – think about pairing up with a like minded business.

Example of A Gold (UK produce) and Verde’s (European produce) in Brushfield street in Spitalfields.

Attention spans on the web are shortening over time.

Store payback time 5-7 years on average

Example wesc.com – using trolleys to keep store fresh

Amorepacific.com use projected displays in store – others use LCD displays

Liberty change signage fonts and colours

Could use posters

Fast moving stock – Zara has 11,000 new products a year

Temporary retail spaces – pop-up-stores – now hitting the mainstream

Toys R Us open up 200 pop-up-stores for seasonal sales

The Secret Restaurant and now The Secret Market (food fair) – marmitelover.blogspot.com

Retail trucks – Adidas pop-up truck – can use Twitter to announce where you are

New mobile app and widget to take credit card payments – squareup.com – 3% charge

How? (including marketing)

Less brand loyalty than in the past

Customers more inclined to listen to each other than conventional advertising

Haulvideos.net – people buy goods and post comments online – leads to discussion

High satisfaction leads to word of mouth and social media

So concentrate on quality delivery rather than low price

Happy customer vs unhappy customer – £600 vs -£400 – Research by a mobile phone company

Nudging customers to promote your products or services

Example:

Shopkick.com - customers get points for registering in store

Foursquare.com  and gowalla.com – social media element
–          Be interesting – sketch.uk.com
–          Tell stories – your customer might want to share – hubbards.co.nz newsletter in every pack
–          Educate customers – Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle – sealed chambers
Apple store free workshops
–          Make business more interactive – made.com – furniture designed by members of the public with votes to decide
–          4food.com in New York, customers design their own burgers online and save recipe, with 25cents for each one sold
–          Swipely.com – records purchases and shares online
–          Uniqlo’s Lucky Line for every 26th customer who joined the line – massive social media coverage

Conclusion

Growth rates predicted for next 18 months

Offline 1% – existing £263bn

Online 39% – existing £11bn

The future is customer centric so think P2P Retail – human interactions

–          Be human!

–          Celebrate your smallness

–          Who is your service going to be tailored to?

–          What do they like?

–          How will you adapt to them?

–          How will they change and how will you move with them.

–          Be authentic – with innovations which will benefit your customers – connect with your local community

–          Be conversational – put the relationship before the sale

–          Finding out  what your customers think and how to trigger them to promote you.

On a personal note I would strongly recommend signing up to the Springwise newsletter and looking at the Trendwatching website.

JOT-it down as another success story for the Business & IP Centre

It is quite a special feeling when one of our clients from our Business & IP information clinics successfully brings their product or service to market.

In this case, Bob Bhatti had a meeting with my colleague Jeremy O’Hare, way back in November 2008. And he and his business partner Scott Lindsay have pursued their vision since that time, attending a range of our workshops and seminars. They also had an Ask the Expert session with our Inventor in Residence Mark Sheahan. And our commercial Research Service ran patent prior art and trademark searches to help in protecting the intellectual property of the product.

According to the Jot-it Facebook Page, they have just finished exhibiting at the London Gift Fair and are building up a very healthy order book.

Yet again I am amazed that such a simple idea has not been seen before and wish Bob and Scott the best in their exciting business adventure.

What is JOT-it™

JOT-it™ is a handheld product providing maximum writing area on a standard A7 size recycled, pre-printed note pad. It is accompanied with a recycled mini pencil, a pound trolley token to release the shopping trolley from the trolley loan mechanism, has an embedded magnet on the rear for typical fridge attachment and an integrated clip on the rear to clamp the complete device to the shopping trolley handle bar.  This feature also incorporates a high friction rubber pad to provide a robust attachment with minimum effort. All these supplementary items have moulded-in clips on the main body to keep everything organised and together.

With JOT-it™, individuals can generate a shopping list over the course of the week on the notepad using the mini pencil. This notepad is pre-printed with a checklist of the most popular grocery items whilst still leaving a generous amount of space to add additional items. When the user is ready to visit the supermarket, they can take the JOT-it™ along with them.

Once at the supermarket, the user faces another issue of finding a one pound coin to insert into the shopping trolley loan mechanism. The JOT-it™ provides a pound coin widget with a unique thumb grip feature allowing the user to grip the widget securely and remove it successfully each time. It is often found that coins once inserted are not easily retractable due to the minimum grip available.

The JOT-it™ can next be clipped to the shopping trolley handle bar and rotated accordingly to provide a good reading angle. There are no limitations to this adjustment. Again, the mini pencil ( which also has a holder on the front of the unit) can be used to mark off items if the user wishes to and once this shopping trip is complete, the user can dispose of the used leaf and start a new one for the next trip.


Be Your Own Brand

I’ve just finished watching a short BBC documentary following Richard Reed of Innocent drinks company (On The Road With… – 4. An Entrepreneur). You might recognise him as one of our speakers at our recent The secret ingredient event. And, in fact the documentary ends with some clips of Richard at the evening.

Watching Richard reminded me how many of the most successful entrepreneurs are their own brand. I suppose Richard Branson and Virgin would be the most extreme version of this.

So it is timely that our partner Rasheed Ogunlaru will be running a workshop on this very topic here in September.

Be Your Own Brand: A unique one-day course to take you and your business to the next level.

Are you an entrepreneur, sole trader or small business? Is marketing, promotional and PR support beyond your budget at the moment? If so, then you must become your own brand. Leading life/business coach, PR and media specialist, Rasheed Ogunlaru, shares insights into raising awareness of your business, promoting yourself, broadening your networks and boosting your business – and your success.

He is joined by solicitor-turned-business advisor, Helen Parkins. Helen will show you how to develop powerful partnerships and when you’ll need to introduce the right legal agreements and abide by current rules and regulations to fast-track your success and avoid the pitfalls.

Benefits of attending and areas covered:

  • Develop a powerful sense of your brand and values
  • Communicate your message clearly and effectively
  • Be seen as a specialist in your field
  • Precise marketing: approaching the right customers directly
  • Build your business through contacts, partnership, joint initiatives
  • Identify simple ways of increasing your impact and profitability
  • Promote yourself as an expert in your industry or locality and in the media

Cost: £60  (lunch not included – but available in the library’s cafe/ restaurant)

How to Book:  email rasheed@rasaru.com to book your place. When booking please include:

10.am-4.15pm   Tue 21 Sept

10.am-4.15pm   Thurs 25 Nov