Recently the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), who are the guys who decide all sorts of things about how website addresses work, approved the creation of a new .xxx domain. It’s intended for the adult entertainment industry, but brands have only until October 28th to act before fleshpot slingers start using addresses like mcdonalds.xxx and johndeere.xxx to steal traffic.
Apple fanboys are sometimes referred to as “zealots” or “fanatics” in terms of their devotion to their beloved brand and the intensity with which they defend it and proselytize its virtues. Especially in online comments sections. And it turns out that perhaps those descriptions are not too far off. A recently screened BBC doc Secrets of the Superbrands (unfortunately not available for online streaming in the States) analyzed an MRI of an Apple devotee and found that the brand stimulated the same areas of the brain as religious imagery does to people of faith.
This is a picture of some cool guy who got a Louis Vuitton tattoo sleeve (that’s what it’s called when you have tattoos all up and down your arm and ending at your wrist, like a sleeve might). Apparently he decided he never wants to be the number one term life insurance salesman. It’s a sick day when people give their bodies up for free advertising for shallow brands, hoping they’ll be able to embed some of the brand’s cachet into their flesh. Why doesn’t anyone ever tattoo pages from Watership Down on their body, huh?
Listen hun, your Gucci bag and Burbury scarf aren’t fooling anyone. Sophisticated shoppers, the ones you’re pretending to be, they know better. According to a recent study, the elite among us skip past the logos and instead focus on subtle cues like distinctive designs and details to figure out who’s truly high brow.
I don’t know about you, but when I go to a diner and the ketchup on the table isn’t my brand — it rhymes with “Heinz” — or if it’s something calling itself “catsup,” I know I won’t be ordering anything that requires that particular condiment. The same goes true for mayonnaise: Nothing with the word “miracle” in the title is getting anywhere near my taste buds.
For five years, the people at BrandZ (you know they’re in branding because of the “Z”) have been evaluating customer opinion and awareness of various global brands, and then putting a dollar value on that evaluation for their annual Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report. Here are the top 10 brands on the BrandZ list.
There’s a funny post at the blog Fair Trade Photographer about cheap stock photography, particularly how companies who try to cut corners end up using the same image over and over. Barton has a serious message for companies, too: if you want us to trust you, maybe you shouldn’t put a generic stock photo of generic office people on your generic website.
All the money that Amazon has sunk into infrastructure and rapid fulfillment has paid off–the online retail giant was the most trusted brand of 2009, according to a brand study released by Millward Brown. The market research company spent 2009 asking consumers questions like, “How trustworthy is this brand?” and, “Would you recommend this brand?”
Kelley Blue Book says that they’ve commissioned a new survey showing that consumers who were considering a Toyota before the recall party started are now much less interested — and the effect seems to be growing. As each week passes and Toyota recalls more cars, people are thinking about buying… Fords?
KFC’s screwed-up grilled chicken promo doesn’t seem to have hurt the company after all; Yum CEO David Novak told investors and reporters this morning that it’s “the best product launch in our history” and has “changed the brand so much for the good.” People out there apparently really love the idea of KFC grilled chicken. [AdAge] (Thanks to R!)
Forget all that spin about listening to customer complaints: it looks like the real reason Tropicana killed off its rebranding push after only two months is because sales dropped by 20% during that period, while some big competitors posted double-digit gains. We have a feeling Tropicana is going to end up in a lot of business and marketing textbooks in the future. [AdAge] (Thanks to Ross!)
Should an energy drink be allowed to brand itself with the name of an outlawed drug? A state lawmaker in Oklahoma says no, especially not when kids can buy it, and he’s trying to get the drink pulled off of shelves in the state.
Supposedly, Kellogg’s “brand reputation” is in the gutter after canning Phelps over the pot photo, slipping from #9 to #83 in a list of 5,600 companies. We’d believe it more if this “reputation index” chart from Vanno, a brand index company, didn’t look like someone was given PowerPoint and 3 minutes and told to produce some convincing evidence for a press release.