iPhone leads in satisfaction … but where’s it made?

iPhone, Verizon Lead in Smartphone Satisfaction
Despite the traditionally high Blackberry penetration among business users, smartphones with more consumer-oriented functionality – such as the iPhone, Google’s Android and Palm Pre – score the highest in a customer satisfaction study (pdf) from CFI Group. The CFI Group Smartphone Satisfaction Study, based on surveys of more than 1,000 US smartphone users, also found little relationship between smartphone satisfaction and consumer satisfaction with network provider. Verizon and T-Mobile get top scores for satisfaction in this category, despite the fact that the iPhone is exclusive to AT&T.

iphone love

MIT’s Media Lab has designed a way to help you understand the economic and ecological implications behind different products you buy–it’s an interactive map that displays where each component came from. Specifically designed to be a “collective tool for transparency and sustainability,” SourceMap’s intended to demonstrate how important supply chains are, and what the consequences of each part of the chain work out to be. It’s set up like a social network, so that anyone from producers to end-users can take part (as long as you’re a registered member). Check out the demonstration video to get a better insight:
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(Lack of) Branding: Harris Tweed, Hyundai

Harris Tweed manufacturer cuts Scottish branding from US campaign
The largest manufacturer of Harris Tweed has removed all references of Scotland from its marketing campaign in the US due to fears that the Scottish government‘s release of the Lockerbie bomber could lead to a sales boycott by American consumers. Harris Tweed Hebrides plans to focus on the brand’s island heritage and has removed all references to Scotland and Scottish imagery from its promotional material ahead of the launch of its fashion collection in New York next month.

harris tweed

When construction began on a new subway station just outside Hyundai Card and Hyundai Capital‘s headquarters here, marketers at the South Korean financial-services company wanted to grab as much of the ad space as they could. They got it all, as well as the space in three adjacent stations and most of it in four of the 16 trains serving the new line subway line. The three-year deal cost $2.2 million. Once they had their new display space, the marketers made an unusual decision: They would leave it largely blank. Inside the stations, giant wall signs are all white, except for a small icon that symbolizes one of the company’s services, such as a car for car loans, plus a small company logo.
hyundai seoul subway
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Cadbury’s 800lb Gorillas: Kraft and Hershey

The UK’s most famous confectioner Cadbury has rejected a £10.2bn takeover bid from Kraft Foods that the Oreo and Dairylea-owner said would create “a global powerhouse in snacks, confectionery and quick meals” In a statement to the stock market this morning, however, the US food giant appealed directly to shareholders, saying it is “committed to working toward a recommended transaction and to maintaining a constructive dialogue and is announcing this proposal as a means to encourage and further that process”.
US confectionery group The Hershey Company has appointed JPMorgan to advise on its options as it weighs up a bid for Cadbury in the aftermath of Kraft’s £10.2bn offer. The Times has reported that Hershey’s could partner with Nestle, the Swiss multinational, in any counterbid. The move came as Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft’s chairman and chief executive, rebuffed claims Kraft could be forced into overpaying.
Should Kraft Foods’ takeover play for Cadbury eventually succeed, it would create a $51 billion package-food and confectionary company and a $2.7 billion global advertiser. Advertising Age estimates that the two companies would spend about $1.5 billion in the U.S. alone, including both measured and unmeasured channels. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Kraft spent $837 million in measured media during 2008 to Cadbury’s $138 million. While Cadbury may be best known in the U.S. for its Easter-time cream eggs, in actuality the company spends the majority of its budget on gum brands including Trident, Dentyne and Stride. Rounding out the company’s top five U.S. brands by ad spending are Hall’s cough drops and Green & Blacks premium chocolate bars.
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Microsoft’s Photoshop Fiasco

Oh Dear. A lot of global marketing is about translating a single idea for dozens of markets. But these days local executions don’t stay local for long, especially if they offer bloggers a chance to embarrass a multinational brand. Microsoft learned this last week, when blogs and mainstream media alike seized upon an image from Microsoft’s Polish business website featuring a clumsy Photoshop job that turned a black man white. The original image appeared on Microsoft’s U.S. website and featured an Asian man, the black man and a white woman sitting around a conference table. On the Polish website, the same photo appeared with a white man’s head pasted over the black man — if you look [not even] closely, the black man’s hand is still there –apparently because of Poland‘s homogenous population. While Microsoft has since apologized and taken down the photo, evidence of the racially insensitive gaffe remains on major news sites such as the BBC and ABC, and countless blogs.
microsoft racist
I think Ford did this in Poland also in 1996?

Read the same article elsewhere:

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63% of 625MM Internet Users Are Social Networking … And Social “Notworking” is Costing 1.5% of Productivity

The total estimated global active internet audience is now 625m and nearly two-thirds of these users have joined a social networking site, according to UM’s fourth ‘Power to the People’ social media study. The survey charts the growth of social media in the past 12 months. It says that almost 63% of active internet users (consumers who go online once a day or every other day) have now created a social networking profile of some kind, compared to 57% in UM’s previous Power to the People survey, published in March 2008.
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Companies that allow their workers to access to Facebook during business hours lose an average of 1.5% in total employee productivity, according to a study by Nucleus Research. Interviews with 237 randomly selected US office workers and a subsequent analysis (pdf) found that 77% report having a Facebook account and 61% of them access Facebook during work hours. Moreover, one in every 33 employees has built their entire Facebook profile during work time, and roughly the same number of respondents use Facebook only when they are at work.
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Amazon v Zappos, Kindle v 1984, B&N v Kindle

Amazon.com today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Zappos.com. a leader in online apparel and footwear sales that strives to provide shoppers with the best possible service and selection. The acquisition brings together two companies who share a passion for serving customers and whose customers benefit from cultures of innovation and long term thinking.
Sneakers
This incident is indicative of what kinds of trouble can emerge when we reframe “content” as “service.” As numerous pundits have noted, the physical book analogy would be Amazon breaking into your home and taking away a book you’d purchased (leaving you a refund on your desk, of course). But a Kindle book isn’t a physical book–it’s a service, one that (as the Kindle license makes clear) you don’t really own.
Barnes and Noble just revealed that it’s upcoming e-reader is the one from Plastic Logic that we’ve long heard about. Which means the Kindle may have a decent competitor on the scene. After all, Plastic Logic’s e-reader is the most interesting-looking and sounding one yet–it’s design is super-minimalist thanks to its touchscreen, it’s supposedly a very slender device indeed, and it has a whopping 8.5 by 11-inch electronic ink display that rivals the Kindle DX’s. Its built to support the EPub format, also used by Sony, which is how B&N plans on releasing the texts from its e-bookstore.
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Economy: Easing, Slowing, Losing, Climbing

When it comes to predictions as to the advertising recession, its a far from clear picture and predictions vary depending on who you are talking to …

Money Down the Drain

Cuts in marketing spend easing
The latest Bellwether survey published this week (13th July 2009) has found that for the second quarter in a row the rate of decline in marketing spend has eased, linked to an improvement in business confidence; with companies surveyed reporting that their financial prospects have improved for the first time since the first quarter of last year.
Ad outlook: Longer, slower recovery
The only good news is that we may finally have hit bottom during second quarter, with the media economy expected to rebound slightly during the second half of the year. But generally Magna’s mid-year 2009 U.S. forecast, released today, gives no hope of a full rebound for the media economy anytime soon.

According to Forrester Research, reported by Richard H. Levey at Directmag.com, 60% of marketers surveyed will increase their interactive marketing budgets by shifting funds from traditional media. Direct mail was cited by 40% of marketers as being one being cut, outranking newspapers (35%), magazines (28%) and television (12%).
Growth in social network advertising spending worldwide will take a hit in 2009, but not as severely as in the US. eMarketer projects 9% growth in worldwide spending in 2009, to $2.2 billion. That is down from the 17% growth eMarketer forecast in March 2009.
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