Tag archives: marketing

Lessons from the local DVD shop via Live and Inspire Magazine

I have just started writing for Live and Inspire Magazine. My first article is on business lessons from the local pirated DVD shop. Do click here to read it.

Corp Talk : Lessons from the local DVD shop, by Juarez Lowe

I teach classes on leadership and professional skills. One of the frequently asked questions in my classes is for an example of a well-run business. People often look at GENikeApple and other multi nationals.

I like sharing the example of the local pirated DVD shop. This shop is quite small (less 500 square feet) and ironically located in front of a police station. Click here to read the rest.

Mas vs Air Asia

The google onslaught

"How to hit at your opponent"

Recently, I was trying to book some flights. Instead of typing out Air Asia, I googled it. The first paid ad was of course Malaysia Airlines. It is interesting when companies do this. The 3 ways of growing market share are

1. New users – people who have not entered into the category before. Eg. quoted by the chairman of Air Asia, the plantation worker in East Malaysia who wanted to go to KL to see the KLCC twin towers but couldn’t afford it until Air Asia came about.

2. Existing users to use more. Eg. Database email blast letting travellers know about a special promotion fare. These people are already existing users of your product and you just encourage them to use more.

3. Taking competitor users. These are people who already use the service and you just encourage them to switch to your brand. Eg. giving consumers a pre-approved credit card and gift if they show you a competitors credit card.

This present campaign by Malaysian Airlines is designed to take competitor (air asia) users. As a brand strategy it may downgrade the brand image of Malaysian Airlines. The brand identity was mid to premium. Since the onset of Air Asia, they have embarked on Air Asia like ads combined with a cost reduction strategy. This campaign is a useful tactical approach in the short term to take competitor users but it should look at determining its long term positioning. Only then will it be poised for lasting success.

Interesting article on web marketing

This is a useful article on web marketing dos and don’ts. I do agree that registering for a website is a pain and puts me off. It is also useful to have an old fashioned telephone number on your website.

GM's Youtube campaign

Recently, GM started a youtube marketing campaign. This was not for a new car launch but is asking for money. Money that comes not directly from the consumer but instead from the government. This is the first time a major automaker has appealed via the internet for the government to give it money. The youtube campaign works with GM’s blog. Note that comments are disabled on GM’s youtube posts.

Does this make sense? Is this the right medium to use? Is the message the right message to use? Do post your suggestions and questions here.



What is branding? The most common response is that branding is a logo, set of colours or font. When we conduct our branding workshops, most participants are surprised when they learn that branding encompasses strategy, hiring practices, the reward structure, business focus, planning, internal and external communication.

Branding is more than just logos, fonts and colours. A branding workshop should be attended by the top management of the company. During this period, the top management will work to identify the company values, unique selling proposition and goals. A one day branding workshop will take the company on a discovery process, where they gain an idea of where they are and where they want to go. 

The branding workshop should have at least one facilitator and one observer to take down key points. In a one day session, most people should expect to find their unique selling proposition, have an idea of the company values and company vision.

In our branding workshops, we utilize techniques of Appreciative Inquiry (positive questioning), team-building, together with interactive marketing and strategy tools. Here are some of the frequently asked questions on branding:-

1) Who should attend a branding workshop? Most companies will send their junior to mid level executives. The branding workshop should have the CEO/founder and top management as well as selected frontline staff. The workshop will be more effective when you have the key decision makers as well as the frontline staff. This is due to the fact there is often a different view of what the company is from top management to frontline staff. Something often goes missing along the way. The workshop helps both teams come to a consensus on what the brand stands for and its vision. 

2) Why do we need an external facilitator? Facilitators will help keep things on track. They can move the discussion in the right direction as well as provide an impartial view. Experienced facilitators will also be able to give relevant examples across companies or industries.

3) What is the key result of a branding workshop? The discovery process will normally help the company determine where the brand is. Sharing of success stories is a powerful tool to determine the brand’s current proposition and unique selling points.

4) Who conducts a branding workshop and why is it expensive? A branding workshop costs a lot as it often involves more than one facilitator. Each facilitator has to tailor their approach to each company. Like a bespoke suit, we don’t use a one size fits all method. The learning method, role plays and games are all designed with a specific purpose applicable to that particular company.

Feel free to post your views, comments or questions here.