Bad Branding Strategies

April 1, 2008

I figured I would write one last post on Seth as his blog really makes good points that relate to Business. His blog on dumb branding strategies really made a lot of sense when reading it. There are many companies that have bad branding strategies such as Computer World, and Party Land. Names such as those do not make me feel like I am missing out on anything if I don’t stop into those stores. For example Computer World really seems like a plain store name. This name does not make me feel like like is a great store to stop into.

The picture below is of many successful brand names.

I know personally when I hear bad brand names I do not want to enter the store. Names with that extra catchy word or phrase really can make you want to enter the store. Future Shop might have a simple brand name, but it makes me think that everything in the store is up to date, and new ideas of the future. Or Captain Sub makes me think they are the best at making subs. I came across an article on Google dealing with the image that a good brand name does in the mind of the consumer. In this article it says that a lot of companies are fighting for mind share. A good brand name sets confidence in the mind of the consumer. If you are use to buying General Electric products and and have always had success with them. Than you are more than likely to continue buying GE products in the futurue. It sets a standard of expectations as well. An example of this would be when I buy Sony products I always think I am getting the best of the best. As well good branding makes you spend more money. I would rather spend the extra $50 dollars and get a really good pair of jeans. It gives me the confidence that those jeans will last longer, and be strong. Recognition is key in being competitive with the competition. Recognition can either be positive or negative. When I go traveling I have come to expect that when I go to Subway, I will get a good quality sub at every Subway location. Loyalty is a key factor in any business throughout the world. I am loyal to Honda, as most of the vehicles that they create are gas friendly, and most importantly reliable.

A few examples of other catchy brand names that have created strong recognition are:

  1. Starbucks
  2. Tim Hortons
  3. Best Buy

I think it is necessary to have a good brand name in order to gain more customers, and get loyalty.

Mitchell Watts


Hugs are not free!

March 29, 2008

I guess I’m a little behind everyone else for the blog post about free, but I figure it’s about time I had my voice heard on the matter. I realize that probably no one besides Dave will read this due to too much free exposure to free, but here goes…

My first experience of free is when i got my first bank account. My mom and dad took me to Scotiabank to deposit money I had received for my birthday, and we put it in a bank account with an extremely low interest rate. About a year later, I received a notice saying that my account balance had gone up somewhere around the area of 1 cent. I was ecstatic. For some reason, the bank had decided to give me free money, for absolutely no reason (besides the fact that they had possession of my money for a year, but I didn’t know it then). I knew then that I would love free things for the rest of my life.Mob of people giving free hugs

On a different note, I’ve recently been reading Seth Godin’s blog post called Where to find great ideas and arresting images. In it, he quickly discussed how Flickr is a great place to get free pictures (such as the one to the right), as well as free ideas that can be used to put the picuture/image in context. Therefore, looking for inspiration, I searched over 500 images hoping for inspiration. I don’t know about inspiration, but I sure did see a lot of pictures about “Free Burma”, and “Free Hugs”.

In my search of free, I’ve realized two things. Nothing is ever free (including hugs), and people appreciate things more, if they aren’t free. I’ll touch on the second one first.

If a person’s greatest ambition is to purchase a new car, and they spend years saving every penny for this car, then when they eventually do get it, they will treat it like gold due to the hard work and sacrifice placed forth in obtaining it. If the same person were given a car for free, say like a student receiving a car from their parents, it is doubtful that this car will be treated with the same respect that it would have if they had personally purchased it. Free breeds disrespect for a product or service.

My second realization, nothing is free, I believe under every circumstance, must be true. Nothing would exist without someone putting forth an effort to create or obtain it. For the most obvious examples, technology, such as open source software, is not free. Even if it is free to the consumer, it cost somebody something. The developers of Linux give their software to consumers for free, but it costs the developers substantially in time and money. How do they make up for this cost? They charge people for the support of the software, like IBM does for Linux.

Conclusion, nothing is free. If one person gets something for free, another person (or company) had to pay for it. Hugs are free? No, they cost the person the energy and time to give that hug. Google’s search engine is free? No, Google makes billions in revenue as a result of having a search engine. Even if you find a $20 bill blowing across the road and pick it up, it is not free, because you had to expend the energy to chase after it and pick it up (as well as it cost the person that lost it by having $20 less, and having expending the energy in actually losing it).

At the very minimum, a product or service that a person receives for “free” cost someone time and energy. It is the amount of time or energy that a person puts into something that classifies it has free. At what amount of time or energy, is a product or service not considered free anymore? That is a question for the class, if anyone has indeed read this.


David McKenna

Basketball Awareness Test

March 18, 2008

This is great.  I’m sure you’ve all already seen it because it was posted by Seth Godin and everyone loves Seth, but just in case you’ve missed it I think everyone should watch this video on awareness.

This is one of those posts that would be better off in the social network that Tasha made, but oh well, it’s on here now anyway.


David McKenna

Seth Godin wrote a post saying that many things now are not being categorized by alphabetical order, and when they are its no longer how you want them to be ordered.

This is entirely true.

Of course there will always be certain items that need to be categorized this way. Ex: Dictionary. But they way we operate now, day to day, has changed the way we need things presented to us. If everything was categorized in alphabetical order, it would take us ages to find exactly what we are looking for (if we find it at all).

When looking up books at the library you don’t want to leaf through catalogues trying to find a book on business, in only the ‘B’ section. If you do you would be missing out on the hundreds of other business books that don’t start with a ‘B’. We are beginning to find ways to categorize items, according to RELEVANCE. Or any other way that better helps you find items that you are searching for. Taxonomy is evolving.

This new way of categorizing has been brought to you by the internet, or more appropriately Web 2.0.With the use of Tags, or other technologies, we have been able to categorize items in basically any way we want. By time, subject, author, artist, colour, country etc… By using tags, one can find anything they want fast and easy. Now, everything can be put in many different categories, hundreds even. Articles, movies, music etc… are no longer needles in a haystack, but linked to many different topics. By using tags, we are able to find items that we may not have necessarily been looking for either, but have none the less helped us gain knowledge on a topic or introduced us to new things.
Even applications (outlook/Mail, iTunes/other music apps etc…) have given us the ability to organize items, according to how you want them (Last played, most played, relevant emails etc…).

This new way of categorizing has been accepted by basically everyone, and has become the norm. It is constantly developing, organizing items so they can be found better and thus become more helpful to us.


I was reading through the blogs this week and Seths blog called Don’t get fooled again caught my attention. I know myself I have gotten many annoying e-mails asking me to forward this email to so many people and I will win a lot of money or a computer. Most likely there is always a catchy phrase in the title to catch your eye. “Forward this to 20 people and you will share part of someones rich estate.” The scary part is these e-mails can contain viruses if you download attachments, etc.. Most people know not to bother with these e-mails but there is always some people who will follow through with the instructions. Most likely these e-mails are scams.I was just reading the news on Google – regarding e-mail scams that are on going in the world. A couple caught me eye: Million dollar email scammers plead guilty , and Beware of tax rebate scams. In the tax rebate article, “One reported phone scam asks people for their bank account information so the rebate could supposedly be supplied direct deposit. An email scam sends a message, supposedly from the IRS, and asks the recipient to click over to a site and enter personal information in order to claim their rebate.” It is scary how high tech some of these scams are getting.More than likely this will be a continuing trend into the future. There will always be people out there who want to obtain personal information (pin numbers, bank account information etc) for their own benefit. There are a lot of ways that you can protect your personal information. I think awareness of this is a big area that needs to be addressed, as a lot of people are not aware of this problem. I imagine that scam e-mails will continue much into the future – as computer technology continues to grow.Mitchell Watts

This weeks post was very difficult for me, I read thru the majority of the posts and couldn’t find anything that I could comment on or even remotely relate to, that’s why I have been putting it off till the last minute (which isn’t very considerate and I hope to post earlier next week). So finally coming to choosing a post, I chose one by Seth Godin’s called: Bad judgement. I could relate to it and I think everyone can too, or at least you can relate to the paragraph below.

 All day, you run into people with bad judgment. That critic who didn’t like your last movie, or the prospect who refuses to buy your product even though it’s better. Or the angry customer who is bitter, vindictive, loud and out to cost you your job… even though they must know it’s not your fault. Or perhaps it’s the employee who refuses to exert a little extra energy even though it would help all of you.   

Seth Godin goes on to say that if you were to stop and take a second and reflect, you may too be acting the same way they are if you had the same beliefs. Here is where I disagree, Godin thinks that if we were to believe what another person believes, we might potentially be looking at things differently, but I thinks its more than that.  I think it would be more beneficial to experience what that person has experienced to be able to understand why they do what they do, whatever that may be. It comes back to that well know saying of walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to know how they feel, before you jump to conclusions.



How much for Digital?

January 26, 2008

Another week has gone by and there is still little news, I guess its’s back to Seth’s blogspace and the talk about digital downloads. Currently there are a few businesses that provide movie downloads. Apple has just recently joined this venture along with  Netflix, Amazon’s Unbox and CinemaNow Inc. and Time Warner will also offer this service through HBO.

Although this type of service is growing rapidly ,there are some questions about the the time it requires to download the movies and how long you can view the movie. Right now it requires about one gigabyte of storage space and a fast internet connection, preferably a cable connection over DSL. Prices vary with each company but for the most part it costs about $3-$5 per movie. This price seems a little high considering they don’t have to pay for labour costs, advertising and the other costs associated with a retail store. I agree with Seth that offering them for free would not be the way to go for the industry, however offering them for a minimal charge would definately curb the desire for pirating. This was mentioned in Wattsy’s post earlier this week and I think he hit the preverbial nail on the head. Hollywood still has to make money from the movie industry. Therein lies the question is it better to charge less in hopes of attracting more customers or to charge more in hopes of making more profit? Quantity vs. Quality?