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  • Posted by: Alex Leopold on Wednesday, February 13 2013 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

     Dart Registry

    Want to create a surprise enormous bow on a new car gift moment on Valentine’s Day for that special someone, but short on funds? Maybe way short on what it will take to own your own first piece of reliable independence? Now consumers can crowdfund that new car purchase.

    Instead of hitting up friends and family for personal checks or small wads of bills freshly dispersed from the local ATM, now contributors can help fund that new car as if helping participants in a local 5K-charity run. Think of it as a bridal registry without the silver anniversary commitment, and it’s called just that, the Dodge Dart Registry.

    Pixie Project's RegistryWhat a perfect way to help move a mounting inventory of very affordable Dodges from the dealer’s lot into the hands of first-time new car buyers. It’s genius really. Why didn’t someone come up with something like this years ago? It’s certainly not something others would have difficulty implementing.

    Score a nice win for Dodge. Online buzz, low-cost advertising, crowd sourcing and visits to Dodge’s site by those who might not have gone there before looks like the trifecta to me.

    Though the Dart has faced criticism, I’m willing to bet my 20+ years of automotive experience that with powertrain tweaks for US consumers and smart marketing maneuvers, Dart sales will gain momentum in what is currently one of the toughest segments in the auto market. Rumors are that Chrysler will wave their magic tuning wand and develop an R/T version of the Dart; this could prove to be a true performance model if they do it right.

    Expect even more people visiting the Dodge Dart Registry when this happens. “Hello mom . . .”

    Alex Leopold is Interbrand's Presentation & Media Experience Specialist.

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  • Posted by: Patrick Stal on Wednesday, June 30 2010 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

    As the world’s eyes are focused on South Africa for the World Cup, leaders of the world’s 20 most influential economies have been meeting in Toronto for the G20 meeting. Between news reports of the standard protests surrounding these meetings and the latest updates of the World Cup, a short news blip showed David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, arriving in Toronto.

    During this unique press opportunity, Brand Canada was doing its best to assert its presence across international news media by greeting leaders at their airplanes with Canadian Royal Mounted Police (CRMP or  “Mounties”) — officers in their globally recognizable uniforms. As one of the most recognizable symbols of Canada, the “mounties” were successfully symbolizing Canada’s brand.

    What really caught the eye was that David Cameron arrived on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London, on a plane called the “Rainbow Lady.” Upon arrival in Toronto, the recently inaugurated British Prime Minister stepped off the Virgin Atlantic flight looking refreshed, (with smiling Virgin Atlantic stewardesses surrounding him on the platform) and ready for the heavy criticism he is sure to receive over BP’s problems in the Gulf.

    It surprised me to see this, as I was assuming that he would arrive on a government plane—or that traditionalism would prevail and the Prime Minister would be flying British Airways. None of this is the case.

    Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson is surely delighted at the choice, but British Airways CEO Willie Walsch surely feels that this is another thorn in the British Airways brand’s side. With ongoing strikes among British Airway personnel, and an uphill battle to keep the company alive, the brand seems to be losing it’s position as England’s (and the world’s) premiere airline. If David Cameron chooses to fly Virgin, it must be the more refined choice, presenting a clear challenge to British Airway’s current slogan “upgrade to British Airways.”

    All eyes will be on British Airways over the next years to see how they manage to draw the company back together. Of key importance will be engaging employees that feel desolated and disconnected from the brand and its heritage. Virgin has always had the advantage of the engaging and inspiring person of Richard Branson being able to rally the troops and lead them into the future. British Airway’s troops need a rallying cry, and perhaps Walsch should make it a key objective to get Cameron to fly the airline again. Set the goal and march towards it. Claim the stake and celebrate the success.

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  • Posted by: Patrick Stal on Tuesday, June 22 2010 09:17 AM | Comments (0)

    CVC Capital is one of the major shareholders of bpost. With the acquisition of a major stake in TNT Post, CVC Capital would control a large portion of the postal business in the BeNeLux. The European postal market will be fully liberalized on the 1st of January 2011, and it appears that CVC sees enough synergies and market potential in that market for a profitable business model.

    While there has been a lot of criticism and disbelief when it comes to the future success of any postal operator in the coming decades considering the rapid growth of digital communication, it is still a commercially attractive market for multiple parties. It is true that the increasing rise of email is likely to substitute traditional forms of mail, along with new forms of competition within traditional activities. However, it is also true that the brand will start to play an increasingly influential role in this market.

    In traditionally monopolized markets, the role of brand for postal operators has been relatively low. Where there is no viable alternative there is no reason for active choice consideration by customers. This will not hold in the future, and has not held over the past decade for many of the larger parties in the market. Although postal markets may still have been physical monopolies in the past years, the internet and email have already grown the role of brand in the segment. In addition to this substitute, many markets were already experiencing competition (such as in The Netherlands) due to earlier liberalization.

    European postal operators need to open their eyes to the fact that they will be competing for business, and that their brands are valuable assets in winning the battle over their competitors. Many of the current brands in Europe are heritage brands that have roots going back to the origins of their respective countries. These are strengths to leverage, but strengths that have to be augmented with values that play an important role in customers’ decision-making. These include reliability, speed, cost and especially for corporate customers, a lasting value-generating partnership.

    This is no small challenge, and bpost has taken a strong first step with its renewed brand last week. It will be interesting to see which brands follow suit and what consolidation activities we will see on a brand level over the  next coming months.

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