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  • Posted by: Josh Feldmeth on Monday, May 12 2014 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

    It looks like 2014 is going to be the comeback year for Mergers and Acquisitions.   

    M&A activity is at a level we haven’t seen since 2007, and the drivers of this are clear—equity values, cross-boarder tax advantages, structural improvements in the economy, and the search for growth, to name a few.   

    This new activity is coming from all industries—including healthcareindustrialstechnologymedia, and CPG.   

    We’ve been tracking the recent rise of M&A deals and put together some tips on how to use brand assets to maximize value and lower risk during M&A transactions.   

    Three key principles to maximizing the deal: 

    1. Focus on the value creation logic: How will companies and assets be brought together to create more shareholder value?
    2. Trust your customers, not your gut: Every case is different but our experiences is that managers often overestimate the connection customers have with current brands, but at the same time overestimate the time required to make change. Use forward-looking econometric models to accelerate M&A’s decision making.
    3. Think about evolving models rather than perfect solutions: It’s naïve to think that a single brand architecture solution is profit maximizing across the entire organization. The strength of each brand can differ widely across geographies and business lines.    

    If you think about value creation logic, trusting your customer, and evolving models rather than perfect solutions, you can optimize the architecture of your brand assets to capture maximum value from the deal. 

    For more information about the role of brand in M&A activity, please contact Josh Feldmeth, CEO, Interbrand New York at jfeldmeth@interbrand.com. Connect with him on Twitter: @JoshFeldmeth

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  • Posted by: Elyse Burack on Thursday, April 17 2014 04:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Analysts have long debated whether or not the Cable and Satellite TV industry is doomed. Subscriptions to Pay TV are at their lowest level in four years as consumers are seemingly beginning to “cut the cord” and cobble together their own solutions for cheaper and more flexible entertainment options. To add to the matter, the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals that scores for TV service are, on average, lower than any other consumer sector. The lack of satisfaction is attributed to chronic rate hikes, clunky set top boxes, poor customer service, and a lack of control over which channels one pays for.

    As pent-up frustrations with traditional Pay TV providers increase, customers are turning to “over-the-top” (OTT) providers including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Late last year, the Xbox One, PS4, and Chromecast emerged making it even easier to watch web-based video. Additionally, emerging disruptive startups continue to reshape the landscape. Aereo, for example, allows consumers to watch and record live TV over the Internet—without having any hardware installed—for a mere $8 a month.

    While there is debate about whether OTT will ever completely replace TV, it’s clear that the way consumers watch video is changing. Streaming services have broken down traditional barriers to viewing content and, as the world becomes more mobile, consumers want to watch content wherever and whenever on any device. Additionally, consumers are increasingly “binge-viewing,” or watching at least 2-3 episodes of a single series in one sitting. According to a 2013 Harris Interactive survey, 61 percent of adult viewers binge watch on a regular basis. This trend is shifting the economics of the industry, given that traditional providers rely heavily on advertising and syndicated reruns.

    Until very recently, Pay TV providers have been able to successfully dig moats around their current business model, only making incremental tweaks to their products and positioning in the marketplace. Recent deals between Verizon and Intel or Comcast and Netflix suggest the incumbents are making significant investments in innovation. Traditional providers have also made technological improvements such as On Demand programs and “TV Everywhere” apps that allow customers to watch certain channels live on mobile devices. While these are certainly positive product improvements, they are not going to revolutionize the video and TV industry. The truth is, incumbents are reluctant to take the risks required to really innovate the category more radically. It’s the disruptors that are remaking the industry.

    Case in point: the fall of Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix. Blockbuster executives were too shortsighted to see the future of the home video industry and failed to recognize how quickly consumer behavior was shifting. Rather than adapting its business model to embrace streaming early on, Blockbuster pursued short-term growth by expanding its stores into outlets for books, toys, and other merchandise. Eventually it jumped on the DVD delivery trend, but it was too late at that point. Blockbuster soon filed for bankruptcy.

    In light of recent trends, many industry speculators are quick to proclaim the demise of the TV industry. But perhaps the true threat lies in the missed opportunity. After all, big companies have big capabilities. Having more resources, more reach, and an established customer base, traditional cable providers actually have greater potential than smaller, disruptive players to invest in innovation and reset industry norms. They can not only adapt, but also lead. By rethinking how they deliver their services and repositioning their brands as visionary, nimble, and cool, traditional cable providers can recapture lost subscribers and market share. This involves not only developing a campaign, but also closely examining and responding to unmet needs. Today, consumers crave seamless interoperability between devices, control over their video options, compelling content, and attentive customer service. They’re engaged by 30-second YouTube clips, but are also increasingly prone to watching 30 hours of their favorite TV series on demand. What does that mean for traditional programming? Should TV evolve into something more social? Or is more personalization the key? It’s a complex landscape and there are no easy answers, but the providers that apply their creativity and resources to the challenge will ultimately lead the charge to innovate.

    While no one can be certain of the future of TV and video consumption, it’s safe to say that it will continue to evolve. As for incumbent providers, the opportunity is theirs to seize or overlook: Do they want to actively shape their industry’s future or simply follow suit?

    Elyse Burack is a Strategy Consultant at Interbrand New York.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Thursday, March 22 2012 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

    Jez Frampton

    Welcome to part 2 of this Demand and Desire special, where Interbrand’s Global CEO, Jez Frampton, joins Global Chief Communications Officer, Karen Burke, in examining what 2012 has in store for these eight sectors:

    • Financial
    • Hospitality
    • Food & Beverage
    • Healthcare
    • Luxury
    • Telecommunications
    • Media
    • Retail

     

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  • Posted by: Michael Benson on Monday, February 27 2012 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

    I had the pleasure, once again, of being a judge for the British Video Association Marketing Awards. Assessing marketing campaigns supporting the launch of titles on DVD and Blu-ray highlighted how innovative and effective they could have been. What struck me most is that more brand-focused thinking would certainly benefit the entertainment industry.

    There are unique challenges posed by the transient nature of the product (given the viewing experience) and the astonishingly short time that it has to become a success. Nonetheless, a small fraction of films launched have gone on to become lasting franchises, becoming brands that have extended beyond the viewing experience. It’s important food for thought for entertainment marketers, especially coming out of the movie awards season.

    Many campaigns are, sadly, an exercise of simply trying to place the title poster art in as many places as possible (online and offline), securing PR for the talent and throwing up website and Facebook pages for broadcast purposes that don’t really engage in dialogue. While much of this is driven by the need to push volume fast, it shouldn’t be an excuse for skipping rigorous thinking to make limited marketing budgets work harder. The problem: titles are not often thought of as brands to manage, but seats to fill and boxes to shift.

    What each title is and offers (the brand) needs to be clearly defined to identify effective connection moments and innovative ways to engage customers. This will also enable longer term brand building, especially as sequels and serialisation become a more common way to improve ROI. Some of the mega franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter appear to have clearer values that guide what they do in the many different extensions of the brand. This keeps the magic alive in the hearts and minds of current fans and help attract new audiences.

    Tactically, some distributors are using customer insight to effectively position and communicate their titles. I saw smart launch promotions that put potential viewers in the shoes of the hero, and the use of documentary to astonish and create a new fascination of the subject even before you see the film. These built on the understanding of what will engage potential audiences in a way that builds the brand. I can’t tell you who won (to be announced in the coming weeks) but I can say that the standouts clearly used brand-centric thinking.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Friday, February 17 2012 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

    The media world is in a state of constant innovation and flux; that’s no surprise. This will continue with increasing intensity in 2012, from social media and content creation to new devices and consumption models. Consumers themselves are evolving just as quickly, becoming more comfortable with new ways to create and consume content, and sharing everything from photos to purchase histories through the social web. It’s clear that the consumer wins in this picture, but what about the big—and small—players building the devices and launching the apps? What can they expect? Our latest white paper, What’s in store for 2012?, takes a look at the year ahead in the media industry, plus 15 other sectors.

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