by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) It seems to me that South African brands are much less inclined to venture into cultural and political debate. It’s not surprising, given our cultural diversity and fears of offending people, and our track record of angrily shutting down debate. But it’s not great for building meaningful brands, either.
by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) The temptation to try and appeal to everyone, to be a broad church, is strong. The problem is — it’s impossible. Building a powerful brand requires focus, not distraction. Brands can only have one ideology, not many.
by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) Brand evangelists can be hugely damaging for a brand, whether in politics or the private sector. It’s not just people bad-mouthing a brand that can influence others to avoid it; it’s the characteristics of those singing its praises, too.
In a hyper-sensitive market such as ours, the consequences of offending people are enormous. But the consequences of being bland are just as damaging for long-term brand growth. How can marketers get their brands noticed without getting them hated?
by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) Political parties really don’t get after-sale marketing. Just as with consumers after having made an important and expensive purchase, emotions run high after an election and the risk of “buyer’s remorse” is real.
by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) I can think of very few brands that have risen to prominence as quickly as the EFF has. Even Google and Facebook, the textbook meteoric risers, took a few years to establish themselves. The political party has done it by applying some fundamental marketing principles, and some clever guerrilla-marketing tactics.
by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) One good thing to have come out of this #ayisafani debacle, I hope, is that it has taught white South Africans a bit about conjugation in isiZulu! The phrase, which translates as “it is no longer the same”, has been expertly used by the Democratic Alliance in a recent campaign across TV and social media.
by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) What is the 2014 version of advertising that crosses racial divides? Segmentation strategy in South Africa is difficult: we don’t like to be treated differently, and we recoil from brands that pick up on any differences. That creates a tension for marketers.
by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) How do our political brands get such fervent support, even in the absence of tangible products and services and, in some cases, poor or skewed records of delivery? If private sector brands could illicit such customer loyalty, their marketing directors would retire at 40 — rich, happy and fulfilled.
We list the 10 most-trafficked marketing related stories on MarkLives in 2014.