Archive of: March, 2016

  • Mobile Consumer Engagement

    The importance of getting it right!

    One of the largest FMCG manufacturers, Unilever, is putting mobile messaging at its core, but more importantly how it communicates with its consumers. Unilever is now considering rolling out a WhatsApp based service around the world for its Hellmann’s brand which was initially launched in Brazil.

    When research informed Unilever that on a daily basis four out of five people can’t decide what evening meal to cook the decision was made to launch an engagement programme for its Hellmann’s brand in Brazil called WhatsCook. Performed by a team of top chefs who send users recipes via the Facebook-owned messaging service once they receive pictures of their ingredients.

    All the recipes featured Hellmann’s and the initiative generated huge amounts of online buzz and PR. Unilever know that 52 per cent of consumers are less likely to engage if they have a bad experience on a mobile and as the idea is scalable it is so important to get mobile consumer engagement right first time!

    That reminds me, what are we having for tea?

  • BZ rebrand PJ's to Procter Johnson

    PJ Colours made a conscious decision to rebrand as their old identity portrayed them as a local SME when they are in fact a leading supplier of pigments and additives to the world’s construction industries. The reasons for rebranding was to reposition the company in order to have more international appeal, the changes in their brand promise and the decision to focus on two core markets, construction and asphalt. The name change was also proposed due to the fact that the company was being referred to as PJ’s (pyjamas) which sounded somewhat immature for a global organisation. After indepth research we discovered that the original company was founded in 1899 and traded as Procter Johnson Ltd, so the company was already steeped in history and long established. That combined with the close association of the strength of well known brand names such as “Procter” & Gamble and Johnson & “Johnson” gave Procter Johnson the global strength we were looking for.

    Now we had the brand name it was a matter of developing the logo which consists of 4 elements:- a lower case italic “p” and “j”, a circle, and the company name “Procter Johnson” in typographic form.

    The circle is the core element from which the logo was developed. The circle represents Procter Johnson as a global organisation. The italic lowercase “p” was manipulated to follow the exact same curve as the circle, and once overlaid visually forms the “P”, the starting letter of “Procter”. The “p” was then been duplicated and rotated 180° to form the “j” of “Johnson” and italics were used intentionally to evoke positive forward thinking.

    The green and blue colours represent Procter Johnson’s commitment to the environment and sustainability and individually represent the two core global markets the company operates in. Green represents pigments and additives for the concrete industry and blue represents pigments and additives for asphalt. All three elements have also been designed to graphically represent a swirl commonly seen when compounds are added and mixed together.

  • Jiahua Chemicals go global

    Jiahua Chemicals is a leading independent Chinese Specialty Chemicals manufacturing group focused on the Urethanes, Construction Chemicals, Surfactants and Chemical distribution industries. With the demand in China for polyurethane products at such a high level and expected growth over the next few years, Jiahua has a firm foundation from which to expand globally. With offices already now open in Europe, Dubai and USA, Jiahua now have firm foot holds in both the Middle East and Western markets which is the first step of their globalisation plans.

    BZ have an in depth understanding of the Speciality Chemicals market and are now a well respected and trusted adviser to Jiahua. As part of Jiahua’s expansion plan BZ have been invited to enter into conversations to discuss Jiahua’s Corporate Identity, the first stage of which will be a Brand Audit.

  • Rebrand Heaven or Rebrand Hell?

    New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Logo

    Met Logo, New Logo, Logo Design, Rebrand

    It would seem to appear that the people running New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art believe that brand equity for some reason is a tired concept? Apparently they have decided to dispense with its existing logo which dates from 1971 for a logo which is… errr?…well…..???

    The decision is a very strange one considering that the original logo which reflects the use of symmetry and proportion in Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man and has become synonymous with the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art for nearly five decades.

    The original logo design was virtually an exact replica of a woodcut illustration from On the Divine Proportion, which is a book on mathematics written by Luca Pacioli, illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci, and is in the Museum’s own collection. On the Divine Proportion (De Divina Proportione) was composed circa 1498 in Milan and first printed in 1509. The title refers to the golden ratio and their applications to geometry, visual art through perspective, and architecture. The logo was timeless and worked extremely well across all media environments.

    Apparently the museum will soon be opening a new annex for modern art on Madison Avenue so therefore it was deemed a new hip logo and image was necessary. So brand heroes, Wolff Olins (London 2012 Olympics logo) to the rescue with a strategy… “The Met”, by which the institution is sometimes referred. But it also seems that the Metropolitan Opera House is also called The Met?! Add to that the confusion the fact that most visitors to the museum have never heard of this internal abbreviation and you have a rather large branding mess.

    If the final execution of the new logo and branding was absolutely outstanding all that may be forgiven, but we’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions… What do you think? Rebrand Heaven or Rebrand Hell?

  • What is key to the success of British luxury brands?

    Smythson of Bond Street

    Smythson, Bond Street, Luxury Brand, Brand, Personalisation, Stationery, BZ Marketing

    Smythson of Bond Street is a British manufacturer of luxury stationery, leather goods, diaries and fashion products based in London. It’s been a renowned British brand since 1887 when it opened its first shop at 133 New Bond Street. The current flagship store is located at 40 New Bond Street. Clients have included Royalty, Queen Victoria, UK Politicians and Prime Ministers, Maharajas, Sir Edmund Hillary, Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly and Madonna and many other well known stars and celebrities

    Smythson customises its leather and desk product lines with gilt initials and much of the leather customisation is done in store in full view of the customers. Bespoke printing and personalisation is another important product line; particularly for weddings and parties. The highest-end stationery is often detailed with 24-carat gilded edges, hand-painted borders, custom-engraved motifs and monograms.

    Although the Smythson brand may not be too familiar, and if every thing goes to plan, the name is about to become a lot more familiar. After generations as a Bond Street institution with a small outlet in Manhattan U.S., Smythson is set to grow its presence across the pond, with eight new stores including New York and Los Angeles over the next two and a half years. Smythson will have a lot of competition in the luxury sector, but believes it has an edge because Smythson doesn’t really see itself as a mainstream luxury brand.

    Smythsons as a brand are very comfortable with who they are and believe in quality and aesthetic and texture, simple designed goods handmade from soft leathers in muted colours. Smythson’s refusal to command attention has won it much of the attention it enjoys today, its unassuming profile is part of its mystique, and because not everyone knows how to pronounce the name, “Smythsins”… being someone’s best kept secret is key.”

    Smythson will continue to maintain a low profile and aims to get people curious about the brand, rather than opting for a huge marketing campaign. Yet, its expansion plan will involve some degree of promotion via social media and influential bloggers.

    It is a clever move for Smythson to play on its legacy as it chases younger consumers, as a highly regarded heritage brands are really appealing to young adults who are always on the look out for authenticity, and at a time when many luxury brands are becoming mass. Authenticity can be a key selling point.

    Smythsons, or “Smythsins” is one of the true British heritage brands that the American audience will really appreciate.

  • How can businesses build their brands successfully overseas?

    5 ways to globalise your brand

    Opportunities for businesses and brands to prosper on an international scale are extensive. So just how can businesses build their brands successfully?

    To go global you need to think local, but with the advance of the digital age boundaries have become somewhat blurred and the requirement for a more unified ‘global’ brand that is relevant everywhere becomes greater.

    Creating a global brand culture that translates effectively isn’t easy. Here are five ways to help achieve that.

    Global Normalisation?
    The ‘globality’ of your brand should start with initial planning. ‘Global’ should be a key phrase that’s embedded in your company’s culture right from the very outset. And the philosophy of your culture should remain consistent, regardless of where you’re targeting.

    So what’s in a brand name?
    A brand name is a vital part of your company, some would say the most important, it’s what consumers identify with and grow to trust.
    Ideally, your brand name should be one that doesn’t require translation and one that’s simple and easy to pronounce.

    Brand, Branding, Brand Identity, Brand Consistency, Jiahua Chemicals, PUR Chemie,

    Early 2015 BZ Marketing developed and launched the global brand PUR, a joint venture chemical company with UK representatives and Jiahua Chemicals, China. PUR is the chemical industry acronym for polyurethane and easy to pronounce. “Globality” is represented by surfactant molecules combined to form a global shape with a graphic representation of a benzene at its core, a symbol common to the chemical sector. Red represents China and blue represents the UK, and the blending of colours implies the joining of forces in the development and distribution of polyurethane and surfactant chemicals to the global markets.

    Focus on similarities
    We are all different, but by focussing on people’s inherent similarities rather than their differences you can build a unified, global brand identity.

    Unified marketing
    The time will come when you will need to open your first international office which may grow into eight offices across two continents. This is where the company’s global culture comes into play. So while your advertising campaigns are implemented locally, your international offices have to work together to ensure brand consistency.

    The need to localise is still very important when building a global brand as some concepts don’t translate well between cultures. Engaging with a foreign copywriter of your target country will ensure your message and company’s brand will be understood and communicated in the right way.

  • The importance of an evolving visual identity

    Try and spot all 23 brands!


    This clip uses famous logos to explain the importance of branding. The colors, dimensions and basic design elements of the corporate marks are unchanged, but the company names have been replaced by words from the video’s story.

    Even if you change the most important thing of every brand, the name, if all other elements are strong enough – colour, typography – you will still be able to recognise the brand in a second.

    Take a look at this video from inetdesign, Denmark and see if you can spot all 23 brands. It goes a long way toward explaining why companies that make logo changes are probably best advised to keep the basic look and feel intact.

    Every logo redesign can be a little bit risky, but as long as you stay on the path of your brand and don’t jeopardise your recognisability, it will be fine. It is absolutely normal and even necessary to refresh your image since brands change and evolve.

  • Kiddle search engine targets kids, Google style.

    Google recently launched a child friendly search engine that promises to filter out all adult material which comes as a welcome relief for parents.

    Kiddle aims for real stand out and looks similar to Google’s interface, but includes some nice, child-friendly imagery. Instead of the stark white background there is a fun cartoon space scene with a red and pink alien robot below the search bar.

    Kiddle returns search results that are hand picked by editors to ensure they are child friendly. The top three will always be safe sites written and designed specifically for children. The secondary results will display sites that are simple and easy for children to understand. The remaining results are tailored to adults and much harder for children to digest. Every site however, is still filtered to eradicate any inappropriate content being displayed.

    Kiddle does promise your child will be safe online, logs are cleared every 24 hours and no personal information is collected. And searches for unsavoury words display a blue angry robot informing your child to try again.

    For instance if your child wanted to discover more about Justin Bieber, and you didn’t want them to stumble across the time Justin urinated in a mop bucket, or see the picture he posted on Instagram of his rear end. Kiddle will only display family-friendly biographies about Mr Bieber, filtering out anything inappropriate.

    We need accept our children have to use computers to do research for school and communicate with their teachers. And as much as we want to trust them, there are certain things it’s best not to leave to chance. Thankfully, technology is continuing to evolve and change for the better.

    Possibly one question that maybe worth asking is… Will retail brands that sell both adult and children’s ranges be affected? Although we all do our utmost to ensure our children are safe online, from time to time they will search for products and brands that they like or are intrigued by. Children have become much more brand orientated and can be very persuasive, especially when their friends are all walking around in Nike Air Max or Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts!

  • Do CMOs make good CEOs? Risky or not?

    Are you willing to take the risk?

    Those who hold the most senior roles in marketing are generally innovative, have a pioneering spirit and act unconventionally to test limits.

    As such, CMOs are 30% more outgoing and 34% more likely to take initiative and test limits than other c-suite executives. However, these unique characteristics can also come at a price.

    With CMOs 33% more unconventional than other c-suite executives, this trait is listed as one that “hinders” their attempts to become a CEO within an organisation. They are also 32% more likely to abandon conventional company structures and guidelines, and perhaps 29% more likely to display flashy leadership.

    CMOs may struggle as a CEO in more heavily regulated industries and their style may be better suited to companies in the midst of change or innovation programmes as the CMO leadership style can be unconventional, colourful and flashy.

    CEOs must exhibit measured emotion and excel at calculated, not “careless” risk taking. To take the role, CMOs who test limits, are bold and upfront in their influencing style need to moderate how they display some of their more extreme attributes.

    Despite this, it appears that more and more marketers are becoming chief executives!

    Just over one fifth (21%) of all FTSE 100 CEOs now come from a sales or marketing background compared to just 15% in 2011.

  • What is the advertising industry worth?

    Media spend forecast growth of 5.6%

    The size of the advertising market is difficult to calculate as the final cost of advertising for any company includes creative and agency costs; branding and marketing strategies, corporate literature, brochures, printed material, websites, email campaigns and social media campaigns etc…, in addition to media spend. Figures available for analysis are generally limited to actual media spend, such as radio, TV, exterior advertising and PPC or internet advertising. Even these numbers are often educated guesses. Estimates of ad spend may include spending at both local and national media outlets, as well as spending on internet media via paid search and online ads.

    In recent years the advertising industry has been enjoying strong revenues. It is estimated that the global market totalled $546 billion for 2014, and will grow to $578 billion in 2015 and the media spend forecast for 2016 is a growth of 5.6%.

    America is the world’s largest advertising and media market with a total spend in 2014 of $176 billion and expected to grow to $197.5 billion in 2017. China is in second place with a $45.4 billion ad spend in 2014, growing to $62 billion in 2017.

    The European market has been a big problem for the advertising industry, with only 2.9% average annual growth forecast for 2014-17. While the market there is huge, with a population of over 500 million, the economic picture has been pretty dismal. Unemployment rates are high and consumer spending is low in such markets as Italy, France and Spain. Germany, the largest market by far, has been faring better than most.

    Advertising spending has enjoyed outstanding growth during recent years in emerging markets. However, economic growth has been slowing in important markets such as China and Brazil.

    The UK ranks fifth among the world’s largest advertising markets, and second among markets in Europe. UK advertising expenditure amounted to £18.55 billion in 2014, with growth to roughly £20.7 billion projected by 2016. UK digital advertising which includes online, mobile and tablets overtook TV advertising in 2010 and was worth £3.975 billion in 2015, up 13.4% on a like for like basis from £3.507 billion in 2014. The internet now receives the greatest share of advertising spend, with newspaper losing its share of expenditure and falling to 13%.

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