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Why Coke wins, every time, when it comes to branding and making customers happy...

When it comes to branding and creating customer engagement, Coke wins. Every time. You know what to expect; the colours, the swirls, the shape of the bottle. You also have an expectation around what the brand experience is going to be. It's one of the few companies in the world that can create this kind of brand experience.

Branding, customer service and how to handle challenges in business; an interview with...

Emanuel Perdis is the dynamic Managing Director and co-founder of Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics. He has overseen and implemented double-digit business growth for the brand, every year, for the past fourteen years, turning over $80 million a year, employing a team of almost 500 staff. In this Q&A Interview with Alex Pirouz, Perdis shares what it takes to create a global brand, why customer service has been a crucial part of the organisation's success and the best way to handle challenges in business.

Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold

During this Ted talk, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (of SuperSizeMe fame) talks about his quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship. And yes, onstage naming rights for this talk were sponsored too. The irony is that the Ted talk seems somewhat like an ad for his movie. But that's a layer of analyis that's too deep for our small brains at Anthill Manor. Yet ... it's entertaining, eye-opening and funny. And it's also about branding. So, watch.

The sad, pitiful self-destruction of the Qantas brand, explained. [PODCAST]

In this Talking Business interview, Michel Hogan of Brandology pulls no punches in her blunt assessment of the airline's "race to the bottom" and its loss of consumer confidence. Can the Flying Kangaroo sell itself once again as Australia's premium airline? Have a listen to the podcast to hear Hogan pinpoint Qantas's brand weaknesses, and the lessons the company should have learned from Apple.

Does your business have a brand ambassador?

I recently ran a couple of great client events with a celebrity DJ as the special guest. She was a perfect draw card for our young audience and with the right venue and invite strategy; the events were an overwhelming success. However, as a business owner myself, I realise that you can’t always afford to spend money on big-name brand champions. But that doesn’t mean that you need to settle without either.

How to increase your customers desire to buy… by 60%. Get physical!

Albert Einstein may have said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”, however, modern western society still tends to value what can actually be ‘seen’ (in the physical sense) more highly than ‘un-materialised’ ideas or visions alone. This raises a very important question: “How can we leverage the power of the ‘physical’ to raise our own or your product's perceived value, so you can sell more, charge more and ‘become’ a key influencer within your marketplace?”

iBranding – The Apple Way

After four years of dominance as the world’s biggest brand, Google has finally been unseated by Apple. The value of the Apple brand has grown an amazing 859% since 2006 helped by the popularity of its iPod and iPhone products, which were released around that time. So what is the secret to the success of the Apple brand and how can we apply it to our own business brands?

What’s on your business Bucket List for 2011?

How many times have you heard people say, “I’ll wait for the economy to pick-up” or “I’m getting ready for the next big wave”? If you only had a year to improve your business and get it running like a well-oiled, profit-making machine, would you sit and wait for the optimal external factors to arise?

It’s not about who you know. It’s about who knows you! [5 Steps to...

The concept of personal branding has been discussed widely across the net. Yet many people still think that it's confined to the celebrity set, like Paris Hilton or Justin Timberlake. By definition, personal branding is ‘the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands’. In other words, it’s not about who you know but who knows you!

The 7 branding secrets of Lady Gaga (They’re infectuous)

She’s never attended business school, nor does she have a history of entrepreneurship. While it is easy to question her outlandish costumes, her repetitive child-like lyrics, and her over-the-top media stunts, it is hard to ignore her obvious musical talent and her ability to be at the right place at the right time with the right tune.

Is a business name memorable if it’s Boring? Or if it’s Hung Far Low?

Does an eyebrow-raising or giggle-inducing name boost a business' profile or increase its clientele? Why not ask Men Behaving Handy, Great Lay Tiling, Getting to Mow You or Bzzzt Electrical Services.

Use it (properly) or lose it! How to prevent your trade mark from becoming...

Use your trademark as an adjective, and not as a verb or noun. This will prevent your mark from becoming generic. For example, you can now Hoover a floor or Google a person. But this type of use of language undermines the trademark.

How to lead with value and socialise your brand

The markets and audiences of the 21st century are a savvy bunch. No longer gullible and susceptible to the heavy handed and brash branding practices of the past, they're looking for the 'why' and not the 'what' when they buy into a product or service, and this leaves companies and organisations charting new and unfamiliar territory. Andrew Collins explores the changing face of brand promotion.

TransitVision (SMART 100)

After 25 years in hospitality businesses and at the age of 45 I knew I had one last chance of making it big. Sat down with 18-year-old son (doing business at Uni) and said, this is the big picture of a successful business and lifestyle. It can take you all your life following everyone's path or let's start at the top first. Lifestyle, money, minimal staff, outsource worries, outsource expertise, go national (more money), biggest ROI with least investment. The business dream. 6 months R&D globally distinguishing up-and-coming industries. A fully accountable national advertising platform on digital network.

Strive for your impossible dreams like a mustacheod, Honda-driving hero

Building on the success of its2006 'Impossible Dream' campaign, Honda has released a new extended version for 2010 to air across 28 nations. The ad still features the original and distinctly 'Village People-esque' hero as he strives from one impossible dream (honda product) to the next, but is 20-odd seconds longer and flows a lot more smoothly. More importantly it features a greater number of Honda's technological achievements including the HondaJet, the CR-Z Hybrid Coupe, the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity and the humanoid robot ASIMO.

Why I don’t trust brands… even when they appear authentic.

We recently got slammed. Last week, I was cc’d on seven emails in the space of a minute. They were all from Wordpress, each one a comment from the mag nation blog waiting for approval. On further examination, the author of all seven comments was the same person, and they had posted the exact same comment on seven different blog posts.

How to walk on water: A new form of subliminal advertising?

The internet has enabled ever greater possibilities for creative viral marketing, which encourage potential customers to jump on the meme bandwagon and fuel the dissemination of commercial messages with their own enthusiasm. However, as with most things on the internet, the lifespan of this approach is generally short lived. A new approach that seems to be gaining popularity is embedding your product within a short film that, on face value, is documenting something entirely different.

Trade mark today to avoid legal issues tomorrow

So you’ve got a great idea for a business, a new product, a fashion label or even the next big craze. It’s all planned out – the business model, name and branding, website, marketing and even the premises. But there is one thing that you’ve left out – your trade mark. Tony Eades explains the necessity to trademark your brand to protect your business.

Simple logos are the best logos

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that simple logos are the best kind of logos. If you don't agree, consider the world's top 100 brands, according to Interbrand.

Harness the long-lost ritual of seductive storytelling

Storytelling is a highly effective way to draw customers into your organisation, but how do you apply it in your business?

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New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

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