Whilst Aol was using this to point out the importance of branded entertainment and their content properties, I think that lesson is equally important for brand’s own content and the need for them to think and act like media owners rather than just brand owners.
Like most people in the media industry I receive the Popbitch email into my inbox on a weekly basis and this week was no exception. It usually features topical jokes this week:
Q: What’s big, black and steals your credit cards?
A: Sony Playstation 3.
Combine this with Sony’s ham-fisted submission to the US Congress and experts who lined up to say that it was a matter of public record that Sony had failed to update the software on their servers and its obvious to see that PR can only do so much. You find it hard to manage an issue when it is systemic within the organisation or is part of a broken process (in this case, IT-related). The Japanese management’s apology was the right thing to do, the accusations against Anonymous weren’t; take your licks and try and bow out of the spotlight as fast as possible. The PR people involved should learn more about the Japanese concept of hansei | 反省 which approximates to introspection and is a core part of the continuous improvement process which drove Japan’s manufacturing and engineering prowess.
Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week
Fanny Wangs are the latest trendy headphones to come on the market going up against the Beats headsets put out by cable company Monster. The unique selling point of these headphones is a wishbone shaped stereo jack that allows a friend to plug their headphones into the same music source that you are listening to. The company has made good use of social media to try and make their brand pop as fast as possible. The video that really caught my eye was an interview with ‘TC’; a headphone engineer who worked on the new brand’s signature product. I suspect that TC works at the Chinese ODM used by Fanny Wang, which is a huge leap forward in the dialogue from the suicides that Apple at contend with at Foxconn. This is a positive leap forward for the ‘Made in China’ brand.
A second aspect of things is marketing gap that Beats and Fanny Wang have managed to exploit: the perception gap around premium headphones. Its not that there a lack of headphones on the market, or that the headphones on the market aren’t any good. But brands like Sennheiser and my favourite: Beyerdynamic are missing a trick. Brand investment and a more proactive social media brand maybe the top-up required.