Sunday, 12 August 2007


I've spent a considerable amount of time as of late trying to figure out if Crocs will have any staying power. I think I found my answer last night: NFL Crocs

If the NFL is buying into the whole Crocs theory, it says nothing but good things. However I still maintain that in 3 years, next to no one will be wearing the things.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

It sells for over $100, but for reading this blog, IT'S FREE!

A chat a friend and I had:

Friend says: i'll assume hte caffine pills are on order
Charles says: HA. Not so much
Charles says: I've been doing this strange thing all year.... going to class.... it's producing excellent results
Friend says: lol, Charles guide to success, a top secret strategy that can be yours for just three easy payments of 49.95$

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Mill Street Misses

The girlfriend and I went to the Mill Street Brew Pub yesterday for dinner. I discovered a beer I love dearly. The "Cobblestone Stout."

Small problem: When I had my mental images of buying cases and sharing with all my friends, I found out they don't bottle it. That's a pain. Definitely killed the idea of me spreading the word.

My apologies for the lack of updates. School is rather busy at the moment. It seems the second semester at George Brown is much like the real world... do very little for weeks and then have work piled on over your head.

C'est Le Vie

Monday, 16 July 2007

The No-Brand Brand & Transformers

There's a nice little place at Eglinton Station that sells pizza, subs, and breakfast. Their prices are very reasonable and the service they provide is impeccable.

There's also a place by my Grandfather's place that is constantly bustling that's called "P&M's" that serves ordianary food and ungodly good prices. Service is a little shotty, and the place is a little small, but you feel like part of the family there. (It's at Weston Rd and Little St if anyone's interested)

What do these two establishments have in common? Good old fashioned WOM. (WOM is "Word of Mouth" for those who don't obsess over marketing)

Where do these guys get such a good reputation? Mostly from their ability to serve their customers wants. Customers always like a good deal. Decent food for an excellent price can often times serve as more buzz worthy than excellent food at a decent price. However, the bigger bucks are usually in the latter.

So what can these little guys do to step up their profits? Well for one, they need to distinguish themselves. How many of these little spots are there in this or any other city? I'm sure everyone reading this blog can name a place or two in their town. So these little guys need to do a few things to really make it big:

Keep prices low

If this is one of your niche items, and something that helps create buzz, don't change it. Let's work on the Walmart/No Name theories and create a brand that synonymous with value.

Do Something Different

The most obvious example in this city is Lick's. While their prices have got out of control as of late, they came to prominence with the promise of old fashioned fun, with sing song workers. Do something different. Even if you make your club differently, or have a real neat way of presenting your milkshake or whatnot... do it so people remember, and tell other people!


You don't become the biggest thing since Mc.Donalds by being content with a one location franchise. Grow. Take on some risk. Put yourself in more places so more people can see you, and then tell their friends about you. Growth isn't cheap, but you will continue to be if you're just staying in one place.

Moving on...

A bit of a P.S. on Transformers. I saw the movie last night and I'm now thinking it's really just a subliminal campaign. Get the hot girl to make out with the nerd on the Camero, while the GMC Jimmy fights off the evil doers trying to destroy mankind. I don't think it was a particularly good placement of the Solstice, but outside of that I think GM will probably get returns on their investment...

The problem still remains that most of those users will not be repeat buyers because of the poor quality of the product they end up buying. Maybe GM should look into starting a subliminal cognitive dissonance campaign.


Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Service -vs- Product

I think it's fair to say that in the battle of services and products... services are winning.

Now anyone with a slight fondness of marketing is yelling the words iPod/Phone at their screen right now I'm sure, but I'll deal with that later.

More money than ever is being spent on convenience. Food is the obvious example of this, where 30-40 years ago, going out for dinner was a treat... in many households, it is the norm now.

However the growth of services is not exclusive to food. A recent trend in the city is the hiring of dog walkers. People are so busy they can't take 10 minutes out to walk the dog and will pay a premium to ensure that ruffles is taken care of.

However, food typifies the trend for me though, and here's why:

  1. You're still selling a good, and people still think they're buying a good
  2. Without you providing the service aspect, no one would buy
I think most services being sold now are not exclusively services (like dog walking) but more like food with the augmentation of the core benefit (how's it's served, who serves it, where it's served).

Clothing is one of the biggest players in this right now. Consumers know that the hats/pants/shirts they buy are only worth 5 dollars at most, but they will pay the market price for location, convenience, selection, customer service, and most importantly.... the brand.

How is a brand a service? It's a pretty "rough draft" thought in my mind... but the service you're providing is adjustment/stabilization of state of mind. Your brand can induce a feeling of prestige, comfort, or reliability... and if you've created a brand where individuals are no longer concerned so much about the product, aren't you really selling a service now?

So does the iPod sell, or does the idea of having the best MP3 player out there sell?

Did the iPhone go flying off the shelf? I think it's far more likely that most of the people who purchased the product, had little interest in what the phone can actually do. Instead, these people had a great interest in having the prestige that goes along with having the (perceived) best phone available, or having the latest, overpriced, apple gadget.


Thursday, 5 July 2007

Chevy and Transformers

I'm not sure I understand what Chevy has to gain by aligning itself with Transformers.

I don't know the dollar value on their partnership, but barring it being under a few million it was money very poorly spent.

How does the Chevrolet brand match up with the Autobots? I imagine GM is trying to create awareness... but awareness works best when you have a superior product. GM has proven over the last decade that they are far behind the Japanese automakers in quality. So why spend so much at building awareness of a well known product?

This, when people are already aware of GM products for the most part. What car guru do you know that hasn't heard of a Camero?

It has briefly occurred to me that perhaps they are trying to link the "quality" of the Autobots, with their own. Although I highly doubt people will start to think, "Well the Autobots are fairly durable... surely this Chevrolet product will be too!"

I'm thinking GM might have been much better off sinking this money into R&D.


Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The Beginning

It's difficult to start a blog without the theory that it will, eventually, be the biggest thing in the history of the net since google.

So let me outline how I hope to write so I'm not stressing over the content of every single entry.

I am not Seth Godin. I'm a marketing student, at George Brown College in my first year. I don't have all the answers to any marketing idea, and not every idea I put here will be the most original thing you've ever read in your entire life.

It's possible, that at some point, I will make a post that will seem that way. I will try to avoid this for the sake of everyone who's involved.

I'm generally going to post about brands and marketing, but I will also post about my life as a student at GBC as I have another 4 1/2 semesters left, it's likely that it could be a good chronology of what a student will actually deal with.

With that said, thanks for checking out my blog. Now that I have this post out of the day, I'll hopefully hammer them out on a daily basis.