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Eric Tsai
California, USA
Eric is a designer, creative entrepreneur and an expert in marketing and brand development.
Recent Activity
Another great post guys, there is no doubt that brands will require an evolution in marketing. However, the evolution is taken place in two fronts: one is what's mentioned here - the market itself, the environment in which consumers are shifting their taste with perception; and the other one is technology and how brands engage with their customers. The advancement of social media has given some brands advantages in creating meaningful dialogues with their customers. While it's not essential, you can see clearly how companies like Zappos and Dell are benefiting from Social Media tools like twitter, while Nike and Microsoft have not yet incorporated them in their overall brand strategy. Another key is "innovation." The ability to innovate, to be creative and willing to make mistakes with branding tactics will drive brands away from price focus to value focus. Innovation is especially crucial at times like this, don't just keep doing what works but try new things, think outside the box. The price war can only go so far as an incentive not the main strategic driver - even Apple after the announcement of iPhone 3GS at WWDC has lowered most of its retail pricing on products like iPhone and MacBook but I personally don't think it will hurt their brand equity bottom line. In fact, it may help to leave the success they had behind and refocus on what's ahead. It is by focusing on long-term value and investing in their customers that allows Apple to continue to be innovative. Customer retention is not a tactic, it should be considered as a brand strategy.
As a designer early on in my career, I struggled working with corporate executives because they kill innovation and put pressure on creativity. Marketers have to answer to clients and deliver a measureable outcome. As a result, a marketer collects research data to try to make sense out of them. As a public company, Google has to answer to shareholders and meet Wall Street expectations with numbers. Turning to engineers for answers seems logical in solving their ‘product’ problem but limits their creativity. I would argue that analyzing data itself is subjective and creativity, like imagination, aren’t limited by knowledge or data. Creativity does involve a convergence of ideas and iterations which should use analytical data as one of the many considerations. In fact, analytics confirm what we set in place and put them in perspective which says little about creativity. And as a trailing indicator, it always looked behind not forward, creativity is about leaping us forward, to the new new thing. I love to throw ideas against the wall and see what will happen. Sometimes the most creative ideas comes from those happy accidents; you won't know unless you try and that's how creativity is all about. Even , Karl Lagerfeld had some pretty harsh criticism on his designs, that doesn't stop him from trying.