online marketing psychology

December 30, 2010

Brand extensions own

Brand extensions own a big percentage of the market. In Brazil about 77% of the products available on the market are brand extensions. I was surprised by this.

Even more surprising was that 95% of the products on the US market are brand extensions. Huge numbers which show that people keep buying famliar names.

This way there are a couple of big brands that take account for the majority of all the products. In Brazil these are: Natura (cosmetics), Sadia (processed meat), Bic, Gillette, Faber Castell and Danoninho (dairy products).

The companies behind these brands follow the same approach. Start off with a good definition of what the mother brand stands for (hopefully!) Then every possible extension is analyzed, how that brand fits into the mind of the consumer and how it affects the mother brands.

For example all of the products with the Bic brand name want to offer a simple, reliable, accessible and well distributed solutions.

Long term success?

But to find a real explanation for this big number of brand extensions, it would be interesting to see how many of these extensions actually stay on the market after a couple of years.

Because of the lowered cost to launch new products, many of them come and go. On the short term the risk isn't that big. But going away too far from the mother brand will damage the reputation.

Probably brands will keep trying to find a balance between extending and their mother brand.
When Parmalat, a Brazilian dairy producer, launched a new line of tomato sauces it didn't stick. So they know that is a bridge too far.
Source: Exame(Portuguese)

77% and 95% also sound like a lot to you? Share your thoughts!

December 26, 2010

The basics of a loyalty program

I've always associated loyalty cards with my mom. Her fist-thick wallet full of cards from every possible shop.

But I have also joined loyalty programs. And with many of them it is hard to see direct rewards from joining such programs.

A supermarket in Rio de Janeiro, Zona Sul, convinced me to get a card just after two visits.

How did they do that?

By showing the immediate benefits that their card would give me. 

A lot of products had two prices: one with the card and one without it.

A bottle of fresh orange juice for example costs 5.99 reals without the card and 4.99 with it. That's almost a 16% discount.

Most products only had one price. But a lot of fresh and a bit more luxurious products like orange juice and cakes and pies had these double prices.

So if you are going to organize a special program, make sure there is an immediate benefit.

And make sure your customers know it. Because many times it is difficult to see how all the points and rewards are tied together.

December 17, 2010

A/B testing on headlines

I've used A/B testing for e-mail newsletters and experimented with it on landing pages. Basically everything can be tested to see which version works better, gets more clicks or converts better.

News site The Huffington Post has been using A/B testing to test headlines for a while now. Their huge traffic gets split for five minutes to decide which headlines has a better click-through rate (CTR).

For lower traffic websites, this will take a bit longer. But even if it takes a week, that best headline will stay on your site and show up in searches, ensuring better results.

Another possibility is to use your newsletter or social media accounts to test which article headlines are more powerful.

But newsletter traffic probably converts a lot better compared to general site traffic, so you might be losing some opportunities there. I would keep headline testing on your site and use e-mail newsletters for better purposes.

It is not that hard to write headlines that attract the attention. But coming up with good titles it is still really hard.

The challenge however is to transform your article, which better be interesting, into a good title. That way people who clicked through from wherever will stay to actually read your article. And they won't feel cheated afterwards!

A/B testing headlines, a good idea? Drop your ideas in the comments!

December 14, 2010

Quiet times

In between finishing my job and moving back from Brazil to Belgium, I'm traveling around a bit.

I got some blog posts scheduled but the general pace will be slower.

Expect to be at full capacity at my new location in between Christmas and New Year.

December 1, 2010

One year of dirty hands marketing

Today I've been writing exactly one year on this blog.

Big thanks to all of you readers, especially those of you who ever dropped a comment, shared a link to my blog or gave me some feedback. You are my motivation to keep posting!

(Although I could do without all those great link building sites who keep emailing me great deals for little money :P)

These occasions are an ideal time to look back and see how things have worked out.


Initial idea: write two times a week about what marketeers really do, focused on Brazil. 

Actual blog: I wrote about Brazil ( Brands of Brazil series among other articles) but felt too limited. So throughout the year I've been covering good marketing from all over the world. A total of 85 articles leaves me short of the two articles a week goal. But let's say I've made that difference up in quality ;)

Top posts

The five most read posts
  1. Brands of Brazil: Natura - 293 visits
  2. Ambev - Brands of Brazil - 264 visits
  3. Brands of Brazil: Brasil Foods - 247 visits
  4. Ice cream: a universal language? - 169 visits
  5. The story of exporting Brahma beer to the world - 148 visits
Not the top five I would have imagined when I was writing the articles.

Most of the traffic to this articles is coming from search engines, especially image searches (include those alt tags!). But apart from the increasing the numbers, this traffic isn't really valuable.

The best traffic: people leaving comments, subscribing or visiting again, comes from inbound links. Other blogs or sites, from real people that care about the stuff I write about.

Meeting more of these people and connecting with them is one of the challenges in the year ahead. So if you are one of them, get in touch! :)

Thanks again for your support and I hope you'll keep visiting this little spot on the net!