Rachael Simpson, Marketing Support Analyst at Usomo reviews the week’s events to see what business lessons we can learn.
Boybands, Balotelli and Suitcases with Legs: Business Lessons from the Week
One Direction aren’t popular. They have just 519 followers on Twitter, have never had a hit in the charts, and their biggest gig to date was at a local car show. Confused? Well, Simon Cowell’s super-group One Direction certainly were this week. They’re being sued this week by a band claiming to be the real One Direction. The American band claim to have invented and registered the name a whole year before Simon’s band formed, so that could certainly spell trouble for music’s Mr Nasty. So what can we learn from a boyband? The importance of brand identity of course.
Choosing a unique brand name and knowing how to defend it if it comes under attack is vitally important to small businesses, especially when a big player is involved. For example Wapple, a mobile web developer, recently successfully fended off an attack from computer giants Apple. Wapple successfully argued that their name was a play on ‘Wap Protocol’, and that they had been around since 2003- long before the smartphone explosion. These cases teach us that having the confidence to challenge larger companies is important, but safeguarding yourself against such an attack in the first place is paramount.
Mario Balotelli. Why always him? This week, it seemed that Balotelli had single-handedly ruined Manchester City’s chances of winning the Premier League. He was sent off during a game which City lost, and as a result became a hate-figure in the media. His boss suggested that he would be sold in the summer, and that he wouldn’t feature again for City during the rest of the season. Balotelli appears to have been forgiven at least in the short term by City though, so what can we learn from football’s bad boy? That no man is bigger than the brand, usually.
The most poignant example of this recently was the firing of Dior’s artistic director John Galliano following an alleged anti-Semitic rant. Even though this man had undeniable talent, the potential damage to his company’s brand meant that they had to let him go. There are however times when this is not the case. Many brands disassociated themselves from Kate Moss, however those that did had cause for regret as her power and financial earnings increased tenfold. So what can we learn? Having a competitive edge sometimes means running close to fine line between brilliance and disaster- the importance is knowing when to stop.
Suitcases with legs
“Buy Less, Choose Well” says London fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. It’s a shame team Sterling hadn’t heard the message. This week saw the Apprentices heading for Brick Lane in order to sell goods that they had bought the previous day. The losing team had over 200 products for sale, whereas the winning team had just 50. The items were supposed to be desirable to the trendies, but with both teams consistently referring to their products as “Junk”, it’s no surprise people weren’t buying what Sterling were selling. So what can we learn from team Sterling?
Jane McEvoy, this week’s unlucky candidate said her stock was “Crap already, but we made it worse.” The whole team joked about the items they were expecting Londoners to purchase, and then seemed surprised when they didn’t sell. Passion for a product is infectious, and if you don’t have passion for what you do, why should anyone else?
Rachael Simpson, Marketing Analyst Usomo LTD
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