Future Case

Crossmedia, Social, Mobile, Business Modeling, Marketing, Research and insights

Archive for April 2008

Go mental, the workshop

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Every year there is an intercultural festival called Crossing Cultures. It offered by two faculties, Economy & Society – our neighbors – and our ‘s, Communication and Journalism. Our research group was asked to conduct a workshop and I took the task upon me, along with my graduates Niniane Veldhoen and Matthijs Rotte. They are researching mentalities and are progressing significantly. Although we only had six participants – women only – the feedback was good and we have learned a lot. Our aim was to test our research tools that we will use when we go public and ask approximately 300 people (as a first batch) to participate in our research.

After having introduced the topic ‘Go Mental’, we went to work. First of all, the participants had to rank a list of 25 statements that touch mentalities. Niniane and Matthijs put the results in an Excel sheet. Quite an amazing outcome. The mental attitude of the female colleagues ranked high in the desire to be independent and low on wanting to be rich.

The second exercise focused on the participants’ individual mapping of their mentality(ies) by means of six contradictory statements on a gliding scale. Although the participants enjoyed the exercise, we understood that the contents of the tool needs refinement. No problem. I am happy we have tested it.

The third little exercise went as follows. We used the same gliding scale and statements but now showed three times three brands. The workshoppers now had to determine the ‘mentalities’ of those brands.

If As I said, the feedback right after the workshop was very well. People really liked the topic and were interested in our research. May 22, all students working with the research group will present their work to the regular members of the group. After this meeting, I will post extensively about our mentality project. Meanwhile, I’ll keep you posted with bits of info.

I would really like to thank Niniane and Matthijs for their good work and commitment.

Written by Kees Winkel

April 18, 2008 at 13:13

Building ‘Brandtopias’—How Top Brands Tap into Society

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Questing ‘Tap-in’ strategies, I stumbled upon this article about brandtopias. Although it was published in 2002, I believe it has quite some relevance to my research. Currently, I am trying to define my research question. As my lector, Harry van Vliet, put it: “you’ve got slides two till eighty pretty much in your head, now where’s slide one?” Well, it all boils down to my working title: King client. I’ll be writing about it later. Here’s the article which I found on Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge.

“Customers value some of the most powerful brands in the world primarily for their “cultural value”: They provide imaginative resources that people use to build their identities” say Harvard Business School’s professor Douglas Holt.

These are what Holt terms identity brands—and their market power cannot be attributed to the usual suspects of success: superior business models or cutting edge technology.

Holt is interested in what makes identity brands resonate. In his research, he focuses on the best-performing identity brands—the top 5 percent that have been extraordinarily successful with customers over long periods of time.

What’s the secret of long-running megabrands such as Mountain Dew, Nike, and Budweiser? The magical sweet spot when a brand delivers imaginative stories that are perfectly attuned to society’s desires.

His new research, which he discussed with HBS faculty at a marketing seminar on May 8, is part of a forthcoming book that focuses on identity brands that deliver extraordinary customer value over time.

The most powerful brands are those that are able to transverse disruptive cultural shifts.
— Douglas Holt

“I’m interested in a question that I don’t think we ever really ask or address well, which is, ‘How does customer value work over time?’ How is cultural value created; how is it maintained; how is it destroyed?’”

With the strategic importance of brands climbing, understanding how certain brands achieve so much power in the marketplace is at the center of much discussion. The advice most often provided to managers is to weave the brand into the most potent popular culture trends. Recently, consultants and ad agencies began emphasizing the reverse: recommending that managers seek out the essential “DNA” of the brand. Many brands pursue these two models and do fine, says Holt.

Read the whole story.

Written by Kees Winkel

April 12, 2008 at 09:40

The downside of social media, a personal experience.

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I believe in social media. I can see the virtues, the connectivity, the creation of your own content and share it with others. To share. If we share, we can learn from each other, we can relate. That’s all true. Yet, I now have experienced the downside of it all. People can be true monsters.

The Dutch Hyves, similar to MySpace, offers all who want to create a profile. Any profile. Recently, I was pointed to a Hyves page that focuses on trying to harm my son. The page is done by three youngsters who hate him. Can you believe it? I am shocked. Normally I never talk about my personal life but as this phenomenon has now entered the intimacy of my family’s living room, I strongly believe that the broad discussion on mental aggression in social media must be intensified.

Hyves has a protocol on this issue, one that may well be stronger than local legislation but with over five million members in the Netherlands (with a total population slightly over 16 million), the company has a hard time living up to its promises of their quest to eliminate this kind of trash.

Written by Kees Winkel

April 4, 2008 at 13:51

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Q&A Visits on Web Up Almost 900% Since 2006

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According to a new Hitwise report, the market share of U.S. visits to Question and Answer websites has increased 118 percent for the week ending Mar. 15, 2008, compared to the same week in 2007. Over the past two years, U.S. visits to this category have increased 889 percent comparing Feb. 2008 versus Feb. 2006.

(The data is based on eight of the leading Answer websites ranked by U.S. market share of visits as defined by the IAB from the Hitwise sample of 10 million)

The most visited website within the Questions and Answers category (Wk of 3/15/08) was Yahoo! Answers which received 74.05 percent of the market share of U.S. visits. WikiAnswers was the second most visited website, followed by Answerbag WikiAnswers, launched in June 2007, has seen its U.S. visits increase 125 percent comparing the week ending Jun. 9, 2007 versus Mar. 15, 2008. Read more at Media Post’s Research Brief  

Written by Kees Winkel

April 4, 2008 at 13:31

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