Thursday, 27 June 2013

Interbrand, VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE, and Us!

A few weeks ago Interbrand held their annual Brands Under the Spotlight event at the Griffin Theatre Company, focusing on the very important people who connect you to your brand: employees. The half-day event featured a series of presentations and panel discussions with speakers from Bain & Company, 8 Hotels,, RedBalloon, Telstra and Interbrand. A few of our Master of Marketing Students were lucky enough to be in the audience for such an inspiring and insightful morning. Here is Michel Caux and Sumi Yoshioka.

Although we are not employees of the Business School, speakers that morning made me realise that we, as students, are very important people, to the brand of the University of Sydney. So, as a way to better communicate and understand our brand, I wanted to introduce some of our finest brand ambassadors!

Michel Caux
With a background in Engineering and Economics, Michel has been working in B2B and B2C Marketing for more than ten years. Working in big multinationals have gave him the opportunity to choose an area within Marketing where he feels most passionate about: Health Care.

Why did you choose Marketing?
To be part of the Master of Marketing program is a great opportunity to formally validate work experience, expand knowledge and to be up to date in marketing trends, which will open new doors to career development.

What is one thing that stuck with you from the Interbrand event?
Very interesting Event. The utilisation of Telstra’s NPS has been fantastic, taking advocacy to the next level, making their employees real brand ambassadors, empowering with customer service capabilities. What stuck with me is that the marketing responsibility not only lies with the Marketing department, but all the different functions within a company. It sounds obvious, but it is an every day battle. Other departments of the firm also need to understand that success for the company is also their responsibility. We all have a direct impact on the processes that adds value to the customer. The consumer / end user has multiple touch points with different functional areas of the firm, and all of them have a direct impact on the Brand Equity. Again, it sounds obvious, but is very easy for them to forget.

Sumi Yoshioka
Sumi is originally from Tokyo, Japan. She has a background in PR of a luxury automotive company in Tokyo and architect agency in Sydney. Previous to the Master of Marketing at the University of Sydney, Sumi studied communication & media in Tokyo and California.

Why did you choose Marketing?
When I was working at Audi Japan, I developed strong interests in the influence and potential of brand marketing. In addition to my experience in public relations, I thought studying marketing will be essential for me to pursue my career in brand management.

What are you getting most out of the program?
The ability to study and communicate with my talented classmates from various industries and cultural backgrounds.

What is one thing that stuck with you from the Interbrand event?
I found there were many topics related to our Internal Marketing classes. Richard Hatherall, from Bain Company, really stuck with me. He started with his personal experience at two airplanes with humour, which I thought he successfully grabbed the audience's initial attention. He then spoke about the importance of the net promoter score with real life examples.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Six Questions: James Watson

Last month the University of Sydney’s Business School held Branding You, a showcase reception at the new Business School CBD Campus. We were lucky to get the chance to hear about personal branding from an esteemed panel, including a graduate of the marketing discipline here at the business school, James Watson.

James, one of our first class Honours graduates in Marketing, has had a meritorious career with Procter and Gamble in Australia and Singapore, Reckitt Benckiser in Australia, the UK and USA and PZ Cussons in Australia. James spoke about many different aspects of branding and shared with us his own experiences in building his personal brand. One of the most important aspect James spoke about was staying on message and consistent. Although it’s a given when it comes to thinking about brands, often we forget to be very honest with ourselves, and that’s when our personal brand strays off message – we do something out of character, take a job we don’t really want, or forget our goals and what we are trying to achieve.

On the topic of consistency, we’ve remained consistent, and asked James our Six Questions.

1. What is your favourite thing that you do in a regular day as a marketer?
Regular? Define regular? I chose marketing as a career path, because no one day is the same as another and the opportunities are endless. That said, just like bringing up kids, you have a responsibility to feed, nurture, protect and develop brands in your custody or they won't grow and survive. Seeing the hard work, energy and passion you put into doing this manifest itself in great business results is my favourite thing.

2. Describe your job in 5 words or less:
No right or wrong answers.

3. What keeps you motivated?
Having a very clear focus on where I and my family want to go, what we want to achieve, by when we would like to achieve it, understanding what it will take to get us there and then actually taking ownership for doing something about making it all happen.

Family matters. Learning inspires. Collaboration creates outcomes. Results are rewarding. Experience is priceless.

4. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years?
I don't think, I know as a family, we will be back in Australia for our kids' secondary school education. We have a long-term horizon as a family with some critical milestones outlined. There is and naturally needs to be some flexibility around what happens or what we choose to do based on emerging opportunities in between these milestones, but at least we know what we are shooting for and have a road map for where we are going.

5. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
A Tiger. Largest of the 4 big cats and known in the childhood book about Pooh Bear for having lots of 'bounce'. They are a species that adapts to their location. Skills like this are critical to successfully managing and influencing stakeholders in the business world. They have excellent sight and hearing. Awareness plays an important role in your success as a marketer. They are most active early in the morning and in the evenings. I am an early riser and known for getting a second wind in the evenings. Tigers are also strong swimmers. I am a passionate and competitive Masters swimmer. Tigers are found in a variety of habitats. If you want to succeed in fast moving consumer goods marketing, you need to be willing to work across a variety of brands and move internationally. They do like their solitude. As a strategist and innovator, I value my thinking time. Tigers aren't afraid of more formidable predators. Some of the most rewarding career experiences for me have come from working on smaller and non market leader brands within a business and taking on the big guys. Finally, Tigers are strategic about how they hunt. I know from experience that if you plan to succeed, you increase the likelihood you will.

6. What is the one book you would recommend everyone to read?
I'd prefer author and genre... Iain M. Banks. Iain sadly passed away over the June long weekend. He wrote Space Opera and is famous for his books about 'The Culture'. Think differently and look for inspiration in places others don't necessarily think to look.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 20 June 2013

3-Bee Printing: Clever Advertising

3-D Printing. Who hasn’t heard of 3-D Printing? I can tell the hot-topic is on the minds of the creative team at Dewar’s Whiskey, and they’ve very cleverly jumped into the bandwagon with their campaign for the new Dewar's Highlander Honey.

The very cinematic clip depicts “The sweetness of honey. The bite of 80,000 bees.” The ‘trailer’ is for a documentary on the process of how the bees build real sculptures out of natural honeycomb. Part nature, partly encouraged by designers, you can say this is co-creation taken to another level!

This ongoing project shows how brands can still stay fresh and relevant, even if they are for something as old and classic as whiskey. Started in 1846, the Scottish whiskey is now manufactured by the Bacardi Company. A fine balance of classic nostalgia - the traditional shape of the bottle, the quaint design of the label – mixed with contemporary applications – associations with movie stars, embracing technology trends – has seen brands such as Dewar’s stand the test of time.

Even if you’re not a Whiskey drinker, it’s a nice way to spend a couple of minutes.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Mid-year Intake closing soon!

For the first time, the Master of Marketing programme is taking applications for the second semester. Whether it’s a career change, or taking the decision to broaden your skill-set, now’s the time to apply!

I can confidently say that for myself, as well as my fellow Masters of Marketing students that semester one has been intense, but fulfilling. We’ve tried to share some of the things we have encountered during our time, but the experience and learning is definitely one that is cannot be shrunk down to paragraphs and sentences. The below video captures some of the aspects of our degree while showcasing some of our current students.

If you have any questions about enrolment, or just how we, as students, have found the course, please do not hesitate to ask a question in the comments.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Can Sushi change customer behaviour?

I came across this interesting article about a Sushi Restaurant in New York City, bucking the American tradition of tipping.

Brought to attention by food critic, Ryan Sutton, Sushi Yasuda has implemented a “Gratuities not accepted” rule. In Ryan’s blog post, he goes into detail behind the owner’s decision to cut out tipping. The main reason, as explained on the restaurant’s receipt, is that service staff are fully compensated for their services with a living wage – so why the need to tip?

I feel this also addresses a very important internal communication issue. Whether the owner knows it or not, buy implementing this rule, his staff – from kitchen hands, to waiters, to chefs – are united under the same wage system. I know this sounds a bit stale, but think about it: when you go to a restaurant in America, you tip your waiter. But the experience is not solely reliant on their hard work. By treating all Sushi Yasuda’s staff as equal employees, entitled to a living wage, it unites them to do a better job TOGETHER.

With the minimum wage is still laughable in America; a few places are starting to implement the same strategy. Providing a living wage for your employees mean they are happier, work better and work smarter. What is difficult about America is that it is not only about changing the economics of the system, but to eliminate or alter the whole social custom.

So, although on paper it all sounds good, especially for the employees, but can sushi change customer behaviour?

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

News digest: with Elena

It’s great news that the first semester is behind us. Honestly, it wasn’t easy. And it’s not just my personal feelings as international student, being pretty unfamiliar with a new study environment from the very beginning. Communicating with other classmates, it seems we all have made sacrifices to ensure good study results.

After taking a long breath…hooray! I am on the surface again. So I’m letting myself eagerly jump into the information and social media flows I had restricted myself from, during the semester. Yeah, lots of things have happened in the world, Russian President getting a divorce, for example. What a shame that the President missed out on our Consumers Insights class, where a guest speaker from Google showed us how to create the most attractive dating account:

Here is my top three news points for this week:

There is no total privacy with your social media accounts any longer. As was revealed, The National Security Administration is secretly collecting phone record information for all U.S. calls. Although nearly all tech giants like Facebook, Skype, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Yahoo were rushing to say they are not involved; it makes me feel pretty upset knowing my personal info is out there. The only chance to be safe is to simply stop using your Facebook. “The New Yorker” gives a good summary of this scandal.

2. Time Spent Online 
What do you usually do when you are online? Ok, maybe not you specifically, we’ll give you a little privacy there, especially after all the scandal with the NSA. Let’s say, as marketer, do you know your consumers social media habits? “Business Insider Australia” provides 10 stunning facts about what people are really doing on the Internet.

3. Money and Happiness
Whether or not you believe that money really matters, and a huge paycheque makes you better off, a new study definitely states that money is still as a synonym of happiness. Scholars have even made an effort to uncover what is the exact amount that could make us happier. Not surprisingly that “Forbes” brings us this topic though!

Do you know what your wealth rank is worldwide? Yes, it’s probably not on the “Forbes” global rich rank, but who knows. So let’s count it now with this simple tool.

Elena Sveshnikova
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Six questions: Peter Drinkwater

This week, we bring you Peter Drinkwater from House of Brand Research. He gave us such an interesting talk on Innovations in Insights. In particular, I was engaged with the ideas he presented surrounding brands and links with culture. Although often overlooked, brands have a place in culture, and many times performance of a brand can be related to how well it fits into a culture. We asked Peter the six questions to get to know him better.

Six Questions

1. What is your favourite thing that you do in a regular day as a marketer?
It has to be tackling the brand and business issues of our clients – there are always interesting and different challenges that pop up each day.

2. Describe your job in 5 words or less:
“Solving brand issues through research”

3. What keeps to motivated?
I guess what keeps me motivated is bringing the voice of the customer to some of Australia’s biggest companies in an impactful way! Also working with a great team of super-smart and “stretchy” researchers.

4. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years?
Hopefully still running House of Brand Research and having more time with my family!

5. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
A chameleon. I like to think I am adaptable to lots of situations!

6. What is the one book you would recommend everyone to read?
The Hero and the Outlaw: Building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes By Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

“Half the size, twice the happiness” Coke taking sharing seriously.

Recently, my group conducted a presentation and research assignment around The Coca Cola Company’s co-creation efforts in our Internal Marketing class, with Professor Pennie Frow. We found that, while with good co-creation intentions, a global company like Coke ultimately still held a lot of control when it comes to co-creation, as they simply have too much to lose if anything goes wrong. In saying that – they also have a lot of power and ability to roll out adventurous and fun campaigns that still give the experience and feeling of co-creation.

In line with co-creation, and a word I feel we’ve started to talk about a lot, is sharing. And that’s exactly what Coke is doing. In their new video, featuring their twist-and-share can, the usual tagline of “Open Happiness” is switched with something different – “Share Happiness.” This organic development of both product and value proposition is a pretty good example of those ‘Ah ha!’ moments – the sentiment of a cute little Coke can you can share is so obvious; you wonder why they haven’t had them all along!

Ogilvy & Mather’s French and Singaporean teams developed the idea and campaign. Although not actually available in vending machines yet, the twist cans were available in limited quantity during a trial stage via a "happiness truck" in Singapore. Coca Cola has done a lot of this in the past, rolling out ambitious projects in certain locations, then utilising the YouTube platform to spread the impression of one campaign. Very clever! We get all the fuzzy feelings, without Coke having to pay to roll out campaigns around the world.

Nevertheless, it’s worked on me. I not a regular Coke drinker, but I’d definitely buy a little twist can for the novelty, and to embrace this new age of sharing.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 3 June 2013

Come rain or shine

Whenever it rains in Sydney I always get told, “This is so unusual”, or “Don’t worry, it will pass quickly.” And though it’s mostly proven to be true, when it rains in Sydney, it REALLY rains.

Despite the storm on Sunday, our cohort all showed up to our final class this semester for Associate Professor Marylouise Caldwell’s Contemporary Consumer Insights class. I wanted to share with you this adorable and hilarious evidence of our endurance.

Come rain or shine, we are eager to be in class! It’s been a great semester, and the whole group is looking forward to what next semester will bring!

Current students: tell us what you enjoyed most this semester in the comments.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School