These are just some of the companies that are currently on an upswing from what seemed like inevitable breakdown leading to a disappearance off the face of the Earth. So how did they come back? One word: marketing. Marketing can make (Apple) or break (Dimension) a company. It is so frequently the sole reason a company doesn’t make it that one wonders why companies can’t learn their lesson. If you are struggling, invest some money in your marketing department – it is that easy. Of course it is never guaranteed that the marketing will pay-off, and that is what makes business so exciting.
Burger King: The reason Burger King is still around is not because of the freakish ‘King’ character that has become oh so popular right now, it is because of McDonald’s’ poor marketing of their own brand. When people become less excited about a certain product, they go to that product’s nearest competitor. In this case people got tired of ‘we love to see you smile’ so much that they decided what it would feel like if they went to BK. Well, I was one of those people and I must say that the difference between BK and MC in food quality and service quality is not gargantuan, but MC is a little better. Lets just say I deserved an apology as soon as I walked into Burger King. There was mess on every table and bench, including the one I was sitting on. My order was delayed, though I did get a sincere apology from the cashier behind the counter, and the food wasn’t very good, in fact it is arguable that it is worse than McDonald’s. But none of that matters. BK got my money and many others’ money as we made the switch, and that money will go to a marketing campaign that will be better than whatever McDonald’s is offering.
TiVo: I will keep this short: DirecTV messed up. By now we should all have DVRs in our houses, but DirecTV decided to advertise itself weakly, and n all the wrong places (Blockbuster). This gave Comcast and TiVo to take away some of its industry share. Bad marketing. Comcast is a monopoly that welcomed this, but TiVo was the really big winner. Their new CEO has done all the right things, getting the TiVo name back out to the public. His biggest weapon – print advertising. Print advertising works better than internet advertising as it is easier to discern an ad while paging through a magazine with a few ads versus browsing the internet where there are many ads.
IBM: I am not sure when IBM returned, but it has advertised the Hell out of its partnership with lenovo and that started about five or six months ago. Before, HP did not have to worry about another competitor in the laptop side of things, but then came IBM/lenovo laptops – more affordable, reliable, and advertised.
The Weinstein Company: I hope the brothers Weinstein file bankruptcy soon, but the hope is dwindling more and more each day. They cut films to their liking and force imaginative directors like Terry Gilliam into production Hell, like they did with The Brothers Grimm. Their last ten films have made little or no money at the Box Office, due to their poor marketing. I mean how can a film like Grindhouse not make money? Easily: Depend solely on word of mouth to propel your movie to fame. Grindhouse has now become a ‘cult hit’, but that just means it failed at theaters, but there is a small following that will buy the DVDs. I just look at all the doomed films on the pipeline for these guys and am amazed there are so many of them. How are these guys still making enough money to fund more films that are bound to fail?
Blockbuster: Why do we still go to this store to rent films when we can electronically get them from Netflix? Why is Netfilx the one losing market share when Blockbuster is gaining? Because of desperate marketing by Blockbuster that actually payed-off. This appeared back when Netflix was all the rage and everyone forgot that going to a store and physically renting films is a pain-staking and unneeded ordeal. This campaign basically consisted of Blockbuster employees endlessly bugging customers to sign-up for this or that. Even repeat customers. Granted, enough people signed up to put the company in the black. What did Netflix do all this time? Sit on their asses while Blockbuster sneaked up behind them. Be aggressive in marketing.