The name is Brand … James Brand

Of course, you know who I’m really talking about. Bond, James Bond. With the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale, hitting the theatres this quarter, Fast Company writes about how companies try to align with the “Bond Brand”, hoping the attributes of Bond shine on their products. They sum it up nicely with “Men want to be Bond and Bond is the man women dream of being in love with.” Gimme that Aston Martin, baby!

Sadly, I had a less satisfying experience with one of the companies trying to cash in on the Bond myth. As I was at the time in the process of buying a shiny new K800i, I noticed that SonyEricsson – as a sponsor of the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale – was coming out with a special silver limited edition version of the phone. Of course, that was what I wanted. The special version was going to be available for a limited time only, Q4 2006 to be specific. Ideal timing, but as you can guess by now, I had to buy a standard black K800i because I could not find the silver edition anywhere in Belgium.

I asked in about 5 stores and checked a host of internet sites. No one at the stores even KNEW about the existence of the phones. “Off to the source”, one would thinks, so I contacted SE’s online support asking where I could get these phones in Belgium. The answer: “we do not have any information about availability or prices, and we have no access to the data of dealers or distributors. Please check our website of ask in the stores” .. After which they gave me a link to their dealer locator. The one I had already contacted before I mailed them and who knew nothing about the phone. So, SonyEricsson in Belgium tells me they have no idea what their phones will cost or even if they’re available in the country. Why even bother to have an office, guys?

A missed opportunity for SonyEricsson. It’s not enough to create marketing hype, you need to follow through in all areas to make sure your products actually get to the customers.

PS if anyone from SE would happen to read this, it’s case 70596715, and I never did get a satisfactory reply.

Great viral marketing from … Durex

OK, it’s adult marketing, and I doubt anyone will really go and do this (be sure to tell me if you do!), but this is a great way by Durex to promote their stuff: Durex Dickerations. It’s funny, memorable, and I wonder why on one else had ever thought of doing this. And it’s just in time for Christmas too!

Working days: it’s the result that matters. Isn’t it?

I remember the start of the work wherever you want movement. Telecommunting, flexible hours, hotspots all over the place, the end of traffic jams… We’re not there yet. The majority of people still get up in the morning, stand in the traffic jams, and clock in at least 8 hours at their desks. So what happened? I’ve got my laptop, my mobile phone, and that’s all I need to keep me going. Ok, throw in an always on broadband internet pipe and I’m really happy… even more now after we switched to iPass global roaming. This works great when travelling, you get to work from wherever you get the chance. But when in the country, I still do my desk duty.

Why is that? Company policy? Peer pressure about being seen in the office? Fear that people will slack off and work less instead of the same or more? In comes the example of Best Buy, who are changing to ROWE, which stands for Results-Only Work Environment where it counts more what you do instead of when you do it. Read more on it in this Business Week article.

Mental Fitness

In my continuous search on the internet for interesting marketing and development articles, I came across the ‘Ten part mental fitness program“.

No really new things there, but a good reminder to keep your eyes on the future, developing a multi-year vision (ok, who has really done that already?), and most of all, to do it now, and continue doing it daily, even if it’s only small things. A good read when you make your new-year resolutions… again.