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Tag Archives: estratégia

Ty Warner construiu um império de 6 bilhões fabricando Beani Babies, esse boneco aí da foto. A Business Insider revelou alguns dos segredos por trás desse sucesso:

Be cheap. Beanie Babies only cost about $5 to buy. Warner purposely made them cheap so that children could buy them with their allowance. This made the toys parent-free, impulse purchases.

Sell small. Most toy makers dream of getting their products in Toys “R” Us or Walmart, but not Ty Warner. He sought out small retailers instead.

Small retailers tend to sell upscale products. Selling Beanie Babies there made the $5 toys seem less cheap.

Using small retailers also limits availability. When Walmart places orders, it buys hundreds of thousands of items and makes them available everywhere. Scarcity was a major Beanie Baby marketing element.

Personification. Every stuffed animal in Warner’s collection was given a name, a poem, and a birthday. Warner did this so kids could relate more to their Beanie Babies, like they were real pets.

Originality. When Warner introduced his first line of Beanie Babies, other toy makers mocked his products. They said the stuffed animals looked like road kill because they were limp. But Warner didn’t question his line and pursued his vision.

Privacy. Warner is a mysterious man. He’s only done a handful of interviews despite his world-wide fame. It’s been said that it’s easier to worship something that is faceless. Warner’s closed-off lifestyle creates a sense of intrigue around his brand.

Surprise. Without warning, Ty would retire a line of Beanie Babies. When an animal was retired, all production of it was halted, making the few available in stores like Willy Wonka’s golden tickets. They instantly became valuable and highly desired.

The unannounced retirement tactic forced stores to stock up on every item Ty released; it also made people buy every Baby they could find, just in case it became rare and valuable.

Scarcity. Warner carefully controlled customer demand by creating a shortage of toys. After all, no one wants to collect something that’s easy to come by.

The most expensive Beanie Baby, Peanut the royal blue elephant, was sold for over $3,000 on eBay in 2000. It was one of the first in Warner’s collection and it was made “by error” with royal blue fabric. Because so few were available, it became the ultimate collectable item.

Faking death. Ty leaked to the press that all Beanie Babies “might” retire at the end of 1999. When customers heard the news, they went crazy and bought all the Beanie Babies they could find.

In the end, Warner allowed fans to save Beanie Babies from extinction. He encouraged them to vote on the website to continue their creation. This brilliant move got people involved around the world, and the uncertainty element sent sales through the roof.

Via Amusing Ourselves

When I was at Hall & Partners, we deconstructed campaigns before we went out to test them, because we wanted to try to give each element its due and we wanted to find a way to fairly determine whether a campaign was succeeding. Our approach was this:

Obviously, you want to make sure you’ve registered the business objective;  clients aren’t in the business of making ads, you are. Agency clients are in the business of managing agencies; marketing departments are in the business of commissioning marketing materials; sales departments are in the business of supporting a salesforce; and so on up and over and across the line until you get to a CMO or CEO. They, in the end, are in the business of being profitable and pleasing shareholders. They probably ought to spend as much time on innovation and marketing as they do on profit-and-loss statements and internal politics, but in the end, they are how their bosses are incentivized, and they are probably incentivized on a business objective.

So, anyway. After you’ve established what your clients’ bonuses are based on, you want to bring it back down to earth – what is possible for the advertising to accomplish, and what role do we want it to play in achieving that business objective? This exercise is often the part of the job called, “managing expectations.” But it’s also the “what do we want people to believe or do” part of a creative brief; it’s not the “what is the client asking us for” part. One is about outcomes, the other is about assignments. Don’t confuse the two.

Where things get sticky is in the difference between the strategic idea and the creative idea. (I’ve also included a media idea here because sometimes the creative idea is actually a clever use of media, not just a nice image with some clever copy.) The strategic idea is how you’re going to go about achieving the advertising objective. Let’s think about Nike+ again. The strategic idea is not “People like to listen to music when they run” – the strategic idea is probably something like, “Let’s entertain and reward people so they’ll use our content when working out.”

So then, what’s the creative idea? It’s the framework for bringing that strategy to life. In the Nike+ example, perhaps the creative idea was to build a social, interactive, content- & feedback-driven ecosystem. The executions were the product, the playlists, the points, the platform, the app. Some of the executions work harder to deliver on the strategy than others; you can swap these out for something that is more effective without losing the overarching creative idea or undermining the strategic idea.

No mesmo post que eu tirei isso, tem uma análise foda sobre a miopia do “insight”.

Do fodástico A Momentary Flow.

Uma história foda sobre a miopia da Microsoft contada por Kyle Baxter. Como se sabe, desde o final da década de 90 a Microsoft já pensava em tablets, mas as pessoas mais altas na hierarquia da empresa – e da idiotice – sempre vetavam qualquer coisa nesse sentido. Abaixo, um relato mais recente sobre a apresentação para o Steve Ballmer sobre o Courier, um projeto de tablet apresentado internamente em 2009.

So when Robbie Bach, who led the company’s entertainment and devices division at the time, presented his idea to CEO Steve Ballmer and Microsoft’s senior leadership, he expected enthusiasm and additional funding for the project. There was just one problem: The Courier prototype borrowed from Windows, Microsoft’s vaunted computer operating systems, but had an operating system all its own. (That’s what Apple did with its iPhone and iPad — it built a new operating platform based on its existing Mac OS X.)

Bach learned a hard lesson about the power and might of Windows within Microsoft. Not only would Bach not receive the extra funding he sought, said Ballmer, who personally delivered the blow, but there would be no Courier because it was unnecessary. The best of Courier, where appropriate, would be folded into the next version of Windows, Windows 8, due at the end of 2011 or in 2012 — or maybe even Windows 9. Several months after its death, Bach announced his retirement.

Perdoai, Senhor, essas pobres almas!!

The problem is very simple: they are so beholden to Windows that anything that might threaten it—whether it comes from outside the company or inside—has to be eliminated. Effectively, Microsoft is protecting Windows at the expense of the company’s long-term success. That’s not only a mistake. It’s absolute idiocy.

Their tablet strategy is a perfect example of this. Microsoft thinks tablets should use the same operating system as PCs, with a user interface “optimized” for touch. Tablets, then, aren’t completely new devices, distinct from PCs, which would require a new use paradigm and thus a completely different user interface; instead, they are just a different form factor for using the same PC operating system we’ve been using, with the same basic use concept and user interface, just with a nice touch layer overlaid.

Why would Microsoft want tablets to be merely derivative of PCs? That’s easy: because it means what they’re currently doing, licensing a PC operating system and selling software for PCs can continue unchanged.

Microsoft’s management isn’t thinking about where computing is moving, how they can improve people’s lives and how they can capitalize on it. They’re thinking about how they can preserve their current business. And that’s a fantastic path toward irrelevancy.

Se você gostou, recomendo este fodástico post do Kyle sobre a estratégia de Mr. Jobs.

Hoje foi um daqueles dias que eu conheci um blog deveras foda – Above the Crowd – e desde então me culpo por não ter conhecido antes. As análises de Bil Gurley são tão técnicas quanto simples. Segue um baita exemplo:

Over the past 30-40 years of tech investing, public investors have come to expect the market leaders in each sector to trade at valuation premiums. On average, these market leaders have had respectful PE multiples of over 30X forward 12-month earnings, and price/revenue multiples in the 6-10X range. As examples, Microsoft and Cisco held 30X+ PEs for many, many years. With this as a backdrop, many are surprised that Google, which is relatively young at only 12 years old, is burdened with a PE multiple that is typically associated with the senior-citizens of tech leadership. Google’s forward current PE multiple isn’t remarkably higher than Microsoft (12.75) or Cisco (15).

While there is no exact science for what leads to higher PEs, there are many theories. Some argue that PE’s relate to growth. That said, Google’s growth is much higher than Microsoft and Cisco, and yet it doesn’t have that much higher a multiple. My good friend, Mike Mauboussin of Legg Mason, suggests that higher PEs reflect more concrete competitive advantages. I have always been a huge fan of this theory he calls CAP (which stands for Competitive Advantage Period). It also dovetails nicely with Warren Buffet’s competitive moat theory. However, when I look at Google, I see a company that is well positioned strategically. All attempts at dislodging their leadership have been unsuccessful to date. As such, I don’t think they suffer in this area. One other area typically cited is the more amorphous category of “execution.” I also have a hard time seeing this as the culprit, as Google’s recent execution on Android is pure genius. Moreover, the Google Apps progress is extremely impressive.

So if its not growth, competitive position, or execution, what is the shortcoming that hurts Google’s valuation? Believe it or not, the problem is that their initial business model was “too good.” Before I explain take a look at the included chart. Microsoft was founded in 1975, it went public in 1986, reached $10B in sales in 1997, and fell below 20% growth in year 2000. Google was founded in 1998, went public in 2004, hit $10B in sales in 2006, and fell below 20% growth in 2009. So it took Microsoft 22 years to hit $10B in sales. Google did it in 8 years. Resultantly, Microsoft had growth of greater than 20% for 26 years; Google for only 11.

I would argue the reason for the noted disparity is pricing optimization and pricing power. When Microsoft first established DOS as a market standard, they reaped about $10/PC in royalties. By the heyday of Windows NT, Microsoft was receiving well over $120/PC in the enterprise. Additionally, they layered in Microsoft Office on top of the OS, which took revenue/PC well north of $200. That’s a 20X increase from where they started. Google’s brilliant bid/market based ad product optimized pricing remarkably quickly. As such, Google reached $10B in revenue in about 3X more quickly than Microsoft. Unfortunately, this coin has two sides.

With its ad optimization engine so amazingly efficient, Google has no obvious pricing power against its current installed base. There is simply no way to “double” the amount of spend from each customer, much less a way to take it up 20X. Additionally, they have not yet identified a product that would represent the Google’s version of Microsoft Office in terms of revenue leverage. The Enterprise Apps offering is phenomenal, but the numbers are simply too small relative to search. More importantly, the Entprise App product does not “sit right on top of” the search franchise (as Office was to Windows), limiting the ability to leverage the success of one product into the other.

Of course, there is little reason to weep for Google. As mentioned earlier, they appear to be rocking in many areas. Google mail and calendar are now used by over 2 million unique organizations. Also, the execution of the Andoid team will be talked about for decades to come. And even though they may be limited in their price leverage on core search advertising, they still have that blank wide open home page, that I suspect is at least $1 billion in forgone annual ad revenue.

Nesse post aqui, Bill cita Warren Buffett e compara o sistema de busca do Google a um castelo, enquanto Android e Mapas (dentre outros produtos do Google) seriam o poço que circunda e protege o castelo:

AdWords is an highly respectable castle, and Google would clearly want to put a “unbreachable moat” around it. Warren himself is on record suggesting that Google’s moat is pretty good already. But where could you extend the moat? What are the potential threats to Google’s castle? Basically, any product that stands between the user and Google and has the potential to distract the choice of search destination is a threat. A great example is Firefox. Like many browsers, Firefox has a search bar built into the upper right corner. This leads to a substantial number of Google searches for which Google pays Firefox a handsome fee. From time to time, this fee must be negotiated, and as a result there are constant rumors that Firefox might chose another search engine, like Bing. Other examples include smart-phones and choices made by carriers and/or handset makers. As an example, a few years back, Verizon set the default search box on Blackberry’s to Bing instead of Google. Despite Warren’s faith in Google’s moat, there are ways to move the needle on search share, or at least hurt the economics by demanding more profit share for distribution.

So here is the kicker. Android, as well as Chrome and Chrome OS for that matter, are not “products” in the classic business sense. They have no plan to become their own “economic castles.” Rather they are very expensive and very aggressive “moats,” funded by the height and magnitude of Google’s castle. Google’s aim is defensive not offensive. They are not trying to make a profit on Android or Chrome. They want to take any layer that lives between themselves and the consumer and make it free (or even less than free). Because these layers are basically software products with no variable costs, this is a very viable defensive strategy. In essence, they are not just building a moat; Google is also scorching the earth for 250 miles around the outside of the castle to ensure no one can approach it. And best I can tell, they are doing a damn good job of it.

Google has organized this defensive play with precision. Carriers and handset makers that use Android are given economics to do so. The Android version of the “AppStore” shares the majority of its economics with the carrier and handset makers. Once again, they are not building a business, they are building a moat (sorry for the repetitiveness, it’s intentional). Because they are “giving away” money to use their product, this creates a rather substantial conundrum for someone trying to extract economic rent for a competitive product in the same market.

Ele fecha o post com a seguinte pedrada:

John Doerr, once said “The Internet is the greatest legal creation of wealth in history.” Android may be the opposite of that, the greatest legal destruction of wealth in history.

Coisa fina, não?

Esse evento é organizado pelo fundo de investimento europeu HackFwd. Além de investir em start-ups, eles promovem encontros com cabeçudos para ajudar as startups de seu portifólio. Essa conversa é sobre “brand strategy”.

Sim, mais Tom Hulme.

Perdão pelo título babaca, mas o cara é bom. Para ser mais preciso, o cara é um dos cabeças da IDEO.

Mais um texto foda da The Atlantic. Dessa vez, sobre a banda Grateful Dead e seu impressionante legado.

The Grateful Dead Archive, scheduled to open soon at the University of California at Santa Cruz, will be a mecca for academics of all stripes: from ethno musicologists to philosophers, sociologists to historians. But the biggest beneficiaries may prove to be business scholars and management theorists, who are discovering that the Dead were visionary geniuses in the way they created “customer value,” promoted social networking, and did strategic business planning.

ODDLY ENOUGH, THE Dead’s influence on the business world may turn out to be a significant part of its legacy. Without intending to—while intending, in fact, to do just the opposite—the band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by corporate America. One was to focus intensely on its most loyal fans. It established a telephone hotline to alert them to its touring schedule ahead of any public announcement, reserved for them some of the best seats in the house, and capped the price of tickets, which the band distributed through its own mail-order house. If you lived in New York and wanted to see a show in Seattle, you didn’t have to travel there to get tickets—and you could get really good tickets, without even camping out. “The Dead were masters of creating and delivering superior customer value,” Barry Barnes, a business professor at the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University, in Florida, told me. Treating customers well may sound like common sense. But it represented a break from the top-down ethos of many organizations in the 1960s and ’70s. Only in the 1980s, faced with competition from Japan, did American CEOs and management theorists widely adopt a customer-first orientation.

As Barnes and other scholars note, the musicians who constituted the Dead were anything but naive about their business. They incorporated early on, and established a board of directors (with a rotating CEO position) consisting of the band, road crew, and other members of the Dead organization. They founded a profitable merchandising division and, peace and love notwithstanding, did not hesitate to sue those who violated their copyrights. But they weren’t greedy, and they adapted well. They famously permitted fans to tape their shows, ceding a major revenue source in potential record sales. According to Barnes, the decision was not entirely selfless: it reflected a shrewd assessment that tape sharing would widen their audience, a ban would be unenforceable, and anyone inclined to tape a show would probably spend money elsewhere, such as on merchandise or tickets. The Dead became one of the most profitable bands of all time.

Much of the talk about “Internet business models” presupposes that they are blindingly new and different. But the connection between the Internet and the Dead’s business model was made 15 years ago by the band’s lyricist, John Perry Barlow, who became an Internet guru. Writing in Wired in 1994, Barlow posited that in the information economy, “the best way to raise demand for your product is to give it away.” As Barlow explained to me: “What people today are beginning to realize is what became obvious to us back then—the important correlation is the one between familiarity and value, not scarcity and value. Adam Smith taught that the scarcer you make something, the more valuable it becomes. In the physical world, that works beautifully. But we couldn’t regulate [taping at] our shows, and you can’t online. The Internet doesn’t behave that way. But here’s the thing: if I give my song away to 20 people, and they give it to 20 people, pretty soon everybody knows me, and my value as a creator is dramatically enhanced. That was the value proposition with the Dead.”

Porra, o texto desse John Perry Barlow na Wired, de um distante ano de 1994, começa com uma citação foda!

“If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.”

O autor? Thomas Jefferson, lá pelos idos do século 18 ou 19.