IMKTG REPORT 08.13.02: Over Branding?; FunkMaster & Howard; more...
>> "Just give me the light and pass the jooooiiinnnnt" - Sean Paul, reggae/dancehall music artist


Good morning execs,

So yeah, new subject line, to more effec-
tively use that space to let you know what
to expect. Anyway, my agency just com-
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Ok, enough gloating and self-promotion.
On to the stuff you want, news & analysis.
Need a ready made sales force? Hire
Avon. They just signed a deal with
Latina Magazine to have 80,000 Avon
reps that sell to Hispanic consumers also
cross sell subscriptions to their magazine.
This move is shy of brilliant and must have
taken an amazing amount of pull to get
off the ground. 80,000... Wow.

On the lighter side, those nutty scientists
are at it again with their light-hearted
antics: "Cannabis-like Brain Chemicals
Block Out Bad Memories: Some me-
mories, particularly those evoking fear
or pain, are best forgotten. But just how
the brain squelches unpleasant recollec-
tions is unclear. New findings suggest
that natural chemicals similar to the
active ingredient in marijuana help mice
wipe out traumatic memories

1. BRANDS&INSIGHTS: Extending Brands Too Far?
2. CONSUMERFOCUS: Confused About Customers?
3. MEDIA&CONTENT: FunkMaster & Howard, All Day, All Night!
4. MGMT&OPS: The Next Best Thing To EBay

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION, Don't be greedy, pass this REPORT on.
UNSUBSCRIBE by replying with "Remove" in subject.
SUBSCRIBE, email with "Subscribe" as subject.
HIRE us, email Al Berrios.

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1. BRANDS&INSIGHTS: Extending Brands Too Far?

In our quest to develop the ultimate
consumer marketing campaign that
will yield the same or surpass prior
successful consumer reactions, we
sometimes take the biggest risks. On
occasion, we have been a little too busy
to notice where every dollar we spend
goes, but when it's a doosey, you have
to stop and wonder if this person is
either retarded or is really on top of
brand management. With this, I intro-
duce you to two very unique branding
examples: 1) "HBO announced Tuesday
that it will produce a line of food based
on its hit series, "The Sopranos," due to
hit grocery shelves later this year. HBO
also is releasing "The Soprano's Family
Cookbook," from Warner Books, on Sept.
24, to tie in with the premiere of the new
season, which begins on Sept. 15", and
2) "Planet Ice Cream has signed actor-
rapper Ice-T to promote its inaugural
product launch, Posse Pops, the first line
of ice cream to target the urban youth
market with social-educational messages"

BOTTOM LINE: Far be it from me to
put down any innovative marketing con-
cept, which both of these clearly are.
However, I ask you, why does HBO
think I, as a consumer, will associate
good food with a mob TV series? And
does Planet Ice Cream, founded by a
Ben & Jerry's vet no less, think that
young "urban" kids will run for the ice
cream section in search of "Blowin'
Up Ice Cream" because it will motivate
them to go to college, or "Wild Thang
Ice Cream" because a 13 year old
isn't always thinking about safe sex,
or "Knock You Out Ice Cream" be-
cause an ice cream bar is really a
good place to learn about not using
drugs? Both examples use actors as
spokespeople that play extremely
violent roles on camera. And as I
pointed out in last week's newsletter,
it seems that the more laws a spokes-
person appears to break, the better
sales of their endorsed products do.
HBO probably did some research that
shows people get hungry during Sopranos
(duh! comes on during dinner time)
and figured that this may be a great
opportunity to reinforce and build a
stronger relationship with fans....?
I can't say the idea sucks, after all,
Nickelodeon and Disney have been
associating their content with food for
years. What gets me is why competitors
aren't thinking about this stuff first,
especially with programs out there
like "SoulFood". As for "Posse Pops",
good idea, bad name. Why would anyone
want to name their product after wild
west gangs, or 80s gangland associations?


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2. CONSUMERFOCUS: Confused About Customers?

Who knows more about your business
than you? What about your consumer?
What if you're a publisher/programmer?
Don't you cater to the audience? How
can you use the internet to help you ca-
ter to your audience? How do you know
what's useful, how do you know what's
just a raving lunatic employee? Do you
listen? Or do you just hear? Do you
still think it's the technology that keeps
your consumers going? Or do you know
it's technology's power to facilitate com-
munication between your consumers?
Do you think search engines are just
tools to help you get traffic? Or do you
know you can learn a lot about your
consumers if you give them really good
search capabilities and then track what
they search for? Do you think that online
is just a fad? Or do you realize
that just because you're happily married
doesn't mean the rest of the world isn't
miserable and lonely? Did you know that
even Iranians have their own online dating
service? Do you realize that if Iranians
use the internet to meet each other world-
wide, you can profit from your audience
by introducing them to each other as well?
Do you have any idea what kind of aud
you have online? Did you know all you
have to do is ask them, and they'll gladly
tell you anything you want to know about
them? Did you know that, like Washing-, you can restrict certain info
from your aud unless they provide certain
personal info? Did you know CRM ain't
all it's cracked out to be? Did you know
that CRM vendors package incompatible
technologies together and you gotta pay
someone lots of money to figure it all out?
Have you ever asked your consumers if
they'd like to be eerily tracked and spoken
to in such a manner that they feel over-
whelmed? Do you know how to execute
a registration process so user-friendly, that
consumer like telling you stuff about them-
selves? Did you know mandatory fields
in personal info sections suck because
sometimes, your entire aud won't be of
any specific category you think of?

BOTTOM LINE: Get the answers to these
and many more puzzling questions of our
time right here, in al berrios IMARKETING

READ MORE:,,SB1028661865841910120,00.html

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3. MEDIA&CONTENT: FunkMaster & Howard, All Day, All Night!

Can Clear Channel get any dumber?
Not only did they totally contradict my
prediction when they first merged with
AM/FM to become the colossus they
are today, they continue to arm-twist
the industry around like they ain't got
nothing else to do. Ok, let me backtrack.
Sometime ago, I mentioned that because
these guys are so big, with over 1200
radio stations across the country, that
they wouldn't apply a cookie-cutter
approach to their formats, since they
have to stay competitive with themselves.
Well, that's exactly what they just did.
They're firing local djs that know local
flavors and replacing them with cheaper
national conservative drivvle. Clearly,
Clear Channel hasn't learned from the
lessons taught by MTV about catering to
your local market. And if that weren't
enough, turns out niche internet stations,
with religious formats are booming in
a time when the federal government
wants to screw them over with huge
licensing fees to record labels. Is the
radio industry headed for a cataclysmic
change, online or off?

BOTTOM LINE: Hell yeah! Along
with the music industry in general,
radio broadcasters need to undergo
a serious change in the way they do
business. Why do you think XM and
(you know, the first "cable radio"
satellite services) are doing so well
right now? Because they're addressing
something radio stations and the music
industry have forgotten: what the friggin
customers wants! That's right, folks,
consumers are actually willing to pay
for XM and Sirius satellite radio because
it gives them the options they want,
without the commercials. If consumers
were happy with the choices they had
prior to XM, Sirius, the internet, these
new players wouldn't be so successful,
and internet radio wouldn't have shaken
up the industry so dramatically. So to
you guys holding on to a dying business
model because you think it's still viable,
start investing in the customer, and stop
cookie-cutting everything because con-
sumers actually have choices and they
know how to use them. (Why do you
think the overall industry audience has
fallen? 'Cause other media offer more
choices, man!)

READ MORE:,1367,54036,00.html
CBSMW Frank Barnako's Internet Daily:
By Frank Barnako,
Last Update: 10:18 AM ET Aug 7, 2002

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4. MGMT&OPS: The Next Best Thing To EBay

Niche is in, even in retail. Turns out
that consumers online don't pay for
convenience or name brands. They
still look for the best deals and don't
care where it is. True, Amazon keeps
it's customers shopping, but that's be-
cause they still have first mover advan-
tage, as well as other retailers helping
drive traffic through their sites (i.e., etc.). And
I'm always saying how the eBay way
will ultimately rule the concept of e-
commerce. But cases like niche retail
is just another support for this case.
Let's take a look at Jupiter Research's
data on online retailers. Turns out
these guys spend tons of cash trying
to gain new customers 'cause the old
customers just don't come back, online
or off, to their brick-and-mortar stores.
In fact, only 10% return. McKinsey
has discovered that niche retailers,
on the other hand, spend a lot on
new customer acquisition, but that's
because these consumers actually
return. Now why do you suppose that

BOTTOM LINE: Don't try to be every-
thing to everyone. You know this already.
You read it everywhere. Every manage-
ment conference, session, etc that you
attend says the same exact thing, and yet
you're still doing it. If you sell anything
online, are you sure customers can easily
associate your brand with buying any specific
product? I'm not talking about or I'm talking about
Be focused in what you're selling, even if
you're not reaching everyone with a credit
card. Because in the long run, they will
remember that you're the best place for
that product and will return to get it from

Thursday, August 8, 2002
Today's focus: BIG SPENDERS

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Disclaimer: The recommendations, commentary and opinions published herein are based on public information sometimes referenced via hyperlinks. Any similarities or likeness to any ideas or commentary from any other sources not referenced is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by any reader of this publication.

(c) 2001-2005. All Rights Reserved. al berrios & company, inc. Published by al berrios & co. This Report may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without written permission from al berrios & co., subject to penalty.


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