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5 posts from September 2011

September 28, 2011

Red alert for color trademarks

four paint brushesManagement legend Henry Ford, for whom "any customer could have a car painted any color that he wanted as long as it was black," was probably one of the last “marketing visionaries” that did not recognize the impact of color on brand value. Color management is now considered strategic to the point that in 2008, Steve Jobs called Google's vice president of engineering on a Sunday morning, while the latter was at mass, to explain that the second "O" of the Google logo on the iPhone did not have the right shade of yellow.

Different studies show that color is more memorable than a shape or a name. Think of the color red--what is the first brand that comes to mind? If you are like most people, your answer will probably be Coke. This kind of association is key in an environment where differentiation is becoming more difficult to achieve. This is why the legal protection of color has acquired an increasing importance, being embraced by brands such as Cadbury's, Tiffany's, T-Mobile, and Orange. However, the recent negative ruling on the Louboutin case casts doubt on the future of color trademark protection, its legal security, and the cost-benefit of investing in it.

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September 23, 2011

The shuttle may be grounded, but NASA's relevance lives on

Skyexpress_rocketOn Thursday 21 July the space shuttle Atlantis safely landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida—and so ended a 30-year window into the wonders of space for thousands of technophiles throughout the world.

But with NASA’s whole-hearted embrace of social media, the journey may not be over by a long shot. Yes, the future of U.S. manned space missions remains uncertain. But for those who follow NASA on Twitter—and have been lucky enough to be a part of NASA’s recent in-person “tweetups”—the agency’s use of social media presents a whole new way to access the inner world of space exploration—and create a new generation of space enthusiasts.

NASA currently administers over 100 Twitter accounts.  Last year, it updated its iPhone application with new connections to social media sites and access to more than 125,000 photos from its image collection.  And by a wide margin, NASA placed first in a recent study that ranked 100 public sector organizations in the effectiveness of their websites, digital outreach, social media use, and mobile sites.

But what could possibly be the significance of an astronaut tweeting from outer space (except that it’s really cool)? It all comes down to access.

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September 21, 2011

Deloitte21 program e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life: Founding dreams through free digital education

High school students in Kosovo participating in the e-Learning for Kids curriculum.

Learn more about Deloitte’s education and skills initiatives

What chances does a young person have nowadays without a good education? In a world where quality education is taken for granted in order to have well-being and prosperity we’re not always aware that this is not the case for everyone. Worldwide, there are still millions of youths who will not achieve their dreams of becoming, for example, a nurse, entrepreneur, police officer, or engineer, let alone a Nobel Prize winner simply because of a lack of good education. These young people may not be gaining computer literacy, teamwork skills, and the ability to solve problems, local or global, in a creative and innovative way. Or, they may even work long hours in factories to earn little money, survive in dangerous warzones, or live in remote areas where schooling is unavailable. Because of these circumstances, the goal of a prosperous future seems unattainable.

Who are e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life, and what do we do?

We are here for every child and young adult with a dream. Since the end of 2004, e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life have been developing free, digital, and innovative lessons for underprivileged children and teens, advancing young people’s 21st-century skills-readiness on a global scale. We see ourselves as a foundation that helps young people realize their dreams by preparing them for successful futures. Through our programs, young people enjoy working and playing on the computer. Our digital lessons are designed to inspire learning in a fun way. It is our belief that every young person deserves a chance to reach his or her full potential.

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September 19, 2011

Critical math

The Bush House Telegraph
News and views from the Deloitte Center for Strategic Leadership, Bush House, London

06 Thinkstock - Image - Plastic Numbers 2Numbers, psychologists tell us, are "sticky." They stay with us long after the need for them has passed. Asked to make decisions, we retrieve from recent memory earlier information—even if it’s irrelevant to the matter at hand. Leaders must question the figures they’re given—and the figures they hand on.

When you’re a parent, clichés seem to trip involuntarily off your tongue. You just can’t help yourself. The things you were told as a child yourself come back to haunt you—and your own children.

So it’s always good to discover that there’s some truth in them. Recently, in honor of the start of the new academic year (first week in September for most schools in the UK), I proved the platitude that “you learn something new every day,” handed down through generations of families, by learning something new about mathematics.

Numbers, I now know, are “sticky.”

However, this isn’t going to be another take on—or an alternative to—string theory. The stickiness of numbers is about psychology, not particle physics.

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September 08, 2011

From Marketing’s 4 P’s to Reputation management and holistic thinking

In recent years, the concept of Reputation has garnered widespread attention and interest. Businesses no longer regard traditional financial indices as the only indicators of progress. As a measure of success, Reputation rivals, and perhaps even surpasses, stock market performance, earnings, or the recovery of investments. In the least, it certainly affects these other measures.

Reputation also affects brand. It has the power to build trust with those outside a business, such as clients, as well as with the employees within. On the flip side, it has the potential to cause and court disaster.

As Brand managers we know about the importance of understanding and managing Reputation, but if we are thinking of making a major impact and getting our Executive members and the CEO on board we cannot forget about 5 more R’s which play an interlinked role to the R of Reputation. And, by the way traditional Marketing 4P's or Communications 4C's are no longer useful.

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