Category Archives: MBA Notes


Outta this world

Egg-laying woolly dairy pig

The Germans have an expression for something that tries to do everything, ‘eierlegende Wollmilchsau’, which I have loosely translated in the title of this post. Many brands fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone. It’s a kind of ‘throw in the kitchen sink and toilet as well’ philosophy to make sure every possible benefit is covered … Continue reading


Driving bathroom business?

Cars and shampoo

How to grab a prime on-shelf position in one of Germany’s leading drugstores. First, find someone to produce generic toiletry items for kids, maybe an own label producer for supermarkets or a foreign factory looking for some ideas to use up production capacity. Second, find a kids’ brand that’s well-known and will look just right on


Way of confusing people

Getting increasingly irritated by the Suzuki slogan ‘Way of Life’, I decided to look into what could surely only be some German translation or misguided attempt to sound cool. When I did, I was amazed to discover that this terrible slogan is actually not a mishap from an agency here in Germany, but their international slogan. What do they mean … Continue reading


Not for split personalities

WO72 winners

‘You’ll never eat alone’ was the tagline used by the winners of the latest case study. They took on Pringles and came out conquerors, beating the other three groups with a concept that married the idea of sharing crisps in 2-in-1 split(ting) packs with a sideways jab at Pringles: “Pringles is for singles” was the just one of the many … Continue reading


An app parents approve of?

Helping screenagers

A golden rule in marketing is KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER. In some markets, especially B2B, this can be difficult as a number of decision-makers may be involved. In consumer markets it’s usually easier, but not necessarily obvious… One thing parents struggle with is which products the children may decide to buy, which ones to buy together, or which ones to buy … Continue reading


Source: company website screenshot

An e-problem in e-commerce

A company slogan should say everything it can about the positioning of the brand, ideally even something about the USP. What makes you different? What quick yet memorable statement would you like to make in a catchy way that summarises what you stand for, who you are, or why to buy you? So when the time to go online came … Continue reading


Swiss time to go first

Green Coke

Well it’s been around for a while in some countries (all right, months), so I was wondering when it would hit the shelves in Germany. But despite articles in trade magazines and speculation about the advent of Coke Life here, nothing doing. Not seen nuffin. Until it popped up in Switzerland.


USP-Italian-Wine

Cut above the rest

I’ve already introduced a wine on this blog that tries to shout out on shelves by looking different. Its bent bottleneck could be seen as a USP. As I explained at the time, this doesn’t necessarily have to be something more, something better, or even something immediately adding a benefit. But it provides you with a unique identity, allowing people … Continue reading


Listerine-replacement.png

WO71 winners

The case study this time involved attacking Listerine with a new product concept. The winners’ concept was called Dent 4’s, pronounced like ‘dentforce’ with German phonetics. The idea was to remove the toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash from the bathroom cabinet and replace these with a single 4-in-1 solution. Available as tablets, Dent 4’s were not just designed to … Continue reading


SummerWinter.jpg

Time-warp marketing

My prize for the most exaggerated marketing trick of the year goes to two companies who are stretching consumers’ patience and stretching the time continuum. Every year, companies put Christmas items on sale earlier and earlier. This year was the furthest I’ve seen anyone pull Christmas forward. I found this example of winter fruit teas in a German supermarket in … Continue reading


Ryanair_Endorsement.jpg

A bizarre endorsement

Like testimonials, product endorsements are a powerful way to convince undecided customers that they can indeed move beyond attention, interest and desire in the AIDA process and get to action – ie, buy. To work, you normally choose an endorser with positive values, somebody of authority perhaps, an expert, someone with a emotional image that you trust. When I saw … Continue reading