Sunday, September 26, 2004

:: adgruntie :: Bits and bobs

+ Diluting our brand?Interesting bit on using nationalism in your branding.
Baxters’s marketing intelligence actually goes along with this. It found that the value of Scottish imagery depended on how closely linked to Scotland the product was – this is why it retained the tartan on its most Scottish soups. “When we did our research, we found that for products like whisky and salmon, which are very much associated with Scotland, there was still a motivation. But for us it was a supporting factor rather than a driving factor,” says the company’s spokeswoman.

It might be splitting hairs to say that shortbread is more intrinsically Scottish than soup, but this currently seems to be where the line is being drawn. Tartan is fine as long as it still rings tills.

Denis Taylor, a director at Scottish Development International, which exists to encourage inward investment and Scottish exports, believes the traditional imagery still has an important role to play today. “It’s very dangerous for us to say that the traditional values are not valid. I think you need to say they are valid in the right market, and we have got to promote them more aggressively than we have done in the past.

“It’s not one thing or the other. We have got to be proud of the traditional stuff and use it effectively, but at the same time, we have got to recognise where our audience is looking for more contemporary images of Scotland,” he says.

Malcolm Roughhead of VisitScotland reaches much the same conclusion. Although he believes that using traditional imagery directly does not work as well as it did 20 years ago, he says that on a more subliminal level, it is still very important. “That’s why we would never throw the baby out with the bath water,” he says. “Because it is our differentiating factor against the other 185 competitors.”

So while Scotland and traditional imagery don’t appeal as widely as they once did, they are still powerful marketing symbols with the right products targeting the right demographics. Bright young marketing sparks who think there is no substance left in Scotland should note that its demise has been greatly exaggerated.

+ Overusing Fresh.

+ What is hip?"For better and worse, hip represents a dream of America. At its best, it imagines the racial fluidity of pop culture as the real America, the one we are yearning to become. As William Burroughs said, revolution in America begins in books and music, then waits for political operatives to 'implement change after the fact.'"

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