Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is This The End Of Print?

Plastic Logic previews electronic-reading device.

Guerrilla Marketing Action By PH/LAW To Win TomTom As A Customer

Found this movie at Marketing Facts.

It is a daring guerrilla marketing action by ph/law to win TomTom over as a customer. ph/law didn't inform TomTom about anything.


Back To The Future

Bank State/Government owned banks, if that isn't a déjà vu! What an opportunity for marketers: they can now officially say they are a "Public Bank".

Will You Buy It?

winner-win When launching a product or service, always ask yourself the following question (and be honest in your answer): "If this product/service would be launched by some else, would I spontaneously buy it?".

If the answer is YES, you could be looking at a WINNER (check with others).

If the answer is NO, find out what your product/service is missing.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Too Many Me Too iPhone Strategies

Every single day, I am getting bombarded with posts about "another" iPhone competitor. It makes me wonder about Apple's competitors!

Why do they compete against this 1 product?

What happened to their creativity?

Why don't they innovate like Apple did instead of copying?

Don't they care about their own branding anymore?

To be honest, I wouldn't buy a copy of the original if the original wasn't more expensive. What about you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Repost: BlackBerry To Remain Top (Corporate) Dog In 3 Years

A survey by J. Gold Associates found that while rivals like iPhone are winning ground in the smart phone sector, BlackBerry will maintain a dominant lead amongst corporate email checkers, reports Silicon Alley Insider.

The survey asked 400 companies of varying size which smart phone platforms they support now, and which they plan to support in three years. Results follow:

  • Research in Motion (RIM) will maintain 59.3 percent "primary platform" market share in three years, down from today's 65.5 percent.
  • Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform will preside over 28.6 percent of the market in three years, up from 22.5 percent today.
  • iPhone by Apple will hold 16 percent of the market, up from 10 percent now.
  • Google's Android will hold 4.8 percent of the market, lagging behind Palm — 9.1 percent — and other rivals.

It is worth noting that Android remains unfamiliar to most smart phone users. And iPhone managed to seize 10 percent market share in less than two years. (The unit launched in January 2007.) By and large, however, the survey suggests existing BlackBerry users — mostly corporate — plan to stick with the unit.

No sweat off Apple and Google's back, however. Silicon Alley Insider points out most of their growth shall stem from consumers, not enterprises.

Original post: Marketing Vox

2008 Corruption Perceptions Index

Where is your country on the Corruption Perceptions Index?

Global corruption map 2008

More information: Transparency International

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lufthansa Takes A Strategic Equity Share In Brussels Airlines

Here is the official Press Release:

Acquisition of 45 per cent for 65 million euros / Acquisition of remaining 55 per cent intended

Brussels Airlines is embarking on a new future with Lufthansa: Lufthansa Chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber and SN Airholding Chairman Eitienne Davignon have signed an agreement, which initially envisages a strategic stake in SN Airholding SA/NV and, in a second step, the full integration of the Belgian carrier in the Lufthansa Group. The agreement still requires the approval of the regulatory authorities and the Lufthansa Supervisory Board as well as the Board of Directors and shareholders of SN Airholding SA/NV.

In a first step, Lufthansa is taking out a stake of 45 per cent in SN Airholding SA/NV for 65 million euros via a capital increase. After securing the air traffic rights of Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa will then have an option of acquiring the remaining 55 per cent from 2011. It would then wholly-own the Belgian carrier.

The price for taking up the remaining 55 per cent depends on performance-related factors so that the cost for complete acquisition of Brussels Airlines could amount to a maximum of 250 million euros.

The jointly drafted integration model is shaped along the lines of the successful cooperation between Lufthansa and SWISS: It envisages that Brussels Airlines will operate as a largely independent company in the Lufthansa Group subject to its uniformly formulated targets, strategic guidelines and financial resources. It also stipulates that, after exercise of the option, Brussels Airlines should retain its headquarters and management in Brussels. It will continue operating and developing its strengths under its familiar brand with its own aircraft and crew, and expand its local advantages in the Belgian market. That includes a demand-driven route network including intercontinental connections.

The Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich will complement the overall services offered to customers in accordance with specific market potential, customers’ preferences and cost structures. The integration is designed to enable Brussels Airlines to operate in a demanding market environment, to develop further, attain its growth targets and raise its profitability, and thereby offer customers and staff better long-term perspectives.

Lufthansa Chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber emphasised that the bundling of strengths was necessary and sensible in order to strengthen competitiveness and overall cost efficiency. 'With Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa, two airlines whose services ideally complement each other and which enjoy an excellent reputation well beyond their home markets, are joining forces. Together we can offer more destinations, optimised connections, mutual use of each other’s frequent flyer programmes and extended lounge access, which will enhance the attractiveness of the portfolios of both airlines. Belgium and Germany as well as the Star Alliance member-airlines will profit from the merger. The fusion will not least contribute to strengthening European aviation. That is important, since only a strong and economically successful European airline structure can provide the quality global connections required by European business and industry, and offer employees long-term prospects.'

Etienne Davignon welcomed the successful outcome of the negotiations with Lufthansa: 'A joint future with Lufthansa provides us with the best chance of operating successfully against the competition. Lufthansa’s multi-hub and multi-brand strategies constitute the best prerequisites for the stability and future growth of Brussels Airlines'.

With the integration of Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa will further strengthen its position as a leading international network carrier. Through improved access to an attractive and important European market with huge economic potential and a high volume of premium traffic, Lufthansa will also gain in competitiveness. Brussels Airlines and its strong Africa network will profit from additional customers for the connections which can be laid on from the Brussels hub.

In their joint future, Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa can profit from substantial synergies in respect of earnings and costs, which are likely to rise gradually to a mid-double-digit million euro figure annually within three years of regulatory approval.

Lufthansa und Brussels Airlines – the figures
The airlines in the Lufthansa Group carried 63 million passengers to 208 destinations last year. A total of 5.8 million passengers flew with Brussels Airlines and its partners. Brussels Airlines operates in a network encompassing 62 destinations. The merger will add a further 12 destinations to the Lufthansa network, the number on offer to Brussels Airlines customers will rise by 133. Lufthansa employs around 105,000 employees and operates a fleet of 513 aircraft (consolidated fleet). Brussels Airlines operates a fleet of 49 aircraft with a workforce of about 3,000 staff.

1. Acquisition of 45 per-cent in SN Airholding SA/NV after regulatory approval
2. Development of joint portfolio
3. Initiation of admission procedure to membership of Star Alliance
4. Adaptation and safeguarding of air traffic rights
5. Complete takeover of SN Airholding SA/NV and Brussels Airlines after securing traffic rights on the basis of a call option, which can be exercised from 2011

For photos please visit our website: http://media.lufthansa.com

Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Tel. : +49 69 696 2999
Fax : +49 69 696 4834

Brussels Airlines
Corporate Communications
Tel. : +32 2 723 84 00
Fax : +32 2 723 84 09

What Do We Need To Know/Find Out During A Sales Process?

There are 3 main questions we should be able during the sales process:

  • Should we pursue the opportunity?
    1. Does the customer have a business initiative to support the project/opportunity?
      1. What are the business issues the customer wants to solve with this project/opportunity?
      2. Who launched the business initiative, and who else is involved?
      3. How does this initiative relate to the overall business strategy?
    2. Did the customer budget the project/opportunity?
      1. What is budgeting process?
      2. Who else is involved in the budgeting process?
      3. What priority does this project/opportunity have on the budget priority list?
    3. What is the customer's compelling reason for change?
      1. Why does the customer want to change?
      2. Does the customer have a deadline?
      3. What will be the benefit of the change?
  • Can we pursue the opportunity?
    1. Will our solution address the customer's issue (from the customer's point of view)?
      1. How does our solution address the customer's issue?
      2. Will our solution easily integrate in the customer's environment/way of working?
      3. What risk does the customer take by selecting and implementing our solution?
    2. What resources do we need for the implementation?
      1. What sales resources will be needed to win the opportunity?
      2. What resources do we need to implement the solution?
      3. Do we need partners/alliances to win and/or implement the deal?
    3. What business value can we generate with our solution?
      1. Can we quantify the business value we will generate for the customer, using his/her metrics?
      2. We can clearly differentiate the business value of our solution from the competitor's business value?
      3. Will the level of generated value convince the customer to choose our solution?
  • Can we expect to win the opportunity?
    1. What is our ability to impact the customer's decision process?
      1. Do we understand the customer's formal and informal decision process for this specific initiative?
      2. Do we know how this specific buying decision will be made within the customer's organization?
      3. Do we know the executive that will ultimately make the buying process?
    2. What is our executive credibility and support?
      1. Did we establish the necessary creditability at the customer's executive level?
      2. What have those executives done to demonstrate their support for our solution?
      3. Do we need to approach other executives and how will we do that?
    3. Are we aligned with the "relevant" executive?
      1. Did we identify the "relevant" executive?
      2. Have we already met, and do we have regular contacts with that executive?
      3. Have we achieved alignment with that executive, and can we count on his/her support?


As this is a process, the number of positive answers will evolve in time. We should have at least 2 positive answers on each of the sub questions, in order to feel more confident about the outcome of the opportunity.

Good luck and good sales.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Want To Protect Your Kids On The Internet: Try This!

I came across this great software and thought it might be of interest to some of you, especially those having kids between 2 and 12.

Here is what Magic Desktop can do for you (and your kids):

  • Parental controlEasy Desktop
    Not only can you control which programs kids can access, you can also control when and how kids access the approved programs. For example, you can condition their ability to play games upon finishing their homework, completing their chores, or succeeding in our educational programs. Once your child masters the multiplication table and earns enough bonus points he or she can gain access to the puzzle or Internet. "No Homework-No Play!" technology becomes your virtual babysitter.
  • Safe internet
    My First Browser is the safest Internet browser for kids that exists! You can pick kid-friendly websites and allow your kids to visit only those parent-approved sites. You won't have to worry about what they are doing online, or any unwanted exposures. Parents also get the complete Internet activity history for further peace-of-mind.
  • E-mail for kids
    Magic Mail is the world's first secure e-mail program designed specifically for kids. Parents administer the kid's address book; kids cannot send or receive e-mails from unknown persons. E-mails from unknown addresses are quarantined and require parental approval. In addition, Magic Mail is completely virus and SPAM protected.
  • Play & Learn
    Magic Desktop creates a fun and safe environment where kids can learn to use a PC at their own pace. The child-friendly design is perfect for those tiny little hands while the collection of included programs is suitable for all ages. Our educational and entertainment programs challenge kids to solve problems, make mistakes, try again, and succeed!
    • Easy Write – Fun and easy writing program
    • Easy Learning – Mathematics and English exercises
    • Easy Paint – Fun drawing, picture colouring and image editing program
    • Gamepad – A large collection of kids computer games
    • My First Music – Kids learn to play the piano and other instruments. Develop your child's inner – Beethoven!
    • And many more...
  • Content download
  • Windows protection

On top of the above, an EU study ranked Magic Desktop the #1 software for kids, way before Symantec (12), Microsoft (13), ...

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2 Simple Questions To Create An Effective Business Plan


WHO do I want to TARGET Money



and WHAT SALES & MARKETING efforts will we use to do so