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Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis

Nigel Hollis Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst, Millward Brown

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Latest Entry
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Why is Apple’s success so difficult to copy?

Apple has regained the top spot in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking. Contrary to my expectations the iPhone 6 has proved a big success, not least in China, and Apple has continued to stave off the me-toos that would like a slice of the action.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Why brands need to be seen as different and distinctive

Several years ago now I wrote a Point of View titled “It Is Not a Choice: Brands Should Seek Differentiation and Distinctiveness.” I still cannot imagine why a marketer would choose one quality over another because they are both important, unless, of course, it is simply easier to change your logo than it is to create meaningful differentiation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Brands need to grow value not just sales

The true value of a brand is defined not just by how much is sold, but also by how much it is sold for. Sustainable growth requires marketers to focus on growing brand value not just sales, otherwise margins suffer, choking off future investment in innovation and marketing.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Are advertisers wasting a precious resource?

My colleague (and self-styled rival blogger) Sue Elms has just published a post  on M&M Global in which she proposes that exposure to increasing volumes of advertising  will ultimately make it even harder for advertising to be effective in the face of declining consumer receptivity. Given the challenges facing the advertising industry, declining consumer receptivity is the last thing it needs.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why polls failed to predict a Tory win

Here we go again. The total failure of the UK polling industry to predict the outcome of last week’s election is bound to be used by many as a reason to doubt the validity of all survey research. Some will use it to justify ignoring research completely, and some will use it to justify other methods. There is just one problem; those opinions will likely prove just as invalid as the polls.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Individual online ads are not more irritating than TV ads

There is a huge dichotomy between our reaction to the idea of online advertising and our reaction to specific online ads. This is one of the findings from a report on effective frequency recently published on WARC by Dom Twose and Molly Elmore and speaks to me of the essential difference in the way we use the two media and its impact on our receptivity to advertising.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Break the law if you want your brand to grow faster

A couple of weeks ago I exchanged emails with my colleague Gordon Wyner on the topics of marketing ‘laws’ and long-term brand growth. The idea that there are immutable laws in marketing is very appealing, but ultimately may be very dangerous if you want your brand to grow faster than the competition over the long-term.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Assumptions about digital usage make fools of us all

Never assume, they say, because it makes an ass out of you and me, and all too often it seems to me that marketers are making huge assumptions about their digital audience, in spite of all the data available to them. Too often that data is interpreted through the lens of the marketer’s own goals and beliefs, not those of the people whose behavior they are trying to influence.