Archive for the ‘Brand Marketing’ Category

Definition of a Brand

December 13, 2008

Charles M. Berger former brand marketer for H. J. Heinz Co. and CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. passed away a week ago today.

Mr. Berger developed the messaging which differentiated Heinz ketchup from its competition by positioning Heinz ketchup as “thick and rich” which in turn was brilliantly used to imply Heinz ketchup’s competitors were not.

Mr. Berger’s communications strategy proved to be a profoundly effective brand marketing tactic: Identify what your customers really want and receive from using your brand, then memorialize both its strengths and the competition’s weaknesses in the same few words.

Like all successes – after the fact – it usually looks and sounds easier to do than it actually was. I am sure Berger spent years perfecting the Heinz ketchup brand message.

Ultimately Heinz ketchup television commercials  featured an OK Corral style ketchup duel where Heinz proclaimed it was the slowest ketchup in the west…east, north and south” – effective imagery which conveyed the strengths of his brand while simultaneously contrasting them with his competitors weaknesses.

Simply brilliant.

According to Heinz Chairman and CEO William R. Johnson, Berger’s marketing prowess “enabled Heinz to break out of a tie and gain permanent leadership in ketchup.”

In a 2001 interview with Design Management Journal, Berger gave his definition of a brand:

“A real brand owns a very tiny but important piece of real estate in a consumer’s mind.”

“Heinz ketchup actually looks and tastes the way it did in 1890. In most cases, although you have to keep changing the product, the brand should be immortal.”

Although Mr. Berger is no longer with us  – and provided his successors at Heinz don’t try to rethink or rework his success – Berger’s work on behalf of the Heinz ketchup brand ought to remain as close to as immortal as any brand message has yet become.

GoogleTestAd Testing What?

December 3, 2008

I was surprised to learn today searches for googletestad continue to rank high in Wordtracker’s top 200 long-term keyword report.

GoogleTestAd ranks #119 in Wordtracker’s long-term keyword list.

About Wordtracker’s top 200 long-term keyword report:

“Our current database contains 290,313,559 search terms and represents the complete queries from the largest metacrawlers on the web (Metacrawler/Dogpile etc.) for the last 150 days.”

What is the “GoogleTestTad”?

A search in Google for “googletestad” doesn’t produce a explanation page but does produce the following Google Adwords sponsored links result :

GoogleTest Ad

GoogleTest Ad

However, a search for “Google Test Ad” in Google produces a suggested spelling correction from Google – “Did you mean: google text ad.”

Google Test Ad

Google Test Ad

Not to digress – but  I wonder why Google asks the question – “Did you mean:” but doesn’t punctuate their question with a question mark?

Anyway and as far as I can tell – the GoogleTestAd has always had the same ad text:

Headline = Congratulations

Description 1 = This is a family safe ad

Description 2 = All systems are go!

Display URL =

Interestingly, clicking on the ad for googletestad takes me back to Google’s home page.

Google Home Page

Google Home Page

Although Google continues testing and bidding on searches for googletestad, I am not sure whether its score is being kept or who is keeping it.

If the Google Ad for googletestad were like all others wouldn’t it too have a Quality Score?

To place ads in its behalf wouldn’t Google have to have an in-house Adwords team marketing Google’s products?

Otherwise, who is managing and bidding on keywords in their behalf?

If there is an in house advertising team – How many people are in Google’s advertising group?

How many products do they market, how many keywords do they manage and how much do they spend annually promoting Google products?

Wouldn’t Google’s buying their own ads also constitute brand management?

Does Google have a “brand manager”?

If so, who is Google’s brand manager?