Saturday, September 1, 2012

Product Management/Product Marketing - The Nissan GTR35

I am going to post this as a part of "Supercar Sunday" for Farrst Developments - but there is so much good business material in this short movie I couldn't help but also put it here to for you all to see. Seems that Carlos Ghosn is a very smart man, and a very savvy business leader.

I have no doubt in my mind that he was very instrumental in getting the R35 out of drawing boards and into real life. I can understand why the Japanese people look up to him, and why Renault grabbed him when they did.

 Topics covered:
- Product Management,
- Product Marketing, - Marketing Management,
- Task Management,
- Competitive Markets

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marketing in the Cellphone Industry - Stewart Farr (2001)

("I know this is a bit old now guys.........but makes for some interesting reading when you reflect on it - turns out I was right, and Apple cashed in on this concept" -Stew)

1.1       The purpose of marketing in the Cellphone industry.

The purpose of marketing cellphone's, is no longer to sell a simple piece of electronic equipment. It now sells an essential form of communication, in today’s mobile world.
The Cellphone is now sold as a cultural icon – symbolising a personality of the consumer. The advertising jumps out at you, no matter where you are – not only through the visual and verbal networks of advertising but also the subliminal peer pressure of today’s society.

1.2       Built for Humans

Items that are built for humans in mind are now the huge pulling forces in today’s markets. User-friendly products are now becoming major exploit due to the fact they can easily exploit any market. Ergonomics has become a multimillion-dollar industry – with most products being designed with the human in mind. Consumers like the security of mind by knowing that a Cellphone contains certain aspects that make their life easier or safer.
An example of a good user-friendly marketing campaign is Nokia’s. Their “Human Technology” campaign improved their share price from a low of less that $27 U.S, to an all time high of $30.25 US, which is still increasing. Consumers responded well to the campaign, increasing sales by over 25%.
All the phones now produced have some form of ‘hands free calling’. Motorola now are installing “BASS boosted, CLEAR response hands free speakers”, for less ‘mechanical’ distortion and more ‘human’ crisp, clear sound.

 1.3 Not just Communications

Mobile phones are developing to more that mobile communications. They now people phonebooks, email, Internet, arcade machine, timetable, organiser, alarm, pager, text editor, modem, fax and now contain more functions then a personal computer. It could be said that cellphone's are the personal computers of the future.
People now go out looking for which phone has got the most functions, and Cellphone companies take great advantage of this by glorifying the functions on their mobiles.

1.3       Additional Services provide by the Cellphone manufacturer

These greatly determine the Cellphone market. Alcatel a large communications company offers no support for their distributors and do not sell directly to the market, for this reason they sell very poorly in most countries. However in New Zealand, Vodafone’s largest selling mobile brand is Alcatel – Vodafone do most of the advertising and hire purchase for the Alcatel’s because they suit well to Vodafone’s pre-paid market (which accounts to 70% of Vodafone’s sales).
Nokia are at the other end of the spectrum, developing advertising, customer support and providing an expensive hire purchase scheme for the consumers – this in turn has made them the largest Cellphone manufacture in the world.

1.4       Effective Product Naming

The names of cellphone's are becoming abbreviated and cut to suit the style of the target audience. Simplicity is the key when naming a Cellphone, something that people remember – a letter, word, number or feeling works well as the consumer is not thrown into ‘manufacturing jargon’.
Good use of numbers is the Nokia Series, 252, 918, 5110, 5120, 6220, 8250 – each one is easily remembered as the short term memory can store up to 7 digits.
Good use of letters is demonstrated with the new Motorola series, L series and V series.

1.5       The use of brand loyalty

With a well-established company, it is easier for them to get their products noticed. They do this by placing their company logo in the background, in the corner, anywhere where is noticeable but not distracting, on their advertising. People recognise these symbols and instantly want to know more.
Alcatel and Motorola use this all the time, placing their logo in the background to posters, handouts, anything that gets them noticed.

1.6      Styling the product to the target market

There is no point is selling ice to Eskimos, the same rule applies to Cellphone marketing. Cellphone marketeers have only just trained to the US market – with their style to distinctive, making it hard for Cellphone manufactures to adapt to the market.
French cellphone's are more style then function – often containing fewer buttons and comfortable shape.
Asian cellphone's are more function and size – having enough electronics to scare a personal computer in the size of a few credit cards.


1)         Handouts –     Motorola:        Lseries+, WEB W/O WIRES
2)                                                         GSM V2288 FEATURE LIST
3)                                 Nokia: 5120, The smart phone with the smart key
4)                                                         8250, Walk on the Blue Side
5)                                                         5110, The smart phone with the smart key
6)                                                         6210, Be ready
7)                                                         8210, Live with Passion
8)                                 Alcatel:            One Touch 302
                                    And various Sagem, Ericsson & Philips

1)         Web sites - – For company profile
2)                        – for company profile
3)                        – for customer support
4)                        – for company profile
5)                        – for new phone web adverts
6)                        – for new phone web adverts
7)                        – for market research on Nokia expected sales
8)                                                          - for market capital and annual revenue of Nokia and Motorola.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Infographic Tuesday - Flow chart of wine

I know. Its not exactly 100% business. But you would be surprised what business goes down after a fine glass of Merlot, Bin 555 or my personal favorite Santa Cristina.
So lean back into your chair, kick your feet up onto your desk (avoid the laptop though) and have a good laugh.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Infographic Tuesday - Entreprenuers

I am not a huge fan of the term "Entrepreneur". As far as I am concerned these people are not the peak - they are simply the level that the rest of us should have achieved.

An entrepreneur could be a fantastic worker within a company. They only reason they go it alone is due to frustrations and inability to fix problems internally.

A failure of a company, not of them.

So rather than thinking about praising an entreprenuer..........turn it around,

Who was their previous employer?
What constraints did they have placed on them?
What went wrong?
How can I avoid this?

These are the keys to keeping these talented individuals inside a company - thus lifting the company to a new level.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Infographic Tuesday - Brand Colours

Great little infographic about what colours mean to your brand. Something designers are aware of (fyi designers go check out but business types need to learn.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Infographic Thursday - The App Bubble

Recently I was contemplating building an empire via making apps.
Turns out that while there are a few success stories - there a plenty of failures.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Small beginnings and big bytes - an Apple story

Ok so it was my sons 1st birthday recently, and he got one of these from his grandma
But you see while I don't profess to be a big Apple fan. Fact of the matter is they are a big part of my life of who I am and how I have got to where I am.

I most likely would not have leaped into IT/IS or even business computing - except for the fact that when I was 5 - my father got me this.
This good ol' Apple II lasted me all the way though my Schooling years. It did nothing really practical, it had no printer, no word processor. It had a joystick, increase ram and a 4 colour display - so it was mainly used for games.
But it taught me some very basic things. How to type fast, how to think fast and most importantly how to be patient when it comes to loading. At the time if you wanted a personal computer and had money you got a Apple II, if you were cheap or had some fancy ERP tool you got IBM's 8086. It was a strange market. But basically the II changed the way people thought about computing. It created personal computing.
Then when at Middle school I got to use this:
The Mac classic. The perfect device with the worst execution. It had a lot going for it except good marketing. It was an all in one unit. It was light enough to carry. It HAD resolution. It was the first FANLESS computers - something unheard of in the electronics industry.
This computer should have captured the whole market. But it failed horribly and was eaten alive in the red market that had become the personal computer. Acer, IBM, Compaq, Tandy, HP, was no longer a 2 horse game. And some of the competitors were cut throat pirates.
Apple was being cut and started to bleed. From recall this was when Jobs started to get young and reckless - the other owners of apple noticed  and cut him from the fray. Thankfully they still had a fan base.
Come to College I found myself using one of these...
The LC was not a bad machine, it just wasn't a good one. It was doing what everyone else was doing hardware wise, software wise it was completely propriety. This was the 90's and now Microsoft ruled the roost - not by selling computers, but by selling the operating system. The market had changed and people paid pennies less for the hardware, but more for all the software. The giants of the valley were now companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia........ as they had the I.P. and most of the hardware was now being made out of China.
Jobs was rehired, and refocused. A massive cash injection came into Apple via Microsoft. And I then had to deal with this before I went to University.
The imac was everything the Mac Classic should have been, it was an all in one unit that had the marketing weight of a heavy weight boxer on crack. It forced the competition to rethink its game. To think about things like case design and ergonomics. To think about colours (beige cases and monitors were all the rage - not!).
However at this point the computers only had a cult following. They were expensive and next to useless to most people.

It was never that I disliked Apple...........I always appreciated them from an engineers perspective. It was that I could see their failures from a business perspective. But I was fortunate to own the computer that made Apple a great computer company. A world leader. Now my son can experience that with their iPAD.

Now you can understand why Apple's model had to change - there market was never computers. That was simply the first market they tried. They needed to think past that and find out what people were not doing. In the 1970's people were not making personal computers. In the 1990's people were not making MP3 players with lots of storage. In the 2000's people were not making useable, reliable tablets.

Turns out the Woz (the others guy who started Apple with Jobs in the 70's) knew this all along. Check out his Q&A below.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Infographic Tuesday : Word of mouth = sales

Something that took me a long time to get the balls enough to ask for, was a recommendation. But fact of the matter these give you 10 times the sales any marketing campaign can give you.
Word of mouth is the purest sales gospel.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to sell anything to anyone. The Apple philosophy

Stolen from

I am off on holiday for a month in New York - so if your there and want to catch up for a coffee - email me farrst@gmail or tweet me @farrst

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Infographic Tuesday - Banner ads, who clicks

You will click hopefully...........because that buys me beer inspirational motivation to do more stuff for you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rubbish Suppliers and blast-from-the-past emails

Digging through some old emails, I found a fantastic one about a poorly performing supplier.
Names have been changed to protect all involved........have a read. Then you decide if you would deal with this supplier?

"Hope you holiday is going well. I thought it was best I gave you an update about the events of yesterday.
As you know Myself,*  had a meeting with *, as a basic training session for the * product in NZ.
Meeting * reminding myself of why I left Australia.  

Talking to the other staff who have dealt with him, needless to say his attitudes are in the wrong place.

But I will simply explain the events that transpired yesterday.
With everyone in the room, it was noticeable that * was not at ease with the people there. It became faily obvious that he was demanding a very high level of support (something that was starting to tire *)
He suggested that we introduce ourselves, to which * was first to volunteer. When * said he was the Automation sales rep, * immediately questioned why he did not have * in he portfolio. Stating - "I will have to have a talk to * later about this" He then continued to dominate the conversation not allowing * to finish speaking about what he hoped to achieve out of the training session. This was not only stupid (as we were all attending a "* Basics" training session) but also completely arrogant to assume that pushing his complaints to *  would some how fix the situation. Eventually I spoke up stating that "As of this point * is not a part of his portfolio, so you can not blame him", to which his reply was "clearly something is wrong if * is not there."
At this point * looked liked he wanted to throw something at *, however he bit his lip and remained quiet. The introductions continued around the table, ending with * introducing himself.

During his presentation, it became obvious that at-least 60% was to stroke his own ego. However when put on the spot about his own business issues, he did not have the substance to back it up. 

(I can elaborate on this more if you require).

If his ego could not be stroked during the presentation, he would then move to downgrade the people in the room or the products you sell

As * said best to me afterward "He always attempts to be right even when he is wrong". There were threats that "* are currently in a partner agreement", with emphasis on current.
Other bold claims were also made, one in particular was "That's bullshit, I came over 18 months ago and trained people here (*)"  to which I questioned "Who was trained?" to which I got no reply.
* was supposed to have known a Japanese protocol. Because according to Steve he should know because he was Asian. (He is Chinese).
He failed to accept our claims that we have to support more than one agency, and would attempt to subvert out existing agencies, often asking "Does anything else you have do this?".
By lunchtime both * looked like they could not be bothered continuing the meeting after lunch, and said thank you and attended emails.
I grabbed * and went to lunch - explaining to him that this is how some people are, and he was free to speak his mind. Needless to say he was not in a good mood and needed to vent.
* took over in the afternoon - which eased things somewhat. This also meant * did not need to attend - which was a good thing as it looked like * had painted a big target on his back.
I found that *'s attitude was not only negative, but wrong. Lord knows how he wants us to promote sales of this product after that episode.  

Very rarely have I had such rubbish in front of a supplier, and  
never have I had it FROM a supplier.

However I would like to congratulate everyone else in the room on the same not. They were polite, and keep their feelings to themselves, I know a lot of the people in the industry would have told * to f-off if they had been put in this position.
I just feel you should be aware about what happened, as I imagine there will be an email from * complaining about how we are not good enough."

Infographic Tuesday - LinkedIn Networking

I got a few emails regarding my Facebook InfoTuesday post. So thought I better continue the trend with another networking site.
Turns out people get projects through linkedin also! So perhaps that could be another tool for your sales guys to get into doors previously left closed?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Infographic Tuesday : Facebook

As of yet Blind Management doesn't yet have a Facebook page (its on the 'todo list' the meantime check out the Farrst Development one). But here is a great little infographic about stuff you didn't know about Facebook.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

HR, Recruitment and Inspiring Messages to Staff

Jonothan Rice recently posted on his recuitment blog the following:

While I don't really want to get into the debate as to what should or shouldn't be in CV's etc. I do think inspirational messages are important motivational tools. Here are some manifestos that I have taking a liking too recently.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nokia Tablet

With a rumor of a Nokia Tablet coming out. Thought I better post something I worked on a few years ago.....The Nokia based "BullPad"