Archive for Corporate Image

How not to run a railway

// December 21st, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Corporate Image

trainI travel to London each week, each time buying the same ticket, a super off peak return, but then I am told that if I get a super advance or advance it may be cheaper and the super off peak does not allow me to travel on all off peak trains; for that I’d need an off peak ticket.
The crux of the storey is simple…. I do not understand what the marketing people are thinking.

Do they not realise that their customers don’t have a clue about the bizarre ticketing system. I wonder if it is deliberate… I can only assume that they have worked out a business model which generates more money from confusing a small amount of customers than encouraging more people to use the railways.

Here is an idea. Why not make it really simple for passengers; at the very least publish lists showing which trains are off peak and which are super off peak in accessible places, like the company website   (yes, they do not have this information on their sites ! or anywhere else – how rediculous)

Or maybe simplify it further and have just one ticket, like an airline.

The truth of the matter is that the train operators do not understand what they are providing, either in terms of service or product. They do not understand the need to be customer focused to make things easy for the customers to understand.

The rail companies have a monopoly and because of this have failed to recognise or establish their competitive advantage. People use the railways because the they have to, not because they want to, I think that explains everything.

I think it comes down to Levitt’s marketing Myopia.


Best Use of Viral Marketing

// December 21st, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Advertising, Company management, Corporate Image, Customer Service, General, International Marketing, News Comment

I can’t help but applaud the genius of Sony in driving up music sales in the run up to Christmas, but at the same time can’t help to notice how suckered the public was into what appears to be a great marketing scam.

X-factor was sure to be number one at Christmas, after all the last 3 winners had all managed Christmas number one. So why not create a viral campaign praying on the hatred of X-factor in certain sectors of society and get them to buy, via download, another track which is also indirectly owned by Sony.

I think for this type of scan to work there are several crucial ingredients.
1. The cost of purchasing must be cheap… less than £2
2. The two products must be total opposites
3. There cannot be a direct link (as in this case)

4… those suckered have no idea that they are just funding a large company… like Sony.. although maybe some people knew, but did it anyway.

Maybe i am looking at this form a cynical standpoint. But deliberate or accidental it is excellent marketing.