Tag Archives: branding

Tesco – who, what, when, where, why?

28 Jul

By Tim McKane


Tesco is in the news again. Sales are falling, they are being hit by the arrival of Lidl and Aldi. The ‘big box’ out of towns stores which can be over 100,000 square feet are already out of date in the digital age, as more and more people go online to search and buy a wider range of goods. (Remember how short a time it is since people were saying that they would not buy on line?)

There are numerous changes in the market that will be impacting on Tesco. But I think that it is an old marketing element that has caused a lot of their problems.


Brands need clarity. People need to know that a brand will deliver a solution. The core value of Tesco when it was moving with a head of steam to become the largest retailer in the country by some way, was that they were the best value grocery stores with a great range at the best prices.

But that has changed. A visit to the store in Knocknagoney, recently refurbished tells us all we need to know.

Walk in the front door and you are met with all sorts of new in store shops. A phone shop. A beauty and pharmacy area. Clothes. Toys. Kitchen equipment. Electrical goods. Books. Videos.

But I want a loaf of bread.

And for that I have to walk to the very back of the store. So guess what. I am not going to drop into Tesco unless we need a number of items. I do drop into Tesco, and I wander around looking and browsing the wide range of goods, but how many TVs do I need?

The mind of the consumer is the life blood of a brand, and that is where Tesco need to fight the fight. Lidl and Aldi are delivering groceries at low prices. Simple.

If I were managing Tesco Knocknagoney, I would be thinking about putting the groceries at the front of the store. People are not stupid. They know that they are being sold to, but the main reason for going to Tesco is to buy food, not other goods, so don’t try to sell them first. Yes the margins are better, but if you start to lose your core brand values, it can be a real struggle to get them back.

Offline or online – it is still essential to stay true to your brand – and that is where Tesco have lost their way.


Microsoft Scroogled Again

21 Mar

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. If you heard an almighty thump recently coming from Redmond, Washington, it was probably the sound of Microsoft falling from their high horse.

Email Wars
The Softies have spent considerable time and effort recently painting themselves as the good guys to Google’s bad guys in the Outlook.com v Gmail war. Jonny wrote in depth about it here, but in essence, they championed their “we don’t scan your email” approach whereas “evil Google” do.



So far, so good. Except no one told the marketing department that Microsoft do scan your inbox and, worse, actually have people read your mail. Where’s the ethical high horse now?

Microsoft have been going to great lengths to tell anyone who will listen that they’ve done nothing wrong. The T&Cs of Hotmail, Outlook.com’s predecessor, allowed them to read the bloggers email and they were looking for someone stealing corporate secrets.

Maybe that makes it all OK. But if you position your company as the ethical white knight, you can’t throw that positioning out of the window because it’s a bit inconvenient.

Much like when Google admitted scanning emails for marketing purposes, this revelation is unlikely to lead to millions of users dumping their accounts and switching service. But there is a salient lesson in there for marketing teams and corporate culture.

Brand lesson
Your brand isn’t just what’s written on your posters, published on your website or rolled out in marketing campaigns with amusing titles. It’s the sum total of what people think and feel about your company when they see or interact with your firm.

Microsoft have fallen into the trap of operating in silos (maybe that’s inevitable with over 100,000 people in the company) but it doesn’t have to be this way.

When you’re developing your digital marketing, remain authentic to what your company is and what your company does. Just because you’re operating on social media doesn’t mean you have to start talking like da kidz. We’ve got a name for that here at Navajo: putting a baseball hat on it. And we don’t like it!

Be credible, be authentic, let your brand emerge from within the company and reflect back at your stakeholders – customers, shareholders, staff – what it means to them. Don’t try and chase cheap column inches or get one up on competitor with short term gimmicks because, as Microsoft has shown, that’s a good way to find yourself scroogled.

Apple want to take a bite of all your senses including your sense of smell

12 Mar

By Viki McAdoo

Like many other people my smartphone has become a second limb to me. Not only can I choose exactly what I want to use my phone for (talking, texting, tracking social media and news), but also I can use my phone in completely different ways when I need to. It becomes a Sat Nav in the car, on holidays it’s a translator and travel guide, and on a night out it can even get me a taxi home. Everyone must embrace the impact it has on every aspect of our lives but still app developers are pushing it one step further.

The Bacon Scent Iphone device

The Bacon Scent iPhone device may be genius or simply a genius-marketing ploy by Kraft Foods, but it starts the discussion on how personal can your smart phone really become. Yes, the smell of “freshly” cooked bacon may seem funny but what if you could be awoken by your favourite smell each day? Whether it is the smell of the beach or the smell of baked goods surly this is a new level of personalisation. How would you feel if you could smell your boyfriends aftershave each time he calls or if you could smell home cooking from the other side of the world. It starts to sound appealing, right? The personalisation of a phone has gone beyond the stages of phone covers and even apps. This brings it to a level where your phone can be a comfort blanket, subconsciously reminding you of something you love without ever having to look for pictures.

Brands and bacon

From a brands point of view it opens windows. We’ve previously blogged about how affinity matters when it comes to brand relationships. Could a brand find anything better then creating an affinity with a certain smell, on a device you use repeatedly throughout the day? Food products seem like the obviously choice here, but what about that new car smell everyone loves? Who would get the ultimate prize – Christmas? I’m sure there would be some big name brands competing to claim that prize.

I’m on the fence. I’m so intrigued by the many options for groundbreaking marketing ideas that I feel like I am forgetting about the fundamentals of the product. Maybe I don’t want to smell bacon as I wake up, maybe I don’t want to smell fresh linen from my phone as I fall asleep (I could always just change the bed sheets). For me, right now the Bacon Scent iPhone device is just one step too far. The technology is interesting of course and the opportunities for brands could be astonishing but for now an alarm on my phone is perfect without bacon on the side.

Affinity Matters

12 Feb

By Tim Mckane

Here’s the thing. The tendering process. What do you think of it? Is it fair? Are people really clinical in how they approach the assessment of the entries? Or are they influenced by having a relationship or knowledge of the people or company that is tendering. And can digital marketing help you influence the outcome of the process.

brand affinity

There was an experiment done in the US. Two groups of students were given identical maths problems to solve. They were unsolvable. The experiment was to determine affinity levels. The introduction to the tasks for group one described the person who set them and gave his birthday as being exactly the same as each individual in that group. The second group had no reference to his birthday.

So what difference did it make? That one small piece of information.

Group one, the birthday group, worked harder to solve the problems. OK. But how much harder? A little, a lot?

They worked 60% harder. That’s right. 60%. Harder, longer, more. Because they shared a birthday with the imaginary person named on the paper.

So how does that make a difference to a tender process.
We often get told by companies that search marketing, or being on social media, or having a strong LinkedIn presence would not help the marketing process as they are in a tender based industry. But if that small change shown above can influence people so strongly, then is it too much of a leap to say that creating awareness, and therefore affinity, could influence how a tender is marked.

If someone has been to your website, and to get there they will have had to find it, and spent some time finding out about you, or have been impressed by your enthusiasm for new business and the dynamic way you present your brand, then do you think it will make a difference.

If they then go to your LinkedIn profile and see the other people that work with you and the successes you have had in the past, will they move that mark up or down?

And your Twitter feed is up to date, and has really interesting and useful links to stories that they want to read.

You are creating affinity with people that you have maybe never met, but who might want to meet you.

And if you have invested in your digital footprint, and that tender that you thought was an outside chance has come in, then what value do you put on that marketing?

Digital marketing creates affinity. It starts at the top of the funnel with awareness, and then opens the doors to creating conversions, and making more profit.

photo credit: Celeste via photopin cc

The Great Website Experiment

17 Sep

Needlessly organised into sections relating to famous songs

Website ch ch ch ch changes

So we needed a new website. We created a site architecture based on our services and personalities; developed a tone of voice and content that would appeal to our broad potential customer-base; decided which on-page elements would entice our visitors to get in touch; and smothered it all with a healthy peppering of branding.

But then we needed somewhere to stick it all.

So we thought we’d dress our inherent thriftiness up as “The Great Website Experiment” and see if we couldn’t rustle up our very own conversion engine for as little money as possible. The answer; a web hosting company that allows you to build your own website, when you’ve limited technical-development ability. After all, we don’t code and build digital channels, we market them!

We decided on the platform Moonfruit (as the name alone sent us into a collective reverie about leguminous space travel). For as little as the hosting costs, you can pick a pre-existing template based on your industry, or start with a blank template and let your creative juices run free – which is what we did.

Can’t buy me love…

Cost is the main pro. Don’t get me wrong, a good developer is always worth their salt and can assess your needs and create a design with flexible templates to suit you. However, we want to let people know what we do and provoke a contact. Simple?

Another benefit; you can bring to life your own concepts and it quickly becomes apparent whether or not it can be done. If you want a great big arrow that nonchalantly slides under your top navigation and then shamelessly points at your contact details, you can have one with the flick of a mouse:


Text and title boxes are easily created and positioned. You can move panels and images around at will and throw in more shapes than a drunken dad at a wedding. The problems with creating multiple templates are a thing of the past – you could create a different template for every page if you had the time (and patience).

navajo new

It’s not all plain sailing however… the CMS interface is a tad awkward at times and it’s difficult to make multiple changes to all pages if they’re different sizes e.g. we had to add the footer to each page individually.

I can see clearly now…

What about improving our website visibility? The platform prides itself on being SEO friendly (as does popular competitor 1 & 1) and even provides a handy guide for beginners. SEO benefits include:

• Automatic creation of an xml sitemap.
• Easy creation of robots.txt.
• Connect Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and Adsense accounts.
• Add metadata including title, keywords (if you’re into that sort of thing) and meta description.
• Add alt tags to images and titles to anchor text.
• Determine which headings are H1, H2 etc.
• Easily add in social share buttons.


The page load speed could be faster, couldn’t it? We’re working on this. Google have stated it is an SEO factor. We are working to improve the page load times, e.g. correct ordering of style sheets, compressing of images.

A song about usability issues (I can’t think of one)

When pages are loaded in Chrome or Firefox, they sometimes do what can technically only be described as “a weird squashy thing” as the page loads – not a major issue as it lasts for half a second, but not ideal.

The URLs are a little on the messy side. Take for example the page http://navajotalk.com/#/digital-strategy/4567610922 while it’s great that we’ve got the name / theme of the page into the URL, the numbers are a bit ugly. Fortunately, the link http://navajotalk.com/digital-strategy takes you to the same page, which begs the question why couldn’t we have used this in the first place? So when you want to share a page with all of your friends, you can use navajotalk.com/{page name} and you’ll get there.

Video killed the radio star…

Videos play in all browsers except for Google Chrome, but we never liked Chrome anyway.

What’s that coming over the hill?

Whatever it is (coming over the hill), make sure you don’t adjust your view. There’s a slight issue with zooming in and out. If your browser view is set to anything other than 100% then the site may look mangled… again we’re told that this will be developed. In the mean time don’t adjust your screens!



while there is an option to add a Google search box, this looks a bit clunky. We always recommend a site search function with larger sites, however we’ve attempted to organise content with enough sign-posts to make it easy for visitors to find information.

Let us know if there is anything we’ve missed or you have any feed-back. Developers, what would you have changed? Can anyone think of a song about usability issues?