BLUE STAR LINE : Titanic II, heading for a second shipwreck ?

A bold project funded by an australian billionaire, the Titanic II, will be a stunning replica of the famous ship sunk in 1912. This reenactment is supposed to sail this year, in accordance with current standards, of course. But more than that ; how can a brand, develop a new business on a tragedy ?

Titanic 2

The most famous liner in history will return to service ! At least, that’s what the australian billionaire Clive Palmer claims ; at the origin of this new shipping company: the Blue Star Line. Almost compliant replica of his shipwrecked model ; the Titanic II, was to cross the Atlantic this year, between Southampton in England and New York. After a delay in the launch date, the replica of “the unsinkable” is finally supposed to sail this year in China, where it is currently under construction. The project was unveiled to the public in 2012 following the signing of agreements with the Chinese shipyard CSC Jinling. Interestingly, it was announced that the Finnish shipbuilding firm Deltamarin Ltd. would have been in charge of the design of the ship.

A bluffing reality and a vintage lust

Refined woodwork, luxurious dining rooms, legendary swimming pool … The Titanic II will be a true copy of the ship sunk in 1912, down to a few details. Under supervision of a history research team, the “new Titanic” will measure 270 metres long, 53 metres high and weigh nearly 40,000 tonnes as its model, says the company Blue Star Line. All the company’s efforts will be invested to make the customers feel as close to reality. “There will be no phones, no television, and we’re still debating on Internet access” ; says Blue Star Line management.

Titanic 2 and Cunard

Enhanced safety

The only major and obvious difference is the safety policy. On-board technologies will meet current requirements. This time, the ship will be equipped with a sufficient number of lifeboats. Other improvements : the liner will be equipped with air conditioning and a high-tech main engine.

What is the situation today ?

 However, despite such promises, is the dream so close to reality ? Indeed, the company and its founder faced several problems on different levels. And as often in this kind of projects it’s the money that runs out first. When the project was first announced in 2012, the Blue Star Line stated that construction would begin before the end of the year, with a launch in 2016. The following year’s reports revealed that Clive Palmer, the founder, was in financial difficulty. As a result, the start of work was postponed until the end of 2014. In 2015 construction had still not started and the company said that the project was simply delayed and that the vessel would be finally launched in 2018.

In addition, Clive Palmer has often been described as an “eccentric billionaire” who has earned the reputation of having ambitious and unusual stable business ideas. Titanic II was described as “a classic announcement by Clive Palmer“.

CSC Jinling Shipyard has never built a large passenger ship and has no experience in this area. In addition, recent satellite images of the region do not reveal any trace of a vessel over 200 metres under construction.

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Finally, the last problem for the brand is the project’s own ethics. It is a real brand building problem for the Blue Star Line to build the Titanic II. Indeed, the idea of a commercial replica of the Titanic was itself criticised as insensitive and “mockery of the memory of those who died”. So is the construction of such a replica appropriate ? Can we build the version 2 of a graveyard ship ? It might seem disrespectful to do business on a tragedy…

This is a difficult position that supports the brand. It has many fans and many detractors. The Blue Star Line will have to stay away from the image of luxury consumer cruises out of respect for the dead in this tragedy. But must on the other hand, the company will have to offer downhill activities to better entertain its passengers. These are all problems encountered by the brand. Moreover, the Blue Star Line did not update its official website since May 2014, and the official Titanic II website has been removed. The Titanic II already seems to be more than a distant memory…

 

References 

http://bluestarline.com.au

https://www.deltamarin.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic_II

https://titanic2newreplicashipwillsetsail2018

Google Earth : Date : 23/08/2017, Coordinated number : 32°06’59.11’’N   118°45’20.13’’E

 

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APPLE: A brand before a product

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In September 2017,  Apple has become the most powerful brand in the world, it obtains the largest market capitalization in the world with 819 billion dollars. This should not surprise you, knowing that Apple has sold more than one billion IPhone worldwide since 2007. The most surprising thing is that even with more expensive products than those of their competitors, Apple manages to dominate the market. How and why? In one sentence: Quality of its image.

Apple has established itself as a power on the market thanks to these 3 points:

  • The company has established a strong and lasting relationship with its consumers.
  •  The company projects a humanist culture and an ethical dimension (volunteering, support for good causes…).
  •  The company has a unique visual and verbal vocabulary expressed by product design and advertising.

Steve Jobs

Apple quickly built its identity with its design, quality, simplicity, communication strategy, etc.  The charismatic Steve Jobs, the former CEO of apple, also played a lot in the brand image of the company.

 

 

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Apple offers luxury products that  are quite expensive. Everyone does not necessarily have the budget to spend 1500 euros in a computer, or more than 1000 euros in a phone. Look, many students own an apple product while the majority of us have no salary. And even if other brand like Samsung, HP, Toshiba, HTC commercialize high-performance products, we continue to buy apple products. And also, I am confident that you, as a consumer of this brand, have already complained about your iPhone or Mac, but you are still buying  Apple’s product.

Why? Thanks to the strong sense of belonging we have for this brand. 

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Once we have bought a computer or an Apple product, we are connected with the brand and we are almost forced to buy additional products if we want to make the Apple product compatible with what we already have. This makes the brand even more powerful and we can say that many consumers are “Apple addicts”.

 

The marketing, the design, the ease of use, the “Apple identity”: all these factors push us to buy Apple product.

To conclude this article, Apple was very smart with its strategy, everybody knows this brand and many people in the world are consumers. But since several months, Apple is at the heart of a big scandal: The brand will plan the obsolescence of these products to push us to regularly change our phones, computers… Crazy with such expensive products, is not it?

 


References :

  1.  http://www.marketingminds.com.au/apple_branding_strategy.html
  2. https://www.computerworld.com/article/2883747/why-apple-is-the-most-successful-company-in-history.html
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/21/apple-admits-slowing-older-iphones-because-of-flagging-
  4. batterieshttps://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/120115/top-5-apple-shareholders.asp
  5. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/7937700/Are-we-becoming-addicted-to-Apple.html

 

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Tesla, a strong green vision for a better environment.

The American company Tesla is today one of the world leader in the green technologies. In 2003 it started by producing electric automobiles which were a at the time an amazing innovation, but the company didn’t stop and decided to develop itself in a lot of different sectors for the good of the environment.

Tesla got three different models of car, the model X, S, 3. The roadster first generation is no longer sold but a second version of it will be sold from 2020. All of them are made in order to have the less impact on the environment. The high-quality cars are equipped with lithium-ion batteries, those batteries are the reason of the Tesla success and none environmental impact. Yet they have a poor lifetime, but Tesla knows where to progress and innovate.

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Elon Musk, the CEO have a clear vision of what he wants his brand to become. The electric cars aren’t the only sector where Tesla is innovating. Following thesuccess of the different car models, Tesla started to develop itself in other green technology. In 2012 it started to develop a supercharger network in the US in order to provide its customer in green electricity to charge their cars. In Europe it was made in 2016 in more than 150 locations. Over that, in 2015 Tesla started to produce battery products in order to stock the energy of the solar panels. They are also doing solar panels and a Powerwall which is stocking the energy of the solar panels. With those products you are able to completely equip your house and reduce your electricity bill really close to 0.

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Tesla do have coming projects such as helping South Australia to create more clean energy. With their mega battery, the company is actually helping South Australia with their hydro storage but also by creating near it a solar installation. The two projects combined will help the region to be more independent from all the other type of energies and to give more privilege to the green one.

Tesla is very impressive in all the projects they attempt, today the company is developing itself faster than ever because the customer starts to think more about green energy and also because the price is in general getting lower, so a lot more people can start to offer it. Elon Musk objective is to continue to develop Tesla in order to make it a brand reference in terms of green technology and energy.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions or remarks to say on this Tesla article.


Source:

http://thescienceexplorer.com/technology/tesla-s-innovations-create-more-sustainable-earth
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-greener-think-getting-greener-look-manufacturing/
https://www.tesla.com/
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/11/big-new-renewable-projects-planned-across-australia-as-tesla-effect-hits

 

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Under Armour : A dizzying ascent

 

In just a few years, the American sports equipment manufacturer has become part of the landscape of the world’s leading sports brands thanks to its image based on performance.

Défilé mode UA

Wanting to be on a podium, for a sports brand, this is almost obvious. But in September 2016, Under Armour, familiar with stadiums, decided to leave its tracksuits in the closet and dress up for its first steps on a catwalk show. The American equipment manufacturer, which has built its reputation on technical and high-end products for the sport performance, presented during the Fashion Week of New York its first fashion line of street wear: jackets, shirts, and pants designed by Tim Coppens, a former employee of Ralph Lauren and Adidas, recently hired as the artistic director of this fashion line named “Under Armour Sportswear”.

A new stage in the crazy race of the American brand: twenty years ago, the headquarters of the company was a simple basement at the grandmother of its founder Kevin Plank. “In the last few years, this is the only example of a sports equipment manufacturer started from the scratch that managed to become a major player,” says Cédric Rossi, an analyst at Bryan Garnier. Under Armour’s sales went from $17,000 the first year to 400 million in 2006 and exceeded the 5 billion threshold last year.

However, despite its bodybuilding growth, the American is still a little weak to really compete in the world ring: Nike and Adidas weigh respectively eight and five times more in terms of turnover, with a share of the global cake of goods of 17.2% and 10.5% in 2015, according to Euromonitor, compared to 1.6% for the newcomer. “I think this two-horse race will continue,” predicted Herbert Hainer, CEO of Adidas.

Joueur Football américain UA

The picture must have pleased to Kevin Plank, who owns a stable near Baltimore. But his real hobby, the one that allowed him to build his success, is American football. As a member of the University of Maryland team, he has the intuition that breathable jerseys made of synthetic fibers would be more suitable than traditional cotton t-shirts to support the protective armour worn by players – hence the name of the brand. “I had just graduated and realised that I knew 60 guys playing in the NFL,” he said. “Either I took advantage of this now, or I lost it definitively. I wondered: Is there a way to give them a gift that would help me too? And the virtuous circle started. Word of mouth led him to sponsor his first professional team the following year.

Ballon Basket UA

Declined to other sports, this positioning on performance, with the technical validation of professional athletes, seduces the American amateur sportsman. “Under Armour created its own niche of pure performance equipment for mass consumption,” says Adeline Ho at Euromonitor. Today, the company wants to come out of its niche: nearly 90% of its sales are made in the United States and, even if the country is the world’s largest market for sports goods, its expansion will only be possible through excursions out of its garden. The lifestyle adventure with the Under Armour Sportswear (UAS) range is part of this strategy. The group also signed agreements with major US distributors to get out of sports stores. A way to reach new audiences and to poach on the land of apparel giants like H&M and Uniqlo, which in recent years offer sports-style clothing, but not geared at all to the practice of sports.

Finally, building a brand image costs such a budget, especially in marketing, that we can wonder: Will Under Armour always be able to propose innovative products?

 

References

How Kevin Plank did it

When Under Armour was small

The history of Under Armour

Under Armour and the global street-wear

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Brand imagery in ads: Dissecting Nike´s winner stays commercial

It is in every company´s best interest to actively work on its brand image to deliver a consistent message that attracts customers, with the ultimate goal of developing a healthy brand equity.

Nike is known to consistently use commercial advertising to promote their brand image to the public, and its usage has been consistently very effective in communicating and relating to the audience on an emotional level.

Winner stays

This video is part of Nike´s “Risk Everything” football marketing campaign held in 2014.

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The Ad opens in a suburban football field with two teams composed of teenage boys, challenging each other in a match where the winner team stays on. Straight away as the challenge is set, as one of the players says: “Guess I’m Cristiano Ronaldo then,” as he transforms into the actual player. The same processes occurs again, as when each player on the pitch pronounces the name of the current best professional football players, they instantly transforms into the player.

Furthermore, the suburban football pitch the players were playing in instantly transforms in a stadium with 50 000 spectators, as one player says: “Son, I got 50 thousand fans screaming my name”

The video goes really over the top when the goalkeeper, tired of being cornered by 2 other players, becomes furious and transforms into the Hulk, leaving both the audience and players lost for words.

Moreover, a heated argument explodes between 2 fans amongst the audience, and it escalates to a boxing match as the 2 people transform into Jon Jones ad Anderson Silva, who are 2 famous martial arts fighters.

The video climaxes when a match decisive penalty is given to one team. As C. Ronaldo prepares to take on the penalty, we see a young boy, who has not transformed into a player, insisting in taking the penalty, which he ultimately scores.

Imagery behind the ad

The ad is a very good representation of the brand equity model developed by the marketing professor Kevin Lane Keller.

The concept behind the model is that to build a strong brand, a company must shape how customers think and feel about its product. By creating the right experience, customers can have specific feeling, thoughts and perceptions about a certain brand.

Capture

At the bottom of the pyramid we have “salience”, which is the quality of being particularly noticeable. Nike is a very salient brand, as their swoosh logo and catchphrase “Just Do It” are recognizable all around the world. We know as soon as the video begins that it is a Nike commercial, as they boys in the field are all wearing Nike apparel with the signature logo.

At the second level of the pyramid we have performance, which is defined as how well the brand´s products meet customer´s needs, and imagery, which refers to how brand satisfy customer´s needs on a social and psychological level.

By starring possibly the best endorsed professional footballers in the ad, Nike subtly communicates that their products are of a high quality performance, reliability and durability, as all athletes in the video wear Nike apparel. The commercial satisfies the imagery aspect of a particular customer segment, which is the teenage football fan, who often pretends to be his favorite football player when playing with his friends.

At the third level we have the brand responses, which is constituted by judgements and feelings.

The judgement dimension is made of four key categories, which are quality, credibility, consideration and superiority. The ad tackles mainly the credibility aspect, because when the audience watches the video, it unconsciously thinks that Nike is a credible brand, because top footballers use its products.

Feelings conveyed in the commercial are mostly fun, warmth and excitement, as the video is full of humor and jokes (which are conveyed by the boy who transforms into the Hulk and the two arguing fans becoming martial arts fighters) but especially filled with constant action and movement, portrayed impressively by the amazing quick scene cuts and transitions.

At the top of the pyramid we have brand resonance, which refers to the relationship a customer has with the product and how well he can relate to it on a deep psychological level.

In my personal view of the brand, I would argue that there is a rather subtle ideal Nike often promotes, portrayed subliminally in the ad: no matter who we are as individuals, be professional athletes or just regular people, we shall always do our best at what we love, be it sports or other passions we have in life, even though that might mean “risking everything” for it, like how the commercial states at the end.

Agree, disagree? What do you think of imagery in advertising? Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts!

 

Source: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/keller-brand-equity-model.htm

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