Intel or AMD?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzrEqQLuMow

So I was sitting here thinking about what else I can blog about.  I was thinking about global brands but nothing really stood out.  And then I thought of Intel.  To me, the brand Intel has always been a source of frustration.  I worked at an etailer for 3 years as a buyer/product manager for AMD CPUs.  Not only was I the buyer but I also sell the product online.  I was responsible for pricing and setting up promotions for AMD CPUs.  You can imagine my frustration at having to turn on the tv and only see Intel (my product’s main and only competitor) commercials.  As you all know, Intel commercials always end with a catchy tune.  I’m sure that every time you hear those 4 notes, you’ll be reminded of Intel CPUs.  Having a bit of a background in CPUs and what it is that they do, I can tell you that at the heart of it, there really are no big difference between the two brands.  They have comparable CPUs at different levels of expertise.  Their product prices are comparable as well.  It’s interesting to see how the two companies take such different approached to marketing.  Actually, it almost seems like AMD’s marketing are nonexistent from a consumer’s point of view.

It’s very clever that Intel took to marketing directly to the consumers when they are mostly a B2B company.  Now when consumers go to a Best Buy, they’ll ask for a computer or laptop that has an Intel processor because that’s the only brand that see on TV.  I’ve worked closely with people from AMD and I’ve often asked why they don’t go the same route as Intel.  Of course they give me a lot of off hand comments about how they’re not Intel, they’re more traditional in that they build relationships with their B2B vendors and clients and funneling that type of money into actual discounts for their end users (consumers) instead of wasting the money on commercials.  I’m not completely sure how much truth is in that and whether it just has to do with the fact that they don’t have the money to spend on commercials.  Either way, I think what Intel has chosen to do with their marketing strategy is definitely working.  And as much as I had a personal working relationship with the people at AMD and they’ve been the best of vendors, I will probably ask for a laptop with an Intel processor next time I’m in the stores for a new laptop.

The Emergence of the Korean Car

So I came across this blog while on my husband’s computer.  He’s a car guy and constantly has all these car blogs up.  I clicked on a few links and found this blog.

http://www.thecarblogger.net/2011/12/hyundai-elantra-sales-soar-to-record.html

It seems that the Hyundai Elantra is enjoying an unprecedented success here in the U.S. and in Canada.  It’s breaking all records in 2011 and sales were up in November even with stiff competition from Ford, Chevy and Honda.

I found this article interesting because it’s come to my attention in the recent years that there are more and more Korean cars on the road.  Not only that, Hyundai and Kia has been consistently churning out eye catching commercials and advertisements.  It seems to me that they are positioning themselves to be quite the competition for car companies such as Ford, Honda and Toyota.  With the recent Prius recall/issues by Toyota, I’m wondering, are Korean cars replacing the Japanese car brands as being the most reliable and affordable?

I have to admit, I personally feel that Hyundai and Kia has a lot of improving to do to compete with their Japanese competitors.  They might be cheaper in price but a lot of the materials used for the cars, such as the interior, are cheap as well.  Keep in mind, this is just my opinion and I might be a bit biased.  I will however commend Hyundai especially for their clever marketing strategy. I still remember a commercial they had a few years back that really grabbed my attention and made me chuckle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr-wISyGSW0

 

As for Kia, there’s the commercial with the hamsters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miC1VZ9UVCQ

Though I find this commercial quite annoying, I won’t deny the fact that it just might be annoying enough to grab your attention and stay with you (if not the commercial then at least the song will be stuck in your head for days).

Whoever it is that they’ve hired to revamp their marketing strategy and to expand into the U.S. market, it’s working.

Best Buy UK

Reading through the news today I discovered this little article about the Best Buys in UK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15616445

It seems that the global brand of Best Buy isn’t doing so well.  First they closed all their stores in China earlier this year and now Best Buy is closing all 11 stores in UK.  I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the economic downturn that started in 2008 but it makes me wonder what it is that they’re not doing right.  Maybe they did the same thing they did in China by using the dual-brand strategy.  Maybe the dual-brand strategy wasn’t effective because of the fierce competition over in the UK.  I’ve personally never been to the UK so I’m not sure how the cultural climate is like over there and I’m not sure how their purchasing habits are when it comes to consumer electronics.  It’s highly possible that they prefer a more intimate shopping experience with sales people who are highly specialized in the products.  Whatever it is, I don’t think Best Buy UK is adapting well enough to it.

 

Best Buy China

After reading the case study for next week’s class I went searching online for Best Buys in China.  I was curious to see whatever happened with the dual-branding strategy that they were talking about.  The first article that showed up was an article in February of 2011 on Best Buy closing down all their stores in China.  Here’s the link.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-22/best-buy-s-china-stores-shut-as-retailer-focuses-on-more-profitable-brand.html

I can tell from the article that Best Buy definitely went ahead with the dual-brand strategy and wasn’t quite as successful as they were in Canada.  Their decision was to close down all the existing Best Buys in China and to focus on expanding the Five Star retail stores.  I think that the Best Buys didn’t do as well in China compared to Canada because there were already a few strong competitors in China in the CE category.  The case study mentioned that the Chinese has a lot of pride in their country and has a tendency to stick to local brands.  This might be another reason why Best Buy failed in China. Not only are they a foreign brand that people in China has never heard of before, they do not have a working relationship with vendors in China.  As we’ve learned in last week’s class, the Chinese put a lot of weight on relationships with the people they do business with.  They are buying the people, not necessarily the product.

I believe that the dual-brand strategy worked well in Canada for Best Buy because there was only one other major competitor and both their core competencies were different.  They offered 2 different buying experiences for customers so they can co-exist and not cannibalize each other too much.  I think Best Buy might have been able to succeed in China if they had a competitive edge over the other 3 major competitors; Gome, Suning and Five Star.  Their distinction from the other 3 competitors was probably not big enough for Chinese customers to break loyalty from their usual brand.  All in all, I think it’s probably wise for them to focus on building the Five Star brand and expand from there to gain more market share.

Yellow Tail Wine

Yellow Tail Wine Go-To Brand

This commercial was release just a few months ago.  It’s a commercial for Yellow Tail wine.  As we’ve read in one of our in class cases on wine, we know that Yellow Tail has a reputation of being cheap and cheerful.  This commercial, though keeping with the cheerful aspect of their reputation, seems to me like an attempt to attract the more sophisticated wine drinkers in their late twenties to early thirties.  When I took a look at their recent selling prices, I noticed that their prices had gone up by one to two dollars.   They’re trying to set their brand up as the go-to brand of wine for more sophisticated gatherings and trying to get away from their reputation of being an inexpensive wine and in so doing charge more for their product.  The use of bright colors and upbeat instrumental music in the background was interesting and really grabbed my attention.  I believe this is a good start to an attempt to change their reputation.