Tuesday, May 25, 2021

We're Moving (There's no pizza or beer, but no heavy boxes either!)

Brand Keys has been posting our blogs here on The Keyhole for a long time. We will be continuing to try to add value to our readers' lives -- both personally and professionally. Just not here anymore.

Generally, the worst part of moving is finding all those insights you have occasion to use. You can continue to find all our research, insights, ideas and opinions regarding successful strategies, marketing misdeeds and the brands that love them here.

We look forward to having you visit at our new space.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Streaming Wars Just Intensified

Americans currently subscribe to an average of three paid video streaming services. In 2017 50% the country subscribed to just one. 

Five major streaming services launched in the past year, and now a sixth is coming. Telecom giant AT&T just announced a deal to spin off its WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery.


Right now, Netflix is #1. But strategy is going to matter even more now.


For a look at one streaming brand’s battle plan, we invite you to read “The Winning Strategies of the Streaming Wars" in this week’s TheCustomer.


In this war, if content is firepower, AT&T’s new entry looks like it will be a formidable contender.

Monday, May 10, 2021

66% of You Are Addicted To Your Smartphone

In a pre-pandemic lifestyle survey, people identified three everyday-artifacts as being absolutely essential to their everyday-lives. And, no surprise, one of them was a smartphone.


A little more than one-third the earth’s population has a smartphone. And about 84% of Americans own one. It’s likely you fall into one of those groups.


For more about that (and the other two “essential” items in your lives) we invite you to take a look at “Customer Expectations – Smartphone Edition” in TheCustomer. 


Oh, and the addiction? It’s real. And it’s called “Nomophobia,” an abbreviation of “no-mobile-phone-phobia.”


But don’t worry. You could be in the other 34%.


But if you’re reading this on your phone, probably not!



Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Trump Post-Presidency Brand Plummets

Brand Keys has tracked the value of the Trump brand for more than 30 years. 

Trump brand's power to influence consumer and business perceptions of the products and services it was attached to was so profound, in 1991 Brand Keys named it its first "human brand,” which meant Trump was able to successfully and profitably transfer those values – his values – seamlessly to products and services.


Alas, no longer, apparently.


Our new survey found the Trump brand slid in every major category we currently follow. Why? Because it’s virtually impossible – even for a brand that was as strong as Trump’s – to operate successfully in the consumer marketplace and political arena simultaneously. The values are just not synonymous!


See what MediaPost’s Marketing: Politics Weekly had to say about it:



For you political junkies, the complete survey findings can be found here: https://brandkeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/PRESS-RELEASE-Trump-Brand-100-Days-Out-0421.pdf

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

COVID Vaccine Brands Under The Consumer-Microscope

I’m sure you’ve heard this from friends, relatives, colleagues, and/or news pundits, about pros and cons of COVID-19 vaccination brands:


“Moderna is only 94.1% effective.” 

“Pfizer is 95% effective in clinical trials but you need two shots.” 

“Moderna needs two jabs too. Three weeks apart. Shorter than the Pfizer shots.”

“Pfizer is 86% effective in people 65+.”

“Do you know anyone who got AstraZeneca?”

“The Johnson & Johnson shot kills people!”


That last one, not strictly speaking. But when it comes to brands – drug brands at that – being literally under a consumer-microscope can be problematic.

We invite you to take a look at some COVID-19 brand insights that appeared in Quirks this week. 

Scientists developed these successful vaccines incredibly quickly. And that’s good, even great. But one thing is incredibly clear too. The use of the word “successful” is going to be dependent upon the vaccine’s efficacy and reputation. 


And its brand name. 


Be well and safe.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

When Your Brand Is Literally Under A Microscope

Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I’ve used it a lot over the years to talk about brands and brand differentiation.  So here it is again. This time with a qualification. 


Sure, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, unless smelling it kills you! Or causes the development of diffuse blood clots. 

It’s a thought that’s nagged at me over the past two weeks, and some of those thoughts appear in Jack Neff’s AdAge article, “What now for Johnson & Johnson, as brand-boosting vaccine turns to crisis.” 

All vaccines have side-effects; injection site pain, fatigue, headaches, and joint pain. The Covid-19 vaccines? A lot fewer than the list of “side effects may include. . .” warning words in your average pharma drug TV commercial. 


And Shakespeare? Well, he always knew the right thing to say. But in this particular instance, I’m going with Miguel de Cervantes. He wrote, “Words have meaning, but names have power.”


We’ll see what that means for Johnson & Johnson.

Be well and safe.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Thou Shalt Not Piss Off Thy Consumer

 It comes as no surprise to anyone that COVID-19 has changed life as we knew it in a lots of ways.

But those changes haven’t slowed brands down. Particularly when it comes to seeking opportunities to leverage current circumstances. If anything, that search had been amplified, with some programs bound to be more (or less) acceptable to consumers than others.

Take a look at some new co-branding programs that purport to leverage the upside of brands and the downside of pandemic life as reported in The Drum and see what you think.

Because the first rule of successful branding is, “Thou shalt not piss off thy consumer!”