Maglite goes LED and I am OK with that Branding Shift

Yes, I confess, I am a huge fan of the Al Ries, Jack Trout, Laura Ries thoughts on marketing, branding, and brand extensions (egad!).  But somehow Maglite introducing LED lights works for me, I am excited about it and I LIKE the Maglite brand as part of the LED world.  I buy it and WILL buy it no problemo.

So first here is the Ries position on Kodak and film versus digital cameras (as a counter point – just being fair and all….)

What about Kodak, they don’t focus on any one product or market?

Kodak bought Sterling drug, including Bayer drugs and pharmaceuticals and in essence became an unfocused company. In the last few years they have gotten out those businesses and focused on imaging products. But there are two types of imaging products, photographic and digital. At the moment, most of their business is photographic. But the future is going to be digital. Kodak is making a serious error by putting their photographic name on their digital products. What they need is a separate name for their digital products.

And here is the Maglite post on MAG-LED Technology.  For some reason I buy the putting the same brand on both.  I don’t view LED lights as a completely new category.  Just a better way to make a darn flash light that doesn’t go dead when you drop it.

Maglite1 We are pleased to report that Mag will soon be adding MAG-LEDâ„¢ flashlights to its product line.

If these products have been a long time coming, it’s because the MAG-LEDâ„¢ Technology has taken a long time to develop to the point where it is feasible to make an LED flashlight that meets Mag Instrument’s high standards of quality, durability, style and function.

Now, after years of research & development, testing and refinement, Mag Instrument is committed to introducing, in early 2006, a line of MAG-LEDâ„¢ flashlights. Like Mag’s incandescent-lamp flashlights, these newest members of the Maglite® flashlight family will have the style, performance, benefits and features that both professionals and consumers have come to expect from a Maglite® flashlight, including the fact that they are built for a lifetime of service. The Maglite® design tradition will be instantly recognizable in them, and they will offer the beam-focusing capability that has always been a feature of Mag® flashlights, AND MORE!

Again, thank you for your interest in Mag Instrument and its products. We look forward to the rollout of the MAG-LEDâ„¢ flashlights in the near future.

Sincerely,
The Maglite Team

GreenlaserSo this is all do-able marketing and branding news.  I don’t view it as a brand extension; we will all ignore the Mag-LED moniker and just call the darn thing a Maglite anyway.  What I *really* want is the green laser LED version for snipe hunting.

Kodak – “keep me, protect me, share me, and I will live forever.”

KodakkeepmeBrilliant advertising by Kodak.  Great Creative.  Crappy Search Engine Optimization.  That’s why you are reading this post.  One more reason you should not confuse the work with the work product.

Let’s start with the awesome Kodak advertising creative.  Stay with me, I’ll explain why it is awesome… So I just saw a Kodak commercial that was brand-worthy, and what I recall from one viewing (no tivo yet, sorry) is:

the pictures are saying "keep me, protect me, share me, and I will live forever."

Kodak

Brilliant brand strategy.  That is worth repeating "keep me, protect me, share me, and I will live Kodakhomepage forever".  That is the brilliant branding part.  They are NOT talking about how Kodak is different – we wouldn’t buy it anyway.  Kodak was in denial for how long?  Now they are over it, and thank heaven they are promoting the category as opposed to a particular product.  That is branding.  I am hooked.  I want someone to think about pictures of my family in that context.  "keep me – protect me – share me – and I will live forever" – just awesome stuff.

To harp on the divergence concept (I always do that with the current book I am reading, sorry) they are focused on accepting the new branch of the tree and growing.  Now, if the ad agency (who is it?  will we know before next year’s Addys?) would please PLEASE post the text of the advertisement on the Kodak.com web site so your google search query would go there instead of here….. 

To my comment about not confusing your work with your work product, what I am referring to is the desire of creatives to write ABOUT their ads in the same tone as the advertisement itself.  This is stupid.  To describe great advertising creative with the same funny text AS the creative, which always excludes the keywords, is stupid.  The kodak advertisement I am describing never mentions digital camera.  Great creative.  Crappy Search Engine Optimization.  That is a problem if you are trying to sell cameras online.  Yes keep the creative, but also post it to your site with a realistic description in freakin’ English that lists the product and brand names.

Free tip – run this keyword density analyzer on your advertising copy.  It will help.