Friday, September 21, 2007

Nedbank Breaks The Rules

Marketers generally try to co-brand or create alliances keeping to color profiles. Which is why you won't see Coke and Vodacom doing promotions, or Coke and Samsung. You do see Coke and MacDonalds. You might see promotions with LandRover and Amstel and Nedbank, but why not Virgin Active (red) and Kauai (blue). You could argue that this isn't as much a question of color but industry, but take a look around. Marketing by color is a cogent strategy.

Blue is the New Red

Dynamic colors tend to math their brands. Some of the world's biggest brands today are blue, and many of these are computers/eletronics (Intel, Dell, Samsung). Marlboro and MacDondalds and Coca Cola are red brands, but I predict we'll see these brands fall out of favour over time, as the world gets more serious, and thinks about cooling down its demands, and its appetite.


So it's interesting that The Jupiter Drawing Room are adding some dynamism to their brand. Green is being combined with Red. This is obvious in big print ads (in newspapers; the first time I saw it was at a marathon in Cape Town. The 'end zone' was blazzoned in green (balloons, the works), and above the finish line was the word: CELEBRATE. Yes, it had green blleding red. I thought this was odd at the time, then noticed it in Nedbank's other marketing as well.

ABSA it could be argued has been forced to go RED and BLUE, having been taken over by blue Barclays. When you're a leader, it is best to stick to your color, and reinforce it wherever possible. But when you're a contender, not number two, but further down the line, it helps to dilute the brand message of the number one brand. Is Nedbank doing this? It would seem so.

Remember Nedbank started off in a totally different direction with their BLUE and RED 'Go Green' TV commercials. Sometimes you have to break a few rules to get ahead. Is Nedbank breaking the right ones? Right now the banks are taking a lot of heat, not only locally but internationally. Right now might not be a good time to rock the boat. A conservative SAFE approach (given fantastic turbulence and credit insecurity) is the appropriate approach in my opinion.

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