iPhone 4 : Steve, watch out.

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Thoughts from a Mac follower:

During this days, we have been assisting to something that nobody would have imagined: Steve Jobs and Apple are put on question concerning the signal problems in the brand-new iPhone 4. After different tests in some media like Consumer Reports showing issues and not recommending its purchase, the reaction from Apple, so that, from Steve Jobs was a conference on which he answered many questions about the antenna and the signal.

The truth is that I don´t remember the last time Apple had to explain why about what the were doing. They were always demonstrating excellence and perfection, innovation and best performance, and now that image and positioning has truly decreased due to this REAL problems. Even the Apple shares value has decreased due to this.

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In this days of uncertainty, risk cannot be avoided, but it can be controlled. Now Steve delivered its conference in a protective fashion, explaining that those problems were normal in a smartphone, and showing on its website that their competitors (BlackBerry, Android, Samsung) had the same issues and telling “We are not perfect. Phones aren´t perfect. We want to make all users happy” “We couldn´t break the rules of physics, yet” . Steve offered a bumper that apparently solves the problems, as a temporal solution. The question and what surprises me is: Weren´t they the perfect company? Weren´t they always capable to deliver the best thing at the best price for the best customers?. Has Steve managed this crisis in a proper way?.

For sure this is gonna affect its reputation, and its sales forecast will have to be revised. This has also showed that the business model of Apple has a strong risk. The risk of selling 3 million iPhones in 1 month and without making a severe product test assurance. We will see if the iPhone finally arrives to Spain the 30th of July as planned. Personally, I am not going to purchase it until this is solved. And I am sure I am not the only one.

The most important values for Apple are “EXCELLENCE”, “INNOVATION” and “DIFFERENT”, values that have been shaked this days. I just want to say: Steve, be careful, if you say you are not perfect, people will start to believe it…


Personal Branding: Market yourself!

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Throughout this year, we have assisted to many lectures concerning brand image, reputation, positioning,.. of products/services. Yesterday we said good bye to our holy room 0.1 at EOI Business School and now we are already exposed to the job search.We are emerging professionals trying to find a place to develop our carreer and improve our skills.

In our aim to find our “chair”, we have already encountered with the fluctuating and constant changing job market environment. For those reasons, I already see an application for those theories of positioning and branding: for us, as professionals!. I do really see how useful are those tools that, at first, you only saw applicable in the business arena.

Right now, you can sit and think about your own personal SWOT, build a perceptual map taking into account your personal skills and experience, set up which are the segments (companies) that you, as a professional, are going to target, or build up your own brand image, something that gives you and delivers your unique value proposition for the headhunters. It does not sound like HR right? It sounds much more like Marketing!.

It is very important to follow the rules of writing a CV and  a cover letter, how to steer the interviews, how to transmit which are your pros and cons, and that is why I think that following the rules of marketing, you could find the best result (and actually funnier than the old procedures…!).

I am pretty sure that the EOI Factory has delivered a great bunch of professionals, who, as a matter of fact, are willing to be ranked TOP 10 in the PERSONAL BRAND RANKING.

Let´s keep it up!:  sit down, think who you are  and who you want to be and transmit it!. The world is yours!


The End, The Start

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Directors Cut version (much better) here.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. It´s time to die.”

That´s Blade Runner´s awesome final scene in which the last “Nexus 6” relates what he has seen and what he has learned in his four years of fixed length of existence.

We, EOI replicants, have also had our own attack ships on fire, off the shoulder of Orion, which you people wouldn´t believe; also C – beams glitter in the dark near our own Tannhauser gate. But we can assure that all those moments won´t be lost in time, like tears in rain. Because it´s time to pursuit, what we have been looking for, in this year of existence like global MBA students.

As Morpheus said to Neo once he was disconnected from Matrix: “welcome to the Real World”. Good luck on it for everybody!

P.D.- Even if the program is over, we will keep having the opportunity to write about our post-master experiences. And keep an eye in a new generation of global writers/businessmen. So see you all, it´s been a pleasure. Bye bye!


Shanghai Expo 2010 pavilions: Architecture that talks

I love Expo

We have talked before in this blog about the power of Architecture as a marketing tool for a society, a city, a nation or a regime. The crew of the global MBA program have expend the last two weeks in Shanghai, studying the Chinese business environment, and we were so lucky to be invited to the Universal Exposition 2010. These Universal Expositions are like having samples of every nation around the World in the same place, and these samples talk both explicitly (by showing content about each Nation´s marvels) and, which is more interesting, via its Pavilion´s architecture, architecture that sometimes convey messages that were not planned by the architects that designed or the politicians which financed them. During our visit, the style of the different pavilions was so different, that I asked myself what was the meaning of these different architectures, what was telling to us, like the powerful tool it was to market a country as a tourism or business destination.

So I decided to make a little experiment: I put different pavilions´ photography next to some image result, got via Google Images, when written “country / capital + people”. Few times, I´ve had to choose some photographs from other sources. The results, sometimes, are quite curious. Let´s see what we can hear listening to these pavilions´architecture. Enjoy!

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– Canada: some americans say that they are boring people. No way, of course, nor the architecture of its Pavilion. A great example of Contemporary Architecture, which shows the power of the economy of this nation, and the great taste of its architects.

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– Republic of Chile: the sober and elegant architecture of this Pavilion represents a nation on the growth path, with a stronger economic development than its neighbours.

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– People´s Republic of China: the huge scale of this pavilion and the mixture between classic and “contemporary” languages has several parallels with the country´s policies: huge size public insvestments and a search for the meaning of chinese modernity.

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– Republic of Cuba: the political end economic isolation of the island has led to a singular flavour, but also to a stagnation situation, which is reflected in the old Modern style of its pavilion, mixed with the colourful interpretation of the Caribean sensibility.

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– Arab Republic of Egypt: that´s a curious case. The architecture of the pavilion has little to do, in my opinion, with the contemporary society of this country. Its Zaha Hadid language seems like trying to demonstrate the westerness of Egypt, but looks like a little traition to its mediterranean flavour. Nothing about Ancient Egypt kitch, although it can be understable since the egyptian classic culture is well known.

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– United Arab Emirates: in my opinion, one of the best pavilions. Its architect, Norman Foster, has manage to make a reinterpretation of the desert dunes, but without being too literall or scenery like.  It talks a lot about a society boosted to the modernity, in very few years, with the fuel of huge amounts of petrodollars.

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– Islamic Republic of Iran: this pavilion talks about the more rooted tradition of the Country, the Iran of the Islamic Revolution, leaving little place to contemporary languages or innovation. Too traditional, too charicaturesque, in my opinion.

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– Japan: this pavilion has a lot to be analyzed. Its technology (ETFE panels), its language (postmodern and a little bit animal-like divertissement), its ambition… is Japan, a country that has taken the contemporary culture and made its own High-Tech reinterpretation. A little bit of Akira and Doraemon.

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– Mexico: the innovative and interesting pavilion has too parts, one below the roof, the other on top of it. It was curious how the chinese people didn´t try to enjoy the grass rooff, wich was open to everyone without queue.

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– People´s Democratic Republic of Korea: the former Soviet Union politicians used to say “the People deserves its colonnades”, and with that philosophy put aside artists like Wassily Kandinsky or Malevich. That seems to be the situation of North Korea, a Country suspicious of the outside world that developes a close minded and military oriented society. It´s pavilion is its clear showcase.

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– Sultanate of Oman: another example of charicaturesque arquitecture, a reinterpretation of the adobe castles from the desert, made in papier mache. Nor even the curtain wall at the entrance makes it more interesting.

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– Kingdom of Spain: an interesting exercise of traditional material in a contemporary language, by EMBT architects.

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– Tunisian Republic: classic, arab rooted language, with curtain wall technology. Too papier mache for a country that has combined with ability its arab and roman heritage with the XXI century opportunities.

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– United Kingdom: a suprising and innovative pavilion, the image of UK powerful economy and deep rooted culture.

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– Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: the Bolivarian Revolution hasn´t influenced yet the quality of this country´s architecture, with an interesting exercise of contemporary stylistic devices.

I strongly recomend to visit the Shanghai Universal Expo 2010 and get your own conclusions. After all, and in Louis Amstrong words, that´s a wonderful world, and you can find it all in one city. Xie xie Shanghai!


Good Luck, South Africa!

…and finally, the World Cup 2010. Lately the entire world has put his eyes on this forgotten corner of Africa, the national teams are training hard to demonstrate their skills in the playground, and even the politics worldwide seem to have had a break in their unending fight against the crisis, as was done in ancient times for the Olympic Games, and adjust their calendars to the sport event. As this is a blog talking about marketing, I could state that the national teams have attached the image of their country with them, but the real prima donna in this opera is South Africa itself.

Cape Town from Table Mountain

South Africa is an incredible country, old and young at the same time, black and white, wealthy and poor, silent and lousy. I had the privilege to live in Cape Town last summer, I met a lot of people, and I had the opportunity to talk with them about their hopes and fears regarding this world event. As we all know, South Africa has a dark past, and the brutal regime of apartheid caused deep wounds in the society, wounds whose scars still tattoo the modern South Africa, as it has been demonstrated recently. The transition to democracy was dangerous, painful, and several times it walked to the brink of civil war. But it never happened, probably thanks to the charismatic wisdom of Mr. Nelson Mandela.

But the good news are, that South Africa nowadays is a country in its path to modernity, that the new generations wish to live in racial peace, and that this World Cup is going to be a display, the showcase of the Country of Rainbow. And I´m glad for it. This World Cup seems to be the final test, the endpoint of the transition to democracy, as Mr. Jacob Zuma itself has said. It is important, really important for them.

When I was there last year, all the people around asked me once and again if I was going to come back for the World Cup. There is a real concern about the chances of recovering the huge amount of money of the investment made. After all, they argued, South Africa is placed a long way from the main economies of the world, United States and Europe, and the price of the tickets is too high for the poor people living in the townships (a big percentage of the population). So, is there going to be enough people in the stadiums?

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The second concern is security. I can assure that, even if I hadn´t personally have any trouble in the time I spent there, Cape Town can be a dangerous city sometimes, and people I met told that Johannesburg was even worse regarding security issues. But, apart from the fact that they are putting a lot of effort on this matter, what I hope is that, as it happened in 1995 with the rugby world cup, the people from the entire country will feel again part of a project bigger than themselves. To feel the people coming from abroad like customers, and all of them like ambassadors.

Finally, self esteem. One night back in Cape Town, talking about South African economy, one of my friends was depressed because of the lack of competitivity in the global markets (he was an UCT University student, worried about the future). Well, it seems that something is changing even in this field for SA. But everyone understands how important is this event to demonstrate the world that SA is a modern country, that they left the chaotic past far behind, and that they are building a future brighter and safer for all the country.

I really wish South Africa the best of luck for the World Cup. Free of security issues, free of crisis, free of problems. Just football and glory. Let the WorldCup start!

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Japan 2022, can you think of the implications?

I have never been very keen on technology. It used to be difficult and a sort of slavery for me and I say that it used to because thanks to this Global MBA and particularly to my final project colleagues, I have changed my point of view more than I could have thought.

I haven’t become a tekkie, but I do believe there are many things going on that could change our lives quite a lot and that we have to keep an eye on them.
As almost everything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages involved in the process… I would say it is almost scary, but I wanted to share with you the following because I believe it will make you think.

Japan is bidding to host the 2022 World Cup and they have already presented their plan to the FIFA.

I will just give you, in short, the very basic lines of the revolutionary experiences they want to offer.
•  Translation earpieces for fans of different nations to converse with each other
•  Devices to instantly capture information by pointing at players on the pitch
•  Microphones underneath the playing surface to catch every sound
•  400 “fan fests” around the world, as a common space for supporters who cannot watch live matches. They will        watch them projected as a 3D image on the real fields where the fan fests will be based.
•  And all this, powered by solar panels and the kinetic energy produced by a stadium full of fans.
They say they have already finished the research phase and that they will be able to put all this in use by 2016.
The decision from the FIFA will be taken on the 2nd of December. I don’t know you, but I am already intrigued.
Japan vs. FIFA


Do you want a Pepsi?

Blackberry, Android, Nokia… we all are fascinated with these little objects that make us be superconnected with our pals… only? The existence of geolocation applications that can show the exact point of the planet you are is increasing and, can you imagine the powerful tool it is for the brands…? As a familiar example, just by installing the Google Latitude application on the Android provided to the students by EOI, any of us can check where the other globals are…

Commodities’ brands have realized time ago of the strength of applications like Foursquare. Regarding this example, Pepsico has just closed a deal in order to send, starting on June, direct messages to the members of the network that may be around its point of sale. This is translated into 247 habits’ knowledge of the target… amazing!


Nice to meet you! We are the global MBA 2010

When the EOI Business School gave us this space to share our thoughts, opinions, and feelings about diverse and exciting subjects such as marketing, economy, finance, or even innovation approaches, and also to become a diary of our experiences within the school, we forgot something basic and essential: Our introduction to you all, the “show me the MKT!” readers.

With no further ado, here is this year´s group of globbies, the 2010 class of the Global MBA. By the way, even the media have echoed! Check it out in the following link (Click HERE TO SEE THE MOVIE).

(from left to right and from top to bottom)

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(you are more than welcome to click our names and see our LinkedIn profile)

– Roman Eberheissinger, Germany,  Master in Special Education and Business Administration. “As part of the Global MBA, what I found the most motivating and challenging is being part of history and change that the EOI offers. Apart from the international faculty and high level classes, the approach towards new technologies and the efforts towards sustainability and entrepreneurship give the Global MBA an individual touch.”

– Luis Fuente, Spain, Chemical Scientist: “Sharing the experience of the Global MBA with very competitive professionals has led me to an improvement on my leadership skills. An amazing experience with an amazing group. It´s just worth it.”

Yiranis Perez, Dominican Republic, Business Administration: “The Global MBA has been an engine to enrich and accelerate my knowledge, skills and competences. The analysis of real business cases, the experience and professionalism of the lecturers and the intensive workload are key factors that will help us play in the work field. But beyond a classroom, the human capital with which you share every day makes this an invaluable experience that leads to growth.”

– Olga Lepskaya, Russia, Public Relations: “Global MBA gives me a total view of what is going on in the professional world and inspires to succeed as professional not only in my country but anywhere abroad.”

Pedro Novo, Spain, Economics: “EOI´s Global MBA is for those who believe that the world should NOT be a distant land and want to reach out; here you will get the tools and abilities that will make the world your oyster, go for it!”

– Daniel Domingo, Spain, Architect: “This master has broaden my vision. There is a world of opportunities out there, you just need the appropriate tools and contacts that this Global MBA provides.”

– Javier Serrano, Spain, Hospitality & Business Management: “I highly recommend the Global MBA at EOI. The analysis of real and actual cases of companies around the world and the amazing fellow students and lecturers you meet throughout the course is just worth it.”

– Andree Gonzales, Perú, International Business Administration :“After completing a long international stay in the US, moving to Madrid was my next challenge and this master’s program has lived up to my expectations by enabling me to work in a diverse and dynamic environment. Two of its contributions I value the most are, the enrichment of my intellectual foundation as well as my professional network. The Global MBA at the EOI Business School has been a great all-around experience.”

– Monica Espinosa, Colombia, Industrial Engineer: “The Global MBA will enable you to learn new concepts and tools which will help you grow professionally and also surround yourself with amazing classmates, travel to other countries, learn about other cultures and enrich yourself in immeasurable ways”

Gonzalo Yllera, Spain, Finance: ” I am very satisfied with the Global MBA at EOI. The practical approach and the case study methodology, along with the consolidated career and professional experience of the teachers, have provided me with a multidisciplinary and excellent formation to face the modern business world.”

– Ciara Melendez, Puerto Rico, Business Media & Communications:” Having global classmates from countries around the world, have enriched my cultural experience sifnificantly.”

– Ignacio Díaz de Greñu, Spain, Advertising and Public Relations & Business Administration: “This Global MBA at EOI has been very helpful for my working life. It has reinforced and improved my directive and administrative skills at the same time that I have spent unforgettable moments. Throughout this MBA I have covered key lessons to apply to the new concept of Company we are nowadays addressing.”

– Natalia Quijano, Colombia, Industrial Engineer: “It is a transformational experience that helps you develop and sharpen your management and soft skills within a multidisciplinary and intercultural group of people that enrich you. You create a network contact all over the world.”

– Daniel Alcon, Spain, Environmental Science: “The global perspective of this MBA is a great opportunity for people with diverse academic backgrounds because it provides the possibility to share different points of view which is a really rewarding experience. For this reason as well as the people you meet, it is a great experience.”

– Paloma F. Algaba, Spain, Advertising & PR: “After this great experience at EOI, the background I have obtained through this intense and dynamic Global MBA surrounded by outstanding experts and my global peers, I feel that I can face any management challenge with enthusiasm and on a successful way.”

– Veronica Quijano, Colombia, Industrial Engineering: “Through sharing with people of different nationalities, backgrounds and experiences I have learned many useful tools for my career and obtained a global understanding of the business world, it was great!!!”

– Elena Cueva, Spain, Business Administration: “Being a Global MBA student has added content, knowledge to my professional life, and also the tools and desire of continuing being constantly updated. Areas that were almost unknown to me, such as Innovation, Creativity or Technology, became useful tools and broadened my views.”

– Francisco Guerrero, Spain, Computing Engineering“The Global MBA has changed my life. I have gained new approaches towards situations in the business world that I never expected to have. The program has also given me the opportunity to know about other cultures.”

– Melissa Zephir, Haiti, Business Administration“The Global MBA is an enriching experience, it has enhanced my personal development and impacted my professional life. The encounter of different cultures and the mix of business studies worldwide have contributed to open up to unthinkable opportunities. I strongly believe that the network built in this program is unique and essential for my career.”

– Daniel Ferreiro, Spain, Architect: “As an Architect it is very important to broaden the scope of our education and learn to give something different to the job market. I have learned a lot, I have met really interesting people, I have enjoyed and struggled, I have discovered a new world of ideas and knowledge.”

Nice to meet you all!


The Renault-Nissan alliance case: advertising

Today in Corporate Strategy class we have seen the case of the alliance between Renault and Nissan that took place in 1999. Nissan had big problems, mainly in the management and design side, but it was perceived as a reliable producer with some of the most efficient factories in the world. In the other hand, Renault was a profitable company, well managed and with good design, but their margin was being quite small due to a inneficiency on their production line. The markets in which they were settled, also, were different. Both companies had strenghts that complemented the other´s very well, but there were problems of cultural clash between the French and Japanese companies and also fear about the resistance that Nissan could have to lost some of their identity.

Dr. Tanguy Jacopin, our teacher, has shown us some advertisements of both companies, that illustrates very well their identity and product approach. Apart from that, they´re brilliant and funny. It deserves a closer look and a more in-depth analysis. Enjoy!

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P.D.- Also, we must thank our teacher Carlos Victor Costa for having linked this blog with his well-known www.comocomunicar.com. This blog is a must read for those interested in branding and corporate reputation, in which you can find many of the lessons he teaches in our program. So, have a close look to it!


A new face for Tiger Woods

tiger woods face transplant

We read this week that a team of 30 Spanish doctors say they have successfully performed the world’s first full face transplant, at the Vall d´Ebron University Hospital, in Barcelona. A man injured in a shooting accident received the entire facial skin and muscles – including cheekbones, nose, lips and teeth – of a donor.

Maybe, even more surprising than this operation could be the star reapareance of another man whose image was equally battered. Tiger Woods, after his unending sex scandals, a rehabilitation process and a public pardon request, was cheered on by his fans in his return to the venerable Augusta National Golf Club this week.

It´s a relief for his brand image and his sponsors´: two economists at the University of California have calculated that his biggest corporate sponsors, such as Nike and Gatorade, lost as much as $12 billion of share value in the wake of the scandal.

We can read in the April edition of The Economist that “Brand-threatening scandals are becoming a regular feature of the corporate landscape, thanks to a toxic mixture of globalization (…) and the Internet, that allows bad news to spread like wildfire.” Many brands have had to go to rehab lately. The most recent one (apart from Mr. Woods) is Toyota.

The magazine gives advices for those managers facing a rehab process of his company´s brand image. Before anything, make a key question: “Has it spread beyond particular products or particular divisions to afflict the entire corporate brand? (…) If the answer is yes, then companies are well advised to go into collective overdrive; if it is no, then they can experiment with more nuanced responses, such as looping off a tainted product or sacrificing a rogue division.”

Also underlines the two most important rules of successful crisis management. First, the boss needs to take charge. (…) Sideline lawyers, or financial officers. Put the survival of the company above personal considerations.

The second rule is that crisis-racked firms should redouble their focus on their customers. (…) Not in their own efforts.

But even if a brand image crisis is something to care of, don´t worry: many of them have suffered from painful damages, and they have emerged stronger from the issue. Maybe it will be the case of Tiger Woods. After all, what can be more exciting than the fall and come back of a lovebrand?

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