RE: Where’s my Nespresso Sugar? 50 Shades of Sugar, please.

IMG_20151219_164357It’s that time of the year again. You’re hunting for christmas presents. You find yourself caught in both physical shopping spaces as well as on e-commerce websites. This year’s annual Christmas routine brought me into the Nespresso store. Accidentally something positioned as “Nespresso compatible sugar” caught my eye. It was an instant flashback to thoughts I had four years ago, in a blog post called “where’s my Nespresso sugar?”  I believe it’s very cool to see Nespresso introduce this sugar (regardless of the fact that this is pure marketing trickery). However, I feel like they left loads of opportunities behind them when implementing.

What’s next for “Nespresso Sugar”? 

I think what we might see next is a complete range of sugars. That’s fully in line with the coffee range. And it also makes sense. There are many sugars in the world. And many tastes in the world. In this respect, Nespresso could easily market different kind of “sugars”. While doing so, they could have a look at the sugar packaging. Clearly, today’s packaging is not branded as the coffee is. It doesn’t breathe emotion. Redesign of the sugar package is highly recommended. Not only in terms of branding and identity, also with regards to “usability”.

Furthermore, why not push it a little further and conceive “coffee+sugar combos”?


50 Shades of Sugar. What else? 

So to introduce their sugar product line, Nespresso could launch a very cool campaign from the concept “50 shades of sugar.”

Think about the power of this concept for both traditional advertising and so-called new inbound marketing communication.

Is sugar truly a money-maker? What about milk: 50 shades of white? 

I noticed Nespresso is recently starting to push their “coffee + milk” machines. Would it be a good idea to have a “50 shades of white” milk line? What can be said about coffee and sugar, holds also true for milk.


Looking forward to some creative communications about milk and sugar, Nespresso!




What does Mark Etting do for a living? On Marketing and the Marketer.

A common reaction marketers face?

A common reaction marketers face?

The What do you do for a living question.

It happens from time to time that people show interest in what you do professionally. Not surprisingly, some of them even pose the “what do you do for a living question”.

I formerly answered this with “I’m in marketing”.
And I recently stopped giving that answer.

Today “I’m getting market”, as it turned out that most people react to “marketing” with a frown of their eye brows while producing a little – rather scary – noise in between their teeth. It looks like the images on the left.

Agreed, I’m a marketer. My professional activities are about “getting market”.

I’m a marketer. And I can’t help it. It’s not a well-planned career path. It’s more something that I, as a sociologist, accidentally stumbled into. Nevertheless, it proves to bring me self-fulfillment. I’m happy with what I do, Trying to “get market”, like in marketing, like in “market getting”, not like in “pushing markets”.

Guess the whole frowning and bad-noise-making reactions on “being in marketing” has to deal with to the old-school conception of “what it is to be a marketer” or “what it is to push markets”.
Or: how old-school actually means old-scream.

What is marketing? The old-school vision: SCREAM : OLD MARKETING

Allow me to refer to Seth Godin’s book “Meatball Sundae – Is your marketing out of sync?” to explain the difference between “old marketing” and “new marketing”. After all the first part of the book makes a great analysis of how new consumer needs and the internet made old marketing (think: P&G, TV and mass production) less effective. The book continues by underpinning this difference with broader sociological phenomena that are re-shaping the world…
Yup, you’ve got to love it!

What is marketing? The new-school vision: Unleashing the Power of Marketing: WHISPER : NEW MARKETING

old vs new marketing: Meatball Sundae

old vs new marketing: Meatball Sundae

Within this respect Seth’s advice is to no longer interrupt people with spammy messages, to make innovation (in all its dimensions) your biggest cost and last – but certainly not least – craft marketing into your product(s).

This is what I would call new marketing. Don’t make crap, produce value and don’t push it. This is the only valid approach to take on marketing. It’s not about supporting short-term sales of crappy products. It’s not about advertising. Or as some put it: “commit acts, not ads”.

If you look at it like that, you quickly realize that marketing shouldn’t be perceived negatively. It can and should be used as a positive force to engage with your customer – whether to improve life (B2C) or business objectives (B2B).

But how can you unleash the power of your marketers?
Well, I believe the GE story is a great example.

How GE unleashed the power of Marketing

“When GE realized that its products would no longer sell themselves, it had to invent a formidable marketing function from scratch.” (Comstock, Gulati, Liguori)

Let’s say about 10 years ago, GE had no significant marketing. The company was quite confident in its technologies. It believed the technical superiority would get market for itself. People with the position of a marketer were assigned to sales support (lead generation, events, …) or to communications (advertising, PR). In the essential corporate strategy meetings, marketing wasn’t invited. Marketing was considered a support function – or even overhead. Things were about to change however …

GE - unleashed the power of marketing

GE - unleashed the power of marketing

The business was mature and GE could no longer win by simply launching increasingly advanced technologies or by taking existing technologies to new markets. Some of their best offerings were mere commodities.

The re-focus in GE’s strategy was accompanied with a note by the CEO who stated that: “marketing should be a vital operating function across GE and an engine for organic growth.”

How does one implement such a thing?

New Marketing is a culture, not a department, role or responsibility.

In short, one could say GE’s corporate culture changed. They gave Marketing the respect it deserved. It wasn’t just a sales support function for screaming messages at as many people as possible. As a result, marketing at GE is now an engine for growth. It paves the way for customer collaboration, new product opportunities and new markets.

Equally important however is that this new marketing is related to a new society. Let’s say Society 3.0 or the trends as described in Meatball Sundae. Did you know by the way that lots changed in society 3.0? Branding for instance. Your brand is about to be a reflection of your corporate culture, certainly in the long run.

New positions top-class marketers reflect New-school Marketing

I tend to see a compelling relation with the new positions by well-known marketing guru. Their new functions basically show this “unleashing the power of marketing and marketers idea”. Here’s a small overview of those top of my mind – feel free to suggest more:

Sincerely yours,

Mark Etting.

Sustainable Business Strategies for SMEs in a "dying industry"?

Business strategies for a dying industry

Business strategies for a dying industry

Print: a dying industry?

I often encounter the phrase “Print is dead”. Of course, print is not dead. First of all, it’s not a living organism – so technically unable to die because it never actually lived. Second, I still meet printed collateral on a daily basis. Third: history demonstrates that some people always tend to state that new emerging media “kill” existing ones. Concerning this third issue, allow me to have a small digression by referring to the panic for the medium radio with the rise of commercial television.

Commercial television would kill “the radio”. In fact, radio still exists. What happened is a re-allocation of the time spent for a specific medium. People tend to watch more tv and listen to the radio less. But radio is still alive and kicking. People just use it in a different way. The radio went from a “primetime” medium to a “drive time” medium – which means that people mainly use radio while driving a car. So: did video kill the radio star? No, it did not. It just resulted in a new way of allocating resources for specific media.

How to understand the phrase “print is dead”?

So one needs to pay attention what exactly is meant and how the above phrase should be understood. First of all, we have explained in the above paragraphs that media do not die. However, having a look at the phrase “print is dead”, there seems to occur another problem. What is the “printing industry”?

The printing industry is a rather general description of business activities related to printing. The argument that print is dead doesn’t hold much water past books, newspapers and magazine – which aren’t even dead also by the way. The printing industry has multiple subsections, so one cannot simplify that easily.

To start with: every single item made and sold in this world comes with packaging, even if ordered over the internet. So package printing won’t die. However, in times of economic downfall people consume less, which results in less shipments of goods (with printed packages). This also counts for commercial printing – which most of the time people denote when saying the phrase “print is dead”.

Is commercial printing dead?

Commercial printing is about the creation of leaflets, brochures, catalogues, etc. Yes, it still exists and it’s often quite important to have those “sales support documents” next to a powerful website. What is a fact is that more and more corporations are re-allocating their budgets from print to other media (internet, mobile, tv, …). But it is not dead. Nevertheless, the decrease in volume of printed marketing collateral has been an undeniable trend for years now.

Companies that have been in the industry for years are increasingly looking to survive. What business strategies have proven to be effective in surviving this turmoil?

Sustainable business strategies for commercial printers?

Business strategies and innovation are closely linked together

Business strategies and innovation are closely linked together

We don’t want to put an in-depth (theoretical) analysis here about business strategies for growth and innovation. But apparently they are closely linked to one another. The image on the left should do the trick for now. We believe it’s more fruitful to draw a real-life business case.

Sustainable business strategies for SMEs in commercial printing?

The graphics / printing industry has been going down for years now. The economic slowdown and the credit crunch only empower the trend. Loads of SME printers went bankrupt or at least had to shrink down the number of employees.

As a reaction, the industry’s major players reached out to a well-known strategy for growth: “M&A” (mergers and acquisitions). A financially strong company within the sector buys out less powerful players and consequently integrates them into the new structure. The sustainability and growth of the business is hence secured (it might be a short-term…).

As a result of the concentration process, the number of printers within the industry decreased. SMEs reacted by expanding into multi-media production services or by integrating into larger corporations. However more creative initiatives have seen the light as well. And those initiatives don’t even mean the loss of SME commercial printers. The initiative “Pinca” of the Pica Media Partners Group is one of those creative initiatives to counter-fight the negative spiral of the industry.

The Pica Media Partners case

Pica Media Partners is an independent network that contains more than 30 graphic communication corporations within it. The network covers the entire area of The Netherlands. By gathering the strengths of each entity in a network, the group has additional forces for marketing, sales and purchase. By uniting forces, the SME companies within the network can benefit from the state-of-the-art tools as if they were a big player.

In today’s printing industry it’s important to make the transition from a “printer” who sells products into a “media service provider” who sells services. An important element to successfully realize this transition is technology. Specific technologies support printers’ transformation into a service provider.

The network equally saw the importance of technology and jointly invested in an “online collaboration platform”. We are very keen to see how this technology will further prove how business model innovation can act as a strategy for growth. And I have to say: it looks quite promising. The deployment of the technology resulted in an innovative business model within the graphic production industry. In fact, BMI or business model innovation could well be the theme for my next blog post since I started to feel a particular interest in related subjects.


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