Component suppliers increasingly use co-branding—the Intel- inside-the-Dell approach—to gain consumers’ attention and thereby insure their own supplier relationship with a primary brand. In a recent study, University of Minnesota marketing professors found that 30 percent of industrial products displayed the name of at least one component brand in addition to the primary product brand. The U’s marketing department chair, George John, says it raises questions for marketers: “What becomes more important, the product or the component? The Dodge truck or its Cummins engine?”
The law firm Krass Monroe in Bloomington is introducing new pricing geared to small and midsize businesses. They tend to defer getting legal help because they fear snowballing costs, says Krass’s John Berg. His firm’s new Strategic Business Counsel program allows a business to negotiate a flat monthly fee for unlimited access to the firm’s attorneys.
OM, the new Indian restaurant that Randy Norman, Vik Uppal, and Raghavan Iyer just opened in the Minneapolis Warehouse District, was designed by a committee of hundreds. To build pre-opening buzz on line, the developers sought the advice of volunteer “OM enthusiasts” on everything from which fabrics to use in the lounge (a tie meant all three choices got incorporated) to which beers and specialty drinks to serve.
TMA E-Marketing, a Minnetonka Web design firm, is rolling out a new app that it developed in house. The program enables companies to overcome some of the limitations of Facebook’s platform and create more customized, highly branded Facebook fan pages.
Next time you’re spending dollars or salting them away, consider their archaic appearance—most of it dates back to 1914—then take a look at the Dollar Redesign Project organized by design consultant Richard Smith (richardsmith.posterous.com—see the July 4 post). Bar codes? Mod colors? Smith proposes an “in-depth rebranding scheme” for our money as a catalyst for economic recovery.