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Rabobank: stability, continuity and solidity
Tony Allen, Market Leader, Quarter 3, 2013, pp. 36-37
This extract from the book Business is Beautiful, a collection of case studies in five categories - integrity, curiosity, elegance, craft and prosperity, focuses on Rabobank, the Dutch bank.
This extract from the book Business is Beautiful, a collection of case studies in five categories - integrity, curiosity, elegance, craft and prosperity, focuses on Rabobank, the Dutch bank. Through talking to two of its senior staff, the article demonstrates what makes the financial brand different. One of Rabobank's most radical features is its organisational structure. Instead of local branches being owned by a central organisation, the network of local Rabobanks is instead the mother of the central organisation. It doesn't have a 'head office' so much as a 'support office'. The co-operative nature of Rabobank is also cited as fundamental to its success because it has built trust among customers at a time when consumer trust in banks is generally low. According to Rabobank's head of co-operative and governance, Vincent Lokin, the brand's integrity relies on the extent to which it takes its own values seriously. This means those values must be constantly re-examined, explained and questioned.
This is the age of the co-operative
Ed Mayo, Market Leader, Quarter 2, 2013, pp. 33-35
This article describes how the co-operative business model is flourishing and what can be learned from the model's success.
This article describes how the co-operative business model is flourishing and what can be learned from the model's success. While the business tactics of the co-operative - customer loyalty, workforce engagement, membership and ethics - have all been taken up to differing degrees by business at large, co-operatives are unique in that parts of the business will run in remote areas in ways that only cover costs because its members want something different from a return on their capital. Although co-operatives suffer from low awareness, their ethical stance is an asset during a time of low consumer trust in business. A review of economic performance of the sector has shown that it has outperformed the UK economy, while co-operative company growth in the BRIC countries is even higher. Examples include John Lewis, Co-operative Bank, the Green Pea Company and Co-operative Energy.
Dynastic marketing: The challenges and opportunities for family-owned businesses
Vincent Rousselet, Market Leader, Quarter 2, 2013, pp. 27-29
This article describes the common features of family firms and offers advice to marketers working in them.
This article describes the common features of family firms and offers advice to marketers working in them. Family businesses present different marketing challenges compared with conventional corporations. Mores and practices that are specific to dynastic businesses can be observed in six areas: talent management, succession planning, decision-making, corporate culture, giving back to society and the long-term view. Understanding the corporate culture of a family business can lead to powerful approaches to naming and branding, new product development, PR and communication. Well-known examples of dynastic businesses cited by the paper include Rolex, Zara, Peugeot and Santander.
Looking Up - The Ethic of Responsibility
The Futures Company, Yankelovich Economic Edge POV, December 2008
The need of increasing campaigns' ethical focus due to changing consumer priorities in the recession is the focus of this article.
The need of increasing campaigns' ethical focus due to changing consumer priorities in the recession is the focus of this article. U.S. consumers are scrutinising the behaviour of executives more closely, and trust businesses less than before, reflecting the new economic reality. Heeding this message, some ceos have made big cutbacks in areas such as business travel. Others have shown a "tin ear", such as the automaker ceos who flew to a Congressional bailout hearing in private jets. Marketers can leverage this consumer sentiment by highlighting corporate ethics and responsibility in their campaigns. Reestablishing trust is a long-term strategy, separate from the short-term gains generated by deep discounting for events such as Black Friday. Responsibility can be reflected in all aspects of operations, including packaging.
How to protect against marketing fraud
John A. Quelch and William D. Wilson, Market Leader, Issue 31, Winter 2005, pp. 18-19
Marketing fraud remains a serious problem, even though accountancy practices have been improved to eliminate bad practices and legal frameworks have been tightened (e.g.
Marketing fraud remains a serious problem, even though accountancy practices have been improved to eliminate bad practices and legal frameworks have been tightened (e.g. the Sarbanes Oxley Act). Some high-profile examples of marketing fraud are quoted: Warner Lambert, Saks, AOL Time Warner. Four factors (discussed) make marketing fraud more likely than in the past. Five points of good practice (described) help directors to avoid or limit the risk of marketing fraud.
Procurement - blessing or curse?
Barbara Bacci Mirque, ANA Magazine, August 2005, pp. 28-34
Discusses the increasing involvement of advertisers' procurement and strategic sourcing departments in producing advertising.
Discusses the increasing involvement of advertisers' procurement and strategic sourcing departments in producing advertising. Although advertisers' marketing departments as well as agencies often dislike the constraints imposed, they are increasingly resigned to working with them (the shift driven by the need for accountability and Sarbanes-Oxley). Article reports a survey by the ANA of marketers and their procurement counterparts. This showed up the division in attitude between the two functions, based on misperceptions, e.g.: marketers believe that procurement people do not understand marketing; procurement people believe that marketers see them simply as applying rigid rules and always looking for the cheapest option. Procurement people see their future involvement in marketing as much greater than the marketers do. However, there is evidence that marketers do see procurement as valuable and helpful, and several companies (named) have the two functions working well together. Bridging the gap involves clarifying the role of procurement, establishing best practices, and improved communication and education. The ANA have produced a booklet: Marketing Communications Procurement: building value through best practices.
Sarbanes-Oxley and its impact on marketing/advertising
Arthur Anderson, ANA Magazine, June 2005, pp. 68-72
Sarbanes-Oxley came into being in 2002 to restore public confidence in corporate governance after the Enron and other scandals.
Sarbanes-Oxley came into being in 2002 to restore public confidence in corporate governance after the Enron and other scandals. The article discusses its best practice requirements as they apply to marketing. Increasingly, the marketing and advertising areas are developing the expertise and systems required to deliver full and transparent accountability and support company reputations. Two (anonymous) cases studies are summarised, showing assessments undertaken under SOX, the objectives sought, and the outcomes and benefits obtained. It is essential for senior managements to take this matter seriously.
'Are you tuned in?' Advertiser-agency financial stewardship & how Sarbanes-Oxley fits in
Ken Fakler, ANA Magazine, June 2004, pp. 14-17
Describes the new Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act in the US, whose objective is to improve firms’ accountability so as to avoid Enron-type scandals.
Describes the new Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act in the US, whose objective is to improve firms’ accountability so as to avoid Enron-type scandals. Article focuses on Section 404 (SOX 404), which addresses financial control reporting, and outlines what it means for marketing companies. Summarises the principal requirements concerning internal control and reporting, and the duties of auditors. Illustrates the steps an advertiser should take to 1) document management’s involvement in marketing expenditures and the risks attached, 2) identify the processes that affect these accounts (media, creative, agency payments, promotions, direct marketing etc.), 3) specify what could go wrong with each of these, 4) identify and document the controls required, 5) evaluate and monitor the controls. The process must be completed by end 2004 for U.S. companies and by end 2005 for non-US companies. Implementing it may well benefit advertisers, e.g. by suggesting improvements, as well as being a sign of due diligence.
Surviving Enron: the real value of branding
Rita Clifton, Market Leader, Issue 18, Autumn 2002, pp. 10-10
Rita Clifton compares the cost of launching new corporate names and corporate identities, and the subsequent lampooning they received with the demise of Enron.
Rita Clifton compares the cost of launching new corporate names and corporate identities, and the subsequent lampooning they received with the demise of Enron. She points out that the latter's 'missing' billions dwarfs the 'rebranding' exercises in financial terms. Whilst not being an apologist for bad decisions and timing she emphasises that good and real brand activity should be the central organising business principle and is the best protection investors and the community can have against corporate malpractice. Brand building is the most reliable way of making money legally.
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