Meaty content with a flavour of disney

Every brand has its own story. Marketers don’t always need to tell it in order to communicate their messages, but doing so can be the difference between adding depth to your brand’s relationship with its customers and not having a relationship at all. Michael Mendenhall knew this when he left Walt Disney to become senior vice-president and chief marketing officer at Hewlett-Packard at the end of 2007.

On arrival, Mendenhall saw a global marketing budget of $624m being spent in a way that made no sense to him at all. In this week’s cover story, Joe Fernandez not only profiles Mendenhall but gets under the skin of how the world’s largest technology company revamped its entire marketing strategy by bringing some of Disney’s storytelling magic to it. You only have to read the endorsements of the likes of Samsung Electronics UK marketing director Mikah Martin-Cruz and former Lenovo and IBM executive Brian Bell to grasp that there are good lessons in there for other marketing professionals.

Elsewhere this week we have some really meaty content for you to get through. TNS has outlined the results of some research that is exclusive to Marketing Week regarding your recession strategy. A good read of that should see you steer well clear of any attempt to try and make your brand more appealing through offering a cut-price proposition.

Our columnists this week tackle some big issues; Raymond Snoddy looks at the potential trouble the media industry could find itself in if David Cameron’s Conservative Party forms the next government, and Stuart Smith takes us on a one-page round-the-world trip to describe how multinational brand owners are going to survive and grow while still retaining a “local” feel for consumers.

Online at, Stuart’s latest blog offers the definitive insider view on the Publicis $530m deal to take US digital giant Razorfish. If Stuart is right, WPP might not have been outbid after all. Sir Martin Sorrell may just have been a mite more circumspect about seller Microsoft’s conditions and what Publicis now has to commit to in terms of clients’ digital spend in the next five years.

As I write this, Ruth Mortimer is bashing out her latest blog on the Government’s advice to supermarkets regarding BOGOFs. And Jo Roberts has written a considered response to a letter from television evangelist Tess Alps, chief executive of Thinkbox, that you will find on the Debate page this week.

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