Wednesday, January 27, 2010

5 Lessons from NBC

Monday I "Stumbled" across this post from the blog

Excellent ideas!

Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien - 5 Marketing Lessons Learned

The recent brouhaha over the switch in late night hosts is a great example of a failure in applying some basic marketing skills in late night television. Five obvious lessons:

1. Never drop a product that is making money in hopes that a new product will make more money

When Campbell's Soup added the "Chunky" line, they didn't dump their lead brand, nor did they give it a deadline to be off the shelves to make room for the new competitor. Today, the original brand still has the majority of the shelf space, and Campbell's meatier version has to fight for what it can get. When the Chunky label starts outperforming the lead brand, their positions will reverse.

2. Do a market test

Seems like basic marketing doesn't it? In fact, NBC had tried this idea out many years ago when they put Jack Parr (a one-time host of the Tonight Show, into a prime time spot). It failed quickly. But times change, and maybe this would have worked. A simple market test, airing the Jay Leno-hosted Tonight Show in one television market for a few weeks to see how the public responded might have save NBC hundreds of millions of dollars.

3. Don't let your products attack each other (Duh!)

As the controversy lingered, Leno and O'Brien publicly turned on each other and NBC. Can you imagine Campbell's allowing their brands to do the same? A brand war similar to the Leno / O'Brian feud might look like this:

"Old Campbell's Should Give Up Shelf Space" - Chunky Soup Protests. "They've made their money, give the young brands a chance."

"Campbell's Executives Leading Soup Company to Slow Death" - Campbell's Soup claims

"I Never Trusted Campbell's" Rival Progresso Soup adds voice to soup fight

4. Always have an exit strategy

If the new product doesn't work out, how will we exit the market? Hmmm, perhaps we could pay the Campbell's Chunky brand millions of dollars to find another manufacturer?

5. Learn from your mistakes

Sounds simple, but do we really think NBC has learned anything? Do they even remember Jack Parr?

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