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The ballad of the undifferentiated product

By Francis Moran

I’ve been doing a lot of work with clients lately on refining their messaging and marketplace differentiation. It has always been clear to me that this is not a trivial thing. Unless you can carve out a unique value proposition for your offering, and communicate that proposition in an arresting and compelling fashion, you’re dead in the water. What I am increasingly coming to understand, however, is how courageous companies need to be in doing so.

Okay, maybe courageous is going too far; courage, after all, is reserved for heroes. Maybe daring is a better word. Here’s what I mean.

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Brand marketing that is inspired, but not imitative

By Leo Valiquette

There was an interesting story in the Globe and Mail last week that got me thinking about the distinction between product marketing and brand marketing.

The Globe’s Susan Krashinsky was writing about Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourism industry and how the province’s efforts to brand itself with a memorable advertising campaign has provoked the best form of flattery possible – plagiarism.

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Apple versus Samsung: Samsung’s ‘out’ to escape infringement

By David French

This post goes right to the very heart of a patent and what a patent can and cannot do in the marketplace. And it has a twist, if you are prepared to bear with the analysis to the end.

In my prior post on the subject, I referred to an important hearing held on Dec. 6 this year before Trial Judge Lucy H. Koh. During the hearing, Samsung tried to limit the scope of the consequences of the $1-billion jury decision that arose out of the trial held in August. Among the numerous matters discussed, Apple asked that the jury’s award be increased by an extra one third of a billion dollars as “punitive damages.” The judge can also reduce the amount of the damages awarded if the jury has been unreasonable. Other issues were discussed, but the judge reserved her decision.

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Great articles roundup: Internet governance, crappy startups, great products, iteration, market demand, women VCs and CMOs

By Alexandra Reid

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are The Globe and Mail, Read Write, Mark Evans, The Wall Street Journal, VentureBeat, Harvard Business Review, and Forbes.

Governing the web (and everything else)

The governance of the Internet ain’t broken, so don’t fix it, says Don Tapscott.

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Apple versus Samsung – Every patent owner’s dream

By David French

On August 24, 2012 a California jury issued a decision awarding just more than $1 billion to Apple against three Samsung Electronics companies. This ranks among the top patent awards in U.S. history.  But the case is not over. The final decision, once settled by the judge, will be subject to appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. In other mega-patent cases this court has been proactive in terms of adjusting decisions, even those supported by a jury verdict.

On December 6, 2012 an important hearing before trial judge Lucy H. Koh will occur. Samsung has the right and will request the court to render a judgment notwithstanding the verdict issued by the jury, requesting dismissal of the action. This type of procedure is permitted and has occurred in the past, particularly where the jury’s conclusions are so unreasonable as to be perverse. But this is not likely to happen, subject to one new twist: one of the jurors who led the jury in its debates did not fully disclose his special interest and knowledge about patents when questioned before being allowed to join the jury.

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Recent Comments

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

  • Stephen Murray : Interesting article. I am close to finishing a book titled "Davis and Goliath - One Inventor's Struggle with the Mismanagement and Theft of Intellectual Property." Davis in my book is W.R. Davis Engineering. "Goliath" is the Canadian Department of National Defence. The intellectual property is an infrared signature suppression system to protect warships and tactical aircraft from being targetted by heat seeking missiles. I was a public servant co-inventor in this story. As was the case in the biblical story "David and Goliath," Davis did indeed slay Goliath. Davis is wealthy today. The inventors and the Crown got nothing. But the Crown's negligent acts were to blame for most of outcome. Everything that could have gone wrong in the story did go wrong. My book may interest you. Hope to have it published by year end.

  • Dan Rather’s Words of Wisdom for the PR profession | Return On Reputation : [...] that you are serving a higher purpose than just serving your clients – you are serving public interest and our nation’s [...]

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