Marcus Osborne

25 Apr: Newspapers, fridges, grapes and 7 series BMWs

Like the rest of the planet, Malaysian consumers are spending more time online and this has seen a dramatic fall in the circulation of newspapers. The New Straits Times, the oldest newspaper in Malaysia and once the pride of the industry has been through at least two ‘rebrands’ in the last 10 years but this … Continue reading

04 Apr: How to reduce the number of smokers in Malaysia

In an ongoing attempt to reduce the growing use of cigarettes in Malaysia, the price of a typical pack of 20 is now more than RM21 (US$5). Still way below the US$15 in the USA or US$10 in Singapore but way up from about RM3.20 in 1996. In a survey carried out by the Ministry … Continue reading

28 Mar: How to save the Proton brand

So finally it’s official, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings has withdrawn its bid to buy a controlling stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton. No reason has been forthcoming, but Geely’s Chairman Li Shufu told Bloomberg in early March that, “They keep changing, today it’s this, tomorrow it’s that. They haven’t decided what they want.” There are rumours … Continue reading

16 Mar: Why Mercedes Benz is a global brand

This interview with Mark Raine, Vice President Sales and Marketing Passenger Cars offers some excellent insights into what makes a global brand and should be compulsory reading for anyone in the automotive industry in Malaysia. Actually it should be compulsory for anyone in any industry. Everything MB says they are doing – the borderline obsessive … Continue reading

14 Mar: Is Malaysia Airlines outperforming the industry? Well yes, and no.

This morning I was feeling sorry for Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew, see my earlier post. He’s in the papers again today and understandably bullish whilst reporting load figures for last year. “We had 90% load factor in December 2016 and we are whacking Singapore Airlines (82.9%, Garuda (77.4%) and Cathay Pacific (85%). We are … Continue reading

10 Mar: Which is the most valuable brand in the world?

Ever wondered what is the most valuable brand in the world? Apple right? Nope, now it’s Google. Ever wondered what is the most valuable brand in Asia? Samsung right? Correct. The most valuable brand in SE Asia is Petronas, valued at US$10.6 billion although that’s probably changed significantly since the oil price tanked. Courtesy of: … Continue reading

10 Mar: I don’t think this Nestle email flyer means to be sexist, but it could be construed as so

I received this Email flyer this morning and was taken aback by what I perceived to be gender stereotyping but then noticed the small print reference to International Women’s Day which was 2 days ago. Nestle will argue that it is a well intentioned suggestion and is not at all insinuating that only women will … Continue reading

08 Mar: Advertising DOES NOT build brands

Here’s a very well written and very passionate article about the Devaluation of creativity. It’s written by Bob Hoffman best-selling author and one of the most sought-after international speakers on advertising and marketing. His profile on Linkedin has some impressive testimonials. The article is particularly relevant here in South East Asia where creativity is increasingly … Continue reading

24 Feb: Will Malaysia miss the coming travel and tourism boom?

Mass tourism is barely forty years old. I can still remember family discussions back in the seventies about how a British traveller was only allowed to take a maximum of £50 out of the country which meant few people could travel. With a father based in Malta and Gibraltar, as well as Hong Kong and … Continue reading

17 Feb: Is spending US$12 billion to increase sales by 3.2% a good business strategy?

According to its website, Nestle is “the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company”. It also says, “We enhance lives with science-based nutrition and health solutions for all stages of life, helping consumers care for themselves and their families.” Personally, I like their chocolates (I have a soft spot for dark chocolate KitKats), condensed milk and … Continue reading