business as unusual


barbarians at the gate

Are we witnessing the end of branding power? The rise of online comparison shopping and instant online reviews has created a new and empowered consumer, who makes his choices based on product features, price and peer reviews. Has our love for brands died? Well, not so fast...

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wei wei hot potato

In Taiwan, an international phone call in English is seldom seen as a potential business opportunity. More common, it is experienced as a frantic problem, and the source of a mini-crisis in the office. In a culture where embarrassment is the highest punishment, an overseas call can be the Experience from Hell for the poor soul who fields the call...

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squeaky wheels

Trade shows are not as much about trade as they are about branding. The real trading usually takes place after the show when the dust has settled, through emails and follow-up contacts, but the show itself is all about being seen and being noticed. The competition is fierce; hence the pretty girls.

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modem blues

Look for the little black box in a corner somewhere that connects to a socket in the wall - the one that pumps the internet into your house and allows you to surf, stream, look at naked pictures and email your friends. Now try to answer this question without checking first: how many blinking lights does your modem have?

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what is viewpoint?

Viewpoint is not a blog. It is not a rant. Or a manifesto. It is a column about marketing, branding, and the meaning of life. It is the inside view from an outsider looking back inside, a stranger's perspective on a strange world.

about the author

Luuk F. van Heerde was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, lived in New York and now resides in Taipei, Taiwan. Before venturing into marketing and branding, he worked as a TV producer and screenwriter and has over 100 hours of prime-time TV to his name.