The History of Neon

ramsayIt can be said that neon signs were invented in 1898,  when two British chemists working in London, England by the names William Ramsay (1852 – 1916) and Morris W. Travers (1872-1961) first discovered the noble gas neon. Their process was simple. By chilling a sample of the atmosphere to the liquid point Ramsay was then able to boil the very air we breath and collect the gasses which boiled off which included neon, amongst others.

In 1904, Scottish born Ramsay received the Nobel prize in Chemistry for his work on Nobel gasses. Travers, who’s father was also a well known scientist, was born in England and went on to found the Indian Institute of Science. It wasn’t until December of 1910 that a French engineer named George Claude created the first neon lamp by injecting the gas into an electrified glass tube. Claude’s work was based on the earlier Geissler Tube, or Crooke’s Tube, which was used to demonstrate how electrical discharge functioned.

Commercial production began in 1915 with a Packard car dealership being Claude’s first customer, although a Paris barber acquired a prototype sign in 1912. Since then, neon signs have advanced, drawing the interest of artists and advertisers alike. The extraordinary success of neon signs in outdoor advertising stems from their ability to be seen even during the day. By bending and shaping the tubes, neon lighting offers, much like led lights,  advertisers a flexible media to create eye-catching signs.

Some cities have capitalised on

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How channels and the marketing communications plan are affected by customer communications management

Marketers have never had so many tools at their disposal. The Marketing Communications Mix offers marketers a rich landscape in which to communicate. But then, there probably has never been so much competition.

The availability of so many marketing channels comes as both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because the ability to reach potential and existing customers with your message in an effective way that suits their preferences has never been more readily available.

The curse comes in managing channel effectiveness. In a previous article I identified up to 9 individual channels (I don’t discuss web presentment in this article) via which a marketer can establish a communications loop with their customers. Choose the wrong channel for a customer and they may never see your message. Herein lies the importance of understanding the merits of each channel, and the importance of ensuring that the marketing communications plan is thought through carefully.

The advantages are that now, we have the technology to plan, execute and measure marketing performance across a myriad of customer communication channels using omnichannel software and platforms.

So lets take a quick look at those nine channels:

Marketing Communications through Direct Mail

Direct mail is one of the oldest channels used by marketers and it remains effective but costly to deliver. It is costly to deliver because it is hungry both in terms of human resources and materials. Many consumers still prefer direct mail as a means of communication and within certain market segments …

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Platform ownership

Acer recently announced that it is postponing the launch of its new Cloud Mobile handset, the first handset based on Alibaba Holding’s Aliyou operating system that launched just a year ago. It seems that Google, the owner of the now dominant Android smartphone platform, has been quick to recognize the potential threat that a new operating system could pose in the future, particularly a platform that could become the platform of choice among Chinese consumers, the largest and one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world.

Google has put pressure on Acer, discouraging Acer to launch the new device. Acer appears to have complied as the postponement of the imminent launch of the Cloud Mobile suggests, as Acer also makes a variety of other devices using the Android platform.

While the Android platform is open source and thus can be used by anyone, Google provides access to some important and proprietary applications, such as GPS tracking only to officially approved device makers. Given the growing and must have nature of these features, it provides Google the edge necessary to make its partners comply with such requests.

Lack of ownership of dominant platforms such as Android poses some interesting challenges for EMNCs. What should they do?…

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Brand as organization integrator

Last week I was at the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, on a panel with the country CEOs of Ford and Rolls Royce, as well as partners from the consulting firms of Oliver Wyman and Arthur D. Little. The common challenges that all four of these organization felt were key challenges for their organizations was working globally and across business verticals as a unified entity and how to invest more, and more strategically behind CSR.

It strikes me that articulating and building a strong brand internally is one way of addressing both these challenges. Consider the challenge for Rolls Royce globally. It is a heritage organization in the UK and has grown in to a global player through a myriad of acquisitions, resulting in a patchwork of cultures and values across the organization verticals and geographies. It is precisely under this kind of situation that going through a branding exercise that in the first place engages the entire organization and then communicates the new brand identity and the resulting behavioral changes that are required from each and every employee throughout the organization, can help bring the organization together under a common umbrella. Such an exercise takes time, requires top management support, involves a cross functional implementation team, and a thoughtful implementation of the new identity within the organization, engaging everyone through training sessions to begin with and then regular reminder activities and celebrations of living the brand to keep the brand at the forefront of all employees’ minds, thus impacting …

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Should Multivitamins be Tailored to Gender?

The range of choices available in the multivitamin market has never been as varied as it is today.  Some options are easy to choose between but some can be confusing.  More and more we are seeing multivitamins that have been tailored for men or women.  Is this really necessary?  After all we are all human beings!  None of the other food and medicine we consume is designed only for one of the genders.  So do we really need to select a multivitamin according to our gender or is it just a marketing gimmick?  If we take a vitamin tablet designed for the opposite sex will it cause harm?

How Do Male and Female’s Nutrition Needs Differ?

The place to start is to consider how male and female bodies differ.  Although very similar in lots of ways there are definite differences.  Our reproductive systems are obviously different and therefore have different nutritional requirement and suffer from different diseases.  There are other physical differences too.  For example, men usually tend to have more muscle mass than women.


multivitaminsIn practice this means that a multivitamin aimed at women will typically have extra Iron to compensate for that which is lost during menstruation.

However men are more susceptible to accumulating excess Iron so their multivitamins will not have extra Iron.  A woman who is pregnant will need Folic Acid as it helps with the babies development and prevents birth defects.  Since almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned, women’s multivitamins usually contain Folic …

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