Facebook 'live' presentation

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GWR_fan
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Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:12 pm

Given that Hornby is a multi-million dollar company and the 'live' presenter is the brandname representative for Hornby, this presentation was worse than most of the juvenile You-tube reviews that we are subjected to. At least the five year old You-tube reviewers get to at least unbox the item within the first five or six minutes of the review, farcebook live viewers were subjected to eleven minutes of complete inactivity, a blank stage, followed by a very poor, amateurish presentation by the marketing brand manager of the company, who obviously had made no attempt to pre-prepare his presentation. Also, he seemed to have no idea of the railway items presented on the slides. For the most part he simply looked at the slide offering little to no comment. He obviously has no railway modelling background and as such is just an expensive suit with a degree from some university in probably business mismanagement. He will definitely fit well in the Hornby hierarchy.

This person must be on a mega salary and is the 'face' of the Hornby brand and yet the whole presentation was worse than most of the five-year old reviewers who pollute You-tube with their pathetic product reviews. This was supposed to be the big presentation from Hornby to announce their 2017 aspirations and yet it fell flat on its face. Will poor Richard still have his job in 2017 when the first of their new product line reaches the market? Let us hope their product is better presented than their launch farcebook presentation.

Streaks and Teaks
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby Streaks and Teaks » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:08 am

Ive always felt that hornby and other UK model railway manufacturers have never really been good a public relations and building (if you pardon the pun) a hype train. Much could be learnt from the video gaming and film and TV industry etc.
Last edited by Streaks and Teaks on Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NakatsuHime
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby NakatsuHime » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:47 am

I've an idea that Hornby still believe they can survive on the brand name alone. Some management may not have come to terms with the fact that it's not the sixties anymore.

A typical company hierarchy exists at Hornby I suspect. That being the designers and products team(s), and then the management who I suspect now mostly consists of young go-getters who went and got a management degree of some sort, and think it's easy.

Perhaps each new manager should read Hornby's history and take notice of just how close the company came to extinction.

Streaks and Teaks
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby Streaks and Teaks » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:26 pm

Yep, how loyal people are to the brand name I don't know, but I would guess if a competitor came along offering lower prices and/or better quality most hornby buyers wouldn't stick around.
The recent price rises may be a true test of how far that brand loyalty goes.

Bigmet
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby Bigmet » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:48 pm

Within the UK, the brand loyalty to Hornby remains very strong. It's 'the name' everyone knows, almost the generic name for any model railway item. And this despite all the long term management efforts to undermine it!

Consider that they failed to respond properly to the Mainline and Airfix GMR ranges of the late seventies to early eighties,still majoring on designs tooled from the 1950s on, then allowed Lima to eat a hole in their market share for BR diesel era modelling. That didn't kill them so they then took near ten years to respond to Bachmann's entry in 1991 - by which time they had the ex-Airfix product in their range - and then shortly after acquired the entire Lima tooling in a fire sale. Right up to the present they have kept very dated models in their range, often asking inflated prices if considered as made from wholly amortised tooling, and along the way the marketing has often been 'wayward'. They mismanaged their exit from Sanda Kan resulting in an interruption of supply, and then played with their punter's affections by dropping the quality of the detail, and still the customers loyally bought it while grumbling 'better would be preferred, if you don't mind'.

After all that, model shop owners I talk to still tell me that for many of their regular customers, it really has to be in a Hornby box. If there is a subject they really really want, and the model happens to be from Bachmann or Heljan, OK they'll grudgingly buy it, eventually. But still wishing it was from Hornby. There are other companies beyond these three making RTR OO? Nah, never heard of them.

I think I would almost prefer it if any bright new thing entering Hornby knew nothing of the past track record. They might get ideas about how much further they can try and stretch Hornby's luck.

GWR_fan
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:33 pm

Without doubt there are a talented grass roots team at Hornby as evidenced by the recent offerings the last few years when not held back by budgetary restraints. The Engine Shed is an excellent medium to present the technical side of the company and its ongoing achievements. Alas, it is the farce that presents itself when ill-informed or most likely uninformed executives face the public. They simply have no idea of the product or the market they are talking to.

At one time company executives graduated from the shop floor, taking with them an intimate knowledge of the product and the processes that kept the company going. These days they graduate from some prestigious college of 'learning' where they learn business 101 but nothing about specific product marketing. To them a model train is just another commodity to manufacture and sell to the public. It could be a tube of toothpaste or an automobile. The product is irrelevant, only the business matters.

Facing annihilation from the market, we get some 'suit' who obviously drew the short straw and had to make some form of presentation to the public on the farcebook launch speech. There was no interest in the topic, just a bland unpolished reading of poorly presented notes as he looked at CAD slides, making little to no comment, obviously having no idea of what it was that he was launching. Would not some one from the Engine Shed (product development team) have been more appropriate to launch the new product line as they have an intimate knowledge (and interest) of the product?

With such a poor presentation just how much further will the credit sources extend their credit line to keep the company afloat? If I was a credit financing executive and saw such a lacklustre presentation as this I would be cutting off all future funds immediately. These company suits need to be re-educated in their market needs and their consumer expectations, something a college of learning and a framed degree hanging on their office wall is not going to give them. They need to remove the Armani coat jacket, roll up their sleeves and get back to basics, understanding their specific product line and their customer. The design clever fiasco showed the lack of interest that they have for their product and the contempt they hold for their consumer base.

Fortunately, their product line is getting back on track seemingly in spite of the company executives ignorance of the market. What is needed now is an executive company board who has an idea of the products that their company manufactures, not just the bottom line figures on a company balance sheet or the daily share price on the stock exchange.

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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:07 pm

Bigmet wrote:.....................................................I think I would almost prefer it if any bright new thing entering Hornby knew nothing of the past track record. They might get ideas about how much further they can try and stretch Hornby's luck.


Bigmet,
they are learning but at what cost? They retooled the Limby class 43 and issued one product in one livery. They retooled the Limby class 87, I believe released in one livery only. They retooled the class 42 Limby and have released I think only two liveries. It seems that only irreparable damage to tooling is the only hindrance to further releases.

Other than the current Hornby firesale that distorts the market, the class 42 Limby costs as much as a discounted Bachmann class 42. A Limby class 55 costs as much as a Bachmann class 45,class 46 and even a discounted class 55 from Bachmann. The Limby class 47 can cost almost as much as a discounted Bachmann offering. A Limby class 66 is almost as expensive as a discounted Bachmann model. Who sets the pricing level on this low end product line? The saying if we build it they will buy it (irrespective of cost) seems appropriate. I am not diminishing the Railroad line but it should be entry level product at a basement price to attract customers. Just how many Limby locomotives finish up in trainsets or trainpacks? I cannot recall any offhand. Customer brand loyalty is one thing but customer seeming stupidity paying as much for a Limby as for a much better tooled offering from the blue box brand will only further encourage the release of high priced Railroad quality product.

Hornby need to re-evaluate their product line separating the wheat from the chaff. Anything that is heritage tooling or acquired tooling of Railroad quality should be marketed as such with a very low market entry pricing structure. This will not deter seasoned customers who are prepared to pay for quality items so entry level pricing and quality is going to have minimal impact on their quality range sales. When Railroad quality is but a few pounds less than high detail product then the importance of the Railroad brand is diminished. Railroad branding has its place in the market at the lower end of the model spectrum, not competing with high end product for pricing. Crossover models such as dumbed down high detail locomotives with coarse driving rods and lacking glazing and livery detail are a bad idea. They are relatively expensive when compared to the more detailed locomotives and diminish the super detail branding. There should be a marked distinction between the economy range (Railroad) and the super detailed range. Bachmann introduced their Spectrum range back in the 1990's in the United States and the difference between the supermarket type offering and their Spectrum range is blatantly obvious. If Rolls-Royce introduced an economy model there would be howls of outrage. Similarly a premium range product from Hornby has to be high end and not have its prestige diluted by association with 'inferior' product at a similar pricing structure.

Limby/Railroad items should be marketed at the trainset level, leaving the high end product line free to stand on its own merits.

senorsenales
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby senorsenales » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:07 pm

It seems Hornby are reliving the fate of the British motorcycle and car industry on the 70's.

It started with motorbikes, oil leak free engines, electric starters, twelve volt lighting, indicators, all those little things that made me turn in a nine month old Bantam (support the home industry) for a Honda. Like a move into a different world. The same with cars, electric heating and a radio that were deemed to be payable extras on a British model.

Just got left behind, heads in the sand, they should have seen it coming. They seem to be producing some nice items but they don't seem to cut it against the opposition.

Streaks and Teaks
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby Streaks and Teaks » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:32 pm

I don't know if that's fair, other manufacturers in the non UK model railway market my be more competative in terms of price and quality control.
But I think in terms of the UK model railway market all the problems of hornby discussed in this thread are relavent to the other manufacturers, so it would be a case of people deciding to model non UK prototypes instead or a more competative competitor entering the UK model railway market both of which are unlikely at least in the short term, to have a similar effect the the car example used above.

GWR_fan
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:36 pm

I loved my English motorcycles until my first registered road bike in 1970, a six-speed 250cc twin Susuki Hustler. Chalk and cheese. Tradition is one thing but at some point in time progress overtakes the passion one feels for the traditional way of doing things. That said I do look back on Vincents and Nortons with a smile on my face.

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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:41 pm

Streaks and Teaks wrote:I don't know if that's fair, other manufacturers in the non UK model railway market my be more competative in terms of price and quality control.
But I think in terms of the UK model railway market all the problems of hornby discussed in this thread are relavent to the other manufacturers, so it would be a case of people deciding to model non UK prototypes instead or a more competative competitor entering the UK model railway market both of which are unlikely at least in the short term, to have a similar effect the the car example used above.


I do not know to whom you were responding but my post made a direct comparison to similar locomotive British Rail classes produced by both Hornby and Bachmann. I was not inferring that a comparison was made between a Hornby British outline locomotive and a cheaper Bachmann American outline locomotive. Although, even the cheaper U.S. outline basic range locomotives from Bachmann are far superior to the heritage offerings from Hornby.

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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby Streaks and Teaks » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:28 am

GWR_fan wrote:
Streaks and Teaks wrote:I don't know if that's fair, other manufacturers in the non UK model railway market my be more competative in terms of price and quality control.
But I think in terms of the UK model railway market all the problems of hornby discussed in this thread are relavent to the other manufacturers, so it would be a case of people deciding to model non UK prototypes instead or a more competative competitor entering the UK model railway market both of which are unlikely at least in the short term, to have a similar effect the the car example used above.


I do not know to whom you were responding but my post made a direct comparison to similar locomotive British Rail classes produced by both Hornby and Bachmann. I was not inferring that a comparison was made between a Hornby British outline locomotive and a cheaper Bachmann American outline locomotive. Although, even the cheaper U.S. outline basic range locomotives from Bachmann are far superior to the heritage offerings from Hornby.

I was responding to the motorcycle comparison. I do think you were spot on about the railroad bachmann comparison the rrp of railroad stuff is like you say not a budget item anymore. Hornby seem to want their cake and to eat it in the way they want the hornby brand to represent both the high end and low end trainset markets they have. Truly sepating the ranges would avoid confusion I imagine (say use the hornby name for the main range and market the railroad train range as Lima for example, but they will never do that as they want the big H red and yellow box appeal for both sides of the market).

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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:45 am

You are correct, the budget end of the market where the kiddies trainsets are aimed is the generic Hornby trademark. Alas, Hornby has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. They have some of the best but also some of the worst, not worst in quality but in value. Even the basic Railroad products are overpriced. Hornby need to leave a wide price margin between Railroad and premium models so that no overlap occurs. This way both ends of the market will succeed. A high priced Railroad item devalues the worth of a premium product.

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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:53 am

"The presentation by Hornby would have cut little ice if delivered to the examiners at the end of an HND business studies course. Worth a C grade at most, need to try harder. Putting it out live with a single fixed camera didn't IMO give the impression of a dynamic well run company. It didn't even say "We got it wrong, this is what we're going to do."
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Re: Facebook 'live' presentation

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:59 am

John,
apparently the telecast of the live performance at the Hornby product stand was minus audio. They could not even get that part right. Possibly a 'C-". Of cause without audio any person watching would not have missed much as not much was said, both before and after the eleven minutes of live feed before the brand manager took the stage.


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