Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Brand Loyalty or Value?

March 22nd, 2011

When did we decide we needed our own shampoo brand? I remember growing up and only having one brand, Suave!  And for the most part it was the shampoo & conditioner in one to save space and money.  Growing up, my parents didn’t give us a choice.  It was one less thing for us to be concerned with.  Nowadays, thanks to my hair loss, I don’t need my own shampoo which makes life that much easier. Despite not having the need to use any hair product myself, I’m aware of the many options out there and wonder on how people decide on what to purchase.

Being that there are so many brands now that offer many different options for all types of hair, are customers loyal? Or are they making their choices on what’s on sale or on impulse buying? I know that in my own household there are always different factors that come into play when choosing a brand, such as, the specialty of the brand and price point.  As consumers in this struggling economy, I believe we want the most for our money and are willing to sacrifice brand name for value, especially when we do our research and learn that the store brand is being manufactured by a key player.  However, I do believe there are a handful of us who continue to buy on impulse because of the beautiful packaging and not necessarily if it’s right for us.

Companies are continuing to shelf new and improved products and more eco-friendly options, but do they really achieve what they promise?  I’m curious to know how many people really stick to one shampoo/conditioner brand and why they continue to do so. Is it because they continue to find value or is it because they’ve become conformed to an idealistic way of buying and are afraid to step out of their comfort zone and try something new?

I will say though, that if I ever decide to do something different, I would definitely check out Samson Hair Restoration.  They are doing some great things and I wouldn’t mind using some shampoo again.  And I know that if I were to buy a product, my buying decision would probably be based on packaging.  I can’t help it; I’m a sucker for great packaging!

7 Characters Or Less

February 15th, 2011

Backdrops Beautiful Personalized Plates

We all love to personalize our bodies and material things whether we do it with tattoos, piercings, clothing, vehicles, etc.  In most cases, we have a large canvas to work with such as our bodies and cars which make it really easy to express ourselves as individuals.  With most people, we tend to learn a lot about them by these branding messages or artwork displays.  But what happens when we personalize our vehicle plates?  If Twitter users think they have it tough with 140 characters try 7!

This morning on my drive to work I realized how many people personalize their vehicle plates.  As I came to the freeway entrance, I came across a white BMW with plates that read, “HRMNGR.”  The driver was a middle aged woman wearing what appeared to be a gray suit, a white collared shirt, and some trendy glasses.  Without me knowing anything about this woman, her message sort of fits who she is at first glance.  Her personalized plate message was clear and I was able to read it effortlessly which is why it got my attention.  I can almost assume this person has her ideal job and is happy to express who she is in the world.

On the contrary, I also came across a handful of vehicles that at times, was almost impossible for me to guess their message.  Isn’t the point to share something with everyone that is about you or something that has meaning to you? I understand that it is difficult and it can become a challenge to try to personalize your plates because by now most common phrases have been taken, but when I have to struggle to read and make it out it’s not worth the effort. In most states, no special punctuation symbols are permitted, i.e. comma, period, hyphen, exclamation point, question mark, etc.  Trying to express yourself in 7 characters or less is no joke!  I’ve see some interesting personalized plates on the road and you can definitely see that some people spend quite some time in working out the layout.  Sometimes the message is very clear and others you need to work to decipher the message.

Whether you are going to personalize your vehicle plates for personal or corporate, in doing so make sure that your message is clear and it is not lost in translation.  Do you think this is strategy or has the individual failed by making it too personal for their own audience?

Maximize Your Business Exposure On Facebook

December 15th, 2010

Claim Your Business on Facebook and Offer a Deal

If you own a local business with a physical location that your clients can shop and haven’t claimed your place on Facebook, you are missing out on a great opportunity to promote your business.  In addition to Places, Facebook has now launched a new service called Deals and it is currently available for free.  Similar to Groupon, you can create special offers for your customers.  Having recently learned about Deals myself, I was inspired to show everyone just how to do it.

To do so, you first have to check in via your mobile device through Facebook app.  (If your smart phone is not equipped with the Facebook App you can download it from your smart phone app store or simply use  Similar to Foursquare, you need to check in via your mobile device.

  1. Open your Facebook App
  2. Choose Places
  3. Choose Check-In
  4. Do a search for your business to see if it’s been added. If your business is present move on to step 6.  If not, you will need to “Add” it.
  5. Add Your Full Business Name and include a business description and press the add button.  Your business will now be visible to anyone that visits your business.
  6. Your business will now be in Places and is ready for you to check in.  You may check in alone, or check in with your friends by tagging them.
  7. You must now login your Facebook account via the web.  Click on your profile tab and locate your business check in.
  8. Once your business has a Facebook Place, you will see the following screen.  There is a link at the bottom left side that states “Is this your business?” Click on the link to begin the verification process.
  9. You will now get the following pop up:
  10. Upon certifying that you are an official rep of your business you will need to complete the next step/form.  Please note that claiming your Place on Facebook does require some supporting evidence including document verification to prevent from strangers trying to claim your business. (Unfortunately, there will be a waiting period of about a week before you receive an approval email from Facebook.)
  11. Once your claim has been reviewed and approved your page will look like this and you will be able to add a photo, edit your details and create deals for your customers.  Click on “Create a Deal”
  12. You will get the following box:

You are now ready to create you Deal on Facebook Places.

Click on “Create a Deal for this Page”

You have 4 different types of deals you can offer: (deal descriptions via Facebook Help Center)

  • Individual Deal: Reward individual customers when they check in at your business. Best for simple discounts or gifts with purchase.
  • Friend Deal: Reward individual customers when they check in at your business. Best for simple discounts or gifts with purchase.
  • Loyalty Deal: Reward customers for visiting your business a certain number of times, similar to a traditional punch card.
  • Charity Deal: Pledge to donate to a charity of your choice when customers check in at your business. A win-win for everyone!
  • For demonstration purposes I will walk you through the steps in creating an individual deal.

For an individual deal you will need to define your offer, explain how to redeem, enter the dates you plan on running your promo, maximum number of redemptions if applicable and the number of times it can be claimed by the customer.  Proceed to clicking on Save.

You will then be prompted with the following screen.  You have now successfully submitted your deal to Facebook and it will take an approximate 48 hours for them to review and approve.  Please note that your page may have only 1 active deal at a time.

When your customers now check-in via Places on Facebook your deal will display in the following manner:

I hope this “How To” post helps you on improving your business presence on Facebook.   Even if you decide not to participate on Facebook Deals, it is imperative to at least clean up your listing on Facebook Places with a proper description and photo so that it is branded properly.

Check out Facebook Deals Video:

Brand your Facebook Page with a Unique Username

November 17th, 2010

I often get asked for help on how to set up an assigned username for Facebook pages.  In fact, the question of how to setup a username came up via twitter in last night’s #eventprofs chat.  So I thought I put a quick post together and show everyone how to do it step by step.

Why setup a username you ask?  For one, it will make it easier for your clients to find and like your page.  It is also a great way to brand your work and provides accessibility for search engines to index you properly. It’s important to capitalize on all the features Facebook offers to set your brand apart from your competitors and what better way to start than by claiming your own brand name.

A default Facebook page url (username) will appear like this:

Make sure you log-in to your profile page and that you are an administrator of your Facebook page.

Go to the Facebook username assignment page: it will look like this:

Next, select the page name from the drop down box:

Enter your custom name in the right hand box that appears once you’ve selected the page name you want to assign a custom name:

Finally, press the “Check Availability” button (it will warn you if the chosen name is not available).  If available, a pop-up disclaimer will advise you that once you set your page with a username, it is final.  Accept disclaimer if you agree.  Upon confirmation your username will be assigned and you can now promote it.

Please note that your fan page must have more than 25 fans (likes) in order to assign it a custom username.  This is a big change from a year ago when Facebook required you to at least have 1,000 fans.

For FAQ Facebook Pages questions click on the link below:!/help/?page=900

I hope this tutorial helps you effortlessly setup your custom name and that you see the benefits of doing so.  If you disagree, I’d like to hear why.

Is Stealth Marketing Unethical?

October 22nd, 2010

I’ve been a fan of Demi Moore and David Duchovny for many years now; Demi as early as Indecent Proposal and David from early childhood watching the X-Files.  Upon receiving “The Joneses” via Netflix (my promotion of Netflix) I was excited to learn they were in it.  To be honest, I had no idea what the movie was about until reading the movie description on the sleeve.  However, I was quickly enthralled by the concept and kept me interested.  The movie’s main storyline focused on the extremities of stealth marketing.  The notion of marketing being subliminal is spot on for our generation as we live in a material world.

Stealth marketing is deceptive when personal interest is not being disclosed.  In this movie, Demi and David are part of a massive scheme to push out various products to their community while staying under radar that they are being paid commission to do so by their employer.  This movie portrays the well known phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses” as it drives a neighbor into bankruptcy and eventually suicide.  We encounter this type of marketing in our own lives, at the stores we shop in, even though we might not realize it. For example, many nutritional products that are sold at our local vitamin stores have a kick back incentive for their sales reps that have been set up by the vendors.  In addition, electronic stores have similar programs to push out certain brands or extra warranties.

Perhaps most importantly, this movie was just plain interesting to watch because it exaggerated what seems to be the obvious.  Maybe it wasn’t an exaggeration at all. Maybe it’s reality that we don’t think about because we are consumed by our possessions.  It made me think of how we subliminally pitch the brands we utilize in the various facets of our lives to our family and friends and sometimes even strangers.  But we do this because we truly enjoy the products and are not being paid to like them or promote them.  I believe stealth marketing is only ethical when it is genuine, such as word of mouth.  Word of mouth and buzz has longevity when it is second nature and not promoted with a personal motive.  It is important to engage your brand with social media and have nature take its course with brand ambassadors and it will be rewarded with brand development.

Is stealth marketing part of your marketing arsenal?

Flickr photo courtesy madmolecule

Broadcasting Digitally

June 11th, 2010

In the months to come we will be rolling out new and fun ways to help you take advantage of our ongoing specials including QR Codes that you will be able to scan with your smart phones such as the iPhone and not worry about having a paper coupon, etc.  We embrace technology and we will be broadcasting digitally all of our marketing efforts in addition to the traditional methods.

Keep an eye out as we will be revealing new QR Codes throughout our print ads, trade shows, social networks, sponsorships, etc. that will give you savings digitally!  Welcome to the digital revolution!

Test out the QR Code with your iPhone or any other smart phone using ScanLife App.  This application is free.

ScanLife App is available for Android, Blackberry, Palm OS and Windows operating smart phones.