Some Big (and not so big) Business Tactics Startups Should Avoid

Here’s a list of some things big businesses do – actually it’s the people in them – and what to avoid when you’re starting your company:

  • Use employees like toilet paper – don’t get involved with them and turn them over regularly – this gives the company/you a horrible reputation, and disincentives employees – disgruntled employees make “mistakes” and work gets sloppy. I was at an ad agency once where one client’s logo found its way onto another client’s ad.
  • Tell your employees how great the company is doing while underpaying them – the bosses get all the bonuses and the employees struggle.  Results:  see disgruntled employees above.
  • Ignoring a product issue or trying to cover it up.  Sooner or later the truth comes out and the company gets in trouble.  Use J&J’s textbook example of how they handled the Tylenol crisis as the ethical way to proceed — http://www.aerobiologicalengineering.com/wxk116/TylenolMurders/crisis.html
  • Purposely cut lines of communication within the company or illegally raising capital. Management, board members, and investors and sometimes law firms are left out of an important communications loop.  Sooner or later the culprits get caught. Ultimately it’s at the company’s expense.  See “A tale of how successfully raising capital leads to bankruptcy” below.
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202597030328?back=law
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202597030328?back=law

When in doubt here’s a simple rule to follow:  The Golden Rule.  Sounds trite but when you treat your employees how you would like to be treated, then you develop a great team. When I have consultants working on projects with me, I pay them before they bill me.  This instills appreciation and loyalty and guess what?  When I have a project, there’s never a wait or conflict – they are there for me every time.  And they turn out their best work for me and my clients.

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

RE(ward)TAIL?

Small Town and City Retailing that rewards the community, retailers, and customers…

Specialty stores could be better designed to present new customer experiences (CX) and unique shopping rewards for all shoppers and for loyal program customers.  Some communities are now supporting specialty retailers who have been challenged by incoming and ongoing mega-retail, but are rebounding with more nimble, creative and unique thinking.

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Retail Therapy is offered by SPREE at the Fashion Square, Biltmore Fashion Park and Kierland Commons Luxury Malls in Scottsdale, Arizona

This can be managed by encouraging people with shopping strategies that offer the customer unusual incentives for rewards for their purchases.  For example, strategies we have recently seen could be to design customized: t-shirts, gift cards, items of artwork by local artists and artisans.

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Collaborating between local shops and organizations is often a win-win outcome.

In tandem with, and actually preceding the shopping reward could be a Rewardtailer’s complementary multi-media strategy of reward advertising.

Also a Rewardtailer’s advertising should not only offer purchase rewards and overall discounts, the consumer is inundated with a plethora of offers and the followup survey — so the question should be: What will make YOUR offers/rewards different and more desired by your customers?

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Lucky Magazine offers Lucky Points, their Lucky Closet, and exclusive access and CX experiences. Luckymag.com/shopoutnyc

Could you envision offering purchase rewards that provide Knowledge and Value of the town’s or retailer’s history — developing a special intriguing persona?  The Reward strategy is part of the customer’s Decision-making process.  As we have written before, Knowledge, Value, and Decision is a KVD strategy that can build a mutually valuable relationship.  People and companies desire a community that is involved in the happiness of their residents and success of their businesses.

Before the razzle dazzle of our fascination with technology gets us all excited…  Let’s remember that “there is nothing as powerful as a good idea whose idea has come.”  (Thank you Victor Hugo — even then and all the way to now.)  At the core of our new strategies must be something that will carry the day…  This is the excitement of retailing through the centuries — if you want a historical view, watch PBS’s Masterpiece retail stories: “Mr. Selfridge” and “The Paradise.”

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What will we, “our time,” be known for in our future years?

Perhaps — ADVERTISING?  Interactive print newspapers in 4D?

Drawing be Art Winters
Drawing be Art Winters

For more on the use, value and research on Loyalty Programs:

http://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2014/10/16/MN38644

A Loyalogy Consumer Study finds that retail reward programs may increase shopper spending by 33% — and with Millenials — 41%.

http://apparel.edgl.com/news/can-loyalty-programs-really-increase-sales-91630

“70% of members feel loyalty programs are part of their relationship with a company/brand.”

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Don’t Be Cliche on Valentine’s Day!

Written by Guest Blogger: Amanda Burrill, Travel Channel host, chef, athlete and freelance writer and copyeditor.

Five near-NYC weekend ideas, and a pet care solution that will change your life.

Flowers, chocolate and a dinner reservation on Valentine’s Day? Yawn. You’re better than that! This year Cupid’s bow strikes on a Saturday; the perfect opportunity to indulge in an entire weekend of kissy-face with your significant other. Before you start making excuses, I’ve dug up five great options that still have vacancy.

1. Rustic Getaway

Just 75 miles from NYC, the Malibu Dude Ranch in the Pocono Mountains has been a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner three years running; a perfect getaway from the city grind with scenic horse-riding trails over 800 acres. There are dozens of (complimentary) activities to keep you busy and cozy options like board games, stargazing and nuzzling by the fireplace.

The main lodge features western decor and houses the dining hall, indoor heated swimming pool, game room, gift shop and saloon with entertainment each weekend. Guess rooms are on the second floor, or opt for a private cabin among the trees or boat house on the lake.

The Valentine’s Day Romantic Escape package is Friday, February 13th through Sunday, February 15th and costs $325 per person. Another perk: kids stay free! Malibu Dude Ranch has a no-pet policy (with the exception of service pets) but no worries, because below, as promised, I discuss your pet care savior.
http://www.malibududeranch.com/winter-specials.html, reservations: (570) 296-7281

2. Sporty Getaway

Nestled in the northern Catskills is Windham Mountain Resort, which just underwent $11million in capital improvements. Just two hours away from NYC you’ll find the resort’s 1600 vertical feet of skiing, served by twelve lifts, including two high speed detachable quads. The central base lodge offers nourishing fare between slope runs. A spa and three restaurants will keep you busy when you’ve hung up your skis for the day.

You can book a room at the Winwood Inn and ski/ride Friday – Sunday starting at $120 per night, per person. The same deal at the Winwood Condos starts at $148 per night, per person and includes lift ticket, lodging, complimentary breakfast and free shuttles to and from the mountain. http://www.windhammountain.com/destination-guide/ski-stay-packages/

3. Romantic Getaway

Gideon Putnam Resort, just over three hours north of Manhattan, offers a secluded getaway in the foothills of the Adirondacks. The resort, situated on 2,200 acres among the pines and oaks of Saratoga Spa State Park, boasts historic charm and elegant features.

Book services at the legendary Roosevelt Baths, cross-country ski or snowshoe the trails (snowshoes are complimentary) or check out the local cuisine and micro-brews of Saratoga Springs.

Ask for the Romantic Weekend Package or Valentine’s Day Getaway Package.
http://www.gideonputnam.com/Valentines.aspx, reservations: (866) 890-1171

4. NYC Luxury Stay-cation

Both Manhattan Gansevoort locations are synonymous with urban oasis. A place to see and be seen that caters to your every luxurious need.

The Park Avenue property is home to Ristorante Asellina, a 10,000-sq-ft traditional-meets-modern Italian trattoria. The trendy Gansevoort Park Rooftop offers six venues with unparalleled views of the Empire State Building.

The Meatpacking location offers downtown bustle but the feel of uptown luxury. A great launching pad for club hopping, this hotel is the hub of the NYC nightlife scene. Catch a beautiful Hudson River sunset from your room, grab a bite at inspired American eatery The Chester, and then hit the dance floor.

Both NYC Gansevoort locations offer the “Get Intimate” package which includes, champagne, roses, and much more. http://www.gansevoorthotelgroup.com/offers/get-intimate

5. NYC Budget Stay-cation

The Pod Hotel, with two budget-friendly Manhattan locations, offers minimalist comfort starting at $89 per night. The rooms are bright, modern and completely connected. Shack up, stream some movies and then explore the neighborhood, all without breaking the bank. http://www.thepodhotel.com/

So what do I do with my dog?

Pets; we love them, but they can really get in the way of romance. Pet care logistics and costs are one of the primary reasons couples forego weekend getaways. I have the perfect solution for Fido.

New app DoggyBnB  allows you to utilize your social network, i.e. people you actually know, to find reliable pet care. Build a network by adding and organizing the people you would turn to naturally, your friends. Send pet care requests to your entire network in a matter of seconds and contacts can choose to “fetch” your request. No more leaving your best friend with someone you don’t know or even worse, in a kennel. This is the future of pet care! http://doggybnb.com/

With five varied choices and a doggie plan you now have zero excuses. Have a private, worry-free weekend with your special someone.

Keep up with Amanda’s culinary and fitness adventures at http://apronsandsneakers.com/ and follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/Amanda_Burrill

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