Crowd Funding has been around for a while. In very simple terms, you sign up with a crowd funder (such as Kickstarter), list how much money you want to raise for your project, company, etc. and then use social networking to get people you know and others to contribute. This is in addition to people who will visit the site looking for interesting projects. If you reach your goal you get your money. If you don’t, you don’t.
The good news about crowd funding for your business is that you don’t have to give up a percentage of your business to the contributors – when you use other fundraising methods, you always have to give up a percentage of your business as well as a percentage of control. Because of the good will involved with those who make crowd funding contributions, many people who are raising money offer something in return (like a product sample, a coupon, admission to a film screening if you’re making a film, etc.).
It’s a great process if you succeed. In order to succeed, however, you may have to give up huge chunks of time you would normally be devoting to your company.
The bad news is that crowd funding is not regulated officially so there’s ample room for fraud. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU DEAL WITH. If you decide to investigate and use this route, make sure you go with a known name like Kickstarter.
This link will provide a good primer on crowd funding and other information that you may find of help.
Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
J.C. Penny’s branding revamp comes during an interesting time in the industry, considering the oversaturation of deals and couponing. Former Apple executive Ron Johnson, started implementing some major changes once he became Penney’s CEO in November. Starting with Wal-Mart’s iconic everyday low pricing strategy, without focusing on undercutting competitors, but rather offering their customers more predictable pricing.
Their pricing strategy includes: Sale prices become everyday prices, Fewer Seasonal Sales, New Tags to indicate pricing accordingly, Pricing without the 99 cents for simpler pricing, New Advertising that includes digital strategies.
These digital strategies are going through the testing stages from their catalogs, as they are utilizing QR codes as well as text messaging to purchase specific items to feel out the demand for additional implementation of technology.
Increased discounting has been a vicious cycle that feeds into shoppers’ insatiable appetite for bigger and better discounts. At JCP, the regular price on an item that costs $10 to make rose 43 percent, from $28 in 2002 to $40 in 2011. But because of all of its sales and other promotions, what it actually ended up selling for rose only 15 cents, from $15.80 to $15.95 during that same period.
This concept has been attempted multiple times by other companies, including Macy’s, where they cut back a few years ago on coupons and discounts, but their strategy was unsuccessful and they were forced to ramp back up after seeing sales suffer.
As families are struggling financially, this could be a positive rebranding for the company, to recognize the climate and restructure accordingly.
Dalia Strum teaches SXF 120: Blogging Smarts for Business.
So here we are at the bottom of the pyramid where the General press lives. They look up to the entire pyramid for their background information and validation of your information. This group does, however, also generate some original information. They have a voracious appetite for business news and especially fashion news with an interesting slant and appeal to the large audiences they serve (the general population).
Obviously this is the hardest group to reach AND THE MOST EXPENSIVE. Many more media venues, and thus more people, have to be reached. The competition is really intense on this level for their attention. Their audience is larger and more diffuse. This group loosely corresponds to Latent Adopters. By the time they are reporting on you, those above them on the pyramid will have moved on.
Ideally, an effective and efficient PR campaign would reach out to the newsletters first and rely on their spreading the word about you down the pyramid. This is particularly important for startups and small businesses that cannot afford to go after the entire pyramid.
Chart and content from my book, Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing www.holtzmancom.com/thought_book_title.php
Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.