Posts tagged: social media

Social Media week – observations and a guest blogger on those observations

By , February 23, 2013 8:37 am

Social Media week was full of fantastic events with different experts in various sectors.  The networking was great because each venue had different people to meet and multiple points-of-view.

There were two global takeaways I had from the events I attended.

·   The first is that there’s still no magic bullet to get customers, even in social media.  SEO, blogs, websites, linked in, pinterest, etc. must all work in as part of a strategically organized system in order to be successful. And that requires a fair degree of participation on your, the entrepreneur’s, part

·   The second takeaway I observed and heard from techies who were self-proclaimed “not” marketing people (that’s how obvious the problem is) is that the paradigm of giving the customer what the company and ad agency wants hasn’t changed at all.  The only change is how it’s delivered –- using new, sexy technology.  This is troubling. For example, at the “Marketing without words” event, there was a discussion of social engagement through images. Tools to follow each visitor from first look to sale, re-tweet or re-pin, etc. is now available. It’s called Curalate.  Great. But what does it measure AFTER a customer’s visual trail?  How does that affect a company’s bottom line? Imagine how much more impactful a  brand would be if they asked their customers what THEY wanted to see before they posted anything.  I predict that audience participation would skyrocket.  And Curalate would confirm that.  There is some progress in that, but where’s the ROI?

Here are some thoughts by Joe Bergmann, who has many years of online marketing experience. His approach is simpler and more effective than anything I’ve heard in a long time.

“Just By Asking”

Why do ad/brand companies try so hard to quantify people? Why do they try to dictate what they want people to think? Why do they think they have the power to brand themselves in people’s minds?

Most ad/technology companies of late adopters (advertisers), try to be hip, thinking they are on top of the latest technology and social networks so that they can exploit early adopters (customers, who don’t want their social media invaded by yellow creamy cheese and canned soup). Advertisers talk about controlling “authentic” relationships directly with customers, as if that was possible. Actually, it’s self-delusional. And then they take that delusion in-house (what next — outsourcing that authenticity to India?). Unbelievable.

This is top-down, invasive thinking. Most companies believe that what is important to them is important to their audience. It’s eyeball gathering that gets dirty looks from the consumer, because it is perceived as interrupting customer conversations and trampling on their privacy. What it is, is bad manners. Many companies seem to have forgotten that serving the customer also serves their stockholders. Until companies stop imposing meaningless marketing messaging on people, they will be stuck in a morass of the latest technological gimmick and the old-fashioned broadcast mentality. The Internet is a graveyard of technologies and metrics that have been the next, best thing.

So what’s a company to do? Remember, your brand is what the customer experiences of you — not what you want them to think (no matter how much and where you advertise). To make that work for your company, you should consider asking your customers what’s important to them. All you have to do is ask. So few companies do that, because they fear the of loss of control. But loss of control is not a bad thing. Being too much in control will make you less effective in the sales process. It turns your marketing message into a monologue. And most monologues don’t produce sales. After all, that’s what marketing boils down to — sales. Giving in to your customers and listening to what matters to them is liberating. It helps you think clearly about how you should approach your audience — without trying to interpret what they mean. In our experience, your customers are more than willing to help. They are the most important asset your company has.

So why do so many marketing companies and ad agencies still operate in broadcast mode? Again, loss of control. So they offer focus groups to pick the “best” of their controlled ideas. So what if the best idea isn’t in the 3-5 boards presented. Just keep developing more controlled ideas. Wouldn’t it be simpler to ask the customer what’s important to them and then build your marketing around their needs? But that takes a willingness to lose control and let people speak freely.

But that takes an approach to market research that requires a sense of humility, listening skills and a commitment to giving people what they want from your company (and a good product  or service that meets a need doesn’t hurt). The problem with most companies is that they rationalize or assume they know what the customer wants without having ever asked. They think their product or service should be interesting without being interested in their customers. Or worse, to be able to manipulate their perception. It doesn’t work.

That’s why I developed the OpenMind session and methodology. There is no better way to discover what your audience wants — and helps you give it to them. It’s the simplest, most time and cost effective way to make your marketing work. One OpenMind session will open your eyes to a whole new way to brand your company and then turn that brand into an experience to your audience. In OpenMind sessions customers are the ones who inform you how they want to be “told and sold.” Then and only then can technology become a tool that enables you speak to their needs.

Just by asking.

To learn more about OpenMind visit: http://www.holtzmancom.com/teamwork_openmind.php

 

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

Fashion Week

By , February 11, 2013 3:44 pm

Want to follow Fashion Week but don’t have the time to look at all the shows?
You can follow our Fashion Week Pinterest Board, updated daily!

Fashion Week Pinterest Board

Brand MarkETing… No More Brand Marking!

By , January 31, 2013 12:06 pm

Brandpsych logo

Brand MarkETing

Are we seeing Trans-Planetary Brand MarkETing in our digitized mobile economy? Drawing by Arthur Winters

So what is the difference between brand marking and markETing?

In the past, branding was initially a way of marking or identifying a brand as in marking a rancher’s cattle with a branding iron. As time went on, logos were developed to mark and establish an identity for companies, products and services. More recently in our digitized world, brand managers must bring an ET — Extra-Terrestrial or more likely, an Essential Technology element to their branding. Bringing a more advanced brand marking to their brand markETing.

In the past few years, many customers have felt more of a divide between what they want and what brands offer. Brands that have a vision of what the customer really wants make the most of what their customers value and enjoy. In addition, the customer is increasingly aware of their involvement in product development in their role as “prosumer.”  We see an increase in the desire for personalization from and customization of products, services and experiences.

To satisfy their new brand expectations, customers are moving rapidly to shopping with online retailers. Retailer brands will have to explore more UC, Unified Communications, that include retail pop-up stores and departments similar to Amazon.com and kiosks for brand offers similar to Groupon.com. UC strategies will be created that involve real voice (as opposed to electronic menus) responses to customers’ demands for personal attention and customization.

Strong brands that fulfilled customer expectations in the past may diminish, as many consumers are no longer loyal to brands they perceive as category leaders. As always, Brand Managers have to create strategies that convert consumers into customers. The hard work is now in creating an innovative presentation of relevant and much desired brand attributes for the most effective brand positioning. Some brands are creating differences that are being told through their brand story. A compelling brand story and the brand’s history can be delivered to better sell the brand’s positioning assets, differences, and superiority.

So we find content and technology merging in new ways. Consumers may now depend on apps that provide applications to personally bring to mind brand differences and values. These can be inspired by knowledge of their singular profiles and their current desires. And right up there in ET brand positioning is the brand manager’s awareness of their customers who are not really engaged. Previous paradigms for customer-engagement may no longer be effective and customer experiences, CX, that are no longer current in today’s retail marketing, will need to adjust and innovate like never before!

Next, brands will rely more and more on VOC (Voice of customer), innovative interactions with customers and encourage buying recommended by their friends via social media. Successful brands will acquire more knowledge about operations involved in a consumer-run world. As we have mentioned previously, PDA’s/mobiles employed by consumers will dramatically increase. Consumers will be scanning their own screens to connect with a brand, and perhaps, influence their buying. A brand will need to unify all of its messaging and specifically its advertising that is designed for the mobile customer. This may include new screen-oriented techniques for these new retail venues. Google made over $20 billion in ad revenues this year, more than all U.S. print media combined!

We suggest the oft-quoted phrase: “The Future is NOW” — might apply.
What do you think?

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

RETAILOR-MADE… CUSTOMIZED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES THROUGH MOBILE ENGAGEMENTS

By , December 27, 2012 6:09 pm

Brandpsych logo

RETAILORS might remember, as we have often suggested, to make their brand management an ongoing process of reinventing customer experiences and providing more personalized mobile engagements. For retailors, their creative strategies must now be based on their target customers’ own positioning of their most relevant attributes, differences and behaviors. Customers’ self-brand perceptions rely on their omni-present sources of contact, information and cultural sharing. The concept of “everywhereness” is a current zeitgeist in the mobile world, as exhibited in the Tracfone Everywhereness commercials.

Retail innovations by leading retailers mandate that all their strategic planning is a brand retailoring that evolves from their study of the current evolution of our species, technologically. Quickly gone is the concept of the physical “retail store” as a shopping destination or necessity. Struggling to remain relevant is the mission, “should you choose to accept it.” We hope it will not be a “Mission Impossible.”

Drawing by Art Winters

There is no doubt that mobile is now a bio-digital part of the customer, aka 21st Century Human. For example, living within all the “everywhereness,” retailors must consider that there is a stronger customer’s need for individuality, as exhibited through an interest in fashion tailor-mades or bespoke products – from clothing and accessories to automobiles. Mobile customers are quickly adopting and increasing their mobile “self-styling” options. Changing their shopping behavior more readily than those who are store-only shoppers. Retailors are building their “everywhereness” opportunities to attract more customers with new personalized mobile apps and interactive options.

Inevitably, retailers have to consider “showrooming” as a challenge. How should they strategically respond to this use of their physical store as a showroom and the Internet sites as the P.O.S.? Certainly the retailor is actively working to provide targeted CX (Customer Experiences) that offer personalized mobile and in-store service and incentives that would also advance their NPS (Net Promoter Score). Also, brand managers should be creating new, innovative, and more customer interaction options for their ever-changing loyalty programs and tailor-made offerings. The retailor must realize that since mobile technology enables the customer to shop many stores on their own time, from wherever they choose, it is time to get creative and inventive. Work at brand “relate-ability” with self-visualizations of value and helpful relevant touch points for the customer’s tailor-made desires.

Our thought is: “If retailers want to be anywhere, they must now be everywhere.”

 

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

What I learned from judging a $250K business plan contest… that might help you write yours.

By , October 20, 2012 11:21 am

This past summer I had the great pleasure of being a judge for the Chase Manhattan and Living Social “Mission Small Business” contest.  During that one week, I (and other judges each) reviewed about 600 business plan concepts. (About 70,000 responded.) There were 12 winners each receiving $250K.

First, almost all the plans fell into the middle range meaning they were good solid plans but didn’t stand out in some special way.  There were a few that were just plain confusing so much so that in some cases the name of the business was never mentioned, or I was left guessing what exactly the business was/did.

The ones that stood out, however, made sure that they answered all the questions asked in the entry information.  One of the key points that separated the winners was their passion which came across into the written word.  Another was their story…storytelling is very important because it draws the reader into your world and let’s them experience it.  Also important, and part of their stories, was how they overcame or were overcoming obstacles and their strength and tenacity to keep going no matter what.  One of the requirements was how the business contributed to the betterment of their community…and by that I mean not just writing a check to the local charity but actually having a positive impact on their local community. This included  job creation, another  very important factor.  Each of the 12 winners had all of these elements.

A word of caution…no funder wants to hear that your use of proceeds will go to retiring debt.  Unfortunately, no one cares about your past…they are funding your future.

When you’re asked or tasked with submitting a business plan, make sure to include all these aspects – they will help you stand out from the pack.

For details of the plan, names of the winners, and interviews with two final judges, one of whom was a sponsor, please visit the links below.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11669958/1/chase-and-livingsocial-award-12-small-businesses-250000-grants-totalling-3m-through-the-mission-small-business-program.html

http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=389700003

 

 

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

Make yourself easy to do business with.

By , September 22, 2012 11:30 am

Make your product and services easy to find, easy for visitors to your website to stay a while, learn about you and follow through.  That’s what a medical cosmetics physician did and it worked for him (see link below).  The bottom line is he  got specific about what his customers wanted and gave it to them.  This included adding before and after photos of people who had used his services (this is equivalent to a demonstration of your product/services – one of the best way to get a customer). He also put a “Call to action” (what you want the customer to do for next steps) up front and center (ok to the right hand side of the home page but you catch my drift). And response improved.  He decided not to use a form because that would slow down and discourage follow-through.  While this worked for this particular physician and his customer population, another  physician who specializes in the treatment of pain did exactly the opposite.  He had a long form on his website in order to weed out patients who didn’t live in the immediate area (thousands of people have pain and he would have had to hire additional full time help just to deal with the inquires coming from his website), who had the kind of insurance he takes, and who had the kind of pain he could treat.

shutterstock_75977908

Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

The bottom line is you have to customize your messaging in whatever format you deliver it, to your customer’s habits and wishes. This means you have to reach out to your customer base and find out how they want to be “told and sold”. What’s the single or couple of most important messages that they need to hear in order to move them from a visitor to your website?  Then give it to them.

If you’re in retail like dungarees.net (see link below) then you might want to solicit customer reviews.   Find the issue that, when solved, will not only keep customers on your site (or reading your materials) longer,  but also convert them from a visitor to a customer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/business/smallbusiness/three-keys-to-converting-web-visitors-into-buyers.html?smid=pl-share

 

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

WHAT YOU SEE… Visual Content… is WHAT YOU GET

By , August 30, 2012 10:47 am

Brandpsych logo

Drawing by Arthur Winters

Drawing by Arthur Winters

For today’s fashion marketing, original visual content is vital.  The marketing communications strategy is how to make it effective. We’re still seeing some fashion brands using old-style fashion model poses in their visualizations of their new styles or products. But, we appreciate and recommend fashion brands that are creating better visual stories, which provide customers with answers and suggestions. These brands tell a visual story of what they can do for the customer, not just what items they make that only create awareness by projecting their brand image.

Desk to Dinner ad

Visual Content — yes …

Burberry Sport

Visual — but NO story …

Fashion marketing needs better communications that connect with the customer’s branding of self. Marketers could now look at their products for visual content and the story that generates its facility for self-styling. And in this multi-media, social media world, visualization in all its forms is pre-eminent.

Athleta

“Power to the She” –self-styling visual and verbal story

A significant brand mark for fashion marketers is to see visual content that covers all aspects of customer/consumer experience. For example, a fashion firm might even introduce their customers to a fly-on-the-wall look at their design team at work. There is no doubt that fashion may be a most visual product that offers ever-flowing fountains of ideas for visual content – and desire, especially with the use of social media and web sites.

Fashion brand positioning can be more inspiring by showing the customer real life style and life-stage happenings instead of static, mannequin-posed model photos with their logo.

Starbucks

Starbucks visualizes it is the customer’s lifestyle…

Those brand managers who have a sense of the visual in communications may be the new Rembrands of fashion marketing!

What’s your story?

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

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GLOCAL… (GLObal and loCAL) It’s still all Local with Multicultural Global Influences

By , June 28, 2012 3:35 pm

Brandpsych logo

glocal drawing by arthur winters

Segmented Marketing has been rapidly replacing, or at least collaborating as part of,what we have known as Mass Marketing. So why would any brand, U.S. or “other world,” not customize their communications about their product, service or experience? With a rising local diversity in our domestic market, and an increasing mix of different global cultures throughout the world, a brand needs to continue to create strategies and communications for glocal brand marketing.

Some brands are trying multicultural marketing that attempts to create communications for more than one market segment. The brands that seem to do the job best do forms of Integrated Marketing that go beyond running traditional ads, doing outdoor advertising or going on-line. They are developing innovative Consumer-Centric Promotions (CCP) and Customer Experiences (CX). And they are considering cross-over life-style psychographics to identify “cross-across” target markets.

Today’s Brand Management has to recognize that cross-over segmented markets require more glocal strategies and multicultural communications than ever before.

One to watch is what a retail giant like The GAP is doing. GAP Inc. has products available to customers in over 90 countries worldwide. Their global expansion formula is to enter a country with brand-building flagship stores, after which outlets and smaller franchise stores can be added beyond the main cities, in addition to building an online web presence for each country/region/language and offering international shipping.  This plan goes on even with the news that they will be closing a number of stores in NYC, the USA and Canada.

In the Gap Inc.’s case, they are promoting their image of Americana and it’s fun, family, fashion and value appeals across the globe. They integrate or “glocalize” their promotions with the local customers as seen on their international web pages:
www.gap.cn   www.gap.eu

Gap Intnl

 

 

https://m.gap.co.jp

Gap Japan• 12.06.07

GAPドレーピーなネックがアクセント!ネオンカラーTを、マキシ丈スカートに合わせて、今年顔のデートスタイルに♪

コンサバになりがちなデートスタイルも、今年トレンドは忘れたくない!今年マストのジャージー素材のカジュアルなマキシ丈スカートも、ドレーピーなネックが美しいネオンカラーのTシャツでコンパクトなトップを作って目線を上に。縦長シルエットの好感度スタイルの完成です♪
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Gap Japan• 12.06.07

Gapお得意のサーフグラフィックのTシャツは、POPなカラーパンツをチョイスして今年流に♪

夏のアメカジの王道スタイルと言えば、サーフ。西海岸がオリジンのGapなら、サーフのグラフィックTシャツもお手の物。さらに、トレンドのカラーショーツを取り入れることで、今年顔にアップデート!
(撮影:フラッグシップ銀座)
グラフィックT
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デニムシャツ
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The Gap is approaching each segmented market with its brand story and brand image, while welcoming each target market in their own language and giving them the opportunity to adapt this American brand in their own “glocal” way.  In today’s global economy world, we need to develop our own global perspectives as we choose which ideas or products to include in our company brands and our personal customer lifestyles.

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

Summer 2012 Catalog & Registration

By , May 17, 2012 4:17 pm

Register online: http://www.fitnyc.edu/noncreditregister
and click to download the Summer Catalog.

HT Summer Brochure Ad 2012Register online: http://www.fitnyc.edu/noncreditregister
and click to download the Summer Catalog.

LV brings their product roots to iPad

By , May 15, 2012 1:13 pm

BLOGWHAT’S TRENDING

Louis Vuitton is going back to its roots and what they’re originally known for; their luggage and trunks by creating an iPad application.  The 100 Legendary Trunks iPad application provides exclusive brand information through unpublished texts and documents, videos, sound clips and images. The Louis Vuitton app price seems to be a luxury item in and of itself, with a price point of $18.99 in Apple’s App Store.

The application’s vivid representation of the history of Louis Vuitton’s design’s and usage is truly representative of the company’s evolution throughout the years.

The history of the Trunks, also include the globe-trotters (celebrities) whom have owned them and have been carrying their possessions for some time. While they’re more nostalgia pieces nowadays, they still draw attention for their classic lines and sticker friendly surfaces.

Louis Vuitton’s luxury experience backstory was translated into an application, similarly like the details and quality of their products. Their clientele understands the value behind the brand, and LV has established a sense of trust with their customer base, so they shouldn’t have an issue with the price point of the app.

Dalia Strum teaches SXF 120: Blogging Smarts for Business and SXF 130: The Social Media-Social Commerce Revolution: What You Need to Know to Keep Up

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