Posts tagged: Viral Marketing

Stop marketing, and you’ll see a change

By , February 9, 2013 10:10 am

We’re usually so busy trying to get started in marketing that we tend to forget that once we start, we need to continue. What happens if we don’t?

Today’s guest blogger,  Aruna Inalsingh (http://www.animarketingservice.com/) provides some insight into marketing, measurements and meltdowns of the corporate variety.  Aruna is President and Found of Ani Marketing Services Ani Marketing Service, and has years of experience providing strategic marketing solutions for a wide  range of companies, products, and services, starting their new programs and improving their existing ones.

“As a career marketer, one of the most common client requests is for a direct correlation between marketing investments and business revenues.  The reality is that it is indeed hard to quantify direct success from marketing programs.  Although with digital media, it’s getting easier, as you can track the number of followers, visitors, clicks, and online sales– especially if you don’t have any brick and mortar stores.  Furthermore, it is true that marketing takes time, resources, and/or money – ask Walmart’s CFO, Charles Holley!

That being said, here’s a story we like to tell about the value of marketing, which is exemplary of scientific proofs where you cannot prove if something is true, but you can prove if something is not true:
Seiko Watches was founded in 1881.  They were a strong believer in marketing, and with an ongoing commitment to invest in company promotion, within a short amount of time they developed a solid reputation for affordable and reliable watches. Seiko had a monopoly on this market until 1930, when Citizen Watches was established. Citizen wanted to be the Pepsi to the Coca-Cola, if you will. Citizen proceeded to invest as much money in marketing, if not more than Seiko, to achieve a similar brand recognition (and revenue stream). It never happened … until 2008. The global financial crisis in 2008 hit everyone hard. Seiko and Citizen had to make strategic decisions. Seiko decided its brand was strong enough to temporarily sustain itself with a skeletal marketing staff, and Citizens decided to maintain as much of its marketing program as possible, in context of its diminishing budget. In 2010, when Seiko was ready to re-invest in its marketing program, initial research showed that the consumer market thought Seiko had gone out of business and therefore had turned to Citizen as the market leader. It took 2 years of marketing withdrawal to ruin the 127 year old Seiko watch dynasty. Today Citizen has a similar brand and market value to Seiko.”

 

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

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.

Fashion for Paws: alumni trunk show

By , November 27, 2012 10:32 am

Stay tuned – I will be posting a lot of upcoming December events in the next few days. Here’s the first one to kick it off!

Some of our alumni from the Pet Fashion Design and Marketing Certificate program have joined together to bring you this wonderful trunk show! Hope you can make it!

Fashion for Paws trunk show

 

What is Your Brand Story Strategy?

By , October 25, 2012 11:22 am

Brandpsych logo
by Peggy and Arthur Winters

We recently came across a quote from John Norman, CCO of The Martin Agency, which struck a familiar cord:

“We used to tell stories through campaigns. Now we build stories.”

As we mentioned in our August 2012 blog post, some companies communicate their Brand Stories better than others.

Telling a story is based more on a one-way communication and Building a story is based more on today’s demand for two-way communications between the brand and the customer and among many of the brand’s customers.

A good example of building a brand story is The Martin Agency’s “GEICO” campaign. How many companies have invested so much in a campaign, with a series of different ads to keep everyone entertained and informed on what the brand story is and does? This strategy is much more than the Gecko avatar, but he is its star no doubt. The campaign continues to live up to The Martin Agency’s philosophy to surprise, delight and break through the clutter with creativity.

Geico

Tying in with “You Know the Lyrics,” on a radio station’s website – Always in tune?

Looking at a brand or company, its personality and its projected image is how consumers take that first step to becoming one of the brand’s customers. When the brand weaves a believable, relevant, entertaining or useful story about what it offers, the consumer is ready to connect and build a long-term relationship. The attraction was strong and the brand delivers on its brand promises, a longer relationship will hopefully develop and last over time.

Take for example the new TV and YouTube ads for CHICO’S: vibrant, enthusiastic, romantic dancing, cheeky, stylish for their target customer:  fashion savvy women of 30 years and older, enjoying the joy of fashion, friendship, and life…

Or their sister brand, White House/Black Market, another spirited brand — building their story through an image that offers: “WORK IT, The Other Side of Work Wear.”
Connecting with another TV commercial and YouTube video presenting their dancing spirit with style and a fashion show. They are “dedicated to helping their customers feel that every place they go is more beautiful… simply because they are there.”

Both TV Commercials (YouTube links below) are strategically running during the popular TV show, “Dancing With The Stars.”  A smart alignment of message and audience, wouldn’t you say?

chicos logo

 

white house black market logo

The challenge for every brand in this fractious, chaotic media world, is to take a fresh look at and deeply know who is their audience. What are their new media habits? How can the brand’s biography, history, and interesting/relevant anecdotes resonate across media formats to this more well-understood audience?

So it may be time to ask: When was the last time you took a fresh look at your audience and your Brand Story? And moreover, have you built a relationship with your customers? Are they looking for you and connecting with the 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.

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.

Preppy Class & Contest

By , October 16, 2012 12:00 pm

50 Shades of Prep: Lifestyle, Designers and Retailers Talk and Tour with Cliff Hoppus, featuring G. Bruce Boyer

Cliff Hoppus

Cliff Hoppus

When it comes to U.S. influence on men’s dressing throughout the world, Preppy is number one. If you are in men’s image, styling, design or merchandising, take advantage of this action-packed day featuring prep, preppy, Ivy League, and American classics. Find out what these terms mean, what the look is, who wears it, makes it and sells it. Join in a conversation with menswear authorities on the many shades of prep from “genuine” to “authentic”, “old school”, evolved, high, urban and Euro. Participate in a Q and A during a working lunch followed by a tour of FIT’s current exhibit, “Ivy Style”. Program culminates with actual store visits to the best NYC purveyors of preppy goods, such as J. Press, Paul Stuart, and the new Brooks Brothers concept store. Box lunch and tour bus included.

G Bruce Boyer photo by Rose Callahan

G Bruce Boyer
photo by Rose Callahan

Seminar leader: Cliff Hoppus, celebrity stylist with G. Bruce Boyer, menswear journalist and consultant Ivy Style exhibition.

Saturday, November 3rd from 9:30am-5:00pm
RESCHEDULED: Saturday, December 1st from 9:30am-5:00pm

Register now for this ONE TIME ONLY Master Class in Prep (class SXN 520) at http://fitnyc.edu/noncreditregister.

 

 

Want to take this class for free??

 

 

FIT Goes Preppy Pinterest Contest

Create a Pinterest board that epitomizes “The Preppy Lifestyle”. One lucky pinner will attend class SXN 520 (50 Shades of Prep: Lifestyle, Designers, and Retailers Talk and Tour) for free! One lucky winner will be enrolled in SXN 520 at no cost. Winner will be responsible for any travel and related expenses. Winner shall contact FIT within 2 days of notification of award; no course substitutions are permitted. Winner must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

How to enter:
1. Follow FIT’s Hot Topics on Pinterest, http://pinterest.com/hottopics/.

2. Create a board and title it “Preppy Look = Preppy Life“.

3. Fill the board with 25 or more pins that epitomize “The Preppy Lifestyle”, be creative. You must include at least two pins from the FIT website (fitnyc.edu) the rest can be from Pinterest or other websites. View our board as an example: http://pinterest.com/hottopics/preppy-look-preppy-life/

4. Submit your board by commenting your URL link to this Preppy Class & Contest blog post by October 28, 2012.

The chosen board will be announced by October 31, 2012! Class is Saturday, November 3rd from 9:30am-5:00pm.

Happy pinning!

Joan preppy past and present

LEFT: Our very own Joan Volpe and friend in their preppy looks, circa 1966.
RIGHT: Joan and Charles Volpe in their current preppy garb for the FIT Museum’s opening of “Ivy Style” photo by Owen Hoffman.

 

Retail Forecast: Christmas 2012

By , October 12, 2012 10:08 am

Christmas 2012 Retail Forecast

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.

More proof of why you should speak to your customer BEFORE you market!

By , September 15, 2012 10:09 am

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

Virginia Dominguez, a consultant, responds to “How come no one wants to speak to the customer BEFORE they do marketing” with this case history/anecdote:

“This is a good point…I was just watching a video, last night, where Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) pointed this out…He illustrated this with a story about a Chiropractor that wanted to set up his practice in this new town. So, he went to the town officials and asked a few questions, to which he was told that the town did not need another chiropractor, because the town already had one servicing the people. This negative reaction did not derail his ambition, so he set out to prove them wrong. He did this by doing some pre-marketing before opening the business.  He set out to go knocking on hundreds of doors and asking each individual and potential customer, how they would feel (together with other service related questions) about a new chiropractor in town. He not only proved the town officials incorrect, but he was able to make tons of money when he established the business. A year or so later, one of those people he interviewed was on this big event seminar, when the above story about the Dr. was told, the interviewee got up and said, “I remember him!” She was asked by the event coordinator, how was this possible and she said, “I remember him, because he came to talk to me!” She also used his services.”

The power of communicating directly with your customer/audience is amazing…when you do it. And the best part about this process is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. The ROI in terms of business, branding, establishing yourself and your business in the community is exponential.

Try it.

 

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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