Your company’s control over how its brand is conceived only goes so far, after that the customer has complete control. Until your brand is introduced to a completely new audience, your company is in control, that’s it. Now, everything at stake lies in the hands of your customers or, more appropriately, their fingers. They can make or break an entire business based on online feedback that is available for everyone to see, whether it’s Google reviews, on your Facebook or Twitter pages, Yelp, Glassdoor, etc. Read More
Your business should continually check in on what it is getting for the time, money, and resources that you’re investing. It’s crucial to acknowledge that everything on your website is probably the first (and, perhaps, only) impression a customer has of your company. Many industries rely on content to manage brand perceptions and create a solid brand value. Content is about as cost-effective as it gets for marketing, as studies have shown that content has a higher recall value for consumers than other forms of advertising. Read More
As you may have heard — let’s face it, you’ve heard about it unless you were in a coma — a new Star Wars movie dropped late last year. The Force Awakens spawned products from cereal with pictures of Yoda and Darth Vader emblazoned on the box to shower heads and even Pop Chips. With unprecedented merchandising, according to Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times film business reporter, it’s a fair question to ask, “Just how effective was it?”
Forcing the Force on the American Public
Miller weighed in on the sheer diversity of the branded products. “I came across Campbell’s soup that was branded with a Star Wars character,” he said. “I came across a Pottery Barn bed that was selling for $4 thousand that looked like the Millennium Falcon.”
A furniture shopper who’s also a Star Wars enthusiast with deep pockets has many options. That person may purchase a bed shaped like Han Solo’s spaceship just because it’s Star Wars branded. Can the same be said for someone who legitimately loves condensed chicken noodle soup? Maybe. Co-founder of the Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, New York , Brian Smith befriended Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, and has churned out Star Wars ice cream. “The first week of selling Star Wars, we sold as many pints online as we had sold online in the year previous,” Smith said.
Brand Loyalty and Your Business
Great packaging and pictures of superheroes or science fiction characters have long been used to attract customers. It’s likely that you aren’t bizarrely connected with a Disney exec who can give you Star Wars licensing. However, you can provide the best quality product in your field, and get the word out about it.
Your online marketing efforts should hit your intended audience with the appropriate message, and your audience should be able to easily find you. While General Mills has the luxury of broad distribution and great shelf placement, your small- or medium-sized business has the distinct advantage of using search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) and social media. Your customers will be just as likely to return if they have a great experience both online and in person as they are to catch the next installment of the Star Wars saga in 2017. (Although expecting a $37 billion revenue may be a tad unrealistic.)
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Each year, fashion labels, design industries, and color enthusiasts all look forward Pantone’s announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year. Pantone, a global color authority and provider of professional color standards for design industries, chooses its color of the year based on new color influences throughout the entertainment, art, and fashion industries. Typically, their chosen color then trends on runways and in paint and textile industries.
Typical Black Friday sales are all about convincing consumers to purchase products by offering deep discounts.
Chicago-based Cards Against Humanity has turned that whole concept on its head for three years running, with this year’s Black Friday “sale” really taking the cake.
If you haven’t already heard, here’s the gist of their 2015 Black Friday offering: for $5, customers got absolutely nothing.
And they made $71,145 off of the gimmick.
Black Friday is unquestionably one of the biggest shopping days in the entire year. Although ostensibly Black Friday is supposed to consist of one day of major sales and savings just after Thanksgiving, over the years it has evolved into the week-long (or more) sales extravaganza as we know it today. Beyond just Black Friday, there are the days leading up to and following the official day. Black Friday is followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, two other big sales events that ride on the coattails of their more famous older brother. With so many businesses and companies taking part in these sales events, the competition to stand out is tougher than ever. Let’s take a look at some of the ways several major companies are making themselves stand out this year through the use of bold design, smart branding, and social media.
By now you have surely heard of a little website called, Facebook. Well, maybe not so little these days but when I first heard of the site, it actually was little compared to what it is today. It was very basic, used primarily by students, and my mom most definitely wasn’t a ‘friend’.
What any business owner needs to know about Facebook is listed first on their statistics page: ‘More than 800 million active users’. Further down the page, you’ll read ‘More than 350 million active users currently access Facebook through their mobile devices’. I can’t help it…I’m cheesy and going to say it. If you have your Facebook business page up and running, users (potential customers) literally have your information at their fingertips!
By having a current and active business page, you can engage users (potential customers) daily by posting blogs, photos of products or projects, topics of the industry, deals or specials, events you’re involved in the neighborhood, etc. There is no end to how you can reach out to customers and keep them informed and interested in your business. You probably already know this and I am telling you nothing new. But it never hurts to hear it again that social media does actually work to draw in a customer base.
For example, I am not a car expert. I have one. I have driven a few since getting my license way back when but when it comes to fixing them, oh no. I leave that to the experts. With so many car mechanics out there these days, who does one go to? Unless you have a trusted auto service you and your family
have used for years, today’s consumer needs to do their research and know who they can turn to when they turn the key and hear eeerrrrrkkkkkkkkkk. Click. Click. Sigh (from me). Fortunately when this happened to me last week in Kansas City, I knew who to call immediately who could take care of whatever was going on under the hood. This fantastic auto repair shop in Kansas City that I speak of came by recommendation of a friend on Facebook who had nothing but great things to say of their
work. I ‘liked’ their page because of the recommendation that came so highly but as the weeks
went by, I was really impressed with the interaction this place had with their customers. I knew
that this wasn’t going to be Crusty Bob’s In & Out Auto Shop where the most personality of the
staff was in the hound dog laying at the door.
So I logged on Facebook, because I am most certainly one of those 350 million mobile users, found their phone number, arranged for the kind folks at Sallas Auto Repair to come pick up my car and it was finished that afternoon. All on a Friday. That is convenience and service at its best. There are several social media options out there that draw in users each and every day. If your business isn’t taking advantage of the free and definitely accessible markets already then you might just be the last one left in the yellow pages!
I am a big fan of Emily Post’s Etiquette. The book is a wonderful guide in how to live your life with grace. Although it is difficult to follow all of the rules (some people are better than others) I strive to take the basic principles and use them as best I can.
As an online marketer, I am always surprised when people forget their manners while on the internet. I have read countless studies on why people’s behavior changes, but I really think that most are unaware that they are being naughty.
Twitter is just one of the places that I see room for improvement. So here are a few tips to help you out.
Everyday Manners. Twitter gives the average consumer lots of power. The more followers they have, the more powerful they are. But with that comes responsibility. Just like in the off-line world, you should respect others, be considerate, and be honest.
If you are reposting a tweet, make sure to use RT and give the credit to the original author. Helping them get their message out is your responsibility if you are going to use their words and/or ideas. Just like you would want credit for your awesome post, give them theirs.
Use DM when you are mentioning a tweep and the content is not public information.
Greetings and Introductions. Emily says the first essential of good greeting manners is taking notice of people.
When you acquire a new follower, it is polite to introduce yourself and thank them for the follow. You can do that with an automatic response tweet, but a personalized mention is even better. I can probably do a whole post on the pros and cons of automatic response tweets, but let’s leave that for another post.
When you follow someone, send a DM or mention them and let them know why you are following them. They will find it flattering and who knows what kind of connection that could lead to.
Follow Friday (#FF) is a way to introduce a tweep to your connections. Instead of just posting their twitter handle, let your followers know why they should follow them.
If your tweep mentions you in a #FF, thank them for the mention.
If someone posts a positive experience about your business, it is important to acknowledge their experience with a reply, and it can encourage others to do the same.
Dealing with Rudeness. People are more likely to comment on a product, brand or service when they’ve had a really bad experience or a really good experience.
If your business is mentioned in a negative post, it is wise to acknowledge their experience with a reply and invite them to talk off-line so you can correct the situation. When others see your response, it is more likely to defuse the negative attention. It is important that you treat them as you would (or should) in the off-line world.
Online Etiquette Matters. Following basic rules of etiquette allows us to face “whatever the future may bring with strength of character and integrity.” And isn’t that what we want for ourselves and our business?