Saturday, August 15, 2009

The 4 C's & Social Media

This came from a Zig Ziglar newsletter:

Social Media: Employing the 4 C’s

By Carrie Wilkerson

I have grown my online audience and lists to about 100,000 people with no paid advertising. I used traditional list-building methods for building a list of 24,000 in my first 10 months online, to supplement my online and offline businesses.

Now let me tell you how I doubled that prospect list again in six months….two words – SOCIAL MEDIA!

Points to remember:

I draw attention, prospects, sales (flies with honey, etc.) with the four C’s: Character, Conversation, Content and Consistency.

Have Character
Especially if you are building a business online (I’m guessing that’s why you are reading this), you need to have character! You would not (hopefully) go to a party and immediately start insulting people, bashing companies, or making inappropriate comments to strangers. Remember, this is a very large FISHBOWL, and people are listening and watching. You are your own marketing, so guard your character.

Be Conversational
Do not walk into the party, stand on a stool, and just shout self-promotional things or preach at people. They will either kick you out, talk about you, or WORSE, grow deaf to any further messages you have. Interact with people, show interest in them, and see how you can be of value in their space.

Provide Content (which is totally different from being contentious, FYI.)

Believe it or not, 140 characters is a great amount of space to show tidbits of what you know about your business and area of expertise. You can establish trust and credibility and TEACH powerfully with those 140 characters over time! Tools, resources, videos, quotes, and lessons learned are all very good at helping solidify your validity in your niche or market.

Be Consistent
You don’t have to show up on Twitter as much as I do to be effective! But if you only come around when you are bored, have a promotion, have a blog post, or are seeking input, your fellow party-goers will see right through that! So be consistent and engaged. Your face popping up on their screen should not cause a “HEY – who is that?” It should cause them to say, “Oh hey, there you are!” We trust the people who are consistent in our lives. The barriers of resistance are comfortably lowered. It is the same in social media circles.

THAT is my whole magical formula. Seriously. You thought it was going to be rocket science, right?

But I prefer to measure based on interaction, conversation, and the growing size of the circle surrounding me at the party. As long as they want to be in my space, I will welcome them there. I will use my brand of encouragement and edu-tainment to hopefully make them smile and perhaps even enlighten them a bit.

So here is the @Barefoot_Exec magical “Build Your Business with Twitter” strategy in a nutshell:

When your audience knows you, likes you, and trusts you, they will want to know MORE about who you are, who you know, and what you have to offer.

» Attract followers with your willingness to engage.
» Take action using what you know.
» Maintain a regular presence on social media sites.
» Let it be about them, not all about you.
» Grow your circle and your clout!

I don’t “drive” prospects to my blogs, sites, movies, promotions or offers. I draw it there with the four C’s: Character, Conversation, Content, and Consistency. Try it for yourself and let’s talk about it on Twitter!

Carrie Wilkerson is known as the “Barefoot Executive.” She is the voice of experience. From corporate life to teaching high school to direct sales, she has “been there and done that” professionally and personally.. She’s now built several businesses and coached others to do the same while overcoming extreme debt, losing 110 lbs and having four children, ages infant through 12! As “The Barefoot Executive,” Carrie and her network of experts have quickly become the definitive resource for work at home professionals. Follow Carrie on Twitter @Barefoot_Exec.

See Carrie LIVE on August 18, 2009. Click here for more details.

Sphere: Related Content

Best Buy Boo Boo

From the Church of the Customer Blog:

Turning bad buzz around for Best Buy

Posted: 13 Aug 2009 03:11 PM PDT

Best Buy was in the news the other day for an oops. It offered a 52-inch HDTV that normally sells for $1,600 on its web site for $9.99. Eager web surfers gleefully pulled out their credit cards and placed orders.

As word of the deal spread, Best Buy realized the mistake, quickly pulled the offer from the site and announced it would not honor the purchases. The company cited its web site terms and conditions, which reserve the right to "revoke offers or correct errors" even if a credit card has already been charged. Upset tweeters took over, and Best Buy came out with a black eye.

Few people would expect Best Buy to honor what surely seems like human error but the bigger idea here is that every misstep, even embarrassing public ones, are an opportunity to turn bad buzz into good. Years ago, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told a newspaper he wouldn't hire the chief referee of the NBA "to manage a Dairy Queen." Ouch. Within days, Cuban accepted an offer to manage a DQ store in Dallas. While TV cameras and reporters captured the scene, Cuban was behind the counter, in DQ garb, serving customers -- and that was BT: Before Twitter. DQ was happy, Cuban was happy, and the media were happy they had a happy ending to a story.

Turning bad buzz into good takes fast, creative thinking, a sense of humor, and a willingness to happily eat virtual crow. Best Buy could put everyone who ordered the TV into a drawing then give away 10 of them. Or 100. Then they could even deliver the sets, with TV cameras rolling, and have their Geek Squad members install them for free.

You can either point to the rules when you screw up, or you can go beyond the obvious and do something worth talking about.

Sphere: Related Content

Price or Service?

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Don't Waste Their Time

In a recent MarketingSherpa survey, both salespeople and prospects were asked the same question: "Why do buyers leave?"

Salespeople's top answer: Price.

Prospects' top answer: Service.

While the results suggest today's buyers may want more one-on-one face time, sales expert Jill Konrath suggests that isn't always the case.

"A lot of today's buyers have less time and more responsibility," she contends. "The last thing they want is a salesperson trying to spend more time with them."

Monthly e-newsletters and regular phone calls (or even texts) are a great way to maintain contact, but the key is finding a way to let buyers know you're a ready resource without becoming a distraction.

Source: Sales author Geoffrey James (from The Selling Advantage, 08/14/09)

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News

One of my co-workers came to work today wearing an Indy Colts shirt today. I wonder how he feels about the first story from Mediapost:

by Karl Greenberg
The marketing space opened up when founding partner and 25-year sponsor GM's Chevrolet division departed the stadium after the automaker went into bankruptcy protection. James Allen Insurance Brokers, a new Colts sponsor, signed a three-year deal. Toyota's deal is reportedly for five years. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
While almost half of Americans surveyed think the economy is going downhill and will get worse before it gets better, reports Synovate, that's a significant decline from 69% of people who agreed with that statement back in November. And more people think the worst is behind us. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
HP is heavily promoting the program with several marketing elements, such as a takeover of (where people can enter their own declarations without heading to the dedicated site) and banner ads that immediately populate with one's stated declaration. Offline elements include on-air tosses to the dedicated site and placement on the show, "It's On with Alexa Chung." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
A "Master Contest" is being launched to get people who customize cars, trucks and bikes to show off their best. The contest, in four categories -- muscle cars, tuners, off-road vehicles and motorcycles -- dangles a trip to Las Vegas to attend the 2009 SEMA Show this fall and receive an eBay Motors shopping spree. ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
"We are very serious about engaging our consumers, and will be identifying some of our key guest bloggers as brand ambassadors who will test our product and give us feedback," Adams tells Marketing Daily. "The important goal for us is to communicate directly with our customers so that we can find out how to better meet their needs." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Americans were also somewhat more inclined to cite preparation convenience than their global counterparts, while less inclined to cite a roster of other factors, including healthy ingredients and eco-friendliness. ... Read the whole story > >

Sphere: Related Content

Creative Billboard Part 2

If you missed part 1, it's in the previous post on the Collective Wisdom Blog. Here's Drew:

The back story for the most brilliant outdoor campaign ever

Angel_8 Many of you, in the comments section and via e-mail, have been asking about the back story of this campaign. Quite honestly -- I didn't know it. I had stumbled upon the creative years ago and used it as an example of "go ahead, break the rules" kind of thinking.

But, all of that has changed.

A few weeks ago, I commented that one of my favorite things about blogging is that it allows me to meet some amazing people. More proof coming up.

I published the post about the Garcia's outdoor campaign in the morning and by mid-afternoon, I had an e-mail from Rich Spears who was on the original account team (he was the media director) for this campaign. As the agency's current Chief Marketing Officer, he generously gave me the entire back story and permission to share it with you.

So, here's the scoop.

It's 1990 and Garcia's and the other area restaurants are in a panic. A big, fancy, new waterfront club was opening that summer and they were expecting it was going to mean they'd all (the existing restaurants) take a big hit.

So Garcia's came to Crowley Webb for some counsel and a solution. Oh yeah, and they only had $20,000 to spend -- creative concepting, design, production costs, media -- the whole thing.

The William/Angel campaign was conceived and launched.

The plan was for everyone to believe that there truly was a William, Angel, Candi and Frankie. The media were sworn to secrecy. Reporters tried to get at the truth as the campaign was unfolding but no one cracked.

Beyond the billboard campaign, the agency also:

  • Had a small radio buy on one station. Two spots per week. Someone called in, as William, and did a live "commercial" that sounded like he was this desperate guy, trying to find his Angel.
  • Ran ads in the classified personal ads in the Buffalo News
  • Had a limo driver handing out "have you seen my Angel" fliers throughout downtown, near the Garcia's location
  • Hired a plane to fly over a Buffalo Bison's game (baseball), towing a banner with a message from William

All of this culminated right after billboard #8, where Angel agrees to meet William at Garcia's. To the delight of the packed house -- A beautiful woman in red appeared, fended off the advances of just about every guy in town, waiting for William.

Just then, a limo pulled up (remember the guy passing out fliers?) and William stepped out from the limo and walked inside, scanning the crowd for his Angel. Their eyes met, they talked, shared some champagne and then danced to "Lady in Red" before William whisked her away in his limo.

Rich said the crowd's reaction was priceless. And more than one boyfriend was chided for not being as romantic as William!

The following Monday, the final board was posted, with William professing that he was in heaven over the meeting.

The net result beyond the media exposure and buzz around town? When the new waterfront club opened, every restaurant in town took a double digit drop in revenue. Garcia's business went up. They maintained that competitive advantage for some time and never felt the impact of the waterfront club.

So they exceeded their goals and their revenues grew. Not to mention all the added value the campaign delivered.

Flash forward to today, some 18 years later -- that entire area and all the restaurants in it, including the waterfront club are now gone, having given way to growth and re-purposing of that area.

I'd call that a success story and a half.

An interesting side note. When the campaign won best of show at the National Obie awards, it was the first winner ever to receive a perfect score from every judge.

A huge hat tip to the innovative team at Crowley Webb, the courageous owners of Garcia's and the very fortunate citizens of Buffalo who had the fun of watching this all unfold.

Sphere: Related Content

Creative Billboard Part 1

Yesterday I got this from Drew. At 2pm today, return here for the follow up:

Recycle a blog post day: most brilliant outdoor campaign ever!

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 04:27 PM PDT

According to my friend Gavin, today is Recycle a Blog Post Day so I thought I'd share with you one of my all-time favorites. I promise will be talking about this!

The rules for outdoor advertising are very simple.

  • Never use more than 7 words
  • Always use an attention getting visual
  • Include the company logo
  • Leave the boards up for a minimum of 30 days to achieve frequency goals
  • Buy several locations to increase reach

The most brilliant outdoor campaign broke every one of these rules. Every single one. I use this campaign as an example in many of my presentations and wanted to share it with you too.

Let me tell you the story.

This campaign broke in 1989 in Buffalo, New York. There was (and still is - my mistake, I found it on the web's yellow pages and assumed it was current) an Irish Pub called Garcia's in downtown Buffalo that needed to drive not only name awareness but traffic. Their agency, Crowley Webb, devised this campaign, which not only won them a National Obie (Oscars for outdoor boards) but made Garcia's a household name in Buffalo. The campaign also showed up in the New York Times, USA Today and naturally, all of Buffalo's local media.

No ordinary billboard series, eh?

The agency bought a single board location (this I am recalling from memory so I may be wrong) and every Monday for 9 weeks....a new board went up. This is story-telling at it's best. Enjoy the campaign and be sure to catch my questions at the end.










Can't you see all of Buffalo being completely caught up in this story? Can you imagine how many people showed up at Garcia's on Fridays to see if Angel made an appearance. I don't know if the agency took it to that level (I wouldn't be surprised) but I would have hired actors to play William, Angel, Candi and Frankie and put on a floor show.

What do you think of this campaign? Notice the boards didn't push the daily soup special or promise us the same cliches that all restaurants promise. Instead, they invited us into a story. A story where we could play a part.

How could you use this kind of a technique? Or, where else have you seen this sort of creativity played out?

Sphere: Related Content


From Jeff Garrison:

Practice Your Sales Skills

Posted: 09 Aug 2009 09:36 PM PDT

Nfl The NFL season is about to begin and I am a big fan. What I love about the NFL (and all professional sports) is the precise execution of a game plan one play at a time. Imagine the number of passes an NFL receiver catches in practice everyday and in his pregame warm up. He will catch dozens of passes in practice to prepare for typically less than ten opportunities to catch a game time pass.

In addition to catching passes, these professional receivers work on their speed and conditioning, running precise routes, blocking, watching game films, and studying their opponent.

Great sales professionals also practice so that they can execute precisely.

Things you can do include...

  • Practice asking networking questions
  • Practice presenting your value proposition (elevator speech)
  • Role play your cold calls
  • Role play your initial sales calls and the needs analysis
  • Practice responding to objections and common questions
  • Practice asking for the sale

The most challenging part regarding practice is to actually schedule time to do it.

Pick one thing that you would like to work on. Make an appointment for yourself to spend thirty minutes practicing. Keep the appointment. Even slight improvements are energizing and build confidence. Do this once or twice per week for several weeks and you will find yourself closing more deals with seemingly less effort.

What have you done in the past to practice your profession? How has it helped?

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

Jiffy, Butter, and Virgin are included in the stories from Mediapost:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The Butterfinger/Improv Comedy Tour Sweepstakes offers a grand prize of a comedy tour vacation package for four to see, consecutively, one comedy show in four different U.S. cities over a nine-day period. In addition, 250 first-prize winners will receive two tickets to any U.S. Improv or Funny Bone club. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Kelley Blue Book said in its second-quarter "2009 Brand Watch" study, detailing consumers' perceptions of truck brands, that in the past year domestic truck consideration has increased or held steady, while import truck consideration has decreased. ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
The airline is publicizing the promotion mainly via social media sites including Twitter and its Facebook fan page, which currently has 31,000 fans. When the one-millionth Elevate member is announced, all members will receive a special discount offer for travel on the airline in appreciation of their loyalty. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
That may bode well for other retailers, too, especially as most are chewing their fingernails over back-to-school spending. NPD Group just released its back-to-school survey, and while it does anticipate a decline, it's forecasting a smaller dip than last year. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
John Sanfacon, head of marketing and innovations at Jiffy Lube International, says the program is not only new for Jiffy Lube, but, "to my knowledge, on this scale it is brand new to the segment as well," noting that there are regional and local loyalty programs, but nothing national. He says the reasons have to do with the difficulty of putting such a program together. ... Read the whole story > >

Sphere: Related Content

Customer Service?

As I was going through my saved emails, I found these words of wisdom from Harvey from a couple weeks ago:

Taking care of customers is taking care of business

"Customer service in America stinks."

That's what my friend Tom Peters, author of the blockbuster book, "In Search of Excellence," said many years ago. It must still be true because every time I write about poor customer service, I get more Amens than a Billy Graham sermon. That's why I want to touch on customer service again, from a different perspective.

It's unbelievable to me how business owners remain ignorant of the devastating effects of lousy service. And they wonder why business is suffering and the cash register isn't ringing?

The Research Institute of America conducted a study for the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, which found:

  • Only 4 percent of unhappy customers bother to complain. For every complaint we hear, 24 others go uncommunicated to the company—but not to other potential customers.
  • 90 percent who are dissatisfied with the service they receive will not come back or buy again.
  • To make matters worse, each of those unhappy customers will tell his or her story to at least nine other people.
  • Of the customers who register a complaint, between 54 percent and 70 percent will do business again with the organization if their complaint is resolved. That figure goes up to 95 percent if the customer feels that the complaint was resolved quickly.
  • 68 percent of customers who quit doing business with an organization do so because of company indifference. It takes 12 positive incidents to make up for one negative incident in the eyes of customers.

When I started out in sales, a salty old veteran told me, "Harvey, never make promises in business. They'll ruin you every time."

That might be good advice, but only up to a point. That point is reached when you go to contract because in a contract, you make commitments, which are the same as promises. You vouch for planned delivery dates, not random drop-off times. These are not tossed-off verbal guarantees but well-researched commitments.

Nothing is more important than customer service. No customer service, and pretty soon, no customers.

The key is to latch onto your customers and hold them fast. Don't just meet their needs. Anticipate them. Don't wait for them to tell you there's a problem. Go out and ask them if there's a problem. They are your most important focus group. Every word of personal feedback they give you is worth a million faceless questionnaires.

With business operating at digital speed, the margin for negligence is disappearing. Broken promises, missed deadlines, inadequate customer service and support—give in to any of these and you're finished.

And as customers become more knowledgeable, customer service becomes more difficult. A while back there was a series of articles in Fortune magazine focusing on customer satisfaction and why Americans are so hard to please.

A researcher at J. D. Powers & Associates, a company that studies customer satisfaction in the auto industry, computers, airlines and long-distance service, stated: "What makes customer satisfaction so difficult to achieve is that you constantly raise the bar and extend the finish line. You never stop. As your customers get better treatment, they demand better treatment."

When I speak on customer service I usually tell a story that I read many years ago in USA Today. A man walked into a bank in Spokane, Wash., to cash a $100 check. The bank teller refused to validate his parking ticket, saying he had to make a deposit. The customer asked to see a manager, who also refused to stamp the parking ticket. At that point the customer proceeded to withdraw $1 million from his account and walked across the street to a competitor and opened a new account. The next day, he went back to the same bank teller and withdrew another $1 million.

That's an expensive lesson to learn. So is losing any customer.

Mackay's Moral: Disappoint customers and they'll disappear.

Miss a column? The last three weeks of Harvey's columns are always archived online.

More information and learning tools can be found online at

Sphere: Related Content

New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

Deodorant residue is the pits. Where do potatoes come from? Refrain from smelling laundry that isn't yours. Let's launch!

New York Fries, a Canadian French fry chain, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month using a spokesman who was incredibly popular in 1984: Gary Coleman. We're talking about Arnold from "Diff'rent Strokes" appearing in print, outdoor and POP ads celebrating the anniversary with the tag line, "After 25 years, some things are still fresh." The print ad, seen here, features a flannel-clad Coleman holding a cup of New York Fries. Creative resembles a campaign from last year called "Real Fries in a Fake World," where augmented women held authentic fries. There's also an augmented reality Facebook app where users must shake Coleman until he spills his fries. Players also receive a coupon for a cup of New York Fries at the 1984 price of $1.25. Did I mention that Coleman also tells fortunes? Once the fries are spilled, a Facebook friend is paired with a fry, and given an outlandish fortune dated 25 years in the future, such as your friend has become a "cruise ship lounge host," "tongue model" or "yoga historian." Zig created the campaign and Media Experts handled the media buy.

Steal someone's Wi-Fi, and you might find yourself picking up trash as part of your community service. It happened to one woman in an ad for Qwest. She trespasses, "borrows" Wi-Fi and learns from another worker that Qwest offers free Wi-Fi at numerous locales. As she enters a pensive state, our laborer gets pelted with a blue slushie. Watch it here. Another Wi-Fi thief ends up in the emergency room, following a run-in with multiple dogs and a cat that's still attached to his arm. See it here. Draftfcb Chicago created the ads.

Old Spice launched a trio of print ads and a handful of logo-less five-second TV spots for its invisible solid deodorant, Ever Clear. Print ads show men on the beach, in a sauna and on the basketball court, each hoping to impress an attractive woman nearby. None use Ever Clear, so they're branded as nasty chumps, idiots and stupid weirdos. Each insult is spelled out in white deodorant clumps that run from the hair in their armpits down their bodies. Gross. See the ads here, here and here. The five-second TV snippets are brand-less and logos-free; The URL is spelled out in the spots, with different voiceovers speaking the Web site name. See the spots here, here, here and here. I can tolerate crumbling deodorant bits in the TV ads. I can't tolerate the site's close-up of lodged, clumpy deodorant that talks back to me. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

The Milwaukee Police Department launched two TV spots that lead the viewer into thinking that something bad is going to happen -- but nothing does. A woman walks alone down a dark street. The hurried sound of her high-heel shoes makes you think someone might be following her. The ad has an unexpected happy ending as she reaches her car safely. "In some jobs, success is measured by what doesn't happen," closes the ad, seen here. A man wearing a hooded jacket paces through a convenience store. This can't be good. But it is. The man simply purchases a pack of cigarettes, pays and leaves. Watch it here. Print elements turn common tributes to crimes that have occurred into crimes that never happened. So a roadside memorial for a young girl reads, "Maddie Kuehn. Age 7. Not killed by a drunk driver May 3, 2009." See the ads here, here and here, created pro-bono by Cramer-Krasselt/Milwaukee.

Two men walk into a laundromat. One of them boldly approaches the other's laundry, grabs an article of clothing and inhales the scent of Downy Ultra. Too bad the man sniffed the other's boxers... before he washed them. Talk about a long-lasting scent. "Lavadero," a Spanish-language spot, launched last week on Telemundo, LATV and KMPX Dallas. Watch the ad here, created by Wing.

Support local farmers! Frito Lay launched a 3D installation in Chicago's Jackson Tunnel to illustrate that Lay's potatoes are locally grown. Life-sized potato plants appear to be growing through the roof of the tunnel. The installation launched July 27 and will last for three weeks. "Our potatoes are grown closer than you may think," says an ad placed near the overhead installation. See the ad here, created by Juniper Park.

Apple launched two iPhone demo ads last week that highlight a handful of useful Apps. The first ad, shown here, features travel Apps that help vacationers navigate Paris and send postcards home. In another spot, seen here, pictures and contact information are easily shared with friends and games of Scrabble are played. TBWA/Media Arts Lab created the campaign and handled the media buy.

These ads for Virgin Mobile prompt consumers to "Take Advantage" of the brand's flexibility and lack of an annual contract. The company spokesman, however, is mostly met with unexpected requests not pertaining to wireless coverage. One man demands that his free nighttime calling plan start at 7 p.m., rather than the standard 9 p.m. See it here. Another man wants a plasma TV for his daughter; a woman wants a puggle and a husband wants his wife to look like Britney Spears. Toy New York created the ads and MPG handled the media buy.

Random iPhone App of the week: Want to view the paintings located in The National Gallery? There's an App for that. Love Art features 250 paintings from the collection and 200 minutes of audio and video content, including interviews with National Gallery Director Dr Nicholas Penny, artist Maggie Hambling and author Tracy Chevalier. The App allows users to zoom in to see portrait details while twelve thematic galleries of paintings are grouped by popular themes, portraits, cityscapes and religious paintings. Love Art is available through the iTunes Store and was created in-house.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

Sphere: Related Content

Make a List

From an email I received a couple days ago:

Hi Scott Howard,

You are subscribed to my Daily Sales Tips and here is your sales tip for the day.

Sales tip #118:

Create a list of 100 or 200 companies that could benefit from your product or service. Research each targeted company from your list and learn as much about them as you can. Find out who the key
decision makers are and the names of their assistants.

Then use different methods to make contact with your prospect.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us.
Until tomorrow,
Alen Majer
Sales Trainer and Consultant
The Science and Art of Selling
Toronto, ON
416-840-4982 office
866-876-4761 toll free

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News

Goodies from Mediapost:

by Tanya Irwin
This is Prince's first larger-scale, integrated social media effort, although the brand has been active in online communities. Prince is not conducting a media buy for the campaign; however, there are several sites placing banners organically resulting in valuable, targeted impressions among the most active segment of consumers. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
General Motors' press conference to analysts and media on Tuesday morning followed a similar presentation the day before. But that one was for an invited audience of consumers, most of whom don't own a GM vehicle. That says a lot about where GM wants its corporate culture to be, per CEO Fritz Henderson. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"In difficult times, urgent messages about critical social needs may alienate stressed-out consumers," Cone Inc. says in a report. "Instead, these organizations are taking a light-hearted approach to talk about their causes, hoping a little bit of humor will go a long way." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
"The question now is which firms will benefit most when traffic improves," observes Fitch director Carla Norfleet Taylor, noting that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (operators of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse), for example, has managed to cut restaurant expenses without sacrificing food quality or the customer experience. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The contest will be promoted through heavy viral promotion, through which Rock Band fans can campaign for votes for their favorite band. There will also be promotional television spots on MTV and other Viacom networks, as well as online promotion on And, Pepsi is including information about the promotion in its consumer e-mail blasts. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"If you think about crossovers, they are not that much smaller than products they are replacing, such as Chevy Traverse versus [traditional large SUV] Chevy Suburban, says AutoPacific's George Peterson. "The Traverse is smaller on the outside but holds as much as the Suburban, so what you are really giving up is towing ability." ... Read the whole story > >

Sphere: Related Content

It's the Test Drive Theory

And it works...

Sampling Inspires Repeat Purchases

While Sampling is Known to Boost Short-Term Sales, a New Study Shows it May Have a Long-Term Effect as Well

It's no secret that sampling programs can get people to try and occasionally purchase products. However, new research suggests that such giveaways can also help drive long-term sales and increase purchases of other items from the product line.

Whether it is a new product launch, line extension or established brand, sampling programs drove a 475 percent sales lift the day of the event compared to non-sampled households, per the "Report on In-store Sampling Effectiveness" conducted by Knowledge Networks-PDI on behalf of the marketing services company PromoWorks.

Those who sampled an item were 11 percent more likely to purchase it again during the 20-week period that followed. They were also 6 percent more likely to buy another item from the brand franchise.

"It's always been understood to a certain degree that there is a lift during the event. The big 'aha' is the long-term impact and the effect a sampling event has on the franchise overall," said Neal Heffernan, svp, gm at Knowledge Networks-PDI.

Participants were nine times more likely to purchase a line extension on the day of the sampling event. The sales lift continued, up 107 percent after a 20-week period.

For older, established brands, the sales lift the day of the event was 177 percent greater than the control group, which received no samples. It remained up 57 percent after a 20-week period.

The sampling event also casts a halo over the entire brand portfolio, said Heffernan. The parent brand of the product sampled received a 107 percent sales lift the day of the event and a 21 percent sales increase after a 20-week period.

(Source:, 08/04/09)

Sphere: Related Content

Take a Trip to Logo Land

From CNN:

What's in a new logo?

It can invigorate a company's image or squander its brand equity. To see which gambles paid off, Fortune turned to a few experts to judge some of the most dramatic transformations.

Apple - A chic redesign
Apple - A chic redesign
Talk about a makeover. Just imagine what an iBook or iPhone would look like with this image on it: definitely not as chic.

Ronald Wayne designed Apple's original logo in 1976 when the company was still operating out of a garage. It shows Isaac Newton sitting beneath a tree with an apple dangling precariously above his head.

Rob Janoff used the same apple in his redesign a year later. "You can almost feel the '70s and '80s taking place when you take a look at that rainbow apple," says Bill Gardner, principal of Gardner Design.

Apple dropped the multi-colored logo in 1998 for a monochromatic version, produced in every color imaginable, until transitioning it to today's popular shade of chrome.

Sphere: Related Content