Archive for the 'promotions' Category

19
Aug
13

Branding A Business: The Lessons We Learned From JCP’s Failed Rebranding Effort

In less than shocking news, Ron Johnson was recently ousted as CEO of J.C. Penney after a continued decline in recent sales.  Johnson came into JCP during one of the worst times for the company.  He had hoped to rebrand the retail chain in order to have it come back as a successful store, but his tactics failed to cause a turnaround in profits.

ronjohnsonLast year, when Johnson rolled out his first series of changes, we recorded our opinions and predictions.  Now that Johnson has been let go by JCP, we have noted a few things that are crucial for rebranding initiatives that Johnson seemed to leave out.

1. Research, Research, Research

The key to a successful branding is complete research.  This means analyzing the company, the consumers, the competition, and the market.  After collecting all there is to know, a company can decide on the most successful strategies to be implemented.  Most of JCP’s rebranding woes could have possibly been predicted according to their current consumer trends.  JCP severely underestimated the backlash of ditching their coupons for the value pricing system.  The company learned almost immediately how important the promotions were to current customers, which is something sales records could have demonstrated.  When in a crisis, companies should always evaluate what is working for their company versus what isn’t.  The backlash on the pricing policy change has lead us to question the validity of the research that was completed.

2. Consumer Testing Is Key

Customer is king.  If the customer does not like the strategies you are using, it will bleed through into your sales.  Consumer testing helps a company try out some of their newest tactics and get some feedback before rolling out anything to the wider market.  Judging from consumer reactions, Johnson skipped this step.  Customers were immediately annoyed by the new television commercials, and posted their negative almost immediately. jcplogo

3. Make Sure Everyone Is On Board

According to various reports, Johnson was always very mum on changes to come.  Only a few select people would know what was next for the retailer.  However, branding, by definition, is about sharing with the public the culture that is alive inside the company.  That means that every employee has to be on the same page, providing a united front in what the brand stands for.  But, with Johnson keeping everyone in the dark, workers did not know what their next attitude change had to be.

Where else did Johnson fail in his rebranding?  Or what were some of his successes?  Tell us your takeaway in the comments, and on our Facebook & Twitter!

 

15
Aug
12

MOLOSO: Rewarding your loyal customers through mobile and social media

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We’ve heard it over and over again: social media is a great, cost effective way to drive traffic into your business and create better brand awareness.

But what about the people who already know and love your brand? It is time that you show your loyalty customers some love.

First, ask yourself what makes your loyalty customers special and what do you want to accomplish? Do you want them to buy more or buy more often? Knowing your goals and the personality of your target audience is key is determining how likely they will respond to your attempts to reward their loyalty.

Second, do not forget about your social-loyal (SOLO) customers. For example, I am a huge SOLO customer of Dunkin Donuts. I follow them online and as soon as the Denver franchises open I will be a loyal buying customer. Here are a few ways to make your loyalty customers feel special:

Texting: Life revolves around our mobile devices. It has been shown that 73% of Americans send and receive text messages. This is a personal way to reach your loyal customers to offer them exclusive time-sensitive offers, notify them of their membership status and bring them in during your slower hours. Check out these examples:

  • Nail Salon: Monday & Tuesday special: free member only upgrade!
  • Frozen Yogurt: You only need 3 more purchases to qualify for a free 10 oz yogurt!

Facebook, also known as the face of social media, visually advertises your business, and allows you to interact with your followers. Loyal customers want to feel special, and through Facebook you can have conversations with them, give away specialty membership contests and reward loyal customers from their Facebook Check Ins.

Also, do not assume your loyal customers know all of the services you provide. Use Facebook to further advertise add-ons, special events, catering, monthly specials and new offers. If they are following your page, they are interested. They will be excited to know they can get more products and services than they may have thought.

  • Chick-fil-A: they offer their catering information (seemingly less known to the public) and (to date) have 2.4 million people talking about their page, and 6.2 million likes

Foursquare: Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012. Foursquare is an app that lets you ‘check in’ at the businesses you frequent. If you go to one place more often than your friends do, you become the “Mayor.” The race to become the Mayor gives customers incentive to go, and to go repeatedly. You can further emphasize this incentive by offering the Mayor free products, upgrades, discounts and invites to exclusive events.

  • Arby’s Mayor special: they get to sit in the “4Square Mayor Booth” and get to taste test new sandwich offerings. They also get the special badge on their Foursquare profile.

Twitter: Tweeting may have less impact on purchasing behavior, but is a great outlet to educate your loyalty crowd. Customer service via Twitter is also useful because it will reach a vast number of customers and show them that you are concerned with their happiness. Exclusive offers for free products can also be advertised through a link to sign up with your membership or by registering to join your clientele base.

  • Morton’s: Peter Shankman tweeted to his 150,000 followers, “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, Thanks :)” – and they did!
  • Subway: incredible customer service through conversations with their followers regarding what they like and dislike.

With 12 million Americans using social media daily, you have a high probability that your loyal customers will be reached and appreciative that you have taken the initiative to thank them for being loyal. A little appreciation will keep them coming back, and more importantly, spreading a positive word about your business.

What advice do you have for businesses that are trying to reach their loyal customers? Give us your thoughts from the loyal customer point of view on Facebook at Weise Communications or on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.

03
Apr
12

What’s Easter without a little chocolate?

 

ImageThere are few holidays that are not centered around chocolate and/or desserts, and Easter is no exception.

Mars M&Ms has grasped this reality and flung it into a new mobile marketing advertising campaign to drive sales for the coming holiday.

The M&M mobile ads capture attention with phrases such as, “Make every basket complete. M&M chocolates for Easter,” according to Mobile Marketer. Once they tap on the ad, users are educated on how to incorporate the candies into their Easter dessert recipes. It drives the consumer to a mobile microsite where they are greeted by the infamous M&M characters and step-by-step recipes.

The brilliance of the mobile marketing is its capability to drive on impulse. People who receive the ad when they are already out and about have it fresh in their mind that they should not only buy the candy, but they should do so because they have a recipe that they need it for; making the purchase a necessity, not just a desire.

Next to Valentines Day, Easter is the biggest chocolate buying holiday, and these ‘virtual end caps’ are a bright idea for the spring season.

What recipe will you make with the pastel M&M candies? Give in, it’s Easter.

25
Mar
11

Twitter: A Loaded Gun. Own Responsibly.

This week marked the fifth anniversary of the first tweet. For the past five years Twitter has grown by leaps and bounds. It continues to creatively showcase the incredible reach and power of social media. According to the official Twitter Blog, in the past year the average number of tweets per day has nearly tripled from 50 million to 140 million.  For the past month the site has averaged 460,000 new membership sign-ups per day. Twitter sustaines itself as a powerful tool to connect with others, grow business, share information and have your voice heard. The benefits and reach of this social networking platform are undeniable. However, with the good also comes the bad. There are numerous unfavorable incidents surrounding inappropriate tweets; risky and scandalous tweets have lead to loss of business, the displacement of employees and countless apologies.

Once you say something on Twitter, it moves fast and you cannot take it back. Many people and brands have suffered as a result.

In 2009, Meghan McCain (daughter of former presidential candidate John McCain) became the center of an infamous Twitter scandal. The young lady posted a revealing photo of herself clutching an Andy Warhol book. Although the wording of her tweet was uncontroversial, the photo definitely was not. It quickly spread and she encountered overwhelming response. Many saw her photo as a crude and distasteful cry for attention. McCain had to respond quickly and apologize for posting the inappropriate image. The negative impact could have directly reflected on the status of her father’s public service career. At the very least, it was a distraction from his campaign strategy. Perhaps she did not realize that her tweet would cause such a stir, yet the purpose of Twitter to spread a message fast, and this is why her photo became a campaign crisis within hours.

In recent weeks there have been a number of similar instances. Earlier this month, Chrysler fired its new media agency  as a direct result to an inappropriate tweet. The tweet contained profanity and discourteous comments directed towards Detroit drivers.  This was particularly offensive because Chrysler is headquartered in Detroit and has a commitment to the city and its workers. The tweet was meant to be sent from a personal account; however, it was mistakenly sent from the official Chrysler page. The mistake of this team member had irrevocable results. The agency fired the team member and lost the Chrysler account.

One of the more entertaining examples is former Aflac spokesman, Gilbert Gottfried. In the face of recent disaster, comedian Gottfried posted distasteful tweets about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan — a market that accounts for 75 percent of Aflac’s revenue. Although this information was posted to a personal account, it directly implicated Aflac because of its association with the comedian. Aflac did not take these insensitive comments lightly. They fired Gottfried as spokesperson for their brand and made a formal apology for the comments. In response to the event Gottfriend responded, “I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families,” however his sympathies were too little and clearly too late.

The lesson learned from each of these stories is clear. Twitter is a loaded gun. Handle with care. Tweeting tasteless and inappropriate remarks can result in loss of business, jobs and credibility. Agencies and companies should be particularly cautious in moving forward with social media marketing campaigns. Implementing tweet policies to employees, ambassadors and spokespeople could save your company from detrimental embarrassment and negative feedback.

Think before you tweet!

If you need assistance in creating a positive social media marketing campaign or want to share how your business has begun to incorporate tweeting policies, tell us about it here. Or share with us on Facebook at Weise Communications. And be sure to follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

02
Jul
10

Adidas: The Model for Integrated Social Media Campaigns

As a part of ‘Every Team Needs a Fan’ campaign, Adidas is teaming up with recognizable athletes Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints; Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic; BJ Upton, Tampa Bay Rays; and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. of NASCAR to engage sports fans across the U.S. for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Adidas is the provider of the World Cup game ball and is extending their awareness at the global event with these four brand ambassadors.

Reggie Bush traveled to South Africa, in addition to conducting interviews with multiple media outlets, he shared a picture (right) on his twitter account with U.S. player Jozy Altidore (also an Adidas athlete) minutes after the U.S. beat Algeria.

Each ambassador is posting Facebook updates, they are tweeting during and between World Cup games. Each one has shot YouTube videos. (Dwight Howard’s is the most entertaining.)  To get people even more engaged, there is a competition for the ambassadors to get the most fans and Dwight Howard is hosting a watch party in Atlanta for one winner that signed up through Facebook.

Here are many of the locations the integrated social media campaign appears:

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Individual Websites

Adidas has done an exceptional job of extending their brand presence through athletes they have endorsement deals and having them cross-over into different sports which exposes fans of these other sports to these athletes and Adidas.

BJ Upton’s participation has been limited in this promotion, however he recently became embroiled in controversy and it is possible that Adidas downplayed his role in this campaign.  This shows Adidas flexibility to adjust the campaign on the fly and the flexibility of social media as a marketing tool to enable such adjustments.

Let Weise Communications on Facebook know about the best thoroughly integrated social media campaign you’ve seen.

07
May
10

5 Keys to Successful Fusion Marketing

During challenging economic times, businesses are always looking for low-cost ways to market products and services.  Today’s idea is not only inexpensive; it is also a reliable and effective method of marketing products and services.

In its most simplistic form, fusion marketing is partnering with other businesses for the purpose of marketing for one each other’s business.  Here is an example, my neighborhood dry cleaners is located next to a sub sandwich restaurant.  When I dropped off some dry cleaning, I found a 20 percent coupon for the sandwich shop.  I thought I would grab some lunch and when I was paying for my discounted sandwich, I found a 20% percent coupon for the dry cleaners.

These two businesses were sending customers to each other. They had formed a strategic alliance and in marketing lingo, this is called fusion marketing.

The most critical component to successful fusion marketing is to identify the businesses with which to create strategic alliances; identifying these “Power Partners” is the foundation for success. A Power Partner is a business that has a similar target market as your business but doesn’t really compete with the products and services your business offers. Imagination is the only limiting factor when identifying Power Partners.

A powerful fusion marketing combination could be a wedding planner, a florist, a photographer, a baker, a mobile DJ and a bridal shop. How powerful would it be to have a ‘preferred partner’ link on each business website? How about having marketing materials at each business location, so when a prospective bride asks the florist, “Do you know a good photographer?”, the florist has a handy recommendation.

Here are the five keys to setting up a successful fusion marketing alliance:

Key 1: Identify your Power Partners.

Key 2: Determine the offer for each Power Partner.  The offers don’t necessarily have to be the same as in the coupon example above.

Key 3: Communicate with each other. Set up a regular meeting time to ensure that everyone agrees how to market each other’s businesses and refer customers.

Key 4: Share prospects and lead generation lists.  It may be possible to combine offers in the next customer sales pitch.

Key 5: Responsiveness and follow-up. Respond to customer inquiries and leads from Power Partners. Share lead conversions with Power Partners for future follow-up.

Tell us if you have any fusion marketing success, we are really interested in the combination of Power Partners and your best customer conversion story.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Weise_Ideas

16
Oct
09

Musical stairs – A potential way to lower obesity rates in US?

Can transforming a flight of stairs into an oversized piano keyboard decrease obesity rates in the U.S.? Probably not, but I’m sure they would add a few more smiles to the faces of commuters!

I was looking for a hip viral and found a Web site that ranks viral videos by popularity. The site, aptly named Viral Video Chart, has ranked one from Volkswagon No. 1 in the last 24 hours. The English version of the video is titled “Piano Stairs – The Fun Theory.” The creators of the staircase were successful in enticing people to take the stairs versus the escalator, increasing use of the stairs by 66 percent. Pretty good results in my book.

Great viral. I would like to see some executions like this in America centered around healthy lifestyle choices. Any ideas?




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