Saturday, April 17, 2010

Marketing Trivia

Some marketing trivia I learned awhile ago from a couple of books at the school library:

1. There are approximately 4 million bloggers in the world, 90% of them falls under 30 years old. 60% has not touched their blogsites for the past two months. I think blogsites have a rich pool of information for businessmen and marketers to study the lifestyle, attitudes, and interests of their target market.

2. REBEL AND SELL. It is rebellion and not conformity, that derives desires in the market place as we seek to differentiate ourselves from others (Heath and Potter). This links us to number 3.

3. Subcultures emerge when a number of people interact with one another and innovate new forms of practice or different ways of doing, living and being. It has a degree of difference from mainstream culture. I had this sudden burst of idea awhile ago. For clothing stores that target Middle Aged, they can make their presence felt and soon imprinted in the lifestyle of the subculture of the middle aged.

Since middle aged women (esp housewives) experience the empty nest syndrome, they usually take up classes and socialize with other mothers. These stores can bank on the hobbies of these women, like ballroom dancing. They can have a sales promo where winners may have free ballroom dancing classes together, they can offer outfits for such occasions as well.

4. Marketers are not the sole source for the meanings that surround a brand. Successful brands establish right culture inside the corporation. The strategic vision, stakeholder image and organizational culture must be aligned. Strategic vision is the responsibility of the top management, whereas the organizational culture transcends from the CEO to the security guard at the building entrance.

Starbucks treat their employees with utmost dignity. They refer to them as 'partners' and provide them better health benefits than the competitor. Another company has Monday morning meetings which they call "Communal Stretching Exercises" where people across different departments share their stories in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

5. Consumers no longer seek just functional benefits from products and services, they seek meanings that help them construct and maintain their identities. Many times brands allow consumers to make a social statement, about who they are and who they want to be. A well known example is Anita Roddick's Bodyshop. Bodyshop is known for their care for the environment.

Another brilliant example is Ben and Jerry's. Would you believe that even ice-cream can have a social conscience? They established a campaign called the Lick Global Warming -"a fantastic way for people to learn how to reduce their own CO2 emissions and to pressure Congress to take action against global warming." They've also taken necessary steps in lessening carbon emmissions of their freezers and on their ice-cream making process.

6. Marketers need to spend effort to co-create brand experiences with consumer. In simpler terms, a brand should try to get close to its customers. Ben and Jerry's asks suggestions for their new flavor, as well as (negative) reactions on their existing product line. Salomon, a jet ski manufacturer, go where the crowd goes and let them try their jetski for free! This is what my prof termed "Tryvertising."

7. Iconic brands are responds to cultural tensions in the sociocultural environment effectively. David Beckham for example is a fashion icon that shows his humanity (as a dad) and feminine side (frequent hairstyle changes, sarong). He "carved a path between perceived sissiness of the feminine and widespread disapproval of brutish masculine." How about you? Can you think of other iconic brands?

8. Make sure your customers are pleased. They would not only come back for more, but they would gladly advertise your brand through word of mouth. It is also cheaper to gain loyal customers than to gain trial from consumers loyal to a competing brand.

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