Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Urban Chicken

A phrase I am not sure I thought I would ever say..."The Urban Chicken Movement" but after reading this article
on WikiHow I think I may start building my Chicken coop this weekend! But is raising chickens in an urban setting really a movement? The power of viral media again at play. If you need to know can find it..and usually from more than one source.
Look out downtown comes the farm!
What maybe I am on to something, forget the day job...start marketing the "Urban Chicken" I can see it now...T-shirts...Whole Foods..."Yes I would like a Urban Chicken combo w/ a Coke please"
Who is with me....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Great Experience = High Quality

This survey done by GSD&M advertising agency when they had the Wal-Mart account backs up what I was talking about yesterday. "The Experience" This survey shows the perception of cheap goods = low quality.

Perception... great experience = high quality.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gift Cards IN or Out?

Do gift cards increase Brand loyalty? This article says yes and I believe that gift cards are a great retention tool. If you bring an item back to the store..they give you store credit on their gift card. That insures they will have to spend that money at your place. Also you cant put a price tag on the consumer having a card with your logo on it...its like a small billboard in the wallet/pocket. Also I have noticed that people are proud to show they have a gift card. They feel like they are getting something for free. The best cards I have seen are the ones sold in Super Markets..what a great idea, my brand in your store and you sell it for me! Thanks I will give you a small cut; no problem. Standing at the cash register in a supermarket you can get a card from Starbucks...1-800-Flowers....Target...
What are your thought about gift you like them and do they influence you when you are choosing a brand? Or is it more of a forced brand retention?

Direct mail works! Read all about it

As an avid reader of Deliver Magazine, a marketing publication produced by the USPS. I truly enjoy reading the magazine and wanted to share it with all of you. Lots of great articles and case studies. And as a big believer in using Direct Mail this is a great place to read about the medium. And there is a new web site

Keep up the good work Deliver!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Study

An interesting study on the state of Brands in the marketplace I wanted to share with everyone. I look forward to your comments on it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Join a Chamber of Commerce

The following is a PSA..(Public Service Announcement): Join a Chamber of Commerce.

Joining your local Chamber of Commerce could be one of the easiest ways to help build your brand. For big companies and small the opportunity to come together with other companies in your local area is an outstanding way to increase sales, help to increase your employee pool, lets you share best practices and allow you to network.

Some other key tips on maximizing your chamber experience:

-Be consistent with your attendance
-Join as many committees as you can handle, but do not over extend yourself and not fulfill your commitments
-Ask to speak at chamber events. Will help you network but also helps you brush up on your public speaking skills
-Talk to as many people as you can, even if you don't think they maybe your target audience..they may know someone who is.
-Be on time
-Offer to host an open house..networking tasting at your business. Get people in your place of business to experience what you have to offer.
-Have information/printed materials to share with other members about your business

A chamber as like any networking group is only as good as you make it. Do not be afraid to talk to people...your brand needs to touch as many people as possible. Use the chamber as a tool to touch those people and gain valuable Brand Evangelist!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Brand vs Brand...I think?

Can anyone tell the difference between Cold Stone Creamery and Marble Slab? I am having trouble distinguishing between the two. And I am not sure there message if any is getting through. They both offer Ice Cream and Shakes and dipped Waffle cones..but what is the difference?

Today Cold Stone launches a new $15 Million Dollar campaign with a tag line of "Do you love it, or do you love it love it?" Love what exactly? What do you do different than Marble Slab..or are you the same brand? Are there other examples of Brands that get lumped together? Is there a difference between Crest and Aim? How about Bounty Paper Towels and Brawny. And is there really a difference between Sprite and 7up? All those brands have there unique challenges but when two retail establishments that are the same, and are competing for the same dollar how can they build enough brand loyalty to survive. One will need to distinguish themselves in the category and tell us what makes them different.

I believe the these two brands have a identity problem that I don't think "Do you love it, or do you love it love it?" will fix. It will be interesting to see if both can survive in the market place. I say no.

Please share your thoughts as maybe I am just missing something....

Friday, May 18, 2007

Out of site...Please!

Yesterday I was out visiting with some clients around Austin. I was going into one of the Big Box stores that sells music and movies and computers..and to my surprise there were two employees standing outside the front doors smoking! Right in front of the store blowing smoke at the people walking in the store. Than as I was driving to my next appointment that took me by a well established fast food chain, and what do I see again? Two employees and two of there friends standing outside the front door smoking!
I could not believe my eyes, Please as a consumer and a Marketing Consultant... companies of all sizes please instruct your employees to go outside to the back of the store, out of sight of any customers or potential customers. this should be in all operations manuals and each employee should know the designated area and its not in front of the store. Better yet offer them a quiting program that will improve there health along with there productivity.

Could you imagine if I just went through a Inside Out Brand Marketing strategy session with the corporate people at the QSR and we then went on a store tour and that's what we saw? But that kind of situation would have backed up everything I just talked to them about. Take care of the Inside/Outside of your business before you bring more customers to it as every little thing matters in the eye of a consumer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Energy Drink naming gone wild

The Redux Beverage Company announced this week that they will rename it's Cocaine Energy Drink, following a declaration from the FDA that the energy drinks marketing campaign in illegal.

It's obvious that a name like Cocaine was not a unanimous pick for the Redux Soft Drink Company. I believe they had several rounds of internal debate on that one. But, maybe the marketing department wanted to:

A. Create a buzz and plenty of WOM exposure

B. Instill a 'macho' sense in the drink to pull in the target audience (teenagers) who would say - Go get a Cocaine dude!

But whatever their noble objective was ....I am astonished to learn that the drink doesn't contain any trace of Cocaine in it(ha,ha) So what remains to be seen is how Redux could get the similar brand personality back into a new name and it's certainly not possible by renaming the drink maybe... LSD - Legalized Soft Drink.

The bottom-line is - Cocaine as a brand name associates negativity and no brand name that associates negativity with it can ever succeed, particularly in a long term perspective. All these energy drink marketers are quite envious of the success of Red Bull and they try to replicate it often without a consistent branding strategy.

What do you think...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Why do you shop at...

Q. What grocery store do you shop at?

Q.Why do you shop there?


-Close to your work/home

-Customer Service

-Specialty foods, organic, beers of the world

-Store appearance

Monday, May 14, 2007

Recap on Dunkin

Dunkin Donuts Marketing Plan Recap.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my call to work on DD marketing plan for the upcoming Austin expansion. Below is what we came up with.

-Local event sponsorships,community activities, word of mouth
-Making a visit to DD an "experience" and a destination.
-Using "Hands on the Street" marketing within a 5-6 mile radius around each store.
-Quality of coffee and just a plan cup of coffee must be excellent.
-Service must be fast and Austin friendly
-Layout must be cozy,free WIFI
-Quality bake good
-Price less than Starbucks
All the responses and not one was a call for mass media, TV commercials w/ Rachael Ray are not going to bring people into DD. But $40 a day goes a long way at DD
I will be following the progress of Dunkin Donuts in Austin and will follow up with blogs as they expansion starts...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Brand they work?

This is my new favorite web site(see below). Check it out when you get a chance, it goes back to viral marketing... when you can create a brand icon....put it into real life situations and build a world around the icon. If we would have had the technology imagine what we could have done with the Jolly Green Giant. But this also raises a bigger question?

Q. Do you remember what brand/product the Jolly Green Giant pitched

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Back by popular demand...The nearly world famous Inside-Out Brand Marketing IN-OUT LIST

IN-Oceans 13
Out-any other 3 sequel

IN-Mass transit
Out-$3/gallon gas

IN-80's cartoons
Out-2007 cartoons

IN-Heroes and House (TV Shows)
Out-Reality TV

IN-NHL Playoffs
Out-NBA Playoffs

IN-NY style Pizza
Out-Other Pizza

IN-Free ATM fees
Out-Paying a fee to get your money

IN-My amazing Wife
Out-The boys


IN-A lawn-mower that last more than 1 summer
Out-The 3 lawn-mowers that lasted less the one summer each

Out-Home Depot

IN- San Diego Chargers new Uniforms
Out- The old colors

Out-Any other city not called Austin

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Monday, May 7, 2007

Dunkin's Girl

Does Racheal Ray make you want to go to Dunkin Donuts? Can she deliver the Austin Market?

Dunkin Donuts marketing plan?

What should Dunking Donuts marketing plan look like for the Austin Market? Lets see if we as a group can write a plan for them....

-How much mass advertising should they do?
-What roll will social marketing play in there mix?
-What should the creative look like? Remember this is Austin not Boston
-Should we be talking more about there coffee than there donuts?
-What is the Message? Quality..Customer Service...Fast?? Do they have a message already?

Lets get started..

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Where are the customers going to come from?

Dunkin Donuts is coming! Austin is now going to have 26 new locations in the next two years.

Question: Where are the customers going to come from? Will they take customers from Starbucks? KrispyKream? Or are there thousands of customers out there waiting for Dunkin Donuts to open? Is the brand relevant in Austin?