Saturday, June 30, 2007


What do you think when you think of, more coffee and a relaxed atmosphere or do you think salads? Well get ready to have a side salad with that moca Frapachino!Wow maybe maybe Mr. Shultz was right.. they have lost their way? Check out this story and let me know what you think!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Inside a Consulting Session part 2

After going through the process of collecting names and the different was to do that and the different methods on how to effectively use those names. We went on to other methods of increasing business right away. Local Store Marketing or LSM is a great way to see a quick return and and also begin to build your business. This company had just signed a sponsorship deal with a local minor league sports team. As part of the deal they were given 500 tickets to give out to the next home 4 days! They had them on the table and could not figure out how they could get all 500 out. So we did the following...we took the tickets along with a buy one get one free offer and business cards to all the local businesses in the trade area..all within 1-5 miles around the location. We were able to go into other business introduce ourselves...give out trail coupons for there customers and themselves and look like heroes by giving each business a handful of tickets. It took a few days to get them out but they did and reported a 40% redemption rate on the buy one get one offer!!! That's a huge return for marketing your local trade area. Just imagine how many "Brand Evangelist" came out of taking the time to go in a say hello to your local merchants.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

It really works!

Being an avid runner I could not believe this story when I read it. So note to all my running friends be careful with the Bengay!
And for my brand building friends...should the makers of Bengay be doing some damage control? Do they need to put a warning label on the package?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Inside a Consulting Session part 1

Last week I was meeting with a new retail business for the first time. After taking a tour of the area locations I sat down with three of the key executives in the company for a Q&A session. They had one common theme..we want to increase business so we can expand to0 other parts of the country and the world. In the next few entries I will take you through the meeting and give you some in site on the ideas/concepts I brought to this business.

One of the first things that caught my eye when I walk into a location was this really large "fish bowl" on the front counter. You know "please put your business card in for a free...." My first thought was that it really needed to be replaced with a custom box, but more important to me was what was happening to the cards once the winner was picked? The answer I received from the manager was I have most of them on my desk, but not to long ago I through most of them out. So back at the corp office I started asking questions about do you know who your customers are..I mean do you have there Names,Addresses and Day/Night phone numbers. The answer was not really. So that's were we need to start.

First lets take all the business cards (and standard forms they will have going forward) and send them a hand written letter thanking them for coming in and inviting them back with a special offer. This will increase the number of times they visit the location and encourage them to bring a friend, maybe the offer is buy one get one free? Also this begins to build your data base of peoples names,addresses and Day/Night phone numbers.

My aggressive plan for them is to know every single persons name/address, day/night phone numbers that have come into there locations. Aggressive yes..but so important to the success and expansion of the brand. How are they going to do this..come back to find out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Progress 101

A few blogs back I told a story of a national pizza brand with a "red" roof and how bad there service was. And after having lunch with a company executive friend of mine her story was the same. Well I went back to said red roof place for dinner with my family last week...and what a difference one team member can make. She single handily elevated my experience 100%. First we were personally seated right away and the table was clean and ready. As we were about to get our pizza she comes over and says..sorry for the delay(compared to last time this was at lightning speed) we dropped a piece of your pizza and we are remaking it and it should be right out...would you like me to bring you the rest of the pizza minus the one piece? And I can box the other pizza for you you to take home. That's thinking on your feet..turning a negative into a positive right away..great job Cindy and I hope you make it up the corporate ladder and make a difference under the red roof!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Does Product Placement Work?

Ocean's Thirteen Returning to the scene of the crime, Ocean's Thirteen rolls out over a glittery Las Vegas landscape where Danny Ocean and his band of thieves pulled their first heist together. Dropping everything (including walking out in the middle of cracking a safe), they reunite to pull one more job. This time the target is The Bank, a fake casino set among real casinos from the first Ocean's film. Tools of their trade include Dell XPS notebooks and Apple MacBooks used by the hacker members of the group. However their more memorable and unusual tools include a magnatron disguised as a gold-plated Samsung cell phone and a Zippo lighter, which controls the movement of dice with a flip of its cap. Featured Brands: adidas, Apple, Bellagio Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Bentley, Bose, Chevrolet, Cirque du Soleil, Dell, Dos Equis, Ford, Harley-Davidson, Isuzu, K•B Toys, Knob Creek, Maxim, Mirage Casino, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Oprah Winfrey, Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, PUMA, Samsung, Southwest Airlines, Trail-Eze, Zapata Tequila, Zippo

My question is..will you remember seeing the Dell computer or the Dos Equis in the movie and be more likely to buy those brands because George and the boys used them? Will you stay at the Bellagio because the boys did?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In with the new..out with the old?

How do you write a marketing plan for an established business that has outgrown it's initial business plan?
A good friend of mine who is a Creative Marketing Director brought this question to me last week. After thinking about it and talking to him we decided to bring the question to my blog.

This brand has outgrown there original business plan and need a new plan without its roots and what got them to where they are today. Sounds easy...but when you get to thinking about it...maybe not so easy.

Is it worth writing a new one? Or forging ahead with the old one?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Love The King!

Take a look at the newest web site from the very creative people at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky..Burger King's agency of record. Have fun making your own facial hair!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Just stop by Maine next summer

L.L. Bean is going to build a "theme park" around a new retail store in the home state of Maine. Will this "line extension" work, will you go to Maine to shop and stand in line for the Log Water Ride? Will this increase there sales..or is it more of a branding effort? With pressure from Cabela's and Bass Pro Shop, I guess the next best/biggest thing to do is build your own theme park.
One of the questions I have is that the theme park industry has been really down and most of them are built in vacation destination area..Florida, California, Texas..not the great state of Maine.

Will you go to Maine to try it out..and buy a few flannel shirts and maybe a tent?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Progress...not so much

I had lunch today with a friend of mine who is a marketing executive with a Mega Brand....(think Pizza with a red roof) We were talking about her brand and how things still shock her when she visits some of her locations. She went on to explain how she was in one of her Mega Brand locations and it took over four minutes for an associate to say hello to a client as they stood in line unsure of what they were supposed to do next. I asked her if there was a smile and a handshake...she laughed at me and said she was just hoping for a hello.

After lunch I was thinking that I was not surprised that this mega brand had "customer no service" issues, although it does amaze me that that a brand can get so big it forgets how to treat the client..the client built the brand because they came back and came back again....but how many clients have not come back? How much money does a Mega Brand spend in trying to get new clients; only to get them and then lose them because of poor execution inside the business. Mega brands need to remember when they were small and return to there roots..when customer service built there Mega Brand!

So I decided to bring my family into the Mega Pizza location last week and even though I had talked to her about the situation I still could not believe what I was seeing. A family of four walks in and takes a seat at a table..because the sign told them to do so..not an associate. After hanging out at there table for more than 10 minutes without being acknowledged that they were even in the restaurant..they got up and left! I wonder how much the Pizza giant spent on trying to get that family of four to come into the restaurant? And if the family of four never comes back how much money will the Pizza giant loose over five years. When you start to add it up its enough to make a corporate executive lose his or her would think.

What do you think..have you had an experience like this before at a chain restaurant?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Classics at the Paramount Theatre

Just a PSA to all my friends in Austin the Paramount Theatre. They have the best Classic Summer Movie Series. Please check out the schedule here I had the opportunity to check out STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN a few weeks back and my wife and I had a great time watching it on the Big Screen!

So get out of the heat and head to the Paramount Theatre this summer and have fun watching some classic movies again on the big screen.