Monday, June 30, 2014

Marketers: "It's our job to be creative"

I have always been fascinated by the power of brands and the impact they have on our everyday lives and our lifestyle decisions. Brands influence everything around us and shape the way we act in noticeable and unnoticeable ways. We are bombarded with messages all day, brand names, advertising, product placement — so what makes a brand stand out? And how can you make your brand stand out in a sea of competitors?

Some brands do it more creatively than others. They touch our souls, make us laugh, give us a story to tell — they inspire us.  How many times has someone said to you, “Did you see that Video,” or “Look at that billboard.” Some of the best brands use creativity to help create a big impact for a small cost.

You don’t have to have a fancy ad agency from New York City working for your brand or be a creative director. For those of us lucky enough to be marketers, it’s our job to be creative, and creative ideas can sometimes be quite simple and easy to execute

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Apple iWatch to begin production in July

Taiwan's Quanta Computer will start mass production of Apple's first smartwatch in July, according to a source familiar with the matter, as the tech giant tries to prove it can still innovate against rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
The watch, which remains unnamed but which company followers have dubbed the iWatch, will be Apple's first foray into a niche product category that many remain skeptical about, especially as to whether it can drive profits amid cooling growth in tech gadgets.

Apple will introduce a smartwatch with a display that likely measures 2.5 inches diagonally and is slightly rectangular, one of the sources said. The source added that the watch face will protrude slightly from the band, creating an arched shape, and will feature a touch interface and wireless charging capabilities.

The source said Apple expects to ship 50 million units within the first year of the product's release, although these types of initial estimates can be subject to change. The watch is currently in trial production at Quanta, which will be the main manufacturer, accounting for at least 70 percent of final assembly, the source said.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Six Steps to Better Understanding your Customers

Six Steps to Better Understanding your Customers

As Brands increasingly focus on the customer experience, they will recognize that their organization lack a deep understanding and appreciation for their customers. It's not a flaw in the people, just a natural result of how organizations operate. To break this pattern, brands need to learn to "guide with empathy," Here are a few steps for putting this concept into action:

Put Customer feedback into everyday routines: Do more than just examine customer feedback when it shows up on a report. Instead embed customer feedback into your day to day activities. Every day prior to of their shift, Apple retail store team members get together to review customer feedback who they recently interacted with in the store. This daily huddle keeps customers' need top of mind with team members and management.

Refer customers as people: Consumers are statistics...Customers are people. Your data may show 28% of your customers are female, 52 % of your customers are single owner operators, but that does not describe a real person. To spark empathy, it's very important to talk about customers in a way that team members can relate to them.

Share your Customers actual words: Reports on paper tend to eliminate the emotional element of customer feedback and making it easy to ignore. There's nothing more powerful than hearing the actual voice of the customer. Adobe has created a Customer Listening Post, which is a room where executives and team members across the company can listen and interact with actual customers.

Empower Random Acts of Kindness: Encourage team members to go out of there way for customers. Disney trains its team members on a customer focused program called 'Take Five' Disney team members are expected to take five minutes from their normal daily duties to be ' aggressively friendly' with customers. The Ritz Carlton gives team members the go ahead to spend up to $2,000 on a guest to ensure the Ritz experience.