Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Well, that’s what Burger King did, we learn. Here’s the story put out by Trend-Watching:

whopper

On McDonald’s yearly ‘McHappy Day’, the brand donates proceeds from sales of Big Macs to aid children with cancer. On November 10th, Burger King in Argentina contributed to its competitor’s cause. Every Burger King in the country refused to sell Whoppers and redirected customers to McDonald’s so they could buy a Big Mac instead (thereby aiding McDonald’s charitable initiative). Though Burger King’s campaign was a bit cheeky – customers were told to go to the ‘place where they don’t flame-grill their burgers’ – they did help their competitor sell more burgers than they ever had on McHappy Day. And McDonald’s even thanked its rival off-the-record.

Burger King took this opportunity to showcase two sides of its brand personality. Firstly, it proved its empathy and selflessness by sacrificing its own sales to support a charitable effort. How could anyone not get behind that? Secondly, the brand put on a massive show of confidence. Because what it’s saying to customers (without saying it) is, “we’re fine sending you to McDonald’s, because you will like our burger more and you will come back!”

And yes, this is a marketing stunt. But what a stunt. Think about it: Burger King stopped selling their flagship product for entire day, at all its stores in Argentina (109, to be exact), then they directed hungry customers to a competitor! Kudos to whoever was brave enough to pitch this idea…

That’s what a brand story is all about!

End

 

 

 

Source: Trend-Watching, a site that makes interesting observations on what happens in very diverse fields.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

small-term-investment-plans

 

My passion of collecting anecdotes and experiences was unexpectedly rewarded today with a very unusual story. Here it goes:

Amit works for an old, respectable and conservative financial-services organization, helping people with investment counselling and management in certain parts of Mumbai city as well as rural Maharashtra.

On one of his cold-calling visits, he meets up with a prospect in one of the smaller towns.

Whatever else, rural folks, you’d know if you’ve dealt with them, are quite sharp in their assessment of whom they’re interacting with.  So, when Amit introduces himself and his org and explains the purpose of his visit, this man hears him out patiently, asks a few questions and finally says:

‘Look young man, all this is fine. I have heard about your org. No issues there. But I don’t know you at all. You pop up suddenly before me from nowhere and expect me to discuss my finances with you? You’ve no references that I know of, to recommend you.’

Amit digs into his bag.

‘Don’t bother showing me your customer letters. Unless it’s from some one I know, I trust…’

Amit pitches all that he has learnt in his training and all that he had collected from the field over the years.

From the look on the man’s face and the body language, he knows he isn’t making any headway.

And finally:

He pulls out his cell-phone, not one of those fancy ones, and says: ‘Sir, take this. Pls call these people and check,’ reeling out a few names. ‘And ask them how long I’ve been calling them…from this phone.’

The man shakes his head, almost sympathizing with the youngster: ‘How does it help?’

‘Sir, they’ll confirm it to you – for the last 7-8 years, I’ve been calling them from this phone, from the very same number.’

The man says: ‘I’m not sure where you’re going with this, my friend.’

‘Could I be holding onto the same number for so long, Sir, without doing right by my customers? Doesn’t happen with most guys in our profession; they change their numbers often and perhaps jobs too – like they’re erasing and escaping from their past…’

Amit waits for his words to sink in.

They find their mark at last.

The man’s gaze is fixed on Amit as he rests his case. Well, maybe the lad has a point…

With some more effort, he becomes Amit’s customer and remains one till this date.

 

I’ve no problem confessing it would have never occurred to me…

I hope this is now added to the org’s lore to be shared with its employees.

 

End

 

PS: So, what’s it with your investment advisor?

As a man out on the field meeting people and people, I’m sure he has many more stories under his belt. Let me see…if I can tease a few more out of him.

  

Source: besttermplan.in/short-term-investment-plans/

Read Full Post »

24991450_1757292077905909_768274830963592024_n

End

Read Full Post »

From Steven S Reeves in here:

Magic Pen

(lightly edited for readability and conciseness)

Stories from the frontline selling are often are counter intuitive and funny, or at least ironic. They entertain, and educate, but aren’t always true. This one is true, and it goes like this. This story about the salesman’s magic pen illustrates how the smallest detail, or idea, can make a big difference in any sale.

John was intrigued. At this first meeting with Steve, he noticed the pen in his shirt pocket. A pen wasn’t unusual, of course, but this one was. John recognised the logo on the pen clip. He had one just like it himself. Those pens were gifted to prospects and customers by Steve’s fiercest competitor.

Steve represented one of the two hardware companies dominating the Unix server market. John was in the process of choosing a hardware supplier for the new database project. He’d already met with, and been impressed by, the other company. That was how he’d been given his pen. He didn’t understand how Steve would get hold of one, and especially couldn’t figure why he’d be advertising his competition.

The question had to be asked.  Why was Steve showing that pen?

Steve smiled, shyly.  He’d need to tell the story of how he came by it.

John already knew the competitor was eating Steve’s company’s lunch, winning just about every deal in the market. The business had professional sales people, a strong product line, and management refusing to lose new opportunities under any circumstances.

But that wasn’t the story of how Steve got the pen.

He’d been one side of the usual punch up over a new server sale, and in trouble. Despite proving his hardware was superior, and persuading management to let him offer an eye watering price, he still wasn’t winning. The other side was determined not to lose, and offered to supply it’s server for free, just to stop Steve’s company winning a deal, any deal.

Instead of giving up, He decided to stay in the game and fight. Cutting a long story short, Steve won the deal based on functionality, service, and a reasonable price, against the opposition’s free of charge.

At the meeting scheduled to finalise the contract, Steve’s new customer used the pen, given to him by the competitor, to sign the paper.  This was too big an opportunity to miss.  Steve wanted that pen as a trophy.  He offered to exchange his own gold-plated pen for the cheap plastic logo pen which had been used to sign the contract.  His customer readily agreed, happily joining in the joke.

Steve left the meeting with a signed contract, and what was to become his magic pen.

John chuckled at the story. Later he’d find out why that buyer had chosen to pay for a server when the alternative was available for free. Right now he still didn’t know why Steve was displaying the pen in his pocket. So he asked again.

This time the response was a broad smile. Steve carried the logo pen in his shirt pocket because, at every first meeting, his new prospects would ask why he was displaying the pen. Then he’d get to tell the story, of how his customer preferred to pay for Steve’s server, rather than have the competitors product for free.

Showing the pen in his shirt pocket caught the attention of potential customers.  They asked the question, and, as a result of hearing the story, realised they needed to seriously consider what Steve was saying about the strengths of his company and product.

The small detail of a plastic pen made a very big difference, bringing Steve more business his way and job promotions.

Do we need to add the competitor tried to recruit Steve several times?  Maybe it wanted it’s pen back?

End

Read Full Post »

Well, you might say nothing really new here – it’s ancient wisdom.  You’re right. But we all need to be reminded from time to time. Also the words suddenly leap to life in today’s context when Seth Godin says it in his own inimitable way:

…Pleasure is short-term, addictive and selfish. It’s taken, not given. It works on dopamine.

Happiness is long-term, additive and generous. It’s giving, not taking. It works on serotonin.

This is not merely simple semantics. It’s a fundamental difference in our brain wiring. Pleasure and happiness feel like they are substitutes for each other, different ways of getting the same thing. But they’re not. Instead, they are things that are possible to get confused about in the short run, but in the long run, they couldn’t be more different.

Both are cultural constructs. Both respond not only to direct, physical inputs (chemicals, illness) but more and more, to cultural ones, to the noise of comparisons and narratives.

Marketers usually sell pleasure. That’s a shortcut to easy, repeated revenue. Getting someone hooked on the hit that comes from caffeine, tobacco, video or sugar is a business model. Lately, social media is using dopamine hits around fear and anger and short-term connection to build a new sort of addiction.

On the other hand, happiness is something that’s difficult to purchase. It requires more patience, more planning and more confidence. It’s possible to find happiness in the unhurried child’s view of the world, but we’re more likely to find it with a mature, mindful series of choices, most of which have to do with seeking out connection and generosity and avoiding the short-term dopamine hits of marketed pleasure.

More than ever before, we control our brains by controlling what we put into them. Choosing the media, the interactions, the stories and the substances we ingest changes what we experience. These inputs could lead us to have a narrative, one that’s supported by our craving for dopamine…

 

End

 

Read Full Post »

Extracted from an interesting short piece by Christian Madsbjerg is the author of SENSEMAKING: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm:

Silicon Valley needs to get schooled

Silicon Valley is getting antsy. It’s been awhile since we were collectively wowed by the next big thing. The iPhone is ten years old. Uber is eight. The problem isn’t a lack of ideas. As engineers keep breaking new ground, it seems like anything will be possible soon. Why aren’t more of these technologies breaking through to our everyday lives?

What Silicon Valley is missing is an understanding of people—what is meaningful to them, the way they live their day to day lives, what would make a difference for them on an ordinary Tuesday in Phoenix or Shanghai. There is a dearth of deep, nuanced cultural knowledge

From my experience working with major corporations, I would say that technological advancements are only half of the picture. Knowing how to build things is great, but if you have no idea for whom you’re building them—how these inventions will connect with people’s aspirations and challenges—you will fail, no matter how many coding geniuses and data scientists you employ.

If you, like me, are a reader of great novels, you know that almost visceral sensation when you come to understand the world of someone else – the suffering of an Afghan woman, enduring abuse and horrendous conditions to spear her loved ones, or the drab misery of life as an IRS clerk in middle America, someone who had always imagined his life would turn out differently. Literatures—like in-depth journalism, plays, music, art, and even activities like cooking—can put you in the shoes of people unlike you in profound, empathetic way. But the importance of these activities is under attack from the big data-mindset that has invaded both Silicon Valley and many of the world’s biggest corporations.

Spend a few days immersed in a great novel by Tolstoy or with the work of Greek scientist and poet Ptolemy and one is forced to acknowledge that nothing is ever entirely disrupted nor is anything ever completely new. Learning does not function independently of what has come before, but rather in dialogue with it. If executives at Google had taken some time to contemplate this fact, they might have avoided the disastrous rollout to their Google Glass product in 2014. The technology itself functioned just fine. In a narrow Silicon Valley perspective, Google Glass might be considered a successful technology. But when does a piece of technology ever exist independent of a world, a societal structure and culture? Yes, the glasses “worked” but did they belong? Google Glass wearers were dubbed “Glassholes” and people shunned Google Glass wearers at social events. Silicon Valley may have new technology, but in this instance it failed at the much larger challenge of understanding how people relate to one another.

When we use a skill set based in the humanities to understand the world, we gain insight into these deeper issues. And these are the factors that actually drive business forward. Let’s return to China: one by one, the world’s biggest and most cutting edge Silicon Valley companies—Yahoo, eBay, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, and, finally Google—have attempted to develop a meaningful market there. They have come armed with all of the best technical knowledge along with plenty of cash and intellectual property. And yet, today, Internet market leaders in China are still local: Alibaba, Baidu and TenCent.

Technical superiority is a very small part of this story. Limited by their “Silicon Valley” state of mind, American companies simply had no feel for the nuances that made the Chinese marketplace different. With a deeper immersion into the lives of Chinese consumers as well as into their literature, history and religion, technologists might have grasped the more subtle differences between professional and personal network building in Chinese society

When we stop valuing culture, we become blind to the very opportunities that drive “world changing” technology to mass adoption. The greatest challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century are cultural, not algorithmic. And the greatest tools for the study and understanding of culture exist within the wealth of theories and methodologies that make up the humanities.

To those of you with a liberal arts degree, I say this: your skills are essential in today’s world, and more companies need to recognize that. To those of you with a STEM degree (or who never bothered with college in the first place), I would say: pick up a book or two every month. Go to plays. Travel and immerse yourself in a culture unlike your own.

Without a deep, empathetic understanding of other people, turning that good idea into the next big thing may prove elusive.

End

 

The original article may be read here.

Read Full Post »

“…

This is a true story. Some years ago a client engaged a consultant to help with a small postal mailing to the purchasing departments of blue chip corporations. The consultant sourced the list (which was provided on MS Excel) and drafted the letter. Thereafter the client was keen to take control of the project, i.e. to run the mail-merge and the fulfillment (basically printing, envelope-stuffing and mailing).

The consultant discovered some weeks later that a junior member of the client’s marketing department had sorted the list (changed the order of the listed organizations in the spreadsheet), but had sorted the company name column only, instead of all columns, with the result that every letter (about 500) was addressed and sent to a blue chip corporation at another entirely different corporation’s address.

Interestingly the mailing produced a particularly high response, which when investigated seemed to stem from the fact that an unusually high percentage of letters were opened and read, due apparently to the irresistible temptation of reading another corporation’s mail

…”

 

End

 

 

 

Source: businessballs.com/

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »