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  • The digital citizen 9:46 pm on April 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: apple, , customer service, john lewis   

    2 brilliant brands, 1 great marketing strategy 

    I have always said that the best marketing campaigns cannot make up for poor customer service.

    Great customer service however is any brand’s best ambassador. It will earn the brand respect, trust and profit.

    I have had not 1, but 2 amazing experiences today, firstly at John Lewis and 20 minutes later at Apple.

    I returned my toaster to John Lewis, which I bought about 6 months ago, as it was faulty. Without wasting my time debating the problem, the customer service assistant went in the storeroom and brought me a brand new one.

    He also informed me that the new one is on a year’s guarantee, starting today and encouraged me to email the maker and inform them of the issue.

    10 minutes later I went to my appointment with Apple to check what caused my Macbook to crash and never start again. The assistant checked the serial number and about a minute later told me that Apple were willing to replace my hard disk, for free, as there have been a number of faults with the particular series in the past.

    Having had my Macbook for 3 1/2 years, I was more than prepared to buy a new one, thinking that my current had reached its expiry date, however the assistant encouraged me to keep the one I have, as he found no other problem with it at all.

    So brands, before investing huge budgets on great adverts, social media and any other forms of advertising, make sure that your company’s ethics are high and your stuff trained to the highest standards. The best advertising after all is word of mouth and I have already tweeted , blogged and told all of my friends of my great experience!

  • The digital citizen 3:32 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

    The future of Outdoor…. 

    lies in innovation. And I don’t mean technological advances here. Outdoor has a major advantage over all media: It can be relevant to all natural circumstances at all times.
    Sydney, Australia, was recently covered by an orange dust, a phainomenon residents and scientists had never seen before, causing, among other effects, sore eyes.
    Visine Dry Eye Relief saw the opportunity: they stenciled the Visine logo on pavements, shop windows and cars, promoting the product as the solution to the soreness caused by the mysterious orange dust:

  • The digital citizen 3:24 pm on September 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    A brand can’t be younger than a teenager. Before that it was a logo. 

    We are all talking about it. We want to build it, grow it, protect it, make others love it. What is a brand then?

    A brand is a the point where customer satisfaction becomes customer loyalty. Where the promise becomes an experience. The association of the experience with a product and not its alternative: Coca Cola drinkers do not compromise for Virgin Cola.

    For a name to become a brand, it takes time, patience but most of all consistency. Consistency in providing the public with a quality product or service. Consistency in delivering on promises. And as of lately, consistency in the communications strategies, via social media.

    Here is what I mean. We all understand why a good product is key. Furthermore the constant improvement and development of the product means that it remains capable to serve the needs of the society if targets. Innovative and practical products tend to gain the consumers’ trust earlier.

    Delivering on promises is an area that advertisers often fail. Although they recognise their products’ strengths and weaknesses, they choose to promote them advertising qualities that the products do not possess. This is detrimental practive for the brand and even more so now, that consumers admit to check reviews written by consumers, when buying  a product. Social media has also made it extremely easy to give an opinion a viral effect among the public. News, opinions and reviews travel faster than ever before and are deemed to travel even faster in the future, as a fastly increasing amount of people use their mobile phones to access the internet.

    Finally, consistency in communication. As more and more advertisers integrate social media in their campaigns, especially with the launch of a new range of products, how many of these social media campaigns live on and continue to engage in conversations with the members of the public who chose to engage with the brand or brand wannabe pas the campaign period? Not that many. Go on facebook and check it your self by typing in the search box then name of a brand. You will see that the last time the brand posted something on their fanpage was when there was a new product launch or a live campaign. With the end of the campaign, many brands suddently stop interacting with their fans, although, quite often, fans continue to interact with the brand.

    Becoming a brand requires a constant effort from the advertiser, because trust cannot be gained overnight. Understanding the consumer needs requires experience, evaluation and insight that often comes in a dear price.  Delivering a great product or service whilst staying ahead of competitors is harder in the age of dialogue that everything becomes old before the see the daylight.

    A brand can’t be younger than a teenager.It takes time to become a brand, to have a social value, to be part of a daily routine. Be patient, be consistent and one day you may even enter the English Dictionary. And this will be priceless!

  • The digital citizen 10:00 pm on August 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creative, experience,   

    Successful adverts: Not just pretty executions 

    It occurred to me recently that it has been a while since an advert made me buy a product. In the meantime, my research among friends and colleagues showed that the most memorable advert recently was “compare the meercat“. Personally I find the advert offensive to my aesthetic and taste; however, when I was looking for home insurance, I instinctively typed “compare the market” in Google, although I have been working closely with many similar sites for my financial client.

    Do-ability of a product works miracles for a brand. Think about it; when was the last time you vacuum cleaned your carpet? I bet you hoovered recently. And do you actually search on Google or do you just Google?

    Here is what I mean. Consumers have seen too many adverts to be inspired by creative. And if we all agree that the creative aspect of an advert is great, this will not necessarily mean that we will go out to buy the product.What will makes consumers try a product is innovation. The questions is though, how do you apply innovation when you have nothing new to say or when your products is good and effecient enough already to need an update?

    Innovation does not have to be a new version of or an updated product. Innovation can also mean a new way of experiencing a product. Bacardi existed for a long time but saw a surge in consumption when the”Bacardi Mojito” campaign was launched. The new way of enjoying Bacardi is innovation and consumers needed an alternative to the outdated Bacardi and Coke.

    Of course not all brands can be do-able and this is ok as long as they can be useful. Nor can they or are expected to create a new user experience with every campaign; DO-ability is rather a long term strategy as repetition of the experience is important for the consumer to make the necessary co-relation between the product and routine.

    Consumer behaviour has changed as people become more educated, with more advanced judgment and most of all busier. Brands will have to invade their daily routine in order to be influential and this can only be done through an innovative experience.

    • bezalel 10:20 pm on August 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      “Innovation can also mean a new way of experiencing a product.” Well, you know this phrase is not in any of the universally praised best sellers about marketing and advertising that decorate our libraries these days… It’s really something different and I think it deserves a creative analysis. Business models make it almost impossible to realise how vitally important this approach towards innovation is. I very much enjoyed the “hoovering” part. 🙂

    • Sofia@SoMaFusion 2:37 pm on September 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I suspect that what you are saying here is that advertising can be great and lovely and do amazing things but it can only take you so far if you keep repeating the same thing over and over again and never think of new uses or alterations to your product. I think it’s the same with all comms work – the PR industry is constantly accused of this – presenting and packaging might bring great results but too often we have seen a lot of ‘wolf’ cries and not a whole lot of ‘wolf’. I always wondered if maybe this did not contribute somewhat to consumers’ disillusionment.

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