Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shiseido's Trailer Marketing

© Carol L. Weinfeld

Shiseido came to the San Francisco streets last week in a shiny Airstream trailer to publicize its new Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum. Employees offered samples and beauty consultations.

It is smart business to meet one's customers in person, in addition to the digital space. One can gain valuable information about one's brand face-to-face in casual conversation, and often learn more than one would in focus groups. Customers also appreciate the approach on their turf, as they go through their day, instead of approaching the brand in a store on their own. The street marketing makes Shiseido's brand more approachable.

Luxury brands effectively utilize social media marketing. For example, Burberry staged a fashion show in China and in real-time online. Gucci engages fans on its Facebook page, and Chanel creates films about its brand for its website.

Fashion brands depend on trends, and understand that social media is an important trend.  Companies should not practice social media just for the sake of doing so; it should fit its brand and its customers in the approach.

© Carol L. Weinfeld

Shiseido stationed the trailer near the Union Square shopping district, a good place to reach Shiseido's shoppers, since there are many high-end stores. Know your customers, and seek their surroundings offline and online based on your knowledge of them. They will be pleased to have the attention and interest, and will also be interested in your brand.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This is How We Tell a Story

Set the stage: Scenes of Detroit
Engage the viewer: "I got a question for you."
Allude to the main idea: Luxury
Paint a picture: "...a town that's been to hell and back..."
Begin the story: "Well, I'll tell ya."
Describe the main character: "Hard work, conviction and the know-how that runs generations deep..."
Create suspense: Intercut with scenes of a car approaching at night
Continue: "That's our story."
Add tension and conflict: "It's probably not the one you've been reading in papers."
Add mystery: The viewer does not know who is driving this car.
Add irony: "We're certainly no one's Emerald City."
Hero reaches his goal: The mysterious Chrysler arrives and Eminem enters the Fox Theater.
The narrator explains Chrysler's (and Detroit's) story: "This is the Motor City, and this is what we do."
The End: "Imported from Detroit"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What's in a Logo?

photo courtesy of Starbucks

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet." Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Shakespeare understood this as does Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, re: Starbucks' new logo. The name has not changed; it is still Starbucks, although the name is not present in the new logo. Many consumers do not understand the change. Another issue is that consumers who are very loyal to a brand claim ownership and entitlement to control the brand's image.

What's in a logo? A logo stands for a brand. Many consumers complain on Facebook and Twitter about the logo change, since they do not want their brand to change. It is their unacceptance of change which outweighs their acceptance of the company modification, a transition beyond coffee. It would be beneficial for many Starbucks customers to read Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D., to better adjust to change.

The rose has thorns only for those who would gather it
photo courtesy of Parvin

Many Starbucks customers are loyal to the brand and prefer its coffee to other coffees. This loyalty translates to a feeling of belonging to and identification with the brand. They believe that they are a Starbucks person as opposed to a Peet's Coffee & Tea person, for example. The brand and its product were made for them, they believe, and in reciprocity, they own the brand.

Ownership leads to consumers' belief of entitlement to affect a brand. The logo decision should be theirs. How dare the company change it without asking them? they say. We witnessed this unacceptance with the GAP logo debacle, where ultimately GAP reverted to its old logo, due to consumer outcry. In Starbucks' case, Howard Schultz communicated the change before it occurred, and explained its reason: This change mirrors the change of the company.

We learn for our own brands that change must be communicated clearly to our consumers. They cannot manage companies although they believe they are entitled to, due to their loyalty to a brand. Companies must partner with consumers through social media channels and constantly monitor their conversations with consumers. They must reassure their consumers during change, yet ultimately make their own decisions.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Are We Bored Yet?

image courtesy of izqrdo

We usually attend conferences to learn new, interesting information. James Ward, in contrast, created the Boring 2010 conference. The "boring" topics ranged from the English breakfast to Mr. Ward's tie collection to sneeze counting, all topics which examine everyday life. One of the attendees, Ms. Jo Lee said, "We're all overstimulated," and "I think it's important to stop all that for a while and see what several hours of being bored really feels like."

Here is a recent article on attention deficit disorder due to technology, which continues the theme of a surfeit of information for today's consumers:

It is surprising that consumers long to be bored, yet understandable due to too much information. Would you like to be bored, and if so, by what?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh! The Places Marketers'll Go

Place Royale Québec
photo courtesy of Mario Groleau

Lionsgate Entertainment uses Facebook Places instead of Foursquare or one of its competitors for a new social media campaign:

The campaign is interesting in that it is by a large company and incorporates a game with locations related to the film. It continues with the winners of the game eligible for a bigger prize. Foursquare and its competitors, of which there are many, face competition from Facebook Places. Some users have become bored with checking in on Location Based Services (LBS) and receiving badges. It is easier for consumers to check in with their Facebook accounts instead of logging into a different app.

Marketers need to reinvigorate check-ins. Coupons will work if the user agrees to opt in. Prizes, discounts and rewards are more attractive to customers, and may influence them to visit your business. The rewards should not be one-time only, but continue. They could be tied to events and unique product offerings. If your company uses LBS, it should offer gifts, which make customers feel special and increase brand loyalty and equity. How is your company using LBS?