Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Internet has made it possible for small companies to create awareness for their products or services. Blendtech a small company unknown to people became the BUZZ when their video was posted in YouTube, millions visited the video and the company became overwhelm with so much traffic (http://www.willitblend.com/) How much did the video cost? $0 and in return the company had its best year after sells skyrocketed.
The Internet has also changed the way talent is found. The Ting Tings, the English electro-pop duo of Katie and Jules De Martino is now famous due to two songs they posted on their MySpace page. Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live (SNL) was discovered because he posted his "Short" videos online on 101.com
When Andy Samberg along with Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer developed "The Short" in collaboration with SNL and the video was posted in YouTube.com "it was an undeniable online phenomenon that amassed over one million hits on YouTube.com within days of airing on "SNL." The short "burrowed its way into the nation's cultural consciousness" (The New York Times, 12/27/05) and sparked its own legion of Internet imitations" http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/bios/Andy_Samberg.shtml
Many business owners continue to believe that it takes a lot of money to create a web presence, but the truth is that it does not. Your new business can have a web precesence with almost no cost. The only service you will need to pay will be to have access online through one of the many internet providers such as PacBell, Comcast, Earthlink, AOL, etc. then the cheapest way to begin is to create a BLOG, it is free if you use BlogSpot, you can create a free email account from Google, Yahoo, etc and Voila! you are ready to begin writing about your business. However, a BLOG is not a substitute for your website.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
A great promotional strategy communicates your brand identity and your values. It doesn't just tell consumers why they need your product; it inspires their goodwill, trust, admiration, respect and loyalty.
A common misconception here is that promotion simply means paid advertising. That is just one method, but it is not the only one. Public Relations, networking, and other low cost/ no cost promotional tools.
The Who, What, When and Where of effective advertising.
Who: The Right Audience: With your customer profile in hand, you should know the characteristics of your target market, and can analyse media choices to see which of them are most likely to reach this audience.
What: The Right Message
Regardless of the type of advertising, the message contains the following elements:
Offer: What are you trying to sell?
Benefit: what this product will do for your customer?
Proof: Evidence that the benefit is real (pictures, testimonials, surveys, awards)
Call to Action: Ask the customer to do something, and give the information needed to take that action.
The Right Message
It grabs people's attention and holds their interest.
The headline should get your immediate attention and holds their interest.
The illustration or photo should attract your interest
The text should clearly identify benefits to your customer
The close (logo, last line, etc.) should provide a call to action and all the information needed to make contract and buy.
When: The Right Time
Timing, frequency, and consistency are the rules of thumb for deciding when to advertise.
Timing:is essential, since the average person is hit with over 5,000 advertising impressions each day. You need to maximize the potential for the customer to be paying attention.
Frequency: According to advertising experts, a customer usually must hear or see an advertisement four to nine times before the message sinks in.
Consistency: It takes an average of six months for a new business to get noticed, for people to change their buying behavior, and for competition to react. For this reason, consistency in advertising is essential. All promotional material should have the same look and feel, in order to communicate the business's brand identity.
Where: The Right Place
Ask the question: Where will people who are interested in your products be most likely to look for your ad?
Knowing the customer helps you make these decisions intelligently. That is why market research is so important!! Your industry information can be big help here, telling you whether your prospective customers are more likely to listen to the radio, watch TV, read the newspaper, respond to flayers, and so on.
Types of Advertising: Your Media Choices
Value: is what your customer believes the product is worth.
Price: is the amount you charge customers for the product.
Cost: is what you spend to produce your product.
Profit: is what's left over after you subtract costs from price.
Pricing: is the process of figuring out how much to charge per sales unit. A bookstore's sales unit would be a single book, while a housecleaner's sales unit could either be an hour of work ($10 an hour) or a specific job (clean the garage for $50.00)
In pricing, the cost is often called the floor. You can't go below it, otherwise you will be given the product away.
Value: is the ceiling. It's the maximum your customers will pay, based on what they think your product is worth. That means your costs should be as low as your brand identity (i.e. quality, and positioning) permits, and your value should be as high as possible. One perfect example is real estate: If a 1,200 sq ft home located in the best school district and in a very desirable area, this house will have a premium, high value and a high demand.
Demand: refers to the amount your product that customers are willing and able to buy at a specific price. A customer who has $10 to spend might be willing to buy two pillows if your price is $5 per pillow, but only one if your price is $7 per pillow. Being able to afford the product is an essential part of demand; just wanting the product doesn't count!
Check out what is happening to the auto industry with high price of petroleum. As the price per gallon of gas increases the demand (driving) decreases. Also, customers will look for alternatives such as smaller cars versus SUVs.
The pricing objectives depend on a variety of factors, including your production costs, brand identity, competitive environment, and so forth. The most common pricing objectives are:
Monday, May 12, 2008
Variety List Price
Features Payment period
Brand Name Credit Terms
Personal selling Coverage
Sales Promotion Assortments
Public relations Locations
Product: the goods and services combination the company offers to target the market.
Price: The amount of money customers have to pay to obtain the product.
Place: includes company activities that make the product available to target consumers.
Promotion: activities that communicate the merits of the product and persuade target customers to buy it.
Your Product Line:
Inventory control is one of a retailer's biggest challenges, and depth and width have a significant impact on the ability to control inventory.
Positioning means developing strategies that will place your product in a particular position relative to competitors.
How have Toyota: Prius and Corolla positioned their respective products in the automobile marketplace. Why? Think about it?
Smart positioning requires understanding the benefits of your products, what those benefits are worth to the customer. You can position your products based on price, quality, availability, uniqueness, etc.
It helps to communicate your product's image, it also serves the basic function of protecting products, and providing information about use, ingredients, quantity and so forth.
Packaging can also reduce shipping cost, earn goodwill, and increase your access to overseas markets. Make your packaging decisions carefully!
Products are not the only thing that can be packaged, services can be package as well. Bookkeeping services, Legal services, Shipping services, Banking services, etc.
Branding is about creating a consistent message for your business, and making sure it comes through whenever and wherever you interact with the public.
It includes benefits, packaging, advertising, and services. You can look at brand identity as a promise. When customers see your name or logo, it promises them certain things. Each time you deliver on that promise, your brand is strengthened. Any time you break the promise, it's weakened. So, Under promise and Over deliver!!