For me, Halloween is a holiday that is full of memories, maybe even more so than Christmas or my birthday. The excitement, anticipation and zest that I put into each and every costume and every "Trick or Treat!" I gave was bordering on obsession.
I remember this one Halloween, when we lived in Minnesota, Halloween morning I woke up with a terrible cold, but because the weather was nice, my mum had said I could go to a few houses at least with my brothers and sister. As the weather does in Minnesota, it turned a complete 180 and started dumping snow. By the time we were going to go out Trick-Or-Treating there was already a good eight inches of snow on the ground and we were all banished to the house. Being the youngest and really the only one of true Trick-Or-Treating age, my siblings were much less bothered by this turn of events than I was. I was crushed, heart-broken, and quite frankly just feeling miserably sick. My brother, who was closest in age to myself, felt my pain and decided to brave the weather and go get his little sister some candy. He and my sister left the house, braving the cold for a good thirty minutes before returning with the plunder. After all of their hard work and energy, they were more and more reluctant to give me any of the goods, but I remember they gave me all of the Tootsie Rolls, which was my favourite. To this day, every time I eat one of those sugary sweet logs of chocolate, I get a warm fuzzy feeling of the Halloween it snowed two feet.
Little does the Tootsie Roll Company know how much of an effect it's had on me. Largely due to the face that their packaging hasn't changed in, quite literally, a hundred years. If opening a Tootsie Roll suddenly felt different, or eating one tasted different, it just wouldn't conjure up that same emotional response. Every company has the opportunity to create memorable experiences for their customers from day one, but finding and holding on to the essence of who you are as a company is the real way to create a legacy brand.
Tags: Halloween, human experience, Branding, User engagement, customers, Relationship Marketing
Branding | General | Human Experience
If you’re like me and scour the various tech blogs and social media channels, you're probably familiar with [or at least aware of] the Ocean Marketing fiasco. If not, you can catch the story's summary from Zdnet here.After discussing the debacle with my colleague, Jason Bennett, he mentioned a takeaway that continues to stick with me: “It’s amazing how much of this could have been diffused with a simple, early apology”.Thankfully, most [hopefully, all] of us are not like Mr. Cristoforo; we don't engage clients in angry, condescending email threads. However, we've all encountered periods of stress where things can become a bit tense. The perspective that Jason gave me was simple; Apologize early, diffuse the situation.A recent study reported by The Alpha Galileo Foundation showed that following a mishap, customers who were sent an apology were more likely to respond positively than customers who were simply offered some sort of compensation. The Nottingham School of Economics, who conducted the research, found that customers of a large Ebay seller were more likely to remove their negative feedback when sent a simple apology, acknowledging the seller's error and regret. This was in comparison to a set of customers who were sent an offer to remove their negative feedback in exchange for a small amount of money.The results are surprisingly definitive. Only 23% of folks removed their negative reviews in exchange for money, while 45% responded to a clear apology by removing their negative reviews.Sure, a solution is of utmost importance and will need to exist, but, a simple, clear, sincere, and early apology should not be understated. When something goes wrong, remember to acknowledge your fault. You may find it to have a surprisingly positive impact.
Tags: Customer Service, beliefs, core values, Relationship Marketing
Client Relationship Management | General | Marketing
Fast Company is one of my favorite publications; they expertly deliver information on three of my favorite topics: design, technology and leadership. Just over a year ago, Fast Co. started a series of interviews called 30 Second MBA, a video series on topics like leadership, technology, connectivity, team work, customer relationships, and more. They have interviewed professionals from all industries and careers: musicians, artists, marketers, vice presidents, CEO’s; from GE to indie marketing shops.
Fast Co. says this about 30 Second MBA, “The great lament of any reporter is what to do with the jewels that routinely get left on the cutting room floor after a really great interview. Enter the 30-Second MBA, an ongoing video “curriculum” of really good advice from the trenches, directly from people who are making business happen.”
These videos are just that—30 second interviews with thought leaders on a variety of topics as mentioned above. Relative to my interests as a [mainly] digital marketer, I’ve chosen three interviews that are immediately applicable to my projects at Exsilio, and to my peers on our marketing team—and hopefully to you: Professor: Gayle Weiswasser, Vice President of Social Media Communications, Discovery CommunicationsTopic: How to develop a social media strategyProfessor: Linda Boff, Global Director, Marketing Communications and Digital, GE Topic: How do you strengthen your brand without going overboard?Professor: Ernst Lieb, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USATopic: The Customer Is the Boss of YouIn all, the consistent theme in these “courses,” is that effective marketing means having real relationships with your customers by listening to them and putting money and resources in to learning more about them in order to earn their loyalty.
Tags: Marketing theory, marketing strategy, Relationship Marketing
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