Not Paying Attention To The Details?



paying attention to detailsThe details, they matter. We see imperfections and point fingers when we expected more or see where it could be improved. Easy to do after the fact and we wonder how it was missed. The name, logo, packaging, price point are all attractions for us when we are looking to buy. Secondary which happens in almost an instant is how will this perform and where does it fit into my life and in my home? When we buy we expect it to exceed our expectations as just meeting is not really enticing enough to spend extra for the name brand vs the private label. However, those that pay attention to each and every detail have an edge, an edge that we do not consider each and every day.

Paying Attention to the Details

The details are the obvious that we cover and then the ones that are not so obvious and leave us staring blankly wondering how on earth we missed it. There is so much going on and changes that it is hard to keep up. As we are trying to stay on top of the new Twitter button, Google +1 should it not fail, finding our sizzle in each article we write, keeping up on connections, engaging and searching for growth. This is all so complicated that it starts to have us be all and on top of it all that we miss the details. The details that are noticed and make a difference. It only takes one time for someone to visit and leave for lack of paying attention to the details. The buttons will always be there as will all the latest and greatest shiny new tools but failing to hone in on all of our pages and interactions could cost us.

The Details That Matter

All of them. The look of the website, the location and content in the menu bar, the guiding readers through the pages and asking them what you want them to do, all matter. Each and every page has a purpose and the purpose gets lost in the shuffle. The updating of the pages, the extra space, the comma instead of a period, etc all matter as they serve as a stop gap for users. They stop, notice and they are not paying so much attention to your content as they were as they stop and focus on the error and then trying to get them back on board to focus on the content and not what you missed is not easy.

How We Differentiate With Details

Differentiating is how we are visited before anyone else. We become the 1st choice. In blogging this is what makes us stand out as why we really do this. We cannot deny that we want to be a leader as this turns into relationships, relationships that lead to clients, referrals, speaking engagements, book deals and income. With all the blogs out there it is very tough competition to get noticed, let alone be a first choice. In advertising, commercials and sales pages are carefully crafted to differentiate and get noticed. Pointing out even the smallest of differentiators draws attention to the point where they are not thinking of anything else but that differentiator that we have pointed out. It builds credibility and loyalty.

Zyrtec in one of their spots points out that Allegra cannot be taken with fruit juice, namely orange juice. Is this something that we ever even thought of? Taking medicine with fruit juice has adverse affects? How many times have we taken meds with juice? Hasn’t it been ingrained in us that medications are taken with water? This simple differentiation caused alarm and changed our thinking. It is simple differentiators that we can point out that have people question and trust.

What Details Are You Missing?

Did you miss that extra space that needs to be removed, the call to action, the additional subscribe on other pages than the blog itself or a call to action that is not directing them as to what you want them to do? If you have, you are not alone. We learn new things and have to consider if they are going to help us attain our goals and increase our customer share. Will that new button be a differentiator with adding it or by not adding it? Are all your pages in tip top shape and offering your readers and visitors an experience that is to be remembered? These details matter more than we think about each day. We visit so many sites and update our social profiles as without ever really realizing that we are doing it or what purpose it is serving other than staying in contact.

Unsure what you are missing? That is ok as we are here to help. We offer comprehensive site reviews so that you can concentrate on making the first impression that leads to success. We are accepting a limited number of new clients for site reviews so don’t hesitate, contact us today and turn your website into a  high performing site.

photo credit: Applegurl ♥♫♥

Brand Loyalty or Loyalty to the Rewards?



brand loyalty or loyalty to the rewardsBrand loyalty it is what brands try and build with each customer or even before they become a customer. The ad copy, the branding, the packaging, the commercials are all set to speak to the buyer to create the emotional connection of need. You need to buy this brand because it does this or buy this one over that one because this one does this and that one does not. The buyer has hear, listen and react to the message and understand the differentiators and choose the one that best fits their needs.The brands themselves are branding their brand through creating the need but the consumers are choosing the brands that best fulfill their needs. Diapers, we may recall Pampers but yet find that Huggies fulfill the needs and is a better or more practical choice for us. We may prefer Pampers but Huggies does the job just fine. Think of making a grocery list where we write down that we need salad dressing, ketchup, cereal, we go to the product itself and not the brand name. However, most times as we are writing, we know what brands we will be bringing home. We do not need to write down Heinz ketchup as we know we are buying Heinz so ketchup suffices. As a  consumer, you are buying them and thinking only of them but why? Is it because that is what you always buy or is it driven by some sort of reward?

Brand Loyalty

Consumers that are loyal to a brand do not see any other on the shelf; there is no attention paid to the other brands pricing, packaging, location or advances to try and lure them away. Those that are brand loyal know that they were and still are being targeted with messages and pay close attention to the details. We know pricing of the brand we purchase, and, while different stores may vary on the pricing we know that over time it all evens out. As a brand there is a two fold of loyalty here (when carried at a local retailer and not their own exclusive shop) as there is loyalty to the retailer as well as the brand. As brand loyalists, we know the quality of the product or service and we feel we are receiving the ultimate value as even if the “other” brand is discounted by the retailer this week we will still make that sacrifice and pay just a little bit more than usual for our brand. We will not stray and be a brand switcher.

Loyalty to the Rewards

As consumers we cannot ignore the rewards and discounts. The door buster sales, the buy one get one, the three for X dollars. The sale items are merchandised so that we see them on the end caps of stores, the front display, the extra $.25 in the coupon that the retailer will double. We are inundated with these specials and discounts. The reward of receiving the coupon, for some keeps them loyal by making them come and buy. What happens when the rewards stop coming. Do they still buy? Do they always buy when you extend the reward? Depends on how the reward is presented and the attention given to it. Did we know that we needed before the reward was introduced to us or did the reward create the urgent need within us? Reward based loyalty is not new as casinos have built entire programs around rewarding customers for spending money at their establishment. the more they gamble, the more points and rewards they earn. This benefits they receive from losing money act as a buffer and a change of mindset as the focus is off of the loss and on what they are getting for free.  The same concept applies when we receive a 30% off coupon or see an ad on tv for up to 80% off. We forget that we are spending money to receive the reward.

Brand Loyalty vs Loyalty to the Rewards

As a brand that is relying upon retailers to sell their product, it is hard to tell if people are brand loyal or loyal to the reward. If sales are spiked during a promotion like the Superbowl or a seasonal event like the kickoff to summer and the BBQ season, we cannot look at that as brand loyalty for all buyers. Some are buyers all year round of chips, salsa, beer, hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments, etc. We can better gauge brand loyalty for stand alone retailers who can track sale for sale their customer buying habits. In casinos, we can see habits of gamblers where they come in for certain promotions where they can earn double the points or for a big giveaway. The casinos know that their gamblers are choosing them this week but the very next week or even the next day, they are headed off to the casino down the road for their rewards. Free or the thought of winning matters and drives them. This is not loyalty to the brand, it is loyalty to the reward.

True brand loyalists will purchase regardless of the reward. The reward is an added benefit. If Diet Pepsi is not on sale at my grocery store, I may only indulge in one sleeve and when I have to make a mid week trip for something I either ran out of or forgot to put on the list, I will head over to the other grocery store to see their special on Diet Pepsi. Diet Coke is not an alternative. I will spend a bit more for a 12 pack or do without before I buy Diet Coke. Coca Cola could give me a 12 pack for free and I will donate it before I drink it. I am that loyal to Diet Pepsi. This is loyalty to the brand and not the reward.

Are your customers loyal to you or the reward? Or is it something completely different where they continue to purchase from you or refer you because the presumed risk of trying them is too high? This is something that we need to look at when we are considering discounting, targeting and how we interact with our customers. Are people only purchasing due to the feeling like they are receiving something back? If your prices are lowered by 20% will that pull the trigger and make them buy? For reward loyalists, you can raise your prices 50% and then discount 20% and they will buy whereas the loyalist will be willing to pay the 50% spike.

Again, can you readily identify those that are loyal to you or the reward?

photo credit: Travel 2.0

Best Super Bowl Commercials 2011 Go Back to the Basics

best superbowl commercials 2011The 2011 Super Bowl is in the books and the Green Bay Packers have won their 4th Championship in franchise history. Congratulations to the players, coaches, fans and city of Green Bay. The other game, The Super Commercials, was played out on television. The Super Bowl commercials have been the academy awards of commercials as the exposure from being deemed the best Super Bowl commercial is highly coveted. This year is no different and a lot was at stake as for returning brands like Pepsi, newcomers like Best Buy and the auto industry as a whole which dominated the field.

The success as well as the failure of a commercial is shared by the brand, the agency as well as the supporters of the brand. The pressure for a brand to perform at the Super Bowl is immense but a risk worth taking as the media exposure is worth upwards of 10x of the cost of the spot. The major news stations coverage, the cable news coverage, newspapers, magazines, radio, blogs, Twitter, Facebook … it is everywhere for people to see, hear, share and comment.

Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2011 – Back to the Basics

The best commercials of all time have certain themes in common. Humor, lifestyle, wow/shock factor, celebrity appearance, animals and kids. This year was no different but the commercials that performed best had a very common theme: lifestyle and WIIFM. The audience was able to relate to the spots by feeling and connecting emotionally. The best commercials did not have a wow factor where we gasped or roared, no, the best spots were ones that we walked away from thinking. We took a piece of it away with us through seeing a bit of us or remembering a time in our lives. They captured the lifestyle of the audience and answered the WIIFM. The brand was not the focus, we, the audience was. This is the basics of advertising and what defines what advertising has been built on. The customer.

Auto Bowl

The automotive industry dominated the advertisers. It was auto spot after auto spot after auto spot. The ones that focused on the car itself, were nothing different than what we see every other day of the week. Imagine spending $3M for a spot that shows the car driving down a deserted road, performing well in the snow, or crashing (because we all think of crashing each time we drive) that has no impact upon the audience. A dud. How can you create a spot that misses the mark? Was this the safe route, as, well, these spots run all year long and cars are sold. Why deviate? Well, the winners of the Auto Bowl are clearly Chrysler with “Imported from Detroit” and Volkswagon Passat with “The Force” which did not focus on the car.

Imported from Detroit

This spot was the most powerful and compelling. The copy writing was spectacular as there are so many lines from this spot that make you think. Two minutes of a city that has struggled but yet is trying to conquer through resilience. Detroit was the automobile manufacturing capital of the United States.The city thrived and employed hundreds of thousands throughout the years. My grandfather was a proud member of the automobile manufacturing family in Detroit prior to being relocated to New Jersey. The spot tells a story of a city and while we see quick segments of the car, the focus is on the city, the people and as they say “… when it comes to luxury, it is as much as where it is from and who it is for …”

The Force

Volkswagon has proven that the force is still within us. This spot had us cheering for this little guy to finally get something to feel his inner force and do something. We saw ourselves, we saw our children, we saw and felt. How many of us wish the washing machine and dryer would do the wash itself, the treadmill would run all day and we would reap the benefits? The looking around when he actually had that force was magical as we have all been there. I did it, I did it! Did I really? Did someone do it for me? It is just so heartwarming and brings out that force within us all.

Crash the Super Bowl

Doritos certainly did not disappoint with Crash the Super Bowl contest where once again the audience flexed their creative juices. The one spot that stood above the rest poked fun at something we all do. We lick our fingers. Generally our own but in this spot humor was incorporated making us fearful of ever eating Doritos at the office. It was one habit that we could relate to through tipping the bag to get every last crumb, the wiping of the orange remnants on our pants and leaving the best part to savor which is on our fingers. We generally enjoy this part ourselves but the incorporation of humor of someone licking our fingers could have backfired but we were not focused on that, we were focused on our own behavior as come on, we all lick our fingers.

Nostalgic NFL Fans American Family

I loved this spot but not a fan of the name. American Family, um they an insurance company that has an established brand. NFL Fans was a better name as it tells the story of the fans of the NFL. The spot says itself says it best almost at the end with  “Best.Fans.Ever.” The branding of the NFL is through the individual teams. Millions come together each week to bleed and cry the colors of their team. They may win or may lose but they are always there. The loyalty to the NFL brand through a team is unreal. I am one of them and while my insane alliance is to my team, I still love the game. Super Bowl is hard as I love advertising and marketing but yet bringing sports and advertising together is not easy. This spot was very nostalgic with a wealth of creativity. We saw old friends though 90210, Sopranos, Friends, Golden Girls, Sesame Street, Alf, Happy Days, South Park and some newer friends in How I Met Your Mother. The flow of the commercial made us remember the shows we watched and were reminded of the cities they were in through the association through the teams. Yes, I am very proud to have seen all the JETS supporters.

These spots have made an impact though giving us something. The something is through the basics of knowing the audience and how they support the brand. Will people run and buy a Passat from the commercial? Probably not but they will remember it and if they are looking for a new car, they may consider it. Will drones of people move to Detroit? No, but they may have a new renowned love for their city and take more of a proactive role to make it better.

The failures of the Super Bowl were great and the tarnishing of the brand image is yet to be seen. Best Buy as a newcomer did quite well through showing us the challenges of the older vs the newer and not knowing the new technology. The Ozzy to Beiber is similar to Aerosmith to Run DMC of bridging the gap through bringing generations young and old together. Going back to the basics.

In the end overall the game was better than the commercials but isn’t that what the Super Bowl is all about?

photo credit: Michael Oh

Pepsi Max Takes Shot at Coke Zero

pepsi max coke zeroPepsi Max, the zero calorie sister (I guess) to my beloved Diet Pepsi has brought back the soda wars with taking a shot at Coke Zero in their latest TV ads.  Coke Zero has pretty much dominated the US in the zero calorie market since its inception in 2005 where Pepsi Max found success in Europe.  We were first introduced to the cola wars in 1995 when during SuperBowl XXIX Pepsi aired the”Diner” commercial where a Coke driver and a Pepsi driver are away from home and not only share photos of the kids, but each others’ brand.  In the end, the Coke driver refuses to give up the Pepsi and a fight erupts.

1995 Cola Wars

The Evolution of Soda

Soda, a cold caffeinated beverage that people could not get enough of. The glass bottles that were served at the diner or available at the corner store were a treat. Even when they became available at home, they were still a family treat to enjoy. Sugar and caffeine, a parents nightmare until diet soda. Forget the the sugar and calorie laden soft drink as their is was an alternative to the sugar and the added pounds and wired kids. This created a war between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. While the sugar was substituted and that reduced the calories, the caffeine and wired kids but awake adults who saw soda was an alternative to coffee in the afternoon was a sales booster. Counting calories is still “in” but we have gotten away from a “diet” and moved onto the more hip and accepted “zero” calorie. In order to remain competitive and garner more of a market share Pepsi has renewed their commitment to now what is is the zero calorie war.

Same Concept, New Product

The similarities are extensive especially with the Coke driver from 1995 now owning the Diner, the Pepsi Max being the prevailing brand as to taste and the fight erupting outside the diner. The spot performed very well for PepsiCo and bringing it back is not necessarily a bad thing, especially with the reference to YouTube from an iphone, but is it hip enough? I do not think so.  A check-in maybe would have grabbed a chuckle or two and shown a bit more of the times but that in essence does nothing for Pepsi. Paying back to the diner though would have had a bit more of a buzz.

In the end a campaign of this nature is to introduce and entice. Will people switch from Coke Zero to Pepsi Max from this spot? Some will sure but is it enough to even make a dent into the dominance of Coke Zero in the marketplace? I do not think so.

Me … nah, I will stick with my Diet Pepsi as 20 years together is a long time.

photo credit: The Christian Science Monitor