Archive for the 'Blog' Category



Catering an experience for your customers

For a recent interview we were talking about the swing (and if there was any) that has occurred during the recession.

The biggest thing I see, is that, consumers are more assertive with their spending, before they would let minor things slide.  Now though they demand more (perceived) value for their dollar, and that value isn’t always a ‘functional’ benefit, it might be the ease of use an iPhone provides rather than an Android, or the time saving of a personal finance application or the status they get from using the service (or upgrade).

It’s all about catering an experience for each of your customers, it was beforehand, but now when people are assertive spenders even moreso.

Gourmet Supermarkets did will during the recession, as people would rather indulge on an afternoon experience with friends, whereas in the past they might have eaten out.  It’s not that they’re not spending, it’s that they are rewarding those companies which cater experiences that create stories.  These stories create status, memories and most of all a good time.

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June 29th, 2010

Hey Kids. This is advertising!

Visit Ronald.com (as in Ronald McDonald the McDonalds character) and in the top right you’ll see this phrase.

Hang on wait. How can you expect kids to understand that? You’re right they can’t.

If you run a reading score on that it puts the reading level at 13-15 (Flesch Reading Ease 68.94). Browse the site, it’s definitely aimed at younger kids.  Much younger, more 5-10.

Come on McDonalds… if you need to say it’s advertising you’ve definitely crossed the line, and you’ve even crossed the line in a capacity that even your audience aren’t fully aware they’re being marketed to….shame.

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June 28th, 2010

The Intel Inside Model

Intel were in a bit of a sticky position, they wanted to grow but as part of the value chain weren’t recognised by consumers, people couldn’t see the insides of their computers.

Thus they built the Intel Inside brand and stuck a sticker on every computer that was powered by their chips.

They poured money into marketing to help establish the brand, generate awareness and recognition.

Suddenly consumers became much more savvy and willing to discriminate based on the presence of Intel Inside.

This is a great model for businesses that operate behind the scenes and are trending towards becoming a commodity, it allows you to establish value and ensure your continual part in the value chain.

I’ve seen clothing companies do the same with fabric standards ie Gore Tex… you can be any brand but you want it to be Gore Tex.

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June 24th, 2010

The Mint.com Model

I am constantly referring to loose frameworks which provide a model for others to try and leverage with their own ideas.  The Mint.com is one I mention frequently.

In short the Mint.com model is to…

Engage with your audience tremendously well and do so in an ongoing capacity, grab as much attention from the market as you can.  This is exactly what Mint.com does with their blog.

Then provide direct paths to becoming a customer from this attention, you immediately capture both sides.

1) The most amount of attention you can get from your market (and get them talking).

2) Then leverage that attention to provide a stream of customers.

It’s such a nice balance of community, attraction and ensuring business gets done.

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June 23rd, 2010

The Idiot Tax

We all pay it.

It’s where you call up for service, then the service people treat you like the ‘average’ person (as they’ve been trained to do), if you are the ‘average’ person it’s great service, if you’re not, it’s not so good.  And hey face it we’ve all been on both sides of the fence, knowing nothing at all, or knowing more than average.

You feel like you’re being treated like an idiot.

It’s not hard to fix, bring in customer profiling, last time this person called they already knew this OR just be more polite and diligent in your customer service, that way we don’t have to pay the idiot tax.

No one is average, so don’t treat all your customers as if they are.

(Note: Often the idiot tax annoys your more advanced (and often most valuable) customers, the very customers you should be looking after.)

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June 21st, 2010

Excellent article on TerraCycle: Google for Garbage

Give it a read over here.

I love the inspiration, the innovation in what is pereceived as a dull industry.

What I like even more is that they get the companies to pay them to collect! Smart thinking and great way to price discriminate whilst still achieving social good (the long tail of garbage).

Smart thinking can prevail everywhere.  Just need someone to stand up and lead the way.

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June 20th, 2010

The Coffee Currency

Or Beer or Wine Currency.

That is, you ask someone to do something for a coffee.  And of course they say yes.

However if you asked them to do the same for the equivalent monetary value, would they do it? Probably not.

It swaps the value proposition, oh I can get a bottle of wine for this? Awesome that’s not too hard.  Whereas if you said I’ll give you $20 to do this, the internal memo is different “I’m worth more than that”, “that’s not that much” or maybe it is worth that much.

MySpace have a great example with some of their competitions, whereby you can win three prizes (don’t hammer me on exact details if I’ve made a mistake), a pinball machine, a holiday, a quad bike or $5000 cash.  Apparently the Pinball Machine gets disproportionality picked, even though if you took the $5000 cash you could buy 2 or even 3 of the other prizes!

The point is once someone receives money they need to do something with it, a Pinball Machine is much more fun than paying off some bills (which many would be compelled to do).

People interpret currency differently and you can (should) use this to your advantage where possible.  My Dad famously (at least in Queenstown, New Zealand) is always owed a coffee by someone, which he then trades up to something even more valuable…

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June 15th, 2010

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
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