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29
Jan

The Future of Commerce – Zazzle

Zazzle is an online retailer that claims to know what the future of commerce might look like. Users are able to upload pictures, artwork, etc. to create and design their own merchandise. People browsing the website can either create their own product or purchase a product previously designed by someone else.

In Zazzle’s video named “The Future of Commerce…”, Zazzle asks the question, “What would the world look like if we could all make a piece of it?” The online retailer understands that every person is unique. In order to serve the needs of each and every customer, the company must allow users to customize every product to their own style and taste. By placing the customer firsts, Zazzle is able to craft their business model with the insight that consumers see themselves as one of a kind and unrepeatable.

Zazzle not only executes an outside in approach by putting the customers first, but the company also invites the users to participate on the site. Through this interaction and participation, users will build a relationship with the company and hopefully use the site whenever making a purchase. Zazzle sees the future of commerce as a world in which the consumer participates and designs his own products. The company claims that this type of commerce will make for a greener world, as well.

After showing how customers can design a product exactly to their liking, Zazzle closes the video with “What would the world look like if we could all make a piece of it…we’re about to find out”. The new age of commerce is here and Zazzle invites everyone to participate.

– Christina

29
Jan

Taylor Swift + Diet Coke

Taylor Swift is teaming up with Diet Coke for a new campaign. Based on their new branding campaign we’ve been looking at in Brand Management regarding Coca-Cola’s efforts to respond to public health issues, it should be interesting to see how this new campaign compares/aligns to those efforts.

28
Jan

“Are you married to your car brand?”

To view the article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324624404578257703957447498.html?mod=e2tw#articleTabs%3Darticle%26project%3DEYESROAD0123 

A recent WSJ.com article discusses the importance of brand loyalty in the automobile industry and ‘how auto makers keep you coming back.’ As several auto makers have struggled during the recession, new incentives are now being offered to customers in hopes that they remain brand loyal. Auto makers such as Ford and GM are using loyalty tools to track their customers as they spend a significant amount less on repeat customers. Ford uses data from its financing department to target customers when it’s time for an upgrade, and GM has a “GM Preferred Owner” program that allows customers to collect points for discounts on repairs or new cars.

According to the article, “48% of people who bought a car in 2012 bought from the same brand they were already driving.” These incentives focus on building a relationship with the customer – something we have discussed in Brand Management over the past two weeks. Customers become attached to their first car and now with these programs, auto makers such as Ford and GM are hoping to keep you a customer for life.

While I do think these auto makers are trying to keep the customer a high priority, where do you draw the line in the customer/auto maker relationship? Yes, customers want great value for their money and good service, but how often do they want to be contacted by the dealership? And just simply because they have the points, does that mean they want or need a new car?

27
Jan

For Brands, 2012 is the Year of the Story

For Brands, 2012 is the Year of the Story

This article from fastcompany.com relates to both our Customer Value class as well as our Brand Management class. It discusses the significance of storytelling in branding and how important it is to keep customers engaged. It argues that “when it comes to brands and marketing, the application of story now needs to go beyond the traditional and ubiquitous tool of brand story; rather, it’s about engaging consumers in a brand’s stories and using the construct of stories and storytelling to create powerful connections.” It relates to class in that it focuses on the importance of the customer and external factors in addition to a company’s internal needs. 

26
Jan

Starbucks vs Marines battle ends early

I recently received the following email from my Aunt and Uncle (both London resident)  about boycotting  Starbucks email chain for allegedly denying British military troops of complimentary service because Starbucks as you can read below did not support the war and therefore the troops involved. 

Starbucks paid zero UK corporation or income tax in the last 3 years.
The world’s biggest coffee chain recorded sales of £3.1 billion over a period of 13 years during which it paid  £8.6 million on total UK taxes.
Think that’s bad? How about this;
Recently, British Royal Marines in  Afghanistan wrote to Starbucks because they wanted to let them know how much they liked their coffees, and to request that they send some of it to the troops there.
Starbucks replied, telling the Royal Marines thank you for their support of their business, but that Starbucks does not support the war, nor anyone in it, and that they would not send the troops their brand of coffee.
So as not to offend Starbucks, maybe we should support them by NOT buying any of their products!
I feel we should get this out in the open. I know this war might not be very popular with some folks, but that doesn’t mean we don’t support the boys on the ground, fighting street-to-street and, house-to-house.
If you feel the same as I do then please pass this along.
Thanks very much for your support. I know you’ll all be there again to support us when we deploy once more.
Sgt Howard Wright,
1 Platoon, Recon Company, Royal Marines
PLEASE BE KIND ENOUGH AND DON’T DELETE THIS…  PLEASE PASS TO EVERYONE ON YOUR E- MAIL LIST, IN MEMORY OF ALL THE TROOPS WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED, LOST LIMBS AND EVEN DIED, SO THAT WE MAY HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE !
 
Also, please don’t forget that when the Twin Trade Towers were hit, the fire fighters and rescue workers went to Starbucks because it was close by, for water for the survivors and workers, and Starbucks CHARGED THEM!!!
 
AN ADDED NOTE TO THIS: STARBUCKS HAD STORES ON SEVERAL MILITARY BASES IN THE UNITED STATES. THEY ARE NOW BEING REMOVED BECAUSE OF THIS.
 
There are 227 Starbucks stores across the UK, and there’s no doubt that our soldiers would get the same response from this company, so let us do our bit and boycott Starbucks to show them how despicable their actions are.
When the Underground was bombed in London , the Marks and Spencer’s store at Edgware Road gave all the stock away to those in need. Perhaps you might care to get your coffee in there instead!
I followed this email up with a quick Google search and found out later that day on Starbuck’s website a prompt and immediate response  with no ambiguity or confusion about the matter. In fact, they got the original writer of the letter, Sgt. Howard Wright, to spend a letter in retracting his statement (link below) and apologized to the troops.
I think in a smaller world of interconnectedness, where the consumer has so much information- some from you, a lot from social media and friends; some being true and other rumors, that it is important for companies to not only do the right thing with their actions and how they approach business but also the need to quickly address things they might have done wrong, or in this case get in front of rumors that effect their customer perception because in today’s society there is no, ‘I am too big to even response to that’ option for companies anymore.
26
Jan

Disney’s MagicBand personalizes the magical experience

Disney World creates an experience that is usually described as magical. But I’m sure some parents would also say “expensive” or “a lot of work.” So the creative executives at Disney have come up with MyMagic+, a system that condenses credit cards, room keys, parking tickets and other functions onto a single MagicBand.  Now buying merchandise or paying your room service bill means showing/scanning an individual’s radio frequency-enabled (RFID) bracelet.

This isn’t Tomorrowland….this is now. Disney plan on implementing the system soon.

Disney sees the value in researching this “magical” band (which cost around $1 billion!) because it will make the experience better for the customer. That’s the only reason…right? of course not. Disney will gain valuable information on what the customer buys, rides, likes, and hates to help personalize the marketing message and promotions. Disney knows how to capitalize on the magical experience. But I still believe that Disney thinks of the customer first. The MagicBand will increase the ease for the parents and children will enjoy a more personalized Disney.

It will be interesting to follow the reaction from visitors and if the investment will change the Disney experience.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/01/08/its-an-easily-tracked-world-after-all-disney-parks-are-getting-rfid-enabled-magicbands/

 

 

25
Jan

How free online returns can spark shopper loyalty – The Washington Post

How free online returns can spark shopper loyalty – The Washington Post.

25
Jan

25
Jan

4Moms “Breeze” Playpen

Here is a video of one of the products made by 4Moms, the company Prof. Maxham discussed briefly in preparation for our guest speaker. Exploring the website demonstrates the company’s focus on customer value by trying to make life easier for parents. The company was literally started by moms, for moms and seems to be one of the few that truly embodies an “outside in” or customer value mindset. Not surprisingly, 4Moms appears to be earning a lot of positive press (http://www.4moms.com/media). One Amazon reviewer even calls the Origami stroller, “The Apple of Strollers

25
Jan

Beyond Webvan: MyWebGrocer Turns Supermarkets Virtual – Businessweek

Beyond Webvan: MyWebGrocer Turns Supermarkets Virtual – Businessweek.

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Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things--Theodore Levitt