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Archive for December 2018

Brand Managers Who Want More Loyal Customers Need To Do This

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Every brand manager and product manager in the world wants more loyal customers, right? Well if they can master the art of one-simple 6-letter word they would be well on their way to achieving their goals.

This seemingly innocuous or harmless word can be very harmful and quite damaging to a brand’s long term success if not done properly and consistently.

The word is “engage” or “engagement” if you prefer. No matter what you call it interacting and engaging with your customers and prospects is the key to establishing, fostering and maintaining brand loyalty. However as know from a recent post, Engagement Is The Most Important Digital Challenge For Marketers… “According to a recent McKinsey quarterly report, having the ability to engage their customers and leverage those relationships is the number one digitally-related challenge facing marketers today.”

Brand Manager 1

In its findings from a recent report, the Top 12 Customer Loyalty Trends for 2012 – Loyalty 360, the loyalty marketer’s association made it perfectly clear that brand managers and product managers and all digital marketers better meet that challenge head on.

“Customer engagement is the journey, loyalty is the destination. Loyalty is a much bigger, broader, richer and growing ever more complex idea than it has been in the past. Loyalty is no longer about points, discounts, miles, rewards; it is about the way the processes, technologies, ideas, interactions engage an individual with the brand. The only way to achieve loyalty is through deeper engagement.”

That last line is very powerful indeed if for no other reason the use of the word “only.”

Brand Manager 1

More from their report:

  • Marketers are being distracted by daily deal sites and need to refocus and get their eyes on the ultimate prize. “While daily deals like Group-on, Living-social are generating lots of buzz, marketers are realizing that these price-based technologies have taken their focus away from the real prize: customer loyalty.”
  • The issue of Big Data is all-too real and knowing how to use it effectively. “Study after study is showing that marketers are struggling with mining this data and analyzing it in order to derive valuable insights and actionable intelligence from it.”
  • Marketers will seek out brand ambassadors. “Social personalization will increase. Marketers will harness the power of recommendations and referrals to persuade customers and prospects to follow their friends’ leads. They will become more proactive in encouraging reviews, implementing refer-a-friend programs, etc.”

Loyal Customers

These are just some of the loyalty trends Loyalty 360 identified and you can read the full report here.

It is clear, now more than ever, that engaging your customers and your prospects in a deep and meaningful way is paramount to any company’s success. Consumers want to engage their favorite brands, they want to know you are listening, they want dialogue, two-way conversations.

How do engage your customers now?

What other ways can you engage them?

As a consumer, which we all are at the end of the day, how do you want your favorite brands to engage with you?

Archive for December 2018

Has Black Friday Become Thoughtless Thursday?

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Has Black Friday Become Thoughtless Thursday? Major brands – from Walmart to Kmart to Sears to Old Navy, to name but a few, will be open for business on Thanksgiving night. As if that’s not bad enough, one major department store is running a commercial which features someone stealing something out of another person’s shopping cart.

Look, I get it… I really do. I’m in advertising and marketing and have been for over 20 years, so I know all about the need to move merchandise/make money, and if people are willing to shop, far be it for a retailer to not oblige them. If a retailer wants to open its doors on Thanksgiving night, so be it.

But have we reached a point where nothing is sacred anymore? Is there any day that is off limits when it comes to consumers spending money in a bricks and mortar location? Obviously in today’s digital world, consumers can go online and shop anytime they damn well want to. However, they cannot of course get the instantaneous satisfaction of handing over their money and receiving a physical item in exchange. If you order online, you must then wait. And when it comes to the holidays and shopping, some of us don’t exactly have an over abundance of patience.

Sure we will do plenty of shopping online this holiday season but give us a chance to get in our cars and drive to a mall and spend the next X number of hours fighting through crowds as we listen to piped in holiday music… hell yeah, many of us will jump at the chance.

But does that make it right?

Like I said earlier, I understand it from the retailers’ perspective but Thanksgiving night? Really? What, opening at 3AM on Black Friday – or even earlier, wasn’t good enough?

Has Black Friday Become Thoughtless Thursday?Maybe I’m feeling this way because I used to work in retail (supermarket) many moons ago. So I know of the plight of the retail worker when it comes to the holidays and drawing the short straw and having to work while others are at home with their families.

Or maybe it’s because I’m an emotional guy who thinks everyone deserves at least one day they can spend with their family and friends; where no one needs to man a register or stock a shelf.

Are those days over for good?

It just seems like the whole Black Friday phenomenon is now rolling into one continuous shop-a-palooza with a brief respite being provided on Thanksgiving itself to allow for consumers and workers alike a few hours to stop and eat, watch a little football and then right back to battleground.

And someone has to help me with this one… Yesterday I saw a commercial for Sears promoting their “Day After Thanksgiving Sale” which they pointed out was happening on Friday, AKA the day after Thanksgiving. Now are we collectively that devoid of logic that we needed a reminder that the “Day After Thanksgiving Sale” was indeed happening… the day after Thanksgiving. Or, did Sears and their ad agency feel the need to inform us that this was NOT a Thanksgiving Day Sale but rather a “Day After Thanksgiving Sale?” You know, just so there was no confusion…

Has Black Friday Become Thoughtless Thursday?Black Friday Pilfering..
As for the aforementioned major department store and the ad they’re currently running which features out and out theft… watch it for yourself.

Did you see it? Go back and look what the woman does at the :14 mark…

So not only does this commercial feature one of the worst jingles in history, in my humble opinion, but out and out puts stealing front and center.

Oh sure, the spot is intended – at least I assume it is – to be evoke warm holiday feelings. But to show someone literally taking something from someone else, on Black Friday of all days when tensions run exceedingly high, just makes no sense to me.

What do you think the reaction will be if someone tries this on Black Friday?

Customer #1: Hey, you just took something right out of my cart!

Customer #2: It’s ok, that’s how they do it at Kohl’s! Happy Thanksgiving!

Customer #1: Oh no you didn’t…

Cue the store security, police, etc…

What were they thinking showing this in their commercial?

Someone please help me understand… Anyone. Bueller?

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