Friday, December 21, 2012

The final run in! Happy Holidays:)

The final run in! The final task for our four finalists was to create a new brand of sports wear, designed to go global. They then had to pitch it in an event to industry experts. This task took place in Manchester, home to the most valuable sports clubs in the world! The candidates were split in to two teams, they both got “helpers”, candidates that were fired earlier in the process. Ashley and Lucy against Patrick and the ever so loud Maria. Ashley and Lucy chose street wear. Ashley then went to a street wear center to meet with a focus group, she truly paid attention to what was said and did read between the lines what it is youngsters are looking for in a brand. It proved important also when it later came to key decisions regarding the brand going global. Release was born with the tag line: Strive- merge- achieve. To make sure the logo can be taken overseas, the R was central because it’s recognizable and can be used in many languages. I thought it was very cleverly done! Hard to believe these are two 16 year old girls! They chose their brand to stand for ethics . The street dancers said they don’t want just another empty brand name, they are looking for someone that cares and would give back to the street so to speak. Patrick and Maria chose to re brand cycling, making it young and hip and so, CYC was born with the tag line: Lead the way. Time to make a marketing plan! Both teams chose to make a viral video and use social media. Patrick decided to use a choir- He asked them spill in to a busy shopping mall in small groups as shoppers turn singers. At the end, they spelled out the brand ‘s name. Looking to reach young, urban and cool crowd, using a choir with an average age 35 was risky. Its a shame they were not dressed the same, the brand wasn’t visible enough to everyone. Only at the end, the people looking from above could see their name. Ashley went with a team of street dancers to the park, looking release them so to speak on unsuspecting people and then film them joining in. It was a struggle for a while but it was a fun video in the end and most important, showcased the brand perfectly. Time to brand and launch their cloths, they could choose from unbranded sports wear fitting their brand. Top professionals were going to be assessing them from Adidas to Rio Ferdinand to global marketing experts. Both gave a good fashion show and a good pitch. CYC’s issues with the professionals was the use of the choir and how it connects to the brand itself or rather the lack of it, the fact they used a student that has little money as their example so what does that say about the quality? How big is the potential to go global. For Release it was about how to translate the logo globaly, the uniqueness regarding street wear in general and how to fund the brand’s charity work. Release won! The final deciding factor between the ladies was what they plan to do with the money. While Lucy was planning to go to law school with it which by the way, was a bit strange since this is a business apprenticeship, Ashley had a solid plan in mind for either an accounting firm or a real estate management company. This made her the winner! And a very worthy one in my view. 12 candidates, 1 apprentice! I wish you all a very merry Xmas and an exciting and successful 2013! Kind regards, Diti.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The final candidates!

Did you know that selling at music festivals in the UK, all 800 of them, is a billion pounds business?! This week the candidates received 1,500 pounds from Lord Sugar to buy two products and sell them at one of the biggest music festivals- Womad. The teams had to choose two out of eight possible products and had one day to sell as hard as they could. This was a commercial task, each getting a personal chance though to shine by selling. Odessey was led by Lucy, they made serious mistakes from the get go... When going to meet the designers of each product they thought would sell the best, they completely forgot the basics of negotiations and how to deal with artistic types. There was no polite introduction, enthusiasm about the products or even a demo. They came right to the point of negotiating a better price, coming off rude and even cold. Second fatal mistake was their choice of products! A self powered washing machine...people come to a three day festival, surely they are not going to say: Hey, I missed Bruce Springsteen singing because I was doing my laundry... People bring enough cloths with them to such events. The team completely missed the fun aspect of the event. Platinum was led by Patrick, they didn’t choose their products too well either. Though they had a good slogan for it- Would anyone like to sit down? The portable (cardboard) toilets did not match this event. This is not really camping and it turned out the organizers offered very good facilities.. Patrick chose the seat umbrella with out thinking it’s summer, on the day it was very hot. Though both teams did their market research, they didn’t really used it. Andrew for Odessey went to the mall where no one would speak to him, Ashley went to the right area- Camden town but the PM decided to book the products before hearing the results. So, after Odessey lost the portable toilet (blessing in disguise) they chose the washing machine and the animal funzies. Platinum went with their original choice since the designers of the products loved their attitude and believed they could sell them well, even though they bid less then the other team! It was a victory in it’s self! On the day it took a while but Andrew soon realized the washing machine is more about real camping comfort and this event is too short term, he joined the rest of the team in selling the wanzies. Too bad though the pricing was more about random numbers just thrown out there with no real thought. Patrick made the same pricing mistake with the toilets, they were really over priced and therefore not sold! The umbrella did surprisingly well considering the heat, mean while, the only reason they did sell some of the toilets was Maria going around selling them for any price. Results... Both teams choose items that did not fit the type of people going to this festival! They completely missed the target group- hippies..They missed the no brainer products which were the perfect items for such an occasion- impulse purchases! Such as the solar hats or organic face paint. Odyssey's mistakes proved to be more fatal then Platinum and they lost the task. Unfortunately this was a double firing, only Lucy survived the cut. Lord Sugar did give Andrew and Steve both his business card and told them both to stay in touch! Cool! The final is coming... Stay tuned! Diti.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lizard king or Très chic?

Week 6: This week Lord Sugar asked the teams to create a hair product, brand it, create a TV ad and pitch it to the industry’s top executives. Did you know that hair products are a 2 million pound a year business?! This week Andrew and Maria could not escape it any longer and were appointed project managers, time to put their money where their mouth is! Andrew leading Odessey, was struggling from the get go. No creative ideas were put forward and so much time was wasted during the early stages that later, at the crucial stages of the process they had to make rash decisions and almost missed their deadline. They decided to aim for the men market creating hair gel, they started throwing names out there and came up with chameleon as their top priority. They met up with a focus group which was a boy’s band, the members of the band disliked all the names except chameleon. Coming back to join the rest of the team, it was pointed out many times over that there is a contradiction here- They wanted their brand to stand out from the rest but chose an animal that remains in the background and adapts to the surroundings. Strange enough Andrew decides to instead of start over, to adjust his message: The gel that adapts to you and continued using the name chameleon. Maria leading Platinum went for the female market creating hair spray. The creative process here was faster and very quickly Ashley came up with the name Strexy- Strong and Sexy! They went to their focus group a girl band and got good feedback. Time to move on to design and branding. Both teams went to the supermarkets to see what other brands were doing, what colors they were using ectra. Odessey chose neon green with an image of a chameleon, their TV ad was shot at the swimming pool. The point of their ad was three different guys, three different unique styles. At the last minute Andrew decided to add the comedy touch and be cheeky or so he thought, the last guy walked out with toilet paper stuck to his shoe..oh the horror! To describe Platinum's product and ad in one word would be- tacky! Tiger print using pink (but of course..) This was a clear decision on Maria’s part to make it tacky. When shooting the ad in the boxing ring there was a clear power struggle between Maria and Ashley, leading to confusion and irritation among the professionals shooting it and the hired actors. The story was about two guys boxing, harassing the girl so she puts the spray in her hair and kicks guy ass as a result. Time to pitch- Platinum did a good job presenting their in your face product. It was deliberately tacky but it did stand out which caught the attention of the retailers. Nevdeep pitched for Odessey and did a poor job and therefore, did not really sell their brand. The executives now met Lord Sugar to split hairs with him regarding the winner... The boardroom was very tense, two issues came up almost immediately- Chameleon- Wanting to stand out by using an animal that blends in! Platinum- Having a very tacky cheap looking product might be a turn off. For Odessey the clear contradiction, added confusion combined with an un attractive ad was a bust. The executives thought the toilet paper joke made a joke of the person, saying yes you have the gel and style and still you’re a joke, sending the wrong message completely. It looked like each guy when walking into the swimming pool’s locker room was stealing the gel... there was no edge to it- pick up the gel, look in the mirror, put it down over and over..They also thought girls should have been in the ad to make it attractive to guys. Though cheap looking, Platinum won the task because it was too much in your face kind of ad and product to ignore! This time it paid off for Maria to be Maria... Andrew 5 times looser saw himself already being fired but then Lord Sugar decided to fired Nevdeep for being too academic and not really a business person. I agree with his decision thought it’s also clear Andrew days are numbers and he will not make the final cut. Take away- With all due respect to focus groups and market research, use your instinct and common sense as well! You can’t create a brand to fit the views of a small focus group! You should take their comments on board but it does have to make sense! Have a productive week and if you're celebrating Chanuka- Happy Chanuka:)

Friday, November 30, 2012

As a parent- which club would you choose?..

Time to capture the young! The apprentice- week 5: This week’s task was about inventing a new children’s club that will be fun, educational, boosting the potential within and of course, make business sense. The club will then be pitched to key investors in the business, the teams will offer them to buy their club license. Children's entertainment holds an amazingly wide range of activities and ideas anywhere from sport, to science, to arts and craft to going green. Platinum managed by Ashley, were struggling from the get go! Coming up with a concept took a very long time, Ashley simply couldn’t make a decision so while still debating between Dances from around the world and Eco art with emphasis on recycling club, they finally went out to do some market research. Strange enough, Ashley then decided to just copy the idea they witnessed at the paint club they went to! There was no convincing her to change her mind, the dancing concept did tick all the boxes required but she was having none of it. Not enough thought went into all the factors such as the horror on parents faces when they get their children back covered with paint every where, ruined cloths...The parents who are the ones paying, were not included in the research! Not to mention, there is nothing new or creative about this idea, it already exists. And so, Big mess was born! Splodge was their mascot. Odessey run by Navdeep came up with their science with a space twist concept quite quickly, they then split in to two teams and off they went to conduct their market research. They went later to a science tutor for tips and experiment ideas for the club. A fun activity was put together, they ended up calling their club Blast off! It was odd though them wanting to educate children about different areas of science and space when they didn’t even know what the planets are! They did pay attention to ticking all of Lord’s Sugar’s boxes, educational value was one of them. It was now time to create a logo, slogan, mascot and a website to go with their upcoming pitch. They had to have a live demo with children to showcase the idea. It would also help check out the children’s take on the idea, interaction and excitement level. Space face was the mascot created. There was on both teams a big emphasis on creativity and presentation and a real lack of focus on a proper business plan and pricing! Figures were just thrown into the mix with no thought later proving to coming back and biting them in the ass. Demonstration first pitch to follow...Platinum time with the children started on the slow side, some didn’t want to get so messy with the paint or get their faces painted however, once they warmed up to it they had a great time! Some sport movements with balls were incorporated in to the routine as well. The investors were very concerned about the mess, the fact that parents are not told before hand what to expect when its over- a possible 3 hours in the bath trying to get it all off not to mention, the cloths...Funny enough, money didn’t come up they did however, had to promise protective cloths to be included in the price hmm.. Odessey had a good session with the kids, they needed less encouragement to join in the fun. It was evident they were learning and enjoying themselves. The team had no real idea about pricing and when asked, couldn’t really respond well. They too promised the kit and tools needed per session to be included in the was clear they didn’t think it through. They even had spelling mistakes on their website which didn’t impress too much The board room turned out to be an annulation of... 10,950 pounds vs. 470 pounds only for Platinum! The reasons for failure were quite clear from the get go- A PM in love with her own voice, listening to no one! She thought her idea is the only idea and therefore pushed it or bulldozed it is more accurate. She completely missed the specifics of the task: New- Educational- Business sense! Their club just didn’t tick any of the boxes. It was obvious Ashley should have gone but lucky for her, poor David was in there for the forth time and Lord Sugar felt that the time has come to set him free! And then there were 7... Tune in next week for a hair raising task! Enjoy the weekend! Diti.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Apprentice- week 5: A fresh spin on afternoon tea..

Revamping afternoon tea- This task was about organization skills and business acumen. Both teams had to create a themed afternoon tea then sell it to the tourists and visitors at the Blenheim palace in London. This week Lord Sugar appointed David to be the PM of Platinum and Alice the PM of Odessey- It was time to step up! Platinum chose for a fun and colorful theme- Mad hatter's afternoon tea. They chose for cheap quality while Odessey decided to go vintage and create a 1940’s afternoon tea. They chose to replace war ressions and shortage with high quality food and introduce some British history in the process. David did realize from the start this is about making the biggest profit so that was at the heart of his strategy. Alice was very organized through out the task: Market research, a lot of attention went to the creation of the menu- actual tasting! the ingredients, quality and props. When it came to pricing, the sub team pushed for high prices to match their research. They ended up offering their high tea for between 12 to 16 pounds, different prices for adults and children. Odessey sold their afternoon tea experience for only 7.50 pounds! David split Platinum in to two teams sending the sub team to engage in market research. Ashley teamed with David were in charge of the shopping and menu, she ended up taking complete charge and guided David when it comes to the menu, pricing and ingredients. Lucky for him too since he was not in focus and seemed happy to have someone else make the decisions...the other members also had no say in the menu. The time came to bake the cakes- sub teams were in charge of that. Alice was so very busy with Patrick tasting and spending the big bucks, they even went to high end retailor for the tea..she was not available on the phone for most of the day meaning the sub team just had to go on their instincts as far as guessing what Alice meant..the cakes didn’t look that great also for lack of real guidance. She wanted iconic British food with a you have an idea what that means? They didn’t.. Platinum stuck to their theme and made fun and colorful cakes. Odessey’s food clashed with their theme: war times matched with high end.. The time came to set up shop in the palace’s gardens. Each team got two big tents, one for the kitchen and one featuring as a dining room. Alice’s team paid attention to all the details so the tents looked great, they were ready on time, they had army uniforms to match the vibe they were after and they gave good service to the guests. Platinum on the other hand was in complete chaos! Everything took way too long, they were not ready for people so the line got longer and longer..there was no structure to the kitchen, on receiving the guests or how to take the order effectively. They even ran out of dishes at one point.. David resembled a headless chicken running around, not sure how to talk with people which was odd and the others were no help! It took a while but they finally got their act together, David had a good idea on how to tackle the lack of space problem and offered people to sit outside on the grass picnic style. The service was not very good but people attributed that actually to the mad hatter theme! Odessy had a good start but then it dried up and there was no second wave. Some people did walk away due to the high price but with spending so much, they couldn’t really afford to sell for less. At the end of the day they did drop though to half price in a desperate attempt to sell more. Board room time... David, being as lucky as he has been so far in the process and though not much in the structure and organizing department did get the point- PROFIT: Spending a total of 150 pounds and selling for 474 pounds showed a profit of 316 pounds! Alice let herself get carried away and though organized, paying attention to detail missed the most important detail- profit.. She spent a whopping 284 pounds and sold for 375 pounds showing a poor profit of 91 pounds only. Alice ended up being sent home for missing the point, showing a lack of business acumen. Maria once again was warned for her aggressiveness and pushiness especially when it came to the price. She did push for high end prices however, with the money Alice spent, she couldn’t sell for less even if she wanted to! Dropping the ball on the budget, doing no price comparison means you cant hit the mark! Can you? Tune in next week for a task all about child’s play! Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The apprentice- At the opera!

Week 3- Creating win- win negotiations! This week’s task was about the art of negotiation. The candidates did manage to get some of the prices down however, there were no real skills involved. When the shop owners refused to give a discount, they were lost..then again, they are only 16! True, you can have business intelligence and ambitions at a young age. When examining the actual business skills at that age however, we find out that there has to be more to it then that. They need to study, personality refinement not to mention maturity and guidance through work. I would add that they need to get off the horse as we say in Israel! They may be a young successes but they don’t know it all and they are not that good, yet. It seems that when they were not sure of themselves or felt out of their depth, they just get aggressive as if this will make it invisible to the rest. This week the teams were mixed so we are no longer playing boys against girls. They were given a list of 10 items they had to find and purchase for the best possible price, bringing them to the Opera house where they will be used as props in a later production. Platinum chose Steve as their PM since he has structure and will bring order to the table hmmm...they were in for a surprised..Odessey choose Andrew. Both teams chose totally different strategies. Steve gave each member two items to research though they didn't realize this division or what their individual items were. Everyone was looking for locations to buy from for items at random. After a short while Steve thought they would be better off researching from the road so they split into two teams and off they went. Andrew thought they should stay put, find all the locations of purchase first and only then get going..Patrick was the only pointing out that since they don’t know London, they should find out on the map first where each group should go to depending on the items they were going to buy. While on the road, they did compare prices first before purchasing which sounds good basic business sense however for Platinum, it was simply get the cheapest price possible. They never thought about having a basic figure in mind to aim for. It’s not just about bringing a price down especially if its too high to begin with. Both teams in spite of their different approaches were only able to get 5 items out of the ten they were given. In the board room, Lord Sugar was not not too impressed...There were also two items the candidates didn’t even know what they were.. In spite of their huge waste of time and no one really having a proper responsibility, Odessey won the task by less then 30 pounds and a whole lot of luck.. Platinum lost mostly because they had bad management through out. The PM didn't have any indication of what was going on, he didn’t follow up with the proper questions and missed out on two basic items he had addresses for already. He chose to find new locations that didn’t work out. Amy was loud, aggressive and childish through out and that didn’t appeal to Lord Sugar, she was fired and rightly so. David broke an all time record I believe- third time in the board room and yet he was not fired! Take away: Know your prices! Bringing the price down is good but it’s not the same as getting a good price! When you manage a team, be clear about your division of the task at hand and what you expect from them. Make a clear plan to action and if you have a sub team, you need to follow up properly! Don’t ask is everything okay for example if the task is selling! Ask straight up- how much have you sold? If there are problems or changes you should make, this will the way to find out. And then there were 9! Tune in next week for the afternoon tea challenge. Have a good weekend! Diti.

Friday, November 9, 2012

You're fired!

The apprentice is back! At first I thought the search for a young apprentice will be slightly less however, it’s proving to be very interesting and quite an experience watching these kids at work. On a one hand, you can easily forget they are only 16&17 years old on the other hand, its quite sad in my view seeing them completely missing out on being teens and enjoying teen stuff. There doesn’t seem to be a balance and though I can fully relate to their passion for business, you will only be young once.. 11 youngsters are looking to kick start their business careers and are showing a burning passion for success I haven’t even seen in adults! We have two teams Odyssey- started as the boys team and Platinum originally the girls team. This week was their second task and Sir Alan mixed them up a bit to make it more interesting.. The task was about publishing: The teams had to write, design, print and produce a cookery book and then pitch their concept to the UK top 3 retailers. Did you know that this is a 84 million pounds industry?! Each year over 2,000 new cook books are published. Looking around, it seems to be the thing to do, TV and books alike. You can’t escape cooking these days that's for sure... Odyssey chose Sean as their PM- He is only 16 and yet, he is the youngest published author in the UK (what?)! He has also won an award for his writings.. What were you writing about when you were 16? Hmmm.. Platinum chose Lucy as their PM. It was now time to choose a concept&target market, Odyssey choose the professional working woman. However, when they went to test their ideas on a focus group, the group hated the idea! They all thought they should aim at a wider audience and add the professional working man to the mix. When calling in to Sean with the results suggesting the change, Maria who came up with the idea threw a fit. It's times like these when you can see the actual age of these kids...She thought they need to stand out to the retailers and a niche market is the best way to do it, forgetting that when it comes to publishing, the broader the audience the better it is. She simply didn’t stop till Sean gave in and agreed not to change their concept. Platinum choose to cater to students! They had a fun and very modern concept- combining a hash tag into the title and connecting it all with Twitter and social media. This move was very fitting with their target audience. #Where’s mummy? The students have now left home for the first time, how can they survive with out home cooking? Time to cook! The sub teams now had to come up with three recipes for their book matching the concept. Odyssey’s sub team did a good job writing it all down, proofing the material, taking great photos and matching cover. Very time efficient Platinum however, had a power struggle going on so the girls as only girls can be..decided to turn against the PM and just sabotage her wasting valuable time- They came back with a long list of ingredients and that’s it! So before creating everything needed for the final production, recipes had to be written making them almost miss their deadline! Of course that also caused them to have no time for proof reading which later proved a big embarrassment to their team. Moving on to design, once again Maria was just running the show. The reason Sean was the Pm was his knowledge of the publishing industry but he couldn’t get an idea in. What an over barring, not as smart as she thinks girl! I’m betting she will not last long..They also forgot the most important thing: incorporating into the title the words cook book.. The other team focused on the design and it came out a big success! It was much like a comic book too bad it was full of spelling mistakes though. No one at the time thought to check or even noticed these errors. Though they were aware that the person writing has dyslexia and proof reading was a must! They unfortunately ran out of time because of their hen like bickering.. The big moment has arrived, time to pitch to the retailers. Odyssey chose a good team to lead the pitch and cook the food. It was going well but for some reason Sean decided that the last pitch will be delivered by Patrick, even though he didn’t prepare well for it and didn’t know what he was doing. Note to project managers: This is business not a talent show, letting people try out different aspects of the business in search of their strengths isn’t a good strategy. Platinum did a good job pitching though no one was impressed by the amateur spelling mistakes jumping out to everyone. The board room... The results were not surprising really, Odyssey received only one order of 800 units from all 3 retailors. For the simple reason they were aiming at a very small niche market, retailers are looking for something appealing to as big a group as possible. Platinum won with an order of 7,500 units from all retailors if promising to prove read this time..:) Since Sean let Maria push him around and effect his decision making, making it a recipe for disaster combined with him ignoring the focus group completely he paid the price by getting fired. Take a way: Don’t ignore your focus group listen to what your audience is telling you! It’s not just about your ideas, they also have to hold water in the real world! Don’t fix what’s not broken- If your pitch is going well don’t change that team at the very last minute for no reason! Be assertive! And remember, you simply cant please every member of your team all the time- this is a business! And then there were 10... Tune in next week for the next task when someone will get fired! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obama vs Romney: Who is maximizing his Twitter presence?..

Hi everyone, I'm back! How was your summer? Hope you had a fun time! For me, it was all about sun, beach and family! After being away all summer, it's now time to get back to normal. Always takes me a few days to adjust back.. The election in the US is coming up, we just voted in The Netherlands, it's been interesting seeing how both governments and the candidates themselves are using social media for their election campaign. I am no expert on American politics though I am leaning towards the democrats, since the results of this election influence the whole world I have been following Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on Twitter recently. No one is above social media apparently! Even the president of the Untied States understands he needs to be on there, reaching out to his voters and being connected to the people. Following them using the same platform- Twitter is fascinating mostly because of the huge differences in their use of it. Besides the obvious differences of course such as democrat vs. republican, each has a another approach which is what I love about social media- show us who YOU are.. Obama's page for example lists on the left hand side everyone connected to his campaign such Joe Bieden and of course the first lady. People can follow them as well, tweet questions ectra. I think that's a very good move! No one is off limits to the public, showing availability is great marketing! Romeny is on his own so to speak, no information about the people beside him, who will be coming with him to the white house should he win? Of course, the names are known but the people stay out of Twitter followers reach. Their marketing strategies couldn't be more different! While Romney's tweets from the last two days are against Obama- mentioning him by name and he's not showing his personal side. Obama's tweets don't mention him in the majority of tweets, his tweets are a combination about his supporters, photos, humor, something personal, info about his plans, where he is.. Marketing wise, it's clever because his campaign staff makes sure people are aware of the support he has and where its coming from. Its not just about putting the other one down. The images they are projecting are two opposites - one seems there, available the other more closed off, mysterious, not a people's person. But that's just me.. And if we are to judge by the number of followers they both have, I think we could see clearly who the winner is! ((: Romney tweeted only 1,162 times! Even I tweeted more then him...Maybe it took his campaign manager time to realize they should be on social media. Obama has tweeted 6,164 times. He has 672,769 people he is following, Romney on the other hand, is following just 269 people! No one has told him what twitter protocol says in cases like this:) And here is the shocker- 1,145,529 are following Romney, 19,921,995 are following Obama! Take a look- These days it seems everything is out there and you can reach almost everyone- is that good or is it dangerously close to crossing the line? Feel free to share your thoughts with me! Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just how unique is your marketing?...

Standing out from your competitors is a daily challenge for businesses as well as marketers. So how do you use marketing to get noticed and stand out from the competition? This week I came across an interesting marketing concept, it is definitely unique, talk about outside the box thinking..:) We have yet to see how people will respond to this idea over time but it definitely created a buzz around this business and concept! People are becoming more aware of living healthy and changing what they eat in the process. More people today would like to know where their food comes from, they read on the packages what’s actually in their food, how its been prepared and all this is leading towards purchasing biological food. The Dutch people are buying more biological food then ever! In 2011, the Dutch spent 881 million euros on purchasing fish, meat, veggies and fruit which are biologically grown and produced. In the past couple of years, several online supermarkets have emerged, selling biological food. These sites allow you to order your shopping online. Once you placed your order, they then physically go and collect the different items for you from the farmers and suppliers, they then deliver it to your door. This can be a big help if you’re living in the city, it can be very time consuming should you choose to buy your food from the farmers directly for example. These online healthy supermarkets seem to be very popular meaning more are popping up...How can one still stay a head? One of them has decided to go the extra mile and launched a creative idea- The surprise box! The charm is that you don't know in advance what items you will be getting! Would it be a unique jam you never tried? Spices you've never heard of? Maybe good old fashioned Dutch veggies?... The risk is getting food you don't like which to me seems like a big problem however, when speaking with customers, one customer said he simply exchanges with other families around him items he doesn’t like though it doesn’t happen too often. Others have said it makes grocery shopping fun, almost like a game! Would you give the surprise box a try? So, what can you do to stand out and get your message heard? How can your brand get through all “noise”?... It's having your goals set, a marekting plan to match with attention to the smallest of details, get those creative juices flowing and.. Listen to what your audience wants and needs! See you soon! Diti.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Feminine Marketing: Are women really a separate target group?...

Ryan air's 2012 cabin crew calendar started a debate by marketing professionals here in The Netherlands. There is a strong connection between creating a successful marketing campaign and knowing what makes women tic! Did you know that more then 70% of purchase decisions are made by women? Mabel Nummerdor specializes in marketing for women. She claims that many companies today spend so much money on marketing campaigns with out doing the proper research, simply forgetting or perhaps not realizing that women are in many ways the actual target group, they are responsible for the majority of purchase decisions within the home! A calendar featuring Ryan air’s stewardesses in bikinis as pin ups, is a huge marketing mistake says Mabel. Especially considering it’s women that book 58% of the family vacations! Being aware of this % means this misses the target entirely, what woman will even look at this calendar even if it does feature the different destinations available. Saying it’s for charity to me doesn’t sound credible either. Maybe they were trying to hold the stick on both ends. The men will be drawn to the photos and the women will react to the charity aspect though I seriously doubt this! When analyzing marketing strategies and ads in the market today it’s still very evident it’s targeting men! It seems odd to me because in general, women are the biggest consumers and they do dominate many areas and have strong influence on others. An example is an ad created by Opel for their Meriva modal which featured in Red, a magazine for women. The ad said “Daddy’s car is the best”. The ad uses terms like the best which men respond to much more then women, winning a competition so to speak and having the best is something that wins men over. However, it’s not how women make a decision when it comes to a purchase. Women react with more emotions, they pay more attention to details and the small print. Different language appeals to them. So Opel placed an ad in a glossy women’s magazine, however, thinking that since they are talking about a car this is the language they should use. Making it close to impossible to achieving their goal. Not to mention that if Opel realized they should recognize the power of women in the consumer world, surly then they needed and should have adjusted the ad! It’s not about the location of your ad it’s in the details, terms used and the marketing tactics behind it. Women should be a separate target group. In the US, marketers took all this data and statistics to heart and since 2000 many changes have been made and implemented in marketing efforts. A great example is Harley Davidson- At Harley Davidson, The marketing team tried to think about what it is that makes women doubt buying a bike. Women have it seems a higher sense of fear when it comes to having an accident so they decided to tackle that, they are offering training for women, teaching them also how handle a big bike. This proved to be a huge success! A local example is Eliza, an online travel website. It’s written from a view point and perspective of women. Women and language in this case were a match made in heaven. Eliza is going on vacation... the website grew very fast and became a huge success. They simply realized at Eliza who the “real” target group is and are concentrating their efforts in reaching and appealing to that group. I happen to agree with this conclusion- Women are responsible for much of the consumer’s behavior and I think it’s smart to take all that into account when creating an ad or marketing promotions. How do you view this issue? Please share!:)