Posts Tagged ‘ generating sales ’

Biting the Bait – Making Promotions Work For You

Promotions. Offers. Incentives. Why do they work? Why do consumers buy into them? The most vital and critical piece to any promotion lies in thinking like the consumer, which companies may forget when launching a promotion. We recommend putting yourself in their shoes. Familiarize yourself with their fears, their skepticism and their doubts. Listed below are key points to follow when rolling out your promotion.

The offer must appeal to target audience. Some companies find that reaching a specific target audience, such as children, creates a challenge. Motivating kids to fundraise for their schools can be a cumbersome task for a hard-to-please audience. Would one offer them rebates that take six to eight weeks to receive? Or would one offer them a class pizza party? You can determine which one will achieve results based on the context of the promotion, the willingness of the children to participate and their perceived value.

High perceived value. A consumer’s perception is their reality. The product offered has to have value in the consumer’s mind, and be an offer they usually would not go out of their way to buy. When offering a product it’s not necessary to give away a Ferrari of the year, instead give away a car that has the same perceived value as a Ferrari, but in reality only costs $20,000. Scale your giveaways to your budget but keep consumers’ perception of products mind. Presentation of that product helps as well.

Immediate satisfaction. We are a microwave society. Today, people expect to be satisfied immediately. If your offer has a delayed satisfaction for your consumer, it may not be successful. Mail-in rebates that companies offer are a prime example, and can lead to lower consumer participation. Think about when you’re surfing the web, and how long do you wait for a websites to download…15-20 seconds? You take the risk of losing a consumer the moment they have to wait.

Keep the process simple. If consumers see a complex web of tasks and processes needed to participate in promotion, they may walk away. People, for the most part, expect companies who offer incentives to make them as easy as possible to obtain. If the amount of work it takes to get an offer overshadows the perceived value, then the probability of getting consumers to act diminishes and vice versa.

Be honest. Do not be ambiguous when it comes to the messaging. Be upfront – tell them what they are going to get and how they are going to get it. The fine print, also known as disclaimers, may scare people away. When the list is never ending, consumers may not act on the offer. In the end, honesty and being upfront is appreciated.

Be legal. Make sure that you follow all state guidelines when launching a promotion or sweepstakes. The rules can vary by state but as a rule of thumb, remember; you cannot make a consumer buy your product or service to be eligible to enter to win a prize – that’s a lottery and illegal in most states. You have to provide the consumer a free way to enter the promotion with the same opportunity of chance. This does not apply to a gift with purchase, where everyone is awarded a prize. See the state of Florida’s guidelines here: http://www.800helpfla.com/sweepstakes.html

Remember, it’s not about what you sell; it’s how you sell it.

Is “Re-branding” the New Buzz Word?

We hear the term “re-branding” thrown around a lot lately. It seems if everyone is trying desperately, in a fast-moving society, to stay fresh and yet stay true to their history at the same time. Most recently – YMCA to Y; Tropicana logo change; and let’s not forget about the Gap logo debacle.

The Gap change came in early October of this year. The president of Gap Brand North America for the last three years stated, “We chose this (new) design as it’s more contemporary and current. It honors our heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward.” – Sound familiar?

Gap did a soft launch of their new logo and wanted feedback from their loyal customers, so they introduced it through social media. And, did they get feedback! Received so negatively and with such a backslash, it resulted in 1,094 comments from one of their Facebook postings alone.

Creatively, many felt it took a couple steps back and, well…fell flat on its face. The “generic” look that so many companies are trying to achieve didn’t work for Gap. For many, their goal is to make their brand modern and clean, but when executed incorrectly, the result is a generic and drab look. Modern should not equal generic. Gap has now gone back to their old logo.

This got us thinking…when exactly is the right time to re-brand and why? In Gap’s case, they wanted a new logo to reflect the evolution of their clothing line and multiple modern stores. However, what other reasons are there to re-brand? Take our company, evok advertising, for example. We are actually in the process of a re-brand ourselves. So, why the change for us?

Scott Disbennett, creative director and agency partner, said, “Opposed to a national brand that has spent millions focusing on consumer perception, we don’t carry the same iconic weight. We are a mid-size agency that prides ourselves on staying abreast of new technology and new brands, while staying cutting edge, so being current is actually part of the brand. Also, we focus most, if not all, of our marketing efforts B2B so to many, this new logo will be their first experience with our brand. We aren’t facing the challenges that a national consumer brand might face.”

Larry Meador, our agency’s managing partner, addressed evok’s re-brand by stating, “While the old ‘EVOK’ worked well when we were trying to shout our name out there, we have always had a core belief that we should be behind the scenes, behind our clients’ victories, and although just a minor change, going from upper case to lower case with our logo reinforces that belief.”

So, if wondering whether you should re-brand your company, you may want to consider the following criteria. If you can answer yes to most of the items below, maybe it’s time?

Re-brand IF:

  1. New ownership, new partner
  2. A new highly regarded business practice (such as being green, etc.)
  3. Offering new products or services that will move you to a different segment of your market
  4. If your branding was poorly designed when your company was young
  5. New location, if that greatly impacts your business

So, the question remains to re-brand or not re-brand?  Well, the simple answer is, consider the brand! For our agency, yes it made sense. For KFC and the Y (formerly YMCA), yes, maybe? But, maybe not so much for Tropicana and The Gap. If you are responding to consumer input, yes! Remember, the purpose of re-branding is to keep your current clients and customers, but also attract new ones.

Long live the Coppertone baby!

Maximizing the Trade Show Experience

Although trade shows are held throughout the year for every industry, both the end and the beginning of the year represent the rush season. You may soon be among those dutifully manning a trade show booth, introducing your latest and greatest products. At that point, you may probably think you’ve already done everything possible to make sure that distribution and retail decision-makers stop by for a profitable visit. However, there are a few additional steps which can help you make the most of the face time you spend with these key individuals:

* Work the pre-registered list. Of course, you’ve already reviewed the pre-registered attendee list and highlighted the people you want to meet. For those you haven’t been able to set an appointment with, pay close attention to the name badges of booth visitors. When you spot someone on the list, introduce yourself and make that person aware you’re familiar with him/her or his/her company.

* Even if your target already works with another manufacturer or vendor, acknowledge the fact, but talk about your product’s features. For example, “I know you’ve had a lot of success with your current product, but have you seen the new features we’ve added to ours (or the new generation product that represents a quantum leap over every other product in the same category)?” Everyone always wants to maintain a competitive edge, so your offer to show this initially casual visitor a product that represents a significant improvement in the marketplace can only get a positive response.

* Keeping in the same mode, always focus on the booth visitor. Engaging the visitor in conversation to learn his/her needs is the best way to recommend how your company can meet them. You and everyone who works your booth should know the product lines inside-out, but just delivering a spiel is counterproductive because it implies that you’re more interested in moving product than providing individualized solutions. Position yourself as wanting to be more of a partner than a vendor.

* Finally, make sure that attendees feel welcome to visit your booth. This may seem like a “duh” statement, but body language is important in creating first impressions. Standing at the booth’s border with folded arms creates an intimidating appearance; chatting with other booth staffers sends the clear message that you don’t want to be bothered with any of those annoying potential customers.

Just keep in mind that whatever size the trade show, there are plenty of exhibitors who recognize opportunity when they see it – and when it sees them. You’re in the right place at the right time – so do it up right.