Archives for category: Consumer Insights

Dollar Shave Club is one of the best examples of a successful brand identity that is ubiquitous, from its packaging to its digital presence.  I’ve always been a huge fan of a beautiful rebrand.  However, what puts Dollar Shave Club (DSC) in a league of its own is that it was already beautiful, even at its start.

The idea alone was simple: solving an a relatable problem that’s shared by men and women everywhere, getting razors that aren’t ridiculously overpriced.  Quality generic alternatives shipped to your door for as little as $3.00 a month is a perfect example of product-market fit.  The founder and CEO, Michael Dubin recognized an age-old need and found a brilliant answer.

You may remember DSC’s head-turning launch video when it came out
in 2012 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUG9qYTJMsI).  That video (now viewed almost 20 million times) spread across the nation like wildfire on social media and made a boring subject like shaving entertaining enough to share with a friend.  But how did such a young and clever brand become the 615 million dollar mogul it is today? Through a delightfully unique customer experience.

When I subscribed to its service, Dollar Shave Club sent me a friendly “welcome to the club” email and shipped a very well-branded box to my door including the following: the products, a playful “member card,” free samples and (my personal favorite) “The Bathroom Minutes,” a hilarious monthly lifestyle newsletter from the chairman with pun-filled quotes, trivia, club news, member spotlights and more.  I loved how humble the packaging was.  The exposed-cardboard box had very little ink on it and yet it had just enough to keep it tastefully stylish.  This only helped represent the brand’s “No BS” core attitude.

This extraordinarily inexpensive and straightforward method of delivery changed the industry.  It seems more and more brands are now mimicking DSC’s approach, probably because of how pleasurable it is to a consumer to (for once) not have a product trying to blind you in the eyes with hologram-y, foil-stamped, 84-color packaging.  No contracts, no hidden fees, a distinct culture and a lifestyle service that’s worth talking about?  That’s not something you witness everyday.

Over 50,000 people a month refer a friend to the club, according to Dubin in a recent interview with CNBC.  That kind of number gets me giddy for advertising.  To be able to elevate your brand high enough that people do the advertising for you?  That’s more efficient and cost-effective than any other brand / media strategy that I can think of…

Stay true,
Dan

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Facebook Insights give brands the opportunity to enhance their posts based on the learnings and craft optimal social strategies. For social media professionals and content marketers, Facebook Insights is an essential tool for optimizing a brands social presence—and reporting success as a result of those efforts. Here are some of the top insights for brands to focus on and what they can tell us:

  1. Engagement:

It shows who is commenting, liking, or sharing the brands content—and it’s probably the most important metric to be monitoring.

Pro Tip: Those engaging on your page—they are your fans. These are the users that matter to your brand.  Make sure to ask your fans questions and ask for their opinions to see engagement thrive—they are the ones who will reply and be talking positively about your brand .

  1. Unique Impressions:

Impressions are the amount of individual users that saw your post.   This is important to view how your post is doing and if you need to adjust your posting schedule or content.

  1. Reach:

Reach is the number of people who have seen your post.  Your reach counts if it is in a user’s news feed.

  1. Demographic:

Facebook insights allows social pros and content marketers to view what demographic is most active on the brands page.  Thus, allowing them to adjust the posts based on what demographic is on the page most to engage their target audience.

facebook-insights

Facebook insights are useful if you know what they mean and which insights are important for your brand—master how to apply these learnings to your social strategy and your brand will be on its way to having a killer social presence.

What other Facebook insights help develop your brands social strategy?

-Erin

Farewell my loyal viewers….you all (2 viewers) have treated me well!

Last week at Brokaw 😦

It is very disheartening to believe that 10 weeks can go this fast. Our (the best interns in the world) first day at Brokaw, a syllabus was put on our desks and the lists of responsibilities seemed to be vast. On top of that our mentors were piling work on us daily! New tasks and responsibilities was the driving force for our work. Now that everything is over we wish we had a little bit more to do and a little bit more time.

This week has been kind of slow but it started to speed up once we realized it was really ending! We have arrived at the end of the Fazoli’s food truck tour and it was a great success! We have participated in feeding people around the nation and providing support to Feed The Children. You can never beat a great idea that’s coupled with a great cause.

I am really happy that I did not publish this before the end of the day because THIS LAST DAY TURNED OUT TO BE THE BEST!

Why do you ask….even if you did not ask, I will tell you anyway!

The Brokaw Bros. offered me a job and they want me to think about it over the weekend…(don’t tell anyone but I am going to say yes)….I thought this moment over a few times in my head already…lol.

There is some type of cubical or desk with my name on it and I am stoked to be a part of a great and creative team. You haven’t heard the last of me yet!

Keep it sexy and saucy…lol!

This week, the streets have been taken over by B.R.A.T.’s.

What kind of brat?

Nope.

This kind, perhaps?

So close.

More along the lines of B.R.A.T: Brokaw Retail Activation Team.

What does this all mean?

In order to form relationships with our customers, Brokaw has hit the road to promote Bob Evan’s Upside-Down Days, a deal offering free kids breakfast meals at dinner time. Sweet!

We hit the streets to spread the news to all the moms and dads of the world.

Knock, knock!

The children’s eyes lit up with glee as we visited their pint-sized, teeny towns.

Liberty Sweet Shop – promoting the sweetest deals

All in all, nothing but good times were had by the B.R.A.T.’s.

Question of the week: Who is your favorite superhero?

Alongside bonafide legends such as Doug Funny and Patti Mayonnaise, I bring you: Quail Man.

No superhero looked nearly as good saving the world as Quail Man did – completely clad in his underpants, and proud of it.

Quail call, away!

Post by: Joe

BP’s image has been hemorrhaging all over the Gulf for the past three months, and now that the bleeding has stopped the question that lingers is—should BP keep its brand in critical condition on life support or should it pull the plug and create a new image?

If BP chooses life support, it has a long road of recovery ahead—finishing clean-up from the initial wound, more surgeries to amend secondary damages, and a long and extensive rehabilitation plan. Barring any unexpected set backs or road block in the recovery process, BP will make a full recovery…but at what cost? Sure, people will admire BP for taking the high road, owning up to its mistake, and battling through the trials to recovery, but as with every major event in one’s life—you may have recovered, but you will never be the same. BP may take the perception of “what does not kill you makes you stronger,” but can that perception ever ring true for consumers? Or when consumers drive by a local BP station, will they see all the innocent lives that were lost in the rig explosion, the unforgettable burning inferno in the Gulf, the helpless animals immersed in an oil-slicked coating of skin, the inability to provide a solution to the problem in an efficient manner, and all the other images associated with the worst ecological disaster in recent history? Perceptions are difficult to change, especially when the scars are permanent.

If BP pulls the plug on the brand, and cuts all ties—can it really start anew? People say you are best remembered for the last thing you do…would a company rebirth ever be able to escape the iconic negative legacy left behind by its predecessor? The changing of a brand will not erode the strong visual impact of the destruction left behind for generations—can the new company tread water in a competitive market for that long? Besides, if BP pulls the plug now, will there be a bigger backlash? Will the consumers view the company as a quitter, as a thief in the night that boarded a plane to a distant island only to return physically changed? Sure, he looks different—his hair is a different color, he now has a moustache, but it is still the same person that caused chaos and left…won’t it just happen again?

BP has a lot of questions to answer before finalizing the fate of the company. You can play devil’s advocate for both sides of the coin, but in the end, BP has to come to a decision, and the sooner the decision is made, the sooner the recovery can begin—let us just hope it does not take as long as the cap solution.

Post by: Joe

  Do you ever wonder when you look at a product, stand in an epic line for a malfunctioning machine, talk to a company representative who has no clue, or buy something that totally failed… how did this “fill in the blank” make it to the market?

                The truth is that everyday products, machines, and people are pushed into the market for the public to use without the slightest primary research, training, or testing done to ensure proper efficiency. Whether this ill conceived move is out of company laziness, lack of structure and planning, or a last ditch effort to save money, the results are usually poor and damaging.

                The proper time taken to ensure efficiency will be beneficial beyond financials. Pre-testing, planning, and training can add up quickly, but the consequence of skipping these steps overwhelms the financial burden. A bad experience with a customer service representative or with a faulty machine will have irreconcilable effects, that over time will, become unsustainable for a brand. Taking pre-cautions to ensure customer satisfaction will have long lasting beneficial effects that will sustain the brand and help grow the company.

                Recently , when I was at Wal-Mart, the workers (when found) were identifiably poorly trained—lack of store and product knowledge, poor attitudes, lack of motivation and willingness to help, and uncleanly in terms of maintaining the store. The experience was horrible, and as a result, I chose to shop anywhere as a substitute. And I have a made it a point to recount the bad experience with others. In stark contrast, I have had pleasant shopping experiences at Target, and as a result, will continue to frequent the store and recommend usage to others. Target’s employees seem selected and trained with care, they are kind and courteous, they are knowledgeable about products and locations, and they maintain their workspace among the public.

                I could recount plenty of occurrences that prove the point, as I am sure everybody else can attest to. The point to companies is simple—take the time to plan, test, and train, for the benefit of your well being and for the sanity of all consumers.

Post by: Joe

The idea of branding comes straight out of the Old Wild West. Cowboys and ranch hands were the “marketers” of their day. These pioneers had the same products (livestock) in an open market (the open fields) that needed a distinct “branding” to differentiate between these products—thus iron branding was born. The process of branding was simple: heat an iron rod, fashioned with a unique symbol identifiable to a specific owner, prod the hide until embedded, and release. The owner would recreate the same specific “brand” upon each of his livestock with no variation between species. Once branded, the animal was able to roam the open fields amongst livestock of different owners, while being easily identified, separated, and sold based on “brand.”

Although iron branding is still used today, the concept of branding has become much bigger. Today, branding is used by each and every company in the world market to differentiate their products from the competition. Similar to the Old West, a well-branded company has the same distinct “brand symbol,” however branding has become more than just a symbol of ownership—it is now an image, a way of life, a status, a statement, etc. Branding is an involved process that requires careful planning and execution, because branding is permanent and difficult to alter. A company’s success relies on their brand and how well it is perceived. Here are some examples of well branded companies.

This company is so well branded no name needs to be said, just a symbol. This symbol is globally identifiable and used on every piece of merchandise and advertising: commercials, billboards, shirts, shoes, shorts, bats, balls, golf clubs, hats, watches, wristbands, coats, just to name a few. When seen, the “swoosh” emits more than just the company name it represents, it captures an image in the customer’s mind: the superior brand when it comes to staying comfortable while playing, the leader in athletic training, the one athletes choose, the leader in promoting health and fitness, the leader in style and innovation, the one I want…the one I need…the one I choose. The “swoosh” says so much with no words, is so easily identifiable, and becomes the greatest competitive advantage in the “open field” of athletic gear and equipment. 

No introduction is needed for this well-branded company (understatement of the year). The “golden arches” have been a beacon of light for empty stomachs since the 1940s. In a global market with millions of dining options, the “golden arches” light the evoked set of billions around the world. Each restaurant is designed to emulate the same experience from service to food quality, while equipped with the same arches, the same signature Big Mac, the same Ronald McDonald, and the same basic layout. As a result, everybody, from the senior citizen loyal to his morning coffee to the 3 year old in the back seat of the minivan eager to rip open a Happy Meal and play in the Playland, can identify with the “golden arches.”

ATTENION: Companies, take note of the blue print dating back to the Old Wild West—a well branded company will stick out in a crowded open field.  

Sincerely,

A consumer

Post by: Joe

We are in the midst of an age driven by technology. Our very life has been submerged in a vast ocean of technology that we tread in—each day, the shore of human contact sinks over the horizon with each emerging piece of innovation. Now that everybody has a picture of the Titanic in their head, let me back the boat up.

The technology of this generation has greatly contributed to bettering society, and emerging technology will continue to spur advancements that will lead to a new way of life. Technology is and will continue to be beneficial to society…in moderation. As the saying goes: too much of a good thing is not always good. Therefore, we must strike a balance with technology and human touch.

The companies that best understand and practice this high wire balancing act will successfully sustain their business well beyond the current generation. Technology has become larger than computers and cell phones—companies are now participating in social media, automated customer services, and other attractive technological features. As the wave of technology continues to carry us farther and farther away from shore, companies must remember one very important thing: we live on shore. Here are a few examples of the delicate balance.

  • The broadest example deals with automated customer service representatives. Seemingly an efficient way to save money and improve service via a machine, companies of current practice have lost the “human touch.” Often thought to be an insignificant area of business, when overlooked, can have damaging repercussions. The last thing a customer (with little time and patience) who has a question wants is a monotone voice asking: what is your zip code, push the button corresponding to your problem area, I did not understand that command…please repeat clearly. Talking from the stand point of an experienced customer, this is the quickest way to fuel anger toward the company of service. Computers cannot understand emotion, computers cannot compensate for an unusual situation, and computers cannot ask in a sincere tone, “How is your day going?” The subtlety of the “human touch” in an area so many companies simply overlook will be a mark of clear distinction of a successful company.
  • More specified is the example of social media. In a mass panic to stay current, companies are flocking to social media sites such as Facebook with no plan of action. A poorly maintained social media page is worse than not having one at all. Having a Facebook page with hundreds to thousands of fans with no interaction will leave people feeling neglected and not heard, leading to a disconnection between company and customer. How can a company expect to sufficiently serve its customers, if it has no knowledge of the people it serves? People want to be heard. People want attention. Therefore, give the customers what they want—have a dedicated staff member monitoring social media sites, listen to what the people have to say, and develop meaningful relationships. Adding the “human touch” to social media can set a company apart from the scene of mass panic.
  • The third example deals with the lack of “human touch” at points of contact and purchase. Companies have replaced human workers in favor of new technology, whether at the bank, ticket booths, or even when taking the bus. A prime example I was recently reminded of was at a grocery store. Grocery stores have become one big “mess”…I mean, automated service. From looking up prices with self scanners to using self check-out lines, everything has been automated, with the rare sighting of a staffed employee. My recent experience had me watching and waiting in the only available line, as people yelled at a lifeless self check-out machine—not understanding how to operate the machine, not scanning the codes correctly, not receiving the correct change, and leaving them in a search for a human worker who could comprehend and fix the problem at hand. Providing the “human touch” at points of purchase won’t leave customers with their arms in the air sending out an SOS, rather, customers will feel taken care of and at ease with the purchase, which will be a great competitive advantage.  

Companies must incorporate, not replace, new technology with the “human touch.” Those who realize this truth and utilize the potential, will stand out from the sea of companies drifting farther from shore with each passing day, as they replace the “human touch” with technology instead of balancing the two in harmony.

Sincerely,

A consumer