Today, a guest post from our account management intern, Amber:
Hi, I am an intern, and I
love lists. It is my coping mechanism in this big bad world of omnipresent
media bombardment, and how I make sense of the world. I wake up every morning
and make lists in my head. The five things I need to do
today. Five reasons I love graduate school. Five things I like about Minnesota
in the middle of winter (still working on this one).
Since it is January, it is a
good time for resolutions. Since we all know that resolutions are never kept,
maybe a list of reverse resolutions would work better. Being a master procrastinator,
it should be easier to resolve not to do something than to actually have to
take real action. Here’s my list of reverse
resolutions from lessons learned in 2009.
Confusing your customers: The fastest way to confuse your customers and see
your sales drop is necessarily changing the look and feel of your well-loved products beyond
recognition. Remember New Coke? Or
Pepsi’s clear cola? Will people still buy Tropicana orange juice if the
packaging doesn’t have the picture of the iconic orange with the straw poking
answer is no.
Allowing your brand to be hijacked: Corporate brands have a love-hate relationship with
social media. Facebook, Youtube and Twitter and other arenas have allowed companies to have
direct contact with their target market. But on the flip side, it has reduced
their control of their brand.
Just ask Dominos.
former employees of Dominoes made a prank video of themselves using less than sanitary practices to make pizza, and posted it on Youtube. It promptly
turned into an Internet sensation; the company fired the employees and went
into full damage control. But the damage was done and the brand was tarnished.
In another case, a disgruntled United
wrote a song that became yet another Youtube sensation, after a fellow passenger witnessed his guitar being thrown - and broken - by runway crew. Advice to every brand out
there: implement social media guidelines and be sure all employees understand how
to follow them.
Assuming that one size fits all: We have one heard many, many good things about Apple's iPhone, and it
finally made it's long-awaited debut in China
in October 2009. Shockingly, in a country of 1 billion people, Apple sold only
5,000 units in the first month. How could this possibly happen to Apple? This
is the very same company Adweek named “Brand of the Decade.”
The problem was that Apple sold
the iPhone to its Chinese customers with the same carrier-subsidized phone
strategy that they use in the United States. The phone was bundled with a
monthly subscription plan, but that is not how Chinese customers buy their cell
phones. They prefer the pay-as-you-go, prepaid method. By not being in-tune
with local preferences and traditions, they managed to take a premier product
and shoot themselves in the foot.
The business world is littered with corpses of failed marketing ideas that we can learn from. Here’s to a great 2010!