Blog Archives

#tiethursday – Jan 16 – Rebranding

I know. My first late #tiethursday post. You’ll get over. I had good reason, though.

Dapper-dapper-dapper

You see, on Wednesday my company rebranded itself as The Resource. This has been a work in progress for months, and I’m extremely elated to see it released to the public. Getting the opportunity to be hands-on for a project like this so early in my career has been a blessing and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I originally wanted to find a tie that matched the blue from the logo, but couldn’t find the right one. This tie, which I received from my lovely wife, does contain most of the colors we now call our own. The tie clip does say “Thursday” in case you were wondering.

Check out our new site, let me know what you think.

My HP Laptop is stupid.

Back in freshman year of college I received a great gift from Santa: a super awesome HP zd series 17″ laptop with all sorts of super powers/USB drives/firewire/DVD burner. Yep, it was fantastic.

Within a year, it wasn’t as awesome as I had originally thought.

It began to overheat turn off intermittently all the time. In fact, the only time my computer would stay on for long periods of time was when I had it propped up and in open air. Basically, I couldn’t use at my relatively closed in desk at school or home. When took it to a local computer repair shop, they basically opened it up and cleaned out the fans, allowing it to breathe easier. That helped for awhile.

But then it started having again.

And then my hard drive failed.

And then my motherboard failed.

And then one yellow line appeared on my LCD.

And then 20 multi-colored lines appeared on my LCD.

What a piece of junk. Computers should be built to last 3 years before developing problems like that. Actually, they shouldn’t develop problems like that in the first place.

Lo and behold earlier this year I received a mysterious letter from some lawyers asking me if I wanted to be entered into a Class Action Lawsuit against HP. The argument was that the video card causes the system to overheat, turn off intermittently, and eventually destroy the motherboard. Gee golly, that’s exactly what happened to mine!

What’s really sad about all this is that HP probably knew they were distributing poor laptops and didn’t do anything about it until it became a court issue.

Recently, a box appeared at my door from HP with instructions on how to ship my computer to HP for a free repair. Did it include a letter of apology? No. A letter of acknowledgement? Nope. What about a letter stating the reason I was being shipped a box? Not even that.

I signed my name onto the Class Action Suit, don’t hear a word, few months later I receive a box.

Instead of turning me into a loyal HP customer by admitting a mistake and vocally offering to fix the problem, HP has lost me as a customer forever by being stubborn and non-proactive.

So what? Big deal, ONE customer. But consider this, my future family and I will likely average a new laptop/computer every 3 years or so. At $1500 a piece, that adds up to a lot of money. From now until I’m sixty that ends up being almost $20,000! That’s not even considering printers, accessories, and the off chance that I begin my own business someday and I need to outfit that office with computers!

Good customer service is knowing that losing one customer could be huge loss of potential profits.

So what’d I do? I got a MacBook, with a free iPod touch. Not bad, eh?

Good customer service = good marketing opportunies.

Being a good marketing student like I am, I should probably write about that more often.

One thing I’m learning in depth this summer at CoyneBeahmShouse is the theory behind Engagement Marketing. Basically, you only put one space after a period. No really, it’s all about making a two-way interactive relationship with your customers. It goes beyond talking to a potential consumer, and actually entices that person to become part of the overall process. That way, when developing new products or improving current ones, you know what it is about your offerings that your consumers want/love/hate/can’t stand anymore/tolerate/etc. and can use that information to put your best foot forward.

A key strategy of Engagement Marketing is seizing every opportunity to engage the consumer and better the relationship.

I experienced this first hand with Stride’s new gum flavor Sweet Berry. If you’re familiar with Stride, you know it as the “ridiculously long lasting” gum. I find their mint flavors do in fact last longer than others, even Orbit, but this new fruity Sweet Berry flavor was an exception to the rule. While it was absolutely the best non-mint gum I’ve ever had, the “long lasting” flavor was absent. Truth be told, I was disappointed, severely.

So severely that I went to Stride’s website and filled out a humorous customer complaint about how the gum I had come to enjoy so much only lasted a mere fraction of the time I had come to expect from their brand. I questioned if they were attempting to drive more sales by making gum that only lasts “ridiculously not as long lasting.” I figured Stride’s representatives would get a kick out of it, but nothing would ever come of it.

Instead, Stride saw this as an opportunity. The next day I received an email apologizing for my experience and relayed that my message would be forwarded onto the proper people for quality control. While that part is mostly standard, it’s what they did next that made me a future Stride customer. They sent me a coupon for a free pack of Stride gum of my choice, along with an additional letter addressed to me apologizing for the experience.

The result? I was so impressed with Stride’s response that I now purchase Stride gum instead of Orbit when making a gum purchase, and I’m likely to stick with Stride for quite a while now.

Good customer service goes a long way, and companies should take notice.

Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo

Way to go and respond to my posts, folks. You should probably leave comments or something.

I’ve got a new group project in Consumer Behavior to finish off the semester. We have to take a Brand/Company and find it’s current target market, position in the marketplace, and come up with a new marketing plan or modify it’s current strategy. Of course this sounds fairly easy, but the problem is that my group was assigned StraightArrow’s Mane ‘n Tail. Go ahead, visit StraightArrow’s website, and you’ll see what I mean.

Notice, they make products for both reasonably attractive women and beautiful horses. Basically, we’re selling horse shampoo to people. Can you imagine visiting your friend and when using his shower, you see this bottle in his shower?

I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely come out and say, “Dude, where do you keep your horse and why do you wash it in the shower?” I guess maybe your friend has a serious hair growth problem and has a ton of hair to sustain, but it’s still a tad weird. I mean, c’mon, there’s a HORSE on the bottle!

Turns out, people buy this stuff. A lot. It just happens that Mane ‘n Tail has a reputation for growing hair faster and stronger, so people, especially girls, use it. Or they could be like a certain person I surveyed who just enjoyed the fact that she was using the same shampoo that is used on horses…

Mane ‘n Tail is for real folks. Look for it in Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter, and CVS. It’s there, I guarantee it. I’ve never heard about the stuff, but lots of girls use it. With its reputation for growing better hair, you’d think it would sell a lot better. But no, they bottle it with hideous colors and put an animal on the label. Oh wait, not just an animal, two of them, even more appealing. It’s also bottled like some commercial grade pool chemical that you put in water to make it appear more blue.

Regardless, our current strategy is looking at new packaging and most likely a new name. My first idea is to market a kid’s version to girls called Ponytail and put in a pretty pink bottle. Girls love ponies and pink, this we know.

I’m definitely going to try this stuff out as soon as I need a new bottle of shampoo, because we all know about my baldin, er, hair thinning problem

Tell me what you think about Mane ‘n Tail, especially if you’ve used it before.