>Out of touch

>Diana Kingsbury, my co-advisor, and I were talking last night about our weekends before our weekly meeting.

“I feel so out of touch now. I’m back in the stone age!” she said very impatiently. “I don’t know how I’m going to survive!”

You see, Diana had an unfortunate experience with her cell phone and some dampness. Her cell phone didn’t make it.

This conversation got me thinking more about this wave of technology and how much our daily lives are wrapped around it. When I was in 9th grade I had a pager and that was considered VERY risky (and a bit trendy). Now, cell phone providers are targeting kids of all ages using the array of family plans to sweeten the deal.

And actually, to tell you the truth, they are doing one heck of a good job in advertising to this young generations.

For example, we’ve all seen the T-Mobile commercial with the parents engaged in a conversation on awarding their kids with more minutes based on their behavior – with a clever shot in to the driveway showing these same adorable youngsters fighting while washing the car and the father saying something clever about also taking away minutes too.

This ad will hit home for the parents and the children looking for yet another reason to ask their parents for a cell phone.

I can just picture it…

Father: “You don’t need a cell phone.”
Daughter: “Yes I do! Pleaaaase?”
Father: “No. Why do you think you need a cell phone? You are ten years old!”
Daughter: “Because! Everyone else has one! I promise I’ll be good!”
Father: “How can you promise that?”
Daughter: “If I’m not good then you can take my minutes away and I won’t be able to use my phone but just to call you and Mom!”

And just like that, T-Mobile sells another family plan to this family. Why? The son has a point, everyone else DOES have one. Plus, it is good to have on you for emergencies and it is an excellent way to keep track of your kids.

>Word of the Day

Word of the Day: Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)

Definition of IMC: A combination of appropriate marketing communication disciplines, media and vehicles in a marketing campaign designed to achieve a set of objectives.

>Now that’s a shame

>PlayStation Portable (PSP) made its debut in the United States in March of 2005. Afterwards, like any smart company, Sony decided to beef up the advertising and chose to include larger than life PSP units mounted on billboards.

Very neat. Oh, but wait… what is that error message in the lower right corner?

That can’t be good! Sadly, it was too late to fix this problem and PSP billboards all over the world crashed.

How could this have been prevented? Well, I have never claimed to be a technowiz, but certainly I am no stranger in the field. But, this is a matter of simple testing. It was a great idea, one that is very unique and very appealing to the eye… that is, when it is actually functioning up to its capabilities.

What can we learn from this failed (and very expensive) advertising lesson?

When marketing something (or yourself), make it appealing – but also ensure you are in it for the long-haul. Nothing is more frustrating than learning too late about a problem that could have been solved before launch – imagine how Sony felt!

Also, make sure you are emphasizing your capabilities and strengths. People will see you for your abilities and respect that you have challenged yourself in your weaknesses before launch. That’s a lesson we can all learn from.


>Word of the Day

Today’s word of the day: Free-standing insert (FSI)

Definition of FSI: an individual or group of advertisements inserted without bound in a print publication. It is only located on pages that contain the ads and are unique to any other editorial or entertainment matter.

>Humanize Your Brand – Chico’s Found a Match

>When we develop brands from scratch, we often develop a personality to the brand – what does it look like, where does it shop, what books does this brand read, etc. It’s common to address every aspect of what a brand would be if it was human. Does your brand have kids in high school or is it a 20-something young professional livin up the social side of things?

Chico’s, the national women’s clothing chain, hit the jackpot last week. They found someone who represents their brand perfectly. She is a baby boomer who wants to wear color and look chic. She’s 57 years old and is a Maryland middle school principal. She’s been the most visible parent in the Olympic coverage. Any guesses yet? Debbie Phelps, Michael’s mother, has been shown wearing Chico’s clothes for every race and every television appearance. They even have a “Debbie Phelps Collection” section on their website.

Does your brand have a personality or is it dead? What does your brand look like if it was a celebrity? Leave us your comments.

~Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

>Word of the Day

>Today’s word of the day: Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

Definition of RSS: Using XML format, this is a way of distributing dynamic content to a set of subscribers. The dynamic content is usually distributed via blogs, news organizations, etc.

>Boy am I glad I’m not 12 years old anymore…

>Children in Copley Township will be greatly disappointed on the hot days left in summer. Copley’s trustees have decided to ban ice cream trucks as they are considered transient vendors. This resolution (excluding religious, charitable or school groups) was approved on June 23rd and has upset a number of children in Copley.

“The ice cream man wasn’t a criminal or someone who was harassing people,” says 9 year old Nicole Scout Basinski of Copley.

Click here to read the full story.

>Driving along the marketing highway

>Do you know how you drive? I mean, do you honestly know your habits? Pay attention next time you drive. I’ll bet you’ll find it interesting which habits you have that you are completely unaware of.

For example, when I drive I seldom will watch the car in front of me. Instead, I watch the car in front of them for brake lights, road hazards and other causes for slowdowns or swerving.

In business, this “habit” may also apply with trends. In emerging media trends, for example, few businesses are actually on the cusp of picking up on these trends. In fact, less than 14% of businesses are using these innovative trends.

Trendwatching.com is a website I have come across who is actively pursuing emerging consumer trends. They give free monthly reports on just what trends are getting hotter in our industry. Check them out, I think you’ll be impressed.

Perhaps, if more businesses looked farther ahead in where they were going, they would be able to proactively jump on emerging trends and see potential bumps in the road before others.

Stay tuned for more on this topic in future blogs.

>Word of the Day

>Word of the Day: Pull Quote

Definition of Pull Quote: a quotation, or statement, separated from the rest of a document. This quote, or statement, provides a uniquely positive statement that emphasizes a point in the rest of the document.

>Olympic Emblem

For those of you who think that logo design is easy, think again. Firms can spend hundreds of hours on designing logos that best represent brands. Why does it take so long and so many drafts? For every use of color, line stroke, icon or size, there is a meaning behind it. Take for instance the Beijing Olympic emblem/logo. Did you know that it is called the “Dancing Beijing.” The stick figure represents culture and humanity. The logo released in 2003 was chosen from over 2,000 entries. What do other people have to say about the logo? From what I read online, most people love it for how much meaning is behind something that looks so simple but yet is so complex.

~Michelle Hirsh