>Constituent – Rob’s word of the day

>One of my favorite and most memorable way to drive home the point of knowing all the various people who may be interested in your company’s news is to use the word: Constituents.

I reference all the folks that need to know what your company is doing and have a desire to hear about newsworthy events.

“Consider all the constituents for your news; prospects, customers, employees, shareholders, investors, media, government, community members, etc.”

Tell me what other constituents you feel need to know your company news.

– Rob Felber

>Word of the day

>In an effort to broaded my horizons, I am starting a word of the day section for the blog.

The word of the day is: Positioning

Definition of positioning – Defining, within the minds of a specific market, a brand (corporate, product, or service) relative to the competition.


>"(Blank) the Roo"


Let me paint the picture for you: It was a snowy day in late 2005 and I was driving around the University of Akron on Route 8 by Buchtel Avenue. I looked up and saw The University of Akron’s newest marketing campaign: an angry faced Zippy with the words, “Fear the Roo!”

I couldn’t help it, I burst into laughter. This was one of the funniest things I had seen in a very long time, considering Zippy is usually displayed with a smile. I immediately called everyone who would find this as entertaining as I did… then I realized, that’s a REALLY catchy marketing campaign.

Why the change? Suddenly The University of Akron’s athletics exploded in the Mid-American Conference. The women’s cross-country team, the men’s soccer team and the football team all won Mid-American Conference titles. The soccer team even earned a national ranking while the football team went to the Motor City Bowl.

Recently I was driving around The University of Akron I noticed something, again. (You know, where you see something but then it really doesn’t sink in until you see it again?) This time it was Akron’s “Rock the Roo” campaign featuring Zippy in sunglasses adorning EJ Thomas Hall.

This advertisement is set to showcase Akron’s array of concerts, performances and other art events. This perked my interest in just how many “(Blank) the Roo” campaigns were going on with The University of Akron. In doing very minor research I noticed they have a “Boo at the Roo” event centered around a Halloween concert.

And just recently, they have added “Do it Now for the enviROOment,” a way to encourage college students to become involved with Earth Day celebrations.

Hmm. That is pushing the whole Roo campaign just a little in my opinion. I am in favor of Zippy going green, but don’t you think even she would be a little tired of being slogan-ized. Here is my thought pattern on the Roo campaigns:

Fear the Roo: Hysterical
Rock the Roo: Cute. A little cheesey, but cute.
Boo at the Roo: A little childish.
Do it Now for the enviROOment: Pushing the limit.

Have any of you seen the billboards or apparel? (Certainly if you know me you have seen my “Fear the Roo” hooded sweatshirt!) What are your thoughts on this marketing campaign… and mostly, is enough enough already?


>Big Brands – Where are they going?


I am reading the morning paper and thinking about our economy and the recent failures of our banks and the increase mergers of major companies and it reminded me of a book I read many years ago. The book is Big Brands Big Trouble, by Jack Trout. This is a great snapshot into some of our most beloved brands that we assume will always be here. Jack brings to our attention the mistakes companies make while they are building their brand and how the competition needs to differentiate their products and services. He highlights companies such as General Motors, AT&T, Burger King and more. While this book may be dated a bit the trends and problems still exist.

When marketing in a soft economy brand building and positioning are crucial for continued success and growth. Reputation and image influence all of our buying decisions and our perception of the brand. Now more than ever we must pay special attention to all we say, do and react to the economic conditions. Position now and reap the benefits in the future. Be careful of your visual image and your attitudes as consumers are always looking for stability and security in the products and services they engage in. Read Jack Trout’s book and it may change your view of life in our big brand world.


>Officer down, the worst possible phrase that can be spoken across a police band

>Officer down, the worst possible phrase that can be spoken across a police band

As those of us in Twinsburg, Ohio try to heal, we know that we will never make sense of the tragedy that took a young officer, husband and father in the early hours of July 13, 2008. And, as the family and community try to cope, the war of words between the lawyers has begun. It is marketing and public relation through the media. Joshua Miktarian is not even buried and the lines have been drawn. Patrolman Miktarian deserves better. His family and fellow officers deserve better.

Yes, we have to trust the system. But, in the end, the system cannot give baby Thea her dad back. A dad she will never know except for photos, memorials and plaques. We will and must grow and heal as a community. Now, like in September 2001 we need to show our strength.

Plain Dealer editorial cartoonist Jeff Darcy captured the anguish of a community as well as Miktarian’s canine partner in this cartoon http://www.cleveland.com/darcy/index.ssf?/darcy/more/071508.html

Pray for the family and those that serve.

>Loyalty was bought

> If you haven’t already read my previous blog on fan loyalty for sale, please click here to catch up.

Today marks the second full day of Alex Chatfield being a full-blown fan of a team other than the Cleveland Indians. He has written a blog about his experience in placing his loyalty up for sale on his MySpace page.

I have to admit, I was skeptical of just why he did this. But, after reading his blog I do have a better understanding of why he would do this – not saying that I would ever do it, but I empathize.

Alex provides a moving story of going to Cleveland Municipal Stadium back when there were only a few thousand fans in the seats and knowing “the trick” of talking to the players during the 5th inning.

Although the team is not revealed, I have requested him as a friend on MySpace (per his eBay auction notes) to get the low down for you, our loyal readers.

By the way, the part of this that is especially interesting is that Alex doesn’t even live in Ohio! He lives in Davenport, Florida and is originally from Middlefield, Ohio.

Does this make you want to market yourself (or your company) in some crazy, off beat way? Share your thoughts.


>Meet Dave Tanks

Recently, Katy wrote about her frightening experience with Meet Dave. You can read about it here.

So remember that old saying… advertising just kills a bad product faster? Read about how the movie tanked in its first weekend! All that marketing for nothing.


>Behind the Mask


Have you heard about the faceless people popping up at different events? This picture caught my attention one day.

Thanks to Splash for the photo. Here is the original article reporting the aliens. Speculation that these “faceless people” could be famous people trying to fool the paparazzi or perhaps a marketing stunt (and you know I hate that word “stunt!”).

Well in fact the mystery is almost solved. As reported by this article, the faceless people even have their own website. The website www.facelesspeople.com features a small logo directing you to Group Lotus’ main website – check out those hot cars!

So now the countdown begins until the new Lotus Eagle car is revealed. I think this is a brilliant campaign that uses all sorts of tools such as sparking curiosity and speculation through special events and online. To-date, I haven’t seen any banner ads or other vehicles advertising this campaign although I’m probably not the target audience.

So do you love it or think this is just plain creepy? Post your thoughts!


>Selling yourself

True, selling yourself on eBay probably isn’t the best idea. But for Alex Chatfield, there was no other way to enjoy the remainder of the baseball season. You see, Chatfield is a Cleveland Indians fan, as am I, and we are somewhat used to not winning lately. Mostly that is thanks to the 10-game losing streak we were on for the first time since 1973. (As a matter of fact, until yesterday’s 13-2 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays we had not won a game since June 27th!)

Chatfield has had enough and decided to list his fan loyalty for sale on eBay. The starting bid is $299.00 for which you will receive the following (as quoted from his ad):

1. I will watch at least one game a week of your favorite team and root as hard as I can for them to win.

2. I will send you at least 3 emails a week telling you how awesome your team is and or discussing what your team needs to do to get better (in my opinion).

3. I will wear (at your expense) any appropriate apparel (meaning Male officially sanctioned MLB merchandise) for your team. You will recieve one digital photo of me wearing this garb for each item you purchase and send to me.

4. I will root for your team for the remaining 2008 season and for the 2008 Post Season, after that, I am no longer requried to root for your team.

5. I will email a friend of yours and tell them why their team sucks, and why your team is awesome. (limit 3 emails – no profanity)

Careful though. If you are a Boston Red Sox fan, that will cost you an extra $3,500. Do you prefer to root for Jim Thome’s team? An extra $1,500. Yankees? Prepare to spend an additional $10,000. What about Roger Clemens? That’ll be $5,000 additional. And Barry Bonds? A whopping $35,000!

This begs the question if Chatfield is a fairweather fan or if simply needs some extra money. In either case, Chatfield is marketing himself to users all over the world – and in a very creative idea. This story has made the local news and the hits on his eBay ad are increasing by the minute.

When in marketing, especially in marketing yourself, ensure you are saying what you want to say and not leaving your loyalty out to dry.


>Billboard Advertising Lessons


It is what it is. A phrase that just makes sense. Recently, I saw it used in a static billboard (non-digital/vinyl/paper). I usually don’t like to point out faults of other campaigns or least not publicly. Everyone has to be a critic, right?

Well, I was driving on 480-east and saw this billboard with large words: “Certified Pre-Owned.” The words were crossed out with “Used” written below. So I’m thinking another car dealership billboard. No big deal. But what struck me was the difficulty in reading the corner graphics. I failed to make out the words. And no, I wasn’t driving too fast as it was morning rush hour (meaning 45 mph if I’m lucky).

I forgot about the car dealership ad until the next day when I was driving on E. 14 about to get on 77 South and there it was again! It was up-close and personal so when I saw in tiny letters, “It is what it is. NoGrapesNoNuts.com” I was shocked!! A GRAPE-NUTS billboard? I understand its a cereal with no grapes, no nuts, it is what it is. But “certified pre-owned/used?” Are they selling used cereal? Huh?

So naturally I jump on the website later that day to find this young actor introducing the history of Grape-Nuts. Its way too long to watch but for the purpose of this entry, I suffered through it. Great, it got me on a website that eventually pointed back to the cereal’s original website. Good job, sort of.

Without pointing out all the wrong and strange elements of this campaign, let’s focus on how you can avoid this train wreck (or is it appropriate to say car wreck? Haha, sorry, that was lame!)…

  1. Make sure your billboard is readable from long distances
  2. Use one theme with one focus
  3. Include big words and one call-to-action
  4. Simple graphics and fonts are better
  5. Keep the flashy toned down when using digital billboards

Let me know your thoughts on NoGrapesNoNuts.com; is it really as bad as I think? Maybe I’m not the demographic, perhaps the younger generations are the target market. Did you see the billboards around town? Send us your comments!

~ Michelle