Nowadays it has become more important for companies to be in touch with their customers. We already learned that the social media is a perfect channel to interact with your companies customers, you can exchange ideas and get usefull feedback through social media like Facebook and Twitter.
But what are the key factors that determine the succes of a well organized page for a company?
It’s important to create a sufficient profile page, the following link(.pdf) illustrates how to structure and use a Facebook-profile to get your customers involved with your company. It could be usefull for later.
And look at this little girl, surely a marketing talent:)
Brand Equity – Brand equity stands for: the added value that a brand gives to a product. In the perspective of a firm toward the consumer, it’s also called consumer-based brand equity
1) Cognitive psychological view of brand equity:
- Brand association
- Brand awareness
- Perceived value
- Brand loyalty
2) Informational economic perspective
- – Assets based on asymmetrical informational structure of the market
- – Credibility: value signaling toward consumer
Product quality – there are three main ways companies can ensure their reputation and investments for high quality
- NOT cheating: If companies cheat with information about high and low quality, they will lose return on their brand investments and the total reputation of the company.
- Marketing mix elements as signals: most companies uses advertisements and packages to provide quality signals toward the consumers who doesn’t know enough information about a product
- Umbrella branding: same name used for many products as a signal that new launched products have the same quality as other products of the brand.
Brand as signal – A brand becomes a signal when the marketing strategies of firms in the past and present are symbolizing the firm. An importance of a signal is also characterized by credibility and clarity.
Clear brand signal : Decrease information costs
Decrease perceived risk by the consumer
Increase the consumer utility
Brand community – A community formed on the basis of attachment to a product or marquee. Recent developments in marketing and in research in consumer behavior result in stressing the connection between brand, individual identity and culture.
- Consciousness of Kind – the existence of a common enemy against whom to unite makes this brand community particularly strong.
- Rituals and Traditions – sharing brand stories and celebrating the history of the brand
- Moral Responsibility – include looking out for and helping other members in their consumption of the brand as well as retaining old members and integrate new ones
Two examples of a good and bad brand community: Continue reading Brands Signals and Brand Communities
JuJups is a co-creation platform that enables designers and non-designers to enjoy design and create things that they like. In JuJups they allow their customers to create their own designs by mish mashing. Some basic designs can be mish mashed by customers according to their wish. The firm delegates the creation of the products to customers. Or as they put it:
“JuJups lets you create your own designs – they make it easy and fun. You don’t have to be a designer to create what you want. You can now enjoy creating and sharing your own designs based on stuff created by designers.”
Because customers have different needs and wants and these needs and wants can change over time. This information is sticky. In the case of the customers of jujups it’s very difficult to get insight what the customer really want without delegating the idea creation to them. Jujups saves on costly consumers surveys and customers get the things they really want. By trial and error customers discover what they really want and even get more insight. They invest money and effort and in reward they get products they really want at the moment. They even can go beyond that. Jujups gives their customers a platform where they can display and sell their creations and get a percentage of the units sold. The firm profits by saving money on high cost customer surveys. They do have more costs because of the flexible production.
But how can a company involve their customers in the product development process if the products that company produces can’t particular be customized? This is the case for Proctor & Gamble (P&G). P&G has been credited for having the first written plan for Quality Function Deployment (QFD) process already in the sixties. Which they called: “ 12 steps to test market” process. QFD is a method to transform user demands into design quality, to deploy the functions forming quality, and to deploy methods for achieving the design quality into subsystems and component parts, and ultimately to specific elements of the manufacturing process. Through test market tests P&G got insights on what consumers wanted. Lately there has been a global movement towards customization. P&G however produces and sells products that have some restrictions with respect to customization. That’s why P&G came with their version of open innovation. They provide a platform for everybody that comes with a solution for the problems they encounter. They invite individuals, companies, independent entrepreneurs, the Government, laboratories, research institutes, financial institutions etc. On the P&G’s individual brands websites there is a reference to http://www.pgconnectdevelop.com/ . On this websites people can explore and get involved with open innovation process.
Khalid, Rihan, and Alexandra (team 6)
We all understand the importance of social media since we choose this seminar. Until now, we have read many articles to indicate how important the google, facebook or other social platforms are, and how to engage those media channels. Even in the real life, many companies help others to imply online websites and use those channels to cope with promotion issues. However, in my personal view, I always ask me, does it works？
In my own working experience, we use the facebook, twitter and youtube to promote our products and brands. Unfortunately, the result is not significant positve. And the cost for us is amount of dollars. Thus, when those channels can show their own capacity is the core question when our working team saw the result. The answer we got is that when you company has the bad news or scandals, it works real great! However, when you want to use them to build your brand awareness, you really need to be careful.
It does not mean we should give up those channels, but the reality is that we only have limited budget and our boss only wants to see the positive result. Therefore, we find two ways to cope with this problem. The first one is to use those channels to spread the bad issues about your competitor. In here, we want to mention, please ignore the ethics since we just help customers to realize facts in order to increase our comparitive advantage, which means real profits. The second way, finding more useful social platforms to increase your brand awareness. And the next vedio illustrates how to achieve this target. Thank you so much!
XUN YU (From Group Five)
I wanted to share this video with you all. Nokia created a video of a future phone their are creating, posting it online gave them a lot of reactions so a lot of input.
As it is still a development progress they can use this information to adjust the concept!
I hope you enjoy the video!
Another synonym word of open innovation widely used (especially) in the business literature is Crowdsourcing…”the act of sourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to a group of people or community (crowd) through an open call” (see Wikipedia).
An interesting industry which lately uses the voices of the crowd, an industry which empowers consumers into creating value and also into supporting the brand values is tourism. Traditionally, tourism industry operated on a one to many communication scheme where ministries of tourism held responsible for the promotion and the branding of tourist destination abroad.
India was one of the first countries that officially invited everyone in order to promote and create brand value. And by everyone, I mean everyone!! Locals, tourists, professionals, amateurs, young, old, educated, uneducated…Everyone. How? By using open discussion interfaces online, by asking and interviewing people in the streets. By introducing initiatives that engage people to India. India as a country, as a destination, as a cultural heritage (http://www.indiafutureofchange.com/). By organizing contests, they gave incentives to the people to participate in this discussion.
Back in Europe, Cyprus recently initiated a branding project in order to revitalize the brand value of Limassol. How they do it? By combining private initiative and public support. By engaging everyone in discussion. By extensively using social media and interacting with locals and tourists. Based on the joint input, they created a new city logo, and a new branding campaign!!
Lastly, Sweden offered the control of the official Twitter account to the people of Sweden. Sweden in that way, has created the world’s most democratic account. The direct results: In one month, the number of followers increased drastically and word of mouth made that story viral. Not bad to start with. Time will tell whether this utter freedom can have beneficial long term effects or will just end in….loss of control of the content and abuse!!
Do you know other examples? Local or global? Would love it if you shared!!
Ridley Bikes, renowned for painting and designing frames, launched with great pride the new Ridley Customizer. On the microsite of Ridley Bikes, dealers and consumers can build their own design on their Ridley frame. The Customizer provides a wide range of colors and the combinations are too numerous. The customizer can only be used for full carbon Ridley frames.
Marketing director Anthony Kumpen: “If we allow consumers to design their personalization Noah, we check our competitors. Ridley, already one of the most copied brands in the bicycle market, competition is already ahead by our consumers their bike of their dreams to be realized through the customizer. “After the consumer’s color composition has determined, can design be printed (in pdf format), which he joined his local Ridley dealer can go to his order. The frames are painted with Ridley in Belgium. There are no standard decals used, everything is custom made by our own designers Ridley. The design is a solvent free water based paint applied to the frame. Ridley Bikes, founded in 1991, is a leading manufacturer of racing, cyclocross and mountain bikes. Ridley Bikes is the market leader in the Benelux area of racing.
Sustainability has become a very common and broad term nowadays. In my opinion the focus in Holland lays too much on the environmental aspects. But what about humanity? I understand that it seems to be more beneficial to invest for example in solar panels, fuel efficient motors etc. than to invest in poverty. Off course we also need to protect our environment otherwise it would be hard for humanity to survive. Until recently it was quite normal to assume that our governments and NGO’s like Unicef and Oxfam Novib are taking care of the problem. Several cases and studies however have shown that development aid (our tax money)/donations do not reduce poverty. The lack of transparency with a number of NGO’s does not help either.
In this post I want to share two successful examples where Dutch organisations focus through co-creation on both environmental and especially human aspects of sustainability. I really believe that these are better alternatives than developement aid and donations to old-fashioned organisations. It may seem small scaled, but looking at the overall process the effect and involvement seems high.
This organisation, located in Rotterdam, communicate that they are innovators in sustainability. Their core business is to develop sustainable and social innovations and bringing them to the market. They work together with a large group of young entrepreneurial people, senior executives, corporate partners and universities to co-create these innovative businesses.
Below you can find a video which explains what Enviu is and does, aslo take a look at the WOW projects on the website (Dutch & English). Quite interesting…
Continue reading Co-creation in sustainability, how we can make the world a better place…
YouTube is launching their own film festival, named ‘Your Film Festival’. It’s a global competition to find the world’s best storytellers and provide one deserving entrant with an opportunity to showcase their film during the 69th Venice Film Festival. Entrants should submit a 15’ short film and upload it on youtube.com/yourfilmfestival from February 2 to March 31, 2012.
The viewers on YouTube choose the final ten movies that will be showed at the Venice Film Festival during august. The finalists will be assessed by a jury with chairman Ridley Scott and the overall winner gets $500,000. This competition is inspired by the documentary ‘Life in a day’.
This is a good example how to get customers involved and also to find new movie talents. I’m sure it will attract a new potential customers that usually don’t go to a film festival, or talent that think their movie won’t be showed at such an prestigious film festival like ‘La Biennale di Venezia’.
The announcement on YouTube:
Roy van den Hoogen
After our class on Thursday (January 19), I was inspired to look at how the ads can be created on such websites as Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. While posting an ad on each of these social networks, it is important to take into consideration such points as, for example, how suitable the channel for your goals is, the target audience, resources, timeline, and ability to measure.
Let’s have a look at the article “Getting Started Social Media Advertising on Facebook, YouTube & LinkedIn” written by Lee Odden (http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/12/social-media-advertising-tips/):
As consumer use of and time spent on social media sites increases, the opportunities for effective advertising become more attractive to companies in search of customers to connect with. We’ve given the advice that to grow a social network, a company should participate and engage with communities of interest.
That’s still great advice, just as it is to consider different advertising options within relevant social channels to create awareness, keep a brand top of mind or to suggest timely and relevant offers. Advertising tools made available by social platforms are also useful research tools when collecting demographic information used with personas in organic social media marketing.
For marketers just getting started with advertising on social media sites, here’s a quick rundown on programs available through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Groupon and Foursquare. As with organic social media marketing, each is appropriate according to your own goals, the customers you’re trying to reach, resources, timeline and ability to measure.
Continue reading Getting Started Social Media Advertising on Facebook, YouTube & LinkedIn
Love this video. The have an entire channel with 15 videos that provide marketing insight. http://www.youtube.com/user/KamilAliVideo
At the end of week 3 of the seminar Consumer Channel Dynamics, we all know that more and more customers are involved in the value creation of a product. Consumers have more options than ever before. This variety of choices gives the consumer a better chance of finding something that fits its needs, personalities etc. But, as in any case, there are possible advantages but also some downsides. In the book ‘The Paradox of Choice: why more is less’ of Barry Schwartz (see the blog of Dimitris) you can read that the choices can be overwhelming. While reading all blogs, I discovered that the fact of ‘more choice for the customer’ is an issue frequently talked about. Will a lot of choice make a customer happy or will it confuse or frustrate a customer?
According to Barry Schwarts, the latter is the case. But, as I was searching on the internet for some more arguments pro or against the more choices, I found an article of Femke Kools which describes a research of Benedict Dellaert and Stefan Stremersch. This article shows that more choices do not have to be a problem for the customer. You can read the article through the following link:
As it is written in Dutch, I will further describe the main conclusions.
Except for mass products, companies nowadays also offer customized products. Pants, shoes, computers: as a consumer you can indicate your preference for every component and the company will make the product exactly as you want. This does not have to be a more expensive production method, so mass customization offers advantages to both consumers and companies. A possible downside is that the customer gets confused about the many choices and is not able to get the product he/she wants. Prof. Benedict Dellaert investigated with prof. Stefan Stremersch what the limits of mass customization are. The most important question of the research was: If you decide to offer mass customization, how do you make it as attractive as possible for the consumer? Variation is possible in the number of choices you offer. It turned out that consumers can handle the choices well. “It does not influence the difficulty which consumers experience. Other factors will”, according to Delleart. The mass customization process gets more easy if you see one price at the end of the choice process. If the customer sees a price for every component it chooses, he/she thinks the process is more difficult. A possible reason for this according to the investigators: the customer thinks he/she has to do something with all the extra information. People which are familiar with the product are less affected by this issue.
There is also variation possible in the number of options offered. According to Delleart, also the number of options offered has not an effect on the experienced difficulty. What does turned out, is that it is attractive for the consumer if the options stay close to the mean. Very often is the mean already shown in the list of choices. If you want to deviate, you actively have to choose another option. “People are most satisfied about the process and the product if they have the option to upgrade. So manufacturers can better set the default at a basis level than at a more advanced level. This also reduces the chance that the customer buys a more advanced product than needed.
Although this article is written in 2005, I still find it interesting to also read something about the contradiction to the fact that more choices will confuse the customer. I hope you will do too!
I came across the following wikipedia page which I find interesting. It is on Prosumers. Which is a contraction of the words professional/producer and consumer. It pretty much distinguishes between the passive consumer and the active consumer.
- The term was coined by futurologist Alvin Toffler in 1980 and that meaning is not commonly used today. Loosely, Toffler’s “proactive consumer” prosumers were common consumers who were predicted to each become active to help personally improve or design the goods and services of the marketplace, transforming it and their roles as consumers. Toffler is discussed in depth below.
- By far the most common usage of the term describes the consumers, enthusiasts who buy products (almost always technical) that fall between professional and consumer grade standards in quality, complexity, or functionality. Prosumer also commonly refers to those products. Semiprofessional. “Prosumer” is a well-accepted category for camcorders, digital cameras, VCRs, “and other video playthings.” These advanced product features and higher prosumer expectations lend themselves to increased customizing in Toffler’s product-improvement sense. Continue reading Prosumer
After seeing the Personal MM’s example during the previous presentation, I was wondering if there were more cases of mass customization and customer involvement regarding food. There is a company which produces nutrition bars which can be fully customized. Customers can select their own prefered ingredients and name their own bar. There is a video of the making proces on their website for those who are really interested in the proces.
Furthermore, while I was looking for this nice example, I stumbled upon this blog post which states the different kinds of mass customization and a nice corresponding example.
Do you have a social network account? then you are already involving a business…
You’ve created a top notch Facebook page, a happening Twitter feed, and an engaging blog. But your customers just aren’t interacting with you the way you hoped they would. How can you improve customer engagement with social media while not wasting marketing dollars or expending more time and effort than you can afford to? Start by changing these four things.
Focus on Relationships, Not PitchesPeople flock to social media venues because they want their voices to be heard. Your target market doesn’t want to know about you per se; they want to know what’s in it for them. Focus on building relationships by responding promptly to customer questions and concerns, letting your personality shine through in your posts, and incorporating new methods and deals that put your customers’ needs and wants first.
When customers point out genuine problems with a product or service, focus on fixing it rather than denying it. You won’t lose a customer over one faulty interaction, but you will lose that customer and all his friends by blaming the problem on him or by downplaying his needs. It’s also important that your followers see you as a real person and not just a business. Include personal touches in your blogs and Facebook posts and respond with a genuine thank you and personal comments to any feedback you receive.
Continue reading Involving Customers in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Lands’ End which was acquired by Sears in 2002, enlarging his shop at Sears in 2007. Lands’ End adds in-store monogramming and more small stores that provide access to the site of Lands’ End. Even customers can return merchandise that has already passed more than 20 years. Customers of Lands’ End can use its website to order jeans, pants, chinos and shirts that are tailored to their specifications. Customer fills in his/her specifications to a form at the website, which then will be sent through a computer network to develop an appropriate size for such customers. Individual patterns are then sent electronically to the factory, then the patterns will be used to trigger the cutting equipment materials. There are almost no extra production costs because the process does not require additional storage, which is too much production, inventory and costs to the customer is only slightly higher than the garment which is mass produced. At Lands’ End Live, anyone who shop online at landsend.com can send PS to customer service staff. If you have questions about a particular garment, customers can ask directly. Lands ‘End reported that the additional customer service of this kind adds 6 percent to their sales when a customer uses Lands’ End Live.
Continue reading Mass Customization: Lands’ End case
Mass Customization definition: a flexible production system to deliver a product to order that matches the needs of an individual customer or user (Randall, Terweisch and Ulrich, 2003)
Five different principles of user design:
1) Customize the customization process;
- Types of interface: 1) Parameter based 2) Needs based
- e.g: Dell website’s different user interfaces
2) Provide starting points;
- Consumers differ greatly in the extent to which they wish to affect the design of a product.
- Different starting points: 1) Free form design 2) Combinatoric configuration 3) Starting points
- e.g: Customatix, Adidas miCoach, NikeID
Continue reading Group 7: Mass Customization Mini Case
Due to the case of UnMe Jeans I started to think about brand placement in virtual worlds, like Second Life and Zwinktopia. And I cannot help to feel some kind of paradox in this ”virtual branding”. Let me explain why.
The reason, in my opinion, that people participate in these virtual worlds, is to forget about their real life for a moment and create their own little fanatsy world. Sometime people feel even better in this virtual world then in their real life. We all know the stories of people who spend hours and hours on Second Life, neglecting friends, family and sometime even their children.
So people participate in virtual worlds to escape their busy and active life. Part of what makes their life so busy is the constant bombardment of brands, and the choices we have to make between brands each day. So it must be pretty nice to enter a world with no brands and advertisments, a world like Second Life for example.
So you see my paradox now? Brands are now longer sticking to the real world, and are entering the virtual worlds! So doesn’t that make the virtual worlds less attractive for people?? Apparantly not, if we look at the graph below we see that the number of virtual worlds (abbreviated VW) is increasing exponentially.
Continue reading Virtual Branding
Inspired by our course on Thursday and after having a discussion with George Panagos..I started looking for info about social media..when I found out the web-site of an agency called “Maximize Social Media”. This agency consists of consultants providing solutions on social media and how your company can establish its presence through them!
I got lost in their web-site for hours and after all I think that, like me, you will find this video really interesting!
It shows in a straight forward way the reasons why applying marketing through social media is better than doing so through traditional media.
In case you would like to learn more from them, I suggest you to visit their web-site!
I hope you will find it amazing..as I did!
As I was reading the articles, the blog and the information that search engines provide on consumer behavior, mass customization and crowdsourcing I came across many reasons for and benefits of putting the consumer in charge of the decision-making-process. We learn how crowdsourcing reduces risk of failure, boosts brand resonance and even creates word-of-mouth. What an amazingly happy world from the firm’s point of view.
And consumers, they are at least just as satisfied. Now they actually get the chance to design what they want, earn money with their hobbies and feel the fulfillment of consuming their own creations.
Just look at this video of Zazzle. Look at the happy faces.
When I almost started believing that everybody in this world is pleased with the hype of crowd sourcing, I came across the following text. I find it very nice to see more than just one angle of the story.
Continue reading Crowdsourcing, sleazy new word for sleazy old scam.