Saturday, April 27, 2002

I am being fair . . . . aren't I?

I acknowledge(d) the contribution that experienced, intelligent marketing makes to any business.

But do you really think you need to do the "big dig" to find out that people entering a food business want it to be clean?


And actually keeping it clean, being nice to customers, etc, is all part of properly managing *any* such business. It has little, if anything, to do with marketing per se, afaics.

Friday, April 26, 2002

Be fair, Denver

In the article, this is what he said about marketing Starbucks without TV advertising:

...when I first started doing my research about how consumers perceived Starbucks, I was amazed at how few retailers actually paid attention to the in-store experience. Things like cleanliness and ways to be unique among competitors were totally ignored. I realized that we had an opportunity to influence everything that happened once the consumer walked in [to a store]. I thought redesigning the stores, and focusing as much as possible on making Starbucks a unique and pleasant experience, was going to be more effective than a big ad campaign.

So if Jordon's local Starbucks is a pleasant looking place with calming music and decent coffee, that is how it was designed...
(On a personal note, my employer completely transformed the in-house catering a few years back by hiring a top restaurant manager and giving him carte blanche to hire others, as long as the food side was self-supporting. The food is excellent now, and they roast and blend their own coffee beans, making it delicious, and half the price of Starbucks. In fact I think I'll go down and get one now).

Bad coffee and marketing

I see what you are saying. The attachment I have with Starbucks is with the product and the store (which is staffed by people and visited by people who I also connect with) not a logo. You are right about advertising. Point well taken.

Worth Repeating

Dan Gillmor, technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, says he has been inundated with e-mail since launching a Weblog in 1999, sparking online discussions that have helped change his approach to journalism.
“My readers know more than I do, and that’s a liberating notion, not a scary one,” he says. “Every journalist ought to realize it’s true. No matter what you cover, your readers know more collectively than you do. If we can capture that, we all come out ahead.”
If you think of traditional journalism as a lecture, Gillmor said, Weblogs include elements of a seminar and conversation. “The division that has existed between the journalist and the audience is blurring, and that’s a good thing,” he says.

See the whole article Here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002


You're not wrong.

Usually, that is my function.

But ask yourself this question: Was it the marketing department that performed (and continues to perform) its job to the point that you were attracted into this emotional attachment?

Or put it another way: If the marketing department had done its job exactly the same as it has, but this particular Starbucks was a grubby little shit-hole with burnt coffee, surly staff, and correspondingly poor service, would the attachment still exist?

I'm not saying that marketing doesn't have a valid role in a corporation, but I'm suspicious of professional marketers attempts to pretend that they are the (major) reason for a company's success in the marketplace, which is at least a little bit how this article reads.

"co-contributors to success" - that I can buy.

Note to self

learn french.

Arafat Emerges from his Compound

This blog and the land of gonzo in general have been suffering from the captivity of RageBoy lately. Quietly, behind the scenes, RB's boy wonder, Chris Locke, has been chain smoking in his compound, communicating only with a few unshowered associates, as he writes to make sense of life, inhumanity, abuse, love, love lost, love that maybe never was, fucking faeries, and other things that only people who have been pulling for him lately would understand--that means you guys. Read it if you haven't. Caution: Golby-sized download.


Gonzo engaged in France ? some news.

French elections... Nothing to say. Humiliation.
We lunched yesterday with Remi and Eric. We want to build !
French people have some difficulties to understand the weblogging spirit.
Our first french partyblog should be online soon !

The first french article to adapt your team spirit is available here in a Sand Box....
If you want to translate it in english, we would be happy. You can steal it !
Remi is telling a story à propos d'un "consumer qui veut acheter une voiture" : La TurboTraction ! It's a conversation between an Expert Emarketing and a consumer.

La marque d’automobiles Turbotraction est très présente sur le Web. Un Expert E-Marketing nous explique sommairement comment créer un dispositif E-CRM (customiser relations hip management) pour recruter (vendre un produit), puis fidéliser (en vendre un deuxième), l’immense majorité des internautes qui -d’une manière ou d’une autre- se retrouvent un jour sur la page d’accueil du site Monsieur Martin est l’un de ces internautes et nous donne son point de vue. Ce n’est que celui d’un internaute lambda (mais il peut éventuellement être considéré dans la mesure ou c’est celui d’un individu susceptible de débourser 15 000 euros pour s’offrir l’un des fleurons de la gamme).

We're thinking on a brand which could be XXXXX ;-) It could become a small webzine. We'll let you know. Xtof (Ile de France)

I can read people's thoughts.

Using an ancient technology, handed down over millennia, improved and refined along the way, I am able to read people's thoughts.

Starbucks is selling a legal addictive substance, nicely packaged. Of course you like it. But look around. Most likely there is a smaller, more personal source for good coffee there. I like Peets myself, mostly becaue they sell good leaf tea too.

Denver, people can form emotional connections to companies and products (try abusing Apple computers online and see how many emotional responses you get). Televisual advertising is always trying to provoke an emotional response. It often is successful, but it is nto always convincing.

The Gonzo point is that companies can't feel emotions. They don't fall in love.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Denver, I want to agree with what you are saying but I keep finding myself to the rather unhealthy connection I have with Starbucks. I enjoy their coffee and even the Starbucks branded coffee cup I payed too much for. To even get to a Starbucks in Saskatoon one has to venture onto the campus of the University of Saskatchewan and fight for a parking spot yet I find myself doing that daily, just so I can grab a cup of Starbucks. That doesn't seem rationalle and it happens at Starbucks locations all over the continent. Maybe you can build a connection...
" Product differentiation within any consumer category is important to develop. But consumers may not perceive your product, taken on its own, as truly different. So the problem, and the opportunity, is to really build some kind of emotional connection between the brand and the consumer. "

(my emphasis added)

My problem with this notion is that:

1. It promulgates the idea that a company *can* build an emotional connection with a human being. I question this notion very strongly.

2. It further assumes that such a connection can be built by the unilateral action of one entity, without any particular prior interest or commitment on behalf of the other. I'm even more skeptical about this idea.

Now it may be that this is simply sloppy language, and that he means to say that the company can create an attractive brand, which in turn may induce customers to invest some emotion in their purchasing decisions, but even that seems a bit shonky to me.

For me, this sort of marketing boils down to promising people what they've just told you they want. Isn't that what all the "big dig" is about?

Whether or not your company actually delivers as promised will be the real test of your brand, the only one that really matters, in my opinion, as a customer.


how do I get this blog to link to specific posts? I mean, when others link to a post, it goes to the top of that day or all days. I tweeked something a while back that seemed to work for a minute, but not anymore. technical advice--pretty please?

Just Do It. Then Do It Differently.

Advice from marketing master Scott Bedbury -- the man who built Nike and Starbucks into power brands.

Interesting article on the marketing of Nike and Starbucks. I don't agree with all of it but it makes for an interesting read.

Monday, April 22, 2002

You must live at my house

It's destructo land here. There's nowhere to put anything. Toys and crap litter my life. And I'd like the idea of not wasting Toy packaging, but instead having the manufacturer actually INCLUDE a storage device, like a simple ziplock bag. I've never bought from Klutz, but I'm going to check them out. I opened a present for my daughter last night, and it had 22 of those twist ties, attaching every little piece and bit to the cardboard backing. My fingers were raw before I had all the pieces undone. What the hell is up with that? Be glad you have a boy--the Barbie paraphanalia is the worst!

On a side note, it looks like RageBoy's back from London. Possible download coming soon!


Sunday, April 21, 2002

Help me market this meme

While tidying up my son's birthday presents from yesterday, I had a great idea to improve the marketing of toys to parents. Instead of shrink-wrapping the little bits and bobs inside the packet, put them in ziplock bags, so when it is time to tidy them up you have somewhere robust to keep them. The only toy manufacturer I have seen do this is Klutz books, whom I can recommend unreservedly. Their Lego crazy action contraptions book comes with the Lego you need in a Ziplock bag stuck to the front.

Why can't Playmobil and Lego and K-nex do this too? I put the away in Ziplock's I buy myself, of course, but the experience would be better if they came in them.