Archives for October 2006

Updated Spam Protection Plug-Ins

Small Business Branding has had a change of spam protection systems.

We are now using Math Comment Spam Protection Plug-in which requires you complete a basic maths equation in order to approve your comment.

The Math plug-in replaces the Spam Karma plug-in we were previously using.

The Trackback Validator plug-in has also been installed to protect against trackback spam.

Thanks to SeoPedia for links to these plug-ins.

Creativity in Marketing: Why You Should Bother

Art by another man by the name Robert Kingston.Creativity in Marketing is a lot more than just slapping together an advertisement which ardently depicts the product and brand. It should involve all the aspects of marketing, such as your products, pricing, promotions, placement and the unique service you aim to provide. The unfortunate fact that many companies believe being creative is a requisite, doesn’t compensate for their lack of understanding as to WHY creativity is so useful in marketing. Breathing life into your brand could be as simple as putting together and marketing a creative package which distinguishes your brand from others and associates it with desirable attributes. In other words it will make your customers queasy at the knees credit card…

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No Matter the Size of the Market, All Business Is Local

If you’re big, act little. If you’re little, peacock.

Doing the unexpected will get you noticed. That’s branding. Look at Threadbare. Here’s a bunch of buddies that are grossing $20 million but, surprise, won’t do the paperwork to get them increased sales channels.

Via Jason at 37 Signals:

“It’s about time the Chicago press noticed a few dropouts in their 20s selling nearly $20,000,000 worth of T-shirts on Ravenswood Avenue.”

“It certainly doesn’t hurt our PR when we go to speak and stuff like that to say, ‘Yeah, we turned down Target. We turned down Urban,’ ” Kalmikoff says. “But honestly, a little bit of it was laziness. We were like, ‘Well, who’s gonna fill out all this paperwork? I’m not doing it. Are you gonna do it?’ It just sat for like two weeks. Then we’re like, ‘Just tell ‘em no.’ We couldn’t take the time away from our client work for our side project to be filling out the paperwork to get into Target.”

Don’t think that they’re naive. They’re doing the unexpected and getting recognized. The fact that they turned down Target and Urban Outfitters just adds to their underground mystique.

Besides, you have to love a bunch of guys who are sticking it to the man just because they’re too lazy to sign the contract. That’s exactly the attitude they’re cultivating. That’s their brand.

Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, & Branding for the quick-read crowd.

Zag… As in, when others zig. Marty Neumeier storyboards marketing, advertising, pr, and branding in the clearest way I’ve seen. You’ll notice that that branding image at the end is obviously holding the most weight with the intended audience.


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Marketing On MySpace – Why It’s Worth Your Time

(Please note: A portion of this article discusses the use of MySpace Bots. MySpace prohibits the use of bots or electronic friend adders, and both bizMAVERICKSâ„¢ and Brad Williamson discourage the use of MySpace friend adding programs.)

Is there anything more popular these days than MySpace? I swear, the popularity of this social networking site just keeps on exploding daily. Just when you think it’s lost its cool, it picks up even more momentum. This Tom dude, who started MySpace, really pulled something off didn’t he? …Not bad for a guy who peddled asian porn in the early days of his career, huh?

So here’s this massive community of cool hunters all in one pretty little package called MySpace… Do you really expect us entrepreneurs to just build a profile and gossip about our obsessions with Justin Timberlake to our Friends? (It’s an example people! I don’t obsess over J-Timber!) We wanna make some of that cold hard scrilla (Money) baby! If you’re a business owner, and have a product that could attract the attention of these shopaholic 20-somethings, then get off your butt and build a profile so you can start creating some relationships!

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Mascot Mania: Does Your Business Need a Personality?

“Hi there! I’m Fifi and I’m a Frequent Flirter! And a fabulously flamboyant one at that. I can put a smile on anyone’s dial! Okay, so I’m not exactly modest, but hey, what can I say?…I’m a hit.”

Have you ever thought of using a mascot, a character, a prop, or even just a catch-cry to give your business a personality?

People – that is, your potential customers – love anything that amuses them or gives them an excuse to ‘play’, even if only fleetingly. We’re all kids at heart, and we love anything that provides a mental and emotional break from being an adult. A little bit of entertainment can go a long way in being memorable to your customers. Check out how sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer uses fun props to captivate his audience and get his message across in his weekly e-zine, Sales Caffeine. Oh, and there’s a few decent sales tips in there as well!

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Love Thy Customer…

Customer obsession the Amazon way:

pushing 300,000 – 600,000 units of product per day through a fulfillment center is no easy task. gratefully, amazon’s home-grown software and efficient processes help to deal with the immense volume. sometimes, if there are inventory gliches or poor product flow, an activity known in warehousing as “product chasing” occurs. “chasing” is when a product is ordered, but it is nowhere to be found in the (1MMft^2) facility. in reality, it is somewhere, but according to the inventory software the product is supposed to be in its assigned bin, but it has been moved somehow, drifted to another bin, or stolen. this defect is called Inventory Record Defect Rate and is one of the most important metrics at amazon, and is highly scrutinized and reviewed by Bezos and his senior team. why is it important? because when the front-end amazon store allows you to order something, the precondition is that the product and the quantity desired is currently in an amazon facility: the software follows a very complicated algorithm based on network optimization, shortest path techniques, and traveling salesman routing; a check is made against the inventory database — in real time — how many are available, which facility, and how many have been committed already. when the order drops into the assigned facility, the picker goes to the bin where the product is supposed to be, but because IRDR is poor, the item is not there. this situation leads to two following options: (1) go to a local store and buy the item and ship it to the customer or (2) do a “network flip”, where the assigned facility “flips” the order to another facility that has that product. option (2) is ideal, but during the holiday season, it is very difficult to do. during the holidays, option (1) is common.

doing option (1) is heroic and is a true example of customer obsession at work: it’s not about serving all customers as an aggregate, but it’s about serving one really well, several million times. at amazon, they really believe this and live this.

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