Thursday, April 24, 2008

How to advertise without advertising

Watch this video to see how to advertise without advertising and creating buzz without buzzing. This is the most effective way to create viral campaigns and to get WOM (word of mouth) buzzing. Build from the ground up, ensure it is unique, add a dash of humour, record it, let everyone you know know about it and watch your brand exposure explode.

So how can you advertise your products/services without advertising? Watch here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cleanliness is next to godliness. You think?

One thing that really grates me is when I walk inside a store and there is rubbish on the counter, on the floor next to the counter, the doorway, or the entrance. You may have the best products or services in town but if you’re place of business is dirty, you increase the chances of me going to your competition who are clean. This also applies to websites. ‘Rubbish’ on websites I would consider as too many clicks, unnecessary content, bad design, misinformation, no contact details, and bad graphics.

Being ‘clean’ and spotless is another area where businesses can compete against their competitors. You have to treat the premises of your business like Singapore - a no litter, 100% sparkling clean policy. If you see rubbish, clean it up. On websites, you may want someone independent to audit your website to clean up your ‘online rubbish’. It’s really great when your customers see you cleaning too because it shows you care for your business which in turn means great products.

There are numerous examples of businesses who sell exactly the same product, yet one product just seems better than the other. This is where everything outside the product itself comes to the fore. It could be cleanliness, friendly staff, location, opening hours or display could make the difference between a purchase and non-purchase.

Be clean if you know what I mean....and that includes the back of the shop. You never know that your client may inadvertently go 'to the back'. Ohhh and this includes your toilet! There is definitely no excuse for a dirty toilet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's all in the 'shin'- InnovaTION, ImitaTION, ExecuTION, CaptivaTION, ConsumpTION, DominaTION

In any market, there are innovators, who want to create an entirely new market space or revolutionise a current one like Red Bull with their energy drinks, Apple Inc. with the iPods and iPhones, Elvis Presley with Rock & Roll, Toyota with their hybrid vehicles, Google with PPC (pay per click advertising), Alexander Graham Bell with the telephone, Paypal with its internet payment gateway, the New Zealand All Blacks in rugby, Microsoft with its Windows operating system, McDonald’s, or Southwest Airlines with budget travel.

When you are an innovator, your future market will be created by you and shaped by how you create and develop it. Most things are different yet the principles of growing a business are still the same. Your marketing challenges are different because you have no direct competitors. Your business development is slightly different because you have to constantly monitor the market place to build on your barriers of entry. The harder it is for your potential competitors to enter your market space, the easier it will be for you to keep building on capturing more market share. Your maintenance and building of your new market requires absolute precision in the delivery and development of your product/service brand.

Constantly assessing and reassessing how the market reacts to your new innovative product/service will ensure your competitive advantage is maintained as long as you religiously improve your new product/service. Never stop innovating and improving your product/service because it can always be better. You won’t find Apple stagnant in their innovation, you won’t find the NZ All Blacks team stop improving how they play the game of rugby, you won’t find McDonald’s not looking for new markets to build a signature restaurant, you won’t find Toyota giving up their lead so easy in the hybrid car market, or Southwest Airlines not finding newer locations to service or better ways to improve their customer service.

Like in nature, business is a game of the fittest, the smartest, the most proactive, the most adaptable and flexible. Keep your game tight, your scoreboard ticking over with runs (cashflow) and you will improve your odds of being highly competitive in your market space.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Have you ever been caught doing this?

As any successful business owner would tell you, your reputation is everything. Not just the reputation of your product/service, you the owner as well. Always remember that when you think no one is looking, someone is. Always keep your appearances up and top notch. People will judge you by your appearance, how you treat them, how you treat others so always keep positive and do positive things. The more prominent your brand, the more scrutiny you will receive and you cannot afford to let your guard down for one second...not even for a look like the person in this pic.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Put SPAM straight in the can!

As a business, the last thing you need on top of all your business emails is SPAM. SPAM is all that unsolicited stuff, garbage, emails you receive without asking for it. So how do you prevent SPAM? There are many methods which are being discussed now on blog catalog.

For those of you following my thread in the discussion forum of Blog Catalog, we have come up with using Gmail as a great killer of spam to setting up separate email accounts for personal and subscriptions. I'm sure there are more, so please comment here or here for your thoughts.

For more information on how to prevent SPAM on your blog, you really have to check out blogging maestro, "Shoe Money's" blog. Take heed, collaborate and read...execute then watch the amount of spam you receive drop. Click here

Friday, April 11, 2008

How to apply ancient war tactics to modern day business

When starting any business, it is vital that you know your market of interest inside out and outside in. To be in business is all about strategy, tactics, execution and understanding the environment that your business is going to compete in, understanding your competitors, knowing how they operate, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, understanding the behavior of their customers (which could be YOUR future customers), understanding the supply chain,logistical back office functions and examining where the opportunities are to make your product/service more attractive to your future customers.

These opportunities can be based on price, design, features, ease of use, reliability, location, availability, environmental impact, or quality of employment to name a few. Finding a nice mix of all these elements will enhance your competitive position.

Like Sun Tzu says:
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

Saturday, April 5, 2008

101 most useful websites

Here is a nice list compiled by the which you may find useful.

If it ain't broke, improve it!!

If you think you have perfected a product or service, it won't take long for your customers to identify a flaw or another way to utilise it. The key in maintaining your advantage over your competition is to continuously improve what you're offering so that it becomes irresistible to your clientèle. Do you think Apple stopped improving the iPod? or iPhone? Do you think Ferrari stopped improving the Ferrari? or Emirates Airlines stopped improving its services? No they didn't. The reason why, is that there will always be ways to improve your products and services to keep your customers happy.

To continuously improve requires outside of the box thinking to reach WOW status in the minds of your customers. If you aim to blow your customers away each and every time they experience your product/service, you will likely increase the probabilities of repeat business and referred business. Even watermelons can be square.

Can you imagine the possibilities of saving space in a department store of your product? this means you can sell more product. Can you imagine the space savings in your fridge or pantry with a square watermelon? this means you can fit a large watermelon quite comfortably in your pantry without it rolling around.

Sometimes, thinking of a square can help improve your bottom line.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Come read what I've been up to....

Hey friends,
apologies for the delay in postings. I've been in Fiji and have been internet free for the last couple weeks. If you have ever been to these beautiful islands, you will understand how you can forget the outside world. I will have some updates within the next couple days so stay tuned.

Talk soon!