Friday, July 20, 2012

Can exposure hurt your brand?

This past month, the high end hair care brand Alterna was spotlighted on QVC.  The product probably sold well.  Millions of new consumer became familiar with the line for the first time.

The next week, the popular salon professional website received many comments about how unprofessional Alterna was for exposing these products, at a discount.  The people who commented were upset that this salon only brand was selling around them.

I used to think that too!  When Murad went on TV with an infomercial, we thought the good Doctor had sold out!  We figured that salons would throw his products out.

But each salon owner I spoke to at the time was HAPPY!  They were worried at first because they had undercut the price.

Two things happened with the consumer.  Either the consumer bought on TV at a discount, then they repurchased the product at the salon.  Or the consumer watched the program and didn't buy.  But the next time they were in the salon, they saw Murad.  And since it was on TV, it must be good!

The salons reported substantial sales increases every time Murad was on TV!

The big department stores had the same experience.  At first they did not want Bare Essencuals, as it was discounted on TV.  But soon, enough consumers asked for it... so it became a department store brand!

Mirabella was on Hautelook earlier this year.  Hautelook is a flash sale site, that is they sell steeply discounted merchandise from high end companies.  Generally, the products are discontinued or old promotions, but the consumer doesn't care.  They get to try a brand inexpensively that they generally would not have tried.

For Mirabella, we get exposed to their 4,000,000 members during the sale.  Only a small portion of those customers buy.  But the rest still see it!

In the book Guerilla Marketing, it says you need to make 17 impressions before someone buys.

All of these alternate ways to expose your product to the consumer is another impression.

Hopefully, all of those impressions will finally get the consumer to try that salon for Alterna... and Mirabella! 

Today there are so many different ways to build your brand... and frankly, they all seem to work together for the good of everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You will LOVE this, I didn't write it!!!

A good friend of mine passed this on to me.  I couldn't agree more and certainly couldn't say it better!

 From John Maxwell-- a fantastic author and speaker!


Qualities of a Good Guide

In 1804, Lewis and Clark faced the daunting task of finding their way across the vast wilderness of the American continent to reach its Pacific Coast. Their 33-member expedition included some of the most experienced navigators, scouts, woodsmen, and hunters in the United States. Yet despite their collective talents, the explorers would have died of starvation or from disorientation if they had relied solely on their own ingenuity. They were simply overmatched by the challenges of surviving in such unfamiliar terrain.
Realizing the perils of their situation, Lewis and Clark established relationships with indigenous Native American communities along their route to the Pacific. These local groups provided the expedition with guidance, supplies, and invaluable information about the surrounding environment. Benefiting from their help, Lewis and Clark were able to successfully complete their journey.

Five Qualities of a Leadership Guide
Regardless of your level of natural talent, you will not reach your potential in life without the guidance of others. It’s hard to grow with no one else to follow but yourself. To raise your level of influence, you need to link up with mentors and coaches who can model effective leadership. How do you identify these guides? I’d suggest looking for leaders with the following qualities.

1) A Passion for Personal Growth
When searching for a mentor or leadership model, ask yourself: Is he/she purposefully pursuing personal growth? People committed to a life of learning always have something to share. In perpetually seeking to develop themselves, they come across lessons that can be passed on to others. What are the telltale signs that someone is dedicated to personal growth?
(1) They ask questions.
(2) They read books or study the experts in their field.
(3) They’re unafraid to experiment (and fail).

2) A Trustworthy Example
Teaching is easy, but modeling is difficult. Anyone can spout out theories, but only a select few can consistently apply knowledge to deliver results. Likewise, anyone can write out an impressive list of personal values, but rare is the person who embodies them day after day amid the pressures of leading an organization. As industrialist Andrew Carnegie remarked, “As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”

3) Proven Experience
A Chinese proverb says, “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” Like a deep well holds nourishing water, a leader with proven experience houses a wealth of wisdom. Questions are the buckets from which we draw upon the experiences of others. When I meet someone who has clearly demonstrated the ability to lead at a high level, I ask the following questions in order to learn from him/her:
(1) What are the great lessons you have learned?
(2) How has failure shaped your life?
(3) What are your strengths?
(4) What is your passion?
(5) Who do you know that I should know?
(6) What have you read that I should read?
(7) What have you done that I should do?

4) Friendship & Support
The best guides listen and learn before they lead. They care about results, but more fundamentally, they care about people. In sharing his remembrances of management expert Peter Drucker, author Jim Collins spoke not of his theories but of his humanity.
“For me, Drucker’s most important lessons cannot be found in any text or lecture but in the complete example of his life. I made a personal pilgrimage to Claremont, California, in 1994 seeking wisdom from the greatest management thinker of our age, and I came away feeling that I’d met a compassionate and generous human being who, almost as a side benefit, was a prolific genius…Peter F. Drucker was driven not by the desire to say something but the desire to learn something from every student he met—and that is why he became one of the most influential teachers most of us have ever known.”
Perhaps the best question you can ask yourself about a potential guide is: “do they genuinely care about me?”

5. Competence
Leaders make things better for others; they add value in their relationships. As a leader or guide, I desire to help people…
(1) Prioritize their life
(2) See their value
(3) Develop their potential
Great guides leave a trail of positive influence wherever they have been. Even after the departing an organization, their legacy remains.

Hope you enjoyed!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Small business, hard but fun!

Reading through HAPPI, a trade magazines this morning, they listed the top 50 US Personal Care companies.  Giants like Proctor and Gamble and Estee Lauder are on the top of the list.  In each large company, they talk about the new initiatives they are launching.

These large companies have LARGE initiatives.  They mention things like taking market share in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries.  OK, that is billions of dollars of sales with investments of billions of dollars.

Little guys like Mirabella are hoping to grow!

These large companies have so much going for them; size, money, people, contacts, huge marketing budgets, large research and development budgets.  Just by their sheer size it feels they could crush any small company like a bug.

But they don't!  Amazingly, tons of small companies not only survive, but thrive in the climate of big business.  How do they/we do it?

First, as a small company you need to pick your bets.  You cannot bet on BRIC countries.  You need to bet on one country at best!  You need to take small measured risks that you watch like a hawk.  As a small company, if the bet is not paying off quickly, small companies know.  They adjust quickly.  Or they stop altogether.

Second, you have to be fast.  Mirabella sits in on the same presentation about raw ingredients and new technology as everyone else.  Yes, that includes all the big boys.  Sure they have their own R & D, but they would be foolish to not listen to what these companies are bringing to the market.  And since we can be quick to market, we can have new technology out to the salons before MAC or L'Oreal can!

Third, to beat the big guys you have to know your business.  Big companies do not know when they lose customers.  They don't pay attention to small buyers.  But for small companies, small buyers are your bread and butter.  If we lose one it matters!  So small companies have to stay closer to their clients.  They have to notice if they stop buying or even slow down.  A small company can fix problems and keep clients longer.  But we can only do this if we pay attention!

And finally, to beat the big guys, you cannot worry about them.  They are going to do what they are going to do.  If they want to crush you, they will!  The thing is, they don't know you exist!  Don't try to be like them.  Don't try to copy them.  Do your own thing.  Do what YOU feel is best for your clients and for your business.

We small businesses have the chance to be the big businesses of the future... if we want to be.  But hey, I am having fun being a little speed boat running circles around the huge aircraft carriers.