14 Ways To Be Better At Your Job

With a new year approaching, many people have an “out with the old and in with the new” mentality—and work is usually a big part of that, says corporate veteran and author Andy Teach.

“No one has a perfect work life and there is always room for improvement,” says Teach, author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time. “Most people aspire to be better at their jobs because it results in increased happiness and personal satisfaction.”

Here’s are 14 things you can do to be better at your job:

Anticipate your department’s needs. “Being a reliable source for your department leader and seeing opportunities for your department to improve are great ways to be better at your job,” Meador says. “Take on tasks that your department leader may not need to oversee directly and present a finished product to him or her.” Seeing this initiative from you often helps them understand that you can handle tasks proactively and things will not be falling solely on their shoulders.

Get to know your boss better. Your boss controls your destiny so it’s in your best interest to get to know them better both personally and professionally, Teach says. “It doesn’t mean you need to be friends with them or hang out with them, but you do need to learn what makes them tick. The more you communicate with your boss, the better it is for you.” While you’re at it, get to know your boss’s boss as well, he suggests.

Assume success. “Your positive attitude can be seen in your facial expression, posture, tone and speed of your voice,” Taylor says. “Be confident in your work. You’re uniquely qualified to do exactly what you do.” Imagine that everything you contribute helps the bottom line, she says. “Even when things are dicey, you can challenge yourself in 2013 to use setbacks as opportunities.”

Study your industry. Your industry is constantly changing and you need to keep up with what’s happening now, Teach says. “Most industries have trade magazines or websites that have the latest news in that industry. It’s important to read these so that you are well informed and can discuss recent industry events and changes with your co-workers, supervisors, and management. Information is power.”

Always come to the table with a solution. Offering a solution or idea is only half of the equation and many managers feel that an idea without an action plan will only create more work for them, Meador says. “Share ideas with context and a clear path for implementation for the leader to evaluate.” The more you present any issues with recommended solutions and then implement those solutions in a timely and effective manner, the more the leadership team will rely on you and think about you for future projects and new responsibilities, she says.

Find a mentor. Everyone needs someone to teach them the ropes; to guide them through their career, Teach says. “Find someone at your company whom you respect and want to learn from. You don’t need to directly ask them to be your mentor, just keep the communication lines open and take them out to lunch once in a while.” You can talk to them about non-work interests as well–but when you need work advice, they’ll be there for you.

Improve your communication skills. One of the most common mistakes made by both managers and employees today, is that too often, both are afraid to come to the table and talk about underlying issues, Taylor says. “Fear of confrontation is so overwhelming, but if you communicate boldly, more frequently, and honestly in 2013, and you’re not afraid to work through conflict, you’ll likely reduce your stress and be a better worker.” Too much time is spent dwelling on misunderstood employee communications, which, if left unaddressed, eventually leads to conflict. “And an ever-tempting, over-reliance on technology with its benefits of brevity and immediacy can exacerbate that.”

Work harder and smarter. Some employees set limits and boundaries for themselves as far as the number of hours worked or how much work they’re willing to do on a project. “It’s important to go outside these boundaries and go with the flow,” Teach says. “Having said this, working harder is not enough. The key is to be able to work smarter so that you’re maximizing your abilities and making the most out of your time.”

Don’t overwork yourself. If you’re already an overachiever, have been dubbed a “workaholic,” or are generally exhausted, then you need to slow down and break the habit of setting impossible goals for yourself in the New Year, Taylor says. “You may have to recalibrate and expect, say 75% of your workload to be achieved in a set period in order to feel fulfilled. If you’re a manager, this approach may take some of undue pressure off staff, too.”

See the big picture. There are many employees who only focus on what they’re doing, which prevents them from seeing the big picture. “You’re just one piece of the puzzle and the puzzle isn’t complete until all of the pieces are in place,” Teach says. Find out what your co-workers are doing and what your supervisor is doing. By getting a better understanding of the big picture, it will become clearer to you why you’ve been asked to complete certain projects. “Additionally, it’s a great learning experience which can help prepare you for a higher level position since managers and supervisors need to see the big picture in order to become successful,” he adds.

Invest in continuous learning to stay on top of your game. Many companies encourage employees to go back to school and pick up courses that can help them do their job better, Meador says. “If you are pursuing an MBA, try to immediately translate your newly gained business knowledge into tangible action at work, as this can grab the attention of company decision makers and show them what you can do for the company.”

Ask the right questions. Aside from observing people at work, there is probably no better way of learning than by asking questions, especially the right questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Think about what you want to know before you ask about it and don’t ask so many questions that people will think that you’re taking up too much of their time. Of course, when you get answers to your questions, it could raise more questions but if you truly want to learn and better yourself, ask away.

Follow through on all tasks and commitments. “One of the most important things you can do as an employee is to follow through on work commitments,” Meador says. “Do what you say you are going to do in a quality manner, on time and on budget.” Your co-workers and management will see a pattern of reliability from you, which should increase their trust and confidence in your work, she adds. “Over time, this should translate into key leadership taking notice of the value you bring to the organization, and may lead to challenging, promotional opportunities down the road.”

Other easy ways to be better at you job in 2013: Pay more attention to detail; stop complaining; become more of a team player; and go above and beyond.

From an employee perspective, the more you show your dedication, commitment, abilities and potential to your employer, the more it will help you when it’s review time next year, Meador says. Doing better at your job can lead to more sizeable monetary rewards, as well as “stretch” assignments and promotional opportunities. “Employers may even think about where your skills and abilities can be leveraged around the company, not just in your current position. Being better at your job can only help you. The better you are, the more people notice and the more opportunities may arise for you at work in the long run,” she concludes.

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5 bí mật giết chết nội dung tiếp thị

Bài viết sưu tầm.

Source: http://www.bmg.edu.vn/vn/bai-viet-hay/tiep-thi—marketing/5-bi-mat-giet-chet-noi-dung-tiep-thi/668/1

1. “Khách hàng quan tâm tới danh tiếng công ty của tôi!”

Không. Họ chỉ quan tâm tới những lợi ích sản phẩm hay dịch vụ bạn mang lại khi quyết định móc hầu bao để sở hữu chúng. Họ cũng chẳng thèm quan tâm tới việc bạn là thành viên của phòng thương mại địa phương hơn 20 năm trời hay thành viên ban quản trị của bạn là ai (hãy vui lòng đừng đưa những thông tin này vào các tư liệu tiếp thị). Họ chỉ muốn biết nhu cầu của mình có được đáp ứng đầy đủ hay không. Do đó, mục tiêu của nội dung tiếp thị là thuyết phục khách hàng rằng những sản phẩm hay dịch vụ bạn đang cung cấp sẽ đáp ứng nhu cầu và mong muốn của họ, thậm chí bạn còn phải tạo ra nhu cầu. Nói cách khác, nội dung tiếp thị cần phải lột tả cho họ thấy những lợi ích thiết thực nhất. Nếu bạn đã kinh doanh được trên 10 năm, điều này thật tuyệt, nhưng họ sẽ chẳng thèm quan tâm đâu, họ chỉ muốn biết là bạn có thể làm gì để mang lại cho cuộc sống của họ dễ chịu và thoải mái hơn. Đây là những thông điệp bạn cần nhấn mạnh nếu muốn viết nội dung tiếp thị một cách hiệu quả.

2. “Chỉ cần sử dụng một nội dung duy nhất!”

Không. Nội dung này cần phải được điều chỉnh cho phù hợp với kênh truyền tải thông tin. Ví dụ đối với các biển quảng cáo ngoài trời khi mà người đi đường chỉ có vài giây để nhìn lướt qua chúng, thông điệp cần phải ngắn gọn và đi thẳng vào vấn đề. Tuy nhiên khi bạn gửi thư quảng cáo cho những khách hàng đã có yêu cầu, nội dung cần phải chi tiết và trả lời được những thắc mắc của họ. Đồng thời cần tạo ra sự hối thúc để tăng tỉ lệ phản hồi.

3. “Sử dụng cùng một nội dung cho tất cả mọi người!”

Đây không phải là một ý định hay. Nội dung cần được soạn thảo phù hợp với từng nhóm đối tượng người nhận, việc này phụ thuộc các yếu tố liên quan tới hành vi người nhận, họ đã từng sử dụng sản phẩm hay chưa,… Ví dụ nội dung thư giới thiệu được gửi cho khách hàng đã từng sử dụng sản phẩm, dịch vụ sẽ khác nội dung thư giới thiệu gửi tới nhóm khách hàng tiềm năng. Hai đối tượng này rõ ràng có sự khác nhau: một là đã từng sử dụng sản phẩm, dịch vụ và một thì chưa. Chính vì vậy, 2 nội dung này nên được soạn thảo khác nhau nhằm đặt được tỉ lệ trả lời cao nhất có thể.

4. “Lời lẽ cần phải chuyên nghiệp!”

Không hẳn lúc nào cũng cần. Ngôn ngữ và giọng điệu sử dụng cần phải phù hợp với người đọc. Cụ thể, ngôn từ viết cho tuổi teen sẽ khác với ngôn từ dành cho những người trưởng thành. Hãy xem ví dụ của McDonald’s, gần đây thương hiệu này xuất hiện trên quảng cáo truyền hình với tên gọi là “Mickey D’s” thay vì “McDonald’s” với mục đích là tạo ra sự gần gũi hơn với khách hàng của họ. Cũng cần phải hạn chế sử dụng các thuật ngữ chuyên ngành nếu bạn muốn người đọc hiểu được nội dung cần truyền tải. Tuy nhiên, chúng ta vẫn có thể sử dụng thuật ngữ cho các mẫu quảng cáo khi chúng nhắm tới đối tượng là các doanh nghiệp.

5. “Viết nội dung tiếp thị cũng đơn giản thôi!”

Đừng bao giờ có suy nghĩ như thế. Viết nội dung tiếp thị là một công việc manh tính đặc thù. Nó không tuân theo các quy tắc viết lách mà bạn đã từng học. Nó dựa trên kiến thức về tâm lý, kinh doanh, sự am hiểu về sản phẩm, khách hàng, khả năng sáng tạo và thuyết phục cao. Không phải ai có khả năng viết tốt đều trở thành copy writer giỏi và ngược lại. Khi đã quyết định tự mình viết, bạn cần phải tìm hiểu và phân tích bản nháp trước khi chính thức đặt bút viết. Nếu quyết định thuê một copy writer, hãy nhớ rằng không phải copy writer nào cũng như nhau. Chỉ nên chọn những copy writer có kinh nghiệm và biết dành thời gian tìm hiểu về công việc kinh doanh cũng như khách hàng của bạn.

Một số điều cần lưu ý để thực hiện activation thành công

Bài viết sưu tầm.

Source: http://eventchannel.vn/home/index.php/ky-nang-nghe-event/1402-mot-so-dieu-can-luu-y-de-thuc-hien-activation-thanh-cong

Event Channel – Làm activation thường ít phức tạp ở hạng mục như Event nhưng lại phức tạp ở việc diễn ra nhiều chỗ hoặc nhiều ngày. Có những chương trình làm ở nhiều tỉnh thành, có chương trình kéo dài cả vài tháng và người tổ chức luôn phải bận rộn với nó hàng ngày.

Làm activation xét ra không khó, và bạn có nhiều thời gian để xem xét sửa đổi những chỗ chưa được, nếu như ngày hôm nay làm chưa tốt thì ngày mai có thể rút kinh nghiệm làm tốt hơn. Làm activation thường chỉ khó ở khâu tuyển chọn, đào tạo nhân sự làm sao cho chất lượng và việc lên kế hoạch, kiểm soát phải thật sự chặt chẽ. Dưới đây là một số bí quyết bạn nên lưu ý khi làm activation để thực hiện activation được thành công như mong đợi.

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Lập plan thật chặt chẽ

Nếu như bạn có 40 điểm cần làm activation trong vòng 2 tuần bạn cần sắp xếp việc di chuyển giữa những điểm này sao cho thât tối ưu về thời gian, chi phí. Bạn sẽ cần cân nhắc sẽ chia các điểm thành nhiều nhóm hay không, mỗi nhóm sẽ đi theo những tuyến đường nào, thời gian thực hiện thế nào. Càng dành nhiều thời gian nghiên cứu và lên kế hoạch thì dự án của bạn càng giảm thiểu rũi ro và lãng phí.

Tối ưu hóa chi phí và thời gian

Nếu việc thực hiện diễn ra ở nhiều điểm, bạn hãy cố gắng sắp xếp lịch trình theo hướng tối ưu việc đi lại sao cho ngắn nhất, tiết kiệm nhất có thể vì nó liên quan đến chi phí vận chuyển, đi lại. Hãy thử tưởng tượng bạn chỉ có 1 chiếc xe để vận chuyển booth đi 3 đến 4 điểm cùng 1 lúc, sẽ khá đau đầu khi phải ngồi nghĩ ra sẽ đến điểm nào trước, điểm nào sau cũng như khi ra về thì dỡ booth ở đâu trước để chỉ cần một chiếc xe mà thực hiện công việc trong thời gian ngắn nhất. Ngoài ra, bạn cũng cần biết những quy định riêng tại từng địa phương đối với phương tiện vận chuyển, ví dụ thời gian cấm xe tải vào nội thành các thành phố, những con đường cấm xe tải, xe lôi…  để không gặp rắc rối trong công việc. Chẳng hạn bạn dự định sẽ chuyển hàng vào lắp đặt ở trung tâm thương mại vào lúc 21h00  nhưng vào giờ đó xe tải phải chờ bên ngoài thành phố đến 21h mới được chạy vào thì kế hoạch di chuyển của bạn xem như bị phá sản và có thể là bạn sẽ không kịp lắp đặt nếu như trung tâm thương mại đóng cửa không cho làm việc vào ban đêm. Vì vậy rất có thể xe sẽ phải vào thành phố từ trước 16h00 sau đó chất đồ lên và chờ đến 20h00 để được di chuyển tiếp. Nếu chưa có kinh nghiệm, bạn sẽ khó lường trước những vấn đề như thế này.

Với những dự án làm ở các tỉnh xa, để tiết kiệm chi phí thuê khách sạn, nhiều activation planner còn lên kế hoạch rất kỹ cho việc di chuyển sao cho họ có thể tranh thủ ngủ trên xe/máy bay vào ban đêm để tiết kiệm chi phí thuê phòng khách sạn, hoặc tính toán kỹ thời gian đến, đi sao cho việc check in, check out không vượt qua các “mốc giờ” như 0h, 12h để tránh phải trả thêm một ngày tiền phòng.

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Viết document thật rõ ràng, kỹ lưỡng

Việc vận hành một chương trình activation thường liên quan đến rất nhiều người, đôi khi project manager không thể làm việc trực tiếp với nhân sự cấp thấp bên dưới hoặc trực tiếp thị sát từng điểm, do đó bạn viết tài liệu hướng dẫn càng rõ ràng chi tiết thì nguy cơ cấp dưới thực hiện sai yêu cầu càng giảm thiểu. Bạn đừng trông đợi nhân viên cấp dưới của mình sẽ tự nhận biết và thực hiện công việc một cách tinh tế, đôi khi họ chỉ là supervisor, team leader, do khả năng có hạn, họ chỉ thực hiện công việc như kiểu thiên lôi chỉ đâu đánh đó. Vì vậy bạn nên chú ý viết thật kỹ các tài liệu sau:

Tài liệu training cho nhân sự (Team leader, PG, MC…): Mô tả công việc thật rõ ràng từng vị trí, giới thiệu những kiến thức sản phẩm cần chú trọng, gạch đầu dòng những điều cần chú ý về tác phong làm việc. Làm sao cho bất cứ nhân sự nào khi đọc vào mô tả công việc cũng biết mình nên làm gì và không nên làm gì,

Báo cáo: Bạn cần báo cáo những việc gì, cần chụp những tấm ảnh ở những lúc nào, chụp chi tiết gì… nên ghi thật rõ ràng trong báo cáo để đảm bảo các nhân sự bên dưới không quên

Các tài liệu bàn giao hàng hóa, thiết bị: Để đảm bảo không xảy ra mất mát, nhất là ở những chương trình có nhiều hạng mục nhỏ như đổi quà tặng, cần thiết kế các biểu mẫu bàn giao, kiểm đếm hàng hóa, tồn kho… giữa các nhân sự, bản ghi nhận thông tin khách hàng… sao cho xảy ra ít nhầm lẫn, thiéu sót nhất có thể gây thất thoát tài sản.

Có chế độ kiểm tra nghiêm ngặt

Với nhiều nhân sự và nhiều địa điểm thực hiện, để cho chương trình có chất lượng và nhất quán, đôi khi bạn cần phải có một chế độ kiểm tra giám sát riêng. Nhiều khách hàng thậm chí thuê riêng 1 agency để giám sát Agency thực hiện, với các quy trình QC (Quality Control) chặt chẽ. Bạn có thể cử ra một vài nhân sự chỉ chuyên đi kiểm tra giám sát, có thể đóng vai khách hàng (mystery shopper) hoặc giám sát bằng cách chấm điểm gian hàng, trưng bày… và cần đảm bảo những người này cũng được training kỹ về tiêu chuẩn của chương trình.

Báo cáo hàng ngày, hàng tuần, chú ý ngày đầu tiên thực hiện

Chương trình càng có nhiều hạng mục phức tạp, ví dụ khuyến mãi, đổi quà, tặng sampling… bạn cần có chế độ báo cáo càng chặt chẽ càng tốt. Có thể cho thực hiện báo cáo theo ngày, theo tuần, theo tháng… bằng SMS, email… tùy độ dài của dự án, để đảm bảo bạn luôn kiểm soát tốt tiến độ, nắm được lượng hàng đã phát ra, lượng tồn lại và quan sát, so sánh khối lượng công việc giữa các điểm.

Nhất là ngày đầu tiên, bạn cần phải thu thập đầy đủ báo cáo từ các nhân sự của mình, đặc biệt là hình ảnh, để nếu có hạng mục nào chưa như ý muốn bạn có thể chấn chỉnh kịp thời. Không nên đợi đến cuối đợt mới tổng hợp báo cáo, vì nếu bạn không sử dụng được đống số liệu, hình ảnh mà nhân sự tổng hợp gởi về thì chương trình cũng đã thực hiện xong mất rồi bạn không có cơ hội chụp ảnh cũng như sửa đổi báo cáo nữa.

How to Effectively Rebrand Your Social Media Profiles

By 

Published November 5, 2012

Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/rebrand-your-social-media-profiles/

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Has your business changed since you first created your social media profiles?

Are you considering a rebrand of your company’s existing social identity?

With the right preparation, it’s possible tomanage your social media rebranding efforts without losing a significant number of subscribers along the way.

Should You Rebrand Your Social Profiles?

Before we review the process of rebranding your social media profiles, consider whether a rebranding is truly right for your company.

According to Luke Brassinga of Likeable Brands, “True rebranding involves updating a company’s goals, message and culture.”

brandingYour social networking profile branding plays a major role in your company’s online image. Image source: iStockPhoto.

If you’re only conducting a rebrand because you like the sound of a new name better, your end results may not be worth the extra effort and potential for losses involved in the rebranding process.

As a result, rebranding is best suited for companies that are:

  • Changing their overall structure (perhaps as the result of a merger or acquisition).
  • Substantially diversifying their product offerings (to the point where the existing identity is no longer applicable).
  • Addressing business aspects that are outdated or failed.

If you’re approaching the rebranding process for one of these reasons, then here’s what you need to do to rebrand your social media profiles.

Step #1: Do Your Due Diligence

When Netflix first announced its ill-fated rebranding to split the Netflix and Qwiksterservices, it quickly became apparent that one vital element of the due-diligence process had been glossed over.

Because the company had failed to secure the “@Qwikster” username on Twitter, the handle was snatched up by a user who flooded his feed with images of a beloved children’s character making use of illicit substances.

jason castilloNetflix quickly scrapped the launch of the DVD-only service Qwikster in the face of negative publicity.

To avoid similar missteps that may tarnish your brand’s reputation, carry out the following tasks before even hinting to your audience about the potential for a rebranding:

  • Secure the .com version of your new brand name’s URL.
  • Make sure that the Twitter handle you want associated with your new brand is still available.
  • Run focus groups with existing customers to uncover any hidden issueswith your proposed rebranding.

Be sure you take the time to carry out this research before you roll out your full rebranding campaign. This will prevent (or at least minimize) the potential for gaffes that could derail your future marketing efforts.

Step #2: Understand Social Network Limitations

As you prepare for rebranding, there are some limitations that restrict your ability to change profile information. While these restrictions shouldn’t affect your ultimate ability to rebrand your social media profiles, you’ll want to account for them before you begin undertaking the change process.

Facebook—currently, Facebook does not allow page owners to change the names of their pages once they’ve accrued 200 likes, in order to prevent the buying and selling of Facebook fans.

While the recommended solution is to simply create a new page and encourage existing followers to like your new page, some users have reported reaching contacts within Facebook’s customer support system who have changed brand names manually in legitimate rebranding scenarios.

Your results may vary, but be aware that asking fans to like a new page will result in fan losses.

change usernameTo change your Facebook page name, simply erase the information found in the Name field and enter your new branding.

Twitter—changing your username and profile information within Twitter is quite easy. You log into your profile and navigate to the Settings area. Your first step will be tochange the current username listed in your account to your desired handle (assuming it’s available) and click Save changes:

rebrand on twitterRebranding your account on Twitter is an easy process.

Next, navigate to your Profile section to update your Twitter image, name, bio and URL:

profile sectionMake sure all possible Twitter profile fields reflect your new brand.

Making these changes will disseminate your rebranded information across your profile automatically.

You’ll still want to conduct an outreach campaign to educate followers on why these changes have occurred and what your new brand represents.

YouTube—while YouTube doesn’t allow users to change their registered usernames, it is possible to create vanity URLs that effectively “mask” an old channel’s content to display at a rebranded URL.

For complete instructions on how to carry out this process, take a look at the video below:

LinkedIn—finally, while there are no issues changing your personal LinkedIn profile, the rebranding process becomes more complicated when it comes to LinkedIn Groupsand Company Pages.

As of now, Group identities can only be changed five times, though this restriction applies to both changing your Group name and Group logo. To prevent complications,have your Group logo ready to go before changing your Group name in order to minimize the number of changes needed in the rebranding process.

In addition, LinkedIn Company pages can only be changed by contacting the LinkedIn Help Center directly.

rebranding linkedin pageRebranding your LinkedIn Company page is an important part of maintaining a consistent digital presence.

You’ll need to provide details on the reason behind the change, as well as confirm that you own both the current account and new branded identity.

Once this process is completed, you’ll also want to go through your updated page to ensure that any references to your old identity are removed.

Step #3: Communicate Clearly to Your Customers

Besides managing these technical concerns, customer communications should remain a top priority throughout the rebranding process.

Make sure that all of the following elements play a part in your communications strategy:

  • Create a video explaining the reasoning behind your rebranding—knowing why a company is changing its image may make the transition easier to swallow for some customers.
  • Make it very clear what is and is not changing—Netflix failed to immediately announce that it was changing not just its image, but the login process required to request videos as well, and the public outcry was swift. Avoid this mistake andconfirm up front what the transition means for your customers.
  • Communicate using as many formats as possible—informed customers are happier customers, so publish communications regarding your rebranding on your blog, your social media profiles, your email newsletter and any other web property your customers frequent.
Good customer communication is the key to an effective rebranding. Image source: iStockPhoto.

Don’t expect that your customers will be on board with your rebranding process initially. Most people are naturally resistant to change and will view your transition with everything from fear to skepticism to anger.

However, by clearly communicating from the get-go, you’ll ensure the process is carried out in the appropriate order and you’ll minimize the impact of lost customers and goodwill as you rebrand your image.

What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions on how to rebrand your business on your social media profiles? Please leave your questions and comments below.

How to Create Compelling Brand Experiences

Crafting design strategies that result in truly compelling brand experiences, products and services demands a change from traditional methods. It requires a more creative and iterative design approach, which is optimized towards identifying real human needs and addressing them with meaningful experiences. Paul Noble-Campbell delves deeper into five critical keys to uncovering those true success drivers.

Traditionally the design process had been begun after an organization creates of an exhaustive list of “must have” features and requirements, as means of a design brief. The assumptions used to generate this document are typically based solely on market research data and voice-of-customer (VOC) information.

Starting with a requirements document is a mistake!

Information garnered through market research tends to be based on what has sold in the past, providing only a rear-view mirror perspective of your market. Typically, VOC information consists of survey-generated data and anecdotal stories from ad-hoc customer groups. This data is helpful only for creating incremental improvements, but it does not provide the foundation of knowledge necessary to enable large leaps forward into underserved, differentiated, or “Blue Ocean” spaces (as described in the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Kim and Mauborgne).

Many user-needs are latent – so it is extremely unlikely that you could uncover any game-changing insights through customer interviews alone. It is unreasonable to expect that typical customers will have the imagination necessary to describe a future that is much different from today’s reality. The classic description of this phenomenon was immortalized by Henry Ford, who said “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”

If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.

Many organizations spend enormous effort analyzing and refining the wording of their requirements documents based on customers’ pre-conceptions of what they want. The result of following this process is that they miss what is of fundamental importance to their customers. This is why I believe that many requirements documents are “highly polished but deeply flawed”.

A better way – human needs drive success drivers

Uncovering latent and unmet user needs demands the use of contextual and generative design research techniques optimized for discovering the valuable insights that drive innovation and create brand experiences that delight customers. Such techniques as empathetic immersion, user observation and participatory design serve to provide a deeper understanding of what is truly important to customers.

This knowledge provides the background needed to create product experiences that are authentic, meaningful and engaging. Providing your customers with these types of compelling experiences results in increased customer loyalty and superior long-term business results.

With that in mind, here are the five critical keys to uncovering those true success drivers:

1. Identifying needs and solutions is an iterative process

The insights garnered from the holistic approach outlined here serve as a strong foundation to validate, complement, and challenge existing market research and VOC information.

Synthesize the insights you discover so that needs are described as opposed to solutions. View these as a flexible set of product guidelines that become more definitive as the design process progresses. As conceptual solutions are created based on this flexible “insight-based” framework, validate them with customers. Use this feedback to refine the product guidelines.

2. Provide benefits, not features

The value you provide your customers lives in the quality of the experience you create for them – much more so than in your products & services themselves.

The graphic below pokes fun at how a technology company might promote the features of a healthy product like an apple – rather than considering its health benefits, its natural flavor or the experience of biting into a fresh, juicy apple.

 

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Credit: Smart Design, Femme Den.

3. Understand the context of use

Understanding context is imperative when considering user experience. Observe the moment of use from a range of perspectives with the human experience as your central focus.

An example of one such perspective is the environment in which a product or service is used. Think about who is using your products and services and what physical abilities or limitations they may have. For instance, a product designed for hazardous areas would need to allow for an operator to interact with the device while wearing protective clothing and gloves.

Cultural background also shapes how people perceive their environment and the products and services they interact with. Factors such as the emotional, cultural, social, and physical aspects of the experience are often over-looked but are crucial inputs.

4. Consider the whole customer experience of the brand

Examine the user experience both before and after the moment of use. Think about how your customers research, purchase, setup, learn to use and maintain your products and services. Ask yourself: “What is the environmental impact of my product or service? What happens at the end of its service life?”

Identify the range of customer interactions with your brand (products, services, out-of-box experience, purchasing experience, user interface, customer service, web portals, etc.) and consider how they can be coordinated as a single brand eco-system. Each interaction provides an opportunity to positively impact the overall brand experience.

A holistic view of the entire product experience, including the product’s benefits to each stakeholder, offers valuable insight that may lead to new business opportunities and improve the overall experience.

5. Consider all key stakeholders

An effective brand experience strategy requires consideration of the motivations and aspirations of a range of stakeholders. On the customer side, the stakeholders are those who interact with a product or service such as end users and less obvious groups including purchasing influencers and maintenance providers.

A “Brand Audit” is a valuable exercise to gain a deeper understanding of how your customers respond to your brand and what preconceptions they have of your products and services.

Internal stakeholders, such as executives, marketing, sales, engineering, supply chain management and regulatory teams all have different and sometimes conflicting requirements for future development programs. These needs must be understood and correctly weighted against each other, so that they are always based on what is most important to your customers.

Summary

Constructing design guidelines based on deep insights into customer needs is the most vital step toward creating compelling brand experiences and greater brand loyalty. Get these guidelines wrong and you risk creating products and services that are “highly polished but deeply flawed”

 

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge

 

Unfortunately, many organizations fail to correctly prioritize stakeholder desires. These companies end up with inconsistent products and services that are muddled by a lack of coherent vision. In contrast, the few organizations that get it right successfully create a direct and honest statement that differentiates them from competitors.

Great design strategy is as much about saying “no” as it is about trying to be all things to all people. To achieve a unique and valuable market position, clear tradeoffs need to be made. If you want to achieve the highest possible value, you must provide your customers with meaningful experiences, not just a collection of features.

By Paul Noble-Campbell

Source: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2011/06/27/how-to-create-compelling-brand-experiences/

Top 10 luxury marketing ideas in 2011

Tiffany’s What Makes Love True app

Between stock market inconsistency and spending frugality interspersed with random surges in spending, consumer behavior was almost untrackable in 2011. Therefore, marketers were forced to up the ante and, as a result, had truly mind-blowing ideas.

There were a lot of marketing ploys this year – some were good, some were bad and others even went unnoticed. However, there were a few game-changing ideas that irrevocably changed the luxury industry.

Here the best luxury branded ideas of 2011, in no particular order:

Swarovski’s augmented reality installation – Precision-cut crystal maker took advantage of the busy Rodeo Drive traffic in Los Angeles with its Let It Sparkle campaign that combined in-store, out of home and mobile marketing in November.

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Consumers could download an application by GoldRun to their mobile devices that virtually brought Swarovski products to life through an installation and in branded stores.

The installation was structured like a DNA helix, on which consumers could tweet their own holiday messages using the hashtag #letitsparkle. Consumers were able to text their messages in to the shortcode 877877 and start the message with the word “sparkle.”

There was also a live feed of the Let It Sparkle messages on Swarovski Elements’ Facebook page.

Luxury shoppers strolling along Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles are able to use the augmented reality app by holding their phones up to storefront windows and displays on the street to take pictures of limited-edition products that were made in collaboration with brands such as Missoni, La Perla and Stuart Weitzman.

The products included jewelry, fashion, accessories, lingerie and footwear, all of which are made with Swarovski Elements.

Swarovksi increased brand awareness, fan loyalty and likely sales through its Let It Sparkle initiative.

Chanel optimizes site pages for mobile – Chanel led iconic luxury brands through the mobile-optimization of its makeup, fragrance, watch and jewelry sites.

The brand left behind key competitors such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Gucci, which do not have optimized sites, by adding another way to showcase its products.

Users could search for and browse through fragrance, makeup and skincare products, as well as special offers and a store locator starting in February.

Consumers could also quickly buy products from their phone.

Chanel added to this strategy by allowing users to view its fine jewelry and watch sites on mobile devices.

Chanel optimized the sites for mobile

Users can learn about watch information and manufacturing, complete with video and high-resolution images, on the “What’s New” section of the site.

Consumers can tap on a jewelry or watch collection and can swipe the page or tap on the arrows to move through the products.

The chosen piece is brought into a spotlight, where users can further examine the pieces with pinch-and-zoom.

Chanel took this opportunity to not only showcase its products in a beautiful way in a new platform, but also to position itself as a tech-savvy brand in-tune with changing times.

Tiffany & Co.’s What Makes Love True campaign – Tiffany allows consumers to peek inside its branded world with the What Makes Love True microsite and mobile app.

What Makes Love True shows real-life videos, stories and curated customer content mixed with romantic movies and songs. What Tiffany did was create an environment that epitomizes the branded lifestyle.

What Makes Love True shows stories and videos from Tiffany customers on how the couples met and fell in love. There are also sections for curated content from consumers to share love stories and a map where consumers can pinpoint a place in New York where a monumental relationship moment occurred.

Tiffany’s What Makes Love True site

Furthermore, users can browse through love songs, romantic films and lounges and bars in New York to spend time with that special someone.

To add to the marketing, Tiffany created its own channel on the Internet radio service provider Pandora that was a list of all love songs from artists such as Jack Johnson, Beyonce and Train.

Consumers were served an ad on Pandora’s iPhone app where they could click to download the app.

The jeweler also marketed What Makes Love True through its Web site, social media pages and additional iPhone and iPad apps.

What Makes Love True intertwined Tiffany and the idea of true love, likely allowing the brand to increase sales on its most famous product – the engagement ring.

Burberry lets customers shop from the runway – British apparel and accessories designer Burberry is offered online male consumers a chance to buy straight from the runway following a live-streaming of the brand’s men’s Prorsum spring/summer 2012 collection in June.

Burberry is streaming the runway show from Milan athttp://www.burberry.com in a one-two punch that responded to instant consumer gratifications and also accelerated the concept-to-store process to undermind high-street knockoffs.

Select apparel from the show was available to order after the show with a seven-week delivery time.

Burberry had already employed a click-to-buy tactic after runway shows for its women’s collection, but this was the first time that the brand has done it for male consumers.

Burberry’s countdown to the show

This is likely one of the best moves that Burberry could have made, especially since affluent men are buying luxury products now more than ever.

Select customers from the Burberry retail location in the SoHo district of Manhattan were invited to watch the runway show in-store and buy products via iPad with the help of a sales associate, which accelerated the buying experience.

Runway shows provide an exclusive behind-the-scenes glance into a luxury brand’s world. Before, only the elite and special consumers were able to see runway shows first-hand.

By providing live, online streaming video coverage, consumers can feel as if they are part of the brand experience. Brands use this as leverage to reach their optimal target audience.

However, this strategy likely will not dilute a brand, despite the fact that mainstreaming a brand’s fashion show could make the show more accessible and therefore less desirable to luxury consumers.

In fact, some experts believe that the opportunity to wear something before anyone else sees it is truly engaging the consumer, their biggest fans.

Nordstrom’s acquisition of flash-sale site HauteLook – Department store chain Nordstrom’s $180 million acquisition of flash-sale site HauteLook in February moved the retailer into a more prominent Web position and will solidify its role in one of the fastest-growing sectors of retail.

HauteLook lets consumers hone-in on the specials of one specific brand, most of whom share customers at both HauteLook and Nordstrom. Through this move, Nordstrom is going head-to-head with other popular flash-sale sites such as Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and Net-A-Porter.

Because most consumers who luxury brands target do not need to pay discounted prices for premium products, there was a whisper at the time about whether brands that discount – or in the case of Nordstrom, associate with those that discount – are tarnishing their name in the luxury sector.

Nordstrom acquired HauteLook

However, this does not seem to be the case here with the Nordstrom-HauteLook deal.

In fact, not only will this bring value to Nordstrom by letting its customers shop and browse in a multichannel context, but it will help the retailer move products through HauteLook and earn revenue.

Furthermore, Nordstrom Rack, the retailer’s discount subsidiary, already exists and is profitable. Any chance of the brand’s name being spoiled would have already occurred.

This acquisition can only help Nordstrom further innovate, since this is arguably the first time that a traditional retailer has acquired a company specializing in online private sales.

If anything, Nordstrom paved the way for other retailers to make a more lucrative business for themselves by latching on to one of the fastest-growing retail sectors.

Missioni for Target – The partnership between mass retailer Target and Italian label Missoni built anticipation through creative social media, television and Web marketing that avoided the latter’s luxury status dissolution.

Some brands have created buzz in the past when combining with lesser-known or lower-end companies. There is always an uncertainty of whether or not the collaboration will dilute the image of the higher-end brand.

The blog titled “All the Way Up Here,” surfaced in the fashion world and, at first glance, appeared to have no connection with neither Missoni nor Target.

However, the blog did release exclusive first glances at the Missoni for Target collection and included mentions of fonder and designer Margherita Missoni as the author’s fashion idol.

A Missoni for Target commercial was also broadcast on TV and YouTube.

By completely separating the world of Missoni and Missoni for Target, the luxury brand has made a conscience effort to ward-off worries that its luxury status could be harmed.

While Ms. Missoni does reply to the blogger’s tweets, the Missoni brand has made no effort to promote the Target collection on its social media pages or Web site.

Keeping the lines completely separate from each other is the best way for luxury brands to retain their high-class status while opening the brand to mass consumers.

Missoni for Target

It does seem that the plan worked – the Missoni for Target collection created so much buzz that it crashed Target’s servers on the first day. In fact, it is still hard to find pieces on the Web site and in-store even though the collection dropped in September.

Indeed, Missoni’s image remains intact and, by giving younger consumers a taste of the brand, could have built relationships with women who may not be able to buy branded products now, but eventually will.

Ralph Lauren’s digital takeover of The New York Times– Lifestyle brand Ralph Lauren Corp. heavily relied on the New York Times print, digital and mobile editions to advertise its collections.

In September, Ralph Lauren bought out a solo sponsorship of the New York Times iPad app with content including streaming and embedded video and commerce from Ralph Lauren Magazine.

The app takeover includes shopping and video as well as a letter from founder and chairman/CEO Ralph Lauren, his car collection, a poem and the principles of craftsmanship. The magazine was displayed through banner and tower ads in the app.

To make a cross-platform transition, Ralph Lauren used the same type of advertising in the Web site version of the New York Times, mainly taking up the coveted top two panels on either side of the masthead and a pushdown ad underneath the masthead.

In fact, it stood out from typical ads with a click-through video leading to Mr. Lauren talking about his inspiration, process and styling techniques for the fall 2011 collection.

Ralph Lauren also used the New York Times Web site to push specific collections, such as its 2011 holiday apparel and accessories in December.

The ads led to the brand’s new holiday microsite where consumers can shop the collection.

Ralph Lauren also takes out ads in the New York Times print publication throughout the year.

Many luxury brands are using all channels of the New York Times – including print, online and mobile – to reach a varied number of consumers who may only spend time on one medium.

Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” exhibit – Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York served as a way to further story-telling and align the brand with quality.

Consumers from all over the world came to see the namesake brand founder and late creative director’s vision at the museum.

On the heels of the closing Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty” exhibit in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that the exhibit drew in 661,509 visitors.

Alexander McQueen promotion in the Met Gala iPad app

The exhibit, which ran from May 4 to Aug. 7, was the eighth most popular exhibit to ever run in the Met’s 141 years. It is on the same list as the Mona Lisa, Treasures of Tutankhamun and Picasso exhibits.

The Savage Beauty exhibit is the most-visited among the exhibitions curated by the Met’s Costume Institute since its inception in 1946.

In the three months that the exhibit ran, the museum gained 23,000 new members, which is more than double the same time last year.

The design, detail and craftsmanship that go into the making of luxury goods are now being highlighted in museums around the world.

As the economy continues to be unstable, the importance of history and a brand’s core values increases. This is especially true in the case of Alexander McQueen, whose death likely sparked even more curiosity from museum-goers.

Venues like a museum can demonstrate the value of a brand in a more sophisticated, cultural and less marketing-oriented situation.

In addition, as new markets emerge, brands need to ensure that the new pool of affluent consumers understand the brand history and associate the brand with luxury.

Museums offer a place for brands to do this, while directly marketing to educated people who are fans of the arts and high-quality products.

Luxury brands using Facebook commerce – Since this is the age of digital and Facebook is becoming one of a brand’s most prominent marketing channels, it only makes sense that marketers should rearrange their pages to allow social shopping.

In 2011, some luxury marketers have taken advantage of the landscape by letting customers buy products on Facebook.

One smart retailer out of the gate was Italian jewelry and accessories manufacturer Bulgari. It continued the push of its Mon Jasmin Noir fragrance with ambassadress Kirsten Dunst by creating an Enchanted Garden Facebook app where consumers can buy branded products.

Consumers can go to different parts of the garden where they can “check-in” via Facebook, discover new content and begin their purchase process.

Additionally, apparel designer Oscar de la Renta is using Facebook to sell exclusive products available only to fans of the brand on the social network site. There is one original item per month.

Oscar de la Renta Facebook commerce

For example, the brand sold a fragrance ring of its Esprit d’Oscar fragrance in November for $65.

Furthermore, British label Burberry broke into Facebook commerce with the release of its newest fragrance Burberry Body.

Additionally, Diane von Furstenberg, on the other hand, allowed consumers to buy a limited-edition, Facebook-exclusive wrap dress with its wrap-of-the-month promotion.

By allowing Facebook commerce, luxury marketers are not only driving sales, but are keeping consumers coming back for more if they offer monthly exclusives similar to Diane von Furstenberg and Oscar de la Renta.

Orient-Express’ A Journey Like No Other campaign – International hotel, river cruise and rail company Orient-Express is launched a digital awareness campaign called A Journey Like No Other starring a fictional affluent family and their journey around the world through a video series.

The online-only campaign started Sept. 19 and included a video homepage takeover and banner ads on the New York Times Web site as well on the Monocle, TripAdvisor, Wall Street Journal and Daily Beast sites.

These links take consumers to the microsite http://www.orient-express.com/ajourneylikenoother, where the bulk of the campaign resides.

Orient-Express campaign

In a series of videos each starring one or a few of the characters, consumers can get a view of the Orient Express properties in Italy, Brazil and Peru.

The campaign watches the family of Duke, Lauren, Maximilian and Penelope while they go on their journeys and explore new cities.

Each represent a part of the luxury travel audience, and who each gravitate toward some special part of A Journey Like No Other, the brand said.

In addition to the video series, consumers can meet the family through images, discover the Orient-Express destinations and share content via social media.

A few of the properties from the Orient-Express portfolio shown in the campaign include the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train, Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and the Hiram Bingham train.

Since the majority of the company’s advertisers are luxury-focused publications, they are an easy target for affluent consumers.

Article by Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York

Source: http://www.luxurydaily.com/top-10-luxury-branded-ideas-in-2011/