Category Archives: Brand

Five fold increase in web traffic?

ImageEveryone loves a success story, but getting a five fold increase in unique visitors is quite dreamy. Here’s the story of Julian, his cattle and how Go 2 Market turned up the heat.

Go 2 Market started working with Julian Downs of Rannoch Meats in early February 2013 to help better understand the prospects for growing their farm direct beef sales. Julian, an IT professional during the week, and his wife raise Red Devon cattle in Greytown property in their spare time.

Rannoch Meats had been selling direct to the public for a few years and wanted to crank up sales. With little spare time on their hands they needed someone to come in and quickly assess and provide options around channels, recommend changes to current marketing and generate sales.

Go 2 Market quickly engaged with the hospitality sector to understand their requirements, the competition and the opportunities for a local food producer to get attention.

When introduced to the idea, Wellington restaurants liked having local beef on the menu especially if it came from a lesser known heard of bred of cattle. By calling in to speak with the chef at Ti Kouka Go 2 Market was able to have Rannoch Meats Red Devon beef feature in the restaurant’s dish for the prestigious Wellington on a Plate competition. Calls to other restaurants were also positively received and soon there was interest a plenty for Julian to followup.

The outcome was much the same for direct sales to home buyers. Go 2 Market spread the word and it didn’t take long for people to understand the value proposition of buying beef direct from the farm. Part of this awareness raising took place as a result of a survey. Go 2 Market surveyed past, current and prospective customers. The results were very informative and were turned into actions including communicating the main information customers wanted, more promotion, and changes to delivery.

Social media also played a part in awareness raising including reaching out to bloggers in the food community. As a result Rannoch Meats was promoted in a number of food related blog posts.

The outcome of all the calls, emails, social media and conversations, was an exponential increase in awareness of Rannoch Meats. Over the five week period of Go 2 Market’s engagement Rannoch Meats website had more than five times the number of unique visitors it had for the same period in 2012. Every day the traffic was higher relative to the same period the previous year.

Pleasingly, there were also 23% more page visits and 9% more time spent on the site. The bounce rate also dropped by 30% as proportionately more people reached the site they wanted, www.rannochmeats.co.nz Best of all, increases in all metrics over the same period last year continue to be at very high levels even after the engagement with Go 2 Market.

Julian has the final word on the engagement “Objectives have been achieved and I am one very happy customer of Go 2 Market.”

Thanks Julian, bon appétit!

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If first impressions count, then what are you telling your customers?

Have there ever been more options for pricing than there are today: one day deal sites, online pricing, freemium, optimised pricing, auction sites are just a few of the possibilities for setting a price, and an impression. So if first impressions count, then what are you telling your customers?

But of the four P’s of marketing, price usually receives far less thought than the other three. Not only does the price of your product or service say so much about what you are offering but it’s so important to your business’s survival.

If you have a new brand getting the price right is often very difficult. And while there is some room and time to fine tune things the longer the price remains unchanged the harder it will be to adjust customer’s perceptions.

Your business may suit being involved in an auction site where people bid for seasonal products e.g. Buystand. Alternatively you may have a more perishable product in which case there’s a real benefit in selling each days ‘stock’ for the best overall profit you can. That’s where price optimisation can help. One company who work in this area are Pricetech.  Their tagline appeals to me and gives you an indication of what to expect: revenue management and profit optimisation.

One thing’s for sure is that there will always be people willing to pay for the best, or even just willing to pay the most. This applies to houses, equally as it does for hotels, services, food, electronics … you name it. So depending on your product I’d always suggest seeing if you can get the highest price in the market. If your market share ambitions, brand, and the other elements of your marketing mix allow could you have a sustainable business by pricing as the most expensive? If not what’s involved to get there and how feasible is it?

But actually, you don’t have to have the highest price to get people wanting your brand. The point is that matching your price with the rest of your marketing mix will ensure satisfied customers even if customers pay very little for what they buy from you.

What about giving your product away? In the software game it’s called ‘Freemium’. One of the best articles about Freemium why and how comes from Techcrunch. On a similar vein I share thoughts in an earlier blog about Goupon type offers.

Go 2 Market principle: create the right impression with your customers by ensuring your price matches the rest of your marketing mix. You’ll create a positive impression with your customers and your bottom line.

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Which is it: rewards, loyalty, or re-alty?

I got some comments about my last blog on two leading rewards/loyalty programmes (NextBee and Fielo) and driving loyalty through rewards. Plus concerns of customers being loyal to the programme rather than the brand. All worth discussing.

Coincidently when truncating the two terms, rewards and loyalty, the word ‘re-alty’ is created. Quite aptly I believe. Turning to the trusty thefreedictionary.com the meaning of ‘realty’ is: “belongings, property, holding – something owned; any tangible or intangible possession that is owned by someone”.

These words speak to me about ‘customer loyalty’ (intangible possession), ‘rewards’ (belongings), and ‘perception’ (owned by someone). The kind of words that resonate with rewards and loyalty.

But coming back to the point. Rewards provide an opportunity to enhance loyalty. For example, rewarding someone for being a customer for 5 or x years is a nice thing to do and is generally appreciated by the customer making them more loyal.

Also offering customers a reward (or incentive) to change their behaviour e.g. go to online billing, may increase their loyalty to the brand. Friend get friend offers (referral) using rewards will work if there is customer loyalty; as you don’t recommend something you don’t rate to a friend.

So in my opinion rewards and loyalty work hand in hand. However, some rewards such as a reward for not leaving (typical in the electricity sector) doesn’t recognise loyalty but is more blackmail.

Further I believe that there are different levels of loyalty, for example:

  • Despite rewarding a customer, a bad customer experience or competing offer may make them ignore their level of loyalty and change brands
  • Some people are more loyal to the programme than the brand.

With the right programme, you can manage rewards to maximise the benefits and limit the downsides of a loyalty programme.  My previous and next blog will cover more about the best options for rewards/loyalty.

Being part of an umbrella rewards/loyalty programme makes your brand part of the programme and the drive for rewards can be more important than your brand. Being part of a programme rather than having your own also has an impact on the perception about rewards. Progressive Brand’s One Card and New World’s Fly Buys are a good example of perception about ownership and brand.

Go 2 Market principle: as always, customer perception (their ‘realty’) is the important thing. Use rewards within the right programme, manage the rewards to drive loyalty and create something that works for you and your customer. That should be your reality.

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Who copied my idea?

I’ve already blogged about being a flexible thinker and starting to take a different perspective. Here’s another article that writes in general about the same topic (don’t be put off by ‘startup’ being in the title): Why You Should Embrace Opposing Views at Your Startup

The point is, whether it’s your sector or a different one, don’t dismiss ideas that deliver to customer need. In fact go looking for what your competitors and others are doing, and consider why and how they’re doing it. You may copy the idea (staying clear of intellectual property issues) or adapt. When it’s incorporated as part of your total offering no one is likely to know or care.

As an example, a useful business trend right now is to suggest other products or services that align with a purchase. They might either be complementary, or popular with other people that have bought the same product. This isn’t anything new, rather returning to good old personalised customer focus. Technology is the enabler for this now. For example, Air New Zealand sent me an email with some accommodation, rental car/campervan suggestions based on a booking I’ve made with them. They also included some non-sales information about our destination too. To me their approach is unobtrusive, easy and practical.

Fashion items including clothes, books and music all provide an opportunity for adding more benefit (and sales). But there’s many more businesses that could do the same surely, e.g energy companies selling energy efficient products; florists providing a service to manage all your special occasions; motor vehicle dealers arranging insurance; sports stores that suggest complementary items, to name a few. Think of it as: ‘what problem can I help solve for my customer?’

I’d suggest you want to understand what emotion is being stirred up in users when a different approach is being used and replicate the good stuff. Also ensure it’s aligned with your brand and customer needs.

Of course you have to try and find this stuff. Talking to your customers is always the best bet. Try to do it yourself, but otherwise engage with partners that are interested in your success. Customers will know what your competition are doing.

Go 2 Market principle:  don’t be precious. Adapt others ideas to help create your success.

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Why not, everyone’s doing it

Seems to me that everyone is doing it, brand extensions, that is. Caterpillar footwear, Jeep clothing, Amazon tablets, State Insurance roadside assistance, Vogel’s cereal, Air New Zealand taxis.

So can your brand also be extended to products or services that aren’t its reason for being?

In my last blog I talked about focus on your target market. So this topic seems a natural followon, or extension if you like.

There are lots of good examples where consumers will buy an additional product from a brand they trust. Your brand’s credibility and also the perceived link between product extensions are all important. Summed up by this article on what are the limits of your brand’s relationship with its target consumer, and what will your consumer allow you to do.

The power of the brand can be impressive. Even for older brands e.g Pan Am, an airline brand of yesteryear, is today selling travel merchandise.

However, don’t underestimate the challenge with jumping into a brand extension. Firstly, has the rationale for the brand extension been thought through, and does it support the strategic direction. Second, you need a viable product or service that adds value to consumers you’re focused on. Then you need to ensure it doesn’t detract from your current brand equity either by its introduction or by you losing focus on your main activity.

There are a number of brands that haven’t been extended e.g Toyota. They arguably had consumer permission to sell up market cars but didn’t have the credibility so it developed the Lexus brand. What about Coca Cola? It sells a vast variety of drinks, but very few have the Coke brand name. So brand extensions are not always the answer, and indeed need to be very carefully considered and managed.

Final thoughts from the CE of Starbucks, Howard Schultz: “consumer-based business is changing so significantly that you just can’t embrace the status quo”. They are really trying to push the envelope according to Starbucks Coffee Marketing.

Go 2 Market principle: understand well your brand equity, customer perceptions of a brand extension, and how to deliver an extension that strengthens your brand.

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