USP

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Kono Pizza Blackberry Delivery

 

Apparently you can now order a Kono Pizza delivered to you via Blackberry Services, that’s an interesting way of looking at mobile marketing , perfectly localized for our country.

*It was hard to capture the photo whilst driving and having beeping coming from all around on this Rass Beirut Cross Road.

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Flipside beirut on Foursquare - using locatiob based marketing

Was tweaking through foursquare for businesses section when this stopped me in my feet. I felt so ecstatic with the idea I wanted to share with you what Flipside Beirut are doing, by pioneering location based marketing.

I will try to contact them to find out more, in the meantime let me know if you’ve tried the place before.

And Check:

- Their foursquare page

- Their twitter page

- Their Website

- Their Facebook page

It is obvious that the promotion is quite new, but let us keep watching to see where it gets.

So, do you know of any other businesses in Lebanon that have effective foursquare promotions? Or any ones in the Middle East per se.

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Bala Nom - Kaffi 3a Platinum.

While putting up this billboard costs a small fortune, Platinum, have not put much into the design and copy of this ad. And yet it is a cute example of Naive advertising, just as naive art is considered a great form of art. And as it is, I would not be surprised if the ad proved to be a money turner for the business.

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Lesson #1: Your audience is ever more demanding!

TRUE STORY:

While watching the first football game of the World Cup:

- my father in Law: Damn this transmission has degraded, before they used to show the name of the player who has the ball and info about him, zoom into the player’s faces more when they replay, replay the goals better…

- my brother in law: Dad, this is on Playstation 2, not in ‘the real’  Fifa

Yes, we are getting more spoiled with new multimedia technologies, traditional media have to provide more information rich data, better interactivity options and more sharing opportunities. In short we want to be better informed and more involved and we expect you to do something about it!

Lesson #2: The Stakeholders Expect You to React FAST!

A day into world cup and everyone is complaining about these darn Vuvuzela’s. Three days into the world Cup and Germany filters out Vuvuzela noises to spare the fans. A couple days more Britain Joins and people start petitioning for banning the Vuvuzela( with over 300,000 fans on facebook and counting) . Add a couple of days and an app that adds vuvuzela noises to sites that filter them is created following the de-vuvuzelaing applets!

Needless to say, your clients will expect the same response rates from you!

Lesson #3: Do not forget about unexploited niches

For instant, women  have to suffer while their prince charming enjoys row after row of football matches day in day out for a whooole month.   So while everyone is gold mining the idea of the big flat screens to display the World Cup, why don’t you capitalize on the opposite – making your place a haven for football haters?

This Le Mall ad may be an attempt at just what I’m talking about, but I hate the fact that it belittles women. As a woman  I would not identify with it and will consider it an attempt to trick me into going to Le Mall and being stuck watching football, rather than showing me a clear exit path  – The “learn about football so people do not make fun of you” message VERSUS  the ” while he is watching football break loose and shop” message I would like to hear.

So you see, there is a real propitious niche there, that your competitors are not exploring. And let us not forget about children, where do people with children leave kids to go watch the games? You say grandparents, I say create a replacement product…There are a millions of ideas and campaigns buried in unrealized consumer demand in your market too-  Be creative, we’re expecting no less!

My personal favorites in this regard is the above Macy Gray video clip and this great post by Maya Zankoul.

Lesson #4: Shamelessly exploit trends?

I am not even gonna go into the myriad of brilliant and so and so ads, campaigns and offers linked to the world cup. Yes it is a good tactic. Yes, it will help you not stay behind, but if you truely wanna innovate, go back to point 3.

Lesson #5: We are watching You, and we have everything ON RECORD!

One of the first big time fxxx-ups in this world cup was the British Goalkeeper giving a slip to the ball, right after catching it. Man, it was a media circus at my in-law’s house. With the whole family lividly replaying his walk of shame and lively commenting how his career is over. And all of this replicated across millions of households in reaction to a slip of a man who by default can not catch all the balls shot at him. So Imagine what your Stakeholders will do if YOU slip up!

Have you learned any new marketing lessons from the world cup, let me know!?

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Resisting Change

Photo by the fantastic Naeema Zareef (twitter.com/naeema)

Two events have been the highlight of the last week of 2009 for me. One of them was my darling’s stiff resistance of the flu and the other was a live encounter with a typical Marketing Manager 1.0. And , eventually, yours truly got to celebrate the assent of the new year in bed with fever as well… making the lessons learned from these two encounters all the more vivid.

1)Ignore it, Maybe it’ll go away

Years of evolution have not killed the breadwinner’s instinct in men, which even stands above the instinct of self preservation. When your man falls sick, he would always keep on going to work, as usual, doing all his house chores in an exemplary manner, without admitting that something is wrong. I suppose in ancient tribes, the sick were isolated or cast out of the villages & left to die alone. So God forbid for your man to admit that something is wrong. But what goes in the manager’s 1.0′s head is beyond my understanding. M1.0 says that the marketing has not changed and that the foundations and underlying rules still remain valid, he has a moment of truth when he condescends to admit that advertising has changed, and then he switches back to denial by saying that advertising is only a part of marketing, he goes back to touching on changing customer needs, but breaks off at specifics… And, of course, in the same manner that prince charming audaciously refuses to take a sick day and stay in bed, M1.0 would say, – “We do not need a website now, we’ll start working on it in a couple of months, we’re studying our competition for now.” But by the time they are weakened and overpowered by their disease, the first would’ve plowed through a week of 20% productivity at work and then lying in bed for 2 days to recuperate and another week and a half of insane coughing, which is a significant trade off for staying at home for two days, as I did, and then going back to work a 100% recharged.  And our M1.0 Would greatly benefit said competitors by not having a significant online presence by as much as he will frustrate his prospects, who would be unable to find a way to contact them and find out more about their products. And no, a Facebook page is not as good as Corporate website (if you disagree with that, let me know, I’d be more than happy to share my views!).

2) Time Heals everything

Mon Beau will tell you that it takes seven days to cure a flu anyhow, so why bother and put your life on hold? M1.0 says that brand awareness will come with time, after my comment about missing opportunities 5 months after market entry. Well, in my dictionary, one week equals, on average, 70 tweets, 3 blogposts, and a possible email marketing or other online campaign. Multiply that by 5 and you will have thousands of touchpoints with your clients that come at a fraction of a cost of traditional media. Maybe our generation is too aggressive, but less than a month in my new job, I am already feeling unproductive for not bringing in more value and having to cram up on literature/research 50% of my time and that is precisely why, I use the remaining 50% to make actionable change NOW. In my eye, less is more in the long run, and little things done now, be it a greeting card, sms, news release… may not just prevent you from LOSING an existing client, but also get you a new client TODAY!

3) Expenditure = ROI

When hubby does reach a pharmacy, after 5 days, he’ll sweep off the shelves everything  that can remotely help him, or at least that is what he thinks. But by that time, the poles have shifted and all he needs to do is really wait, sip orange juice and rest to recover, instead of ingesting antibiotics which will further drain his life -resources. M1.o will also go to extremes, after 5 months, hiring top models, pampering them and doing runway shows, publishing ads in glitzy magazines… in two words maniacally spending!  But same-same, time would’ve done its thing, and that extra investment would’ve been too little too late! But that does not mean that you shouldn’t still take in your vitamins regularly. Don’t wait until you get a soar throat to take action. Act now, act always! Because,

4) Nobody Cares about YOU, as much as You!

Your boss is not going to give you a day off when you are saying you are a little sick but already came to work, and your clients are not going to run 20 google searches, searching for your coordinates if you landing page, facebook page, twitter handle or corporate website have not been SEO and keyword optimized. And if your marketing campaign does not relate to me, your target client, and if I do not find what I want about you, no money in the world would buy you my consumer’s sentiment and loyalty. And beware, I am too studying your competitors, and so far , they are ahead of you.

5) Birds do it, bees do it…

Men have this secret solidarity pact about enduring illness at the office, when I used to take a sick day at my previous job, I sometimes felt my boss took it as a personal offense. On the other hand, my spouse’s boss can call him while he’s sick saying, – “Aren’t you man enough, chuck on some pills and get on going!”. Bizarre and unacceptable, but, nonetheless true! But, even if denial is the trend, you should take advantage of it. While everyone is “hachooing” at the office, retreat and come back rosy cheeked and productive. And while your competitors are stuck in their old ways, you have the time to experiment, innovate and advance! Your mindset is your only handicap!

Post Approved for publishing by Prince Charming, M1.0 feedback pending. What about you?

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coaching for parents

What do you think of this?

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 I praise the internet Gods for this  age that we live in! An age  in which one can extend a call-out to anyone and be answered. Remember I sent out an inquiry to Cedar’s Premium regarding their Kazouza drink? … Well graciously, Mr. Joseph Najm , the AGM Cedar’s Premium SAL, has been very helpful in giving me full disclosure & replying to my nosy questions throughout a series of emails. And not only is the Kazouza mystery uncovered,  but I have also been able to get a sneak preview of his company’s plans for the future and the overall brand philosophy.

 Turns out the are 3 more elusive flavors, which we haven’t stumbled upon yet, totaling to a magical octagon: orange, lemon ice, pink lemonade, watermelon, strawberry melon, grenadine lime, tamarind and berry mix. And Mr. Najm says that the drink can be found in many supermarkets and minimarkets, however it will be a while before it will be distributed to all shops. So you’d better watch out, and inform me of locations of sightings :)

 As we all were guessing, the product’s mission is to take us back in time with a twist, “ Kazouza 1941 is the nostalgic, yet renewed,  Lebanese product/brand with varied and innovative flavors and a unique bottle shape differentiating it from available products in the market. It was decided to name the brand Kazouza 1941 to be true to our positioning of an authentic Lebanese product.” But what we did not know was the source of the magic numbers 1941, but be clueless no longer as Joseph explains, “1941 was the year “Kazouza” product was launched under the “Najem” brand; it was the first bottled soft drink in Lebanon, as the Sprite or 7Up lemon lime today.  And Cedar’s Premium is a new company owned by the descendants of Najem in 1941.”

 And with an eye on the future and a proud smirk on his face ( I can only presume that this is what was taking place behind his laptop’s screen), Joseph leaves us expecting more by adding, “Cedar’s Premium will launch in the near future other typical Lebanese products/brands such as but not limited to Jalloul which will have a different target segment and packaging.”

 

I think it is a beautiful story of rebirth of a family business, especially that I am a sucker for all nostalgic products. And I would once again like to thank Mr. Joseph Najm, for the attention he has given me, by taking his time away from strategic planning and marketing to satisfy a blogger’s curiosity.

 

P.S. I know I have been a bad blogger lately, as I am being drawn back to my work routine and the tasks are building up.

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Thank you for bearing with me through my internet silence. I would like to wish you & your families a Happy Fitr, hope you have been enjoying the holidays as much as I have! Certainly, once I return back to the office there will be a huge post dedicated to Corporate Fitr Greeting Cards.

But today I would like to take a look at a few un-traditional “Halal” Products & Resources which have popped into my scope this month.  What is the idea behind those? Are they serving their purpose?  And most importantly, how genuine are their brands?

First stop, Halal YouTube alternatives.

While IslamicTube isn’t something new, there’s a new kid on the block – Naqa Tube. Unlike Islamic Tube which only offers Islamic content, Naqa Tube is trying to offer a full alternative to YouTube. Visitors can upload their own Videos, which they can edit themselves through the site, and publish it after it gets sensored by Naqa. Some of the YouTube content is  also edited by Naqa and hosted on their site. Curious of what these standards may be ? Asides from the obvious, no nudity, comes an array of prohibitions: no images of women (even properly covered), no music whatsoever, content harming the Saudi state, any of its scholars or citizens is prohibited ( talk about freedom of speech).   The founders claim that during the first two months of its launch the site has received around 6000 visitors, a nothing by YouTube standards.  And then let us sigh and wonder how come Naqa’s team haven’t a doubt that Naqa is the viable alternative for the conscious muslim?

& What about Halal Search Engines?

The developers are ecstatic at having over 500,000 visitors in the first two months since I’m Halal’s launch and are hoping it will be he default search engine in every Muslim home. So how does it work? We’ve been having a party at twitter trying to beat this engine and researching what it considers as Halal & Haram. Basically, it works on the principle of  ‘ignore it & it will go away’ , where words such as sex are classified as completely Haram  (3 out of three) and no results whatsoever are displayed, no explanations offered. So you can not even fetch religious and educational texts on forbidden subjects, or rather keywords. So the search formula implemented by the developers is completely out of focus. Of course it must be easier programming wise to just block keywords rather  filtering out immoral  and offering alterative beneficial content as this will involve ranking & indexing.

Take it for a spin: Pork is completely Haram, Bacon isn’t. Haifa is all halal, Pamela Anderson is 1/3 Haram.A ll sexual innuendo including the words gay & ass are 3/3 haram though these words are initially neutral.

Another failure in I’m Halal team’s search capabilities is awareness (or honesty). They position I’m Halal as the first Halal search engine, but with just a basic Google search I’ve found a bunch of alternatives : http://www.musulman.co.uk/, http://www.theislamicsearch.com/, http://www.islamicsearchengine.com/, which are far more viable.

& Halal Cosmetics?

In products leveraging on religious values, the most important element of the brand’s  success & continuity lies in having an untainted reputation, with the public identifying and believing in the brand’s integrity, moral values and honesty. In our Social Media world any veering from the straight path becomes all too apparent… And that is why I am wondering why the following story hasn’t hit spotlight and angered the public, because personally, I felt really duped when I found out this,  by just doing simple google search. But let us hit it from the top….

Layla Mandi has recently been all over the media promoting her new line of Halal cosmetics OnePure now sold in Dubai, which she conceived after converting to Islam and finding out ”that even touching haram animals was forbidden and it was natural for me to understand that to use haram products on my body would prohibit me from praying. I would absorb forbidden ingredients into my skin which I could not wash off”(from the company’s about page).  Layla’s pitch of sincere devoutness came packaged in photos of her proudly sporting a traditional 3abaya and a veil, both on the OnePure website and across the media… making us perceive her as someone who embraced Islam in all of its details and lived by it.

layla

Well we all live under the sun, and apparently it is at least in part a Marketing ploy. Because, only a few weeks before all the PR action Ms. Mandi is bravely sporting her blond hair and beautiful décolté line at Canada Day Party (also in Dubai). Not that I am a puritan, but it is pure hypocrisy to pretend to live a certain lifestyle to make more sales! And wouldn’t her product still sell without this dress-up?

Layla Mandi @ Okku Canada Day Party Source: http://www.ahlanlive.com/13221-canada-day-party--okku

Layla Mandi @ Okku Canada Day Party. Source: http://www.ahlanlive.com/13221-canada-day-party--okku

How do you feel about this? Do you know any other controversial Halal Products?

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