Posted on July 29, 2011 by butch
Posted on July 27, 2011 by butch
The greatest heroes don’t wear capes, can’t fly and aren’t from a distant planet. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things every day. They lead, operate or volunteer at the many non-profit organizations (NPOs) in our community in an effort to make our world a better place. And like all heroes, when they are empowered, they become a Force for Good.
Our agency, Force 5, (South Bend) is committed to doing good work for people who do good works. So, we would like to help empower one NPO based in St. Joseph Country, IN, by offering them $5,000.00 in brand development and marketing communication services—enough to help them let the community know who they are, what they do and why their work matters. Because there are so many great organizations in our area, we need to select one that we can help empower in 2011. So, we’ve come up with a little contest called, A Force for Good. Our contest will allow anyone to nominate and vote for their favorite NPO.
Nominations will be open from Aug. 1st – Aug. 12th. Voting will begin on Aug. 12thand last for two weeks. Our selection committee will announce their selected organization on Sep. 6th.
Our “Force for Good” website and will have more details about our contest, selection process, and can be found at http://www.force4good.org. Make sure to tell all your friends to nominate and vote!
Posted on July 25, 2011 by ddefreeuw
I was at one of my favorite weekend spots on Saturday having breakfast. I was waiting to pay my bill and heard a rather loud conversation in front of me between the cashier and a customer. The conversation went something like this; "Why is the bill so much?" "Well, you ordered everything a la carte, you really should have ordered from our specials or regular menu." "It would have been nice if the waitress had told me this, it is our first time here and now it will be our last time here." Then dead silence as the cashier finished the transaction. It would have been so easy for the cashier to remedy this situation by charging the customer a regular meal price. Did she? No. Now they have lost a potential return customer and you can be sure that this disgruntled person is sharing her story with all her friends.
I had to wonder, does this employee not feel empowered to make this kind of decision? Maybe they have not had training on handling these types of situations? At any rate, the opportunity to make and keep a new customer was missed. I felt bad for the cashier who was not prepared to "make the save."
If you own or manage a business, this is a good reminder to be aware of those brand touchpoints, anything that touches your customer has an impact on their experience. In this case some simple training would likely have prevented a poor customer experience.
Posted on July 15, 2011 by butch
As part of my role here at Force 5, I make unsolicited contact with potential clients almost every day. I do this through a variety of means - letters, phone calls, emails - to let people know about the great things our company can do for them. I realize my activity can be an invasion of a busy person's privacy, so I always do my best to be courteous, professional, and respectful in all my communications.
Force 5 was recently contacted through our "contact us" page on our website. The email tone was friendly enough, but it appeared to be cut-and-paste and was written using bad grammar. At the bottom of the email was the following disclaimer:
Note: This email is not spam, it was manually sent by us, our sole purpose being to introduce ourselves to you with no obligation on your part. Your email address was found to be publicly available on your website and it has not been added to any list. We consider this to be a polite way to contact you and apologize sincerely if you have been inconvenienced in any way. We are obliged to offer you an 'OPT-OUT' from future mailings from us; should you wish to exercise this right, please reply with "OPT-OUT" in the subject field.
Polite enough, I think. So, what do you think? Was this SPAM or not?
My litmus test: if you have to explain to someone why it's not SPAM then it probably is.
Posted on July 13, 2011 by butch
I read a great article yesterday, Why it Can Feel Good to Overspend, and it challenged my thinking. Several months ago I wrote a post on the Force 5 blog saying that marketing promises set customer expectations; and that unless the customer's experience meets or exceeds those expectations, customers are not satisfied.
However, according to a study conducted in 2008, when it comes to setting high expectations based on price, customers can actually experience more satisfaction. Researchers placed the same wine in two different bottles. One bottle was a $90.00 label, the other a $10 label. When the volunteers were told the prices of the wine they were drinking, they ranked wine from the $90.00 bottle as twice as good.
Volunteers were not simply tricking themselves. Brain scans of the drinkers showed the areas of the brain that detected pleasantness being activated while consuming the $90 bottle. This meant that the drinkers we actually experiencing a better-tasting wine from the $90 bottle even though the two wines were identical.
So, what do you think? Does setting high expectations for customers have greater potential to increase their experience with your business or diminish it?
Posted on July 11, 2011 by ddefreeuw
I have to share a blog I just ran across, "Are You Willing To Do This One Thing To Be Happier Each Day." I honestly don't even know how I found this blog, but I love it. In a nutshell, the article centers about that first thought you have during the day. Mondays are a prime example, if you start your day with a "Mondays suck" thought and then share that sentiment with the first person you see when you walk in the door, then sure enough, your Monday will suck. The unfortunate thing is that your attitude most likely has spread to the person you shared your thoughts with. So now you have this sort of "Monday's suck" club and to be in it requires that you have a crappy day.
The whole idea is that your thoughts define your day. The author has suggested a challenge that I plan to take, share your first thoughts of the day with someone, the thought you have determined will define your day. It's all about choice, you can choose to be happy, or motivated, or grateful - choose well!
Posted on July 11, 2011 by ddefreeuw
I am a red-blooded American gal and I love to find things on sale! Who doesn't? I have started to wonder, can a retail business have too many sales?
I get an e-mail almost everyday from Lands' End. I love Lands' End, I think they have a great product. I am so conditioned to buying when there is a sale offer, that I don't really consider buying otherwise. The same goes for Macy's, it seems like every weekend "the sale of the season" is happening at Macy's. I am to the point now where I just expect a sale every weekend and two things happen. First, the sales loses it's impact, heck there will be another next weekend. The other thing that happens is that I don't purchase until something I want goes on sale.
So, finding that perfect balance is the key. Have just enough special offerings or sales to keep people interested and create that sense of urgency to purchase, but not so many that a "sale" is the norm.
Posted on July 7, 2011 by butch
Force 5 remains steadfast in its commitment to be a "next generation brand development and marketing communications firm." Determing what that next generation technology is and how to bring it to clients in an effective and practical way is the real challenge in fullfilling our commitment.
One next generation technology is mobile. Today, all indicators show that in the foreseeable future, mobile will play a larger and larger role in marketing strategy. As mobile continues to expand rapidly, enabling clients to embrace that technology in a manner that delivers a solid ROI is crucial.
Recently, Visibility Magazine published a case study about Force 5's client, Starcraft Marine. To help starcraft more fully embrace mobile technology and utilize their existing marketing collateral, Force 5 developed a practical mobile interface. (detailed info can be found here.)
The interface utilized MicroSoft TAGs, and Starcraft Marine's existing video and web to leverage the growing power of mobile. Because it continues to utilize effective legacy strategies, this Force 5 solution brings clients closer to the next generation today.