I bought some cologne at a store in my hometown. And lo and behold, I received a hand-written thank-you note from the clerk who sold me the cologne. Now I know in my head that the company, Von Maur, insists that its clerks write out thank-yous in their slow hours. However, I remember the thank-you note and it is a strong differentiator from the other stores who don’t take the time to thank me.
E-mail thank yous (especially the instantly generated ones) just don’t seem to carry the same weight or importance as hand-written notes. They are a good record of the purchase, but don’t work as a sincere, thoughtful thank-you. A note you received in the mail requires genuine time and effort. And that is a true thank-you with a greater perceived value.
Our ME&V fund-raising division will tell you that you must thank a contributor many times throughout the year for a gift. Yet few organizations send more than one letter. I would say rated right behind instantly generated e-mails are the IRS-required-receipts, thank-you letters. No matter how you look at it, it is a receipt required by law, but not a genuine thank-you note. So, I wouldn’t count that letter as one thank-you touch.
I heard once that a wonderfully surprising thank-you would be one that was delivered one year after the gift was made. The thank-you would tell about how appreciative the organization is even 12 months after the gift — and also how the money was used during the year. It would really be a true surprise to the donor and a great proof of performance of your record keeping.
The Von Maur thank-you is a good reminder of how a little surprising thoughtfulness can go a long way. Speaking of that, I need to get busy with some thank-you notes.
And, thank you for reading this blog.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged advertising, Blogs, Branding, capitalize real words, mark, Mark Mathis, mark on marketing, Marketing, mathis, positioning, promotion, strategic communications, URL on February 11, 2010 |
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I saw a commercial on the air that stopped me: There was no audio, no music, just a website. The URL was http://www.metrocatholicschools.com For some reason, maybe because I was never good at Wheel of Fortune, I couldn’t read it or decide who placed the ad (here’s a hint, my children go to catholic schools).
Maybe you can read it. It is actually, http://www.MetroCatholicSchools.com. This reminded me that we only have seconds to communicate or the moment is lost–sometimes forever. Instant recognition is imperative.
So here is a simple trick: Capitalize the real words of your URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The capital letters will not impact the navigation. They will improve your recognition and enhance communicating your URL name. And in advertising, since many people are not just waiting by the TV, radio or mailbox with a pen and paper, it will help people remember your URL name so they can call it up later.
Capitalization helps us make sense of the name. If you have a short URL, it may not make much of a difference; however, URLs are getting longer and longer because most short URLs are already taken.
Can you read this URL? http://www.capitalizerealwordsinyoururl.org.
Now try: http://www.CapitalizeRealWordsInYourURL.org. (This is not a real site.)
Even the most computer-adroit teenager who text-messages and IMs will appreciate being able to read the URL, even if it is only on some subconscious level.
Another reason: What is http://www.molestationnursery.com? Is it MolestationNursery.com or MoleStationNursery.com; or TheRapistFinder.com or TherapistFinder.com; ExpertSexChange.com or ExpertsExchange.com? These are all real URLs.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged advertising, Branding, business, differentiation, mark, Mark Mathis, Mark on Marketing blog, Marketing, mathis, ME&V, New normal, promotion, Sales, strategic communications, value on February 8, 2010 |
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When the flood of 2008 hit Cedar Rapids (and poured nearly 10 feet of water into our Cedar Rapids office), many who had been through similar floods told us of how things would never return to normal, and to expect a “new normal” to arise.
That is what seems to be happening with the flood of bad economic times. It is changing our business world in ways we will not understand for years to come. But there are some clear signs of our “new normal.”
One big change is in the way consumers perceive ‘value.’ What is surprising in this recession is that ‘value’ has become not about price, but about other metrics consumers use to rank a product or service. It is less about value=price and more about value=benefits (and then compared to cost).
Several brand-tracking services are finding that consumers are becoming more ‘brand conscious’ and looking for brands that offer real ‘value.’ Commoditization does allow for price-only-driven decisions. Yet some brands that have clear benefit advantage are not the low-cost alternative. Apple, J.Crew, Nikon and Nike all rate very high on brand rankings because they break from the value=price cliche. They offer a high value for the dollar spent.
The “new normal” of value:
- Does it make things easier for me?
- Is it innovative?
- Is it clearly differentiated from the other products or services?
- Does it heighten my experience?
It seems to me that people today are looking for a Return on Purchase. What is the perceived value we get in terms of product’s or service’s functional or psychological benefits? People may be less likely to spend money today, unless you can clearly demonstrate a return on purchase. Does your product or service really make me happy? And, that means you may need to communicate with that customer more after the sale or service transaction to make sure they understand your value.
The value statement floating around today should be, “Are we really worth what we charge, and why?” Consumers are impatiently waiting for the answers.
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