Being Responsible

Todays retail climate is forcing more and more brands to be socially and ethically aware.  The idea is that companies need to consider society when making business decisions.  This also takes the form of ethics and values a company takes, and is often expressed within their mission statement.

A brand that I think embodies corporate responsibility is Nisolo (here) because the ethos of the brand is to create a sustainable business while giving back.  On the site they call out that products provide livable wages to the people making the products, as well as healthcare, and working environment.   Nisolo also offers a shoe buy back program to help poverty stricken people get shoes.

Doing a quick search of the brand shows that they have not been involved with any legal issues.  And they have also been certified as a B corporation which you can learn more here.

Knowing what I have learned onsite as well as being someone who buys from them I would say that they are a green for environment company.

About. (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2019, from https://nisolo.com/pages/about-page

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Rivalries

Duracell and Energizer batteries are  both companies that sell batteries and compete for consumers dollars.  Both speak to how long lasting their products are and can be used in almost anything.  From a personal standpoint it seems like Duracell edges out Energizer batteries as they seem more common place.

To compete I would think that Energizer should focus on brand awareness and helping customers create that emotional engagement.  Also look into promoting the other businesses they have as well as becoming more sustainable.  Another aspect could be helping people in other countries have renewable energy sources.  The GEN I’s and Z’s are focused on these aspects and often will eschew brands that don’t have sustainable business practices.

The Duracell copper top is iconic and often imitated by off brands, where as the Energizer logo doesn’t come to memory.  Plus most people think of the rabbit which again doesn’t tie back to any sort of logo or branding.  According to Zigu, Energizer doesn’t focus on the digital aspect of marketing the same way Duracell does.  Duracell is active on Twitter and Instagram as well as showing how to use their products.  Seeing that there is a disconnect between Energizer ad’s and logo they should try to merge those so that it’s a seamless experience similar to Duracell.

 

Zigu. (n.d.). Duracell Marketing Mix (4Ps) Strategy. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from https://www.mbaskool.com/marketing-mix/products/17513-duracell.html

Zigu. (n.d.). Energizer Marketing Mix (4Ps) Strategy. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from https://www.mbaskool.com/marketing-mix/products/17484-energizer.html

Urban Consumerism

A brand that often seems to be in the spotlight is Urban Outfitters.  Each year they seem to find some way to piss off some group of people, be it around race, religion, or around disorders.   They have faced a litany of issues from suicidal hair wash, clothing that mimicked terrible moments in history (Kent state shooting, Holocaust, Navajo line) which brought the company into the spotlight for poor taste.

While these are terrible issues it seems to have done little to impact customer perceptions as they are considered the “cool” indie store.  In an article on Forbes.com from 2014, O’Conner mentions that even the top level chain describes their customer as “upscale homeless” and has no regard for offending anyone.  I think post each of the incidents people might have strayed away, but often go back as they curate “vintage” and items that are not seen on just anyone.

Urban has cultivated a cult of cool, in that the people shopping there might be upset but it’s not enough to prevent them from spending money there.  From how to the stores are laid out, merchandising, and the staff UO strives to cultivate that cool factor.  None of these issues seems to have had any major impact for the brand over the years, outside of making profits dip and brand awareness lift.

 

 

 

Staff, T. W. (2016, April 29). 15 Urban Outfitters controversies. Retrieved June 5, 2019, from https://theweek.com/articles/480961/15-urban-outfitters-controversies

 

O’Connor, C. (2014, September 18). Urban Outfitters’ Real Scandal: Its Disdain For Its Customers. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/09/18/urban-outfitters-real-scandal-its-disdain-for-its-customers/#3064b6023640

 

Under Armour: Where Do We Go From Here?

When Under Armour came to market the main focus of the clothing was football players who needed something to help keep them cool while practicing.  In 2013 they turned their attention to women, keeping a focus on sports wear.  With this the focus was a campaign called “I Will what I want” where women could show how they pursued their own dreams.  Part of the campaign was created awareness across multiple digital channel and making sure that the content could have a longer life span than traditional media (harvard.2019)

Key points for implementation for marketing strategies are understanding that there will be selective attention, where consumers have to figure out what to pay attention to.  The use of colors, as well as creating a tag line that resonates.  A huge factor is the emotional connection that needs to happen when promoting brands and driving engagement.  If there is a celebrity endorsement then how will your market respond to them? What happens if the celebrity ends in hot water? Sometimes it could even be how you speak to a product based on the market you are trying to engage with, for example women with kids have a different response than women with no kids.

In looking for a new market segment, I would think an interesting segment would be young tween girls.  This is a group that if  you can capture their attention and grow with them you would have a great LTV.  This is referred to as Gen I (McDaniel. 2019), and is the generation that is growing up in a world where the internet is a given.  According to marketingsherpa.com this group accounts for ~260B in sales each year. To reach this market would be difficult as they are minors, so how and when you engage is crucial as you also need to get parental support.  35% of the market have mobile phones, so engaging with them on mobile via display ads or various social channels would be the best.  Any campaign needs to be designed for engagement, like a video game, versus just providing good images and a click to shop.

References

Under armours willful digital moves[Pdf]. (n.d.). Darden business publishing.

McDaniel, S., & Beger, S. (2016, January 07). Marketing to Tweens: Data, Spending Habits Dos & Don’ts to Reach This Fickle Age Group. Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/how-to/data-spending-habits-dos-donts

What Brand?

What is in a name?  To parse from Shakespeare, everything.  When you think of Sony, you probably think of an entertainment giant who covers, movies, music, and their interactive branch.  Stated on the site they define their purpose as “Fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology. (sony.com)” so who would think that they would have failed so epicly in the 90’s?

Allow me to introduce you to Betamax.

If you weren’t around BEFORE the internet there was a time in history where streaming wasn’t a thing, all shows had commercials and you were forced to live in the moment.  So someone had the idea, lets record this and so Betamax was born.  Given that Sony is quite the giant how could they have failed?  The name and logo are synonymous with technology, innovation and decent movies.

Sony over the years has positioned themselves as a brand that provides products that capture our attention and push creative boundaries. They understand who their consumer is and what they are looking for, so they are able to deliver.  So why did Betamax fail?  Their rival JVC built a product that was lighter and could record more.  Plus Sony didn’t invest into a growing market of videos whereas JVC did.

To mitigate this Sony should have looked to thier own mission statement and looked to deliver a product that provided delight to consumers.  Ease of use, lightweight, and met consumers where they wanted to be, home watching movies.  Overall Sony has done well meeting their mission statement, i personally own a PS4 and love it.

 

References

Gilbert, B. (2019, April 17). 25 of the biggest failed products from the world’s biggest companies. Retrieved May 18, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/biggest-product-flops-in-history-2016-12

(n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2019, from http://www.engineerguy.com/failure/betamax.htm

 

What type of consumer am I?

In looking at what type of consumer I am, I would say that I am is based on needs.  I make purchases based on the need to fulfill an activity or need.  My decisions are based on what I have engaged with previously, sustainable practices, and cost.  I feel having been in marketing I am probably more conscious of strategies and marketing efforts to get me to buy.  Most of my purchases are because I need to replenish something or replace it.  For example sneakers, I buy as I need to replace them and only own two pairs at a given time.  I could care less about packaging or reviews, as I know what I like and am willing to try new brands or products.  I am more concerned about a companies stance on livable wages or ethical business practices.  After I complete the purchase I am satisfied and often have no remorse.

The Ethics of Marketing

Honestly, I know that most people think marketers are unethical, thanks Mad Men, however any marketer will tell you in order to be successful they have to be ethical and honest.  Working in marketing myself being forthright is key in maintaining internal and external relationships and trust.  I’ve also done direct sales and worked in customer facing, roles and trust is everything.  Once it’s broken it’s almost impossible to get back, however digital can be a bit more forgiving. Currently I am studying SEO/SEM and here is an area that defined by honesty and integrity as it all about building trust with customers and Google. 

Case Study 

To better understand why ethics are important let’s look at a case study from Yonatan Dotan at Moz.com for Ginger Software.  He writes that when he started, they were in a great state “their site has an Alexa ranking of around 7,000.”  However, one day he gets a notification that from Google that there were issues with inbound links and after examining things saw a drop in organic traffic by 94% (Dotan. 2018).  One of the things discussed in SEO and SEM practices is building quality links and content and making sure that inbound links to the site make sense.  What happened was that keywords that were being used we linking to sites about pornography, gambling, and even pharmaceutical. This was due to spammers trying to rank their own page higher by providing links to a quality site.  After identifying and fixing the bad links Ginger Software submitted a request to have the penalty revoked from Google and about 5 days after getting the notice it had been revoked.   

Conclusion 

CHECK YOUR LINKS!  From this case study and various readings over the course of the class check your work, and the double check.  As a marketer you should be monitoring backlinks, key words in use, and referrals to your site.  If you find bad links get them disavowed.  Part of marketing ethics is also being aware of local and federal laws and abiding by them.  Other things to be aware of are hidden text on a site, duplicate content, and even plagiarism.  If you question if doing something is right, it probably isn’t, and you should walk away.  Understand able there is a lot of competition out there but if you do it right, they will come, and you will have established trust and a great brand reputation.  

 

 

References 

Ethical SEO vs. Unethical SEO. (2013, January 14). Retrieved December 9, 2018, from https://www.optimus01.co.za/ethical-seo-vs-unethical-seo/ 

Dotan, Y. (2014, March 17). A Startling Case Study of Manual Penalties and Negative SEO. Retrieved December 9, 2018, from https://moz.com/blog/a-startling-case-study-of-manual-penalties-and-negative-seo