Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Core Customers Offer Value to Co-Creation

In 2001 Lego wanted to win over a new set of customers. They wanted to be relevant again during a time when kids were preoccupied with electronic video games. Children were no longer thinking about the “joy of building, pride of creation,” (Davis, Forbes.) Instead they had turned their backs on using their imagination only to be enticed by colorful graphics and loud interactivity on the most popular video games. Lego wanted to be relevant again, so they created a line of oversized minifigures which didn’t require any building, more like having a Barbie doll or a G.I. Joe action figure. The only problem with this idea is that the minifigures did not have a back-story, they didn’t have a history. Something video games provided to its players. Newer video games were like mini movies and interactive, they had a story line and children couldn’t wait to get to them! Needless to say, the minifigure project was not profitable, and Lego core fans were turned off. Core fans wanted Lego to maintain its values, that is, don’t try to be something you are not. Lego should have asked fans what their thoughts were about the project.

Minifigures were a good idea

I think the idea of minifigures was a good one; Lego just didn’t develop rational grounds for existence for these characters. Each one of the minifigures should have come with a mini-storybook that explained who they were, where they came from, who they belonged to and what they were doing now. Its human nature to ask the who, the where, the what and the why. Lego didn’t give its minifigures life. The core audience needed some reason to buy them, and Lego failed in that area. Co-creation would have worked in this instance. Lego should have done some research before releasing the minifigures as a product to buy. Invite core users to try them out and get their ideas on how to integrate the product into existing Lego products or whether it should have been a standalone product created to begin a new complementary item or a brand new item with their own cities, shopping, etc.

Here’s an idea: CoCreation

The moral of the story is, ask your customers what they want. There is no harm in asking for help. Customers can help you see another aspect of your product, one your company may not have considered. This is a good example of how co-creation could have been used to launch a complementary product alongside one with brand notoriety.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mike Brown Video, Ferguson Killed For No Reason

***********Warning, Graphic Video*********************

This video also has strong language in the comments section as well as during the video, I did not shoot this video, it was shot by a member of the apartment complex where Mike Brown of Ferguson Lived.

I didn't shoot this cellphone video, someone who lives in the apartment complex where Mike Brown of Fergsuon, Missouri lived shot it. It shows a body later identified as Mike Brown lying in the streets. For 10 minutes you can hear the commentary by the person shooting the video of what the police are alleged to have done on Saturday, August 9, 2014. You can hear what sounds like a relative of Mike Brown, possibly his mother screaming for someone to call the ambulance and to "help her baby." I'm not sure why Mike Brown's body was allowed to lay in the street uncovered. Mike Brown was an 18 year old African American gunned down allegedly by a Fergusn police office named Darren Wilson, a 6 year veteran of the force. Ad a result of the community being in an uprage over the treatment of young African American males by the Ferguson police department resulted in rioting and looting on Sunday, August 10th. Many local stores were looted by people who were later arrested and identified as not being residents of Fergsuon. The day after the looting, police use military style weapons to disperse the crowd of protesters who were chanting, "Hands up, Don't shoot." The last part of that chant, "Don't shoot" was allegedly what Mike Brown cried out to the police officer who killed him. According to the family of Mike Brown, Brown was on his knees with his hands raised in the air saying "Don't shoot."

This is a sad day not just in Ferguson, Missouri but in America as a whole.

***********Warning, Graphic Video*********************

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Marketing to Women: Keep it Simple

As a rule women are pretty loyal creatures. We find a product we like and it works well, then we will stick with it. And if that product has an extra bonus feature like saving us money, we will tell oour girlsfriends about it. As a marketer if you are seeking to reach more women, then this should be the cornerstone of your behavioral strategy when marketing to women. We're really simple creatures, we're just misunderstood.

If you're seeking to change the buying behavior of women, you have to start with the most rudimentary thought as it relates to the product you are seeking to sell. I just told you women are simple creatures, we nurture, we protect, we provide, and we will do what it takes to keep ourselves and family stable and secure (sounds like a man doesn't it?) Not really. Have you ever watched one of the animal channels and watched the behavior of female animals when it comes to the young? It's simple, they make sure their babies are fed, are warm, are safe and secure. On the surface these are basic necessities to all living animals. Since this behavior is simplistic in its execution, then your approach to women when marketing to them, should be the same way.

Start small. Think of the woman that decides to go to Dollar General versus Target or KMart. She goes there because.....? Let's use me as an example: if I were making this decision, I'm going to Dollar General because it's smaller, I don't always have time to go into a big store, and walk the majority of the square footage of the building just to pick up a few personal items. I want simple and I want to save time. So I will go to Dollar General because there is never a long line, I can walk right in and walk right back out with what I needed. Plus, I might be able to save a few dollars on the prices of some of the items I'm purchasing. Like I said, simple.

So, if you're Target or KMart, how do you change the direction of my buying decision?

I would take a page from Wal-Mart and change up frequently what is at the front of the store. Bring those sale items right to the front of the store and get rid of those cheap less than $1 stor items you have trhown in a hodepodge of confusion in those front rows. Imagine if Target took that area and placed health and beauty items that were featured in this weeks sales offering right in the ront of the store when you first walk in? It may sound radical, it may even make that big box retailer uncomfortable, but you can't keep doing the same things hoping for a different result. Just a simple change to get a different response.

Successfully marketing to women is simple. It doesn't take a lot to get our attention, but when you get our attention, please have something worth our time.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Evolution of the Cell Phone: from Motorola to the iPhone

My ex had a bag phone when cell phones first came out. At that time they cost thousands of dollars, and he had to plug it up in his car in order to work. He was an exec for AT&T and they were one of the first people to get a phone and have their company front the bill. The amazing thing is that phenomenal changes in mobile phone technology have a occurred in a very short period of time. I found an article called, "From Bricks to Brains," (Computer Science Degree Hub) that mentioned this tidbit: "$3,995 was the price of the first cell phone in 1983, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X," and that Motorola and Nokia were the main manufacturers of cell phones. that was in 1983. In just 31 years the cell phone industry has become more than just a phone, it is now a handheld computer as well. I love my cell phone (smartphone) and it sleeps next to me on my nightstand. I receive alerts from Twitter and Facebook along with audible beeps when I receive an email. It's the first thing I grab in the morning before getting out of bed. Either I'm checking the time, shutting off my alarm I set to go to work, or just wanting to see what notifications I received while I was asleep. Did I mention I also love taking pictures and instanteously uploading them to Instagram and Facebook? Sure, I'm just like all of you, we use our cell phones for everything. Here is a pretty cool Infographic about cell phones and how they've evolved over the last 30 years. From Bricks to Brains: The Evolution of the Cell Phone
Image compliments of Computer Science Degree Hub

Friday, January 17, 2014

Small Business In 2014: 4 1/2 Things You Should Know

Did you know that 94% of small business owners consider online marketing very important to helping their business grow? But while many of you plan to increase your online marketing, 29% of you feel overwhelmed by all your efforts. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by online marketing, we’re here to help. We surveyed almost 1,500 of our customers in December to ask about their plans for 2014. These are the 4 ½ things you should know about marketing your business in the new year:

Data and infographic by AWeber