Did you use Play-doh as a child?
Ever inadvertently leave your simple shapes to harden in the open air? Though your brittle pieces later crumbled, a simple finishing process would have sustained them for centuries. Ceramic firing transforms malleable clay into a rock-hard, durable substance.
In May of 2018, Barbara Carroll ordered three cartons of toilet paper from Amazon. The order total: $88.17. The shipping charges? $7,455.
Carroll wasn’t overly concerned, as Amazon typically takes great care of its customers. But in this case, Carroll complained to Amazon six times and even wrote a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos. After every complaint, she received a form letter explaining a refund was impossible because the delivery arrived on time and undamaged. It wasn’t until Carroll notified a local television station (and the story went viral) that Amazon took action. Months later, she was finally reimbursed.
While this case is extreme, every company has its share of customer service flops. In some situations, the problem is no communication. In other cases, it’s inconsiderate attitudes.
Want to steer your team toward positivity? Here are five customer services phrases to avoid.
Recently we have seen several debates, both online and off, about whether newsletters are still an effective marketing tool. Quite a few online marketing “experts” have stated that newsletters have become largely useless, and there now exist much more effective marketing tools for reaching your current and potential customers. To quote a recently famous college football commentator: “Not so fast, my friends!”
In the fast paced, ever-changing world of marketing, people are often looking for the newest, latest and supposedly greatest idea for reaching people that no one has ever tried. Newsletters quickly get dismissed for being too time consuming to write and put together when they are destined for the trash bin (hard copies) or spam folders (email copy).
While this may be true for some newsletters, at Print It Plus we have found through the years that our bi-monthly newsletter still gets read by a sizable number of recipients, and we still get a consistent number of responses to either our call to action, a comment on our marketing tips and advice, or someone complimenting our “Recipe of the Month”.
How can you still find consistent value in creating and sending out a monthly newsletter?
The winter of 2013 was a hard one for Georgette Carter.
As a single mom raising two young boys while she cared for a father with dementia, money was very tight. Then, she totaled her car and found her resources – and her hope – were nearly gone. That is, until a 1996 blue Ford Contour arrived from the Connor Brother Collisions “Recycled Rides” program.
Conner Brothers of Richmond, VA, overhauls donated cars and awards them to people who have been nominated by community members. Carter said her heart was rehabilitated almost more than the car she received:
“It turned my life around. I can get to my job on time, and I don’t have to maneuver to get my child out of daycare. I’ll never take that for granted again.”
Karen Weber-Mendham was a part-time librarian and mother of three when she turned her family’s propensity for garlic cheesy bread into a cool million.
This northern Wisconsin family often ordered cheesy bread while waiting on pizza. Weber-Mendham said the kids’ appetizer passion was so strong “they would arm-wrestle each other for a piece!”
Cheesy fever inspired the family to enter the 2013 Lay’s potato chip competition, “Do Us a Flavor,” challenging customers to create a new chip flavor to hit store shelves that year. Lays was swamped with 3.8 million submissions as the contest winner was given the better of two options: $1 million or 1% of the flavor’s net sales over a year. Beyond fame and fortune, Weber-Mendham was given the opportunity to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and was flown to Los Angeles for the big reveal with Lay’s endorsement celebrity Eva Longoria.
“Eva was so genuine and happy for me when I won,” Weber-Mendham said. And yes, “She’s as beautiful in person as she looks on TV.”
The 1960s gave us many iconic classic cars, but perhaps none is more legendary than the Aston Martin driven by James Bond (Sean Connery) in the 1964 film, Goldfinger.
A long list of tricks made it one of the most beloved movie cars of all time: machine guns, an ejector seat, smoke screens, and a futuristic onboard navigational system. Bond’s reputation as a suave man of action and a smart connoisseur of fine things rocketed Aston Martin to popularity as one of the most desirable automobile brands in the world. The car was so beloved it was later stolen from a Florida airport hanger and is reportedly worth nearly 10 million today.
Vintage. Classic. Irreplaceable.
Did you know October 7 is “Worldwide Smile Day?”
Smile day is celebrated on the first Friday of October, dedicating twenty-four hours to smiling and acts of community kindness. Why? In a “bad news” world, a little dose of joy goes a long way. Gretchen Rubin certainly believes this.
From outside perspectives, Rubin lived a marvelously successful life. She had a good marriage, a thriving writing career (formerly a Yale graduate clerk to Sandra Day O’Connor), a warm relationship with in-laws, and two lovely daughters. But in 2006, Rubin realized something was missing. She had a mild case of “the blues,” a below-the-surface irritableness she couldn’t shake. While she was generally happy, Rubin struggled to enjoy happiness each day.
Humans are creative beings, and one of our favorite ways to express ourselves is through words.
Words can bring sweetness to the soul, arouse dormant hunger, or give voice to beauty in the world.
That’s why names are such serious business. How much thought do we give to naming a pet? Or a child? Beautiful names can bring a charming nostalgia or an air of sophistication to the bearer.
There's a common misconception that far too many marketers have that needs to be put to rest once and for all.
A lot of people still seem to think that if you're really going to carve out a stronger competitive advantage for yourself in an increasingly crowded marketplace, you need to make your services appear objectively better than everyone else's. You need to talk about how your products are better, stronger, faster, longer-lasting, more cost-efficient, etc. All this to steal as much attention away from your competition as you can.
Carl is a business owner who is experiencing firsthand just how much the internet has revolutionized the consumer buying process. It used to be that a simple look at your products' features was enough to sway consumers to make a purchase. But now, it's all about the brand. In fact, Carl's brand has become his most valuable asset. That is why he is doing all that he can to build his brand equity and distinguish himself from his competition.
Promoting your event in your community without a large budget can feel like an overwhelming task.
While there are plenty of things that you can do with unlimited budgets such as billboards, printed mailings or even postcards, the larger items can be costly and mailings take a bit longer than you may have to publicize your upcoming event.
No matter the industry your business operates in, it is imperative to connect online and offline marketing techniques. Many entrepreneurs have found that the better they market themselves offline, the more well-known they become online, and vice versa. For now, let's take a closer look at how you can connect your online and offline marketing campaigns to improve lead generation and increase your sales revenue.
One of the traps that even seasoned marketing veterans often fall into involves crafting collateral that has far too much information for its own good. Marketing messages start out simple enough, but as brands continue to grow and evolve, the marketing messages do the same until it can be difficult to remember what that short, sweet, actionable idea was in the first place.
Your brand is a lot more than just a name or a logo. It's the feeling that someone gets when they come into contact, any contact, with your organization. In fact, the thing that really increases engagement and drives loyalty isn't your products or services (though, to be fair, they do help quite a bit) - it's this idea of the larger brand itself.
Because someone could potentially have that experience with your brand, the idea of brand continuity could not be more important. Regardless of how someone interacts with your brand, it should all feel like it's naturally coming from the same place at all times. To truly master the idea of using continuity to strengthen your branding efforts, there are a few key things you'll need to keep in mind.