CAT | Sales & Marketing
Taco Bell is a great example of a company using social media to effectively interact and connect with their customer base. Through a consistent and targeted use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, they are able to integrate these tools into their overall marketing mix.
The activity on Taco Bell’s twitter account shows a unique sense of humour, which can be seen in their replies back to consumer tweets.
Here are some highlights:
Every brand has the exact same social media tools at hand, however Taco Bell has very smartly used a little bit of attitude and humour to respond to their customers and more effectively engage with them. The brand takes on more personality, becoming more human in the process.
Like Taco Bell, consumer and corporate brands can certainly inject a bit of personality into their social media efforts to elevate their brands.
Does your brand’s personality come through in social media? When social media marketing is utilised effectively, it can enhance your brand’s image to create a more approachable and transparent channel for your targeted audience.
Until next time!
Apple has just released the new Iphone 5 to much fanfare and you’ll either be in the ‘love it’ or ‘will reluctantly buy it later’ category.
We have also just passed the one year anniversary of Tim Cook’s tenure as Apple CEO having taken over the role from Apple founder and icon, the late Steve Jobs.
Under his stewardship – Cook has successfully launched the Iphone 5; their share price continues to rise; Apple has settled an intellectual property lawsuit against Samsung, and Cook has also carried on Steve Job’s legacy. He continues to embrace Apple’s core principles (innovation, user experience, and excellence) whilst also imparting his own distinct management style over the company.
Apple has shown the critical importance of having a strong succession plan. Over time Apple, Steve Jobs and its board of directors developed and executed their CEO succession plan through promoting Cook. By giving Cook more responsibilities and having him serve as caretaker CEO whenever Jobs was on medical leave, Apple has been able to effect a smooth transition for this key leadership position.
In this current employment environment, hiring and also retaining talent is a key issue facing organisations of all sizes. The implications of an organisation not being able to hire the right person magnifies the longer a position is left vacant (leadership vacuum, lost business opportunity, effect on staff morale, negative company perception externally). There are many examples of organisations that have suffered without having a strong succession plan, eg : HP, Yahoo!, Simon Cowell leaving American idol.
Companies that do not have a succession plan in place for employees at all levels also face the consequence that these employees may leave if there is not a sustainable career path in front of them.
Until next time.
This past week witnessed a gathering of finely honed athletes and the best in the field from all around the globe. Media from all around the world were tuned in, the crowds watched and gawked in awe, and traffic literally stood still.
No, I’m not talking about the XXX Olympic games in London, but the opening of the newest Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store in Hong Kong. 110 of A & F’s best models from their global retail network came to support the opening of their new store by greeting guests and partying in local hot-spots. For the past week, my Facebook wall and Instagram account has been bombarded with images of models (My eyes!) who have been taking pictures with fans, greeting guests, and parading around Hong Kong on the A & F bus.
Hong Kong is still the destination of choice for international brands seeking to build their retail foot-print in North Asia, and in the past week A & F has done a pretty good job of creating strong media hype. To stand out in a hyper-competitive market, retail brands need to have a point of difference to differentiate themselves from competitors. A & F is a brand where image is central to their ethos, their retail staff and models form a key part of their brand strategy, as does their retail layout, merchandise, and digital marketing/social media presence.
It will be interesting to see in the coming months whether the media buzz translates into retail footfall and sales, given the brand is paying a record HKD$7 million in monthly rent. Their one-size fits all marketing strategy is very US centric, and does not seem to be localised to tailor specifically to the Hong Kong market at all. Their cheaper sister brand Hollister now has two retail stores in prominent locations in Hong Kong which could eat in to their revenues. Priced in the premium casual segment; A & F faces stiff competition against popular fast-fashion and high street brands from the Inditex and H & M groups, Uniqlo, and Forever 21.
So do you think A & F will be successful in Hong Kong? Have they opened at the right time?
Kony 2012 may be the most ambitious recruitment campaign that I’ve ever seen. Jason Russell’s The Invisible Children has been established to build awareness rapidly about Joseph Kony and to recruit people to help effect his arrest. Here are some observations:
Social media and engaging content
To date the first Kony 2012 video has over 104 million views on YouTube, over 3.2 million likes on their Facebook page, and they’ve received over 3.59 million pledges. Their aim was to recruit people to their cause on an international basis, and they’ve successfully reached their audience through developing engaging and personal content. To differentiate, companies looking to attract the right staff need to effectively identify their target audience and create engaging social media content to best talk to them. It isn’t enough to have a passive message – it has to encourage action.
Initially, people didn’t know Joseph Kony, but they do know Justin Beiber (20+ million Twitter followers) who took to Twitter to put his endorsement on the cause. In business, people aspire to work for companies that have individuals who are strong advocates for the brand; these are people who are the face of companies and who display a passion for their work.
Word of mouth
My colleague in March: ‘Have you seen the Kony video’?
Me: ‘The what??’
My first thought was, is that a new consumer electronics brand or sports shoe brand? By the time my wife and colleagues had mentioned Kony; it was difficult to NOT watch the video. In the recruitment industry; the best jobs and the best people that we hear about are always through word of mouth and referrals.
The best companies in the world offer individuals the promise of being part of something special and to make a difference. Kony makes it clear that their goal cannot be achieved without ‘you’ helping to effect change. People always ask us ‘Why should I come to work for this organisation?’ Kony 2012 reflects that the impetus should come from the individual; i.e. what you can bring to the organisation and how you can contribute.
The positive response received from the campaign has been matched in full by negative sentiment and backlash as to financial disclosure and intentions of The Invisible Children. With the current nature of information and its accessibility, companies will be scrutinized from front to back. Prospective employees will do their due diligence and background checking, so be prepared and make sure the house is in-order.
Until next time.
[Temporary IKEA installation in New York to showcase a new store opening]
I’m sure most of you reading this have some form of IKEA product at home. Whether you need to buy furniture for a small unit, purchase hundreds of tea lights, or simply have an obsession for Swedish meatballs – they have a solution for you.
IKEA is also a brand that utilises innovation in their marketing campaigns to connect with their customers and to keep the brand fresh.
I came across the video below which details a recent and highly successful recruitment campaign that IKEA Australia ran to hire staff for a new store that they were opening:
A simple idea executed to perfection. IKEA has uncovered an alternative communications channel at nominal costs that has reached their target market effectively. By crafting a simple communications piece they’ve been able to pre-qualify a high number of suitable candidates for their vacancies who also have a passion for the brand.
In business we always try to over-complicate things; recruitment is not ‘rocket-science’ and IKEA has shown that by thinking outside of the (flat-packed) box they have achieved the desired solution to their hiring issue. They have constructed a winning recruitment campaign by demonstrating a strong understanding of their target market.
Until next time.