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publisher's letter: 2009 will be a perfect time contributors: who’s who in industry insight: sizing up successful sales incentives marketing: goody bag - part II - item makeover free love: just good ideas incentives: sales incentives more than ever marketing: your customers are searching for you travel: the economy threat to the travel industry it's all personal: trends and more trends management: how to criticize with care exhibit: the right frame of mind leadership: over reactive people products on our radar ad-index last word off the cuff: quiz your self | December 2008

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publisher’s letter

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Brilliant Publishing LLC 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown, PA 17036 Ph: 717.571.9233 Fax: 717.566.5431

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PUBLISHER / ADVERTISING Maureen Williams maureen@brilliantpublishing.com 717-608-5869

2009

will be a perfect time to advance your own company’s position and grab market share. Yes, I just said 2009 will be a year to advance. I do read / watch the news but I do not buy into the doom and gloom of the economy, because if you look at history it will show you that for every company that did not advance there was another company that profited spectacularly during a gloomy economic period. Call me crazy but the way I see it you have a choice. Yours can be the company that advances spectacularly because you ramp up your marketing efforts and increase your market share or you can do the ‘woe is me dance’ continue what you have been doing in the past and hope for the best. But, winners know life is about change and choices. You are choosing now to spend time reading Brilliant Results and for that we say “thank you”, you our subscribers, as well as our advertisers make this magazine a reality. It’s tough and yes it will get tougher but for those of us who are focused and aggressive fear not. The days of doing the same old marketing and hoping for a different result are over. Let the weak get out of our way. Now is the time to seize the day and refine your marketing program so that it will deliver those muchneeded results. Keep reading our magazine and hey if you really want to know what’s going on and receive tips to keep you on top of your game sign up for our e-newsletter. We are starting our newsletter program in response to the hundreds of emails we have received. Just go to newsletter@brilliantpublishing. com and send an email that states you want to be in the know. Then let us get to work for you. Remember you have a choice…choose wisely. Stay focused and be aggressive. See you in 2009!

EDITORIAL Editor in Chief MaryAnne Morrill

Senior Editor Michelle Donofry

Style Editor Charity Plata

Asst. Editor Mildred Landis

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Greg Bright, Michael Merrick Crooks, Mary English Reinier Evers, Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., Arnold Light, CTC, Dave Ribble, MAS, Barry Siskind, Megan Slabinski, Dr. Peter Tarlow

PRODUCTION / DESIGN Art Director Jeremy Tingle

Brilliant Results is published monthly by Brilliant Publishing LLC, 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown PA 17036 (717) 608-5869; Fax# (717) 566-5431. Postage paid at Mechanicsburg PA and additional offices. POSTMASTER please send address changes to Brilliant Results, 9034 Joyce Lane, Hummelstown PA 17036. Volume 5. Number 11. Brilliant Results subscription rates: one-year $120; Canadian $160 USD; one-year foreign $225 USD. All subscriptions are non-refundable. Copyright © 2008 Brilliant Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising or editorial material. Advertisers, and/or their agents, assume the responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on the advertisement. Editorial contributors assume responsibility for their published works and assume responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on published work. No part of this publication can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher. All items submitted to Brilliant Results become the sole property of Brilliant Publishing LLC. Editorial content does not reflect the views of the publisher. The imprints, logos,

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trademarks or trade names (Collectively the “Marks”) displayed on the products featured in Brilliant Results are for illustrative purposes only and are not available for sale. The marks do not represent the implied or actual endorsement by the owners of the Marks of the product on which they appear. All of the Marks are the property of

Maureen Williams Publisher maureen@brilliantpublishing.com 717-608-5869 6 Brilliant Results

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the respective owners and is not the property of either the advertisers using the Marks or Brilliant Results.

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Mary English is the Vice President of Marketing for Hallmark insights, the leader in providing business incentive solutions and personalized reward programs for employee recognition, customer acquisition and retention, sales and dealer incentives, and health and wellness programs. to learn more, go to HallmarkInsights.com.

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Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. For more than two decades Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organizations have relied on Dr. Barton Goldsmith to help them develop creative and balanced leadership. He is a highly soughtafter keynote speaker, business consultant and author. His columns appear in over 500 publications, including the Chicago Suntimes, the Detroit news, and the los Angeles Business Journal. He may be contacted through his web site www.BartonGoldsmith.com.

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Megan Slabinski is executive

director of the Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project basis. For more information, visit www.creativegroup.com.

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Arnold Light, CTC, Founder of Fire and light has 35 years of marketing experience specializing in incentive and loyalty marketing helping multinational corporations develop and implement B2B and B2C results oriented performance improvement programs. For additional information visit www.incentivesmotivate.com.

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Dave Ribble, MAS, is President of the Company image/Geiger, an award-winning promotinal marketing company specializing in listening to what you want to accomplish, then providing solutions within your budget. For more information please visit www.tCi4Me.com

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Barry Siskind is an internationally recognized trade and consumer show expert. He is author of six bestselling business books including Powerful Exhibit Marketing. Watch for his newest book, Selling from the inside Out. Visit Barry at www.siskindtraining.com. www.brilliantpublishing.com

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Book author, Greg Bright has had much success over the years in getting his patented laptop stand (a promotional ad specialty product) high ranking, achieving a #1 rank 95% of the time for the past 24 months. www.keynamics.com. He has numerous other web pages for other products and businesses he owns at the #1 position, as well. Bright has written his book for the layperson – “Business Owner to Business Owner”.

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Ed Rigsbee, CSP is the author of PartnerShift, Developing Strategic Alliances and the Art of Partnering. Ed travels internationally to deliver keynote presentations and workshops on profitable alliance relationships. in addition to serving as the president of rigsbee research Consulting Group, Ed also serves as the executive director of a (501 c 3) public non-profit charity. For additional helpful information visit www.rigsbee.com

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Reinier Evers, Founder of trendwatching.com, is an accomplished trend watcher, entrepreneur, and presenter. He has been quoted as a trend expert in numerous business publications, including BusinessWeek, time Magazine, new York times, and Advertising Age. On a corporate level, reinier has worked with leading brands like Young & rubicam, KlM Airlines, SonyEricsson, Schiphol Airport, Electronic Arts, interContinental Hotels Group, inSEAD, MasterFoods, and Unilever.

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Dr. Peter Tarlow is a founder and president of tourism & More inc. Dr. tarlow has appeared on national televised programs such as Dateline: nBC and on CnBC. Dr. tarlow organizes conferences around the world dealing with visitor safety and security issues and with the economic importance of tourism and tourism marketing. He also works with numerous cities, states, and foreign governments to improve their tourism products and to train their tourism security professionals. For additional information visit www.tourismandmore.com

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Michael Merrick Crooks runs Crooks Advertising Alliance, a creative strike-force specializing in creative problem-solving, the topic he’ll present as a speaker at PPAi Expo 2009 in January. For more insight, articles and contact information visit www.CrooksAdvertising.com.


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“TOP 15 TREND BY: REINIER EVERS

QUESTIONS” & ANSWERS.

Q15: “How do I actually spot consumer trends? And then how do I apply them?” A: OK, let’s start with the basics. One of the questions asked most often was about spotting and applying trends. Yes, this is the sweet spot, the holy grail of trend watching: how to spot and what to do with your findings! We’ve actually dedicated a whole section on our site to this challenge and opportunity: check out our Tips section at www.trendwatching.com/tips. The spotting part is too extensive to recap in a few sentences, but here’s the 1-minute version on how to apply trends: Ask yourself if a trend you’re tracking has the potential to: Influence or shape your company’s vision. Inspire you to come up with a new business concept, an entirely new venture, a new brand. Add a new product, service or experience for a certain customer segment. Speak the language of those consumers already ‘living’ a trend: show them you know what they’re excited about. In your campaigns, your branding, your conversations. That’s all there is to applying trends… Seriously though: don’t be too earnest about the quest at hand: it’s about coming up with exciting new products and services for your customers, nothing more and nothing less.

Q14: “What are good trend resources?” A: Trend watching as a discipline has radically changed over the last five years. In a world that’s fully connected, where thousands of smart professionals and amateurs are not only spotting, observing, thinking and innovating, but also putting their findings online for all to see, valuable resources are up for grabs. So stop moaning about information overload and instead celebrate the incredible wealth of trend resources at your fingertips, many of them free or dirt cheap. We naturally encourage you to explore trendwatching.com’s previous Trend Briefings (free!) and our Annual Trend Reports (not free). But also spend a few days on trend sites like PFSK, Springwise New Business Ideas, Iconoculture, Influx Insights, and Agenda Inc. Just sign up for their newsletters and feeds. They will yield enough material to start building your Trend Framework.

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Q13: “What will be the next Facebook or Google?” A: Believe us, if we knew, we’d be working on it right now. There’s only one way to get an answer to this one: create the Next Big Thing yourself. How? By religiously tracking consumer trends and coming up with a winning innovation that plays into changing habits, or even unlocks existing needs in completely new and profitable ways. Overly simplistic? Maybe. But then again, there are people out there building, designing and starting Next Big Things on a daily basis. Why not you?

Q12:“What’s next for <insert demographic>?” A: We can tell from your questions that you continue to be deeply interested in demographics, tribes, lifestyles and so on. Baby boomers! Youth! Gays! Women! Ethnic minorities! Any kind of minority! We don’t blame you: demographics—and all of the specific needs and wants associated with them—are an endless source of innovation. BUT… When it comes to demographics, you already seem to know what’s happening in the communities you hope to serve. For example, to us, a question like…”How will youth’s total obsession with all things digital impact traditional newspapers?”…isn’t really a question, it’s a statement. And there’s much to know about demographics, as witnessed by the staggering amount of published research. So we feel we don’t have that much to add. What you have to do, is to continue to engage in conversations with your targeted demographic or tribe, and then focus on creating new products, services and experiences for your audience. Yes, keep a close eye on the many blogs dedicated to each lifestyle and tribe, too. But really, no super-expensive trend watchers needed for this one.

Q11: “So how do Perkonomics relate to…” A: We received quite a few questions about Perkonomics, which was featured in a previous Trend Briefing. An overview:

Q: “How do perks sit with the current economic downturn?” A: In challenging times, any perk that is about empathy will

be appreciated. For more on how to make the most of a downturn, see Question 1.

Q: “How can luxury brands offer perks if they already offer status?” A: They should offer perks that are about different kinds of status. Visibly flaunting a label or a brand is no longer enough: access is the new status for those who already possesses the goods. Which is why perks like insider info, jumping the queue, afterhours openings, even reserved parking spots are so valued by luxury consumers.

Q: “Aren’t most perks just old wine in new bottles?” A: This is what we said in the briefing: “Another non-perk: turning previously free, completely accessible services into pseudo-perks, if not paid perks. This is a dubious practice: witness perk-pioneers like airlines now introducing all kinds of payment and perk schemes for simply checking in luggage, while in the past this was a free service. The same goes for making previously accessible-to-all customer service only available to top-tier clients.”

Q: “How can perks offer exclusivity if you’re making them widely available?” A: Many of the examples in the briefing weren’t necessarily about offering individual customers complete exclusivity, but about delighting all of your customers, at the expense of non-customers. From O2 customers being able to book coveted concerts tickets before Vodafone and T-Mobile customers can, to being offered luxury loos at muddy festivals if you’re a MasterCard customer. P.S. For another (though not necessarily endorsed-by-us) take on this trend, check out the article on PERKONOMICS in The Independent.

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Q10: “What are the most important trends affecting <insert your industry/sector>?” A: Yes, yes, we know, what you really want to hear about is trends affecting your industry or sector. Be it wind energy, goat’s milk, alarm clocks, holiday resorts or gift wrap. The thing is, the trends that will impact your industry most are… consumer trends. And crucial customer experiences and thus expectations may well be set in industries other than your own. So while we would have to refer to specialized market research firms for questions like ‘what growth percentage is expected for selling virgin olive oils to 30–35 year olds in Sweden’, we are confident that by scanning our consumer trends, you will be able to understand where your industry may be headed, or even better, shape its direction yourself, by introducing new products and services that catch the competition off guard. (See also Question 15 about applying trends.) We actually dedicated an entire briefing to how consumer trends trump industry trends: check out EXPECTATION ECONOMY. The two-minute version: Your competition could be anyone. First of all, focusing solely on your own industry will obscure the fact that in economies of abundance, consumers are increasingly spending their ‘play money’ on goods and services that net them the experience, the indulgence, the excitement, the satisfaction they’re looking for at a specific moment. Which could be new sneakers (even though they already own five pairs), or a new cell phone (even though their current one is perfectly fine) or a long weekend away (even though, if they’re European, it’s probably their fourth getaway this year). So if you’re, let’s say, Nike, you’re definitely competing with Reebok and Adidas and Onitsuka Tiger once a consumer has made up his or her mind that it’s sneakers he or she desperately wants. But before minds are made up, when shopping for a certain kind of excitement, it may as well be Nokia or Starwood Hotels. Or Zara. Increasingly, you’ll be competing with anyone and everyone, which means you need to keep an eye on anyone and everyone.

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Consumer expectations are often set outside your own industry. Limiting yourself to your own industry will make you miss important changes in consumer expectations, and will thus put you at risk of disappointing or even annoying consumers. Every industry has its own ‘innovation competence’, and the innovations they’re bringing to market not only excite their own customers, they also shape their expectations for other industries. Whether it’s Singapore Airlines’ sense of status, IKEA’s understanding of the democratization of design, H&M’s obsession with making up-to-the-minute fashion affordable, or Apple’s prowess in design and usability. And while flawless execution is never easy, the thinking and attitude behind it isn’t impossible to mirror. Consumers know this, too. Hence their aforementioned indifference and irritation when it comes to the non-H&Ms, the non-Singapore Airlines, the non-Apples.

Q9: “How do I know a trend isn’t just a fad?” A: Fads versus trends: let’s first define a trend. This is what we came up with a while ago, and it still holds up pretty well: “A manifestation of something that has unlocked or newly serviced an existing (and hardly ever changing) consumer need,* desire, want, or value.” At the core of this statement is the assumption that human beings, and thus consumers, don’t change much. Their deep needs remain the same, yet can be unlocked or newly serviced. The ‘unlockers’ can be anything from changes in societal norms and values, to a breakthrough in technology, to a rise in prosperity. Example? One of the core human needs is to be in control, or at least to have the illusion of being in control. No wonder then, that the still-evolving online world is so addictive. After all, it firmly puts the individual in the driver’s seat. Back to fads, then. First of all, declaring (for example) Crocs an emerging consumer trend is somewhat strange. It’s certainly a popular product, but it won’t dramatically change the consumer arena. At most, it’s yet another manifestation of consumers wanting convenience no matter what, and that yes, even though individualization is the new religion, sometimes people still want something that their peers have. Convenience versus style, and sameness versus uniqueness, those are ‘trends’. The product isn’t. Whether something like Crocs will endure is for you to figure out. If it doesn’t, it certainly was a successful fad.

Q8: “When is the right time to act upon a trend?” A: Some of you really like to bite nails or bury your head in your hands when it comes to timing and when to act on certain trends. Biggest concern seems to be the local adaptability of a trend ‘from somewhere else’, i.e. ‘will it work here, and if so, when?’ May we humbly suggest you stop worrying? First of all, why limit yourself to one market or country? If you think your ‘own’ country isn’t ready for a trend, why not introduce it to another country that is ready? It’s a global marketplace out there. Secondly, you only have to dive into one of the many global youth tribe studies (for example, expect to hear lots about MTV’s new study on ‘threenagers’) to find further proof that when it comes to brands, when it comes to consumption, the similarities worldwide far outnumber the differences. It’s a total cliché, but yes, younger consumers are well-connected and well-informed, and treat the global marketplace as a smorgasbord of best-of-the-best delicacies. A taste of things to come if we’ve ever seen one. Thirdly, you won’t have to worry about readiness in a specific market if you instead carefully prepare for when it happens, while learning best practices from those already applying the trend elswhere. Just keep your costs down while waiting and learning. Basically, either think big by taking something global, or think small, while learning and not spending too much money.

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Q7: “What actually are the trends in…<insert emerging market>?” A: OK, so what are the major consumer trends in emerging markets like Brazil, India, South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico, Turkey and so on? How are they different from trends in ‘mature’ consumer societies like Canada, Austria or Japan? Why don’t we do country-specific reports? This remains a popular question, often driven by the belief that things in emerging nations are completely different, even mystifyingly so. Our standard answers can be summed up as follows (and let’s take Brazil as an example): We study emerging consumer trends on a global scale. This means we don’t focus on specific countries, we just look for new manifestations of existing human needs and wants that have been unlocked—somewhere, anywhere. So it’s all about first signs of shifts in consumer behavior and preferences that have the potential to be embraced by similar consumers in other countries/regions. If something truly new manifests itself in Brazil, with the potential to become a hit with other consumers around the world, it’s of interest to us and to our readers worldwide, who will want to learn from it, copy it, improve on it and so on. On the other hand, if an existing trend is picked up in Brazil, we’re mostly interested in whether Brazilian entrepreneurs are doing something surprising with it that may interest our readers elsewhere who are also interested in making the most of that specific trend. Now, it’s a given that consumer trends are global these days. Cultures are far from global, but consumer behavior, especially among (emerging) middle classes is pretty universal.* The uptake may differ in pace and timing, but in the long term, an IKEA couch is what everyone covets. Don’t agree? Are you convinced that we “just don’t understand, things are very different here”? Then show us all those trends, all those products that started 10 years ago and have not caught on in any possible shape or form in your country. We dare to predict that you can’t come up with more than one or two. * Low-income consumers tend to value the same things worldwide, middle class consumers ditto, and yes, the super-rich exhibit herd-like behavior, too. In fact, the current consumption spheres look something like this: consumers with very little money, looking to secure the basics and trying to survive; consumers with growing incomes believing in the ‘you are what you buy’ dream; the super-rich who are still scrambling to outdo each other in true extravaganza; a new breed of middle-class consumers with nice, steady incomes trying to figure out what comes next after buying the most and the best, looking for a more sustainable, softer form of consumerism, and last but not least some pockets of consumers trying to shed the consumer-label altogether, focusing instead on being creators, or, yes, citizens again (‘being’ instead of ‘having’).

Q6: “Who sets trends? And where? A: It’s about individuals. Closely related to Question 7 is this one: do countries set trends? Do regions? Do governments? Do brands? Do consumers? The answer is: yes. All of them do. If we look one more time at our aforementioned definition of a consumer trend: “A manifestation of something that has unlocked or newly serviced an existing (and hardly ever changing) consumer need, desire, want, or value” and we agree on ‘unlockers’ being anything from a change in societal norms and values, to a breakthrough in technology, to a rise in prosperity, then it’s easy to see how trends can and will emerge all over the place. In the end, it’s all about ideas, ideas that translate—to technologies, to revolutions, to products—and ideas that spread. Which brings us to the following: larger entities like countries or cultures or brands that are setting trends are of course all dependent on individuals who set things in motion. So rejoice: anyone can be a trend setter.

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Q5: “How do I become a (better) trend watcher?” A: It’s pretty easy, really. Just don black glasses, wear outrageous suits, attend lots of conferences and frequently declare something ‘over’, except anything that currently resonates in your own life. You also need to possess some kind of divine intuition. Just kidding. It’s really all about observing the world around you with an open mind, which is, sadly, something many professionals have unlearned. It’s not something they aren’t born with. If you want to spot trends, you can. We actually did an extensive posting on the traits of a trend watcher. The five-minute version: First of all, make sure you acquire a point of view about the world around you. The more trends you spot and track, and the more skilled you are at putting these trends in a context, the more guidance you’ll have. Crucial to broadening your point of view: be curious and be open minded. Not an easy thing to do. We’re all set in our ways, we all have our strict beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. Ask yourself ‘why’ whenever you notice something new, instead of immediately looking for shortcomings. Also realize that you are not necessarily your customer: your professional interests should be broader than your personal interests. You may not be excited by something new, but others are. Ask yourself why they are excited and which existing need has apparently been unlocked. Stop being ‘just’ a specialist and aim to become a generalist. Yes, we all need to be a specialist in something. However, we also need to be generalists, to understand the big picture and how we and our companies and products fit in.

Q4: “How much influence do trend watchers have anyway?” A: On our way to yet another marketing conference. It would be nice to believe that trend watchers make or break brands. But of course they don’t. They merely facilitate. They deliver insights, examples and conversation starters that may spark the Next Big Thing for marketers and entrepreneurs who successfully translate those nuggets to their own brand, their own business. It helps that they move in multiple circles, as opposed to most business professionals who tend to be (too) focused on their own industry (see Question 10). Basically, they do the kind of work that YOU should be doing but don’t have enough time for. Now, as some of you asked, doesn’t the pulling together of disparate examples and naming them, and then propagating that idea to brands, actually create the trends you describe? Our answer: while that may occur, it’s still only accelerating something that is already happening. So yes, a trend watcher’s influence can be substantial, but only indirectly, and only based on real-world developments. All pretty servile, really. Which is important to take into account if you find (or fancy) yourself your organization’s de facto trend watcher: you’re a facilitator, so don’t make it a one (wo)man show. Instead, be the messenger, the humble reporter. Show realworld examples of how other firms are already cashing in on a specific trend. Point out what respected brands are doing, including as many direct competitors as possible. (Even though we’ve argued against too much industry focus in question 10, when it comes to your mindset, showing what the competition is doing is great wake-up-call material.) What it comes down to is that if you can appeal to the dreams and desires of others—read: anything that includes more money, more prestige, more status—you’ll get more support, and thus have more influence.

Q3: “What’s a trend’s life cycle?” A: Most trends don’t die; they evolve.

First of all, the consumer trends we tend to highlight are part of such broad shifts in what constitutes value and status to consumers, that none of them die within months, not even years. In fact, over the last six years, none of the trends in our briefings have disappeared. They DO evolve of course. Which brings us to our second point

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about life cycles: if you religiously track all major consumer trends, you will no longer have to think in life cycles, as you will be tracking an overall picture based on evolving developments. Last but not least, the new doesn’t always kill the old. E-commerce may be booming, but realworld retail is far from dead. Has the latter changed? Sure. But take one look at excited shoppers and Trysumers who spend hours in Apple’s flagship store in Manhattan, and it becomes clear that both online and offline retail have many years of innovation and opportunity ahead of them.

Q2: “What’s going to be BIG in 2009?” A: Funny you should ask. For this one, we’re going to refer you to our very affordably priced 2009 Trend Report, which was released on November 17th. The report, which is in PowerPoint format, highlights dozens of emerging consumer trends that will define 2009, and that won’t be covered in our free monthly briefings. Lifting a tip of the veil: “FSTR”, “FAKETASTIC”, “DISCREET CHIC”, “RAW & SEE-THROUGH”, “MINISUMERS”, “END OF TRIBEVERTISING”, “ECO-CHEAP”, “MICRO-SCOPE”, “LIVING THE “LIVE” and so on. See www.trendwatching.com/trendreport.

Q1: “How is the financial crisis going to impact my business?” A: Not surprisingly, this question arrived in our inbox, in every possible variation, about 600 times. Where to begin? Perhaps with stating that yes, many parts of the world will soon find themselves—or are already finding themselves—in a recession, and yes, this will seriously influence consumer behavior in the short term. Long term, a recession may have a much smaller impact on broad consumer trends than often expected: the broad changes in what constitutes status over the last 40 years have been steadily building, influenced but not stopped by the various busts along the way. Anyway, for the here and now, here’s an overview of the various ‘recession’ related questions we received:

Q: “Will consumers cut down on luxury, high-ticket items?” A: To ask the question is to answer it. Of course they will. Expect numerous reports on the (temporary) demise of luxury, except in regions where emerging middle classes still depend on flaunting luxury brands for recognition. Oh, and the absurdly rich will continue to spend heavily too, just because they can.

Q: “So what will happen to your Premiumzation trend?” A: It’s still a force, but needless to say the focus within premium products will shift towards the useful and comforting, versus the frivolous if not outrageous slant of pre-downturn times. And one thing to keep in mind, recession or no recession: one generation’s luxury will be another generation’s necessity. Meanwhile, what we will be looking out for is a prolonged appreciation a of golden-oldie trend, no-frills chic: well-designed yet affordable products and services. This trend will continue to boom: while affordable chic in good times allowed consumers to consume even more in style, they now provide a stylish alternative to cheap-but-sad offerings for the only city-trip people may be booking this year.

Q: “Is ‘eco’ still going to be big?” A: Why not? Sure, certain overpriced organic nice-to-haves will suffer, but we’ll most likely see a surge in what we’ve dubbed ECO-CHEAP: cash-strapped consumers going out of their way to save money on energy bills, motorized transport and other waste-prone, eco-unfriendly activities. While the environment may not be their first concern, there will be less polluting nevertheless. Quite ironic of course is the rapidly sinking price of oil, due to less economic activity around the world, which in turn lowers the price of energy and fuel and therefore discourages (at least for the moment) new and costly investments in renewable energy sources. We guess you can’t have it all.

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Q: “Is this a good time to focus on innovation?” A: Any time is a good time to focus on innovation. If you’re doing well, you need to continue to innovate to ward off the inevitable competition, and if you’re not doing so well, you’re obviously not going to crawl out of your mess by downsizing and sitting still. So basically, as necessity is the mother of invention, expect to see a whole lot of innovations popping up in the next 12 months as smart people are suddenly forced to give it all they’ve got, with despair and dwindling resources setting new ways of thinking in motion. The impetus to innovate is every recession’s silver lining. Q: “What about entertainment in difficult times?” A: People will look for diversions, for (affordable) experiences that will make them temporarily forget any kind of misery that has come their way. Will cocooning or Insperiences boom? Of course. Are Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo salivating over staycation-induced game riches? Yup, yup.

Q: “And Free Love?” A: Anything that is free will obviously be in demand, but ‘free’ business models supported by ad revenues may feel the pain, as ad spending will decrease if companies curb spending (something to avoid if possible, of course.)

Q: “And indulgences?” A: Big indulgences will be out (they’ll be either too expensive or too flashy, or both), small ones will be in, to lighten the hardship. However, frequently-occurring small indulgences may take a hit, as total expenditures on those do add up. Think people’s daily Starbucks fix. And on and on it goes. It’s all pretty common sense and moreover, it’s been researched to death. So… the golden trend tip for brands in a downturn? Care about your customers. Deliver. Sympathize. Surprise them. Talk to them. Give to them. Hey, that’s what you should be doing during an upturn, too. Happy spotting! Last but not least, some of the questions weren’t really questions. They were well-informed, insightful statements, for which the askers were perhaps looking to get validation or confirmation. Which is unnecessary: a small but key element of trend watching is to be confident about your own observations. View trend watching as a heavy dose of research and thinking, mixed with a pinch of gut feel. With execution as the only goal. Amen.

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| December 2008

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travel WRITTEN BY DR. PETER TARLOW

Travel Trends in Luxury Travel THERE

is no doubt that 2008 was a year of challenges to travelers and travel industry professionals alike. The high cost of gas, the collapse of airline service within the US, the weak dollar and the continual need to be on alert have caused many a tourism official and traveler to shake his/her head in disbelief. Although no one would deny that 2008 was not an easy year, these difficulties have become the basis for a new trend in tourism, the luxury travel market. Luxury travel is not for everyone. During 2009 we should expect to see the travel market branch off into two very distinct roads. One road will be travel by those seeking no-frills basic travel. The US air carriers will continue to be symbols of this form of à-la-carte travel, where the customer will receive perhaps nothing more than a seat and seatbelt. All other additions from food to pillows will have to be purchased separately. Not everyone, however, will want this type of travel. Here are a few trends to watch for in the luxury travel market Not only the rich will seek out the luxury travel market. The luxury travel market will cater not only to the rich and famous but also to those who would prefer to travel less and receive more. Also the newly retired “young-senior citizens” market will be a niche market for luxury travel. Finally luxury travel will appeal to the business traveler who must arrive well rested if he/she will have to be at work upon departure from the plane. In order to succeed in this market, luxury travel will have to offer:

top-flight custoMer service People spending money for luxury travel will not tolerate rude behavior, and companies’ refusals to be flexible. These people will pay more and expect more. Travel companies that provide flexible travel and a willingness to accept changes are going to be the ones to succeed in the luxury travel market

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high Quality food and drink The luxury travel market will need to cater to those who desire more than a sandwich. These people will seek out travel amenities such as high quality health conscious foods and drinks. Luxury travelers will demand choices that meet their health, cultural and religious needs.

Quiet travel The luxury market, and especially the business part of the luxury market, will need to offer, “quite travel”. These are people who seek to arrive at a place ready to go to work. A future possibility is that some travelers will pay for adult-only airplanes that will provide quiet travel. The luxury market will demand single-unit pricing. There is nothing that annoys a traveler more than paying for a luxury hotel room and then being faced with a series of add-on costs. Hotels that include communication packages, free child care, gourmet breakfasts, newspapers and other reading materials, in-room movies, and concierge services such a shoe shining and ironing are the ones that will capture this market. Rental cars and trains can also compete for the luxury travel market. These forms of transportation will have to develop innovative luxury travel such as on-train lectures and entertainment, no-line waits, standard GPS etc. While not everyone will want these extra services even in a difficult market there are always those who are willing to pay more to receive extra comfort. Some of the Asian airlines have proven that quality sells. Those companies which seek to compete for the luxury travel dollar with brilliant results must never forget that these are people who demand high levels of customer service, given with a smile, and provided with a sense of caring.

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December 2008 | Brilliant Results 21


insight WRITEN BY MARY ENGLISH

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Sizing Up

Successful Sales Incentives

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RECEIVING incentives for your performance is not a new concept. It’s safe to

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say that almost every one of us were aware of the lure of behavior- and performancebased incentives well before we entered the business world. In fact, receiving incentives is an idea we’ve been exposed to since the time we were children. Who doesn’t remember hearing comments from our parents such as: “If you behave in the store, we’ll stop at the ice cream shop on the way home.” “Clean up your room and finish your homework and you can use the car this weekend.” “If you finish your dinner, you get to have dessert.” By the time we reach the working world, incentives that reward positive behavior are something we are used to in our daily lives. Because people have grown up with incentives and become accustomed to them, it’s important that rewards in today’s business world mean something to the recipient – especially when dealing with areas like sales incentives. For many years, the common thinking was to offer cash rewards as a sales incentive. Companies and managers subscribed to the philosophy of, “If you sell more, we’ll give you extra cash.” But as times changed and employees started to focus more on “tangible” rewards such as gift cards, cash became less and less of a motivator. Numerous studies have uncovered the changing viewpoints of employees regarding cash vs. gift cards and other tangible rewards that anyone looking to develop a sales incentive program should consider.

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for an even more meaningful reward. By offering this “value of choice” to the program participants, your incentive program can become more impactful and produce a greater return on investment, not only with increased sales revenue, but also in the form of increased loyalty, employee satisfaction and organizational goodwill. Because gift cards can GIFT CARD (TANGIBLE) REWARD be awarded in practically any Allowing recipients to choose their denomination amount, they specific reward creates a much allow you the option of offering a higher “trophy value” and long-lasting tiered incentive program. A sales satisfaction. incentive program that offers recipients can use their gift card on different awards for reaching items that serve as a visible reminder different levels or milestones of their achievement, increasing the creates more opportunities for motivational impact. success for more employees. Award recipients can use their As employees achieve higher award for a specific, desired item. and higher tiers of success, A gift card used on that big-screen the awards can be adjusted tV they “want” rather than “need” to reflect higher and higher creates a long-lasting memory of their amounts. This scalable method accomplishment. of rewards can also allow you A gift card used on a tangible item is to generate group awards – a constant reminder of the recipient’s thereby increasing the feelings performance and of the company, of teamwork and camaraderie building higher employee loyalty. within the organization. the award can be presented in person Whether you are and recipient’s family can assist in planning on starting choosing reward – increasing the a sales incentive emotional impact of the award.

These are just a few of the considerations those in charge of building or maintaining a successful sales incentive program should keep in mind. Another factor, and one that takes top priority once you choose gift cards as your award, is, “So, how do I use gift cards in my program?” CASH REWARD Has little emotional attachment and no lasting satisfaction. Can become “expected” and lose its motivational impact.

Often spent and forgotten. Used on “needs” rather than “wants.”

no long-lasting attachment or association with the goal or company. if directly deposited into bank, reward doesn’t have recognition impact with recipient or family.

Thankfully, the fl exibility of gift cards allows you to use them in any number of ways and in a manner that best fi ts your organization and sales incentive program. Gift cards have the ability to serve as an aspirational alternative to cash. This allows your program the opportunity to offer premium and luxury items as rewards. Award recipients can redeem a gift card immediately or choose to combine multiple awards

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program this month, or sometime in 2009, it’s important that your incentives are meaningful and memorable to the participants. And while incentives such as the promise of an ice cream cone may have worked when we were 10, and the promise of cash may have worked a few years ago, gift cards and their promise of choice are the incentives employees are looking for today.

December 2008 | Brilliant Results 23


marketing WRITTEN BY MICHAEL MERIICK CROOKS

Goody Bag Marketing: Part 2, The Goody Bag Item Makeover MY inspiration for this article comes from the movie “Jungle Book”. There’s a scene where two vultures sit on a tree limb. The first one says to the second one, “What do you wanna do?” The second replies, “I dunno. What do you wanna do?” The first one replies, “I dunno. What do you wanna do?” This goes on and on until I stand up and scream, “Somebody tell those two what to do!!” And while it makes my kids laugh, it reminds me that too often promotional marketing fails simply because we don’t tell people what to do. And so it is with the “Goody Bag”, that bag-full of “goodys” handed out to event participants. In last month’s article I outlined the steps to develop an effective plan to target your market using goody bags. This month, I share specific tactics to motivate your target to action. The first is the “Secret” tactic. The “Secret” tactic goes back to the foundation of my promotional marketing methodology: “More important than the item, is the idea behind what you imprint on the item.” The “Secret” tactic promises the recipient of your item a given number of secrets. With their interest piqued, 24 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

action is more likely. I’ll use Stan from Stan’s Plumbing as an example.

a Makeover for stan Stan was wasting money donating cheap do-dads to the goody bag of every golf outing in town. He thought he was effectively promoting because he ensured that the items were imprinted with his name, slogan and phone #.

stan’s pluMbing Water Where You Want It, When you Want It. 555-555-5555 And it worked out real well … for the guy who sold stuff to Stan. But it wasn’t working out for Stan. Now, let’s makeover Stan’s message employing the “Secret” tactic…First we develop an “interest piquer” such as, “10 Plumbing Secrets Every Homeowner Should Know.” Then we apply it to the item: “10 Plumbing Secrets Every Homeowner Should Know.” www.StansPlumbing.com 555-555-5555 Water Where & When You Want It When a prospect visits Stan’s website and reads the promised “secrets”, Stan establishes credibility,

a level of trustworthiness and expertise. In addition to the “secrets”, Stan shares information about his services on his website, including his low, feebased inspection service. Maybe you’re selling your home and want to know what upgrades to make to improve its sale-ability. Perhaps you want to know the integrity status of the plumbing in a home you want to buy. Or, you want to ensure your plumbing is up to snuff. Call Stan. Every time Stan performs an inspection, he places his sticker with his contact information on the water heater. Stan could also offer visitors to his website a higher-value imprinted promotional item for stopping in or filling out and submitting an e-form. This is how Stan builds a database for future, targeted marketing efforts.

achieving instant credibility Another tactic along this line is a bit more bold but nonetheless effective at establishing credibility in the marketplace. I call it the, “How Not To Get Screwed Tactic”. We’re adults, so let’s be candid. You know that no www.brilliantpublishing.com

matter w are a doz your cus practice deceit, y fall victim So expos what to w Prepa industry To Get whatever will let yo now you be of inte And if you tactics th it’s a safe employin Imprin interest p product a your com transcend promotin

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matter what industry you’re in, there are a dozen ways you can ‘stick it” to your customers. And while you don’t practice these devious methods of deceit, you know that daily, people fall victim to your competitor’s ploys. So expose those ploys by describing what to watch out for. Prepare a simple guide for whatever industry you’re in. Title it, “How Not To Get Screwed By _ _ _ _ _ _” or whatever title the legal department will let you get away with. The point is, now you have something that should be of interest to your target audience. And if you are telling them the devious tactics that exist within the industry, it’s a safe assumption that you are not employing them. Instant credibility. Imprint the title of your guide (your interest piquer) on your promotional product along with your website and your company name. Now you’ve transcended giveaway and are promoting.

consider the bag

s line is netheless dibility in “How Not re adults, w that no

Another overlooked opportunity is the Goody Bag itself. Your interest piquer along with your logo and contact info on a bright orange or yellow bag will give you the maximum amount of “eye time” allowed by law.

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And remember, the bag doesn’t necessarily have to be a bag. In Stan’s case, he could donate sturdy plastic buckets. Depending on your industry, your target and your budget, the bag can be a backpack, duffle bag, custom imprinted box, shoe bag or a bandanna tied to a stick. To be most effective, the goody bag donation should be the starting point of a larger concept. Using Stan as the example, the “Secret” tactic helps Stan: • Generate interest; • Establish credibility; • Create opportunity for personal contact; • Get his sticker inside people’s homes; • Create a database for ongoing marketing.

effectiveness litMus test

Do you fall all over yourself to do business with the companies represented by the pens, pencils, and what-not in the bag? How much of the stuff in the bag ends up out-of-sight in a drawer, given to the kids or worse yet … in the trash. How many items ask you to do something? How many cause you to do something such as visit a web site, make a phone call or visit an establishment? Then ask yourself, “If I’m not motivated by any of these items, why will others be motivated by my item?” By and large, it doesn’t cost any more to develop an effective interest piquer that will enhance your R.O.I. than it does to simply slap your contact info or logo on a Goody Bag item. You have a choice. You can continue to simply give stuff away or you can effectively promote. “What do you wanna do?”

Next time you receive a goody bag, pay close attention to how you view all the items in the bag

December 2008 | Brilliant Results 25


free love WRITTEN BY SPRINGWISE

Just Good Ideas FREE love can be dispersed in many ways, whether to all those who happen to be in the right place at the right time or to a select group of qualified recipients. Much like SOOPZ, a network through which food bloggers can sign up for the chance to receive free samples, Gitchers is a site that allows consumers to sign up for the chance to receive a free, branded T-shirt. Gitchers is essentially a database of people who want free T-shirts, either for themselves or for their dogs (special canine T-shirts are distributed through the site as well). To sign up, consumers tell Gitchers what type of shirt they’re interested in—featuring the logo of a favorite brand or website, for example— along with key demographic information such as their birthday, gender and location. (Each Gitchers account is associated with only one T-shirt request, so users must create separate accounts— using distinct e-mail addresses for each—to request more than one type.) Participating companies, meanwhile, tell Gitchers what types of consumers they’d like their T-shirts to be sent to—women aged 35 to 50 in Columbus, Ohio, for example—and pay USD 10.99 each for a minimum of 100 shirts. The first Gitchers users in the database meeting the advertiser’s criteria are then the lucky ones to receive the shirts. There’s no arguing with the power of free love, so it seems likely that there will be increasing opportunities for companies that serve as intermediaries, making the distribution effort more targeted. Consumers get free stuff, companies get targeted advertising, and the world just gets more love! For additional information about Gitchers visit: www. gitchers.com or contact: www.gitchers.com/email.php Springwise, an Amsterdam-based independent innovation firm scans the globe for the most promising new business ideas. Visit them at their website www.springwise.com.

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incentives WRITER ARNOLD LIGHT, CTC

Sales Incentives… More Than Ever!

IF

ever there was a time when sales incentives are needed to keep corporations afloat, morale and productivity high and return on investment solid it could be now or never for many companies. No need to go into the economic turmoil facing our nation, we all know it’s grim with a long pull ahead until the climate changes. So then what form of marketing can a company turn to that doesn’t cost but pays …Incentive (Reward) Marketing? It will work for sales people, and other employees and of course customers. In today’s business climate, it’s essential that you know all there is to know about sales incentives and reward marketing and the amazing results it consistently delivers for leading companies in every important product and service business in the nation.

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The m sales ince deliver risk, wit without q program world wh you hit yo that not other par receives he has e quota or g and deliv companie Most pre-appro spends n It delive profits to you those you spen The way carefully and or rew applied w and deliv company Where beginning the right you mus You mus of your volume c most pro are your sales pe and inco effects of have the questions

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The most important fact of all: sales incentives and reward marketing deliver increased profits—without risk, without cost, without delay, without question. A sales incentive program is the only crap game in the world where you make your bet after you hit your point. Meaning of course that not one sales person or any other participant in a reward program receives any kind of reward until she/ he has exceeded the pre-set sales quota or goal that pays for the reward and delivers a healthy plus profit to a companies bottom line. Most sales incentives need no pre-appropriated money, because it spends no money it hasn’t earned. It delivers consistent, accountable profits to you as it proceeds—giving you those added profits long before you spend even a fraction of them. The way it happens is to design a carefully structured sales incentive and or reward program with motivation applied where it will do the most good and deliver the most profit for your company. Where do you begin? …At the beginning of course. To structure the right program for your company you must first do an internal audit. You must have an accurate profile of your accounts by appropriate volume categories... What are your most profitable products? … What are your product’s positions? …Your sales person’s compensation plan and income level? …What are the effects of competition? Only when you have the answers to these and other questions that also pertain to your www.brilliantpublishing.com

employees and customers will you be ready to begin to design the program’s structure and rules. A good way to get these answers is to work with a bona fide incentive marketing agency.

A sales incentive program is the only crap game in the world where you make your bet after you hit your point. Meaning of course that not one sales person or any other participant in a reward program receives any kind of reward until she/he has exceeded the preset sales quota If structured properly and again here’s where an incentive agency can be of tremendous help, you’ll not only boost profits significantly, but among

other sound business ideas: you’ll learn how to cut your delivery costs by awarding points to customers who take delivery on specific days when you have established your most efficient shipping routes and how to cut the cost of debt servicing by awarding points to customers who pay on a predetermined, advantageous schedule. You can reduce insurance premiums by awarding points for good safety records and health improvement programs by drivers and other employees. And for attendance records as well. How about offering points to employees for recruitment? You’ll save thousands and be assured of well-qualified new employees. Now here’s the rub when trying to get buy in for a sales incentive or employee reward program from your management. You’ll run into the Yesbutters. Yesbutters don’t just kill ideas. They kill companies. The Yesbutters have all the answers. Yesbut we’re different. Yesbut we can’t afford it. Yesbut our business doesn’t need it. Yesbut we’re too small. Yesbut we couldn’t sell it to our workforce. Yesbut let’s wait and see. (This last is the worst of all because procrastination is the thief of profits.) So here’s the message. Seriously consider reward marketing as a very measurable and cost effective way of incorporating profit producing and cost savings results for your company almost as soon as you implement. Have a Rewarding Day.

December 2008 | Brilliant Results 29


marketing WRITTEN BY GREG BRIGHT

Your Customers are Searching for You

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MANY

web designs fail because the business owner did not lead the website designer properly. Both business owners and website designers can improve their websites by collaborating on the website design. Proper Search Engine Optimization applied to your website will improve your chances of high ranking and being “found” on the natural search results from Google, or another internet search engine. Business owners know their businesses best and need to guide their website designers in creating websites that rank well. Web designers in turn, should ask lots of questions from their client to find out as much as they can about the client’s business, encouraging the business owner to participate in the process. Many business owners get frustrated with the whole process and end up paying someone to design, optimize and maintain their websites for search engines and customer service – sight unseen. Having a web designer build a site on blind faith would be no different than handing over

the front door keys of your business to a stranger the day before your 25th anniversary sale, and then leaving town for a two-week vacation. This scenario is absurd, but many business owners do just that when handing over the keys to their Internet doorway…the doorway through which more and more new customers are entering their businesses. Just like most other areas of your business, the results you get are in direct correlation to the efforts you apply. The best web designer on the planet can’t do your business justice without your input. The reason many businesses take this “blind faith” route is that most information on Search Engine Optimization and Internet Marketing is written by techies for techies, in daunting technical jargon. Business owners need easy to understand tips, which they can implement immediately, without having to spend a huge amount of time. They need an up-to-date, nontechnical approach to get motivated in their Internet marketing.

– Will You be Found?

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December 2008 | Brilliant Results 31


marketing

A website is useless if it can’t be found. The vast majority of new customers will find your website through a search engine. Simply having a high ranking is not enough. The searching public has to actually pick you from the first ten “natural” search results returned to them. Then once they pick your website, you need to provide excellent customer service to get them to “stick” around, buy something, call you on the phone, or stop by for a visit at your “brick and mortar” location. You don’t have to be a programmer to understand the basic strategy of Search Engine Optimization. Hire a programmer (website designer) - then guide them well. The sidebar box lists 10 tips from my book “Get Top Ranking on Google and Other Search Engines”. There are 91 other simple tips in the book. It’s amazing that more websites do not implement these proven strategies even the corporate giants. The best news… Natural search engine ranking is more effective than advertisements (sponsored links) and, better yet, free. Some might think the Internet opportunity has peaked, but this is far from true. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Bill Gates spoke at the Consumer Electronics Show a couple of years ago about being surrounded by the Internet. It’s starting to happen. Laptops are proliferating at an unexpected rate (the sales numbers have been revised up three times in 2008) because laptop prices are falling. Even cell phones display a pretty good image of web pages. Surrounded by the Internet means access to your business 24/7. Will you be found?

32 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

10

Tips for SEO Success

• Free local business listing in Google http://www.google.com/local/ add/ (quickest way to get your local business listed at the top). • Always retain the rights to your website ownership information, like the domain registrar, program files, hosting user names and passwords, in case your web designer disappears. • Search engines reward websites for fresh content. Upload fresh text and images at least twice a month – once a week is best. • All links to your other pages from your home page should be actual text links - versus image links. Make sure you also have a “contact us” text link on your home page or you will not be indexed – period. • No splash page (entry page) – your first page should be your actual home page. Limit your use of Flash files. A little Flash is cool but never have your website designed in 100% Flash. • Websites are nothing more than a bunch of files strung together. Use every opportunity to name a file using a keyword in the file name. If using more than one keyword, use hyphens to separate the words - (an example of the file name on your contact page - www. yourwidgetcompany.com/widget-contacts/). This is very effective for image file names for the “Image Search” functions of search engines (don’t forget the ALT tags on image files). • Every business owner is an expert in their line of business. Fish for back links with articles to trade publications, monthly newsletters and press releases. • Be sure your website is picked by using an attention grabbing “Title” meta tag and a good “Description” meta tag to make your listing stand out from the other natural search results. • Build trust with: testimonials, physical addresses, featured return and privacy policies, secure servers, and phone calls answered in person. • Don’t use deceptive practices to try and trick search engines – they have figured out all the tricks. No link sharing farms, duplicate sites, or invisible text. Run - if someone ever promises you immediate high ranking – high ranking takes time and anything they do to get you immediate high ranking could jeopardize your listing with the search engines or possibly get you banned. www.brilliantpublishing.com


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travel BY: DR. PETER TARLOW

WH

The

Economic

Threat to the Travel and Tourism Industry 34 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

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WHEN

historians of modern tourism write about tourism in the first decade of the twenty-first century they will most likely see it as one of continual trials and challenges. The terrorism attacks on September 11, 2001 forced the travel and tourism industry to face global security threats and to determine how this new reality would change the way the tourism industry would do business. Certainly anyone who has traveled since 9-11 is well aware that travel is not the same as it once was. In some ways the tourism and travel industry did an excellent job in responding to this new threat; in other ways it is still in quandary as to how to handle global terrorism. Following on the heals of September 11, travel and tourism has had to face issues of food safety, health crises, natural disasters, and the rapid rise in petroleum prices resulting in major price increases for both land and air transportation. Now toward the latter part of the first decade in the third millennium, the tourism industry and the business community must once again face a very different type of threat. While this threat is neither physical nor medical, potentially it may be just as or even

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more dangerous than the others. That threat is the current economic meltdown and what it means to world business. While this article is written from the perspective of tourism, it is valid for almost any form of business that deals in non-essential to life products. It is still too early to predict exactly how this current economic crisis will impact the tourism industry, but some clear trends and ideas are already emerging. To help you think about the impact of these economic turbulent times on travel and tourism, the following insights and suggestions are offered:

be realistic; neither panic nor have a sense of false security. There is no doubt that tourism, like all luxury commodities may be in for some proverbial stormy seas. Use this crisis to think through which new directions your business can take and what new alliances you can forge. The bottom line we are not in a 1929 depression. Take a deep breath, think about which challenges each component in your locale’s industry may be facing, and what are some

possible solutions that will permit you to overcome these challenges. Remember the best way to solve big problems is by breaking them down into smaller and more manageable problems.

be up and be positive. This challenge is not the first nor will it be the last that the travel and tourism industry is going to have to face. Your attitude impacts everyone with whom you work and/or serve. When leaders demonstrate positive and cheerful attitudes, creative juices start flowing. Difficult economic times demand good leadership, and the basis of good leadership is believing in yourself and in your product. No matter what the media may be saying, walk into your office with a smile on your face.

do not let the Media get you down. Remember that many people in the media often thrive on bad news. Learn to separate facts from “analytical fictions.” Just because a commentator states something does not mean that it is true. Know how to separate facts from opinion and truth from media hype.

December 2008 | Brilliant Results 35


travel

assess both your econoMic strengths and weaknesses. Know where your proverbial Achilles heel may be. If the economy should worsen considerably which groups of travelers may you lose? Is there a new group of travelers to whom you have never marketed? Is your business, hotel, or CVB carrying too much debt? Is this the best time to ask for salary raises or to seek credit for a building? Remember the media reports on world and national conditions, but what often counts are local conditions. Assess your goals, needs and problems in light of your local conditions and the economic conditions at your principle customer sources.

think out- of -the - boX. Crises are the time to try to figure out ways to do more with less. Consider ways to connect your product development to/with your marketing. In turbulent economic times the public seeks substance over glitz. Make sure that you provide tourism essentials such as a tourism oriented policing unit and good customer service. Beautification projects not only add value to your tourism product but also provide an uplifting environment that allows for creative problem solving and encourages business people who must face a myriad of problems to want to return to your locale.

find ways for people to know who you are. The better known your business and you are the higher the probability

36 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

of doing well in a difficult economy. Take the time to be involved in the community. People tend to support those who support them so take the time to talk to people in the community and sincerely listen to their ideas. Then make sure to credit the other personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideas. Finally, yes your mother was right when she taught you never to forget to write a thank you note. Good manners often pay off in business profits.

think spiritually. When times are tough many people turn to some form of spirituality. Spiritual tourism tends to boom during difficult political or economic times. While many houses of worship may be the foundation for spiritual tourism, spiritual tourism is much more than merely visiting a church or synagogue. Think beyond your houses of worship to the underlying sense of spirit within your community. This may be the time to encourage people to visit cemeteries where loved ones are buried, or develop inspirational trails. Places where historical events occurred may also become part of your spiritual tourism offering.

reMeMber that travel and tourisM, like Many other industries, is forMed froM Many coMponent industries. That means that your business will be impacted by everyone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business. For example, if your community loses restaurants then that loss will impact the number of people staying in town and may hurt local hotels. If hotels are not

occupied not only will lodging tax revenues decrease but also this decrease will impact a wide variety of business owners. Tourism and travel will need to practice collective survival. The power of clustering to increase business will become an important trend

Make sure to think now about your recovery plan. In preparing for this plan think about how much this crisis might hurt your business. Then establish a crisis management team that looks at the world on an international level, a national level and a local level. As part of this plan, make sure that you speak with your bankers, develop lines of credit, stay as debt-free as possible, and develop low cost marketing programs. Review all expenses and then decide which expenses make the best investments in a down-market.

econoMists and finance specialists are not always right. To paraphrase an old adage, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;road to bankruptcy is paved with the opinions of economists and people in finance. Listen to the best advice, but at the same time never forget that economists make numerous mistakes. Neither finance nor economics is an exact science. Instead listen to expert opinions but never forget that in the end, the final decision is yours. So once you have done your research listen to your gut. That may be the best advice of all.

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it’s all personal

WRITTEN BY DAVE RIBBLE, MAS

Trends and more Trends THE morning after a young Olympic skater named Dorothy Hamill wins the Gold; most every brunette in America wants their ‘Hamill’ haircut. A trend is born. A mop-haired foursome called The Beatles comes along and suddenly even farm boys like me want longer hair and another trend is born. I’ve witnessed everything from Hula Hoops to Shag Carpet, Avocado Appliances to Mini Skirts (the latter of which continues to be my personal favorite). Trends sometimes turn into staple notions, then even into the new ‘norm’. Have you gone to a grocery or retail store lately and noticed those nonwoven shopping bags for sale? They are reusable and replace both plastic and paper bags, thus helping the environment. Get used to seeing them, because not only is the store showing you that they care about the environment, the sale of the bags is a revenue-generator. Everyone is looking to help out the bottom line by producing products that will make a difference to the environment and, if possible, also produce a profit, and these non-woven bags are a win-win for everyone. We’re seeing more products made from recycled materials and interesting to us is that they are figuring out more ways to do it. We recently developed custom journals for a special event. Every attendee received journals that had recycled covers, recycled paper, were printed with environmentally friendly ink and they came with a pen that was made from recycled plastics. 38 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

We’re seeing more ergonomically designed products, more space saving products, more efficient items. Anything that is touched my a human being, such as ergonomicallydesigned chairs, tables, keyboards, phones and computer mice, are helping folks feel better, have less aches and pains and are helping to slow down the development of muscle and joint ailments. More Solarpowered items are showing up, too, because global warming issues are forcing manufacturers to figure out better ways to create products. The world is watching. If your company is doing its part to help the environment by giving out eco-friendly promotional items, you should be benefiting.

If your company is doing its part to help the environment by giving out ecofriendly promotional items, you should be benefiting. The tote bags made from nonwoven materials, mentioned a moment ago, are a very good idea and it is a

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10 Ways to improve... How? There are many possibilities. One exhibitor featured the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in his booth. Another had an exciting increase their profitability at tradeE-mail is an easy,situation effortlesson way to additional and effort, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Assess every an basis.time multimedia presentation on aindividual revolutionary new type of technology. An shows. Author: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Riches in Niches: reach multiple people at once. It has lNDITWELLWORTHTHEEFFORTs instrumentation manufacturer employed a magician to perform at his Just asadvantage itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s criticalof to recognize to sitinback and How to toknow Makewhen it BIG a small the added being free.when quick action is needed, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equally important let employees resolve an issue on their own. Even the most affable and coolheaded workers occasionally have display. A major defense manufacturer hired a quick-draw fighter to Marketâ&#x20AC;? (May 2007) and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Meeting However, this is one case where you Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The days when theyhow seem haunted by a personal demon or two. Put simply, foul moods and petty misunderstandings teach people useyouâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a six-shooter (with blanks, course!). & Event Planning for Dummies.â&#x20AC;? clearly get what you paytofor: Tradeshow Coach,of Lake Placid, can get the best of anyone. If two generally friendly marketing managers butt heads, for instance, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely

For more information visit www. running a huge chance of your e-mailsituation NY, without is an internationally recognized theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to work out your intervention. While you Once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve invented anthe event (one that generates real excitement but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to turn a blind eye to thetradeshowcoach.com. beingongoing deletedoffi unread â&#x20AC;&#x201D; if it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expert working with companies to disharmony, you or theme), make this the feature subject also ties in ce with your product flagged as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;junkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to referee of your mailer. Just every as spamdisagreement filters. Your either. target audience publishers win subscribers may never get a chance to lay her by featuring areinforcement. free gift or a Offer positive eyes on e-mail message. trend thatyour isdiscount, rapidly becoming more price a successful This leaves usoverall with direct mail. standard in the scheme of Insteadshow of handing outfeatures chocolate trade mailing Combining the best of both worlds, bars and candy corn, dole out things.the It isâ&#x20AC;&#x153;gimmickâ&#x20AC;? an idea that is not going to rather than mailings offer the ability to reach public praise to model employees go away. said that, however,For an theHaving exhibit itself. several people once qualities in a fashion who exhibit you example, aatmailing designed even better idea is forthe your company to thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sto effective and polite: youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re want others to emulate. draw people to companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the gun-By make up tote bags with your recognizing the individuals bringing your attendee valuable fighter exhibit might read, information on them andmost give them out who contribute positively information without forcing them to â&#x20AC;&#x153;MEET THE WESTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S to yourtocustomers and prospects. Get your workplace, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll send adhere to your schedule the way a FASTEST GUN-FIGHTER a clear message that you value intelephone the game. Place your information on call does. AT HIGH NOON THE collaboration and AT positive something everyone benefi and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mAMCOM particularly fondts from of postAIR SHOW â&#x20AC;&#x201C; AND thinking. let the world know your company is cards.WIN Colorful, distinct and to the A GENUINE, OLD doing partbehavior to help.can You deserve that point,its postcards a numPoor andserve interpersonal WEST TEN-GALLON HAT.â&#x20AC;? recognition and by having them carry squabbles between employees ber ofHere functions: we are selling the sizzle canaround, lead toATTENDEES signifi cantgain declines your bag you brandin s#APTURE THE ATTENTION rather than thewill steak. morale andand productivity. By withboth bright colors eye catchrecognition in the process. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remaining attuned to your team, 8. Exclusivity. A topowerful ing graphics get much easier than this make a fostering a friendly environment appeal of direct-mail â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and of s $ ELIVERESSENTIALINFORMATIONINACONpositive statement at the same time and proactively tackling problems trade shows â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is exclusivity. cise fashion you make a positive impact. you can when necessary, One released by s3Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ERVEASATANGIBLEREMINDERTOVISIT successfully tame office â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Trendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; tension thestudy bottom line: the Trade Show Bureau yourand exhibit keep ghoulish toward being more personalpersonalities about how reported that halfYOU thePLACE people s2EINFORCE THE VALUE ON in check. your company is represented out there. who attend trade the customer relationship shows If you care about the environment, as go AS specifically to MUNICATION see new s3ERVE THE INITIAL CO the example above demonstrates, take products and services that of your marketing message for advantage of the idea and show the the have eventnot been shown before. world you care. No other advertising Ifcan youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re introducing a new vehicle do this for you better To be effective, postcards must:than technology, a new product, or the right promotional product, such as an improved version of an old the tote. Look for as many s"non-woven EDISTINCTIVE product, play this up inFASHION your ways possible are s"E as DELIVERED INtoA show TIMELYyou mailing. Emphasize both the ahead ofisthe curve; that careinabout there absolutely noyou sense sendimportance of the product as ingthey out acare mailing will not what aboutthat because wearrive are well as the fact that the reader until after the show is over all in this together. Make it personal, is having an opportunity see s#ONTAIN OFFER THAT because it A is.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;COMPELLING Theopportunity environment is it first an not motivates your attendees to visit personal. The condition of the human extended to other people theisbooth race personal. The knowing that in the Slabinski business. This sense Megan is executive you are doing something to help keep director of The Creative Group, a of being exclusive, of being Ensure your success making prespecialized staffi ngby service placing peoplefirst, employed and the economy is flattering, and it can showcreative, promotion part ofmarketing tradeadvertising, do wonders for youryour response humming along is personal. and web professionals with a SHOWPLANNING2EACHINGOUTTOYOUR rate. variety of firms on ahot project basis. key and prospects Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s customers ALLmore Personal. For information, visit www. beforecreativegroup.com. the event may take a little www.brilliantpublishing.com www.brilliantpublishing.com www.brilliantpublishing.com www.brilliantpublishing.com

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12/27/07 10:30:32 PM 9/25/08 8:24:23 PM


management WRITTEN BY MEGAN SLABINSKI

them of to grow vague, (“You’ve late eve “I’m con tardiness performa

Make

How to Criticize With Care BEING

an effective marketing leader means having the ability to communicate both good news and bad. While delivering negative feedback to team members isn’t easy, it’s a necessary part of your job as a manager. The key is to make sure your comments are helpful, not hurtful. Following are tips on providing constructive criticism in a way that motivates your employees:

strike tone.

a professional

There undoubtedly will be times when you experience a strong emotional response to an employee error. While it’s understandable to be upset after losing a client because of a team member’s carelessness, for

40 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

example, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Keep in mind that an employee will not be open to criticism if you immediately put him or her on the defensive.

watch

your words.

Most people know when they’ve made a mistake and don’t need help feeling embarrassed. Choose your words carefully; avoiding any statements that call into question the employee’s competence or intelligence. Also, instead of making generalizations (“It seems like you never pay attention to details”) offer specific feedback (“The quality of your work has decreased lately as evidenced by significant errors in your last two client briefs”).

conve

Keep your cre opportun the story

eMphasiZe feelings.

facts not

Address the problem, not your frustrations. For instance, if a graphic designer recently missed several deadlines, instead of saying, “I’m tired of you blowing deadlines!” spell out exactly how the person’s actions are negatively impacting the team. You might say, “When you’re slow to complete your portion of a project, others have to stay late to meet our obligation to the client.” Then work with the employee to identify remedies to the problem.

be

direct.

Not speaking honestly does a disservice to underperforming team members because it deprives

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them of the feedback they need to grow and improve. Instead of vague, wishy-washy language (“You’ve been arriving a little bit late every day”), be crystal-clear: “I’m concerned that your chronic tardiness is beginning to hurt your performance and reputation.”

MAKE

IT A TWO -WAY CONVERSATION. Keep an open mind and give your creative team members an opportunity to explain their side of the story. An employee may admit

to shortcomings and ask for help, or explain legitimate extenuating circumstances you weren’t aware of. You may even realize that a situation is merely a symptom of a larger underlying departmental problem that is affecting others.

FOCUS

ON SOLUTIONS.

Whenever you give criticism, remember that you have but one end goal: to make sure the issue at hand is swiftly rectifi ed. Whether you have to provide the employee with additional training or mentorship,

offer more frequent direction or streamline a fl awed system, do what you can to help the employee correct the problem in short order. Finally, don’t forget the many benefi ts of positive feedback. Knowing how and when to provide criticism is an important managerial skill, but don’t turn into a leader who comments only when employees slip up. Consistently offering kudos for a job well done and recognizing improvements is an excellent way to boost morale and reinforce positive behavior.

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December 2008 | Brilliant Results 41


exhibit WRITTEN BY BARRY SISKIND

The Right ONE

pet peeve of visitors at trade shows is pushy booth staff. These are people who think everyone is interested in hearing about their newest product or service. They wait in their booth with the eye of the tiger for an unsuspecting booth visitor to accidentally make eye contact or ask an innocent question. Then they pounce. The booth staff, on the other hand have difficulty working in a trade show booth when their manager is demanding so much and giving so little to work with.

42 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

www.brilliantpublishing.com

F

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Frame of Mind The quandary is finding a happy balance between being aggressive enough to produce the desired results and being the kind of person visitors want to do business with. The answer is all a matter of attitude. The right attitude at a booth is not as a hard-core sales person but rather as a host. Let’s step back from the trade show for a moment and look at another scenario. Assume for a minute that you just moved to a new home. The moving truck has delivered all your furniture and your boxes have been unpacked. Now you quickly realize that you are a stranger in a brand new neighborhood. What can you do? One technique is to hold an open house where you invite your neighbors over for some wine and cheese or a barbeque as an opportunity to get together. The invitations have been delivered and its time for your open house to begin. Your home looks perfect: everything is put away and dusted. Your front door has a sign that says, “Welcome”. Your first neighbor walks up the door and enters. What do you

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do? Do you jump up and immediately tell them all about you, your family and where you work not leaving the neighbor time to interject a word? Hardly. Rather the right approach is to act as a host, introduce your self and begin a conversation where you both have an opportunity to learn a bit about each other. The role of a host is often easier to assume than the role of sales person. It is the perfect mind-set for anyone working a trade show booth. Your display is your place of business for a few days. When visitors approach, your job is to welcome them, make them feel at home and initiate a conversation where the two of you will learn a bit about each other. There is no difference between having your open house for neighbors and working a trade show booth.

such as, “Is this your first visit?” or “”What attracted you to our booth?” Invite the visitor into your space. Conversations that stay in the aisle are subject to constant interruptions. Explain how your booth was developed to help make their visit easier. Point out the demonstration areas, the section where one-on-one presentations will take place or the location of a new product or service. Ask about their buying needs. In the first few minutes of your conversation the emphasis should be on asking rather than telling. The right frame of mind will make the show experience more productive and fun for both your exhibit staff and your visitors.

here are four steps that will help: Get rid of the same old, tired greetings like, “How are you doing,” or “Can I help you?” Replace them with questions or statements that show your genuine interest in your visitor

If you have any questions about your exhibit marketing program let me know and I will get back to you promptly. Visit Barry at www. siskindtraining.com.

December 2008 | Brilliant Results 43


leadership WRITTEN BY BARTON GOLDSMITH, PH.D.

Over Reactive People WHEN someone steps on your toe, you say, “Ouch!” What do you say and do when someone steps on your emotional toes and hurts your feelings? Saying “ouch” may actually be an appropriate response. Voicing your pain is far better than reacting in a negative way that could end up doing damage to a business relationship that’s important to you. The energy that goes into an overreaction is monumental. Most people are physically and emotionally

exhausted after they’ve “let loose” on someone. People who instantly react in an aggressive manner generally end up feeling hurt and living in fear or with anger. It seems that they are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. What a hard way to do business! In order to decide how to respond (rather than react without thinking), you must first consider if the offending action was intentional, what harm was truly done, and if the offender is

If you feel yourself getting miffed at someone, before you “go off,” ask yourself if it’s really going to get you what you want. offering an apology. Whether you are in a new position or one you’ve had for many years will make a difference in how you feel and how you choose to respond. There are many pieces in play when hurt feelings are flying around the office. Make no mistake: overreactions are always preceded by some type

44 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

!

of emotional pain or perceived fear. Anger should actually be considered a secondary emotion. When you feel it, you need to check out where it’s really coming from. If you choose not to, and just go into a reactionary rage, you may never get the chance to truly heal the pain. Learning to catch yourself is the hardest part. When your blood gets boiling, it can be challenging to contain your feelings, but it’s worth the effort. If you’re having conflict with a team member or client, you will correct it by talking it out, rather than just perpetuating it by clamming up and holding a grudge. If you feel yourself getting miffed at someone, before you “go off,” ask yourself if it’s really going to get you what you want. Just taking a moment to consider the results is enough to let you simmer down. Hopefully, you will take another path to resolving your pain. I’m not suggesting that you push down your feelings. Rather, instead of erupting, you need to express yourself in a different, more communicative way. Sometimes it’s hard to find the words, and its okay to put your response on hold for a little while. Perhaps sleeping on it will help you see what it is you really need. The idea here is to avoid reacting inappropriately when someone you work with does something that coworkers do - ruffle your feathers.

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December 2008 | Brilliant Results 45


products on our radar WRITER

Sedona Golf & Travel iGo Universal Charger

The concept behind iGo’s chargers is simple. Replace all your chargers with one iGo charger and power all your gadgets from any power source: wall, airplane or car. iGo is a hip, unique and functional product. Put a logo on it and iGo is perfect for marketing, promotions, product launches, sales meetings and much more!

Emile Henry

Premium Quality Oven & Tableware This colorful, heirloom quality ovenware and tableware is made from Burgundian clay in the French town of Marcigny. Ceramic is by far the best material for successful cooking and baking! Only ceramic is able to diffuse the heat slowly and evenly, to create perfectly browned gratins, tasty lasagna and succulent cakes. Emile Henry has developed a unique ceramic, which can be used in the oven, microwave, dishwasher or freezer. It does not scratch when cutting inside and is chip resistant.

46 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

Tomahawx™ Golf Tees Unique Golf Tee

Soren TR

Tempo D

This patent pending “revolutionary” lowground, resistance-free golf tee is specifically engineered as a uni-body single component design offering the high performance characteristics today’s golfer demands. TOMAHAWX™ Golf Tees take an innovative approach to the “point” of the tee. Utilizing a quarter-round tapered knife-edge which allows typical vertical insertion but allows the tee to rotate forward horizontally resistance-free at impact. TOMAHAWX™ Golf Tees, The POINT that gives you the EDGE!

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This c location si strip to he holder; po a pen hold dispenser tape and use; and holder wit dispenser paper cli item is separately

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nary” lowspecifically component rformance demands. innovative Utilizing a hich allows allows the orizontally impact. Golf Tees, gives you

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Blue Generation

A Touch of the Tropics This winter chase away the blues with a tropical tie or let your customers imagine a warmer clime when the wait staff is wearing tropical ties with matching aprons. These tropical prints are made from an easy care 55/45 cotton/poly blend fabric that is both stain and wrinkle resistant.

RÖSLE

The Ultimate BBQ Gear…Great for tailgaters.

Soren TRG Group Tempo Desk Set

This contemporary desk set includes one color, one location silkscreen. The accessories have magnetic backing strip to help save desk space and include: a business card holder; post-it note holder which includes 3.5” x 3.75” notes; a pen holder to store pens, pencils and highlighters; a tape dispenser which includes tape and is easy to use; and a tempo clip holder with magnetic dispenser includes paper clips. Each item is sold separately.

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These five crucial stainless tools made in Germany for the grill-master are warranted to last a lifetime, even if used by the person who grills in all weather conditions and seasons. The tools are heavy duty and gorgeous. The 18-inch long, full tang barbeque grill brush, barbeque fork, barbeque basting brush and barbeque spatula, are made of 18/10 stainless steel and are as elegant as they are high performing. The nearly 16-inch locking tongs feature a one–handed locking mechanism so the tongs close for convenient storage and open with a just a squeeze. And the Universal Lighter that is sleek and easy to use. All of the tools feature sleek stainless steel handles and the Rösle trademark style of blending finishes to give both contour and depth to the product. December 2008 | Brilliant Results 47


advertiser's index DECEMBER

GIF Free Product Information For free product information from these suppliers, please complete and mail this page to: Brilliant Results Magazine, 9034 Joyce Lane, Hummelstown, PA 17036 or fax to (717) 566-5431 Please circle items of interest. SUPPLIER

PAGE NO.

3M ® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Back Cover Aprons, Etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 45 Brilliant Publishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 41 Display Solutions by Aprons, Etc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 GROLINE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,19,27,33 Hallmark Insights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inside Back Cover, 45 Pay It Forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Key Bak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Macy’s Gift Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Nike Gift Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 PromoBiz USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 R.S. Owens & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Uncommon Threads Line by Aprons, Etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Warwick Publishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inside Front Cover, 17

Name

Title

Company

Industry

Address

Phone

48 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

City

Fax

State

Zip

E-mail

www.brilliantpublishing.com

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last word

GIFT Cards Gain in Popularity for Employee Incentive and Recognition But due diligence needed in purchasing says Incentive Gift Card Council Corporations are expected to purchase a record number of gift cards this holiday season as part of employee recognition programs, according to the Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC), a strategic industry group within the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA). This comes as no surprise, since the popularity of gift cards for consumers is well documented, with some studies showing estimated spending by both businesses and consumers at $400 billion in 2008. “Make no mistake. Gift cards will continue to be an extremely popular choice – if not the top choice – for employee incentive, reward, loyalty and recognition programs,” said IGCC President Andrew Dodge. “Gift cards are ideal for corporate gift-givers looking for a meaningful gift that gives the recipient some personal choice, and are easy to buy, receive and distribute in a timely manner.” Unfortunately, the economic downturn and tightened credit markets have squeezed a number of national retailers, which sell their products from both traditional storefronts as well as via the Internet. Consequently, the IGCC advises businesses, which buy, gift cards to take some precautions. “You don’t have to look far to see how many retailers have closed a large number of locations, or have completely gone out of business,” Dodge noted. “That is why it’s critically important that companies exercise due diligence, and look very carefully at their potential gift card options.” The Incentive Gift Card Council offers the following tips for businesses considering gift cards for a reward or incentive program: Know upfront and communicate to the recipient the terms and conditions of the gift card, including any fees, the card’s potential decline in value over time, and any expiration dates. Buyers should be aware that “open-ended” cards issued by banks, shopping malls and credit card companies are more likely to have expiration dates and added fees. However, all gift cards issued by the nation’s 25 largest retailers do not expire, and 84 percent of them have no fees, according to the National Retail Federation. In addition, some state laws have restricted retailers from imposing non-usage fees, and have placed limits on expiration dates. Buy gift cards from reputable retailers. If the retailer has experienced any store closings, ask about the reasons behind them. There may be financially sound reasons for select store closings, but it is smart to inquire in detail about store closings, as well as any scheduled new store openings. Inquire how many store locations will accept the gift card, if they are conveniently located near the intended recipient, and if the gift cards are redeemable at the retailers’ “e-store” web sites. Businesses using incentive suppliers to administer their gift card programs should not hesitate to contact their supplier with any concerns and can expect their supplier to perform due diligence on any gift card retailers. “The vast majority of gift card issuers are reputable retailers with strong histories, customer loyalty, and financial resources,” Dodge said. “IGCC’s intention is to advise and educate businesses and incentive suppliers on any potential problems which could occur as some retailers deal with some very hard choices in the months ahead.” www.brilliantpublishing.com

About the Incentive Gift Card Council – The Incentive Gift Card Council is a strategic industry group

within

Marketing

the

Incentive

Association

(www.

incentivemarketing.org).

The

IGCC educates the incentive marketplace and the corporate community on the benefi ts of gift

cards,

including

choice,

value and service, and other key attributes recipients say that they want their awards to have. For more information, please visit http://www.usegiftcards.org

December 2008 | Brilliant Results 49


off the cuff

Trivia~

IN today’s economic mess there are still some pretty odd jobs. See how many you can correctly name.

This profession is related to making food look fresh and delicious on photographs and advertisements. A.— Food Stylist B.— Food Designer C.— Food Special Effects Person

This job requires sorting lasts (shoe molds) in numbered racks and transporting them to a storage room.

This job involves taking care of all the certificates and registration issues of racehorses, examining the horses and their identification marks and reporting the possible unconformities. A.— Racehorse Specialist B.— Horse Identifi er C.— Horse Analyst

Bonus:

What does a Wrinkle Chaser do? A.— Studies the wrinkles someone’s face B.— Performs plastic surgeries C.— Irons wrinkles from shoes

A.— Last sorter B.— Last storage operator C.— Last putter-away

5 – A;

A.— Methyl B.— Ethylene C.— Helium

1 – B;

As a Banana Gasser, what gas would you use to catalyze the ripening of bananas?

A.— Snake Doctors B.— Snake Taxidermists C.— Snake Milkers

6 – C;

A.— Worms B.— Bacteria C.— Flies

These people provide the primary ingredient for life-saving serums to people who have been bitten by poisonous snakes.

7 – A;

A Vermiculturist uses this animal to produce compost?

A.— Nut softener B.— Nut steamer C.— Nut boiler

2 – C;

A.— Computer Hair Stylist B.— Animation Hair Consultant C.— Hair Simulation Supervisors

This job requires dipping nuts in hot water, so their shells get softer, as well as maintaining the equipment and temperature.

8 – B;

People who do this job are responsible for making 3-D films look so real. They create the hairstyles for animated characters,

A.— Funeral Parlor Cosmetologist B.— Funeral Makeup Artist C.— Funeral Director

3 – A;

A.— Golf Ball Water Hunter B.— Golf Ball Diver C.— Golf Ball Seeker

This person takes care of the hair and makeup of dead people.

4 – B;

This person runs into the water in search of the balls that the golf players strike inaccurately.

BONUS: C. 10 – B; 9 – C;

answers: 50 Brilliant Results

| December 2008

www.brilliantpublishing.com


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