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Friday, June 29, 2012

Product Naming Tips

If you're planning to introduce a new product into the market, here are a few tips to help you create a likeable product name that will also be relevant and memorable:
  • Choose an expressive name that describes what the product does.

  • Avoid acronyms. Give your product a full name, and use brief acronyms internally only.

  • Consider naming similar products together as a family. For example, Apple's operating systems have used similar names such as Panther, Jaguar, Leopard, and Lion.

  • If you have a tiered product line (good, better, best), name your products accordingly to show order of ranking.

  • Add a prefix or suffix to a common name, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

  • Choose a name that gives people a mental image of the benefits your product provides or how it works.

  • Select a name that is easy to pronounce. If your audience can't pronounce it, they likely won't remember it.

  • Creatively change the spelling of a real word. The popular cereals Kix and Trix are good examples.

  • If your products are sold internationally, always screen your product name to check for embarrassing meanings in other languages.

  • Consider using a verb as your product name, like Bounce dryer sheets.

  • Blend two descriptive words together to form a new word that describes your product, such as Miracle Whip.

  • Beware of any potential acronyms that may cause issues. For example, some people joke that Microsoft's Bing stands for "But It's Not Google." Also check if there could be issues with shortening the product name.

  • Think about what you like/dislike about other product names across various industries, and compare that to the list of names you're considering.

  • Lastly, beware that a long, drawn-out product name may cause a challenge when creating advertisements and promotional materials.
No matter what product name you choose, we have endless creative ideas to help you spread the word and increase your sales. Give us a call today!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to Get More Done with the Elimination Technique

Most of us are familiar with the infamous "to do" list.

We dutifully populate the list with task after task that needs to get done. But we're never sure where to start. There are only so many hours in a day, and all the tasks need to get done. We can't fit a square peg in a round hole, and even if we stayed awake 24 hours, we wouldn't be able to finish all the tasks on our list.

When faced with this dilemma, most of us are ready to tear up the task list and just wing it. A better option might be to use the Elimination Technique instead. What is the Elimination Technique? It's a method to help narrow your focus. It starts with a series of questions to ask to begin eliminating options to get to what is most important.

Take a look at your current task list and ask the following questions:
  • What tasks take more time than I have available?

  • Are there tasks that don't have to be done today?

  • Are there tasks that can be automated?

  • What tasks can be delegated to someone else?
Your task list should now be shortened. Reduce your list further by asking these questions:
  • What tasks are most important for this day to be considered a success?

  • What tasks don't generate results that move you along your major goals?

  • What tasks are required to move forward with a project?

  • What tasks don't facilitate some sort of growth, profit, or sales?
Your goal is to eliminate as many of the non-essential tasks as possible. Remember that the goal is to narrow your focus into a laser beam. By asking these questions, you should begin to see which tasks are truly important and must be prioritized and which tasks can be pushed down the list or better yet simply eliminated from your day. Less is more in this case.

For some, eliminating tasks may feel painful. We live in a society that seems to be constantly on the go. A long to do list must equal someone of substance. But having lots of activity doesn't necessarily lead to fulfillment. Some struggle with the concept of elimination because there may be a sense of loss. (If I don't do it, it will never get done.) But if all that extra non-essential activity gets in the way of doing what is most important, wouldn't it be better for it to be eliminated?

Start today by ruthlessly eliminating tasks so you can reveal to yourself the truly important things in your life. With elimination comes focus. With focus comes efficiency. Efficiency leads to doing more while actually working less. Working less allows you to enjoy more freedom to accomplish what gives you real fulfillment and happiness in life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Positive Steps for Handling Negativity at Work

We've all heard the saying that one bad apple can spoil the bunch. The same is true of negativity in the workplace. A single employee's negative attitude can bring coworkers down and hurt morale. So how can you combat it?
  • Confront the offender. While it may seem easier to ignore a problem and hope it goes away, that rarely works. In fact, the problem usually just keeps getting worse until you have no choice but to act. When you see someone displaying a negative attitude (or hear about it from coworkers), sit the person down and let them know their attitude is not acceptable.

  • Get to the root of the problem. In your meeting, try to discover the cause of the person's dissatisfaction. Perhaps they feel slighted by something that happened at work. They may think someone else received preferential treatment over them or that what they do goes unnoticed and unrecognized. Whatever the case, hear them out and acknowledge their feelings, even if you disagree. Share your own thoughts, discuss the issues, and try not to be too confrontational.

  • Seek solutions. As you're discussing issues, look for ways to resolve them as best you can. Keep in mind that not all grievances can be easily solved and not all negativity is completely work-related. However, approaching the situation with a solutions-oriented mindset should help at least let the person know you're taking their well-being seriously.

  • Hold your ground. No matter the outcome of your meeting, make it clear that the employee is responsible for their own actions and that continued negativity will not be tolerated. Spell out the consequences and stand firm in your resolve.

  • Reward positivity. Hopefully, your meeting and the solutions you devise together will trigger an attitude shift in your employee. As you notice changes, offer positive reinforcement and encouragement. Of course, even if you don't see changes in the employee, try not to get too discouraged. Instead, focus on the more positive members of your team. Reinforce, reward, and encourage their attitude and its positive influence on those around them.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Make Unsubscribing Easier

In the world of email marketing, many companies are so focused on encouraging people to opt-in or subscribe to their emails that they overlook the wishes of recipients who may want to unsubscribe.

If unsubscribing to your messaging is not easy, you run the risk of increased spam complaints and ISP blocking, annoyed customers, and a weakened brand image. More than 40 percent of email recipients click the easier option (the spam button at the top of their email) rather than searching for an unsubscribe link. This occurs most often because many companies hide the link, push it down to the bottom of a message, or purposely blend the "unsubscribe" text into the background.

One way to make unsubscribing easier is to place an "unsubscribe" button at the top of your email. In addition to making your unsubscribe button more noticeable, you may also want to offer other options (change email address, change/reduce message frequency, choose different types of messages to receive, change message delivery to RSS/direct mail, etc.). Consider adding a survey, too, that asks why the recipient chose to unsubscribe (I receive too many emails from your organization, emails are not relevant to me, I did not subscribe to these emails, etc.).

Overall, the unsubscribe button isn't always a bad thing and doesn't have to mean goodbye. It can not only help reduce email complaints, but can also clean your email list, ensuring that only people who are truly interested receive your message.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Marketing with Humor

It's been said that if you want to be remembered, make your audience laugh. Humor is a great way to connect with your audience, and it can do wonders for your marketing strategy if it's used correctly. Here are a few tips on how to laugh your way to the bank.
  • Find humor in unlikely places by asking yourself "WWJD?" (What Would Jerry Do?) Jerry Seinfield is known for finding a funny perspective on everyday situations.

  • Tread lightly. You don't want your company or product to be laughed at -- just your marketing message.

  • Test your humor internally or amongst a few business peers before sending it out. And remember that comedy is subjective, so don't expect to please everyone.

  • Experiment with social media. For example, try posting a few humorous tweets or Facebook updates to see how your audience reacts.

  • Minimize product messaging, and focus on creating brand awareness.

  • Make sure the humor fits your brand's personality and is appropriate with your product's messaging.

  • Always be politically correct and avoid controversial topics and jokes in bad taste.

  • Remember that humor shouldn't be your message. It is simply a creative way to get prospects and customers to pay attention to (and remember) your message. If you can make your customers laugh, chances are you'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Good, Better, or Best

I went shopping for a new dehumidifier in the last few weeks -- and while some stores had different price point products there was nothing to guide me as to the differences -- not on the boxes, not on the literature, and certainly not from the salesperson on the floor. What a waste!

When it comes to upselling your product line, a tiered marketing strategy can accelerate the research-buying process for your customers, give you a competitive edge, and increase your bottom line through increased revenue. Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of a tiered selling technique:

  • Provide a comparison chart that outlines various differences and focuses on the most importance benefits to motivate buying.

  • Describe product differences using an emotional appeal rather than technical verbiage.

  • Use descriptive headlines or titles that distinguish between the product service levels. For example, try basic, premium, and ultimate; or fast, faster, and fastest.

  • When displaying in your store, group your products in close proximity to one another, making it easier for customers to comparison shop.

  • Provide upselling options in sales proposals, especially if an RFP asks for minimum or bare bones specifications. You may be surprised how many organizations choose higher price points after understanding their benefits.

  • Even if you offer a large variety of products or services, select a few of your best choices as a starting point that won't overwhelm your audience. When possible, note that other options are available as well.

  • Draw attention to the most expensive option with extra benefit statements and intriguing visuals that will resonate with readers and support the additional expense.
Tiered marketing can not only paint your product line in a positive light but also help your customers make educated decisions based on benefits that are most important to them. The result is a win-win for you and your customers.