904, 2010

A sandwich with a special ingredient: buzz.

By |April 9th, 2010|By Ryan Battishill, Industry News|

It’s not surprising to see yet another specialty sandwich or bucket of chicken out for a limited time only from KFC. However, this time its different. This one comes with no bun and a little buzz! On April 12, KFC is introducing its first-ever bunless chicken sandwich: the KFC Double Down. This one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets, two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel’s Sauce.

During the product’s test market phase last year, high consumer interest and demand drove people to travel for miles to sample the Colonel’s tasty new creation. From online chatter speculation to late night talk show mentions, the Double Down generated more buzz than any test market item in KFC history.

So, what about the buns!

In addition to the already heightened buzz around the product, KFC is mixing in a little PR for what seems a feeble attempt to avoid the negative focus on the sandwich’s nutrition. To celebrate the launch of the new product, the brand will donate both buns and funds to food banks across the country, starting with the Dare to Care Food Bank in KFC’s hometown of Louisville, Ky.

It is truly astonishing the amount of attention centered around this new sandwich. I’ve come across prank videos to KFC’s customer service to cold hearted protest for the sandwich’s release. All in all, the new innovation has garnered new conversation and growth opportunities for the organization that could pay huge dividends in the future.

Businesses, while you may not be able to create buzz, you can influence it. Search for that special ingredient, observe your consumers reactions, respond and watch the magic happen!

604, 2010

Trend Tuesday: Marketing’s turn towards transparency

By |April 6th, 2010|By Ryan Battishill, Industry Trends|

No longer are organizations making such a valiant attempt at crafting the perfect sugar coated marketing message to their audience. Consumers have lived through a variety of negative events throughout the past decade, and they’re no longer willing to accept anything businesses tell them. This means that organizations have looked to evolve their communications practices and enter into the glass walled world of transparency.

Photo by: Nick Maslen

Being transparent in marketing means being honest, sincere and open without giving away your game to your competition. It means potentially revealing information which would affect the health of your consumers without having to suffer the Michael Moore effect (eg Supersize Me). It means paying attention to the values which your customers hold dear, and correcting your business practices if they run counter to those values. It also means being able to say sorry the moment something explodes in your organization’s face, and being truly remorseful about it through sincere corrective measures.

Brands that make a concentrated effort to be honest and open in their marketing communications will actually work to their advantage. Ultimately, generating positive consumer responses, which can lead to brand loyalty and brand advocacy. Additionally, the people who use an organization’s products or services may be curious about what goes on behind the scenes. Tell them how much you invest in training your staff, or how intensive your product is tested for safety before going to market. Share with them your CEO’s dream and vision, as well as the pains that you take to ensure that every ingredient for your yogurt is organically sourced.

Like in any relationship, building trust is the most important thing, and once you’ve earned it, you need to make sure you keep it. Transparency and trust are no one night stands, they’re an ongoing effort that should be built into the the practices of your organization.

1903, 2010

Social media plays major role in purchase intent

By |March 19th, 2010|By Ryan Battishill, Industry News, Latest News|

Does social media play a role in your purchase decision among brands? In many, it does.

A new study shows that those who are fans or followers of a brand on Facebook or Twitter, respectively, are significantly more likely to buy products and services or recommend the brand to a friend.

The recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers said they are more likely to make a purchase from at least a few brands since they became engaged with those brands on social media. Additionally, 60% of study respondents reported that their status as a Facebook fan would increase the likelihood of recommending a brand to a friend. 80% of respondents said the same thing about following a brand on Twitter.

So, what does this mean for businesses ?

Customers and brand enthusiasts are saturating the various networks, and it is crucial for businesses to join them in a space that is not only impactful, but engaging. Some of the top reasons users decided to follow or fan brands in the first place were because they are current customers (49%) and wanted to show support (42%).

In addition, this information-savvy group is looking towards an incentive for participating. For 40% of users, receiving deals, discounts, and promotions from their favorite brands ranked on the top of their wish list.

These users are active, and if businesses want to make a difference in 2010, they need to utilize social media as a direct, open, transparent channel where communication and organic conversation can take place.

Via eMarketer