Friday, July 17, 2009

*Updated* Keynote: Bend it Like Hendrix

Videoclip below

Tim Manners, Author, Relevance, Editor, The HUB Magazine

We’re thrilled to welcome Tim Manners this morning as he discusses the relationship between Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix—noting that their similarities as musicians were present, but Hendrix did something a bit different—tweaking—making it a difference experience. We as marketers should look at what’s happening, whats out there, and look to make our brand relevant; but how to make something relevant with a bevy of other brands and retailers out there?

“An epidemic of irrelevance has brought once power brands to their knees.”

Relevance is about a “big fat reminder” about what we think we already know, but we should get a reminder on to stay ahead of the curve.
There are six principles of relevance that Manner’s shares with us this morning
Innovation: Solving problems and helping people live happier lives
“If you are perfectly relevant, there is less need to innovate,” Former Head of Innovation, Audi
Case Study: Starbucks
By completely reinventing a commodity product, they completely rebranded an experience. Starbucks really built their brand using retail as their space, the medium to connect with shoppers and customers to Starbucks.

Insights: Understand people as people and treat them with respect
“(Shut up and listen)”
Case Study: Saturn
Though their prices are reasonable, Saturn can be considered as a luxury brand. Because Saturn treats its customers with respect, they become relevant across different demographics.
Design: A kinder, simpler experience
Case Study: Bottle Rocket, NYC (Wine Shop)
The idea is to make picking wine based on theme (poultry, seafood, gifts, dinner with boss, green wine, third date, spirits, and value). The owner wanted to simplify the wine experience but also make the wine purchaser seem educated and informed.

Experience: Connecting with people in the real world

Case Study: Economy Candy (NYC)
Having a religious focus on one thing can be beneficial, especially with Economy Candy’s store. They keep the aroma simple and intoxicating, the aroma was sugar. Its cluttered and chaotic but that’s what makes it appealing to some shoppers. Think about Woolworths, the thing that people liked about it was because it was cluttered—but ultimately that became the demise of the store.
“Are we overdoing it with shopper navigation? “

Value: Its about making people feel valued
Case Study: The Guitar Store
An associate at the The Guitar Store trusted Tim and his son with a 17,000 guitar just to enjoy and to play while in the store. Ultimately, Tim and his son purchased a different guitar that day, they felt valued.
One of the best opportunities to make customer’s feel valued is at the check out.
“Is there an opportunity to brand the check out experience and use that moment to make the shopper’s feel valued?”

Investment: measure the relevance of the brand experience
Case Study: Stew Leonards
Ultimately, retail as media is all about the experience, that’s what Stew Leonard, Jr. did by investing in a long term investment by creating a truly spectacular seafood buying experience.
“Sometimes its important to put a “crowbar” into it and make it better.”

“Is shopper marketing a contradicition in terms?”

Perhaps this term shopper marketing puts the emphases in the wrong place and moves us on a different trajectory. Retailing is more about making sure the shopper has the best possible shopping experience, not about the marketing. It may have more to do with customer service than marketing.

Two takeaways from Tim:

Relevant brand never forget what made them relevant to begin with.
Case Study: FAO Schwartz
FAO got off trajectory by competing with lower priced Big-Boxed retailers. They forgot that they were a luxury toy store with a legacy and they neglected to give shoppers that different experience. Now acquired by Toys R Us, we wonder what may become of FAO’s original strategy.
Case Study: Avis
“We’re number two but we try harder.” Avis deserves a lot of credit for this great ad slogan, because its part of the company’s personality from execs to the sales level. Their slogan means that the customer is number one and Avis, as a company is number two.

Stay Connected
Case Study: Paul Newman, Newman’s Own
“You can get straight A’s in marketing and still flunk in ordinary life.” Paul Newman

If irrelevance got us into the business, relevance is what will keep us in the picture


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