Friday, November 27, 2020

Affluence & Frequency of Purchase

This may seem intuitively obvious, but one way to gauge a household's level of wealth is by determining its frequency of purchase of various products and services. While some less affluent households may be deceptive due to debt spending, and while other more affluent households may be deceptive due to frugality or a focus on sustainability and the environment, this is generally an accurate gauge of wealth. Here are some examples:

  • How often are homes bought and sold?
  • How often are renovations completed for the house? How often has the kitchen been remodeled? How often has the master bathroom been remodeled? How often have rooms been redecorated? How often have furniture, carpets or lamps been replaced? Constantly? Every few years? Once or twice? Or never?
  • Have additions been built on to the house? How often?
  • How often are the grounds re-landscaped? 
  • How often is a new outbuilding constructed on the grounds?
  • How often is a new car purchased? Every year? Every couple of years? Only when the car has been run to the ground? Or never?
  • How often is a new boat purchased? 
  • How often are new computers purchased? Every year? When a new model is introduced? Every few years? Or only when the old computer no longer works?
  • How often are new smartphones purchased? Every year? Every couple of years? Or only when the old ones no longer work?
  • How often is a housecleaner used? Daily? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Or never?
  • How often are gardeners or ground crews used? Full-time? Occasionally? Only when needed? Or never? 
  • Is unused food thrown out or is it used for leftovers?
  • What is the frequency of purchase of artwork? Does artwork need to be rotated? If so, how often is it rotated?
  • How often are vacations taken? Several times a year? Once or twice a year? Or never?
  • How often is air travel used? Fifty or more times a year? At least twenty times a year? Several times a year? Or less often?
  • How often are plays, concerts, operas or dance performances attended? Several times a week? Weekly? Monthly? Or less often?
  • How often does the household eat out at restaurants? Seven nights a week? Four to six nights a week? Three nights a week? Once or twice a week? Or less often?
  • How often is a dress or pair of shoes worn? Once, for a single occasion or event? A couple times but only for one season and while still in fashion? A few times, but never with the same people? For years? Or until they are worn out?
  • How often is the massage therapist visited? How often is the beauty parlor visited? How often is a manicurist visited? 
  • How often is a personal trainer used? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Less often? Or never?
  • How often are fresh flowers purchased for the house? Daily? Weekly? Only for special occasions? Or never?
  • How often does one shop? Multiple times a day? Daily? A few times a week? Weekly? Or less often?
  • How often does the FedEx, UPS or Amazon Prime truck deliver goods to the house? Multiple times a day? Once a day? Several times a week? Or less often?
  • Related to this, what is the volume of trash or recycling that is picked up from the house each week?
  • How often are items that are no longer wanted donated to charity?
At a superficial level, household spending may seem similar across social-economic groups, but when one investigates purchase frequency, one may note significant differences due to significant differences in financial capacity. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Out-of-the-Box Marketing Techniques

I recently created a new online course on out-of-the-box marketing techniques.  It highlights many ways in which marketers can be creative in achieving their goals. 

Creativity has always been an important part of marketing and the best marketers generally have high creativity quotients. In this highly entertaining course, we will review dozens of creative marketing campaigns including proactive publicity, publicity stunts, flash mobs, unusual media, colossal ads, creative advertising campaigns, creating folklore, viral marketing, stealth marketing, ambush marketing, the poison parasite defense, unique packaging, unique merchandising approaches, theme parks, contests, niche products, creative product concepts, unusual restaurant concepts, and more. Stimulate your own marketing creativity with this course.

To learn more about the course or to take the course, click HERE.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Brand Benefit Cues

Several years ago, I was helping a health care system reposition its brand. After rigorous research, we discovered that their unique presence of a level one trauma center in the rural communities that they served signaled that they were uniquely set up to handle the toughest and most complex medical situations. This together with some other proof points would lead potential patients to believe that they were the best health care system to use to handle any medical problem ultimately leading to the greatest peace of mind. As a logical extension of this, patients should choose this health care system first every time rather than choosing it only for the most difficult medical situations. We tied the most important patient benefits together with their proof points and reasons to believe.

But here was the big 'aha' in our whole repositioning effort. The most important proof point related to the level one trauma center proof point was their two heavily branded Medevac helicopters that were often seen flying around the area. In your efforts to position or reposition a brand don't forget to identify the critical brand benefit cues or triggers that have the greatest potential to reinforce the brand's unique promise.

Here is another blog post I have written on the topic of brand triggers.

Retro Brand Imagery with Sexual Overtones


I was spending time at my Adirondack home last week and stopped by this Lake Placid wine and spirit shop to pick up some wine for the week. That's when I noticed their shop sign. It immediately took me back to vintage ads with sexual overtones that are now unacceptable. The sign depicts a woman with lots of leg showing sitting on a champagne bottle that has just exploded. Maybe this sign was created as an attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor or to be retro but it seems quite obvious in its intent and I was surprised to see it. 

As I was researching the vintage ads with similar sexual overtones, I was also surprised to discover other more modern ads with the same overtones. This Burger King ad ran in the city-state of Singapore in the first half of 2009. I really can't believe that they would run such an ad, but they did. Having come from a corporate background, I began to imagine how many approvals this ad must have gone through before it was released. 

And here is a recent ad from a Premier Estate Wine in Australia. It was ultimately banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for being 'degrading and offensive.'

While sex is a primal human instinct that can motivate at a deeply emotional level, these ads objectify women and are in poor taste. Tobacco and alcoholic beverage companies have been the worst offenders over time, but they are not the only ones. These types of ads used to be fair game for brands in any product category. For instance, this is a lipstick ad. 

I have advised several brands that they can do better than using sex to sell their products. There are many other equally compelling approaches that can be used that don't reinforce sexual fantasies or objectify women. I am still surprised when I see examples of humanity not transcending its most basic instincts to embrace more lofty motivators. I embrace human sexuality, just not so much in advertising these days. 

Here are some other blog posts that identify other human motivators that can be used in advertising:
I didn't intend to be offensive in this blog post, but rather to highlight an advertising approach that I had thought was firmly in our past. 

PS - Here is one other vintage ad from a famous global brand that a reader brought to my attention. 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Brand Research


Introducing our online brand research course. This comprehensive introductory course focuses on how to use marketing research to build, manage and grow successful brands and it highlights the most important marketing research issues and considerations. Further, you will learn about more than 40 different qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and techniques and when it is appropriate to use each. Topics include brand positioning research, brand equity research, brand extension research and customer segmentation research.

To learn more or to take the course, click here