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Adapt to changes better than your competitors

Recently, researchers asked a group of 12-year olds if they typically listen to music on YouTube, an iPod, or a CD? Not surprisingly, the majority answered “YouTube”. However, the second most common response was, “What’s a CD?”

Researchers also asked a group of high school students how they most often use email. Their responses?“To communicate with old people.”

And therein lies one of the most daunting challenges facing today’s companies – the need to reinvent their entire business model rather than just a new product or service.

After all, there’s no point in coming out with a newer and better CD when people no longer use them (much less know what they are). And anyone operating an email-based business might as well get in line right behind the post office because extinction is already knocking on the door, and it won’t take “go away” for an answer.

Turn bad publicity into good PR

Sometimes, bad publicity is inevitable. Even when you and your organisation behave responsibly, you always run the small risk of an unexpected PR disaster. In the information age, bad publicity can reach the masses before you can even mount a defense.

The only thing worse than having your image tarnished in the public light after you’ve done everything within your power to protect yourself is to find out you’re the one who caused the disaster. For every rogue employee saying something stupid to the media, there’s a poor senior-level decision being made.

What to do when your business gets bad publicity
Respond quickly, honestly and decisively. Don’t get defensive. If you are in the wrong, it’s vital to own up and apologise. Never say “no comment” – it sends the message that you are in the wrong but feel no remorse – and the press may keep digging for dirt. Face up to the situation and you can begin to restore the reputation of your business.

Don’t confuse your customers by offering unnecessary choices.

Do you want to drink a venti double mocha skinny chai latte? Do you even know what that is? I don’t. We found in a customer survey that 70% of shoppers were also confused by the choices (and their obscure names) on store’s café menu.

Resisting the urge to add customer choice allows shoppers to enjoy more time savouring their coffee and less time “playing coffee Cluedo”. While there may be some customers who want the complicated drink names, (it’s not that important to them) the majority would prefer simplicity.

A recent research shows that less choice more often than not leads to a lower effort service experience. When customers are faced with outcomes for a service experience, 84% chose something other than choice, a low-effort experience.

Salespeople’s performance has a significant influence on customer satisfaction

Demanding customers, fierce competition, breathtaking technological innovation, etc. These are the realities of today’s global marketplace; realities that have changed forever the way we do business, especially the way we sell.

Gone are the days when salespeople could rely on charming small-talk and aggressive closing techniques alone to generate business.

Many traditional selling approaches regard selling as something the seller does to the buyer. They sell them something. The result of this attitude to sales is that many salespeople adapt a manipulative, almost coercive style of selling.

Consistency is one of the keys to success

The importance of consistency in business seems so basic as to not need discussion. Yet many companies, especially smaller ones, operate in a day-by-day, case-by-case fashion that is disorganised, undisciplined and certainly inefficient.

The frenetic, never-enough people/time/money reality of small business can make us feel like we’re chasing it down rather than leading it along, but if we get in front of it with consistent standards and practices (ideally working hand-in-hand with a strong set of values), every aspect of the business benefits.

The influence of packaging on consumer purchase decision process

Packaging plays an important role as a medium in the marketing mix, in promotion campaigns, as a pricing criterion, in defining the character of new products, as a setter of trends and as an instrument to create brand identity and shelf impact in all product groups.

The findings of our recent survey about this subject present new arguments and evidence confirming a central conviction held by the packaging industry: that the shopper appreciates and in fact explicitly wants to receive stimulation for the buying decision he is making when standing in front of the supermarket shelf, often even preferring this to other forms of communication. He is keen to be informed and inspired, tempted and pampered by surprising and persuasive functions, emotions and sensual impressions.

How to handle a refund request

Refunds are no fun. You get that email, or a call, or worse yet, a public shout out on twitter or facebook that reads, “I’d like a refund.” Those four words can send any small business or solopreneur into a tailspin of self-doubt. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here’s how to handle a refund request and use it to boost your business, make a better product and not let “I’d like a refund” get you down.

Take Action…Fast

Is your slogan achieving the intended effect?

Brand names, logos, and slogans are integral parts of any company’s marketing message. All have the same aim: to make consumers react positively to a product or a business. Our research shows, however, that many slogans backfire—for example, causing consumers to spend money when they’re told they can save, or vice versa.

In five studies of several hundred undergraduates each, in which computers were used to simulate shopping behaviour, we found that consumers typically follow the prompt of a brand name or a logo.

How to strengthen customer relationships

How to strengthen customer relationshipsNurturing relationships with your customers is a crucial part of growing a successful business. In this age of automation and innovation, caring for your customers has never been more important.

At any moment, an unhappy customer can share their opinion with the masses through social media and the web and negatively affect your business. That’s why it’s even more important than ever to create an excellent experience for your customers to help develop your company’s relationship with them into love. Creating love between your company and your customers can help scale positive word of mouth that’s absolutely priceless.

Think like a buyer not a seller

How to become 2Marketers surpass consumers in their daily use of e-mail, texting and social platforms. A whopping 93 percent of marketers have made a purchase as a direct result of an e-mail marketing message, while only 49 percent of online consumers have done so.

What is the significance of this? The differences point to a fundamental fact about marketing: Your perspective may be skewed if you make assumptions about customers based on your own behaviour, rather than that of the people you want to reach. If you are operating on a different wavelength than your customers, your marketing will seem like it’s from Mars–and will not resonate with its intended audience.

Let’s take a look at some adages that can help you gain real insight into your customer base.

The importance of speaking multiple languages in Business

The importance of speaking multiple languages in BusinessPeople say that business is all about relationships, but the truth is that business is really all about communication. Communication is key to virtually every aspect of business—from acquiring and retaining customers to improving employee engagement and performance. At the most fundamental level, business can’t happen without communication. This is even more true in the era of globalisation. As geographic borders become porous and the world flattens, effective communication with customers, employees, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders across the globe becomes essential to successfully running a company.

Is it time to rebrand your business?

Is it time to rebrand your businessIn today’s image-conscious society, everything is judged first by how it looks. Rebranding has become the “cure du jour” for everything from sluggish sales to increased competition and outdated products. So how well do these makeovers work?

It depends. There are times when rebranding is crucial, and times when it’s nothing short of perilous. Remember, branding should be a reflection of your company, not just a projection of what you want it to be. You must ensure that the customer experience equals the expectation, or no amount of image revamping will work, at least in the long run. Before you rebrand, there really does need to be something different about your business, product or service; unless, of course, your image never accurately reflected your company to begin with.