Category Archives: business

For $50 I Would

Read a good thread in a forum posing the question if you were given $50 what would you do with it?

This was spiced up a little by actually giving away $50 to the best comment.

The focus was on ideas, a glimpse of peoples character and I guess a good forum for insights into what $50 really can get you.

This forum was predominantly tech related, so the inevitable suggestions of backlinks packages, articles, domain names and hosting were offered.

Others went the track of trinkets or little tidbits.

Then there were the altruistic, that supported a cause or event like Milaap or ONE80TC.

How about you … $50 on the line what would you do with it?

The Online Gold Rush

“If you build it, he will come.”

If you build it he will come

What a great line from the movie Field of Dreams.

It started with a whisper and continued until Costner took action.

It’s up there with Evan Almighty! Building a modern day ark.

Though both seemed extremely quirky, at least in Hollywood, they worked well.

There’s Gold in them hills

Concerning though, is why is the same thinking taking over in the online world?

If you build it, they will come!

Build a website … and just try stopping the hordes of browsers, hits, and enormous business success achieved by your online foray.

I don’t mean to be skeptical, but if this were in any other industry it would be called a scam. Set up a website and your business could go Global! (Or ad campaign go viral)

It’s like setting up a five star luxury hotel out the back of Bourke and expecting to book out the opening night.

Your online strategy needs to be thought out like you would for your operations strategy or your sales strategy. Why is it that we’ll spend hours, weeks coming up with a mission statement – but chuck up any old website and think we’ve achieved our web strategy?

Before you embark on an online strategy how about consider the following:

  • What’s your purpose?
  • What’s your expectations?
  • What’s your budget?

Having a well thought out purpose will go a long way to actually gaining an outcome

Not every business warrants a Facebook page, or a Twitter feed, requires a multimedia channel. Coupons, scoopons and Groupons don’t suit all businesses, nor do blogs or Vlogs.

What does make sense for business is to understand the minefield of Internet terms, various factors that will help to achieve your purpose.

Food for Thought

Don’t expect to put up a website and generate immediate traffic. If it were that easy to be at the top of search results wouldn’t we all be there!

Good results in search engines are not achieved by a static website that lies dormant for the next few months, even years. No advantage is permanent – gaining rank in major search engines requires constant attention, updates, fresh content. Understanding this may help temper your expectations – how many hours a week do you really want to spend online?

Backlinks. If you don’t know what they are Google it. Lots of them, even better if they are relevant.

Treat your own strategy like a spiders web – everything needs to be interlinked: from your Facebook page, to Twitter feed, to your LinkedIn profile. All roads should lead to Rome (your Website) but also intersect each other.

A Successful Online Web Strategy

To succeed on the web relies on being active, not only on your own website but that of others.

Keeping active in LinkedIn groups, Facebook page updates, Tweets, joining related forums, blog entries, comments on others blogs.

Like business in the “physical world” gaining relationships and networking with key people online makes sense in the virtual world too!

No More Big Banana

Big Banana Coffs HarbourAustralia is home to the Big Banana, it’s the staple of every shopping trolley and features in lunch packs of children throughout the nation. In fact Australians love their bananas so much they compete with Coca Cola for the number 1 product sold by supermarkets week in week out.

Well that was the case until flaming bananas skyrocketed to $14.00 plus per kg. For the American audience that’s around US$30 per pound.

Prices per banana, one single banana, now range upwards of $2.00 each – well that settles the daily lunches. Better start enjoying a good red delicious apple at $2.49 per kilo!

Going Bananas

I know this is a bit of a rant, but food prices are absolutely going through the roof. It’s not just bananas, it’s the overall food bill – to eat fresh produce is incredibly expensive.

For the same $2 it costs to get a banana I can purchase the Double Beef ‘n’ Cheese hamburger at McDonalds. Surely this is a much more preferred option for our children’s lunch boxes!

Ridiculous statement I know, but you get the point. Total fat in a banana – a whopping 1 gram, in the McDonalds Double Beef n Cheese hamburger – a modest 23.4 grams. But it’s 5 cents cheaper than the average banana!

While bananas get smaller we’re getting bigger.

The Case of the Missing Bananas

Quite obviously the plight of Australian bananas has been subject to Cyclone Yasi: the crops were wiped out, limited supply – same demand – increased price. Simple economics

Yet who is the recipient of these huge margins, the bananas that are left certainly didn’t cost more to produce, they didn’t cost more to transport, nor to pack or store. So where is the additional $9 – 11 per kilo going?

Oh to be altruistic and suggest the additional costs are going back into the rural communities that were destroyed. That cockey’s are getting together to rebuild their farms on the back of the generosity of the major supermarkets. That the Country Women’s Association are receiving sizable grants in support.

Call me skeptical, call me naive, but I’m guessing there hasn’t been much of a boost in the donations to CWA.

Well they say it only takes a few weeks to form a habit. How long can these prices sustain? I can only imaging the wastage that’s occurring – very few people are putting bananas in their trolley now.

Some Banana Facts

So farewell to our bananas, the love of our nation, the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, the wonderful herb growing plants that produce this golden, sometimes purple fruit!

Did you know …

  • Banana plants are the largest plants on Earth without a woody stem. Belong to the same family as orchids and lillies.
  • India is the largest producer of Bananas in the world
  • There are over 500 varieties of bananas including purple ones
  • They grow bananas in Iceland … seriously, Google it!
  • Fidel Castro’s dad was a banana plantation owner.

All in all I’m not going bananas anymore! I’m moving onto oranges, at least in Australia they are now in season.

Brand Stickiness

If you are selling something, whether a product or service, you hope for repeat business. For customers to come time and time again and repurchase … but what makes a brand sticky? What brings a customer back?

An article I wrote recently, Sex Attention – looks at how the music industry sells itself and its artists. The focus was Sex Sells … but is it Selling Us Short?

So much effort is put into the casing, the shell, packaging, the box … so much emphasis on the outer wrapping but does this create brand stickiness? After all, at some point you’re going to open up that box, unwrap the packaging and reveal the product inside.

In this age of advertising overload are we still open to the obvious marketing methods of scantily clad women, glossy packaging, flashing banners, “sale” signs? Or, a little bit like bacteria becoming immune to antibiotics, are we becoming immune to the traditional methods of advertising?

Now for a TV commercial to gain traction it really needs to stand out. I recently caught the Vegemite commercial and thought it was clever, not sure what message it sends about Vegemite, or even if it makes me want to go out and buy it … but it was still pretty good!

Viral Marketing

Then there are the viral marketing campaigns, like Old Spice or John West. The elusive, the desirous video, blog post or marketing blurb that attracts masses of consumers and puts your brand within reach of potential customers everywhere. Funnily enough, came across a fairly under watched video on YouTube, it discusses ideas, offering tips and examples of stuff that’s gone viral – Viral Marketing: Expert Tips, Ads and Examples.

At dLook we are an under recognised brand – we compete with some fairly large ones and have started to consider this whole branding strategy … do we hire a hundred dancers to do an impromptu rendition of Tap Dogs in the Botanic Gardens, or maybe a whole group of performers singing Roxette’s “She’s Got d Look“?

Brands that Stick

But, really underneath the wrapper, the brand, it’s still about the product, the service. What use is it gaining huge traction if you can’t deliver. Like the Christmas tree that sits in the shopping centre, a huge array of seemingly wonderful presents that turn out to be empty boxes.

Creating a brand that is sticky relies on real integrity, delivery, service. In this age of open communication, brand awareness can be attacked in seconds, unless you have brand integrity, brand stickiness, then you are at the mercy of a few vocal dissenters.

Creating a Sticky Brand

For what it’s worth here are a few thoughts on creating a sticky brand …

  • Fix your foundations – you need to sell, cash flow is king – but if you are spending time on marketing make sure you are spending time on your product. Make sure you have a product that scales.
  • Fix your processes – there are only three process flaws; a weak link, a missing link or a broken link. Identify them, prioritise them and start working on them
  • Get the right team – Jim Collins Good to Great talks about getting the right people on the bus. With the right team you can pretty much do anything.

Sticky brands are like sticky hands, you got to keep changing because the stickiness wears out! No advantage is permanent … when you get to a place where you are content, CHANGE EVERYTHING!

Our New TV Ad

Pretty in Pink – and lots of it! I’m happy to present the latest dLook TV advertisement for our Australian Business Directory.