Archive for the ‘Brand Loyalty’ Category

Big brands and the shopping bag test

July 14, 2014

Shopping Bags

We pop the boot open and the usual process of fishing out a bag or two to do our shopping starts.

I really hate having to do a big ‘weekly shop‘ so most of our shopping is done as required. The store we normally find ourselves at is Quish’s SuperValu where the staff are really friendly and it is the closest one to our home. While the selection of stock isn’t always too hectic it is a handy store for us and shopping there never feels like a chore.

When I pop the boot open I have to quickly grab a bag or two and I’m surprised how this simple exercise shows me how I feel about the different retailer brands and the ones I align with most.

My first choice is the SuperValu bag – after all, thats the shop I am going into and I feel its a good thing to bring a bag from the same store with you. It must drive a store manager nuts to see shoppers entering or leaving their store carrying a competitors shopping bag with them. I know it would really irritate me if a client came to us with some POS or other material from a competitor.

I also love the SuperValu franchise model and I feel this owner operator ethos leads to friendly community orientated stores often including a support and buy local agenda.

My next choice is the Marks & Spencer bag. This surprises me as I always like to support Irish but I do admire their dedication to quality food and I guess I am happy for that to be part of ‘my personal brand‘ as I do my shopping.

The M&S choice probably makes me look like a snob but my next bag choice would be either Aldi or Lidl. To be honest I can’t differentiate between either of these brands and regularly get them mixed up. I really don’t enjoy the shopping experience in these stores but I admire the simple value proposition and huge strides seem to have been made with quality and there seems to be a genuine effort to buy Irish. The adverts are working!

My next choice is Tesco. As a brand it still leaves me cold, with no stand out proposition but I do admire their Irish producers programme in conjunction with Bord Bia. Even though their share performance has been suffering they seem to believe that the Irish producers strategy will play a big role in winning in Ireland.

Bord Bia Tesco Supplier Development Programme

They are doing some great work with Irish producers improving their operations so they can do more business with Tesco.

My very last choice is the Dunnes Stores bag. Why is an Irish company, the one I should logically have an allegiance to, be the one that I connect with least? I really don’t get their brand proposition, I don’t understand it, I don’t see them connecting locally like SuperValu and nationally I don’t see any noise about supporting Irish – they could be the best at this but if they are I don’t know about it.

I know this is just my view and that my simple ‘picking a bag from the boot‘ analysis isn’t very scientific but then I look at the latest market shares in Ireland published in May 2014 and reported in the Irish Independent and see how closely aligned the reality is to my feelings.

German retailers Aldi and Lidl have continued to snap at the heels of Dunnes Stores, with the pair now commanding a combined 17.1pc share of Ireland’s multi-billion euro grocery market

Tesco retained its top ranking, but remains under pressure. Its market share fell 4.1pc to 26.3pc in the latest period, while Dunnes Stores also saw its position further weakened. Its share slipped 1.3pc to 21.6pc

SuperValu the chain controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group – continues to snap at Tesco’s heels. Its share of the market, which includes its now rebranded Superquinn chain, rose 0.5pc to 25.1pc, confirming its second place in the supermarket wars

Industry insiders said the latest figures will be another wake-up call for both Tesco and Dunnes Stores in particular

Maybe Tesco and Dunnes Stores should do the shopping bag test?

How do customers feel when they pick up a bag from your store?

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

 

Superquinn and the Sausage that lost it’s Sizzle

February 15, 2014
Superquinn - The Last Day

Feargal Quinn pictured with family as the Superquinn name is taken down

In marketing we often say “Don’t talk about the sausage, talk about the sizzle!

Instead of talking about the “thing” we talk about how it makes you feel, the benefits, the mood, the emotion, that sense of occasion.

A sausage according to wikipedia is: a food usually made from ground meat with a skin around it. Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made from intestine, but sometimes synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing and the casing may be removed after.

Yummy.. Imagine marketing that product!

Ironically this week where we witnessed the last nail in the coffin of the once fabulous Superquinn brand we heard the MD of SuperValu, Martin Kelliher reassuring customers that the sausages would be retained!

Is that the very last thing to survive of the brand or does the sausage in some way represent everything that was once special about Superquinn for shoppers?

When I worked in Dublin for Guinness during the mid nineties I was living near the Clondalkin area. Even though I had my own music store in the Mill Centre in Clondalkin where there was a Dunnes Stores, my weekly grocery shopping was done in Superquinn in Lucan, a good 20 minutes away by car.

Somehow shopping in Superquinn just didn’t feel too painful (I hate shopping) because of the atmosphere, the store layout, the smells, the unusual selection of food, the food samples, the fabulous wine selection and the genuine friendly service. Of course the sausages were different and these were bought from time to time!

Feargal Quinn and his team were delivering a product and service at a level way above all other Irish grocery competitors, which helped to build the successful brand, Superquinn.

The Superquinn brand was built using a unique mix of ingredients just like their famous sausages, which they had clearly perfected.

Incredibly there is a support group for their famous sausages!

On this support group they say:

Superquinn sausagesIn 1976 Superquinn perfected the pork sausage, nothing else even comes close. If I was a pig I would feel privileged to donate my body to a noble cause like this. Following a trip to Germany in early 1976, Feargal Quinn decided that Superquinn would create the perfect sausage for Irish tastes. Superquinn butcher, Pat Kelly was the lucky man faced with the ultimate challenge

Feargal Quinn seemed to take this approach with everything he did in his stores – they were different and they were better.

Over time the other grocery chains improved, the differences weren’t as different as they once were and the special ethos that once defined Superquinn started to dissolve.

When Feargal Quinn sold the stores to an investor group who had no experience in the very challenging sector the once special sizzle started to disappear and the business went backwards.

Are you minding the sizzle in your business?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Big, Bold, Brave ….Belief

January 28, 2014

Teamwork.com

The .com domain name for Greg Canty gregcanty.com can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
  2. Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
  3. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  4. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  5. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  6. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
  9. Beer.com 2004 $7 million
  10. Israel.com 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name www.teamwork.com and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the teamwork.com domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

You’ll never know why

November 5, 2013

Word of Mouth

Thanks for the invitation for your event but I just won’t be going.

I don’t want to shop in your store any more and I won’t be recommending that anyone else goes there.

I will probably ever so subtly actually discourage people from going to your store whereas before now I would have done the opposite.

The problem is you will never quite know why ..

The thing is you treated a good friend of someone that I know really well quite badly, which left them really upset. I know they are reasonable people so I trust the stories that I’ve heard and I believe that the poor experience was genuine and not exaggerated.

From my point of view this mightn’t be reasonable or logical but that’s often the way the world works.

Reputation is a funny thing – it takes ages to build a good reputation and it take seconds to destroy it.

Next time you have an issue with a customer consider carefully how you deal with them as it can potentially impact on many more than just them.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Discrimination against men!

August 29, 2013

Discrimination against men

I’m up to here with quotas for women and schemes and incentives .. enough!

The latest that has come onto my radar is a scheme and fund by Enterprise Ireland for “Ambitious Women”.

www.enterprise-ireland.com/ambitiouswomen – get your entry in because applications close on the 10th September!

Deirdre Clune - Fine GaelI spotted the very talented and intelligent Fine Gael Senator Deirdre Clune, blogging about it on her website  with the headline “New Fund means more Women will be at the Forefront of Irish Business“.

Now … before I go any further you are probably thinking that I have something against women.

I don’t!

I work with a team of women who are absolutely brilliant and during the course of my work I deal with incredible, intelligent, talented, professional and quite impressive women on an ongoing basis.

If you asked me to make a list of people who have impressed me lately, then truthfully more women would be on that list than men!

If you look around you and observe you can see some of these women rising to the top and starting to take the top positions in organisations. In political circles we are seeing exactly the same – Deirdre could very well be one of these in time.

The new Enterprise Ireland scheme (don’t get me wrong, any new scheme promoting entrepreneurship is great) is according to the blurb designed to “accelerate the number of high potential female-led businesses being set up in Ireland

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton stated “I’m delighted to add that this recent announcement follows on from two other successful female entrepreneurship funds which were launched last year.

If you read on you get even more of it: “The funding call is open to female-led start-ups in Manufacturing and Internationally Traded Services including Internet, Games, Apps, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Consumer Products, Medical Devices and e-Health – This means that women can pursue viable business ideas in a multitude of areas, which in turn could generate jobs and get the economy moving

I do hope in addition to helping women jump start their business ideas the fund will also advance Ireland’s reputation on the world stage as these business areas are all globally exciting and sustainable.”

So, a female start up will get assistance but a guy with the same proposition won’t? Hmmm..

Ambitious and talented women in Ireland ….do you really want to be singled out for such special attention?

Such schemes specifically promoting women in business are wrong and if you think about it discriminatory to men and totally missing the point.

We need to be encouraging everyone to start a business – come on!

If there was a similar scheme for men, women would be up in arms and rightfully so.

Condoleezza RiceAmbitious women, wherever you are stand up and go for it

…not because there is a scheme or a quota but because you want it, you deserve it and you are more than able!

No Fund will mean more women are at the forefront of Irish business – you can do it for yourselves the same as the rest of us! 

P.S. I’m waiting for the torrent of abuse when I publish this post – It won’t be pretty!!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion 

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Go on – Personalise

August 5, 2013

I Love GregHi there!

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Hi Greg” had appeared on the email instead of the words “Hi there”?

Dear Customer,

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Dear Greg” appeared on the invitation to attend the launch event instead of “Dear Customer”?

The Manager

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Greg Canty” had appeared on the envelope and letter that accompanied the brochure instead of “The Manager”?

Price List

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if  “Fuzion price list” had appeared on the quote instead of a generic price list?

Reserved

Wouldn’t it be a lot better to see “Reserved for Fuzion” on the restaurant table instead of a plain “reserved” sign.

It does take time to customise and personalise, it does take a little extra effort but your communication will resonate so much more when you can avoid being generic. (Personalising has never been so easy with the tools that are now available).

Often being generic can even have a negative effect and can have your customer feeling very “not so special“.

  1. If you can’t personalise think twice about communicating
  2. If you can personalise get it right – double check the spelling of people and company names
  3. Where personalising isn’t expected …personalise!

I received a CD in the post from an Amazon affiliate supplier and the docket had “thanks Greg” marked across it in marker – Wow!

Sometimes it’s really easy to stand out by doing just a little thing.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Rewarding Loyalty

April 28, 2013

Table Service

We love going there, the team know us, the manager knows us, there is always a great atmosphere and it is a real treat that we always look forward to.

The little touches are so important, finding you a good place to sit, recommending a special wine, suggesting a new beer, letting you have a sample on the house, asking your opinion about things they are doing…all in all a great place to eat, drink and relax.

The manager was telling us that they were thinking of introducing a “loyalty card” system to reward the regular customers – For every X number of meals you would get one free as well as some other benefits.

The truth is they don’t need a loyalty card system because they always reward our loyalty with their great service.

Instead of giving me one free meal for every ten we order and processing this through a card system, I’m pretty sure that I prefer being looked after in an informal, discretionary way…not because I have “earned” or qualified for my bonus meal.

Give me a drink on the house, a free dessert, a great seat, a warm welcome …it’s better than any card!

Places that don’t know you, might need a system to encourage repeat business and reward loyalty in an official way ….the great places never need a system!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing and PR firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

Chris, Seth, Mitch, Wisdom and the Power of Reply

March 17, 2013

Chris Brogan

It’s Sunday morning and I’m waiting for my weekly email from Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Works and co-author of the excellent books Trust Agents and Impact Equation about online and human behaviour.

Every Sunday he writes to me and shares some experience or learning, which is nearly always enriching and really valuable. He does this without fail and incredibly this costs me nothing. I really appreciate his generous spirit and openness and the fact that he does take time to write to me.

Of course he doesn’t write to just me – he has a huge “fan” (he’d never call us that but I’m going to use the word) base and we are all privileged to get his Sunday best!

The other amazing thing about Chris is that he has mastered the art of “reply”. If you send him a simple reply to his Sunday email telling you enjoyed it, he’ll actually come back to you and say thanks.

There is an actual person at the other end of that email who is quite happy to interact with you as well as just broadcast his message ..he’s genuinely interested in what I have to say.

I do appreciate that if he has to reply to thousands of emails he won’t have a life and we do need him to be bright and rested and able to send us those nuggets of wisdom – thanks Chris for your valuable time.

We’re really lucky to have so many really clever and quite brilliant people sharing their insights, experience and very often genius with us online.

I’m talking about bloggers who quite freely share their gems of wisdom on a regular basis with us including people like Chris, Seth Godin and Mitch Joel.

ReplyThe big difference with Chris is that he replies and interacts.

This in my view is the most powerful thing that he does and it’s this that sets him apart from the others..

Click here to sign up for his Sunday Service.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

Looking for Anna

December 25, 2012

Ellen Canty - coffee

My daughter Ellen is in great form …I am so thrilled for her that life is going so well. She is enjoying her job, she is doing really well in a beauty course that she is doing at night and personally things seem to be fitting into place.

You’re doing great” I said to her early one morning when she grabbed a lift from me to get to work.

I am” she admitted, “I’m in great form

As usual, not leaving anything alone I probed to see why life was so good and it was a mixture of everything that was going on in her life.

Coffee Pod, Winthrop StreetOne tiny but huge factor she attributes to her daily happiness is Anna – every morning before work she grabs a coffee at the Coffee Pod on Winthrop Street in Cork and Anna always sets her in great form with her cheery manner and warm greeting …isn’t life simple ?

Well done to Anna and all the other Anna’s out there, who put us in good form every day by the little, but huge things that they do …. I’ll be calling to the Coffee Pod soon to look for Anna to say thank you.

The small things we do can make a huge difference..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

Driving your Reputation

July 17, 2012

Smoking_while_driving

Sitting in traffic in the middle of town on a Monday morning my attention was drawn to the dirty branded van that had just cut in front of us.

The driver of the van seemed to be hanging his arm out the window and I noticed it was because he was smoking.

Two minutes later the cigarette butt went flying onto the road followed closely by a spit …lovely!

If you decide to brand your company vehicles make sure you let the driver know that it’s your reputation he’s driving around the place.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR Company with offices in Cork and Dublin


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