Tag: marketing

Is Your Service Brand Authentically Kind?

May 6th, 2013 — 9:36am

Is your Service Brand “authentically kind”?

I ask this because there are many brands these days that have taken on the tenor of the times. They are unabashedly exactly who they say they are, they are uncompromisingly themselves, and they give everything that they say they will deliver. But when you meet face to face or over the phone or the web with their reps, you get something that is professional, sometimes even passionate, but often times a little shy of just simply human.

Let’s talk about service marketers, and what that means. You can offer the best products, served with the most efficiency, and even produce the best results, but they leave their buyers knowing that they have bought into something that is iconic-ally true, but somehow hollow. Even though it has a strong brand character, you get the sense that the people behind it understand what they are doing, but they may not understand people that well.

Having said that, let me tell you about a brand that seems to want to make real contact, in a truly human way. Consumers are just people, and in Service Marketing, you are rarely calling for service because you are happy, and everything is working well. You are frustrated, you are often confused, and unsure of what to do. That frustration bubbles off of you, no matter how good your “poker face” happens to be.

You want someone who is going to help you do better than you were doing before you called, and make you feel, well…Smart again.

Recently, when my AC went out, we called service professionals, they sent me someone promptly, Larry, the technician, and Luis, the product specialist knew what they were talking about, and they took the time to help me understand what needed to be done, and my options for doing it. I felt informed, and prepared. In the end, I didn’t feel like I was dealing with an adversary, or that the goals of me, as a consumer, were not in alignment with them, as the service provider.

I felt SMART.

I felt like I made the right decision when I called them.

It didn’t take much, it just took the understanding from everyone in the organization that if I had called them, I needed them to bring expertise, education and understanding about what I was going through, and maybe a little compassion and empathy.

If you work for a service brand, and you believe in what you are selling, and love your brand, then take some time, start a conversation with your customers, ask them how they felt when things went wrong, and how they felt when you made it better, and how the journey between those two points impacted them on a human level. If you do this, you won’t just delight the consumer, but you will have made an “authentically kind” choice, and that will be how your brand is remembered.

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Marketing God: Reaching the Faithful in a Digital Age

December 12th, 2012 — 3:32pm

Team Welt had the chance to sit down with a true marketing innovator, Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp of Temple Sholom in Amberley Village. Now, typically when you think of “marketing innovators,” they are generally working with the cutting edge in commercial products and business to business products and processes, but you rarely think of faith or God as something that needs to be (or even should be?) “marketed.”

When Rabbi Miriam came to Sholom in the summer of 2010, she saw a congregation that seemed to be aging, and recognized immediately that it would be necessary to reach out to a younger community to revitalize the congregation. She convinced her board that social media (YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook) offered a way forward.

She had a new sound system, and video cameras installed in the Synagogue. She began streaming major events on the web, and offering services regularly on YouTube. She made Facebook and Twitter solid channels for offering the latest news about services, events and the human interest stories that bring congregations together.

Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp

She and her team of staffers and volunteers use video to share ideas and issues, and they take full advantage of the interactive nature of social media to solicit feedback from her extended flock. Our two-hour conversation ranged across a wide variety of topics that included her background in design (she holds a B.A. in Studio Art, which helps her to understand how important the visual aspects of messaging is to the younger, web users), to her experience as a young, female Rabbi from the West Coast who happened to end up in Cincinnati. She shared stories of her vibrant and diverse family, who make their homes in far-flung places such as Brazil and London.

But even as this vibrant, thoroughly modern woman described her very contemporary life, she made it very clear that foremost in her heart and mind is faith and tradition. When you look at the themes and concepts she explores with her congregation, she may address them in the language of today, and relate them to modern touch-points and imagery, but she knows that it is the traditions that must endure.

And even though she has taken leaps forward with new media, the traditions and values that she brings out in her sermons, are the same beautiful, meaningful expressions of faith that they have been for thousands of years. She just shifts them on to new platforms, and uses new tools to make them real for a generation that still craves connection with community and spirituality that is Judaism.

Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp with young members of congregation.

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Twitter Fail?

July 19th, 2012 — 8:57am

After a lack of cell service leaves me feeling disconnected at a Reds game, I can’t decide if I should be frustrated with the #RedsTweetUp event, or if having the volume turned down was good for me…

With the lure of field box seating, interacting with other “blogger/celebrity/media” tweeps from across the nation, and a free t-shirt (bonus), I signed up for the Reds Tweetup as soon as I found out about it…which just happened to be through Twitter. I was exceedingly, ridiculously, wildly excited and told anyone and everyone with little-to-no shame about my plans.

Did I mention this night of socializing and tweeting was not only on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, but the game was against the Cards?

What war-of-words would I be close enough to capture—and better yet—share, on Twitter and Instagram? What clever ways could I use the #RedsTweetUp hashtag to show my support for Cueto and @datdudebp?

A photo of GABP I posted to Instagram – after I left the game.

I ended up just a couple rows back in section 110. Beer in one hand, iPhone in the other, I did what anyone was supposed to do as soon as I settled into my seat: I took a photo (Votto!).

Slight dilemma: I had no service…meaning no tweets, no IG moments, no nothing! I do see value in having actual in-person conversation at baseball outings, which would have happened regardless, but I was a bit frustrated I couldn’t share my experience with my newly found Reds tweeps and those watching at home.

Later that night I was able to get service right outside the ballpark. But I had to wonder: were my expectations just off? Was I better off not being able to get my wi-fi fix till the game was over?

With a less-than-stellar record when it comes to the showcase that is Sunday Night Baseball, at least our team came away with the win (#sweep!)… and I was also able to put a face to some of those Twitter handles…

Think that people should just put their phones away at games? Or did you attend the game yourself as a #RedsTweetUp fan? Let us know if you think this is a Twitter Fail, and why, at @weltbrand or @kimbrandling.

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Top 10 Tweets of the Week

June 8th, 2012 — 9:29am

Our top 10 tweets #frompopcultureandmarketing of the last week:

What Tweets made you smile lately?  Or what Tweets did you favorite, retweet, or just find shareable in some way? Hit us back at social@weltbranding.com or leave us a comment!

Post on our Facebook wall at Welt Branding
Tweet us at  WeltBrand
Or join our LinkedIn group at Welt Branding: Challenge Everything

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The True Value of the Holidays

December 2nd, 2011 — 12:45pm

As I head into my 20th year in the world of work, I begin to understand the true value of the holidays. I see how important families can be. I notice the preparations and pains that my co-workers take to make these few moments that they will have with the people they love as special and memorable as they can.  Yet as marketers we do not, and in many cases cannot, linger in these very human and rich experiences.  We are forced to push the pace, answering and creating needs for consumers, and providing context for them to spend money that they would gladly give away, if in the end, they could spend a few more happy hours with their children, their parents, their brothers and sisters.

As marketers, we hold our breaths as the Black Friday numbers roll in. And as quickly as they do, we strip the mall of the red, white and green colored ornaments and dress it again, this time for Valentines day.  But everyday, in every conversation I hear, someone inevitably says “I can’t believe that it is already (month goes here)”.

I suspect, as I dash through my middle years, that one day I will regret not taking the time to wrap my arms around the “small hours” that make up the best parts of our lives. Maybe I will wise up, and enjoy every chance I get to spend some time with my incredible niece, my very strange, but very warm sister, my remarkably fun in-laws, and the few friends I have managed to stay in contact with.

Nordstrom is a retailer that may be getting it right.  They are asking us to give each holiday enough space to become meaningful, to be a full memory. They are making the request that we see the holidays as more than something we all “get through”. Instead, maybe we can embrace them as something we “get to do”. Something we get to do with the best people we know, if only for a few small hours.

From our family @Weltbrand to yours, a happy and safe holiday season!

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