Posts in culture
Riding The Apple Train
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Today Apple unveiled their biggest change to the iPad since its debut. The new iPad is purported to be sleeker, lighter, and much more eco-friendly. It’s made out of 100% recycled aluminum and can even charge your iPhone while in use.The downside? It’s the most expensive iPad to replace.

With all of the bells and whistles, and the ability to use iPhone features such as FaceTime, the new iPad is definitely a technological gem. But with that also comes a hefty price tag that most Apple customers will probably still pay. Why? Brand loyalty. EXTREME brand loyalty. Apple has taken the simplicity of picking a cell phone and turned it into a sub-culture of loyal supporters. One does not simply use Apple products. You become an Apple user. It’s the biggest digital divide in modern history, with iPhone and Android users arguing over which devices have the best features.

The thing that Apple has done to separate itself from the Android market is to create a culture of exclusivity. Every single thing that you do on an iPhone has to be done within its suite of services. Every app that you download comes from the online Apple store, your music comes from iTunes, and if you have an issue with your device you go to the Apple store. With an Android you have Samsung, HTC, and countless others who share an operating system but don’t give you that feeling of exclusivity. There is no internal culture associated with owning an HTC, and device users don’t necessarily use any other HTC products.

The closest comparison to the Apple subculture is the growth of Google products. Google has put more effort into marketing its Google Pixel phone, and just recently introduced companion products like the Pixel tablet to create that same type of brand loyalty that Apple has with its customers. With Google already dominating applications such as Gmail and Google Drive, there just may be a chance for the takeover by ‘Googlers’.

Does your business suffer from a lack of brand loyalty? What are some ways that you can create a loyal subculture for your audience?

3 Benefits of a Written Marketing Plan
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Developing industry specific marketing plans can be difficult to achieve with little to no direction. Just like a business plan gets you set up for strategic growth, a marketing plan serves much of the same purpose. While some may think that you can mix and match marketing methods as you go along, it is always much more efficient to develop your plan of attack well in advance. Your marketing plan should serve as the companion piece to your business and financial plans.

Marketing plans are not a one-size fits all scenario. Your plan should be specific to your industry, as well as your time in the business. It brings you clarity, structure, and most of all - more effective marketing. Here are a couple of the benefits of having a written marketing plan for your business.

Gain Clarity

  •  A written plan helps you gain the clarity you need to expand your business with effective marketing strategies. It takes your original business plan and stretches it out in a way that shows your creativity in a structured manner. As a companion piece to your business plan, it lays out the specifics of your business plan and assigns a marketing task to each area. It also shows you where your challenges may lie within reaching your target market, and how you should address a financial plan of attack.

Track Your Methods

  • A lot of people approach marketing without a strategy. They throw a couple of things at the wall and see what sticks, then get frustrated when they don't see a return. A written marketing plan helps you keep track of what you've done. It gives you a clear view of what has worked, what hasn't, and how much time and money has been put into it. Are you delivering things to your target market that actually address their wants and needs? If not, how do you change that? What new techniques can you use to better serve them?

Establish Company Culture

  • What better way to help your employees learn about your company culture than to have it in writing? Although you may think that you've expressed the core of your company culture and brand values, it is can easily be misconstrued by an outside party. Instead of assuming that employees know how to represent your brand, why not feel comfortable in knowing that they are clear on how to represent your brand. You can even ask for feedback through meetings and forums, and incorporate that data into a working plan for your employees. 

No matter the industry, your marketing efforts should be tailored to fit your specific needs. Just because a similar business has had success with a given marketing tactic doesn't mean that your business will enjoy that same success. It takes time, introspection, and documentation to get together a proven formula for success that can grow with your company.

Don't take chances on missing the mark with your marketing. Contact us today for a consultation on developing a targeted marketing plan for your business.

TBT: Vintage Typewriter

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I love this photo of this Vintage Royal typewriter. It appealed to me because it is 'B.T.' or 'before technology', and represents a time when things were much more simple. For book worms and writers like me, a typewriter represents a sense of nostalgia that delights the soul. It takes me back to when I was a little girl and my grandmother would set me up at her typewriter. I was so little that I couldn't even reach the desk. She would pile up a stack of phone books in a wooden chair, line up the ribbon just right,  and let me pound out on the keys for as long as my heart desired. I saved my money and purchased my own pack of paper, and I set out to put my creative stories in a professional format that I would later sell to friends and family for a quarter a piece.  Who knew that an old dusty typewriter would lead to my first entrepreneurial endeavor? Thinking back on that experience makes me feel humbled, fortunate,  and empowered to create more memories....things that are worthy of putting down on paper that would bring a smile to someone's face, and make another little girl want to sit on top of a stack of phone books and write her life's story.