Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dear FedEx, . . . and All the Other Mudslingers

This is a message to Fedex and the recent mudslinging advertisers (you know who you are) and those thinking it might be a good idea.

Dear FedEx,

I want to thank you for letting me know that I should be concerned about, your competitor, DHL's reduced capabilities. While I had not seen the published reports, I now have a better understanding and know that with you I will have reliability for peace of mind.

Sincerely, ;-)

Mark Juleen


So, is this email I received (as I am a registered FedEx customer) SPAM, or a quality opt-in message? At the bottom of the email I have the ability to unsubscribe, and I think after this mudslinging message I may just do that. FedEx just got put on the naughty list this Christmas.

While the recent I'm a Mac & I'm a PC ads are somewhat humorous, I think they are a bit off base as well. How many people, like me, are a Mac and a PC? Is it even necessary to bash your competition? When a company gets down in the mud and starts bad mouthing its competition I think it does more harm than good. Yes, for the Mac lovers of the world the ads might be hilarious, but how do these ads help sell more computers. I somewhat question Mac's integrity. Why stoop so low? I can see it now, some guy looking at his Dell laptop thinking, "That Apple, ha, their commercial is so clever I think I'm going to go get a MacBook."

I think it's an adult version of the blame game. Like when you were a kid and nothing was your fault. It was all your little brother's doing, or the dog's, or you heard that "word" from your Dad, or you even blamed your best friend just so you wouldn't get into trouble. Now we're doing it on a adult level! Ridiculous! Grow up, be more creative, show me why you are more innovative or interesting.

Send me an email about how amazing your holiday shipping reliability will be this year because of a new system or historical data that proves it. Show me a commercial that exhibits to me why Leopard is so amazing and easy to use, and why the quality of a Mac and service that goes along with it are the best in the business. Better yet, don't advertise with some clever commercial. Instead, share with me real stories, from real people, about really great experiences with your product or service. It may not seem as glamorous as the 30 sec. spot featuring a B rated actor, but if the stories are compelling I will share them with others. And that lasts a lot longer than 30 seconds.

OK, enough ranting. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why I Didn't Go To Morellis

This morning I had to take in the dry cleaning.  It's one of those chores I don't look forward to as it is somewhat of a luxury and costs money.  However, the experience I have at Premier Cleaners helps soften the blow when I go to pick it up a couple days later.  I'm somewhat of a raving fan or evangelist I suppose when it comes to things I like, and if dry cleaning ever comes up in conversation (rarely) I alway rave about Premier.  Premier does a couple things right.  

1. While I only go in when my basket of laundry is overflowing (about every other month) they always remember my name when I come in.  I think that's pretty impressive.  Wouldn't it be cool if the guy at the burrito joint I frequent on a weekly basis could do that?

2. They give advice and educate me on the best way to clean or dry clean my clothes.  Now, they don't have to tell me how they are going to wash and press my shirts, but with this simple education in dry cleaning I now respect that they take their job very seriously.  

To some, dry cleaning is a commodity.  Coupons can be found anywhere and everywhere.  Premier always just gives everyone 30% off dry cleaning and $1.59 per shirt.  No more coupons for them, they just focus on their service efforts.  I was recently mailed two $5 gift certificates from a local competitor, Morellis.  My wife had taken a comforter there awhile back as that is where her Mom recommended to take it.  Apparently my Premier dry cleaning stories have not been significant enough for her to listen, or she's just tuned me out at this point in our relationship.  At any rate, Morellis hadn't seen us for awhile and sent us the gift certificates.  I thought it was a nice touch, but it just wasn't compelling enough for me to make the switch.  

Wow, I complain about the luxury cost of dry cleaning, but $10 wasn't enough to overcome remarkable service!  That's saying something.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Enjoy Your Living Experience

About a month ago I joined the other members of our executive team at the J.C. Hart Company for a retreat to discuss the "brand" of the company.  These "meetings of the minds" are always a great way to take a step back and really look to see if we are delivering on our purpose, vision, and goal as a company.  Since joining the company back in 2003, we've had 3 of these "executive retreats" and we've always come away with an improved vision for the company.

As I said, at this most recent retreat we wanted to review our "brand."  After going through a few exercises discussing our "touch points," watching the Fish! Philosophy video (the 5th time for me), sharing some good and bad customer service stories, and reviewing our company Core Values, we came to the conclusion we really like the direction we've taken the business.  However, we also concluded that the message or "brand statement" we share at our "touch points" just wasn't sticky enough.  While our Purpose is "We make your Home and enjoyable living experience," this doesn't just roll off the tongue in everyday conversation.  So we've taken our first step in improving the way this message is sent.  First, for marketing purposes we shortened our Purpose into a "brand statement":  Enjoy Your Living Experience.  It's a start, and our associates are excited about the message.  We've always been a management company that is known for customer service, but our goal is to take it to the next level.

But none of this is really why I'm writing this post.  Since rolling out "Enjoy Your Living Experience" I feel like customer service has become a hot topic for many others in the marketing world.  For Jay Ehret it's something he does everyday, but for Jeremiah Owyang it's not his usual expertise.  This is why I love following these guys and others on Twitter.  Not only do they share great blog posts, but they also make great observations and share them with the Twitter community.  Before Twitter and blogs we'd make business decisions and hope they took us in the right direction, now we can just do a Twitter or Google search and find out if another company has already tried our idea.  Better yet, we can write a blog post or tweet and get feedback on our idea from a plethora of experts.  By using these tools we can all make better business decisions and ideally become better businesses.  I certainly am enjoying my living experience since branching out into social media and I thank all of you that share with us your ideas, knowledge, and expertise.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What's the Lifespan of Social Media/Web 2.0?