Death of Black Friday

I remember when Black Friday was something special.  Then, Cyber Monday was invented, but it wasn’t a big deal.  Then Small Business Saturday jumped onto the bandwagon of what was once a big shopping weekend.

But what was special is no longer.  Black Friday becomes Black Friday weekend.  Cyber Monday became Cyber Week.  And this year, Black Friday specials arrived a month early, and Cyber Monday is turning into a full month up until December 24th.

In retailers’ attempt to fight for the wallet by offering more deals, it actually ruined what made Black Friday special – scarcity. 

People are motivated by value.  People are more motivated by value that’s only available on a limited basis.  By extending the offers, that limitation is gone.  The motivation to go shop is also gone.  Black Friday sales this year was weak, and so was Cyber Monday.  It is the death of the Black Friday. 

People’s shopping habits are changing.  The only question is that marketers and retailers haven’t learned exactly how this change will take shape.  Comments?  Thoughts?

Resources and Perks

Hi loyal blog readers,

You may have noticed a few changes around this blog.  I’ve started launching classes, etc. 

This blog will remain my learning journal and where I share my random tips and thoughts.  As I grow as a marketeer, I have come to realize that I have picked up a few tips and tricks that may be helpful to others.  I have had several conversations with marketing novices where I realized that what would be obvious to me would be ground-breaking concepts to them.  (Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little.) 

So, my new experiment is to put my thoughts out there where these marketing novices may search for information.  I will be experimenting with the following platforms:

Skillshare: 

This is a subscription-based learning site.  Big time marketers such as Seth Godin has content on this site.  All classes are video based and project based.  Teachers produce video lectures, and each class has a capstone project.  With monthly subscription, you have unlimited access to all the classes on the site.  Use this link for a free month (I in turn get a free month).

Udemy:

This is another video learning site.  Each class is on an a la-cart model.  I will list all my classes in the Resources page, often with promo codes.  In addition, if you sign up for my newsletter, you will get exclusive offers (not available elsewhere on this blog) for my Udemy classes.  You can check out all my Udemy classes here

Skillfeed:

This is also a subscription-based learning site.  You should be able to find all my classes via this link.

Amazon:

I don’t have anything here yet.  But I am writing an e-book.  Once I finish it, I intend to publish it on Amazon, and maybe other platforms where people are searching for marketing information.  Once my e-book is ready, my blog readers will be the first to know.  Again, I will list it on my Resources page.  Furthermore, if you have signed up for my newsletters, you will get notified for any exclusive offers. 

Influence Consumers’ Decision: how to make them pick you?

 

Today’s consumers live in a world full of choices. They live in a world full of decisions. How do they make these decisions, and what can you do to influence them? I put together a new class Influencing Consumers’ Decisions:  how to make them pick you? that will take a closer look at this question.

In this class, we’ll dive deeply into the numerous decisions a consumer make prior to actually making a purchase. By understanding this decision making process, we’ll be able to put together a plan to influence the process so the decisions would be made in our favor.

This course is available on-demand via Udemy for $29.  I am offering an exclusive promotion to my blog readers.  Use promo code ICD5OFF for $5 off.  Sign up here.

First Moment of Truth

With all the conversation surrounding Zero Moment of Truth, I thought it’d be nice to revisit a more established concept.

The First Moment of Truth was first coined by P&G back around 2005, when live was simpler.  Consumers goes to the shop, shop, and make their purchase decision.  The definition of this term is “the 3-7 seconds after a shopper first encounters a product on a store shelf”.  These precious moment converts a browser into a buyer.  This is the moment where you win or lose the sale!

To win the First Moment of Truth, the packaging has to be impactful to jump off the shelf.  Consumers are close to purchase, so the job of the marketer is to make it easier for them.  We need to provide a clear reason to buy and don’t get in the way of that decision (e.g. don’t over-complicate the packaging).  The packaging is key here, because if they can’t see you on the shelf, their browsing would naturally take them to a competitive product nearby.  So, to win this moment, it’s comes down to having impactful packaging.

In today’s world, consumers are faced with more information.  Their path to purchase is a bit more complex.  In today’s world, that First Moment of Truth may still happen at shelf, but it may also happen online.  The packaging equivalent online is the product detail page.  Does the page contain the right information to convert that browser into a buyer? The same rules apply.  They are close to purchase, so make it easy for them to make that decision.  You want to provide clear reasons to buy, but don’t overwhelm the shopper with information.

To learn more about packaging and how to make good packaging, don’t forget to check out the eBook Six Gotchas in CPG Food Packaging Strategy and How to Avoid Them available in the Resource section.

Myth: you need advertising budget to build a brand

For most people, when thinking about successful branding, examples such as Nike or Coca-Cola come to mind.  People think about expensive tv advertising, and the first immediate thought is that they don’t have millions in their advertising budget.  People often think that they need lots of money to successfully build a brand – and that’s a myth.  Here are a couple of examples:

  • Facebook released its first commercial in winter 2012, celebrating its 1 billion active monthly users.  By this time, Facebook was a $5 billion company, and after it already went public with a stock price that would put the company at a $104 billion valuation. 
  • Google ran its first commercial in February 2010, during the SuperBowl.  That commercial would have costs as much as $2.9 million dollars, according to Associated Press.  However, to put that into perspective, by end of 2009, Google was already a $23billion company, according to its financial records.  And Google would have already celebrated its eleventh birthday.
  • Starbucks ran its first commercial in winter 2007.  By end of 2007, Starbucks was a $9billion company.  And it was the first commercial in the company’s 36 years history, with over 15,000 stores in 43 countries. 

As these examples illustrated, expensive advertising is not necessary to build a multibillion-dollar brand.  These brands created a unique and memorable experience to their consumers.  This in turn brought these brands significant fan-followings.  These fans generated a high degree of word-of-mouth marketing that was more effective than any expensive advertising. 

  • In the case of Facebook, it created a new category.  Being first always has its advantages regarding publicity.  Nothing quite equals being first.  Facebook created the category of social networking.  The category itself generates a network of fans, and these networks grew.  As these networks grew, the Facebook brand was born.  Now, to be fair, networking always happened.  Facebook just redefined networking and enabled this social interaction to take place digitally. 
  • In the case of Google, Google wasn’t the first search engine.  Google launched at a time where there were numerous choices of search portals.  However, Google redefined the search experience.  At the time Google launched, search was done via search portals.  The screen was cluttered with various categories, links, and advertising.  While all the information may be readily available at the search portal, users were overwhelmed by the information.  The page sometimes loaded slowly.  The overall user experience was confusing.  Google eliminated all that clutter and presented a simplified search experience.  Google, at launch, did one thing and one thing only – search.  There was no mail.  There was no weather.  There was no news.  There was nothing that was commonly found on search portals, except search.  This made Google endearing to the many frustrated internet users, and they shared Google with the world.
  • Likewise for Starbucks, Starbucks redefined what a coffee shop should be.  A coffee shop wasn’t just a place that sells coffee.  Starbucks placed strong emphasis of making its coffee shops serve as a “third place” to its consumers.  A third place is a place outside work and home, and it’s a place for social gathering.  Starbucks focused on making its coffee shop a place for people to share a cup of coffee, and maybe chat about the day.  Starbucks wasn’t just selling coffee.  Starbucks was selling an experience. 

All these brands spent money, don’t get me wrong.  But these brands didn’t spend millions on advertising when they were starting.  They built their brands based on delivering a remarkable product.  These brands redefined what their category was supposed to be about.  In doing so, they created unique experiences that were differentiated, memorable, and worth sharing.