June 2012

We all remember when Steve Jobs passed away in October, he unfortunately lost his battle to cancer. Upon his death, Jobs' Stanford speech went viral. He speaks about his early life, how he dropped out of college, how he followed his intuition, got fired and re-hired, and how you have to trust in something. The most powerful part of his speech was Jobs telling the students, "For the past 33 years I've looked in the mirror and asked myself, if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do, what I am about to do today? And if the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."   After watching Jobs' speech I began routing around a little and found many other wonderful speeches that other significant people have given at graduation ceremonies. Another powerful speech is Oprah Winfrey's speech at Howard university. We all know the great success story of Oprah, but here she shares two stories 1) how to get successful 2) how you have responsibility to give back when you do become successful. On talking about becoming successful, she says, "Don't worry about it, relax." She said all you need to know who is you are and the rest will follow.  
The first part of her speech can be viewed here - for some reason I couldn't embed it. Both Oprah's and Jobs' speeches share one theme, they are both relentless in getting across that you need to uncover what you are passionate about and get about the business of doing it. Which led me to think, how many of us actually uncover this in our lifetime?

Jobs' and Oprah

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Monday, 11 June 2012

As mentioned in a few articles back, Marketing Week ran a piece talking about brands that showed great innovation. I want to discuss how one of these brands utilised the media landscape to promote their message. 

Red Hot World Buffet set out to change the image most us have of buffets: poor over cooked food. They recruited top chefs who cook food every day, in front of customers, from several different cuisines. 

The company really honed in on the dining experience to continually draw customers in. In July and August it ran a month long Caribbean food and drink festival, each of their venues developed authentic dishes with the help of the local Caribbean communities. They went one step further and had a live steel drum band play as diners were eating. 

RHWB recognised the importance of social too. Local bloggers were invited to come and try the food and were offered exclusive vouchers for their readers to download. This is something that many brands have recognised, Bryan Boy and Issac Likes’ blogs have become major real estate for Hugo Boss to promote their brand. Not to mention the brand power Yvan Rodic’s blog has. It’s interesting that even local restaurants are seeing the importance of tapping into people’s social media assets in an attempt to make them brand advocates 

The company has also recognised the need to look after their staff so they represent the brand in the best possible way. They invested more than £60,000 in the Red Hot way, a motivational programme for their staff. It rewards the top performers with prizes and holidays.

Here's a bit about their restaurant in Manchester.

The Red Hot Way

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Thursday, 7 June 2012


If you are going to have an app for your brand, at least produce something that is useful. Pizza Express have done such a thing. Their iPhone app allows customers to pay instantly and securely for their meals through paypal, as well as find and book tables, read menus and receive/use special offer codes. 

Re-search found that on average it took between 10-12 minutes to pay for a bill and now of course this has been greatly reduced. It’s great when brands address how they can improve the consumer experience and in this case, save people time. I like how they have tackled a common problem: waiting times, and met it with an innovative app. 

How it was marketed

The message was carried our via digital marketing. Pizza Express used email to tell its 3.9 million strong database of customers, as well as those of its partners on the PayPal database. The Cloud was also used to communicate news of the app, so was print advertising. The more than half a million visitors to their website were also targeted, whilst a further 600, 000 have seen in restaurant PoS. They further used Online banner ads to ensure the message was loud and clear. 

The results 

The target was to achieve 200, 000 app downloads in the first four months, and 10, 000 bookings made through it in the first month. In actual face, 100, 000 downloads were made within a week and the booking target was beaten by 50%.

Apps I Like

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Monday, 4 June 2012