44 posts categorized "Trusted Businesses"

July 28, 2011

Trust Marketing Secrets Revealed

Screen shot 2011-07-28 at 9.50.34 AM The following is what Strategic Marketing expert, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing is telling businesses to do to earn consumers (women's) trust. We trust each other for certain reasons, how accurate do you think he is? 

The stories told in small groups matter – We love stories, and we particularly love stories we can rally around...  How much are you influenced by a product's background story?  

The ratings found on countless sites matter – Decisions are made every day about hotels, diners and plumbers based on the reviews of patrons found on sites like Google Places or Yelp! Do you give reviews? What motivated you to write?

The page one results matter – It’s not enough that a search for your business turns up your Website – let’s hope so. What’s equally important is that it turns up an entire digital presence. Is that true? Do you need to see a product on many different venues before you *Like*, buy or write?

The blog comments matter – Direct conversations with clients, about clients, about your products, about your people, about the things your company stands for are going to show up in comments on blogs. Have you ever had a conversation with a company?

The shares, +1s, and likes matter – Sentiment is one of the hottest measurements online these days and it’s a marker of true loyalty.  It's amazing, but some things as bland as ketchup has thousands of fans. 

Now that you know how much you are valued digitally, will you be changing the way you interact with companies? More/Less? Leave more comments?  

Business trying to earn our trust, what else do they need to do besides the above? 

 

July 05, 2011

Girl Scouts Pick up Top Brand Trust Ratings in OC

Screen shot 2011-07-04 at 8.10.04 PM In June the OC Metro ran a cover story on the Power of Trust in conjunction with the Values Institute at DGWB. After interviewing 2000 adults over five months (63% women, 47% married with children) the following attributes came forward: Ability, Concern, Connection, Consistency, and Sincerity

The Girl Scouts of Orange County "brand" came out on top  for Concern and Connection with multiple mentions across all attributes. 

Let that be a lesson to business-at-large -- embed your brand in your people (employees/customers) and the kudos will follow. Don't keep reinventing yourself decade after decade, stay true to your core.  The OC Girl Scouts have 25,000 girls and their leaders to word-of-mouth the organization; next year thousands more will join the legacy.  How many employees still buy your "cookies" decades later - at any cost?

Men value Price and Cost. (Why surveys are important.)

The survey uncovered on big difference between how the women and the men answered the survey -- the middled-aged, surveyed men put Price and Cost on top of their value chain, the women had valued customer service. 

This isn't new news, most of the survey's findings are also in the  In Women We Trust workbook published five years ago. But it does point out why marketing is still out of synch with world of women. Most agencies, DBWG included, are run by men, have men on their board and therefore filter their decisions based on their own value base first. (I saw one women in a leadership position with DBWG and the Values Institute.)  Without surveys like this to flag the differences, those in the decision-making seat would continue their path based on what they know from their own personal experience. Kudos to DBWG and OC Metro for setting up the survey. 

Surveys are also important because business is just a machine and machines run on numbers. When numbers add up, the machines change to match their direction. If you want to change the world, put numbers on your findings. (Plus, the reports make great handouts at awards dinners...)

Other awardees were: American Red Cross (another female dominated structure), Apple, Chapman University, Chick-fil-A, CHOC Children's Hospital, Costco, Disneyland, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, In-N-Out Burger, Nordstrom, Planned Parenthood/OC and San Bernardino Counties, St. Joseph Hospital, Target, Toshiba America, and Wells Fargo. 


Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 7.36.08 AM Seeing the Girl Scouts of OC on top didn't surprise me, GS programs have always been in tune with what modern girls need ever since I was a Girl Scout Professional Advisor early in my career. The GS program has stayed true to it's course of preparing girls for the future, and it has evolved, i.e. from taking care of the outdoors and leaving only footprints while camping, to including saving the planet.

If you wanted a new branding ideology for your company that will resonate with growing consumers, just follow the Girl Scout program. Oh, and maybe rework your own mission statement to include the values that the Girl Scouts abide by: 

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

What's not to Know, Like and Trust? 

April 27, 2011

Two Thirds of Buyers of Groupon and Living Social are Women

This just in from regarding how Groupon and Living Social compare:

"LivingSocial users are 49 percent more likely than the average American online to make at least $150,000 a year, compared with 30 percent for Groupon, according to the survey released today. They are also more likely to be younger than 35 and to have college or graduate degrees... 

"Nielsen, based in New York, also found that about two-thirds of LivingSocial and Groupon users are women. [very smart and monied women given the prior quote]

The list of top interests tell the story...

Screen shot 2011-04-27 at 8.41.07 AM

The take aways:

1. If you're an average Jane, you just became an above average buyer in the world of business. Your choices matter as they are collected into reports by Nielson. Understand that and remember it every time you make a buy or post a comment on line. 

2. If you're a business looking to cash in on the couponing world, get in touch with your feminine side. Make sure your product line does something for the higher good in the world. This is where having a sustainable product and a company with high social values wins. Think home and family first and be more of a Prius and less of a Hummer.  

This gives me great hope -- companies follow the money and the money lies with women's interests. In women I trust that our interests will lead the economy to a greener and friendlier world. 

February 02, 2011

Influential Moms or Business Women?

Ironic Dot connecting this morning...

  • Dot 1 -- At what point will women cross from "Influencer" to "Shrewd Business Woman"  in multi-book author, Maria Bailey's Media Post article she lists several of these Mom Influencers and their accomplishments. All reach thousands each week. As a "media" they are considered highly successful, but because they are Moms, they are known as "influencers." Full article here. I wonder what a girl has to do to be seen as a business first...
Trisha Novotry, known online as 24/7 Mom
Andrea Deckard, known online as the founder of www.Savingslifestyle.com.
Lisa Druxman, founder of Stroller Strides.
Pamela Nagata, coordinator for Sandiegoparent.com.
Molly Gold, founder of Go Mom Inc    on her live show on MomTV.com  
  • Dot 2 -- A report just out researching who gets venture capital money. The conclusion of the research? When the business model was lead by a man, it was given more recognition and funding. When the exact same business model was lead by a woman, the funding was more likely to be denied. That's sad news for 6.5 million women-owned firms. 

(thanks to Yvonne for finding this 2009 study) Kimberly Weisul, writing on BNET, says, "...new research from the University of Utah Kaufman Firm on Entrpreneurship lends weight to the argument that discrimination is at work. After studying the reactions of 222 MBA students to different founding teams, researchers Robert Wuebker and Lyda Bigelow found that even though the personal qualifications and the firm financials were identical no matter the gender of the CEO, women-led firms were seen as having a poorer strategic position, and female founders were perceived as less capable."

Connecting the dots - woman are coveted for their ability to grow out these massive sectors of influence, sometimes without money or power but by the shear force of their personalities and yet -- they are given less financial respect than those who have to buy their way to influence. Go figure. 

Who would you trust with your investments -- someone who is trying to buy your affection through a business model or someone who has the same business model AND the ability to grow a base of support? It's time for the money lenders to start looking at opportunities the same way business is looking for influencers.

There is a revolution going on in more places than Egypt...

 

December 30, 2010

I Resolve -- To Keep Earth in Business*

Screen shot 2010-12-30 at 1.40.13 PM If prior years were about green awareness, 2010 was about green market traction for companies and consumers. Next year, the market will turn full-frontal-green -- so in 2011  I resolve to buy green or buy nothing and nix the plastic packaging wherever I can. 

Because of progressive-thinking companies like Patagonia, thousands of businesses are turning into adults and taking responsibility for their eco/social-actions. Check out the video below on 1% for the Planet, it cured my cynicism.  (*BTW, whomever thought up "Keeping Earth in Business" as a tag line deserve a bonus. Love it!)

This is bigger than going green, it's about inspiring everyone around us to rethink our processes and give our lives a do-over. Need a personal mission statement, borrow Patagonia's: 

Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. 

Check out the video and see how the power of 1% for the Planet inspired Sweat Pea Bikes -- then see if you aren't like me wondering how you pull the cash together for a custom fit frame...  

(Go to Hulu.com if you want the full movie experience.)

November 09, 2010

Earthster makes being socially responsible and transparent, easier

This blog is about co-creation -- women are doing many things to change the world, but if the world of business doesn't change at the same time, we're in a world of hurt. The Earthster system is the beginning of providing accountability to business that women will love. 

At this morning's webinar, Wal Mart, Seventh Generation, and Earthster (sister site Social Hot Spots) announced that they have teamed up with governments and companies to create a new law of the law -- the law of sustainability -- in a play-nice/be-transparent sort of way. 

Earthster is the public, open source backbone and keeper of the data in the same way that Wikipedia anchors community input to it's site. In Earthster's case, it's gathering third party approved information that comes from millions of supply chain contributors. Think Story of Stuff can now point to everyone and everything in the supply chain.

Below is a screen shot of what this visually looks like as products are tracked from their source to the store shelf. The common software and methodology will be available in multiple languages to encourage global participation. When the webinar link is available, I'll post it here.

Wal Mart will be testing the system more completely in the first three quarters of 2010 using the supply chains from ten vendors and rolling it out to the rest of their 60,000+ vendors at the end of the year. What happens at Wal Mart, doesn't stay at Wal Mart -- other big box stores will be using the same system and that's a good for everyone. 

Screen shot 2010-11-09 at 12.31.18 PM

Earthster is agnostic in its design and is more of a clearinghouse for all information, not a standard that determines which information gets more credit than another. It creates that layer of transparency that has been missing in green products.

Earthster also changes the green marketing attitudes from "OMG We better not say the wrong thing or we'll be accused of greenwashing", to "We're doing the best we can and here is exactly where we are doing it."  Even the EPA is getting behind Earthster during a time when there are 300+ sustainable standards vying for the top slot. Standards mean nothing if the information isn't verified as accurate. 

What women will want to cheer about is that this move will speed up accountability on toxic materials, social equity, energy globally and many more issues. We won't have to hold political rallies to get rid of brain altering chemicals in our carpets. Earthster and the market competition will take care of it.

This new transparency will not only foster safer products, but infuse trust back into an economic structure that has to operate with/outside of all political systems -- and do it at a price point that small business can handle. Sites such as Good Guide will have a common way to rate their products. 

This gives me great hope, for people, planet and profits!

October 19, 2010

"Living Downstream" - the Documentary Every Parent Must See

My thanks to Karen Hanrahan for flagging this important film Living Downstream by scientist, Sandra Steingraber Ph.D. Screen shot 2010-10-19 at 7.39.57 AM

While we face the dangers of climate change and not enough water, this film demonstrates the issues we face in the water we have left -- even our fresh rain, falling from the sky, contains chemicals other than H2O, resting water has up to 66 chemicals.

That's not good for us or the planet. It's why we all need to understand and support sustainable standards around how our products are made throughout the supply chain. 

 

October 18, 2010

Who is Tracking Your Kids (and you) Online?

Screen shot 2010-10-18 at 8.03.50 AM
Check out this interactive tool from the WSJ that explains how everyone is being tracked on the web. On first blush, it's disturbing; on the second, as an eco-marketer I wanted to know what I was missing...

Nuf said, follow the link and learn...

 

September 07, 2010

A Reality Show, by Women for Women

I became a bit player in the In Women We Trust "reality show" the past two weeks. In the book I explored why women turn to each other for advice. In the real-life "show" last week i experienced the answer again and again as to why we are forming our our gender-specific groups at a time when we should all be "equal".

Screen shot 2010-09-07 at 4.11.13 AMFirst up, the Sales Shebang, where 25 female sales professionals came together in Chicago to share ideas and synergies. The women were gracious, giving, and very funny. 

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A few days later I found myself in Pasadena at the Women in Green Forum with 300+ of the most engaging women leading sustainable practices in the Los Angeles area. 

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Screen shot 2010-09-07 at 4.15.03 AM  

The realty is, it's just plain different when you have a room full of women talking or a room that's dominated by male discussion. The female style is more open, authentic and -- well -- real, real to me anyway and that's the difference on who I felt I could trust with information and who I couldn't. Because my guard was down, I was more open and didn't feel that anyone was holding back on me, either.  

At the Sales Shebang, trade secrets were exchanged as easily as emails. During the Women In Green Forum connections that would have taken months of cold calls were made in minutes. 

The big takeaway from both -- network convergence. Dots are being connected between the silos of disciplines. We may work in one sector, but we share with all.

By now everyone knows that women dominate consumer spending decisions. We are also moving into corporate positions for sales, marketing, purchasing and sustainability (congrats to Andrea Thomas) We may not be at the very top of the corporate food chain, but more of the decisions which effect that corporate bottom line are being made first by us -- that's a reality show worth watching.

July 21, 2010

Women as Trust-o-Meters: Does Your Message Pass the Test?

In a study of male and female responses to the BP message, you'll see a dramatic difference in what women feel positively about and what they DON'T. Thank you to Neuromarketing for bringing this to our attention.

'The reactions charted on the screen are Innerscope’s tracking of viewer engagement as determined by heart rate, sweat, and other biometric measures. Low levels, the firm says, indicate low viewer engagement and/or a negative reaction. '