23 posts categorized "Word of Mouth"

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? 

May 08, 2009

Holy Mother of Capitalism Day, "The Determinators" have Arrived

Maryanne Milker's Mom's Blogger Club told her, she emailed the Green Mom Carnivaland then she called me about the Nielsen Buzz Metrics report showing blogging moms influence as "The Determinators" of market share.

 

That's what this post is celebrating - a shift in social thinking that just happens to hit on Mother's Day weekend. Go Moms! (A big thank you Maryanne for the heads up and a congrats to Clean and Green Mom Sommer and Organic Mania Lynn for making the top 50 list.) Register for Full presentation coming up on May 28th.

 

Neilson momI received stats this morning from the flip side of buying - the review side. I have many such sites listed on the left side of this blog. Because of that Reviewcentreasked if I could list them along with the rest. I said "Sure, show me your stats." According to my contact at Reviewcentre, the 09 Freshminds report "highlighted 67% of reader respondents were female, 33% male. 35% are aged between 25-34 and 24% between 35-44 years old."

 

Review center Makes sense, if you buy the stuff and use the stuff then you'll be more opt to write about the stuff later. If the majority of people buying the stuff are women, then the majority of people writing the reviews will also be women. 

 

What Neilsen Buzz Metrics did in this slide show was bless the trend that is turning into a tipping point media. Just like they report on who watches what TV show, they'll be reporting on women's social media stats from now on. 

 

As excited as I am about this blessing of the obvious, I'm more thrilled that women will now see the stats over and over and know that what they BUY makes a difference. What they SAY makes a differenceWho they TALK TO makes a difference.

 

The only thing left to do is educate women on sustainable product standards and watch the world turn safer, cleaner and a more socially responsible shade of green. Women are the will, corporations are the way and sustainable product standards will keep us all honest.

June 16, 2008

And on behalf of Green Consumers Everywhere...

A couple weeks ago, Sustainable Life Media held a highly successful conference on how to market green or sustainable products in a truthful and authentic way. All the speakers and the participants were there to talk/listen on how to talk to this market. Only ONE speaker, Diane MacEachern, was there representing the consumer's side of the table.

The following is her presentation as taped by Mario of Melodies in Marketing.

May 21, 2008

The Women of Kenya: Practical Leadership for Troubled Times

Kathe_schaaf Guest Blogger: Kathe Schaaf / Changing the World

As 2008 began in Kenya, her citizens huddled terrified in their homes for protection from a wave of violence and killing sweeping through their country. Anger and frustration over a corrupt national election process had bubbled up into a river of rage that quickly became a familiar ‘us vs. them’ battle drawn along ethnic lines. Thousands of homes were burned and stories drifted into the global media about violent deaths at the hands of angry mobs of young men.

*****

By February 200,000 Kenyans were living in tents in primitive camps for ‘internally displaced persons’ with little food and even less hope of returning home. All of this unfolded in a country already struggling with incredible challenges; the short list includes high incidence of HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; a shortage of drinkable water and fuel for cooking fires; lack of educational opportunities especially for girls and rural youth; little sustainable employment; and a primitive infrastructure which complicates transportation, hygiene and safety at a most basic level.

*****

Following the news of these events, I kept saying to myself over and over again: I trust the African women to restore sanity to Kenya. My faith in the women of Kenya has its foundation in relationships with courageous women from that country. In Bondo, Kenya in December 2006, I had the opportunity to attend the Grassroots African Women’s Conference, spending four days in the company of 513 grassroots African women leaders.  These women were remarkable, tackling the enormous problems in their villages with practical ideas using whatever resources they could find.

  • Ten mothers in a small village on the shores of the Indian Oceanhad organized to integrate 50 orphans into their families.
  • Women in remote rural areas had created their own ‘merry-go-round’ micro-lending programs to develop small businesses and a sustainable source of income for their families.
  • Successful strategies for purifying water and solar cooking were being developed, shared and replicated.

*****

It was easy to develope warm relationships with these women, both at the conference and traveling to visit them in their villages.  I witnessed firsthand their self-sacrifice and hard work, their creativity and persistence, their collaborative spirit and their commitment to their families. I danced with them, singing their songs of hope and enjoyed their easy laughter. I was hugged and welcomed into their homes and their hearts. We nurture our friendships through the miracle of e-mail.

*****

So when news coming out of Kenya was at its worst, I took solace in knowing that the women would eventually be able to emerge from their homes and do whatever it takes to pull Kenya back together. I knew that they would begin to care for the children and feed the hungry and find homes for the homeless. I knew that they would talk among themselves about the roots of this violence and quietly find ways to bring reconciliation and healing.  I knew that the women of Kenya would show up fully in the face of this craziness and bring sanity back to their land.

*****

It is what they have always done.

www.KatheSchaaf.com

http://katheschaaf.blogspot.com/

April 29, 2008

Ode to Women and Green Marketing

Dscn3758Have you seen this month's Ode Magazine? It arrived the same day I said to four women, "I know 8 women who own a Prius. One of the women raised her hand and said, "Make that nine." Then the others raised their hands as well. Four out of five of us owned a Prius. I was the fifth who didn't and that's only because they weren't available the day I HAD to buy a new car. (I have a 40 mpg Civic, however.)

I said to them, "See, you're the reason that Detroit changed its ways." (I don't have the research, but I'm betting that the majority of Prius owners are women.) Because women purchased Priuses for the gas mileage, practicality, environmental statement, looks, whatever...Toyota went to the front of the eco-car class and Detroit has been playing catch up ever since.

Now back to Ode. On Page 50 is an ad for the Green Festival in Chicago and topics of what the 350 exhibitors will cover. How many of these areas are women's topics that you'd find in any woman's magazine? Nine out of the 14 topics are traditional women's magazine's story lines. The others are topics that feed or support those nine.

  • Green careers/education
  • Social Justice
  • Eco-fashion
  • natural health and body
  • green media
  • green technology
  • natural home and garden
  • green business practices
  • fair trade
  • indigenous goods
  • organic food/agriculture
  • natural foods
  • green kids' zone

And because is was a women's issue, here are a few more items.

Page 18, Rosa Hilda Ramos, she was/is a housewife in Puerto Rico who tried to protect her family from pollution. Rosa founded CUCco (Communities United against Contamination) in 1991. She didn't start it because wanted to run a business. She did it because it was the right thing to do.

Page 33 - The Not-So-Secret Secret to Changing the World - "Women can lead the way from the survival of the fittest to the survival of the connected."  by Lisa Witter and Lisa Chen.

Page 46 - No More Business as Usual - how social investors can help bring about corporate and political change - by Amy Domini, the CEO of  Domini Social Investments and author or several books on ethical investing.

Dscn3757 Page 55 - A band of women in pink hats and boots are heading to a store to challenge the management by asking, "How can you be sure this cushion wasn't made by children?" or "What percentage of the sales price of this chocolate bar goes to the cocoa farmer"?

Gary Hirshberg CE Yo of Stonyfield Yogurt said about making an environmental impact:

"I realized I needed to move into capitalism if I wanted to have a bigger influence. Business is the only source powerful enough to manifest the change we need." (amen Gary)

Who buys the Stonyfield Yogurt that helps capitalism work? Women. Who buys the majority of the things listed in the Green Festival Categories? Women.

Therein lies the new world order that's emerging from the co-creation of a Sustainable life. The world of buyers and sellers - the buyers being primarily women. Think about that the next time you see a green consumer study. Be sure to check out the methodology behind it. If the survey was a 50/50 split of men and women being surveyed ask to see just the stats coming from women. I'm betting that you'll see a far more engaged group appear.

The pictures came from Ode. Pick up a copy and read it from cover to cover. You'll feel better afterwards.

 

September 28, 2007

Why Women Bloggers can do what Washington can't

After reading Emily and Cooper's great post on the Clinton Initiative yesterday, I’m becoming more convinced that we are the ones the world has been waiting for to kick start climate change – women bloggers. Al Gore suggested that bigger dream:

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We have to go far quickly, and need a mass persuasion campaign to change the climate of public opinion on climate change."

It's interesting that Al said we need a "Marshall Plan" to get this going because he knows that his mass persuasion campaign isn't working beyond creating awareness. Awareness isn't changing into tangible action, not fast enough anyway. And, he's lock-stepped into thinking that politics will set us free. Will it? If so, where's the leadership now?

If you believe the numbers, that we need to get 80% of the CO2 out of the "global" air before things stabilize, you know it will take citizens and corporations alike working on it. How can that happen when governments keep worrying about the seating chart? I keep www.enn.com as my home page. It's frustrating to read about the reality gaps between hopeful and helpful ideas. Meanwhile the climate change clock is ticking.

Let's compare politics with a new idea, and then let's talk about our own Marshall Blogging Plan.

You could lobby for presidential hopefuls to get them into office (2 years). Then send buckets of email and money to Washington get them to put up bills (6 months). Keep sending email to fence-sitters in hopes that they reconsider a vote (3 months). Only to end up with one, watered down incentive to tell business to cut their CO2 emissions? 

OR

Support businesses and products that are already bringing down the greenhouse gases and can prove it, and set off a tipping point for Sustainable change. If you read through the stories on www.ENN.com you'll see a pattern of governments "discussing" and companies "doing." Let's work with the doers.

What would happen if we by-passed this DC middleland? Why tell someone-to-tell-someone-to-tell-someone to clean up their act and eat up years of climate-changing time when we can vote with our purse or our posts and help the market flip with a lot less work?

The good part? It flips the WHOLE world. Laws stop at border lines, corporations and products don't.

By letting Sustainable Standards set the guidelines, we'll accomplish many things at once. The top one being that standards trigger lower energy consumption during manufacturing operations and encourage the use of renewable energy. As more companies back the movement, the technology grows and that comes back to each of us. In five years we could be paying less for energy than today. Technology works faster when supply meets demand. Let's supply them incentives rather than yelling demands. Isn't that more fun than whacking them with a lawsuit after the fact, which just eats up even more years?

The better part? No one will wonder "where the women bloggers are," companies will seek us.

They'll want free word-of-mouth endorsements. And you know what? If we're smart, we'll give it to them. Why? Because it builds both of our markets. They need a consumer market to kick start new, sustainable products, and we need a way to prove to these brave souls that working with blogging women (as a media) is not only fun but a more effective way to market in a social media world. Women represent over 80% of the consumer market. Perhaps it’s time to use that clout for transformational good.

Are you still with me? Here's how simply this can work.

As products become certified as sustainable, that product is acknowledged from bloggers who want to participate. Diane MacEachern will let us know which products to champion over at www.BigGreenPurse.com. This isn't a product endorsement, per se, it's a recognition of a company's efforts to put out a Sustainable product. This is one step beyond the Big Green Purse million women mission. Many of us are already doing the green consumer work; by pulling the work together, we can get the public credit that's due for our efforts. All you have to do is sign up and we'll keep you in the loop.

A sustainable product not only promotes renewable energy, but provides cleaner air, soil, water and keeps 1300 nasty chemicals out of the system AND supports global worker's rights. What's not to love? A cleaner, nicer planet that by-passes politics and creates a social media marketplace. Once companies know that bloggers are actually very nice to work with, they'll feel better about placing paid ad space and continue the relationship.

But wait - there's more... Tom Friedman noted, this is an "Environmental Revolution," which means it's going to be painful and some companies will die. By supporting these early adopters, we can the lower transitional pain and help companies thrive. This program does both, creating a sustainable world and a sustainable economy.

Ok, I'm an idealist, but ya know. We're running out of options.

Everyone is talking, but no one is trying anything new. It's the same old song and frankly, we're all tuning it out. Climate Change as a topic is as exciting as "Got Milk"? It's just another thing - a big, bad scary thing at that. And the truth is, even if we recycled our entire home, the big, bad scary thing would still be there in our factories.

This is the moment to start, and here's why.

If you were a CEO of a company and was just told by Wal-Mart that your products must be sustainable, wouldn't you work EVEN FASTER if you knew that there will be a willing audience to give you positive word-of-mouth on the web for your efforts? (BTW that's exactly what will be happening on Oct. 10th at Wal-Mart's Sustainable Resource Fair, about 1000 of their 62,000 suppliers will be introduced to the world of Sustainability - not just green - but SUSTAINABLE in a “prove it” sort of way.)

Now, before you hog tie me into a Wal-Mart shopping cart and leave me adrift in the parking lot for the crows to pick clean, let me explain.

Admittedly, I'm not a fan of any big box stores. I think they strip society of its soul. That said, I've joined the converted when Wal-Mart gave the world this gift of "manufacturing peer pressure." If anyone can influence China, it's Wal-Mart.  If anyone can influence Wal-Mart's vendors, it's us - women consumers. Imagine the ripple effect around the world without one law being used except the law of market pressure, kept honest with a Sustainable Standard. (trust, but verify)

The faster this market flips, the faster we can go back to shopping trips instead of guilt trips. Can shopping/posting save the world? If it creates a tipping point for action it can. Marketers say it only takes 1% of a given population to create a tipping point. If that 1% were also bloggers, it may take less.

I'll leave you with one last reason Why Women Bloggers can do what Washington can't. If you stacked up the financials of the biggest companies and countries, 77 of the top 100 are corporations. That power structure isn't going to change in the next five years. The majority of them make their money from consumer goods and services. The supply chain of their products is what is causing global warming.

Ladies, this is very doable. By the time we get a new President, s/he won't have to answer to the question, "Why can't you clean up your own country first"? We'll be well on our way thanks to women bloggers.

Are you in? Go to www.biggreenpurse.com and become One in a Million Women. It costs nothing to be part of this very large experiment where women consumers rule.  As products become certified, we’ll show you why they are Sustainable and what to look for in other products. We'll eliminate the greenwash. Then, keep supporting the good guys on BlogHer and in your own blogs when they advertise. Capitalism is just another social "system" with money attached. Let's leverage it to co-create, as Diane says, "The World Women Want."

May 01, 2007

Women and Transparency Tyranny

Transparency_tyranny May Day, MAY DAY! That's what sellers will be screaming after reading Trendwatching's Transparency Tyranny. This is a "must read" for marketers and a MUST READ MORE by consumers - especially WOMEN consumers who buy 80% of the stuff out there. Ladies, embrace your power!

The Trendwatching article captures much of what we in the marketing-to-women and word-of-mouth market have been saying for sometime. It's very nicely packaged with great examples and visuals which makes it enlightening for consumers of any age.

Here are the 7 talking points:

1. Transparency in reviews and recommendations

2. Transparency in intentions

3. Transparency in prices

4. Transparency in inner company workings

5. Transparency in advice

6. Transparency in best of the best

7. Transparency in triumph

Not only does this give women ideas on how to best take a product to task or triumph, it also provides solid reasons why companies who want to look green, become GREEN in the most transparent way.

This is why those sustainable standards, I keep harping on, need to become part of marketing backbone and message. Doing so protects both the consumer from lousy products that continue to maim our world, and those same standards also protect the companies from Transparency Tyranny. They'll have all the proof they'll need to show that they are in full compliance and doing the right, green thing.

Happy May Day, ladies. It's your time to shine and take back the market. You don't even have to buy anything, just blog about what works for you. In women I trust to make the right decisions and promote the right products.

 

March 11, 2007

International Marketing by Women's Day

March 8 was International Women's day, but if my feedblitz email was any indication, it was International Marketing-by-Women's Day - marketing via blogs.

First Steve Ruble lead off with a report on a blog started by Genevieve McCaw, a disgruntled Jet Blue customer/turned blogger. Remember the flight that held it's "customers" hostage for 11 hours on a snowy runway? One customer, a woman, was so irritated that she started a blog to recap her frustration and voice her opinion. I have no idea how many people read it, CNN did and then did a story on it mentioning Steve. Steve put it again on his site. I'm not sure who has more readers, CNN or Steve, but now millions have read about Jet Blue's lack of customer service during that day and later, the so-so treatment Genevieve received while having a face-to-face with the President of Jet Blue.

Re: the CNN article:

"McCaw, who described herself as "a huge fan of JetBlue" for years, said she plans to continue blogging but will shift the focus to advocating a federal passengers' bill of rights.

Before her meeting March 2, McCaw said she would not boycott the airline. Instead, she said, she would shop for the best deals on flights rather than remain "a brand loyalist."

Now, she's not so sure.

"I've got two round-trip vouchers with them," she said. "I'm going really to make a point to not put any more money in their pocket. I'll use the vouchers, and then I'll likely be done with them."

Never mess with a woman scorned by love or money or TIME.

Next up, Britt Bravo churns out another fantastic interview. This time with Jody Van Horn. a woman in the Bay area who is doing what she can to get electric cars endorsed and used by large city governments.

"In the first six months we had five Bay Area partner municipalities; San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda and Marin County have all sign on. Out of those, Marin County, Alameda and Berkeley have all placed their soft fleet orders. We're also working with those cities on generating some demonstration projects."

I hope that other car-mazing Jody, Jody DeVere over at Ask Patty, is reading this. She's a big green car supporter as well as just helping women in general figure out what they need to know about buying and servicing their transportation.

Last up was Yvonne DiVita's post on "Sizing up Marketing to Women Online." It focused on - what else - women bloggers and their cumulative clout. She'll be speaking at the BlogHer.org conference in NY in a couple of weeks on the same subject. She quotes an Advertising Age article that stated:

"The average mom blog reader is a 29-year-old female with an annual income of $70,000 who hits five blogs a day and spends four hours a week on them."

She adds that the stats came from BlogAds, the place the has statistics on 56,000 blogad readers. BTW, did you know that women who read blogs tend to be democrats (about 60% of them) Check this out. BlogAd women readers also buy more electronics on line than men 47% to 39% respectively (go figure). Sign more petitions, call more policians... I'll let you filter through the survey and draw your own conclusions. Bottom line, once women or men cross the line and become a blogger, they become part of an elite club of social movers and shakers - be it markets or politics.

My thanks to all the women who type and talk at the same time.

March 06, 2007

How did I live without OneNote?

Office_2007_pic Thank you Microsoft for updating OneNote and turning it into the multi-tasker's/ tabber's, mega tool. It's a woman's right arm, left brain and new best friend - this woman anyway... It's a product I hope every woman changes to as we have lots to do in the next few years.

A new laptop put me into upgrade mode. It came with Vista pre-loaded and of course, a chance to put on the old Windows XP or jump to Office 2007. I went for 2007 and the full "Ultimate" package of which OneNote is included. The Ultimate package also made me dump ACT which is a software I have been using for 10 years.

I was stunned at how easy OneNote was to use and use and use. It's now my primary tool for composing and filing information into sortable/re-sortable files and folders. I wish I had OneNote while writing my book and first blogs and saving files for future reference and… you name it. 

It's also integrated into Outlook. Let's say you read something really cool in an email/website/rss feed/blog that you want to use in a later blog. Highlight it, click on OneNotes notepad, paste. Voila! It's clipped and saved and NOTED where it came from, and you barely had to stop reading the paragraph. 

Can't remember where you filed something? OneNote searches by a word or phrase and it will filter through everything but your underwear drawer looking for it. What a time saver and brain saver. AND, if you get hit by the proverbial bus, OneNote is so intuitive and transparent that even a 6th grader could figure out where you were in a job and continue working.

What is especially nice is that it saves EVERYTHING without you having to do it. How often have you multi-tasked between emails and phone calls and forgot to save a half written blog or email? THANK YOU Microsoft, for solving that problem.

OneNote is everything a girl would ask for to keep her professional and personal life organized. Take the demo and then take the leap and leave Windows XP behind. Treat yourself to a tool that will keep you productive and not frustrated.

February 21, 2007

65% of Product Feedback Comes from Women

Yesterday, Pete Blackshaw posted a collection of his best ClickZ posts for CMOs. If you aren't a believer in social media yet, buzz through them and see if you don't come away with a new perspective.

A women's fun fact stood out for me on his Third Moment of Truth post. Pete was the founder of Planet Feedback, a site to give consumers a place to air their complaints. According to him 65% of those providing feedback were women, and that for the most part, they played nice. (Judy's Book also found that true.)

"Consumers who like to talk to (even complain about) brands talk across multiple platforms, including message boards, blogs, and the water cooler. They are über content creators and, hence, more valuable to the brand franchise.

Consumers who talk to brands are full of suggestions, product ideas, even advertising concepts. Did someone say "co-creation"?

Most consumers believe brands have little interest in hearing what they have to say; this is a big reason so much venom is spread across CGM venues.

Women, the segment Lafley singled out, are the segment most inclined to provide feedback. Nearly 65 percent of all PlanetFeedback content was created by women, and they were far less likely to just complain than men."

Is it a big leap of faith to say that 65% of ALL feedback (on ALL types of platforms) come from women? When you consider that that the feedback is over consumer goods and that women buy or influence 80% of them, probably not. Why would you give feedback on a shopping/buying/using experience if you didn't do the shopping/buying/using? Also, who talks, phones, emails... stays connected more... men or women? The platform may change, but the need to communicate, doesn't. What's your guess that more word of mouth happens off line that online?

The point of Pete putting all of his posts together was to drive home the message that the consumer is in control. What is JUST emerging now (in statistics) is that most controlling consumers are "female," and they "want to buy green products."

- Women buy/influence 80% of the stuff.  CHECK
- Women talk 65% more about what they buy than men. CHECK 
- Women say nicer things than nasty things. CHECK
- Women are more "green" than men. CHECK

Now that we have the 65-80% of the market defined, to learn how to influence them? Stay tuned. For you consumers reading this post, just keep on talking and saying nice things about those who are doing the right things.