8 posts categorized "Trust"

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? 

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...


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. '

August 29, 2006

What should Dell do?

Toby Bloomberg tossed me a challenge this morning. She wants to know what I think about how Dell is handling a product faux pas on their blog.

First, let me say that unless you have a Microsoft monopoly, the days of releasing products that aren't quite ready for prime time are done. You're just opening yourself up to bad cyber karma, i.e. what goes around, stays around... as others pick up the conversation and carry it forward and it becomes a reoccurring problem.

What's interesting is that marketing "gets" that products need to be individually configured, but that customer service isn't configuring their responses to the individual who took the time to put their concern in writing.

I agree with Toby, "the messenger" (that poor guy who now wonders why he said yes to the blog writing job) needs to have more than a mass message for these very spirited and sincerely put off customers. This isn't an "organized group" coming at Dell, it's individuals. If you have to mass respond to get the message out quicker, so be it, but then also inform the masses that you not only thank them, but will be talking to each of them personally. It's the least Dell can do for someone who invested thousands in them and are now losing money by having their business lifeline cut off. (At that time, have more than a hat in hand, carry an individualized peace offering as well.)

That seems like a lot of work, and it is, but sales people do it all day long - making 40-50 calls a day is normal for some. If companies can telemarket for new business, they can telemarket to save business and keep cyber karma from spreading.

Other Lesson learned: Four women with blogs just came to Dell's side. Toby flagged the issue and gave solutions, I extended the conversation, Yvonne and Anita backed the "messenger" and poured salve on his soul. That's blogs and women at their best, trying to restore balance in a system that's forgotten how to respond human to human.

August 11, 2006

Just Say QuizNOs

Ok, I'll admit, I've enjoyed my share of Quizno's subs even though they are priced too high for what you get. Having read this, however, I have an additional reason to try the next franchise in the mall.

We can't blame a whole franchise on one kinky marketing guy, but he did more than hit on a 13 year old. According to the Ad Age article, "he" the Senior VP of Marketing "has been involved with some much-maligned campaigns at Quiznos, from the shrieking 'spongemonkeys' to a wisecracking character with the body of an infant but voice of an adult named Baby Bob who hit on adult women."

He wasn't the only one approving those ads, however, and we hope Quiznos goes back to marketing their quality product. The price paid for this kind of advertising is pretty high, too.

July 26, 2006

Who's really holding the cards (as in credit cards)

I'm going to BlogHer on Friday - it's formation evolved from the question, "Where are all the women bloggers"? The question emerged as male bloggers kept taking the top ten lists like Marketing Sherpa's top blog sites. In 2005, hundreds of women bloggers met at the first Blogher and compared notes. This year Blogher is a sold out, as thousands (more likely millions) who can't attend, watch and read about it virtually.

Companies are taking notice and aligning themselves with this crowd. Even GM will be there offering test drives of their new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, trying to stir up excitement after losing $3.1 billion this last quarter. For GM's sake, I hope it works.

Here's the irony. If guys hold the top thought leader positions, why would GM bother with this girly group? Why not just go to the guys? Oh, that's right, because guys don't buy 80% of the consumer products, women do. Women hold the (credit) cards when it comes to consumer buying. They also hold each other's advice in high regard since they have "been there, bought that."

Companies will always follow the money - or at least those who make the decision about how and where to spend it. What happens offline will happen online.

Offline/online, women buy more stuff - game over.

Offline/online, men will always try to outdo each other - game never over.

If you're a company selling stuff, you'll want to be with the women bloggers even if there are less of them and they aren't on a top ten list. Their audience is your audience.

Where are the women bloggers? Standing right next to the male bloggers. If you want opinions, go to either. If you want sustainable sales with a high word of mouth advantage, go to the women holding the "cards."

June 23, 2006

Viral Marketing and Trust - do the math

There is a read on Media Connection this morning, Yes You Can Predict Viral Marketing by Joe Carrasbis. He sums up the numbers side that corporations need to see before they can say yes to a word-of-mouth campaign. At the core is TRUST and FAIR EXCHANGE or else viral doesn't happen.

Carrasbis and his friends are dissecting the reasons people trust one another to help companies understand how they can harness it. I find it fascinating because what they are trying to capture is what women have been doing for eons - helping, entertaining, teaching each other and using word of mouth to keep everyone in the loop.

Last night I was speaking to a "trust and fair exchange" group, per se called Team Women. They are one of the  thousands of women groups popping up if you include the groups at a book club level. (Most companies would overlook such tiny groups and go for the the mass audience. What women know and what business is just learning is that these small groups are where trust begins.)

Team Women, as mentioned in an earlier post, is a networking group where only one of each business type is allowed per chapter. The group I was speaking to were members from Team Women chapters located all of the United States. Last year they had 0 members, this year, 700. (Go Team!)

Joe's absolutely right when he delves into the importance of trust. That's why women are turning to women for business and advice. They trust each other on a level that goes far beyond marketing manipulation. And, they couldn't be happier that business is beginning to operate like they do.

April 20, 2006

In Word of Mouth We Trust

Our thanks to Andy Sernovitz at WOMMA for his 5 points in How to conduct ethical Word of Mouth campaigns. He focuses on exactly what we've been trying to tell companies - trust is where is all starts and ends for women.

As we noticed while interviewing our gal pals, women will fall in and out of love, but they don't fall in and out of trust - when it's gone, it's gone!

If you compare that to advertising, we all fall in and out of love with ads too, they're entertaining after all, but do we trust their message?  What we trust is the company behind the ad (or not). Ads aren't much more than the clothes you put on each day.The clothes draw attention, but doesn't make that you more trustworthy.

Women already tend to trust each other more and in fairness men probably trust other men more as well. Unfortunately, men aren't buying or specifying consumer goods and services like women are, (over 80% of sales). Since women are only a small percentage of upper management, that leaves the task for creating female-friendly trust points on the guys in upper management. I'll do my best to give them to you in this blog.

Women are the canaries of commerce, like the carnaries who warned miners of gas leaks in mines, they'll warn other consumers when a product or service stinks. Keep them happy, and everyone will be happy.