Category: No-Nos

Dear brands…what are you hiding?

This morning I woke up early to make a call to a brand I never enjoy engaging with. As the only service provider in the area, they have a captive audience — and make no effort to disguise it. (The only thing consistent about their customer experience is the frustration and disappointment it leaves in …

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Silence Is A Response: A Lesson for Brands

When I was little (okay, pretty much from ages 5-17…) I had a recurring run in with the parental law, so to speak. I always wanted the last word. More often than not, getting the last word came at a price. I knew there would be repercussions, but the temptation was just too strong. And …

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Learning to Listen

” Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” | Bill Gates Before I begin this post, let me state one thing for the record: I love Netflix. I love Netflix to the point I no longer see a need for cable. I have watched just about every documentary in their stash. I …

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Your customer is a privilege, not a right

*Photo by Alyssa via her Flickr. Whenever I hear  people talk about how to view and treat customers, a memory comes to mind that was burned into my head: In my first few weeks at Brains on Fire, I remember Robbin leaning back from her desk, looking at me, and almost yelling, “Eric, I’m going …

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Be who you are. And be proud of it.

Because if you’re not, you’re going to get called out for it. And thanks to our friends at Full Circle PR, this is the part where I’m gonna talk about the recent Advertising Age piece where Taco Bell and their agency – DraftFCB – launched a new campaign to paint Taco Bell as a place …

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On your personal brand and why it doesn't matter

“You really should work on your personal brand. You need to be paying close attention to your personal twitter and you need to have a slick blog where you post regularly. You need to align all of the social media outlets you operate in for clear, consistent representation of you.” Actually, though, you don’t. Not …

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On devoting your time to what works

Spike said in his last blog post that “technology can be a trap.” We rant all of the time around here about how ‘social media is a tool’ and how ‘it might not be best for your business’ and on and on. But it reminded me of a real story about technology as a trap. …

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Why you don't care about KFC's free grilled chicken day.

Remember back in May all the hoopla around Oprah and KFC teaming up to promote the new grilled chicken offering? All you had to do is print out a coupon and wa-lah: free grilled chicken. So many people cashed in on the deal that most of the KFCs ran out of chicken. Oops. A couple …

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Social Media Bribery

The latest traditional advertising push tactic in social media sheep’s clothing is the new “Become a Fan of Woody” campaign by TGIFriday’s. The long and short of it is that if you become a fan on Facebook of this guy by the end of the month – and they reach a half-million fans – then …

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Creating a movement at gun-point

It doesn’t work. You can’t force grassroots efforts where there is no passion. Case in point: Energy Citizens (via the American Petroleum Institute), which is a group of over 60 energy companies that are staging protests all over the country in response to the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. So what’s the problem? Apparently, Energy Citizens …

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Where I stand on the whole “pay-per-blog/sponsored tweets” thing.

I’m against it. Now before you start throwing all the semantics at me, let me ‘splain. I know that a lot of people who are questioning the practice of pay-per-post and sponsored tweets are talking about the disclosure policies and the trouble with enforcing them. But let’s put that aside for a moment, shall we? …

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Quit Thinking Like a Marketer

Seriously. It’s runing you. Well, at least sometimes it is. Because when we bring marketing into a relationship, we damage it. As we’ve said before (and we’ll say again), nobody WANTS to be marketed to. So I think it’s really, REALLY important to remember to take off our marketing hats and just be a person …

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79 Days and Coke

I finally made it to the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, and wasn’t disappointed. As seems to be the case with the brand of Coke, they did a great job. You can learn about the history and origins of the brand, see a 4-D movie, watch how the brand has had such a huge …

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RFPs. Again.

Okay. About once every two years we do it. AGAIN. In spite of our “We don’t answer unsolicited RFPs” stance, for some strange and bizarre reason, we let our guard down and respond to…(drumroll) someone’s RFP. “THIS one is different. WE have an inside track. THIS is perfect for us.” Or worse yet, “We just …

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Excuses Excuses

My husband is a professor at a relatively small liberal arts school. Every year he endures countless headaches from students walking into his office with excuse after excuse about why they couldn’t take the test or get their paper done on time. I think my personal favorite was “my mom is going into the witness …

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Punishing Your Fans: A Lesson From Kraft

I recently received this email from Brandy Amidon, the Princess of Particulars and CPA at Brains on Fire, yesterday: I’m a lover of Kraft Foods. I started receiving this FREE magazine years ago (got one at my desk). It contains these awesome recipes, which of course all include Kraft products. I’ve recommended this magazine to …

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Get Your Customers to do Stuff for You

This has got to be the biggest red flag we’re seeing these days. This idea that you can “get” your customers to do things. Get them to buy. Visit. Blog. Comment. Engage. Evangelize. Own. Get them. Get them. Get them. I think this is almost a sub-conscious slip-up of most marketers held over from the …

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Don't Forget Where You Come From

Following on Robbin’s post yesterday ” coupled with a conversation last night with some fellow BOFers ” led me to start thinking about how easy it is for us to forget our roots when the times are good and think about them when times are not-so-good. It happens with bands and brands all the time. …

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Further muddying the word of mouth waters

My trusty Google alerts popped up an interview with an author being interviewed on the radio about this new-fangeled “word of mouth marketing” thing. Sandra Sellani recently published her book, “What’s Your BQ? Learn How 35 Companies Add Customers, Subtract Competitors, and Multiply Profits With Brand Quotient” and said that WOMM had a lot to …

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I Hate TV

“The key word in television these days is engagement.” – Norby Williamson, EVP of Programming, ESPN Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Wait until you hear what defines “engagement.” You know those extremely annoying animated promotions that appear at the bottom of the screen during a show, usually advertising another show on the network? Well… they’re …

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