Archive for August, 2009

When a nickname becomes the name

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So you’ve been in business for quite some time now and you’ve got an avid fan base of customers. So much so that you’ve been given a nickname. It is very endearing to be given a nickname from a group that you associate with. You have become more than just a friend to this group. You are in their inner circle of trusted friends. You are now affectionately known and referred to by this nickname.

But, when does the nickname become your identity that it takes over you name. When you meet someone who knows you but you do not know them and they refer to you by your nickname, only then does your nickname become your name. Only then can you begin to consider a name change. Only then can you introduce yourself to others by your nickname.

Recently, two companies moved to be known by their nickname – The Shack and The Hut. Legally, neither company changed their corporate name. And Pizza Hut has since backed off from implementing the name change.  Radio Shack, a.k.a. The Shack, however, prefers to be referred to by their nickname now.

The Shack

The Shack

When a company succumbs to a name change given by their most loyal customers, they are forcing their coolness onto their entire customer base. I have shopped at both companies, but neither company has endeared me enough to give them a nickname. To me they will be known as Radio Shack and Pizza Hut.

The Hut

The Hut

The better solution, for which I think Pizza Hut learned, is to endear yourself to the close group of friends that gave you the nickname in the first place.  Give them a special place in your business just for them. These are your brand ambassadors.These are the customers that will move your other customers into your inner circle. Continue to give them the reasons to promote your nickname.

Besides, nicknames only really mean something to your inner circle of friends. Noone outside your inner circle will understand the meaning.  The nickname won’t stand for anything. You will have to earn the trust all over again that you made with your given name.

Radio Shack thinks they can make the transition with their tagline: Our friends call us The Shack. Change your name to The Shack and you lose me as a customer. You are no longer in my top-of-mind. I guess I’m not your friend.

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Marketing to Today’s 65-Plus Consumers – article

Thursday, August 6, 2009

SeniorsThe Baby-Boom generation is set to redefine the 65+ consumers. But the Silent Generation is still around and marketers have not done a great job in communicating with them according to a survey by Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends. An article in Progressive Grocer puts together some great points from this survey to help marketers in targeting this age group.

For starters, the article states these folks don’t feel as old as their age; with some saying they feel 10-19 years younger.

Showing vitality and activity is important in advertisements…but marketers are encouraged to shy away from the extreme sports as these are deemed too silly.

Grandparenting is one stereotype that marketers are pretty accurate with. Seniors are playing a more active role in caring for grandkids whether they are in the Silent Generation or the Baby Boom generation.  Some of these Seniors even have guardianship or provide for their grandkids’ basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter.

If the Senior market is your target audience, then this is a great article to read.

Have you faced the same issues that this research brings to light?