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Just How Much Variety Do We Need? March 26, 2011

Posted by David Dirks in business strategy.
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The February 23, 2011 issue of the Wall Street Journal had an article entitled, “Whitens, Brightens and Confuses” and it noted the following:

In the toothpaste product world:

  • There were 69 new toothpaste varieties introduced in 2010
  • There are 352 distinct types of toothpaste sold today

That was enough to stop me right there.  The context the WSJ story was this:  Can brands confuse consumers?  If you look at the above data, you’d have to say ‘probably’.  But interestingly enough, brand loyalty to toothpaste is fierce.  I buy only Colgate toothpaste with baking soda (of one flavor or another) whenever I shop.  If I don’t find it, I find it somewhere else.  And that’s why many retailers are reluctant to winnow out the ones that don’t sell as well and focus on keeping the shelves stocked with those that do.

Both Colgate and Crest have long known how inelastic consumers are when it comes to trying another brand of toothpaste.  So, they merrily create the latest version of their branded toothpastes and keep them coming through product development and onto the shelves of retailers.

How much variety do we need?  As much as it takes to keep us brand-loyal.  In the meantime, retailers have little choice but to stock up on as many brands and sub-brands of toothpaste in the market as they can afford.  Confusing for us consumers?  Yes but a necessary evil.

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Here are the details for tomorrows webin March 12, 2011

Posted by David Dirks in Uncategorized.
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Here are the details for tomorrows webinar:

Twitter Marketing Webinar
March 12, 2011 from 10am-1045am
818-475-9359

http://ow.ly/4cWnD

And the Winner is…High-Quality Content! March 7, 2011

Posted by David Dirks in Communication, Creating Marketing Materials, Creativity.
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In early March of 2011 Google confirmed for all time what I contend has always been the foundation of success in any medium: high-quality content.  Scrolls, books, magazines, newspapers and all other content delivery vehicles before the digital age have always lived or died based their content.  All Google did was declare war on sites that deliver low quality content that offers little use for readers.

As a creator and user of information myself, I’ve always been critical of content vehicles (digital or not) that offer little or no useful information.  In the digital world, the art & science (more art than anything because Google keeps its algorithm a secret), of “search engine optimization” or SEO, has created players who would rather game the system than provide you with solid content.

So it’s nice to know that the rules of the content game remain safely the same.  If you want to develop content of any kind, it must be created and engineered so that people easily recognize and value it.

I’ll throw in three basic tenants for developing content that I’ve learned over many years of trial, error, and success.

Relevant:  The content must be a match to the reader or user.  People will search for content in any delivery vehicle (magazine, website), which is material they instantly recognize as useful in the context of their interests.

Engaging:  High-quality content engages the reader by pulling their minds in directions they delightfully didn’t expect to go…but are glad they did when they get there.  Content that challenges and inspires the mind on a subject has always been a jewel.  High-quality content should be a great experience.

Insightful:  Content, whether written, verbal, or visual has to have enough depth to allow the creator to draw out any number of valuable insights.  My bias is for content to have insights that have a practical and actionable nature for the user.

Creating and sharing high-quality content is a timeless way to provide valuable information for both prospects and clients.  Google’s war against low-quality content just reaffirmed what we knew all along.