Category Archives: Business Brands

Stuff that is good to know about being true to your brand.

Witnessing The Success of ‘Pokemon Go’ For Businesses !

Less than a week ago I hadn’t even heard of Pokemon Go … but now, thanks to lots of media and lots of walking the streets with my 10 year old son, I am all over Pokemon Go and totally get it.

At first I thought, “here we go, another app that’ll take up valuable brain space in my 10 year old’s head” until I witnessed the power of this craze for businesses.  Friends invited us to Campbelltown City Bowl (Ten Pin Bowling Centre) on Saturday night.  It was a special ‘Pokemon Go’ theme night and trust me, when you mention that to a 10 year old then YES WE WILL GO is the only answer he will hear.   It also must be noted that it takes us over an hour to get from home to Campbelltown so this wasn’t something we would do lightly.  It was here that I truly saw the power of generating revenue by taking advantage of Pokemon Go  by a business.

The Promo Material For Pokemon Go Theme Night
The Promo Material For Pokemon Go Theme Night

This bowling alley had taken advantage of being a ‘Pokestop‘ and had created a full list of Pokemon cocktails as well as countless fun and inexpensive promotions throughout the night.

The Pokemon Cocktail List - simple cocktails with their name changed !
The Pokemon Cocktail List – simple cocktails with their name changed !

The place was booked out days before; the customers were seriously excited; the staff had bought into the theme; the Pokemons were everywhere; kids were engaging with other kids that they had never met before, as were the adults; the place was thriving and it was obvious that lots of money was being spent.  This theme night was definitely a success.

IMG_4547The next day we HAD to head to our local club, Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club as my son noticed it was a ‘Pokestop’.  We spent an hour there hunting down pokemons.

Have you checked your own business ? Have you checked around your area ? How can you take advantage of Pokemon Go NOW ? I know we all plan our marketing and events well ahead of time, but sometimes it is important to see what the latest trends are and be flexible enough to run with them even if they are outside your normal planned marketing.  You may not know what Pokemon Go is however, if you are in business,  then it pays to find out and get your marketing team onto it to see if it can give your business a boost.

pokeballWe were at a cafe as well and guess what ?… they were selling Pokemon bickies by the half dozen.  There are so many ways to take advantage of this craze…. give it a  go !

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT POKEMON GO ? Here is a great article and video that explains everything you need to know about how Pokemon Go works as well as some tips about how you can make the most of this craze for your business.  CLICK HERE

The Crumbiest & Most Stupid Thing I have Done !

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Are you ready to hear about one of the silliest things that we have ever done ?  Talk about not thinking something through properly … geesh ………

White Now have all the new, wiz bang credit card facilities for customers to make payment  for our services, but it’s just a fact that some still want to receive their paper invoice in the mail and we are just fine with that.  When we mail invoices we often send little gifts inside the envelope as an added thank you.  Here is where the stupidity begins !

We had lots of White Now branded, double pack bickies from the guys at ‘Bite Size Coffee Treats’ and I thought, “what a great little gift to send with our next lot of invoices”.  It’s a little different to the jelly babies and similar things we often send.

Well it wasn’t until we had sent a ridiculous amount of these bickies out over many weeks that I received a very sweet email with this pic attached. There was no message, just this picture !

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The Crushed Bickies !!

Here is a closer up pic of ‘the totally crushed bickies’ – WOOPS !

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This is what I had done – I had sent out over 100 invoices with these delicious bickies inside NOT  thinking at all that they would be crushed in the mail (D’oh).  Trust me, this is NOT the bickie company’s fault, this is total stupidity from one individual (yes that would be me).  I can also tell you that if it wasn’t for this one caring customer sending us a pic of what he received, that we would still be sending these gifts via mail with our invoices wasting lots of money and undoubtedly annoying the recipient each and every time and not knowing that they were arriving more like crumb bases ready to be made into cheesecake bases.

It’s funny that sometimes you have no idea that you are doing something wrong until some kind and thoughtful person points it out.  It is only because this helpful Club Manager emailed us a picture of our special ‘gift’ that we realised that this little gift was not a gift that traveled well !

If you see your supplier or any colleague in fact doing something that doesn’t work for you, why don’t you find a way to let them know in a gentle and encouraging way.   It will help them change the way that they do things …. and for the better!

Yours in stupidity

Jenny ‘Homer‘ White

CEO of www.whitenow.com.au

 

 

Who Remembers The Fax Of Life ?

Fax

The world is seriously changing rapidly and for the better.  This really hit me this week when I stood in front of a bunch of industry people and reflected back to about 10 years ago. Oh how my working world was different.

WhiteNow present year after year to the fresh, keen audiences at the GMDC (the Gaming Managers Development Course).  This year we presented to about 70 eager beavers on the same topic as we are asked to deliver every year –  ‘Designing an Effective Resume’.   Every time we deliver, the presentation has to change as the world progresses.  The only thing that doesn’t change is that I still wear the same old Wizard outfit that I have been wearing for years ! It is pretty ridiculous but I think it has the desired outcome which is that everyone remembers the presentation from that loud lady in the purple Wizard outfit’.  It’s really interesting though to reflect on what we presented today and what we presented just 10 years ago. Looking back on the notes from 2006 I see that some of the topics include things like;

  • The best colour paper to print your resume on for faxing (this one is funny – White Now haven’t owned a fax for the past 8 years);
  • How to draft the ideal fax cover sheet so it stands out (I don’t even remember how to do that now);
  • The best ways to bind a resume for posting;
  • How to professionally label an envelope with a professionally; printed label …PLUS placing stamps neatly on envelopes; AND
  • How to send a certified letter to the employer (sending resumes was really quite expensive back then).

Oh how the world has changed.  This year we talked about totally different things including;

  • Locking down your social media pages;
  • Being careful about what you say online on blogs, LinkedIn Groups etc;
  • Googling yourself often;
  • Preparing your LinkedIn File and gaining recommendations;
  • Online networking; AND
  • ‘Talent Sourcing’.

Oh how the world has changed in just 10 years.  I am so glad that our team are all like minded in the fact that we move with the times and often faster than the times.  One thing I do know about what we do 10 years on is that we are a whole lot more efficient with changes in technology.  Faxing resumes used to be so damn time consuming let alone receiving at least 220 resumes a week via fax. The savings in reams of paper is incredible in itself.

Do you want to be efficient in the way you get yourself noticed in this industry ?  Get yourself online and especially on LinkedIn.  Your FUTURE colleagues are on LinkedIn so start networking with them in this virtual world so that when you meet them in person, you already have a relationship ! Connect with me on LinkedIn too – I would love to share some virtual space with you.  Connect with me, Jenny White,  on LinkedIn here.     

Also, a big shout out to Leagues Clubs Australia and Aristocrat for their amazing support of the GMDC year after year.  You guys are incredible ! THANK YOU  !

From Jenny White and the team at www.whitenow.com.au 

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The 2016 GMDC Participants at Wests Campbelltown on 17th March.

The Butcher Who Mustn’t Like Money

At the start of this month I made a conscious effort to support small, local businesses. It was my month to give back to those

"The Butcher Who Must Not Like Money"
“The Butcher Who Must Not Like Money”

who are making a go of it, often on their own, and have fought many obstacles to try and succeed.  I appreciate this having run my own business for almost 20 years.  Business owners are dedicated and work so hard.

Often before work I stop at the local Lebanese bakery and pick up some ‘Leb bread’, hommous and garlic dip for the night’s dinner.  I always have mince in the freezer and Lebanese ‘7 spice’ in the cupboard to make my own Kafta to go with dinner.  Someone told me about the butcher that was two doors up from the bakery and said that his meat was nice.  I always looked at that butcher and thought “gee he has hardly any meat on display – he must be struggling to make ends meet”.  This morning I decided to support him by buying my week’s meat from him.  I chose his ready made Kafta, some lovely looking rump steaks, a bunch of sausages, lamb chops and a small pork roast.  The total of the purchase was $72 ish.  I went to hand my card over and he said that he only takes cash. Upon questioning him as to why, he said that ‘Credit Cards are too much of a hassle and it’s not worth it to me’.  I explained to him that I had no cash on me and I was about to make him my new butcher.  His response was “oh well – it is not my fault you didn’t see my sign there that says cash only”.   I gave the logic one more go and said “I’m not the best at maths but I’m pretty sure that if I buy this amount of meat from you every two weeks, then that’s about $1,800 a year you’re missing out on by not taking credit card”.  He said, “oh well, it’s my policy“.   I handed the meat back.

Imagine the lost revenue to this tiny business if just 10 people had the same experience as me, yup that’s about $18,000 pa going somewhere else but in his hand.

How many other customers had said the same to him ? How many times had he not listened ?   As the world moves rapidly to a cashless world, how long will this butcher survive ?

Moving with the times and meeting the expectations of customers that truly want to give you business is the only way to do business.

Oh well, I tried.  The Kafta was nice though – lucky I had $20 on me !

Are You Getting Schnitty At Your Hospitality Venue?

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It is time for me to share my thoughts about the almighty and much adored Chicken Schnitzel and it’s BFF, the deliciously smothered Chicken Parmigiana.

The question really does need to be discussed….. should your hospitality venue serve these well known items or not ?????

I want to share with you an experience that I had at a club that we did a lot of work for a couple of years back.  I can name the club as it no longer trades; ‘Souths on Chalmers’ which was also known as South Sydney Rugby League Club in Chalmers Street, Redfern.

Firstly, let me say that I was oozing passion for this club, the brand, the cute little ‘resting rabbit’ logo and of course what the club was trying to achieve.  We worked tirelessly and worked many unpaid hours to help this club try and realise it’s dream.  Sadly, the club closed not much more than 12 months after it first opened.  Why ? There were many, many reasons, too many to discuss, especially in a blog that is really about the infamous Chicken Schnitzel.

The club used the services of a Contract Caterer who was very well known as a restaurateur and function/events operator.  They had not been involved with a club prior to this.  Let me tell you that I thought that their food was pretty damn good.  Some of the menu items that I loved were:

  • Grilled Croque Monsieur of Gypsy Ham & Gruyere Cheese with Dijon.
  • Salmon Fish Cakes with Remoulade and Salad
  • Roast Pumpkin and Beetroot Tart with Gorgonzola and Hazelnut Dressing.

The problem was that only a percentage of those members and visitors who came to visit the club enjoyed these types of dishes. They were dishes that you could have every so often, but perhaps not once, twice or three times a week.

I cannot tell you how many times that customers said  “why don’t you have a chicken schnitty or a chicken parmy on the menu?” .  On the club’s very active Facebook page there were many, many mentions about how nice the food was but they wanted to see a Chicken Schnitty and Chicken Parmy on the menu.  People openly voiced their thoughts all over social media about the absence of the items. They said that they would come more often if these were on the menu.  There were families that shared their thoughts about wanting to bring their family to the club for birthdays but their brother/father etc wanted to have a Chicken Schnitty and it was not on the menu so they were going to the pub around the corner who, coincidentally were smart enough to realise the absence of the Chicken Schnitty from the club’s menu spelled ‘O P P O R T U N I T Y’ for the pubs in the area …. and trust me, they vigorously marketed this to their prospects.

With all the feedback that came through and was passed on to the caterer, they unfortunately chose not to add this to their menu as it was seen as ‘club food’.  My thoughts are that ‘if it looks like a duck, it smells like a duck, it quacks like a duck then it must be a duck’.  This was a club.  It was a hospitality venue that wanted families, groups, parties and more. .  Unfortunately the item was not added to the menu.  It may very well have been an item that on its own, did not offer huge profitability but if it was viewed as perhaps a ‘loss leader’ then maybe they would have seen their revenue double or triple just by adding what the customer wanted to the menu.

The club is now closed which makes me sad.  There were good people working there and good intentions and big dreams.  I wonder to this day though, if that Chicken Schnitty and its BFF the Chicken Parmy were part of the menu, how much of a difference this may have made to the ongoing viability of the Club.  Who knows !  Does the world actually revolve around the Chicken Schnitty ?

There are some that think that having a Chicken Schnitty on their menu attracts the wrong clientele.   I know that my family, my friends and so many of my colleagues enjoy fine dining at its best, new exciting and creative menus and radical taste combinations, but I also know that the majority of them really, really want to go somewhere where they can get a Chicken Schnitty in a relaxed environment as well.  You will find me once a month at our local bowling club and guess what I order ?  …… the Chicken Schnitty which comes with pepper sauce, yes the one and same Chicken Schnitty that you see in the picture.  In fact,  there are a bunch of us that meet at the club just because a few of the group love the Chicken Schnitty.

What do you think about having an item that many people want and ask for on a club and pub menu  ?  Should it be included ??

Yours Crumbingly

Jenny White (Owner of White Now and Chicken Schnitzel Activist).

 

Are you CRAZY or CLEVER to you use an 18 year old to run your Facebook and Social Media strategy ?

crazy

Are you considering putting on someone to look after your social media ?
Are you wondering what type of person would be best to run your social media ?
Are you looking for advice on what type of person to hire ?

When I hear the following words come out of one of our clients’ mouths,

we have a great 18 year old who loves Facebook and said that she is very keen to run our Faceboook page”

………I shake in my ugh boots and hope that they have really thought seriously about this decision.

Being very aware of how to effectively run a company’s social media strategy, my immediate priority is to make sure that I am advising clients in the best possible way to ensure that they are positioned to highlight their brand in the social world in the smartest and most professional way whilst making sure that they eliminate any possible risks that may leave themselves open or liable for legal action or bad PR.

The decision on who should manage your social media channels is not actually ever about the age of the person, but what skills, experience and dedication they bring to the table. When saying ’18 year old’, I don’t mean the age, but really I am trying to make a point that so many people think that the younger the person, the more socially savvy they are. They may be socially savvy with their friends but are they socially and business savvy ???

With this in mind, we ask our clients the following questions about the person that they want to hire or appoint to look after their social media;

“Does this person have the experience and skill set that includes all of the following?
1. complete understanding of the legislation and regulations surrounding your business;
2. complete understanding of your business’s overall values and business strategy;
3. superior communications skills that are both mature and social so that they can reflect your brand;
4. depth of experience using higher level customer service skills and etiquette;
5. the ability to handle your business’s public relations and/or media relations in sticky situations;
6. the ability to manage a complaint so that it does not escalate, whilst ensuring that your brand stays true;
7. the ability to manage a crisis at any time whilst thinking on their feet;
8. a level of humour that can appeal to all followers without offending anyone;
9. the ability to understand and interpret the analytics and measurement tools that come with social media;
10. the ability to turn opportunities into business revenue;
11. the ability to turn prospects into customers;
12. the ability to work within and in line with a social media strategy;
13. the maturity to separate business from personal ‘Facebooking’;

We then ask “is this the person you would trust to stand up in front of the whole of Australia with cameras and microphones in front of them and let them talk about your business whilst being fired questions and complaints about your business with no notice at all ?”

If your social media person does not come with these skills you could be setting yourself up for a legal or a public relations nightmare.

It’s actually not about what age the person is at all. I just wanted to make a point that just because a person loves Facebook or says that they are great with Facebook, does not mean that they can represent your brand professionally on the world stage.

We have so many examples of sticky situations or possible PR nightmares that have arisen that had to be handled with the expertise of highly effective, aware and savvy marketing/customer service people. We have been able to save many businesses from disasters by assisting with social media strategy. Trust me, you need a person who can truly represent your brand professionally.

DO NOT HIRE SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE ACTIVE FACEBOOK USERS. Use the list above to see if your social media person has ALL of these skills !

You can call us at Social Media Now for advice any time if that helps on 0417 223 286.
Socially yours – Jenny (Social Media Now)
www.socialmedianow.com.au

Your Image at Work – Does it Matter?

Poor old (or is that young?) Gen Y, they are in trouble again for not understanding the rules and dress codes for the workplace and taking a too casual approach! Isn’t it okay to wear a t-shirt, Havianas and have the band of your undies showing, when you are meeting clients? Does it affect your ability to the job? Doesn’t Mark Zuckerberg (facebook founder) LIVE in a hoodie? And he’s a Billionaire!

Ettiquette and dress codes have definitely relaxed in recent years. Some of us can remember a dress code at work that included skirts, not pants for women, only black or navy suits for men and NO coloured shirts and women required to wear stockings all year round.

While it is great that some of those rules have relaxed, for many there is still the expectation you will present a certain way at work and after all, first impressions DO count. Plus, many bosses (and customers) are either Baby Boomers or Gen X with a different perception of what is the right dress code for work. Some companies have resorted to hiring Image Consultants to advise staff on the appropriate dress code. This was usually spelt out in the past when you were hired. If your workplace has a uniform much of this dilemma is solved, although ‘policing’ the wearing of the uniform, including name badges and appropriate makeup, hairstyles and jewelry/piercings may still be an issue!

So who is right? Well if the person making the decision about your pay rise, hiring or promotion is from the ‘Baby Boomers or Gen X’ generations, then you probably will need to dress to suit their expectations to get the pay rise, job or promotion, rightly or wrongly. One way to look at it is that the Company ‘pays you to present a certain image’ to the community/clients, so at work you dress the way they expect and leave the ‘self expression’ for your spare time. Another school of thought says ‘dress for the job you want, not the one you have’ and that will help you take the next step up.

If image doesn’t matter, why do organisations have uniforms? Qantas and other large corporations even go to the expense of employing Fashion Designers to design their uniforms. Imagine an Airline Steward in hoodie, baggy jeans and thongs giving the safety demonstration, how would you feel – safe, confident, sure they could do their job?

While the way we dress may not effect our ability to do the job (other than in the case of PPE and safety clothing) it can effect others’ perception of our ability and therefore whether or not we are hired, promoted or given the pay rise. So maybe image is worth thinking about.

Read and Recover is on Again!

White Now‘ in conjunction with Brad Sugars of ‘Action Coach’ is again running the ‘Read & Recover Program‘ in 2011 which will see us donate 1600 books to 100 hospitals across Australia!

The books have already arrived and now we need nominations for Hospitals and other Children’s organisations that will benefit from receiving these books.

This great initiative came about after ‘White Now‘  MD Jenny White spent some time in a children’s ward of a hospital with her son when he was ill and found that the only books available were few and in poor condition.  She decided she would like to help out by donating books to hospital children’s wards, so other parents and children could benefit.  Brad Sugars was calling for suggestions for his ‘Santa Brad’ project through Facebook, so Jenny told him her idea and he was happy to get on board and Read & Recover became a reality.  The initiative went from 100 books to 10 hospitals and rapidly moved to 1500 books to 100 hospitals.

So, now we have the books (and they are filling up our office) we call for nominations from the community for hospitals and children’s organisations they have either been involved with or know of, who would benefit from the donation of some books for the kids and families who the help.  We do this via Facebook and our newsletter (Click here to sign up for the newsletter) to our contacts at White Now and want to hear from YOU!

Later on we will also ask for volunteers to help us pack and deliver the books, so stay tuned!

I joined the ‘White Now’ team at the end of last year so this is my first experience of the ‘Read & Recover’ Program and I am already caught up in the excitement and can’t wait to be more involved.  It is great to receive your nominations and learn about the positive experiences people have had with our great hospitals and other organisations and know how these books will be of benefit and bring a smile!

Click here to read more about this great program and PLEASE contact us with your nominations through info@whitenow.com.au.

All the best
Sarah Watts

What to do When Attacked by ‘Aliens from Planet Hack!’

As many of you may know, www.whitenow.com.au was recently attacked, YES, attacked! – by ‘Aliens from Planet Hack.’  What this means, is the company that hosts our website and emails was externally and deliberately attacked and this effected our website and emails (along with lots of others) for about 6 days.  Not good for a web-based business!

Anyway, we are now back, the Aliens DID NOT win!

As with most experiences some good things did come out of it.  As an employee of White Now, I was really impressed with the response of those managing the company and our IT resources (Jenny White, Toby Kennett and Andrew Bassett-Smith).  There was no time wasted on ‘wringing hands’, feeling sorry for ourselves or laying blame.  Our management team was straight into ‘solution- finding’ mode and minimising the inconvenience for our clients and website users.  As soon as the problem was discovered, they were onto letting people know as best they could (via Facebook,LinkedIn and twitter initially) and setting up a temporary site so at least our current positions vacant could be seen.

It is really refreshing and inspiring to work for a company like White Now that concentrates on being positive, focused and professional and getting the ‘crisis’ resolved.

This is also a management team that regularly acknowledges the work of staff both publicly and privately – we always know we are appreciated, which makes a BIG difference!  So now its my turn to acknowledge them and say ‘you guys ROCK’ and are great to work for!

There is a definite lesson for ‘What to do When attacked by Aliens from Planet Hack’ or any other ‘crisis’ that befalls your business (or life for that matter), stay positive, focused and look for solutions.  That way you retain your power over the situation and leave the blame laying alone,  get on with the job.

Listening to Customers

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I recently purchased the NEW Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste that has been advertised widely.  Having sensitive teeth, the ad totally hooked me and the next time I was looking for toothpaste I decided to give it a go!

When I first went to use the product I was unable to open the ‘tamper-proof’ cap, so went to my husband for help.  In the end, we had to take to it with a knife and cut the secure cap off!  Rather extreme for toothpaste!

I thought that this was so dangerous and ridiculous that I decided to contact Colgate and let them know.  If we had this much trouble, how would someone like my 84 year old mother in law, with arthritic hands and living on her own, ever get the cap off?!  I went onto their website and found the ‘contact us’ section and sent them a polite email describing the problems I experienced.  I quickly received back an equally polite email that essentially ‘fobbed’ me off. Oh well, I thought, I won’t be buying that product again, regardless how good the toothpaste maybe, it’s just too hard to get to.

I forgot all about it and returned to another brand of toothpaste with any easy-access cap.  This week I received a parcel in the post from Colgate.  Seems I must not have been the only one to comment on the cap and they have redesigned it and sent me a tube to trial plus a questionnaire to answer.

Well today I tried the new cap which is still ‘tamper-proof’ but I am pleased to say VERY easy to open and access the toothpaste inside!

All of this really impressed on me how important it is to listen AND respond to customers.  I felt great that my comments had been heard and acted on and my further opinion was then sought.  I am sure I was one of many people who made comments about the cap, but if no one had said anything and had just never bought the product again, Colgate would have been left wondering what the problem was – the toothpaste?  the taste? packaging – WHAT?!  By receiving and acting on the feedback they have been able to make a small change and thererfore, hopefully retain customers and gain new customers, when they spread the word.

So, the moral of the story is to firstly let companies/organisations know if you find a problem with their product or service so they can take action – its then up to them.  Secondly, if you are that company/organisation receiving that comment, WELCOME it with open arms and see at as the opportunity that it is to make your service or product even better!  I will now continue to buy Sensitive Pro-Relief Colgate!