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“it’s time to admit that while you may think you own the brands, in truth, the brands own you.” I love how Jenny Zimmermann positions the power of brand in people’s life. These days, when people screen out all those brands while walking down the hallway of a mall, the first thing that comes up of people’s mind might not be how much it costs, how I like the brand, etc. A lot of people, especially Asian people, or to be more specific, Chinese people, might be thinking how most of their friends and families think of that brand. For example, “COACH” is a middle priced brand at its Cash Cow or Dog stage of market share in a marketing term. When my mom talks about this brand, she states this brand as a showoff evidence for people who earn not much income but think that they do compared to their peers. In that case, my mom wouldn’t rate this brand high compared to others because she thinks people would think the same way on her if they see her using that brand. However, for me and a few of my friends, we don’t emphasize on any brands or price, we only focus on how products appear to us. Therefore for us, packaging and marketing becomes the most important criteria that would affect our opinion about a product, not the size of its market already appealing to my surrounding peers.

Using Telus of an example of how I think branding would affect my life. Their advertisements are about their humanity of services, and they use a lot of animal characters to represent peace and nature. Thus whenever I think of Telus, I feel natural, quiet and even fresher air. It brings me calmness and friendliness to some extent.

Not only their poster graphics, their promotional video uses the same idea to grab people’s attention and likelihood to their brand as well, and of course, terminally, their products. YouTube Preview Image

Relative to one of their largest competitor, Rogers for which ads focus more on product characteristics, Telus has the advantage of immersing their service selling point into people’s mind and life.

Marketing is all about spreading the words and make others to believe in your product. Therefore, not only do they have to understand you product, they must understand your idea. Put it in another way, if you have a great idea in mind, you must make it into a product or service and commercialize it to turn your ideas into cash flows.

A blog on Canada Business Network called “Commercializing your concept — consider your options“teaches you how to commercialize your concept through various resources.

Most of the times, when people think of commercializing their ideas and concept, they may only think about the price, market saturation and the possible supply chains of the product.  However, there are other factors that are more important than simply focusing on the idea, which this article talked about: collaboration with universities or community colleges & industry partners.

It is amazing how nowadays university students attempt to start up their own businesses and have so many ideas that are fantastic for a lot of parties. Therefore, if  a business exchange ideas and technology with university and college students, it can be highly unexpected how much feedback and innovative thoughts that will be in their minds after benefiting from the chats.

Not only can the students provide add-on ideas to the company, also the company may find the students a huge market, or potential market for their products in the future. It is a very good way of opening the market share through students, let them try the idea, technology and the product, and also let them spread the words through all social medias. For example, Facebook, Twitter, and even text messages are great resource of spreading the words. In my opinion, students are the most powerful group of people in the world, they have access to all age groups of people, and they have potential access to literally all industries. Their words are powerful and their likelihood of buying something can be the fashion trend of the future in almost all areas.

So being inspired by the article, I would strongly think about attracting students, universities and colleges in the future for any type of products in any industries.

How did Nick succeed in attracting customers? Creating customers’ loyalty? And maintain a superior position in the industry?

1. Business sustainability

As Global warming has become a very hot topic these days, all businesses are trying their best in finding ways for business sustainability! To safe the business, safe all their customers, and safe the whole world. Nike has taken action in it as well. “On ‘safe products and services’, Nike is required to ensure the safety of its products for those who manufacture them, as well as for the end users.” Nike continues its effort in eliminating PVC in its products. In addition, Nike has been investigating options for improving its energy efficiency. “Nike has saved up to $100,000 for the company, 2 million kilowatt-hrs and over 2,000 therms of natural gas by applying the ‘Earth Advantage‘ into their new buildings in Oregon.” Other than their energy use during production, Nike has also controlled its material use during the production. It encourages the use of organic cotton in its production and also limits the amount of waste from its large production all over the world, taking the lead for the sustainable business world.

One example Alexandra Lam gave in her Blog post about Lexas also includes how they use ‘green’ material to sustain the business. They use the same idea of implementing recyclable material on shoes that saves the environment as well as their customers and business. However, that’s only a simple example to showcase how the sustainable image is important to businesses. I strongly agree with her that business vitality is playing a great role as they all follow a trend of fashion while marketing themselves, and also the fact that consumers look more to the company itself more, nowadays, as compared to only the product. How consumers choose a brand and how they like the company instead of their competitors? Marketers all pay much attention to these factors. They must create an image of their company, to the customers, that this company fits more to the potential customers’ lifestyle than any other alternatives! and that is, as both Alexandra and I believe, is sustainability!

2. Attract customers and grabbing consumer loyalty — How do they promote??

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They use the strategy of promoting customers’ self-esteem value adding to give customers a first impression of Fast and Strong! By making customers themselves feel Fast and Strong will promote the customers to think in the same way as the Nick co. This way of marketing uses the same idea of creating a “same lifestyle” image as the sustainability one, but this time not lifestyle, but self-esteem. Everyone requires this self-esteem as to dreaming for almost the top of human wants in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs by being fast and strong themselves in the competitive market.

Kiip, a game-rewards co. founded by one of our UBC recent grads Brian Wong has focused on how to keep their customer relationships in the first place when initializing the new idea.

The CEOs have found that all the advertisements that we’ve seen are all launched in the same way, same focus and it’s boring for customers. Kiip, changing the way of advertising, has succeeded from finding what their customers really want, and how to make their customers proud of themselves while using their product.

So, their focus is on “Play a Game, Win a Prize”. This idea sounds very straight-forward, as their goal is to help the majority of people who love to play games some value to what they’re doing! They have spotted this tiny little wish of customers and really gained themselves some profit and reputation.

Click HERE, to take a look at how they explain their own biz, and also take a look at how they visually implement their ideas into customers’ actions that is really realistic and attractive!

So the words that really stands out from other ads that attracts billions of customers are words like “you should really be awarded for the effort you put into the games!!!” and “reach them when they win”. I think this is a super clever way and timing to reach to their customers when they are so proud of themselves, reaching their climax of the day and are just so happy when they see this Kiip words pops up on the screen. Because it’s an award!

So I think this is really what I learnt from my first few classes of marketing! This explains exactly what value-based marketing is about and this is exactly how to capture customers’ value and build customers’ relationships.

In class COMM 299 in the second semester, we were asked to write our resume and cover letter as assignments which I started to really focus and pay serious attention on everything. The most important problem and difficulty I found about my contents in my resume and cover letter is that my experiences are mostly focused on volunteers experiences and leadership experiences that play only a small role in the organization or club.

I am very interested and excited by most volunteering events, that’s why I have so many experiences on the volunteering field. However, for applying for professional positions, that is not the only field they are looking for.

Many professionals look for leadership experiences where we should take initiatives of the whole organization, instead of organization a few small events. To be competitive enough to compete in the professionalized industries, we have to try improve our professionalism and communication abilities. To achieve that, volunteering experiences where most people don’t have opposing opinions, it is hard to find an opportunity to practice effective communication skills and negotiating skills that helps develop the professionalism in the business industries.

Therefore, through writing carefully about my resume and cover letter, I found that I got to find more challenging experiences for myself that really aid me in the business field and to be more competitive amongst all current competitors.

Since I started my university study in Canada, my oral English was a great difficulty for me. I did not know how to speak qualitatively in class and make an impressive statement.

However, one of my friend who came here to Canada about 5 to 6 years until now. She is a very active and talkative person that I can always learn from her on how to communicate.

Even though I don’t have any class same as her, through all events we went together, I learn to talk professionally with professionals. For example, during free networking events settled by the Finance Club, we met their executives and industry professionals who were invited. I see her speaking to them that attracts their attentions and find common views. Whereas I tend to say things that people may take it un-seriously.

After few events, I learnt to be more enthusiastic when I’m talking to them, and pick the most important stuff out of my head to attract their attention. Then I felt a big improvement where I tend to be able to talk to them individually longer than before and leave myself with a better impression.

All in all, talking to professionals should be natural, enthusiastic, and efficient. Many people get excited when talking to a professional and talk too much. However, they’re not looking for how much you talk, but looking for the content you care about and focus on. Only then they will be able to find a common interest with you and tell more about themselves where most people eager to here about and learn from.

UK Economy: The Recovery

  1. Unemployment in graphics
  2. Private sector’s role
  3. UK ‘will lose fewer public jobs’
  4. UK recovery is on track – Osborne

“The UK’s manufacturing sector grew at its fastest rate for 16 year in November, a closely-watched survey suggests”. UK where mostly focused on the service portion of production before began to increase their effort in the secondary industry after the economic downturn that began since 2008.

“The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) climbed to 58, compared with a revised rate of 55.4 in October, well ahead of analysts’ expectations.” This good news not only foresees the further growth ahead in UK, becoming the market leader in Europe, but also the most important and most direct impact, reduces government spending on aiding the economic recovery.

“The stand-out number was the survey record increase in employment, raising hopes that job creation in manufacturing can plan a wider role in broadening and sustaining the recovery.” “Manufacturing currently accounts for about 13% of the UK’s total economic output”. The increase in growing exports is expecting to play a greater role to improve the UK’s economy in the future. in terms of both keeping a steady rate of inflation and a relatively contant rate of unemployment in the future.

Based on all the mentioned figure and facts, UK can experience an even further improvement in the future. Playing a significant tole in the dominating European economy and becoming the lead.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11886932


The probe does not imply any wrongdoing by Google

Google is facing strong negative publications about their content, competition and trustworthiness. “Complaints by search service providers about unfavorable treatment of their services in Google’s unpaid and sponsored search results coupled with an alleged preferential placement of Google’s own services.”

Despite Google denies about the fact, EU decided to investigate into the business for better understanding and more trustful information. For example, “the commission will look into allegations that Google manipulated elements of its system that determine the price paid for ads from these sites”, “the sites duplicates 79% of its content from other sites”, says the complaints.

They’ve been also investigated how the company deals with advertising partners: “exclusivity obligations on advertising partners, preventing them from placing certain types of competing ads on their web sites, as well as on computer and software vendors” which could be good to some extent saying that they prevent attracting businesses from making unethical competition actions on their website; and can be bad to some extent saying they are trying to get away from some accurate information of facts.

To conclude, Google should pay more attention on their publications by monitoring their business behaviors more broadly in all sectors, and to set clear regulations and goals among business structure.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11876443


PepsiCo said the deal would help it expand in eastern Europe and central Asia

“Soft drinks maker PepsiCo has said it is buying a 66% stake in Russian dairy and fruit juice maker Wimm-Bill-Dann for $3.8bn.”

Since PepsiCo is a well known soft drink brand worldwide, its reputation will have a large impact on any businesses related to them, especially the not that well-known ones: Wimm-Bill-Dann.

For Wimm-Bill-Dann, “The deal is the biggest foreign investment in Russia outside the energy sector”, it brings large opportunity to them to gain good reputation, but also gain knowledge and professional business and marketing skills from PepsiCo’s long and successful experience.

On the other hand, for PepsiCo, “The transaction will establish PepsiCo as the largest food and beverage business in Russian, make it a leader in the country’s fast-growing dairy category and build its presence in key markets in eastern Europe and central Asia”. Therefore, it is in the market-seeking process of PepsiCo’s to become the market leader of soft drink worldwide.

Overall, this deal is a win-win on for both PepsiCo and Wimm-Bill-Dann to increase market share and total business revenue encouraging the businesses to set more competitive and risky goals to expand further in the future.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11899792

“A presidential panel set up to help trim the US budget deficit has called for steep spending cuts and tax rises.”


Panel co-chairmen Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles devised the recommendations

“The proposal would cut defense, social security and other spending, slashing a total of $4.1tn from the budget deficit by 2020.” This is a huge cut on the basis of decreasing harshly on citizen’s living standard and basically, their physical security rights has dropped dramatically.

“President Barack Obama proposed a two-year pay freeze for federal government workers as part of efforts to reduce the budget deficit.” Although this may be a part of government workers’ responsibility in order to save citizens’ daily expenditure. However, this is in a risk of being disincentive to the workers of reducing their effort in initiating ideas and implementations to solve national economic issues. Their recommendations include “reduce social security retirement payments to wealthier Americans, while gradually increasing the retirement age and the amount of wage income subject to the social security tax”, “limit annual cost increases for Medicare and Medicaid, the federal healthcare programmes, to 1% of economic growth rate”, “eliminate corporate subsidies in the US tax system” and others to reduce expenditure. These reduce their citizens’ living standard straight forward and decreasing subsidies can cause discouraged employees as well.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11890399

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