I found Jackie Huba’s post about WOMMA’s new statistics about word of mouth marketing very interesting, and though I would share this on my blog. 

No matter how great technology has advanced and people’s lives have moved from the offline to the online, the power of word-of-mouth marketing is still too strong to brush aside. People’s confidence in making consumer decisions based on other’s vocal recommendations is still much higher than based on online reviews and website content. To me, the most surprising statistic was how “Odds are, if someone’s talking, it’s a good thing.” and that the average online review was 4.3 stars out of 5. I always thought that if people were talking, it would be a bad thing because usually people are more passionate when they are upset and have had a bad experience. Instead, it seems like people tend to have mostly positive experiences and then decide to post their recommendation online. No wonder companies always have customer review options! There’s a very low risk of having a bad product review!

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The video is on the Consumer Evangelists’ blog and is also created by WOMMA, to define word of mouth marketing. Not only was it an excellent video because of its intricate and easily understood drawings, but the content was presented in a very clear and concise manner. I especially liked how they defined word of mouth marketing as any business action which earns a customer recommendation, delivers the best product in a category, providing a great customer experience, and rewarding customer loyalty. This break down allows me to think of business in its essence – to gain recommendations from customers and  free marketing! 

The WOMMA Summit occurred less than two weeks ago, wouldn’t it have been an interesting learning experience to hear from word of mouth marketing advocates? 

Tony’s recent blog post
shares with his readers the year-old Call of Duty  advertisement that features Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel, among other ‘soldiers’ who can be identified as people of all walks of life. One can easily identify medical technicians, kitchen staff, hotel concierge, office executives, and construction workers in the advertisement, whose slogan at the end is “There’s a Soldier in All of Us”. It is interesting that the commercial included regular actors as well as celebrities such as Kobe Bryant, the top NBA player of the past decade, and popular comedian Jimmy Kimmel. The mixture of people helps to make the slogan believable, and the audience can truly imagine him or herself in the role of a soldier. The short ad is effective because of this factor and although Tony discusses the controversial aspect of the violent commercial, there are no explicit scenes in the ad that should need to be censored, and the rating warning is sufficient for the market. Furthermore, the environment the commercial takes place in is not a neighbourhood or mall where one could easily imagine and replicate, so the company has reasonably accounted for dangerous reactions from the public. I appreciate the commercial because of its originality and am relativity confident that a celebrity’s choice in revenue source does not affect its fans’ mentality to run out and shoot people with machine guns.

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What is a brand? A brand as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is trade name.

There are certainly many benefits to having a brand, or creating a brand because Brand = Trust. Through my grocery experience at the local supermarket T&T this weekend, I realized the company has created their own brand for food, sauces, and snacks, etc, which has reminded me about the concepts I read from the textbook.

T&T’s strategy can be defined as brand extension that they extending their supermarket brand onto daily essential products.  This is smart: Producing their own products not only save them much more than being a secondary seller, but also allow them to further develop their brand equity. Before T&T has a brand image of getting cheap Asia food and groceries, however, their new products seem to position them on to another level – improving standards of life and providing an experience of what Chinese Canadian had in their homeland.

In additional, it’s not hard to tell all the promises ultimately contribute to the customers’ brand experience on the poster.  This is very important especially the target market is the asian population. Asian customers choose their products rely on world of mouth through their friends and relatives. If brand experience exceed customers’ expectation, T&T will able to develop their loyal customers to brand advocates, which are especially effective in a supermarket.

My last question to T&T is how they can sustain their on going brand management? Would their new brand sustain and become another success as Kirkland?

In Laura’s blog, she discusses the new features of Facebook and other hot technology that seem to encourage further privacy invasion in our lives, causing boundaries that used to separate our private lives from our online presence to disappear. As a consumer, we are constantly bombarded by ads and hyped-up new products that we are convinced we need in our lives. And it seems to be the trend nowadays that we integrate our online actions with real life increasingly to earn rewards for being tech savvy.

With Foursquare and Google Wallet applications, we expect technology will improve convenience in our lives, which, to be fair, it does, but at the cost of our abandonment of privacy. It has also created a generation and a society who takes for granted acknowledgement and easy-to-achieve accomplishments. With every act, we are growing to believe we deserve praise and getting more and more used to a pat on the back, however insignificant our Facebook post or Foursquare check-in. What’s more, it used to be hard to become a celebrity, but Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter has contributed to the creation of countless local celebrity types!

Like Laura mentioned, even gaming has become an experience that is not just about personal satisfaction any longer. Kiip, founded by Sauder’s own Brian Wong, is tapping into the trend and offering real, substantial rewards for gaming achievements. What’s next? Being rewarded for helping an old lady cross the road? What happened to the traditional genuine emotion and desire to do good just for the sake of it? Must we be given material items to “motivate” us for the rest of our lives?

Feel good when you do good.

What are you thinking when you just read the title above? Stop thinking what you are thinking, it is not something sick-minded. You may think that this is only a random ice cream flavor that is sold in a random gelato store in downtown Vancouver. You are wrong, it is the latest flavor from the one of biggest American ice cream company Ben & Jerry.

Analyzing the current business portfolio is indeed important to a company’s growth. Ben & Jerry who has over 50 flavors in there product line, has to think of how to keep adding value into their brand and ice cream. Thinking about what I learnt from class, this innovative flavor ice cream is one of the latest Strategic Business Units invented by Ben & Jerry.

Using the BCG growth-share matrix, this product can be ploted under the “Question Mark” category. Why? If you look closely to the package, it says “limited batch” which fulfill the low share characteristic of this category

One of the lastest blogs from Adweek has revealed that some moms have wrote a protest letter that “the vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive.” Is this SBU still attractive? In my opinion, this has created a buzz in the group of young adult consumers by implying some sex appeals. However, the feedback from macroenvironment (demographic and social) tries to phase out the product.

Was this product a failure? No, this is a great way to produce it in limited batch to test the water. Ben & Jerry only need to take an in-depth look into the macroenvironment when they put their new SBUs in to the market. The new flavor “American Dream” may take the advantage in the cultural environment, attracting customers through a national pride.

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COMM 2999 is deemed to be one of my most valuable experiences in first year of study in UBC. I really like the course because all the skills I learnt from it are very practical and applicable in real life. In term 1, I learnt about all the aspects of public speaking such as tone, flow, body language, and organization. Different types of speeches requires different variations of the above skills. Besides, I have also learnt that public speaking is about confidence. I remember one sentence that my instructor had said about public speaking that” Even the most experienced public speakers will be nervous when they do their presentation, but they just hide their anxiety. Show your confidence and fake it till you make it.”  At the end of term 1, I felt that not only my public speaking skills had improved, but also my confidence was built up.

Among all the skills I learnt from the second term of COMM 299, I learn most from writing resume and cover letter. Before entering the course I still had the resume that I made during grade 10 planning in high school; however, now I have learnt how to build my own brand through using C.A.R statements and different types of verbs in my resume and cover letter.  I even taught my friends outside of Sauder to build their resume. In addition, TA tutorials were really helpful and I appreciated their hard word and sharing of their own experience. They really clear the cloud that I had in business communication.

All in all, I think COMM 299 is a great course and I really want to thank all the professors and TAs for providing us such a wonderful experience!

The greatest lesson I learnt in the recent years is from a book that I read while I was still deciding about my future career. It is a book written by a famous Japanese accountant Yamada Shinya. The book provided me an interesting perspective of accounting in daily life and encouraged me to pursue accounting as my future career.

For a long period of time I thought accounting is all about numbers, numbers and numbers. Yamada’s book has totally changed my view of accounting. “Being an good accountant is not just about efficiency and precision; but instead, it is to learn the ability to interpret the story behind the numbers and make the numbers tell the story”.

Here is an example of how accounting numbers matter in business world by Yamada. Mall A has a promotion of  “every customers get 2% of rebate on their purchase” and is only able to attract 5% more customers, whereas Mall B has a promotion of  ” 1 of every 50 customers receive 100% of rebate on their purchase” and is able to attract 25% more customers.

Is there a difference between the two promotions? Absolutely no.

What made the difference? Accounting.

Because of Yamada and his book, I fall in love with accounting and obsessed with how magical it is in business strategy.

Although numbers are absolute, but there still can be innovation with it.

Here is

Today, I finally found my definition of E-commerce from Groupon, it is “a combination of the new trends of business world – entrepreneurship and management information system.”

When we evaluate a successful entrepreneurship, we always talk about innovation. What exactly is innovation in the most competitive e-commerce world? In my opinion, Groupon demonstrates innovation in various ways.

To begin with, Groupon provides a platform for itself and small business to engage in marketing innovation. On this platform, customers can easily access special deals and promotions according to their geographic locations and interests via social network. Firms no longer need to use trial and error and waste precious time and money to determine their customers’ wants; instead, the customers display their preferences and interests and firms can cater directly to their target market’s tastes. As customer base grows, Groupon and firms that are involved can certainly take advantage of this and further expand their business.

In addition, Groupon’s system as a whole can be deemed as an innovative supply chain. The firms find out what consumers want, and can promote their business to a large and deep market at the same time. Thus, firms from different industries and areas will continuously come to Groupon for help with raising brand awareness for their business. Groupon’s selling point is its strong MIS, this has attracted firms from all different industries and these firms subsequently stimulate Groupon’s contious growth and advancement.

These reasons are exactly why even Google is willing to purchase the website for $6 billion!

If I was to rank the most entrepreneurial company in the world, I would have to say that it is the Japanese entertainment monopoly Nintendo Co.  From Nintendo 64 to the NDS, from the NDS to the Wii, this endless eruption of new products and innovation in the world market is astounding.   Nintendo Co. has grown rapidly and has become Japan’s third most valuable listed company, with a market value of over US$ 85 billion.

Nintendo: 2009’s ‘World’s Best Company’

Their entrepreneurial spirit is also shown in their mission statement: they wish to expand by “putting smiles on many people’s faces by offering brand new entertainment that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience” – or in other words, they wish that every type of consumer can maximize total utility.  Thus, this allowed them to have a fast speed of wealth creation.  In 2009, the company made “$2.66 billion USD in revenue”, and its sales “have risen 36% annually over the past five years, while its value growth averaged 38%.”

Nintendo Bets Big on Social DS System

In 2010, unlike other competitors in this global economic downturn, Nintendo was willing to take a risk in a new market. With its new product the 3DS, Nintendo strives to construct its own worldwide social media and network community.  Nintendo’s consistent pursue of innovation is their key to success, and it is what other companies should try to emulate in order to be entrepreneurial.

Nintendo 3DS

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I was shocked when I read the title of this article today. A part-time job that pays $31,000 for one hour? That must be the highest paying job on earth! I guess everyone would be shocked initially. But then I scrolled down to discover which company made such a seemingly irrational decision, and I found that it was Japan’s Domino Pizza.

While absorbing the article, I realized that this is exactly how Japan’s Domino wants people to remember their name. This is one of the newborn marketing strategies called the Law of Big Numbers.  “When people come into networks, they have this obsession with quality and quantity.” Compared to putting ads on TV, newspapers, or start a discount promotion campaign, this $31,000 one-time cost to generate massive media attention is more worthwhile, or in accounting perspective, more cost-effective.

Now you give a try, can you tell what’s accounting and marketing behind this promotion?