Write Your Life Story

If you were given a day to write your life story, how would it read?

A story is the gift of sharing experiences, trying to put into words what you’ve seen, been through, and enjoyed. It’s the journey of the ups and downs, ins and outs and the rest of the platitudes that include making our way through life as we know it.

So how easy would it be to write your life story?

What do you suppose her story is?

What do you suppose her story is?

If you’re a brand – beer or otherwise – what’s your life story? How did the brand come to be? What does the company stand for and what does it not tolerate? Why do you have a story to begin with and who may be interested in it?

The story is the core of a successful endeavor. Being able to tell the story succinctly when needed, in expanded version when appropriate, and hitting the core principles of what you and the brand are all about is the story.

Go on. I challenge you to write your story today.

Let it flow, don’t get balled up in grammar and spelling, cohesiveness or form. Simply start writing. Sleep on what you write, giving it a day to ferment. Come back to it tomorrow and read it, adjust, add, and keep writing.

Successful, dare I say ‘great’, brands are the ones with a compelling story who are able to communicate that story clearly.

So what’s your story, morning glory? I’m interested. Send me your brand stories at ginger@womenenjoyingbeer.com

Comments »

Training and Education: Are They The Same Thing?

I’ve heard people say ‘training is for dogs, education is for people.‘ While I think my dogs would be fine with this statement, I’m not.

What is the definition of training? What’s the definition of education? Are they interchangeable like many people exercise them to seemingly be? Or are they in fact different?

Mirriam (Webster) tells us this:

Education

: the action or process of teaching someone especially in a school, college, or university

: the knowledge, skill, and understanding that you get from attending a school, college, or university

: a field of study that deals with the methods and problems of teaching

Training

: a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job

: the process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc.

Are these people being educated or in training?

Are these people being educated or in training?

I agree with Mirriam. Me thinks they are different…and yet we do use them interchangeably. Why is that? Perhaps because no one has put any sort of grounding appendage down firmly to state “this is only what education can be, this is absolutely what training is.”

In a way it doesn’t matter. In another way it does. The Power Of Words does make it matter.

As a professional educator and trainer, I want to know the difference. It alters and guides my perspective, goals, and tactics to accomplishment. Having just given another workshop on the Power Of Words, I know in fact that they do differ and the difference is important and distinct however seemingly innocuous or subtle. The difference is still there. Otherwise they’d share the same exact definition. 

Cheers to education and training. Employ them both as tools and partners for success.

p.s. Here’s a thoughtful video about the power of words

Comments »

How Do You Deepen Relationships?

In the beer world, everyone hugs. Relationships may start with a handshake – and they quickly graduate to hugging. Everyone hugs. Because everyone has a regard for everyone else, almost without exception.

So do you hug customers who support your beer business? If so, how and why? If no, why not?

Hugging's good.

Hugging’s good.

Beyond the first and foremost making-sure-it’s-appropriate, hugs are a remarkable and personal way to build connections. Connections build relationships. Hugs build both.

Here are my suggestions for the business week ahead (obviously as appropriate):

  1. Hug your co-workers.
  2. Hug your suppliers, vendors, and service providers – this includes the folks who get your recyclables and trash.
  3. Hug your customers – if a full-on body hug isn’t in order, a side hug is a bit more comfortable for some and totally acceptable. Ask beforehand – it’s a good idea.
  4. Hug yourself for a job well done.

Hugging amps up the endorphins – check this out. Hugging makes people happy, starting with the hugger. Hugging makes the world a happier and more compassionate place.

Start with a handshake. Deepen your relationships with hugs.

Comments »

WEB’s Last Vending Fest: KLCC BrewFest

It’s with bittersweetness that we will be ending our run with festivals – popping the bright orange WEB tent, selling high quality goods for women and men, and thus move on to other platforms.

The last fest we will attend with a full line of goods is the KLCC BrewFest, Eugene Oregon

February 6 & 7. It’s a well run, well done, and lots of fun festival supporting their local pubic radio affiliate. Come see us, stock up and take advantage of never before sale prices.

Full festival details can be found here.

NOTE: Women Enjoying Beer is going strong. We’re simply winnowing the retail side of the business to focus more on education, training, speaking and consulting. When you’re in the market for a lively and enthusiastic, engaging and informative speaker, call Ginger at 515.450.7757.  A great variety of people, companies and associations hire us – those who want to improve and increase their bottom line. All referrals are greatly appreciated.

Many thanks to all of the crew over the last 3+ years who’ve dug in and helped (so many to mention!), the fantastic festival partners who’ve made it all run, and of course all the patrons, buyers and supporters. It’s a true highlight to see people at the different beer festivals across the country.

You can still buy some goods on-linehere’s the link to what remains available virtually. The rest will be sold down at the fest.

Cheers to wrapping up one stage and onto the next!

Comments »

Nielsen Thinks Women Have Been Addressed per Beer – What Do you Think?

Please read the following conversation and tell us what you think. Take particular note of the very last sentences, which are RED. What say you?

From an actual email exchange.

Part 1: From a professional brewer, 15+ years in the industry

Since I could not listen to the presentation a week ago I just today looked through the presentation you gave. One item certainly caught my attention. On slide X you point out that beer both in general and craft specific skews heavily towards men. On the next slide you show the ethnicity skew towards “white.” Based on the %’s in the 2 charts and population numbers in the U.S. it appears that the bigger opportunity in terms of total number of potential consumers for beer in general and craft in specific is the female market. That said, I am unsure what the index numbers mean and do notice that Hispanics index lower for craft beer than do females as a % of adults. Does that imply more opportunity?

You certainly have to choose a focus with time allotted and so I’m curious why you decided on the Hispanic focus when the larger opportunity appears to be the female market. Does Nielsen gather data on women and beer much like you have with Hispanics and beer? What is your take on the opportunity that women present for growing the beer category?

Thanks for considering my questions.

Part 2: From a VP at Nielsen

Thank you for your thoughtful question.

First off, in terms of the numbers themselves…

  • Hispanics 21+ account for 14.8% of the overall adult population currently, but only 7% of the Craft Beer volume, thus an index of 47
  • Females 21+ account for 52% of the overall adult population currently, but only 28.4% of the Craft Beer volume, thus an index of 55

So, you are right, the BIGGER opportunity in overall size lies with Females; however…

  • While Craft Beer is underdeveloped with Hispanics (that 47 index), Beer overall is NOT  — Hispanics accounts for 16.6% of overall Beer volume (vs that 14.8% of population), so Hispanics drink Beer at levels consistent with their population, just NOT Craft Beer.   That’s one reason why we focused on Hispanics
  • Secondly, if you consider the future growth rates, Hispanics as you likely know, will only become a much larger percentage of the overall population, and a lot of that growth will occur at the younger legal drinking age end – that’s a second reason we focused on Hispanics – the FUTURE potential that lies with Hispanics
  • Thirdly, at Nielsen, we have a Center of Excellence focused on Hispanics, so we know a fair bit about them.

That doesn’t mean that Females aren’t a big opportunity as well… they ARE just based on numbers (way more Females in total than Hispanics in total).  However, they just don’t drink a lot of Beer in general.    On the other hand, we know that Flavored Malt Beverages and Ciders have successfully addressed that opportunity.  And we know from various surveys that certain styles appear more to Women than others.

Comments »

Successful Business Ingredients

The ingredients of business are pretty basic. Most of the foundations of planning, operating and sustaining a successful business are as they’ve been for a realllllly long time.

Marketing is one of those basics.

Marketing is:

  • Communication
  • Dialogue
  • A many-wayed avenue
  • Dynamic
  • Exciting
  • Methodical
  • Necessary
  • Productive

Marketing isn’t:

  • Advertising
  • Sales
  • “Only” any one thing
  • Nothing – aka “cheap” (as in ‘talk is cheap’)
  • Something everyone can do successfully

When you want a firm foundation, you must look to those who are the experts in the areas in which you can reply upon. Every business owner and operator should interview candidates for services and goods – everything from insurance agents to concrete providers, from web pros to marketers.

You want the best you can afford, when you can afford it for what you are working on. As well you should.

Ask valued friends, colleagues and other qualified people for their referrals. DO NOT ask your neighbor who isn’t in the same realm, or your cousin who is still in school , or even a best friend who can’t wrap their head around what you’re after. Ask people who will have an informed suggestion backed up by credible information, whether it’s from their own experiences or directly from another they know.

Marketing is communication. Well thought out professional marketing strategy and tactics help business flourish. Poorly executed ‘plans’ spell disaster.

Here’s what some of our fine clients and partners have shared about working with us.  Follow up with recommendations – ultimately your decisions are your responsibilities.

A few go-to resources I’d recommend to look at the foundations of business include:

One comment

One comment »

Words of Wealth, Business Builders Workshop

Discover marketing, positioning and mindset best practices for the unique circumstances impacting business owners.

The Business Building series offers a meeting place for success and growth-minded entrepreneurs. This Series will introduce business owners to strategies, tools and techniques that will competitively position them in a crowded marketplace.

The first lunch and learn in the Business Building series, Words Of Wealth, kicks off on Thursday, February 12th at Habaneros Mexican Restaurant, 142 N Front Street, Medford OR from 12:30-2pm. This is an opportunity for local business owners to meet, mingle and receive business building strategies.

Local business consultants, Ginger Johnson, marketing expert and CEO/founder of Women Enjoying Beer, and Loren Fogelman, founder of Business Success Solution and author of The Winning Point, an Amazon #1 best seller have teamed up to host a lunch and learn series emphasizing specific strategies and tactics which will help position business owners for growth and success.

“Words are powerful tools and we’re here to help people use them effectively to grow their businesses,” says Johnson. “The Business Building series offers a meeting place for success and growth-minded entrepreneurs,” states Fogelman.

Participants will learn how to choose words of action, get rid of words that hold you back, and practice various techniques during the event for improved business practices. Johnson and Fogelman are both nationally recognized speakers focusing on business growth strategies. Here’s an opportunity for growth minded business owners to gather.

Registration:

  • In advance (check & cash by 2.10.15) = only $25/per person
  • Online = $30/per person (here’s the link)
  • At the door = $35/per person

Contact Ginger at 515.450.7757, Loren at 541.708.3933 with inquiries.

Comments »

Serving Your Country

Home of the Free because of the Brave.

Home of the Free because of the Brave.

In reading about this effort, it begs the question: How do I serve my country?

What do I do, what can I do that contributes, makes a tangible and positive difference for our country? Is it assisting with volunteer hours, giving a hand up, giving a job to, campaigning for something?

So when I look at my business wrap up for 2014 and my plans for 2015, I just signed up for updates ala Joining Forces. It’s a small step towards educating myself on how I can pitch in. Education gets a lot of balls rolling. I’m already eager to learn more.

What are you doing to serve your country?

Comments »

Beliefability

The creation of words (Neology) is something I both intentionally do and unexpectedly accomplish.

Julian, the neology savvy brewer, Beachwood Brewery & BBQ

Julian, the neology savvy brewer, Beachwood Brewery & BBQ

Pints up to Julian, brewer at Beachwood Brewery & BBQ, for enlightening me on the actual term for the word for word creation. It’s something that happens regularly in my life – call them typos if you like. I call them fun and incidental, sometimes very timely, uncanny and meaningful.

One that presented itself from my grey cells recently was beliefable. We’ve used believable for years – why not beliefable. Here’s how I’d define it:

Beliefable: the ability to accept and embrace a single belief or belief concept.

Now, the caveat is that rarely do beliefs disconnect. In other words, beliefs are very tied to each other, in a cottony spider web kind of way. They’re not one-dimensional nor should they be. Beliefs are pretty powerful ideas that are also incredibly personal.

Look in the mirror today. Is who you see beliefable?

Comments »

The Worth Of Word Of Mouth

So many people in business talk about “word of mouth.” They say ” Oh – I don’t advertise, I rely on and see business from word of mouth.”

So what precisely is word of mouth? And what’s it’s worth?

I’d encourage you to redirect and start thinking of Worth Of Mouth. The worth of the words from many mouths is what we’re really looking at here. And who’s mouth is it?

What's the worth of mouth of your business?

What’s the worth of mouth of your business?

The value of word of mouth – the worth as it were – is dependent on the mouther, so to speak. Is the person reputable, reliable and knowledgeable to put worth in the words of mouth?

In marketing, that is, bringing something to market, word of mouth has a long herstory of value when it comes from the right people at the right time for the right reasons. A worthless word can be more than worthless – it can be damaging. And that’s definitely worth considering before hand.

Be careful what you say and how you say it. Be careful what you think words and phrases to mean. They are as elastic and ever-changing as the weather.

Go for value, experience, respect, fun. That’s the worth the mouths are looking for.

Comments »

Are You Looking At The Right Issues?

Recently I got wind of a professional webinar within the beer world. It was supposed to be addressing the market, who and where the areas of growth for beer. Pretty straight forward idea.

I had registered for this said event and simply had to pass it up to tend to other business, though the topic is right up my alley.

Once it was over, I heard from a valued and reliable colleague that the talk had focused on areas of the market and population, yet not women. Apparently one slide of dozens addressed women as beer buyers and consumers. Excuse me, what??!!

What issues are you looking at?

What issues are you looking at? Are they right in front of you or elsewhere?

Instead the focus was on the Hispanic market. Yes, it’s growing globally. Yes, it’s an excellent population to work with and for. AND it’s still misses the point if the beer industry wants to really capture new, long-term, loyal market share that covers all ethnicities and facets of humanity: females.

After I shook my head in shock, and got my bearings again, I realized this: The Professional Beer Industry Community for the most part still has no foggy clue about who’s buying the beer in America. Scan data is a partial picture and dangerously lacking in deep lasting understanding of the female beer buyer.

I’d ask the people in business in the beer arena: What issues are you looking at? What do you want to accomplish, what are your goals, who is your target market and why, what are you doing to bring in outside expertise you’ll never have to build and support your brand?

Time and time again all someone has to do is to surf a bit on the web to find consistent and reliable data to support the fact that women are the primary buyers of all goods and services. Read here, here and here for a sampling.

So when you’re looking at business development – from beer to cotton swabs to cars to tools – take note. You’ll be successful when you carefully examine the female shopper and buyer.

Beer people beware: you’ll stagnate and deflate unless you make some drastic changes in patterns, habits, acceptabilities and practices towards and involving women.

Comments »

Bite Sized

  • Bite sized means ________.
  • Full size means _________.
  • Super sized means __________.
  • Reduced means _________.
  • New and improved means ________.

Bite size depends on the biter, the item being bitten, and the size of the bite (mouth maybe?).

Go ahead - take a bite of whatever size you want.

Go ahead – take a bite of whatever size you want.

One size – or bite – never fits all. Examine the size of the bite you want to take and evaluate where you want to go from there.

Marketing strategy dictates that you must know the bite market, who will be biting, who you’re hoping to bite, and what they will do after the first bite. Bite again? Often or never?

Bite off more than you can chew and you’ll choke. Knowing ahead of time what you’re in for (the bite and size) will be well worth while to contemplate and plan.

Now, let’s go for a bite, shall we?

Comments »

What Does Craft Mean To You?

“Health is a relative term that means different things to different people – kind of like the term craft beer, right?” – Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director, Brewers Association

Words. They’re seemingly loaded with meaning and thrown around with no weight simultaneously. How do you handle words?

Exhibit A: Natural.

In the 1970’s in America, the word came on like a tidal wave. It was all the sudden on packaged goods and signs everywhere. Natural This and Natural That. What’s a consumer to do?! In a huge rush the shopping of food became a miasma of words, which at first felt meaningful.

Is a manufactured (intentionally planted) landscape natural? Is it crafted?

Is a manufactured (intentionally planted) landscape natural? Is it crafted?

Then, with everyone getting on the Natural boat, it began to get muddy. Muddy understandings, definitions, and meanings. What did Natural mean by 1980? Who was still using it and to what end? Here’s a thoughtful article on the term.

Exhibit B: Craft.

It’s the current counterpart to Natural. What does Craft mean?

Like natural and all labels and titles, definitions are somewhat elastic. They may be ‘defined’ by some organizational body or person, yet who gives them the authority to define a word that can mean different things to all different folks? And who’s to say we have to abide by them or adopt them as our own?

Craft is a buzz word in the alcohol beverage industry right now, and especially in the beer world. It’s a word I’ve used, questioned, and not used (in that order) since I got into the beer world professionally.

What’s in a word is up to the brain holder – you and I, our neighbors, colleagues, family friends and enemies. Who’s to say what a word can and cannot mean, as well as the sticky middle of “ya, but’s”….

To come up with my own definition of craft I look all around me, both at home and abroad. To me, well crafted is going to be more important than any otherwise-defined delineation of any word. It’s my word to use as I wish and I wish the meaning to be non-exclusive, though not necessarily inclusive. See my quandary? It’s neither here nor there, and it’s certainly not in between.

I’d encourage you to rethink your words and terminology. I’d suggest you focus on brands and what they are about, what they mean to you, and how they relate to your world. I’d recommend not using the craft word. From our research I can tell you that most women don’t have a universal singular definition of “craft” as it relates to beer. Size has little to do with quality (pun intended here).

Knowing that what is in your glass is well crafted with care is my go-to. What’s yours?

Comments »

Beer Vocabulary

Word du jour: vocabulary.

Look for new words everywhere - labels are a good place to find them.

Look for new words everywhere – labels are a good place to find them.

When’s the last time you added a new word to your vernacular? If you’re scratching your head, it’s been too long.

Vocabulary is the food of communication. It’s what we need to understand, use, hone, and continually examine. It’s one of the primary methods of conversing with people, starting with ourselves.

At last nights Swig & Stitch I decided to use the theme of Vocabulary. Words have always been interesting to me and I often write down words I’m unfamiliar with when I read latest one: facile). Then I work to integrate them into my vocab until they are firmly in use.

Vocabulary I chose for last night went as follows:

  1. Course one: Cider, fermented apple beverage. Juice is unfermented. Bonus: Perry is fermented pear beverage.
  2. Course two: Flagship, the main branded item form a business which the business is known for.
  3. Course three: ABV, Alcohol By Volume, alcoholic percentage of a beverage.

Know your words. Learn new ones, seek them out, apply them, increase your eloquence and understanding simultaneously.

What’s your word du jour?

 

Comments »

Pollinating Change

What do you know about honey? Bees? Honeybees? Mead?

The Honey & Pollination Center recently hosted the 2nd iteration of an Intro to Mead Making class on campus at U C Davis, Robert Mondavi Institute.

Amina Harris in action, Honey & Pollination Center.

Amina Harris in action, Honey & Pollination Center.

Wow. Suffice it to say most people – including me – know little to nothing about bees, honey and mead. We unthinkingly take bees for granted. Let me share a few things I learned.

  • Mead is likely the oldest fermented beverage. You only need honey and water for the magic to happen.
  • No honey produced in the continental US is certified organic. Some comes from Hawaii.
  • All honey is considered natural.
  • No honey produced in the US is certified non-GMO; it’s a product that is unaffected by GMO plants.
  • Warming up honey is helpful in tasting honey (use your hand warmth).
  • Commercial mead makers have an interesting (read: challenging) labeling landscape that needs changing; it’s confusing to consumers.
  • We all need to support beekeeping and bees.
Honey ready for a tasting.

Honey ready for a tasting.

Amina Harris, the firepower behind the Center is pretty incredible. She’s passionate without being arrogant, wise and smart, and very approachable.

Please visit their site to learn more and find out how you can support it. Take proactive steps to support and encourage a healthy bee population. I’d also highly recommend the classes for everyone who is interested in this facet of life on earth.

It’s critically important to us all. That’s the buzz.

Comments »

Why A Marketing Pro Should Never Cut Their Own Hair

So…who else out there has ever cut their own hair?

If you use a razor daily, like my friend Charlie, that may be the exception. If you’re like me, with hair of any length (though mine is short), it’s best to use a pro.

Why a marketer should not cut their own hair

Why a marketer should not cut their own hair

Drew’s been my stylist for going on 5 years now and I know that he’s the best fit for me: He’s a trained pro who continues his education, is very good at listening and asking the right questions, and he deserves the fees he charges for his services.

Me: I’m a marketing pro. More succinct: I’m a marketing pro, not a stylist. I should leave the haircuts to him. Here’s why.

I’m impatient when it comes to my hair. To me, it’s just hair. And I keep it short for low maintenance. Quick, simple, professional – that’s what I’m after here. I want to get up, get to it, and get on to other things. I’ve never been a take-a-long-time-getting-ready person. No thanks. My college roommates, whom I adore, did plenty of that for me.

So why compare haircuts to marketing? Because I know better than to take the scissors into my own hand. Because I want people to hire me for my professional skills and that means I hire the right pros when I need them. Here are some helpful tips for hiring a marketing pro.

Drew helps me stay professional in my appearance. As much as you want to deny looks and say “it’s what inside that matters”, how we look still does in fact matter.

So I’ll let it grow, as it always does, and then call him when it’s long enough to trim again for a proper, professional styling. I’ll be at the ready for him and others when they want to work on their marketing strategy and tactics.

Go for the pro.

Comments »

Beer Media News

Here are a few things to think about per the newsworthiness of Beer.

GABF Media Luncheon - Julia Herz sharing information.

GABF Media Luncheon – Julia Herz sharing information.

At the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Media Luncheon, we learned:

  • 465 credentialed media were invited (application for creds necessary)
  • 90 Categories of beer were judged at the competition
  • Date coding of beer = big issue for the Brewers Association
  • 6900 Kegs of beer were consumed at the GABF
  • Missing and lost beer kegs = big money and issue in beer community
  • Craftbeer.com launched a new program: Beer & Food course
  • Beer = $100 billion in 2013; wine = $36 billion
  • There are numerous bills discussed within our government, like S.958…be in the know, do some homework and learn more.
  • There are over 3100 breweries in America with 1.5 new ones opening every single day.
  • 4500 Active licenses, 1900 Breweries in Planning (BIP) accordingly to this figure.

Beer’s big.

Enjoying beer includes supporting the community, whether you drink or not. There are myriad benefits for all, starting with sound community development and revenue. Many people in the entire chain of custody from growers all the way to drinkers are to be considered.

Cheers ~

Comments »

Saving Your Brand (And Your A**)

Real (recent) email conversation – Contact:

“Hi Ginger,

I have attended several of your seminars at CBC in past years, as well as your Marketing Beer to Women workshop last year in Denver.  I remember you commenting on the topic of lewd or crude beer names and imagery and marketing that use sophomoric or inappropriate humor.  I think the basic point was to stay away from this kind of marketing so as to not alienate potential customers.  It makes total sense to me.  
I am the only woman working in our small company (10 employees) that is co-owned by my husband. Generally my colleagues are reasonable, and while our branding leans toward an edgier, younger crowd, it hasn’t crossed the line into inappropriateness, until now.  My colleagues (including my husband and his partner, inexplicably) have come up with a name for a new beer that I find completely inappropriate and vulgar.  I have voiced my opinion about this, and have been outvoted thus far.  
I was wondering if you could point me towards any articles or other resources that would help me validate my points to the other 9 people in my company who insist on acting more like boys than men?  I think if I could come at them with some clear talking points, and link to some actual sources, that would help my case a great deal.  I am supposed to be creating signage for this beer to go on tap this weekend, so this is my last chance to stop this ship from sailing.  Thanks in advance for any help you can provide to steer me in the right direction.
And thanks for all that you do!  Cheers!”
WEB Reply:
“Good to hear from you! Hope life is good and you’re well.

Thanks for the email. How’s business?

Hmmmm…well, there are two things that enter my mind.
1. It’s always unfortunate that a “majority rule” gets instituted even when the majority opinion is off. Think slavery. Ideas are powerful and interesting things. I find it unfortunate, if it’s as you say, that females may end up being blatantly disrespected. Your brand  – like any – can ill afford to put forth an offensive label or name. I’d obviously have to see the materials to factor that in.
2. If you’re asking me for professional advice to assist the brand damage avoidance that may occur, that’s my product and hence a fee is involved. Like any label review or brand question, I can absolutely assist and contribute to your continued and increased success, as well as citing research of thousands of females across the country who in fact are the majority buyers in America. If a brand wants to piss off women and alienate them, they choose ill conceived names, labels and titles.
3. Lastly – on a sheer gut level: what females do the people (women & men) have in their lives they care about? Do they want them intentionally insulted and denigrated? If they say no to this question, how can they say yes to dubious labels? It’s completely hypocritical and tragic. The Great Brands have never resorted to these tactics because quality is genderless, gives full respect to all, and class, tact & diplomacy reign supreme.
This is obviously off the cuff, since I’ve no idea what the materials actually are and we aren’t in a work situation. While I’d love to help you more, please appreciate my vantage point.

Be in touch when you’d like to engage. I stand at the ready and will be curious to see what I hear from you.

Cheers & be well – “

Contact Response:
“Thank you Ginger!  I ended up writing a very well-researched email (at least I thought so!) to the team. I linked to a few of the articles that are on your website, and laid out some of the main points.  The points that I thought applied best to our situation were:

  1. It goes against our whole philosophy.  Our tagline is [socially inviting] and we’ve always described our brand and our establishment as a place where everyone is welcome.  An offensive beer name is alienating to multiple segments of our customer population.
  2. It’s unnecessary, and if our beer isn’t quality enough to stand on its own without a gimmicky shock value name, we’ve got bigger problems.
I told them, and I think they understand now, that I can take a joke and am not being uptight for the sake of being uptight.  This name goes too far, period.  I did also allude to your #3, by asking if they cared about their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters, and asking if they would feel comfortable having any of those women that are close to them order a beer by this name.  I think this was the one that really hit home.
I got emails back from almost everybody saying they hadn’t considered these points, were just reverting to this boyhood vulgarity because they thought it was funny, and hadn’t considered the wider implications.  Most also thanked me for opening their eyes and providing links to your site, and said they would be looking at issues such as this in a different light in the future.  So woohoo, small victory here I think!
Thank you again for responding. I really do think that your services would be useful to us, and I think some of the guys are starting to think so too.  So now on to my next quest – to convince them that we should actually engage your services!  It might be a bit down the road, but I will absolutely let you know as soon as we can swing it.  I have so much respect for all that you do – keep on doing it!
Thanks and Cheers,”
WEB Reply:
“Hello –
Thanks for the update.

I’d like to talk with you – what is your direct number please.”

This request to talk has gone unanswered, which is disconcerting. In light of what transpired, I’d be hard pressed to offer this advice again. The contact isn’t placing a real monetary value on the conversation – even though the advice they were asking for and which helped avoid a hugely expensive and stupid mistake.
Suffice it to say, I shouldn’t have helped. Yes, I’m compelled to do so. Though with the lack of return communication, clear no-value understanding, this person has blown it for others. If your brand – which is sometimes you whole life  – is worth the investment, then assume paying for professional advice is part of that investment.
I just saved their brand from serious damage. And they won’t even call me upon request. I don’t ask for free from others – don’t you ask for free either. Expect to pay professional specialist what they are worth.

Comments »

Making It Tough For Customers To Find You

Are you only on Facebook? Having a page can be valuable only if you already have a webpage first.

Are you only on Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? All of these are the same as above. How the heck do you expect people to fully access the information about you, to patronize you if you don’t have a universally available website first….this is a rhetorical query.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Website. Hire a pro to help you create a professional, brand image reflection online. A simple landing page with contact information is sufficient to start AND you must have one. Name (first and last), direct phone number, direct email (info@ is really impersonal by the way), street address for any brick and mortar, and hours of operation.

2. Website. Hire a pro to create a simple website with the pages necessary to really communicate your core message, products and services, and provide necessary contact information.

3. Website. Hire a pro to develop a world-class website that will serve your customers and audiences for years to come. Knowing that sites are dynamic, factor in review and updates as well.

Does this look like the person trying to find your website??

Does this look like the person trying to find your website??

By the way – The argument of “I don’t have any money for a website” is a load of crap. If you have a vested interest in the success of yourself and endeavors, then you budget and allocate the money. This is a critical marketing piece, people. Marketing properly is not optional – it’s foundational.

By the way – Interview web developers first – never go on complete faith or recommendations. Get recommendations from qualified people first, then interview, then sleep on it and decide.

By the way – Hiring a pro to develop your site is one of the best investments you can make with your dollars. People are very wise to what “looks good” and what looks amateur on-line. You can’t afford to screw your online presence up with sub par work. And it’s extremely difficult to turn around a bad first impression if you have a shoddy site first then change to a professional site.

ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE A WEBSITE/PAGE:

1. Investigate other avenues. Websites are free and universally available TO EVERYONE. If you want to explode your audience potential, business revenue and returns and really run an operation right, get your website first.

2. Make sure the other avenues enhance and augment. I find it incredibly insulting, stupid and aggravating that organizations and companies will only have Facebook or other formats. Seriously, it repels me since I am not on Facebook (I stopped by happy choice). So now what they’ve done is eliminate my ability to communicate.

Did I mention hiring a pro? If you want it to look like an accomplished 8th grader or college sophomore did it, fine. Sit and wait for the damage to be done. If the 8th grader or sophomore is that talented and puts forth fully professional work, pay them. DO NOT barter or otherwise denigrate their abilities. Plus a transaction in a relationship sets a higher tone of expectations and business.

So – to all of you who have websites first: YES!! Keep them sharp, updated and current.

To all of you who only use a non-public membership sign-in format, I’ll take my business elsewhere. Why are you limiting your potential and alienating future customers?

Comments »