Pearson Education

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Message Themes

Published October 30, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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A marketer’s goal is to get a powerful message out to their target audience.  Kennedy (2011) suggests the best ads are built with the most persuasive, compelling, intriguing, fascinating message possible. To construct a super powered marketing message advertisers must assess everything and everyone they are up against that are presenting similar messages because their intent is to deliver a message that trumps all others and puts them in a category of uniqueness (Kennedy, 2011).  The strategy that helps marketers achieve these outcomes is doing their homework to come up with a unique selling proposition (USP) justifying their message against the competition. Incorporating a USP into the message theme of an advertising campaign will help the brand stand out above the others and is more likely to remain a fixture in the memories of consumers.

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Before marketers can start to build a tactical business case for content marketing they have to begin with the concept of innovation.  Baack and Clow (2012) explain that message themes are developed into a campaign to transmit key ideas in marketing campaigns. The use of recurring themes helps make the brand stand out more and is more effective at remaining in consumer memories. The message can incorporate different kinds of strategies that target (a) cognitive, (b) affective, or (c) conative responses to make their ads more appealing (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, back in the 1990s, the Taster’s Choice Coffee Company created a series of ads that became both popular and memorable (Commercial, 1991). The ad conveyed a simple recurring theme in their message that conveyed that life seemed much better sharing a cup of Taster’s Choice coffee with someone special. The recurring theme that communicated their message was constructed in the form of a series of short dramatic scenes like a mini soap opera. Each time the couple would appear in different circumstances while viewers watched their relationship develop. The action was centered around the theme of sharing a cup of coffee each time viewers tuned in to witness the unique circumstances brought them together in each new ad. This advertising strategy was innovative at the time making this ad campaign a phenomenon in the history of TV commercials. This strategy was met with great success because their target audience was focused on people who were hooked to popular soap opera type shows at the time like Dallas and All My Children. Consumers were eagerly waiting for the next commercial to witness the plot development between the couple that was featured in the ads. Not only did sales boom, the Taster’s Choice brand became a part of pop culture during that time as millions of viewers anticipated each new episode to be a witness to the couple’s blossoming relationship. It was considered one of the most effective marketing campaigns on television at that era because of the emotional chord it struck with viewers. The soap opera message theme that delivered their message in that campaign was the bait that kept luring viewers and put Taster’s Choice in consumer memories for a long time. It’s twenty plus years later and I still remember them!

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References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

1991 Taster’s Choice Coffee Commercial (1991). [Motion Picture]. USA.

Kennedy, D. (2011). The ultimate marketing plan: Target your audience (Fourth ed.). Avon, MA, USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Customer Relationship Management

Published October 28, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategic approach that marketers implement to manage customer interactions in an organized fashion. Buttle and Maklan (2009) describe CRM as a disciplined practice developed in organizational management to build and maintain profitable consumer relationships. CRM programs manage all aspects of interaction a consumer has with a company, which includes prospecting, sales, and service (Buttle & Maklan, 2009). In short, CRM methodologies are designed to provide insight in company/client relationships to help improve them. One way of doing this is showing appreciation to clients and making them feel valued. For example, a mortgage and loan broker will send out a thank you gift to a borrower that just closed on a loan to help show appreciation for their business. This maneuver is effective in building a relationship with the client that can help encourage repeat business and new referrals. Customers that feel special and have a positive experience with an organization tend to remain loyal to the brand.

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There are many steps involved in the planning and implementation of an effective CRM program. Baack and Clow (2012) explain that the objective of relationship marketing is to understand how consumers behave and what they want. By establishing direct communication through methods that include (a) surveys, (b) gifts, (c) promotions, and (d) service lines, companies can establish more personal relationships with their clientele through this interaction and the data they collect (Baack & Clow, 2012). Corporate advertisers implement various methods of CRM strategies, all of them however, begin with strong database and information collection systems. Up to date databases help identify and segment a target audience. Database systems that record consumer interaction including: (a) details about their sales experience, (b) personal interests, (c) family interests, and (d) other relevant data to help identify personal habits and behavior, are used to build intimate relationships with clients to make them feel special so that in turn they will offer their loyalty. The data gathered also reveals other significant data such as how many times they make purchases, visit stores, websites and other social media outlets. All of this information is assessed to help marketers determine whether to rekindle old inactive relationships or release them to make room for other more substantial leads.

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The experience a consumer has with a company will determine whether that brand becomes a favorite or is abandoned. Kumar and Reinartz (2012) purport that strategic CRM approaches have become more popular in recent years because the field has changed for many reasons, including advances in marketplace technology. CRM programs provide insights into past, current, and future trends that continue to influence consumer behavior. In addition, CRM strategies help develop better relationships with existing profitable consumers, locate and entice new ones that will be profitable, and implement effective strategies to maintain them while terminating relationships that cause profit loss (Kumar & Reinartz, 2012). The concept of customer value is critical to CRM programs. For example, I recently made an online purchase with the Jockey Company. To entice me as a first time customer, they offered a twenty dollar discount to try one of their new innovative and custom designed products based on information I provided them. This made me feel special because the custom design factor made it a more personal experience. As it turned out, because of this innovative component, it was the best product I had ever purchased. Especially since this is merchandise I have been investing in since I was a teenager. As a result of the positive experience, I gave them permission to send email alerts on other special values and sales items. In addition, every time I visit the website to view new offers, I am personally welcomed and my payment information is already stored for quick checkout. The experience with Jockey has been fun, personal, pleasant, and made me feel unique. As a result, I am now sharing my positive experiences about this exceptional product for women with every woman in my social network. From my perspective, the experience was more pleasant because of the effective CRM strategies incorporated. It was that personal touch that made me feel valued as a consumer and a person and in doing so earned my gratitude.

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References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Buttle, F., & Maklan, S. (2009). Customer relationship management. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Ltd.

Kumar, V., & Reinartz, W. (2012). Customer relationship management (second ed.). Atlanta: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Brand Marketing Promotion Campaigns

Published October 23, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Brand Marketing promotions are considered one of the most valid tools for a company in the modern world, especially during times of hardship. Diamond (2011) suggests that retailers in today’s society face challenges they never experienced before. The impact from ventures like catalog only merchants and internet commerce have had a significant impact on a retailer’s ability to maintain successful sales levels. Because of this component, merchants are doing everything in their power to manage these challenges. One way to manage them is to offer exceptional services and develop creative advertising and promotional events that will gain the attention of not only existing clientele, but attract new ones as well (Diamond, 2011). Brand marketing promotions are utilized as a strategic tool to encourage purchasing and help reinforce a company’s conviction in trade development. In economies that fluctuate due to oil prices, unstable manufacturer supplies, and currency fluctuations, trade promotion strategies have become challenging to design, implement and assess. For example, a company that sells auto tires will develop a promotion that offers a free tire with the purchase of three new ones as an incentive to help consumers save money on a significant purchase in tough economic times. This gives them a good guy image and sends a message that they care about struggling consumers. However, before marketers can consider designing trade brand promotion programs, they must first define the parameters to help them determine the most efficient delivery systems.

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The biggest advantage of brand promotions is that they increase customer attraction. Borgeon and Cellich (2012) explain that the strategic goals of trade promotions should: (a) build brand awareness, (b) focus on needs versus demand, (c) reach the target audience, and (d) include a competitiveness response. Today’s trade is characterized by the continual escalation of competition among producer and suppliers, rapid innovation in products, short design and product life cycles, aggressive pricing, and knowledge base competition (Borgeon & Cellich, 2012). As a result of these trends, new approaches are continually developed to serve consumer needs that incorporate a capacity for competitiveness as part of a company’s promotional strategy. For example, a company that wants to sell a new product based on a consumer’s need to include healthier food choices, may set up an in-store promotion that gives out free samples to entice consumers to try them.

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Companies develop many different kinds of trade promotions to entice consumers to try their products. Baack and Clow (2012) purport, companies that design their campaigns with promotional incentives will generate interest and excitement that will stimulate more traffic for their company. These tactics include the use of: (a) coupons, (b) refunds and rebates, (c) contests, (d) sweepstakes, and (e) premiums (Baack & Clow, 2012). The biggest mistakes marketers make is not conducting the research required to create an effective campaign. For example, if a marketer fails to identify their target audience, they stand to lose thousands of dollars in promotional material that was intended to attract a specific consumer because it never reached the intended audience. Advertisers that do not promote their events to the right audience could also face embarrassment and bad publicity from sponsoring contests that no one shows up to. Companies who make the effort to conduct extensive research and implement measurable data collection systems, have a better chance of seeing a return on their investment and are more likely to create memorable trade promotion events that can have a positive long lasting effect on consumers as well as bring success to companies, even during hard economic times.

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References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Borgeon, M., & Cellich, C. (2012). Trade promotion strategies best practices. New York, NY: Business Expert Press, LLC.

Diamond, J. (2011). Retail advertising and promotion. Ridge, NY: Fairchild Books.

Trade Show Promotions

Published October 22, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The biggest advantage of a trade show promotion is that it can build an organization’s business with potential industry buyers and suppliers in a short time. Abrams and Bozdech (2006) suggest that not only are all these contacts under one roof, attendees are specifically there to see what each company has to offer. In other words, trade show delegates have needs and interests. In many cases, they have set time and money aside intentionally for these events just to get to know a company and their brand better. With the right strategy, trade shows can: (a) land big accounts, (b) launch a new product, (c) develop a database of hot leads, (d) develop key strategic partnerships to reach a larger market, and (e) build new business opportunities and solidify current relationships (Abrams & Bozdech, 2006).  Regardless of the size of the trade show, exhibitor’s objectives remain the same: to effectively impact corporate sales and help them achieve marketing goals.

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Trade shows benefit buyers, sellers, manufacturers and retailers. Baack and Clow (2012) contend that they are utilized as a business-to-business marketing strategy to increase commerce and get a closer look at the competition (Baack & Clow, 2012). In addition, trade shows can help strengthen a company’s brand and image. For example, a mortgage and loan company will set up a booth at home improvement trade show, to help build their business. People that attend home improvement events may also require financing. Brokers and agents that set up a trade show booth at an event like this are more likely to find new business leads because it is an excellent opportunity to meet people than can use their services to help them achieve their dreams in property ownership and improvement.

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Trade shows are one of the oldest forms of marketing used by mankind. Miller (1999) explains that they are also one of the most powerful sales and marketing tools available to corporations today. However, there are many reasons why trade show exhibitors can fail. One of the biggest reasons is that they are not fully prepared. For example, a company will hear about a huge industry event that will attract 50,000 buyers. Most assume that out of those 50,000 buyers, they have the potential to generate a few thousand leads. If they do not have an effective plan in place that includes a focused strategy, the ability to serve and follow up on that volume of people, they will not experience a substantial return on their investment.

Other problems companies face is that they are not effective on measuring trade show success. Unless the organizers know how to accurately forecast and manage potential sales, the show can become a failure. Another factor that creates challenges is that trade show exhibitors spend most of their time and money on the hardware component of the show. This includes rental space, exhibit design, dry goods, and show services. However, Miller contends that the software component is the side that will yield the highest returns. This includes such tools as direct mail, telemarketing, effective staffers that can represent the brand effectively, special drawings and giveaways, as well as post-show follow ups. This aspect is the most important, but given the least amount of focus (Miller, 1999). The primary goal of a trade show is to bring industry professionals together to introduce them to new or existing brands and vendors. Exhibiting at trade shows can be one of the best decisions a company can make, if they have done their homework efficiently to develop effective plans and strategies that will help them yield the highest outcomes.

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References:

Abrams, R., & Bozdech, B. (2006). Trade show in a day: Get it done right, get it done fast! Palo Alto, CA: The Planning Shop.

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Miller, S. (1999). How to get the most out of trade shows (Third ed.). Chicago, IL: NTC Business Books.

Media Buying

Published October 16, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Advertisers face many significant changes with how the media operates in today’s global market. Katz (2007) postulates that there are three major critical changes in how media executives plan, buy, and sell advertising. These can be referred to as the three C’s: consolidation, consumer control (technology enabled) and communication accountability (Katz, 2007). For instance, anyone that stays on top of business news can acknowledge that the media seems to find countless ways to consolidate their time and energy. Media domination is driven by demands for high profits resulting in more companies purchasing their competitors to create something even bigger and hopefully better. In addition, media planning has conformed into communications planning as it expands mediums to include everything from the internet, to sports arenas, to elevators, to TV screens in public places like at Madison Square Garden, as well as event sponsorship and promotions. In other words, today’s media buyers and sellers have a lot to consider when making the most effective advertising decisions that will reach their target audience and yield a return on the company’s investment.

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Most studies agree that any communication to reach consumers is immediate exposure that offers some kind of value. Geskey (2013) suggests it is the job of the media team to think of all the many ways marketing can reach the right prospect that will create a memorable interaction to yield measurable returns. In addition, they also realize that the sole purpose of media sellers is to sell them time or space at the highest possible price. So marketers must learn about their industry and the company’s advertising needs to develop proposals that fall within their budgets and are supported by volumes of statistics and analyses to help them decide on the most effective and objective path that will satisfy their advertising strategies (Geskey, 2013). Furthermore, in today’s competitive market, the stakes are much higher because of the financial significance in allocating funds wisely. Big companies like General Motors or Kellogg’s, for example, stand to lose millions of dollars in lost revenue if ads are not developed and placed effectively to convey their messages to reach the relevant audience.

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An advertiser’s objective is to reach their audience to invoke emotions that cause them to take action. To help marketers achieve their goals, deliver their message effectively, and yield the highest returns, they develop advertising campaigns that incorporate three significant rules to their strategies: (1) extensive media planning, (2) the use of effective media frequency and reach concepts, and (3) efficient selection approaches to help them determine the cost effective medium to deliver their advertising campaigns. Baack and Clow (2012) explain that media planning serves to help marketers formulate a program to effectively integrate their message across a wide range of media channels. This first step is the process of data collection and assimilation of that information that helps them identify and locate a target audience and develop a plan to deliver their message as well as help them decide when, where, and how often they place their ads. After creating and delivering a powerful message, the next step is to decide on the frequency their message is transmitted to assist with product recognition and building a brand name. Each marketer must decide where to place the ad in addition to determining the amount of times it takes before they achieve the desired outcome which causes consumers to act. The third step helps marketers determine the most effective form of medium (electronic or print) to transmit their messages to make sure they reach their relevant audience (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, marketers will incorporate media plans to gather data and assess the information to determine their audience. Then, they decide on the most effective means to communicate their message to their target audience. Advertisers for a hair product, for instance, must consider whether they are more likely to reach a customer waiting in the reception area at a beauty salon or reach them more effectively by a TV commercial, magazine, newspaper ad, or use of these outlets. By developing a strategic plan marketers can locate their audience and create campaigns based on the best media available to them that fall within their budgets to reach intended consumers. Marketers who develop and incorporate strategies to include media planning, media reach, and media selection in the development of their campaigns, will increase their chances of achieving higher returns on their advertising investments.

References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Geskey, R. (2013). Media planning and buying in the 21st century (Second ed.). Washington, DC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Katz, H. (2007). The media handbook: A complete guide to advertising, media selection, planning, research, and 

Buyer Motivations

Published October 9, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Marketing experts know that the most effective ways to reach their audience is through a powerful message that evokes a feeling and motivates buyers to take action. Kennedy (2011) suggests that successful advertising campaigns implement strategies that focus on a unique selling proposition (USP). This transpires to explain the company’s position with respect to their competition (Kennedy, 2011). For example, Best Buy states it guarantees the lowest prices. They dare consumers to find a lower price and boldly state they will match it. This is one example of how a company telegraphs a message about their benefits through their promises. This tactic is used to effectively appeal to customers that are interested in saving money. Others, however, use tactics like fear to electrify consumers. For example, Allstate Insurance Company uses images of disastrous events like flooding, theft, and automobile fender benders to instill a message of fear. The message they want to communicate with this strategy is that their brand of insurance can bring them comfort during events of great suffering. Companies that express a USP that evoke strong emotions like fear can use it to their advantage to position their services and goods as the answer that addresses their needs. They focus on rousing consumer feelings from their own experiences of significant life changing events. This is one method corporations can use to build consumer trust.

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Marketing experts that use precision marketing methodologies can cut through the noise and focus on winning consumers as fully engaged advocates. Gallagher and Zoratti (2012) postulate that in today’s society, consumers have made it clear they are in control of the communication they tune into. They are voting with their money and their attention by fast forwarding through commercials, opting out of mailing lists, and blocking their phones to avoid solicitors. Consumers, instead, are spreading the information through social networks by voicing their opinions online, with friends, family, colleagues, and the global internet community. Because of this trend corporations are watching their advertising investments deteriorate. Market research reveals that consumer interests and attention are directly related to the salience of the message they transmit (Gallagher & Zoratti, 2012). In other words, in order to engage consumers that are ignoring them, they are finding new methods to penetrate their barriers by gathering extensive research to find out what is relevant to them and what appeals to them emotionally.

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There are many components that advertising firms use to transmit their messages that target relevant consumers. Baack and Clow (2012) contend there are seven major areas of appeal that help form these messages: (a) fear, (b) humor, (c) sex, (d) music, (e) rationality, (f) emotions, or (g) scarcity. Fear is the top emotion that advertisers implement to get their message out while humor is the second. Even though these emotions are not similar, they can, however, be linked together to convey a powerful message (Baack & Clow, 2012). For instance, a company that wants to send a message to men about a new cologne product, may link many of these characteristics to allure an audience. Old Spice, for example, created a very effective commercial about their cologne combining the components of fear, humor, and sex appeal to get the message out about one of their products. The commercial opens with a beautiful muscular man standing in front of a running shower, clothed in nothing but a towel. Using sex appeal in a humorous situation, the man appeals directly to his audience, looking straight into the camera asking the viewer to compare their mate to him while the images fast forward through a variety of heroic scenes ending with the man mounted on a horse reminiscent of a knight in shining armor. This message uses humor, rationality, fear, and sex appeal to communicate to the audience. The ad clearly conveys that the cologne can make their partner more heroic like the man in the commercial if they use Old Spice. The commercial banks on the man’s sex appeal to attract attention, while the concept of fear is implied to those who do not use the product. This advertising strategy communicates to both women and men. The man’s humor and sex appeal allures those who fantasize about a heroic partner, and the emotion of fear speaks to those who are afraid they are not heroic or attractive enough in the eyes of their partners unless they take some kind of action. Advertising teams that engage in precision marketing methods and focus on their target audience, are in a better position to influence buyer motivations and tend to yield the highest results.

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References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Gallagher, L., & Zoratti, S. (2012). Precision marketing: Maximizing revenue through relevance. London, UK: Kogan Page Ltd.

Kennedy, D. (2011). The ultimate marketing plan: Target your audience (Fourth ed.). Avon, MA, USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Attitudes and Values

Published October 2, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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To market a product or a company effectively, management teams must have a concept of how to promote and position themselves to stand apart from the competition. Morgan (2012) postulates that the number one asset any organization or individual has is their unique personality and their attitude. This is what makes them stand apart from the others. A successful image of a company, therefore, can increase the value of that business dramatically. When it comes to creating a corporate image or creating an organizational attitude, perception is one of the most significant components to consider. For instance, one way a company can create an attitude is by conveying that their brand is not merely a campaign that makes promises, but that their actions and behavior convey a commitment to keep those promises (Morgan, 2012). Business leaders that comprehend this concept are ahead of the game when it comes to creating value. In short, their attitude can also bring them added value.

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Leaders that distinguish the difference between attitude and values are more likely to develop a brand that will experience long lasting success as well as build solid relationships and a loyal customer following. Baack and Clow (2012) explain that attitudes also reflect individual values and that these perceived values and attitudes are key roles that influence consumer decisions. For example, typically, educated consumers incorporate two strategies in the decision making process that can influence their feeling or attitude: (a) the gathering of information and (b) the evaluation of alternate choices. Motivation also plays a role in swaying their attitude in the decision making process. This element determines the amount of enthusiasm they engage to support their needs and wants. Additionally, lower costs and higher benefits are factors that can influence consumer emotions and attitudes. These are a few components that help shape consumer feelings toward making decisions and remaining loyal (Baack & Clow, 2012). This means it is in the company’s best interest to develop strategies that provide consumers with substantial information about their products and services as well as a reason why they offer the best choices over any alternatives. These are factors that can help communicate a positive company image to consumers. This in turn affects their attitude and ultimately makes the company more valuable to them.

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There are many ways a company can create an image or present a company attitude that brings value to consumers. Vincent (2012) suggests that to achieve the most effective results to help shape a positive attitude, marketing strategists should address the following questions:

  • How indispensable is the brand to customers?
  • What is the rate of employee turnover?
  • What does the brand do that is better than any competitor and why is it significant?
  • How easy is it for competitors to replicate the brand experience?
  • How easy is it for customers to do business with the brand?
  • If the brand disappeared tomorrow would anyone care?

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By addressing these topics leaders can help create an experience that will shape a positive feeling or attitude in their consumers which in turn builds trust and confidence (Vincent, 2012). The Starbucks Corporation provides a good example of how a company’s attitude can influence their value. Prior to Starbucks’ genesis, people were used to paying under a dollar for coffee and expected free refills. Starbucks marketing strategists created an atmosphere that made people excited about paying more for coffee because of the feeling or experience the brand created. In other words, they built the success of their company on an attitude that communicated it was cool and hip to pay extra money for coffee to have a social front porch experience in an environment that allows internet access. This brilliant strategic move was the key that turned the Starbucks company into a mega empire. In conclusion, marketing teams that understand the distinction between attitude and value are more likely to experience long lasting success.

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References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Morgan, J. (2012). Brand against the machine: How to build your brand, cut through the marketing noise, and stand out from the competition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Vincent, L. (2012). Brand real: How smart companies live their brand promise and inspire fierce customer loyalty. New York, NY: AMACOM.