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20 11, 2017

Friendsgiving: An Opportunity to Build Connections–Brought to you by the Millenniums

By |2017-11-20T22:01:05-05:00November 20th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Building your business, Change, Customer Experience, Customer Retention Strategies|Tags: |0 Comments

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Friendsgiving has been lurking around since 2007; it’s now becoming well-known name and likely a new holiday. It reclaims a holiday for people who, during the Thanksgiving season, can’t get to family; don’t want to be with family and those that don’t have family. In my neighborhood, we’ve called them, for lack of a better word, Thanksgiving orphans. It doesn’t take away from the traditional holiday; it adds a new dimension to it. It underscores the value of friends.

I must admit I was getting tired of going to my relatives. They served the same-old foods, nothing for the vegetarian except vegetables with no imagination or too much cheese.  My other aunt used to make a complete vegetarian dinner along with the turkey, for the vegetarians next door.  I didn’t realize you could eat anything but turkey on Thanksgiving Day. There were the relatives who drank far too much and told the same-old stories over and over. There were also the ones I just didn’t like.

We are happy to have a new description of something very cool and started by the Millenniums. In 2007, the term ‘Friendsgiving’ made the Urban dictionary. This is a great way to connect with this customer. In my book, “50 Ways to Bring Customers into Your Store,” I talk about holding events and raising money for charities.

WHY NOT HOLD A FRIENDSGIVING PARTY IN YOUR STORE AND RAISE SOME MONEY FOR YOUR CUSTOMER’S FAVORITE CHARITY!

The other day I asked my neighbors where they were going; they said a Friendsgiving party and would be back for Thanksgiving. I gave them a big smile; I was in the know!

In order to connect with your customers, you’ve got to know where they are and what they’re doing. If you’re not part of something, how will you know? Friendsgiving is not a way to forget Thanksgiving; it’s a way to add something new. Friendsgiving legitimizes something we’ve known all along—friends matter. It’s also a new way to celebrate and create a tradition.

Friends are important, no matter what your age. They make you feel better, can improve yourself-esteem and have an overall positive effect on your life. I have one friend whom I speak with almost every night; sometimes we just discuss what movies are playing.  As you age, you can expect to lose friends. My dad told me to start hanging around with younger people, this way I wouldn’t be losing friends every year!

The Millenniums are breaking the rules, how they shop, what they buy and what matters to them. They are very connected to their friends and are willing to put effort into building these relationships. According to statistics, this group is also the most connected to real ‘giving.’

I’ve been holding Friendsgiving for years; I’m glad it has a name! Enjoy  your holiday whatever its name!

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build customer relationships for over 20 years. To consult with her, call 518.495.5380 or email Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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17 09, 2017

Lost Your Brand? The Customer Owns it!

By |2017-09-27T15:52:10-05:00September 17th, 2017|Categories: Customer Retention Strategies|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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This is how Coke built a relationship with the consumer.

Customers own the brands by supporting or hating them. Either way they’ve taken the place of  the branding power your brand held.

Up until the late 199o’s, we were in the  the industrial age, and brands had a prominent place in society. Since then the customer has taken over the power of branding.

In the industrial age, there were certain unwritten laws that everyone obeyed. For instance:

  • You couldn’t start a business without capital.
  • You needed a certain level of personal qualification and social status to be successful.
  • Gatekeepers monitored broadcast channels like radio and TV.
  • Success was a result of offering better products than your competitors at a better price.

Things have changed considerable: 

CUSTOMERS DON’T WANT RELATIONSHIPS WITH BRANDS, THEY WANT RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER. IN ORDER FOR  YOUR BUSINESS TO WORK, YOU WILL HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET IN THEIR CLUB!

Brands have to be careful; being intrusive, buying likes, paying for placement will not work. In fact, it will turn the customers off and send them fleeing to the competitor.

In order to get placement in the world, brands will have to find a new way to be part of club. They have to become a part of the world instead of leading the world. The world is being led by consumer conversations; conversations about you and I. What they say about us is what the new customer reports.

Your brand must find a way to communicate with the customer.

Nike brought jogging into our culture. With that began the expansion of their brand.

Nike’s greatest achievement wasn’t the Nike Swoosh. Nike’s greatest achievement was creating America’s jogging culture. Nike has moved from sneakers to fitness. Everything fitness is Nike!

Success in branding hinges on understanding business needs, empathizing with consumers’ needs and providing a creative solution that addresses both. 

We must all try to become part of the customer relationship. In order to do this we must build a customer relationship. The extension of customer service has become the customer relationship. We are no long in charge of anything; the best we can hope for is the ability to engage the customer in things they will love–parties, information, ways to enjoy life, planning trips for them–yes this is you.

Taken from Timothy Ingram, the Medium, “How Branding Has Changed.” This is probably the best article I have ever read on the new branding. If you plan on staying around, I suggest you familiarize yourself with this concept. He’s right and it’s brilliantly put.

Lisbeth had been a thought leader for over twenty years. She is a risk taker, cat lover and forever young. Call Lisbeth if you need a jolt of optimism and fun. 

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30 07, 2017

Will You Have Enough Guts to be Your Own Hero?

By |2017-09-27T18:47:34-05:00July 30th, 2017|Categories: Customer Retention Strategies|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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Sam Elliot in “The Hero”

I recently saw the movie entitled “The Hero,” with Sam Elliott. Sam Elliot is an aging actor, Lee Hayden, who is forced to look at life squarely in the face.  He recently found out that he has a very serious cancer. We become immersed in his pot world as he wrestles with whom he should call and what he should say. Of course, he is estranged from his family and feels particularly bad about his relationship with his daughter. He decides to call her and convinces her to see him. Of course, he doesn’t show up—too many pills and pot.  Okay that’s all I’m going to tell you, but I think it’s worth seeing. “The Hero” refers to his old movie roles where he usually plays the hero. To see the trailer, http://bit.ly/2rNWf7a.

His situation is something we are all likely to encounter; getting old, not being seen as that vibrant person in our 30’s and more time behind than in front of us. It was easy to put myself in his place.  He continues to look for his last opportunity to be “The Hero.”

Lee is creepy and selfish. All he can think about is what’s happening to him and how bad he feels. The longer he wallows in his misery the more we begin to dislike him. It’s when he realizes he has to move forward that his world begins to change. He decides that he will take a chance and engage with the new people in his life.

What will you do when life confronts you, when you find ‘you’re not who you used to be?’ The new person has yet to be defined. Will you continue to look backwards to revive your ‘old’ self?  Will you spend your remaining time trying to be the old self or will you be able to move forward?

In order to move forward we must take risks into a new life, one that we’re not familiar with.  We can move into a life that may feel dangerous, like being on a swing for the first time. We know we’re safe in the swing, but as we swing out we wonder what would happen if we let go. If you’re like me, you let go of the ropes and took a chance. Do you remember how wonderful it felt to fly through the air? Will you be able to do this as you get older? Will you look forward to new experiences and upcoming changes?

In order to make this happen you will have to begin to seek fresh things, new people and ideas. Look for different types of people, seek something creative that you’ve never thought about. If you want to go bungee jumping this might be the time.

 

It’s likely our older life will be filled with challenges, now’s the time to set up some parameters so you can experience your new life with excitement.

Do you need someone to bring excitement to your business? Lisbeth has been motivating audiences for over 20 years. To connect with Lisbeth,  reach out to her, Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. 

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11 03, 2017

Who is This New Consumer?

By |2017-09-27T19:17:36-05:00March 11th, 2017|Categories: Customer Retention Strategies|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Event: The New Consumer, with LIsbeth Calandrino, Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine

The new consumer is out there. Knowing where they are and how to connect is often a confusing path. Ever since psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted his famous research on the subject in 1967, the popular ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ theory has claimed that you can connect any two people in the world in six steps or fewer. Thanks to social media, researchers believe that number is lower. 

How many businesses actually take advantage of the tools that can make this possible? My experience is that not many have a good sense about how it works.

LinkedIn has made cold calling a thing of the past. It’s that ‘Six degrees of separation’ again. Social media allows us to connect with almost anyone in any part of the world. You just have to know how it works and then do it. 

Facebook allows you to produce videos through their Facebook Live and we have so many other possibilities.

To make this work you must understand the new consumer and their path to purchase. I will be speaking about this  “New Consumer” and their buying path on  March 15, 2015, at Surfaces, 327 Park Street, New Britain CT, 06051, from 6-8 PM. Register now at https://www.marble-institute.com/NewEnglandMarch15.

 Hope to see you there.

Warmly, Lisbeth (If you want to know more about the workshop, give me a call, 518-495-5380.

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27 07, 2015

Why do Businesses say Stupid Things to Their Customers?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:52-05:00July 27th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Customer Retention Strategies, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Marketing, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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no cookingOn my way to the gym I pass this restaurant; today the sign outside says “No Cook.” I’m assuming that means they’re not open. Why would you put that sign up? This is just a ridiculous thing to post for your customers. What’s the point? What kind of customer service can a restaurant deliver without a cook?

It brings up all kinds of thoughts for me.

  1. They don’t pay their help very much or why would the cook leave?
  2. There will be no food until they get a new cook; will the new cook be good? Should I even try it?
  3. When the new cook comes, will there be a sign that says, “New Cook?”
  4. They don’t sound very resourceful, why not just start cooking? There must be someone who works or owns the place that knows how.
  5. Why do we care about your cook? It’s your problem now it’s mine.

Why would you share any of your misfortune with your customers? Consumers don’t care about your problems only that you make them feel good.

Actually, I would have liked it better if the sign says, ‘cook quit or cook fired.’ At least, I can get a laugh about it. It reminds me of the nursery that had the sign, ‘closed during the winter,’ of course; we know that. Why not the sign that says, ‘can’t wait for spring?’

There was another sign on a restaurant door that said, ‘closed because of lack of customers.’ I guess that’s my fault; nasty implications with that sign.

Why not be positive with your customers? Why not close because you’re giving your business a face lift, or you’re having a face lift? My friend had a sign on her restaurant that said ‘owner taking a cruise; she needs it. Thanks for being my customers see you on July 1.’ Those of us, who know Carmella knows she works really hard and deserves a vacation.  We were all excited to welcome her back and ask about the cruise. She even came with gifts for her ‘regulars.’

Customers always want to know, ‘what’s in it for me?’  There’s nothing in it for me when the cook leaves. We all listen to the radio station, ‘what’s in it for me.’ WIIFM. If you do something that inconveniences the customer you can be sure they won’t be happy.

If you can’t make the customer happy, at least make them laugh, or  hold their hands to improve the customer experience.

 

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build sales and customer service strategies for over twenty years. To have Lisbeth consult with you, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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