How does a brand recover from serious damage?

There’s no mistaking the Samsung brand suffered significant damage when they were forced to recall the Samsung Note 7. This caused significant brand damage as consumers trust was damaged. Trust in a brand takes a long time to build as it is developed through countless interactions with the brand. But trust can be broken overnight.  Further, consumers are now reminded of  this incident every time they fly on an aeroplane as they are reminded not to take the Samsung Note 7s on their flight. However, Samsung deserve praise for the messaging in their latest campaign.

When devising a campaign, there are multiple angles that can be taken, just like writing a story.  Samsung have taken the angle that despite what happened, safety has always been their priority and as a result of recent incidence, they have introduced an 8-Point Battery Safety Check which is enforced through their innovation message. In this campaign, the innovation message is the umbrella message the safety message sits under, which is very clever as innovation is something Samsung has been known for long before the Note 7.  Consumers associate Samsung with innovation and therefore it is a familiar quality of  the brand to them which they still trust.

Further, Samsung have acknowledged the incident which is very important as this restores trust in the brand. If they had of ignored the issue or brushed over it, the campaign would have come across as deceptive and ignorant.  Instead they have chosen a humble tone which I believe was the right path to take.

Bullying Spellcheck…tick!

Earlier this year Headspace, in conjunction with Leo Burnett Melbourne, created some impressive, innovative technology to prevent bullying.

Parents, prepare to be introduced to Reword.  Reword is a free tool which can be downloaded here.  What Reword does is offer users the chance to rephrase bullying messages before they are sent on social media platforms; working on the proverb ‘prevention is better than cure’ when preventing mental illnesses associated with bullying, as the damage is done once the message is sent.

The best thing about this campaign is the testing has shown success with 79 per cent of young people (12-25 years) willing to reword their message or post when prompted.

A great example of technology as a force of good in the world!

Why do we get so upset when our apps update?

In case you haven’t realised, a few of our most used social media apps have gone through some major changes lately, with more proposed.  Instagram changed it’s logo.  Snapchat revealed a redesign and new look, although maintained functionality.  Instagram then changed it’s algorithm so posts you care about most will appear first, rather than being in chronological order.  Facebook have suggested newsfeeds organised by topic.  These changes have caused many users to be upset and I wondered why…

On the face of it, us users of these apps, downloaded the app for free.  We have continued to use it (for free) for the last couple of years.  It has become a habit for us to check each of them the minute we wake and the moment before we sleep.  We are reliant on these apps for our daily news and to keep in touch with our friends and family.  Through our loyal use to these apps, we feel they owe us something.  But frankly, they don’t.

I think the reason we get so upset by these changes to our apps is because we are creatures of habit.  These updates take us by surprise.  We like to jump to conclusions and believe change will make us worse off.  We also like the easy option and the moment these apps change, it causes us to think about something we previously didn’t think about. We don’t like that.

But I think we need to consider what would happen if these apps didn’t evolve.  What if they were still the same as their original versions? Didn’t change since launch? Would we still love them the way we do now? The answer is probably not.  Think about it like roadworks.  We hate being held up with them, but we also like new roads and infrastructure.  Facebook originally had a chronological timeline and we have all adjusted.

Although our favourite apps don’t owe us anything, these are ways they could make this change a little easier. They could make public announcements to prepare us and make us see the good in the change. However they don’t need to as I don’t believe they would be losing users over it (or many to care about).  And plus, the way we feel about change at the moment, if Instagram announced another change we would be afraid and possibly move away in droves! So maybe the surprise element works…

5 Ways To Market Your Small Business

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Marketing your small business is vital. Without it, nobody knows you exist and therefore cannot engage with you, your products or services.  It has been stated a third of small businesses fail in the first two years due to inexperience. One element of this inexperience is marketing.  In an ever-changing world it is hard to know what to do – an advertisement in the paper doesn’t cut it anymore.  Here are 5 top tips for marketing your small business.

1. Use Social Media To Your Advantage

Social media is your greatest asset if you use it properly.  The first step is to get a personal profile on as many platforms as you can. Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and anything else you can think of.  Don’t forget about Google+ to improve your SEO.  Once you are familiar with how it works, then you can use it to talk to your customers.  Social media is about talking to people and maintaining this conversation.  To maintain this conversation you need to post frequently with relevant content. See social media as a force of good in the world and you will embrace it to benefit your business.

2. Don’t Forget To Keep A Consistent Image

Keep everything consistent between any social media platforms you are using, your business card, your shop front and any other promotional pieces that you have. Make sure someone else has read over this to make sure there are no typo’s, contact details and operating hours are correct and everything looks professional.  If you need help designing a business card, reach out to someone with design skills. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

3. Customer Service Is The Easiest Way To Look After Your Customers

As a  small business, you need to look after your customers. Customer service might not initially seem like marketing but it is how you communicate with people – customers, potential customers and the public.  Looking after your customers is not difficult – handle complaints quickly and swiftly,  respond to feedback and acknowledge the customer.  Repeat clientele is easier to create value from than finding new customers all the time.

4. Word Of Mouth Is King

You can’t beat good word of mouth however in the day and age of social media, it is easier than ever for word of mouth to spread.  Maintaining customer service is the first step in creating good word of mouth however be aware of your reviews online.  On Google+, you cannot remove a poor review, so ensure you respond in an appropriate manner.  The products your are selling and services you are providing must also be of a good quality to instigate positive word of mouth. Keep the 4P’s of Marketing in mind – Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

5. If Word Of Mouth Is King, Planning Is Queen

I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan everything.  The launch of content on various social media platforms to be timed, stock of products to be available when it’s being promoted and most of all, you must be available within a reasonable time to customers when they need you.  Have a contingency plan for when things don’t go to plan – an alternative number for when the phone is down or an additional admin account to your Facebook Page incase an account is compromised.  These plans (though they may seem extreme) will enhance your campaign and save you if anything goes pear shaped.

April…the month that was!

Bear with me as this post is a week or so late. However, I think it’s worth noting everything that happened in the world of marketing last month.

Coca-Cola revealed new packaging…

Coca-cola revealed new packaging for all it’s drinks last month, furthering the push towards ‘one brand’. The implication of this will be seen on the shelf as consumers may struggle to find their beloved drinks now.  There is word this move was pushed by a drop in sales due to the sugar-free movement and in that case, a change in packaging won’t increase sales.

Arnott’s changed the flavouring of Shapes…

I’m speaking as an outsider on this topic (and the above to be honest) however this change has resulted in a bigger reaction than what I believe Arnott’s expected.  Long story short, Arnott’s changed the recipe to a “new and improved” version and consumer’s do not like it. Was this a marketing ploy to create interest? I don’t think do. Although it has resulted in a spike in sales as consumers stock up on the old version, it was more than likely a re-vamp for the brand or a cost-cutting measure.  What will be interesting is the long-term sales of the new version should consumers continue to vote with their feet.

Snapchat increased its use of filters…

Snapchat increased its use of event filters, including a controversial ‘Bob Marley’ filter. Event filters last month included the A-League Grand Final.  Snapchat also surpassed Instagram in terms of number of users.

Overall, a very exciting month in the marketing world and a few things to keep an eye on in the supermarket isles!

Stay curious.

Snapchat Geofilters – Marketing and Beyond

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Snapchat introduced geofilters in 2014 (with on-demand geofilters being introduced earlier this year), presenting a new way to market destinations, places and events. Geofilters allow a user to use filters illustrating their location. This is then sent to their friends directly or placed on their ‘story’ whereby all their friends can see it. The impact of this can be described as part of schooling behaviour; whereby other people think of it to be ‘cool’ to go to such place because they’ve seen others go there.

Screenshot_2016-04-25-21-09-42There are two types of filters that can be designed. The first being community filters that can be used for a city, university, local landmark or other public location. These are free and cannot display any branding or trademarks, as seen implemented by Mackay Regional Council.   On-demand filters are paid filters businesses or individuals can design and purchase. These can be used for events, are only available for a maximum of 30 days and can use branding and trade marks. The cost of these filters varies based on the size of location and duration of the filter.  On-demand filters have been used for music festivals and occasions such as weddings.

The reason Snapchat filters are so influential is firstly due to the variety of users and secondly, the current photographic ‘selfie’ culture. Snapchat is most popular for those aged 16 to 24 (amounting to 52% of users[1]) although is used by consumers from 12 years of age. The high number of young users makes it easier to communicate with these users and demonstrates prominent schooling behaviour as they are more easily influenced by the behaviour of their peers. Todays photographic culture can be seen everywhere. The impact of people sharing a photo with your event, brand or place on it is needless to say, influential. Although in its first instance an image sent via Snapchat is only available for a short amount of time, it is increasingly common for users to save Snaps and share them on other social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

To design and implement a filter, you can use a template or design one as a png file with a transparent background. The design must encourage use by your audience, so be engaging and limit the space used on the image. It would be defiantly recommended for towns, cities, universities and landmarks to take advantage of Snapchat’s free community filters in the future.

If you need any assistance in designing a filter or introducing Snapchat to your marketing plan, don’t hesitate to contact Courtney at the Curious Cat.



Using Instagram For Business

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Instagram is my new favourite social media of late and it is super easy for businesses to get on board. The features including locations, hashtags and video capabilities result in the platform being under-utilized for businesses; whilst also being the easiest to communicate with consumers, clients and buyers. Most importantly, all it will cost is your time.  Instagram functions exceptionally well without paid advertising making it accessible to all businesses, big and small. And it doesn’t need to be difficult – in fact with the latest update, it’s easier than ever.

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