28. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Random

Artist Serena Brewer works with dead things. She creates entirely new creatures out of the parts of old ones and sells them! Will wonders never cease? These aren’t really my thing (as my generation says) but it just shows you can sell anything.

The “artist” says, “I consider myself an artist first and a taxidermist second,” says Brewer. “When people ask me what I do, I say sculpture. It’s taxidermy sculpture, it’s just I’m using feather and fur rather than clay or steel.” (weird. makes me think this gal grew up in the Addams Family)

Brewer’s been supporting herself with this work for the past five years (see? there is a market for almost everything. you just have to find it). People fascinated by sideshow art are big fans of hers, she has a list of regular buyers, and she’s quite popular with tattoo parlors (no surprise there).

While the art has a core group of dedicated fans, it has yet to appeal to a broader audience (definitely a niche player). Marbury says many people have a hard time taking humorous art seriously. And many people just aren’t comfortable looking at dead things (no kidding!). The artists say, in a country where the majority of people eat dead things, they find that ironic. (I personally don’t like the head left on my fish at a restaurant)

Your marketing lesson? Anything sells once you find your audience. Have you clearly defined your audience and positioned your product specifically for them?

Work in a Cube, Play in a Cube?

Meet Bob, Joe, Ted and Ann. They work in a cube (maybe like you?) They have little square heads to fit in their little square cubicles and have meaningless titles like “Junior Accounting Analyst”. They capture the drudgery of corporate life but put you in charge. They’re The Cubes!

Made by Washington-based Accoutrements, this new corporate game is only $12.95 a set! Buy one for all your friends! That’s the beauty of this product. When you are selling a product with no major value except humor, price it right for no-brainer decisions by customers. We waste $12.95 pretty easily and for a laugh? Why not?

Is your product priced correctly? Is it competitive? Better make certain for increased sales!

Labor Day Has A Bad Publicist!

I was struck with a thought the other day. (Yes, it did hurt but I survived) We know what most of our welcome holidays stand for. The stories of Memorial Day, Christmas, Easter are all well known to us but what about poor Labor Day?

Labor Day obviously has a bad publicist. Where all the other holidays have a multitude of stories, movies, and websites, it doesn’t! Time to get a publicist who can remind us what we should be celebrating when we take the day off.

In the words of Ronald Reagan, “On this Labor Day, I proudly join my fellow citizens in saluting our Nation’s working men and women. As we celebrate the historic role of our nation’s free labor movement, we are reminded that workers have contributed as much to America’s social greatness as they have to our economic strength… Because of the quality of the goods and services they produce, we enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world… By shaping a better future for our workers, we can and will assure continued progress and even greater opportunity for all Americans.”

How well are you getting the word out about your company and its stories?

Fast & Easy Sells

Jiffy Lube services over 23 million vehicles a year in their 2200 fast lube oil change stores nationwide. What more can you say? Success or failure is the final judge of your marketing efforts.

Look at your product. Can you make it faster and easier for your customers to do business with you? Does your website have a shopping cart? Do you deliver from your store? Are products bundled and prepackaged for fast access? Do you prompt your customers to reorder on regular purchases?

Time to think like your customer!

Chico’s: Selling Clothes & A Lifestyle

Chico’s ads and their catalogs are things of beauty! Their ads are shot in nature with streams, mountains, expensive log cabins. A lifestyle is being sold along with their clothes. You can “feel” the experience of their clothing.

They have definitely targeted their market. It appears their clothes and marketing are designed to appeal to women of style, who love the outdoors and don’t follow the crowd. Independent women of means permeate their ads.

Their catalog is as much about nature (the photography could win prizes) as it is about the clothes. It is a mini-magazine. It is an excellent example of selling the sizzle, not just the bacon. They create a lifestyle picture and use women of distinction as their models. They definitely appeal to me! (A baby-boomer woman with disposable income who loves traveling in the natural world.) Kudos to Chico’s!

J C Penney: Back To School Without A Clue

Have you seen the back to school ads from JC Penney? They are rappin their little hearts out for sales. So, why isn’t this smart?

First, they haven’t identified their customer. Is their customer really the eight to twelve year old they are targeting with their ad, or their parent you will pay for the clothes?

Second, once the ad motivates the kids to bug the heck out of their parent to take them to JC Penneys, doesn’t the store fall way short of expectations? It is, after all, a store my grandmother would love (and I’m old myself!)

Marketing Déjà Vu: Decide who your paying customer is. Then direct every ad and the look of your store (website) to that customer. It isn’t that hard people!

02. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Apartments

I know there are a lot of amazingly talented young people out there. My own daughter draws cartoons of a character she created…just for fun! She didn’t get that talent from me, since my own drawings resemble something you’d find in a cave…prehistoric style.

The Gallery Collection, which is a major publisher of Christmas cards for business use, as well as other professional cards, is running a great contest for talented young artists. To enter, you must be an artist in high school or college. You can submit your original artwork, photo, or computer graphic online, and if selected, it will be made into a greeting card available for purchase at the site. In return, the artist will win a $10,000 scholarship! Wouldn’t it be amazing to send our professional Christmas cards with artwork that your child created on it? The contest runs until January 15th, 2008, so budding artists have plenty of time to wait to be struck by inspiration.

I’ll have to check back to see when the winner is announced – I order Christmas cards like this to send to my business contacts, and I’d love to support the winner of the contest by sending that card out to my associates.

We had to go to Wal-Mart today. I hate that store! My husband needed new tires for his car though, and they were the cheapest in town, and the only place that could do the job tonight. After waiting way too long in line, we finally dropped off his vehicle at 5pm, and it was only after we got back on the road that it occurred to us to find out what time we should come back to pick the car up. It was then that they said, oh, we close at 7pm! They’d have the vehicle done, but it sure would have been nice to know that going into the deal. We had to race through dinner to get back there in time, but Jim is now the proud owner of 4 new, shiny, lots of tread left on ‘em tires. Thanks to Doug from Miami Furnished Apartments for the awesome hook-up.

My girls are getting older, and the older girls get, the harder it becomes to shop for them. It used to be that I could buy them clothes, or a new doll, and they’d be pleased as punch. Now that my daughters are 10 and 11, they’ve got their own taste in clothes, and they don’t want anything to do with dolls. I came across this site with Message Jewelry and it’s a unique gift idea for someone who can be tricky to buy for. You can choose any word…a name…even a motto or a short saying with special meaning. These aren’t costume pieces – they’re made out of platinum, gold, or silver! It’s the kind of thing that can be worn for a lifetime. If you can’t decide on a saying or message, their Chinese symbol jewelry line offers over 160 Chinese characters on a pendant or charm.