Monday, August 31, 2009

Stealing ideas and getting them wrong
Why it is better to pay a consultant to get it right
Building the Band Brand mall style

There are companies that call in consultants or conduct job interviews just to steal ideas for free. There are many companies that steal ideas from various sources, but most don’t get it right.

On July 5 I blogged, Shopping mall owners developers operators
Maximum profitability via $6-billion market
Building the Band Brand malls style

In this blog I wrote, Here are some tips for you – first – big screen television! You don’t need to spend $35-million to get the Dallas Cowboy’s screen, but you’re passing up clients without a big screen TV area in your mall. Of course you’re showing ESPN on that screen. You won’t get me that way, but you’re going to get a lot more men in your mall. Men with $$$$.

A local Arizona mall chain owned by a Los Angeles company recently (middle of August, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt) installed large screen TVs in their food court throughout their chain. They show teen-oriented videos. They missed the whole point of my July 5 blog, even though they stole the idea and never hired me to consult with them.

They got it completely wrong, too, missing a great marketing opportunity.

I’ve had situations like this in the past. When you confront a company or a person, nine times out of 10 their reply is, No, we didn’t steal the idea. It was in our plans. We already had the TVs ordered. We didn’t even see that July 5 blog. Same thing happens in music, movies and television. Everybody steals ideas. Why don’t we have a portable music player? We’ll call it Zune! No, what is iTune? Never heard of it. Ironic both products end in une.

So instead of having television screens in a lounge area, this indoor desert mall empire put it in the food court. The food court is noisy. No one comes to watch music videos. The mall managers who saw my blog missed the point. You have a special section of your mall, put in cushy chairs, couches and coffee tables. You show ESPN and other sports shows. Those pay-per-view fights. You make it a destination, not an accessory.

Also, the Grove in Los Angeles is going crazy with bringing in acts. They’ve had Ashley Tisdale, Mitchel Musso and Miley Cyrus together, Michelle Branch. Wish I could say they stole my idea, but they are an outside mall and I admire their marketing chief David Swift. Top of his game.

Now why isn’t the local desert mall chain owned by an L.A. business doing the same? Bands while people avoid the record breaking heat this summer; making it a destination. Bringing in television game shows looking for national contestants. Soccer and Little League teams as the sports season heats up.

After reading this, they will have entertainment in two months, but again, that was already in the plans. Again they’ll get it wrong.

How to properly market a store in the mall
Kudos to Metropark & Santa Monica’s Pink Ice
Differentiating yourself for excellence

For the last two months the Sonoran desert has broken temperature records. Those Bedouin tents aren’t too cool, so it is either the movie theaters or indoor malls to avoid the heat. Nothing good at the movies, so it’s the mall!

Was walking through a Scottsdale mall this weekend and ran across a fabulously marketed shop I had never seen before. It was called Metropark. It was loud, there were people inside (unlike most of the other mundane stores in the mall); there was even a disk jockey turntable setup in the window. It was fun. Its lighting was unique. The opposite of The Express, Charolette Russe and other plain vanilla stores near it.

Went to its web site. More fun. They have their own blog (21st Century marketing). They have events like a Las Vegas fashion show.

This is how you differentiate yourself; whether you’re a store in the mall, a grocery market or selling insurance. You do something to build brand recognition. As City of Phoenix attorney Will Gonzales says of me, he knows it’s me by the two tone shoes I wear. That is my brand. I tend to wear white suits or bright silk shirts, too. Look for me at Disney D23 next week attired that way.

I was walking down the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica early this century and found another unique store, Pink Ice. Their clothing was unlike other stores. Their layout was fantastic. They had differentiated themselves in the women apparel field. Kudos to them.

So to attract customers, which translates into $$$, be different but excellent. Like being a Marketing Sociologist instead of public relations practitioner. Connect with me on the FREE call me feature on this site.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The man who cheated death twice

They say the third time is the charm. Today’s news is that DJ AM is dead.

Eleven months ago he survived a plane crash in South Carolina. In February, he was set to board the ill-fated Continental Connection Flight 3407 that crashed in Buffalo, but walked away at the last moment. Today he is dead.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wisdom and advice from a millionaire part 2

Who said it?

I can’t imagine holding on to the negative when there is so much that is great in my life. I found my dream early. I’m living it. Lots of people find their dreams. I think the only way I’m different is that my dream just happened to come true before I entered high school. I feel grateful. I know how fortunate I am. I’m not so na├»ve that I think any dream is achievable for any person in any country on this earth. But I do know this for certain – that you’ll never find your dream if you don’t reach for it as far and as high as you can.