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Being Real on a Job Interview!

30 Mar

When going on job interviews, regardless of the level of the position, presenting yourself as authentic is essential. Over-inflating your accomplishments or presenting an untrue depiction of your true self often backfires.

Shane Parrish, writing for Quora, offers several valuable insights on this topic. How can a potential employer determine if an applicant is actually intelligent and not just a blowhard?

“I’ve been collecting little heuristics over the years. Here are a few that will get you thinking:

 
Now, take a a look at this short video clip from Inc. And click here to read more from Inc.

 

Consumer Trust: Interesting Research Findings

21 Mar

Consumer trust is important if companies and industries are to succeed, certainly in the long run. For example, see “Are You Vigilant in Protecting Your Reputation?”, “Don’ts for Businesses Using Social Media”, and “Americans Don’t Trust Mass Media” .

According to eMarketer:

“Brand trust seems to matter more than ever, though it may be harder than ever to build that trust. SheSpeaks and Womenkind recently conducted a study to find out how women in the U.S. think about trust and loyalty when it comes to brands. The study found that most women are skeptical of advertising. Nearly three in four U.S. female Internet users polled said they trust advertising ‘very little’ or ‘not at all,’ while just one in five said they trust it ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot.'”

“Women also distrust certain industries, though some fare better than others. When asked about which industries they trust — or don’t trust — survey respondents were most likely to deem companies in the packaged goods, nonprofit, technology, and beauty and personal care industries as the most trustworthy. In contrast, women said they trusted companies in the financial services, automotive, and healthcare industries ‘very little’ or ‘not at all.'”

It is somewhat surprising that nonprofits are not trusted substantially more than for-profit packaged goods companies and technology firms. And the financial services, auto, and healthcare industries need to work harder to gain consumer trust.
 
Extent to Which US Female Internet Users Trust Companies, by Industry, Feb 2017 (% of respondents)
 

Hysterical [to Us] Spoofs of Chevy Ads

20 Mar

For the last couple of years, Chevy has run a number of TV commercials that feature its success in winning numerous J.D. Power customer satisfaction awards and that highlight the reactions of “real people.” These ads have been well received and have done well on social media. The first of the two real Chevy ads shown here has been viewed on YouTube by more than 3.1 million people.
 

 
Because of the popularity of the actual Chevy commercials from GM, they have spawned spoofs on YouTube that are quite funny (at least to us). Together, the three parodies shown below have been viewed more than 3.2 million times on YouTube. NOTE: There is a little profanity in one of the spoof ads.
 

Question: Do these spoofs hurt or help Chevy?


 

A Salute to State Farm for Promoting Community Service

16 Mar

For decades, State Farm Insurance has used the slogan, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” It’s community involvement is highlighted by the tag line, “Good neighbors always lend a helping hand.”

To highlight its community involvement programs, beginning in late 2015, State Farm introduced a series of videos/TV ads called “Neighborhood Sessions.” Here is one of those TV ads:

 “State Farm Neighborhood Sessions® celebrates good neighbors — the kind of good neighbors who have your back and work hard to make their communities better. Meet some Oklahoma superstars who inspire others through their passion for good.”


 
This month (March 2017), State Farm introduced a new TV ad called “The Following:”

“Let’s turn caring into doing. Visit http://NeighborhoodofGood.com to find volunteer opportunities in your community. Causes include education, health care, homelessness, veterans, animals, and many others.”


 

Skills That Entrepreneurs Need

14 Mar

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires creativity, patience, a willingness to take risks, expertise, endurance, and a whole lot more.

According to Growth Hackers’ co-founder and CEO Jonathan Aufray:

“An entrepreneur must be audacious, calculating, enthusiastic, and passionate. Creativity and managerial capabilities are also important to the success of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur needs to be a talented multi-disciplinary individual, a bit like the growth hacker job description, which is very complex, the entrepreneur job description is even more complicated.”

“Contrary to popular opinion, entrepreneurial skills and qualities can be learned, practiced, and developed. You must, however, make a conscious decision to nurture these qualities and skills. Once you begin to make a conscious effort to acquire these skills, particularly skills in the area where you are deficient, you would have repositioned yourself for tremendous accomplishments as an entrepreneur in the business world.”

Aufray has identified 29 skills as important for successful entrepreneurship. Here are ten of them:

  1. Personal capabilities
  2. Image building
  3. Effective communication
  4. Ability to negotiate
  5. Ability to lead
  6. Ability to sell
  7. Ability to concentrate (focus)
  8. Customer relations
  9. Preparedness to learn
  10. Inquisitiveness

 
Click the image for a full discussion of the above 10 skills and to see Aufray’s whole list of 29 entrepreneurial skills.
 

 

What’s Ahead for the Subscription Box Service?

13 Mar

Are subscription boxes a fad or sustainable business model? According to Jameson Morris, a specialist in the field: “A subscription box is a recurring, physical delivery of niche-oriented products packaged as an experience and designed to offer additional value on top of the actual retail products contained in a box.”

Morrison further notes that to be considered a subscription box service, these elements are needed: 

“Must be a physical delivery (digital subscriptions can’t be classified as a subscription box). 

Must be a recurring subscription/membership (of any term or frequency). 

Must feature one or more of the following value propositions:

Surprise (at least 1 or more items in the box must be unknown to the customer before delivery). Discovery (slightly different than ‘Surprise’. Discovery-oriented subscriptions don’t have to have ‘mystery’ items, it’s more about consumers ‘discovering’ items they’ve never seen before).

Curation (a thoughtfully picked variety of products related to a specific niche or category). 

Savings (a clear savings on the price paid for the box versus the total retail value of the items inside). 

Thoughtful Presentation (From custom packaging to the way products are arranged inside the box). 

Convenience (convenience cannot be implied solely by the fact that it’s a recurring ‘auto-delivery’. Rather, think of the fresh ingredient subscription boxes like Blue Apron or Green Chef–they deliver convenience in the form of pre-prepared ingredients and recipes).”

 

According to eMarketer:

“A March survey from AYTM Market Research of 1,000 US consumers showed that while a little over half of respondents said they have used at least one subscription service, almost two-fifths who had used one said they had canceled.”

“’To stay the distance, brands using a subscription model need a very strong point of difference and superior customer service,’ said Sarah Boumphrey, global lead of economies and consumers at Euromonitor International. She added that subscription services also need to come up with other avenues of revenue. For instance, Birchbox, a leader in the space, has brick-and-mortar stores.”

“Differentiation will be even more crucial, as there are signs that suggest the industry’s growth is slowing. Traffic to subscription service sites in January rose 18%, according to Hitwise. Though that’s healthy growth, it’s well off the 56% gain registered a year earlier.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

Misleading Marketing

9 Mar

As we have noted before (see, for example, 1, 2), marketers are sometimes ethically challenged in their quest to generate more revenues and profits.

Here is an interesting video of 10 ethically questionable marketing practices. NOTE: Some of these tactics are sexually suggestive.
 
 

 

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