Tag Archives: success

Customer Service Means a Good Return Policy

3 Jan

Now that the 2016 holiday shopping season is over (except for spending gift cards), a vital question to consider from both the customer’s and retailer’s perspective is: What kind of return policy best serves my needs? For many consumers, the answer may be: an unlimited time frame to return a purchase. For many retailers, the answer may be: holding down costs as much as possible. In either case, the return policy is a key element of customer service.

These are some return practices disliked by consumers: [Note: Many good retailers do not follow these practices.]

  • An overly short time period to make a return for a full refund.
  • The amount of the refund for a gift item when the gift recipient does not have a receipt.
  • A discounted refund merely for opening the product’s box.
  • The time to process a refund for a return.
  • Items excluded from refunds, such as computer software.
  • The shipping fee to return a purchase made online.

 
Two of the acknowledged leaders are Amazon, whose return policy is easy to use and consumer friendly, and L.L. Bean, whose return policy has received various honors and awards.

As a prelude to a YouTube video about returns at L.L. Bean, Business Insider’s Sam Rega recently stated: Here’s what makes L.L.Bean’s ‘100% satisfaction guarantee’ the best return policy of any retailer.”
 

 

Congratulations Hofstra Marketing

26 Dec

The Marketing Faculty in the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University is proud that our programs are included in TWO new 2017 rankings by College Choice, which “is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college. We publish rankings and reviews that make choosing the best college easier, as well as resources to help students get into, pay for, and thrive at the college of their choice.”
 

Top 50 Bachelor’s in Marketing Programs for 2017

“Marketing managers—as well as their close cousins, advertising and promotions managers—generate interest in products and services. They work with just about everyone in an organization to do one thing really well: getting the word out! That’s not always as easy as it sounds. In order to get the word out, marketers have to understand what their promoting as well as the demand that’s out there for it—or in some cases, isn’t out there at all!There’s also the question of competition—in order to succeed, you have to know your enemy, and marketers will have intimate knowledge of their competitors’ products and services as well in order to best position themselves for success. They are also media wizards who use all sorts of mediums and platforms to get their message out.”

“There’s good news for the future of this profession, too. Nearly all sectors of marketing are slated to grow between 5 and 9 percent over the next several years according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and pay continues to look rewarding with median annual wages holding steady between $95,000 and $130,000 per year. Not too shabby!”

Number 36: “Through Hofstra’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business, students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing. Dual degree programs are also available, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at an accelerated pace. Regardless of the degree program, Hofstra’s Department of Marketing & International Business provides exposure to award-winning faculty, internships with well-known companies in a variety of industries, and study abroad options.”

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Top 35 Master’s in Marketing Programs for 2017

“From building an entire brand ethos to developing a network of relationships with people equally committed to innovative and sustainable progress, a career in marketing has literally innumerable possibilities. The degree can be applied to nearly every aspect of the business industry as well as the non-profit, government, health, and education sectors. Whatever your passion, marketing can be easily combined with it.”

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 19 percent growth in marketing research analysis in the next ten years, and a 9 percent growth in marketing management. On average, those with bachelors degrees in marketing make around $62,000 annually; however, for those who go on to get a masters degree—either in marketing specifically, or a MBA with specialization in marketing—those numbers easily double. In juxtaposing the job growth with the return on investment, it becomes clear that obtaining a graduate degree in marketing will serve you now and in the long run.”

Number 29: “Marketing graduate students, working toward a Masters of Science in Marketing, at Hofstra University take classes on distribution, internet marketing, social media utilization, marketing across cultures, analytics, customer behavior, innovation and new product marketing, business-to-business marketing, and sustainability marketing. Most notably, Hofstra students are prepared to become leaders in middle- to upper-level positions in an range of business settings. The program at Hofstra is unique in its emphasis on diversity and global perspective. Students are taught to communicate effectively, whatever the setting, to work well in teams, and to evaluate the social and ethical responsibilities of marketing in business organizations. They are also able to work and study outside of the traditional classroom and participate in several of real-world projects.”

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Rogue One Is Finally Here!

13 Dec

Professor Evans recently did a radio interview following up on our prior post on Rogue One.

Click to listen to that interview.
 

 

Bravo, Patagonia!

7 Dec

Patagonia is a remarkable company that is true to its original mission: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire, and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Today, it “is a designer of outdoor clothing and gear for the silent sports: climbing, surfing, skiing and snowboarding, fly fishing, and trail running.” It operates online and through 30 stores.

What makes Patagonia distinctive from a social responsibility perspective is its giving back to the community, especially with regard to the environment. For Black Friday 2016, Patagonia pledged to donate all of its SALES revenue to environmental issues. Other companies sometimes pledge to donate from their PROFITS. But it is very, very rare for a firm to donate all of its sales.

As reported on the Patagonia blog by Rose Marcario:

“When we announced we’d give 100 percent of our global retail and online Black Friday sales directly to grassroots nonprofits working on the front-lines to protect our air, water, and soil for future generations, we heard from many of our customers calling it a ‘fundraiser for the earth.'”

“We’re humbled to report the response was beyond expectations. With your help, Patagonia reached a record-breaking $10 million in sales. We expected to reach $2 million in sales — we beat that expectation five times over. The enormous love our customers showed to the planet on Black Friday enables us to give every penny to hundreds of grassroots environmental organizations working around the world.”

“Many of these environmental groups are underfunded and under the radar, and they are overwhelmed with your commitment. On behalf of these activists and every Patagonia employee, we extend a heartfelt thank you to our customers, friends, and community worldwide who showed up to #loveourplanet.”

“You can learn more about the past recipients of Patagonia environmental grants in your community here. This additional infusion of resources will go a long way toward addressing climate change and other serious environmental issues.

 

Click the image to read more about Patagonia’s Black Friday 2016 environmental efforts.


 

Rogue One: May the Force Still Be with You

1 Dec

Last December, we wrote about the smash holiday sales of Star Wars toys, tied in to Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

This year, on December 16, 2016, the latest Star Wars (Rogue One) installment will hit theaters. So, this post takes a look at some of the milestones the series has achieved — and at the new movie.

Here are some pre-Rogue One cumulative data for Star Wars, compiled by Statistics Brain:

  • More than $30 billion of revenue has been generated.
  • The global movie box office has reached $6.25 billion.
  • VHS/DVD/Digital revenues have hit $5.5 billion.
  • TWELVE billion Star Wars toys have been sold.
  • Book sales have exceeded $1.8 billion.
  • $3.5 billion worth of videogames have been sold.

Here are some interesting tidbits about the tie-in blitz (yes, these items are ready for you to buy!) for the upcoming Rogue One, reported by Erik Kain for Forbes [Note: This list is NOT a commercial; that’s why there are no product links. The list is only intended to show the mania surrounding any new Star Wars release.]:

  • LEGO Sets — “LEGO has been at the forefront of all things Star Wars for ages. This year is no different. LEGO has released some truly awesome sets to celebrate the new film.”
  • Rebel U-Wing Fighter — “If you’re looking for something a bit more heroic, look no further than the Rebel U-Wing Fighter. This is a nice twist for Star Wars fans, since we’re all pretty used to X-Wings by now. The set is a bit less complicated than the previous one, with an 8-14 age rating and just 659 pieces.The U-Wing may be the main attraction, but the characters it comes with are awesome.”
  • Video Games — “Star Wars: Battlefront is an online multiplayer shooter that pits the Rebels vs the Empire in maps on planets from across a galaxy far, far away. There’s content from Episode VII like Jakku, and there’s content from the original trilogy, including the moon of Endor. On December 6th, the final DLC pack drops, and it includes content from Rogue One. The Rogue One: Scarif pack will let gamers experience battles on the film’s planet Scarif a full ten days before they can on the big screen.”
  • Books — “Most of the books coming out about Rogue One won’t release until after the movie (because of obvious things like spoilers). Still, here are some options for die-hard Star Wars fans looking for some art and literature tie-ins to Rogue One.
  • Action Figures — “The larger ‘Black’ series figurines are especially great both for kids and collectors. You can get the 6″ Jyn Erso figurine for $12.50, Rogue One pilot Cassian Andor for $15.49; and the sleek Imperial Death Trooper for $15.99.”
  • Figurines — “An alternative to action figures, Funko’s POP figurines are as cute as they are addictive. Be careful when you start buying POP characters, because there always seems to be another one that’s even cuter. In any case, there’s tons of characters from Rogue One to choose from, ranging from a little over $5 to a little over $8.”
  • Razors — “A little off the beaten path of toys, books, and video games, we come to very sharp blades. Razors, to be precise.Gillette has some pretty cool razors available with some Rogue One branding. The boxes are cool because they have some great artwork, but the insides are also pretty neat.”

 

 

A Post for iPhone Loyalists

4 Nov

Over the years, Apple has revolutionized the smartphone industry — sometimes, with great advances from model to model; and other times, with more modest changes.

According to Statista:

“Since its introduction in 2007, Apple’s iPhone sales have consistently increased, going from around 40 million units sold in 2010 to more than 230 million iPhones sold in 2015 alone. iPhone sales worldwide generated more than 155 billion U.S. dollars in revenues in 2015. As sales increased, the iPhone gained space within the company, and has become the most successful Apple product to date. “

“The iPhone’s share of the company’s total revenue has jumped from about 25 percent in the beginning of 2009 to around 70 percent in the first quarter of 2015. As of the first quarter of 2016 (4Q ’15 calendar year), iPhone’s share of Apple’s revenue was at 68 percent, the third highest figure to date. Much of the iPhone’s success can be attributed to Apple’s ability to keep the product competitive throughout the years, with new releases and updates.”

 
Here’s an interesting video that shows how the iPhone has evolved over the years across several attributes.


 

Can You Start a Business in Your Garage?

1 Nov

Forty years ago, Apple was founded by 20-something young guys– some say, in a garage (Steve Wozniack disagrees with that depiction 🙂 ). Despite a number of ups and downs over the years, we know that Apple has emerged as the most valuable company in the world. Here is a video on the history of Apple.

 

In today’s post, we want to show that other small startups have also been very successful and remain so today. So, the answer to this question — Can you start a business in your garage? — is a resounding yes. And this remains true today.

As Matthew Anderson recently observed for TheSelfEmployed.com:

“For many people, the idea of just starting their own business lies somewhere in the realm of fantasy. It’s something for someone else to do, something that requires investors and business know-how, or something an average person could never think of doing. The truth, however, is that starting your own business requires only one thing – determination. Well, if history is any indicator, a garage might help as well.”

  • Amazon — “At one time, Amazon was simply an online bookstore; and founder Jeff Bezos ran the company out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington. Needless to say, the Amazon of today is just a bit bigger – the world’s largest online retailer. In keeping with its bookstore beginnings, the Amazon Kindle is widely regarded as the best E-reader on the market.”
  • Disney — “Walt Disney and his brother Roy moved to California and set up the first Disney studio in a one- car garage behind their uncle Robert’s house in Los Angeles in 1923 to film and sell his Alice Comedies, which combined a live-action actress with an animated cat. Nearly a century later, Disney is one of the largest media corporations in the world.”
  • Harley Davidson — “William Harley and his friend Arthur Davidson worked in a shed to make the motorized bicycle a reality. In 1903, Harley-Davidson was founded. Today, it is one of the most well-known motorcycle brands in the world; and you can buy  anything from aprons to clocks and outdoor oil-can-shaped lights with the Harley-Davidson logo.”
  • Maglite — “In 1955, Tony Maglica  bought a lathe and set up a tool shop in his garage. After operating his business for 25 years, the innovative Mag-Lite was released in 1979. It is now the standard-issue flashlight for U.S. police officers and was referred to by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Cadillac of flashlights.’”
  • Yankee Candle Co. — “Sixteen-year-old Michael Kittredge created his first scented candles out of melted crayons for his mother in the family’s garage in 1969. When neighbors showed interest, he began producing the candles in larger quantities. With help from two high school friends, Yankee Candle Company was founded. Fast forward to 1998, Kittredge sells the firm that began with a gift for his mom to a private equity company for $500 million dollars.”

 

Click the image to read more from Anderson.

 

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