Thursday, 29 September 2011

Customer vs. Consumer

Who is the customer? Who is the consumer? In advertising it’s very important to know the difference and keep them in mind when marketing a product.

The customer is the person who pays for and buys the product. The consumer is the person who will ultimately be using it, consuming. It’s not just about making the person who wants to use the product happy. You have to make the customer like the product as well or they won’t part with their cash. Children’s cereals are a good example of this, the child won’t eat the cereal if it doesn’t appeal to them but the parent won’t buy it if they don’t think it’s nutritional enough for their child. ‘Coco Pops’ with its bright yellow box and a friendly adventurous, smiling monkey in the advert stands out as a cereal that is marketed directly at children. Children are drawn in by the bright colours, the fun ad.s and the fact they get to have chocolate in the morning! The adverts are like a very short kids T.V. programme, the monkey battles an evil villain and saves the day within a minute.  All this will be very memorable for the child who will then try to persuade their, mum or dad to buy ‘Coco Pops’ on the next shopping trip. But ‘Coco Pops’ doesn’t forget about the parents in their marketing strategy as they know they are the customer. The advert tells the parent the cereal is high in fibre therefore good for your kids, convincing the parent to buy.

Other examples are; toothpaste, washing powder, milk. Someone goes to the supermarket to buy these items but other people in the household will consume them. A man buying an engagement ring for his girlfriend is the customer; the girlfriend will be the consumer, if she says yes of course!

Customer and consumer differ when it comes to Business to Business (B2B). B2B is where one business sells to another. A business that purchases a product from a retailer is called the consumer even although they will sell the product on and are not the ones who will ultimately use the product. Both businesses in this case must think of the end user and who will buy the product. B2B goods are usually goods that will be sold for the buying business to incorporate into their own products, for example a baker may buy a bag of flour that he will then use for making the cakes he will sell in his shop. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

New School Year New DJCAD.

I’ve been back at uni for 2 weeks now and 3rd year has started off as it probably will continue being, busy, busy, busy! Before the summer holidays we were told that there were going to be a lot of changes. A few people weren’t too keen on these but so far I think it’s all been for the best.

My course has moved studios from level 5 up to level 8 of the Matthew building. We’ve got new desks, comfy chairs and a lot more light which creates a better environment for working.

The course has been structured a little more than previous years so we have less time to ourselves and a ‘Google Calendar’ to map out every hour of each day. So far this has not been a problem, as I know what’s going on throughout the week it helps me use my time wisely…well I hope I’m using it wisely! I+ED have set up life drawing classes with Reinhard Behrens every week to keep our drawing skills strong. As computers are being used more and more these days’ basic drawing skills can be lost or forgotten about. We have also been allocated workshop time! Last year we had a furniture project and got the chance to build something as a group, this year we will get the chance to do this again. The department have put on classes for us which start in a couple of weeks which will see us making a chair by the end of the semester. I think this is amazing! I wasn’t that comfortable in the workshop during the project last year but really enjoyed the final outcome I’m hoping that getting the chance to be back there making something will increase my confidence and skills.

 Rocking Chair -designed & built last year.

Our main project in the studio this semester is part of an international competition called GIDE (Group for International Design Education). The students from the universities involved all design something according to the brief then a select few are asked to present their work at the workshop which will be held at DJCAD this year. The universities involved are from Dundee, Leeds, Magdeburg, Ljubljana, Milan, Mechelen and Switzerland. I’m looking forward to the workshop and meeting the students although I’m a little disappointed that this is the year we’re not visiting another city and university. At the moment the workshop seems far away and I’m currently stressed trying to think up the perfect idea for the project… more on this work in another post.

This year for the first time students were given the chance to select the module they wanted to study. This is a better idea as students won’t feel forced to study something they have no interest in.  I chose the 'Cultures and Practices of Advertising and Branding'. I’ve always been interested in advertising and at one point thought of it as a possible career. The lectures have been interesting so far and I’ve had the chance to get to know people from other courses. Hopefully by the end of the semester I’ll have the mind of Don Draper! 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

City Centre, Las Vegas.

During the summer holidays I took a trip to Las Vegas a very crazy but amazing place. In amongst all the themed hotels and bright lights I found a building that was very different from the rest. It was the ‘Crystals’ building which is part of the new ‘City Centre’ on Las Vegas Boulevard.  It was just as glamorous and showy as everything else but it was also like a giant piece of art in amongst the other buildings.

Eight architects from all over the world were chosen to design the ‘City Centre’ which would be a venue for retail and entertainment. The ‘Crystals’ building was designed by Studio Daniel Libenskind and David Rockwell.

Finding unusual buildings on my travels encourages me to research and find out about the architect or designer when I get home. I was quite surprised to find out that the building had received a LEED Gold Core and Shell Certification from the U.S Green Building council. With all the cars, lights and energy being used on the strip it’s hard to believe that people still care about the environment.

How did the building achieve its certification?

  • After the previous structure was knocked down 80% of it was recycled either into building materials or sent else where for re-use. Old curtains and cushions were used as packaging to transport the previous hotels bathroom fixtures and fittings.
  • Forest Stewardship Council wood was used which ensured it was taken from forests with responsible management practices.
  • Sustainable certified carpet and low VOC paints were used.
  • To continue being environmentally friendly a fleet of CNG limos are available. CNG is one of the cleanest burning alternative fuels.

That’s just some information about how the LEED certification was achieved. To find out more about how City Centre became one of the worlds largest green developments click here.

I enjoy modern sleek buildings like this that stand out and make an impact on the skyline. I can imagine it won’t be to everyone’s taste but it’s good to see something different and it’s refreshing to hear that even a city like Las Vegas are beginning to think about the effects they have on the environment.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Customer Behaviour. ‘Pillow Talk’

When marketing a product a business should take into account customer behaviour. What customers use and why.

 The ‘what’ is simple it’s just what product has been purchased, what it looks like, what it does. The ‘why’ is split into two sections ‘Rational decisions’ and ‘Irrational decisions.’ Rational decisions are about what function the product serves and what we need to use it for. Irrational decisions look at social pressures, emotional and psychological connections with a product. As mentioned in a TED Talks video that I watched recently it’s not about what we buy it’s about WHY we buy it. Businesses need to sell you their product by showing you its benefits not its functions, they need to tap into your emotions. This is why ‘Apple’ products are so popular their adverts show you how their product will benefit you and make your life easier.

Today in our group we looked back at ‘Pillow Talk’ the upcoming product by Little Riot. Discussing customer behaviour and using what we have learnt in the lectures our aim was to create a press advert for the product.

Firstly we asked, ‘what is the market segment we are focusing on’?

We decided this was young couples with disposable income.  We also felt this product would appeal to women more so than men.

What is the product?

It’s a small speaker and light which is placed inside your pillow case and your partners. It has a ring to connect the two devices through a wifi signal. Once connected the light will glow and you will hear your partners heart beat.

Why would the customer buy this product?

Rational: To keep connected with their loved one. It’s an alternative to a phone, easy to use and allows people to contact each other with out having to talk.

Irrational: To feel loved, safe and comforted. For company and peace of mind. To know your loved one is thinking of you and to feel their presence. It will create memories of past experiences and times you’ve spent with one another.

We had enough information now to start on our advert… or so we thought. We all decided an upmarket young women’s magazine would be best for the ad. One that featured both gossip and fashion as this would be the type of magazine a potential customer would be reading. Thinking up adverts was tricky so we did a brainstorm on the word ‘Couples’ hoping this would generate some fresh ideas and it did!

 After sketching a few ideas we all agreed on a two page ad. that connects to make one whole advert. One page showing a woman sleeping with her ‘Pillow Talk’ in Paris, the other shows a man waking up with his ‘Pillow Talk’ in New York. Half the tag line is on page one which will make the customer interested and the other half is on the second page revealing what the product does. Connecting the pages will be a row of love hearts.

Below is a mock up of our advert.

The Elephant and the Stilettos.

Market Segmentation is very important when it comes to business. A company should identify which market segment, in other words which group of people they are going to aim their product at. This will direct the companies focus and help them determine what message they need to convey to gain interest in their product. A business will make a greater impact doing this than if it were to try and appeal to everyone. People have very different wants and needs from each other so it would be silly to try to please them all with the one product.

A way to remember this is the story of ‘The Elephant and the Stilettos’. A slight woman in stilettos walks into a room followed by an elephant. They walk around the room which has a wooden floor, then leave. The only way you would know that they’d been in the room would be the marks left on the wooden floor made by the woman’s stilettos.  The elephant doesn’t leave a mark as his weight is spread evenly but because the woman’s weight it focused on the one point she makes an impact. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Introduction to the Advertising & Branding Module.

Last week was the first advertising lecture and workshop of the year. We were introduced to marketing tools such as SWOT Analysis and Perceptions Maps in the lecture and had a chance to practice them the following day in the workshop.

Joanna Montgomery a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone came in to talk about her company ‘Little Riot’ and its first product ‘Pillow Talk’. 

In our groups we identified the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats that faced this product and produced a list of ways in which ‘Pillow Talk’ could be improved. A few ideas we came up with were; having an option when shipping to send the pillows to two different addresses, customise pillows so they’re a bit more colourful, and allow the user to pre- record a message for their loved one to listen to when they get to bed. Also we thought the product would go down well with parents who may want to listen to their child sleeping or who may think it’d be comforting for the child to hear their parent’s heartbeat. I enjoyed hearing the feedback from the other groups, one group mentioned that as there’s a lot of interest from army wives in this product a donation should be given to ‘Help for Heroes’ every time a ‘pillow talk’ is sold. I thought this was a clever idea as it would gain publicity for ‘Little Riot’ and the product but also allow Joanna to give back and thank her customers.

My favourite part of the workshop was Joanna Montgomery being recognised by one of the exchange students in our class. It was a good example of how the internet can make you known all across the world. ‘Pillow Talk’ is not yet for sale but the student from China knew all about her and her product from the internet. Have a look at the video of our workshop here and see the action!