Marketing 101: Old is New Again

Published on Jul 31, 2008   //  Marketing Tips
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While we would all like to believe that we place much greater emphasis on the utility of a product over its aesthetic appearance, there’s no denying that the outward looks of a product go a long way in influencing our buying decisions. Even if you had one of the fastest and most fuel-efficient cars in the world, you may not be quite so inclined to buy it if you also thought that it was the ugliest vehicle that this planet has ever seen.

The aesthetic appeal of any given product is largely a matter of personal preference. What may be appealing to one person may be absolutely deplorable to another person. The key, then, is marketing and positioning your product in such a way that you can make it appear as appealing as possible to as many people as possible. Perhaps one of the best examples of this exceptional marketing technique is Apple.

With the first generation iPod nano, Apple outfitted the device with either a glossy black or glossy white front, coupled with a chrome back. It was attractive, to be sure, but it also served as a fingerprint magnet. For the second generation nano, they replaced the housing with bright colors all the way around. People liked the fact that it no longer attracted fingerprints, but it just didn’t have the same svelte appearance as the first-gen.

Then along came the third-generation iPod nano. It is smaller and “chubbier” than its predecessors, but the color scheme is some combination of the two. It has the fingerprint-attracting chrome on the back, but colorful cases for the front. What was old (chrome) became new again. As we anticipate the announcement of the fourth-generation iPod nano, industry analysts are saying that Apple will once again “stretch” the form factor back into the elongated rectangle of the first two generations. Again, what was old is new again. It’s all in the marketing.

When designing, positioning, and marketing your products, don’t be afraid to look into your past for what worked the best. What was old can be repositioned as new again. Like a new nano.

iPhone Friendly Domain Registration

Published on Jul 31, 2008   //  News Worthy

We have been doing some development on our bluefurdomains.com site so that it is more iPhone friendly. I am happy to announce we are the first iPhone friendly domain registration site. With millions of iPhone’s in the market it is a good idea to make your own site iPhone ready. We discussed some basics during a previous weekend project and will be doing a follow up for tips we found during developing our own site.

This is what a site looks like on an iPhone that is not developed for the iPhone…

This is what our site looks like that is iPhone friendly…

If you have an iPhone test it out, because we are also beta testing an auto suggestion drop down as you search.

If you have any suggestions, comments or issues with the new system leave us a comment.

WordPress Wednesdays: Putting Twitter on Your Blog

Published on Jul 30, 2008   //  WordPress

They say that Twitter is a microblogging platform and it can serve as an excellent source of traffic to your blog. If you follow BlueFur or Michael Kwan, you’ll be able to keep up to date with our latest blog posts, as well as connect with us on a very casual basis. But what about going the other way? How can you get your blog readers to follow you on Twitter?

You may have noticed that Twitter has an integration tool that lets you automatically post your Twitter updates on your website or blog. In order to add this widget, you’ll want to follow these steps.

1. Log into your Twitter account at Twitter.com.

2. Click on Settings near the top of the page.

3. About halfway through the Account Settings page, you’ll see a link that says, “You can also add Twitter to your site here.” Click on that.

4. This sends you to the Badges page. Select “Other” for blog integration. If you have an account with Blogger or Typepad, you can use those options too.

5. After choosing Other, you’ll be presented with three choices: Flash, Just Me; Flash, With Friends; and HTML/Javascript. The third one is fully customizable through CSS and is likely the most desirable.

6. Choose the number of updates to be displayed at a time, as well as the heading (if any) for the section. You will likely be embedding this code in your header, sidebar, or footer, depending on your blog design.

7. Copy the provided HTML code and paste it into your blog theme template. That’s it!

This is a fairly simple process and it will ensure that visitors to your blog are also aware of the “micro updates” that you provide through Twitter. If they like your blog posts, they’ll probably enjoy your tweets as well.

Community Poll

Published on Jul 30, 2008   //  Polls
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Weekly Community Poll

Last week we asked will Google buying Digg be a positive thing and 71% said No. Good thing the deal fell through! This weeks question is…

{democracy:42}

Business 101: City Cafe Bakery

Published on Jul 29, 2008   //  Business Topics
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There are many ways for you to differentiate your business from other similar businesses in the neighbourhood. Perhaps you offer additional products and services that are not available elsewhere. Maybe you combine related services together to provide customers with a “one stop shop” experience. Or maybe you think completely outside the box and run your business in a completely different way than anyone else.

That was the strategy taken by John Bergen when he decided to pen City Cafe Bakery in Kitchener, Ontario. It’s not that his bakery specializes in a niche area of baked goods; he sells muffins, bagels, and coffee like everyone else. What sets City Cafe Bakery apart from the competition is that it operates on the honour system. There is no cash register. There is no one watching as you collect your food.

Instead, customers walk right up to the counter, pour their own coffee and grab their own muffins, and proceed to a bin at the end of the line where they deposit their money. The bin is actually a retired fare box from an old bus. Remember, there is no cashier. Customers tally up their own totals. To ease the process, Bergen has rounded all prices to the nearest quarter and all prices include tax.

By his own estimations, Bergen is only getting “ripped off” about two percent of the time. This is when customers either underpay or not pay at all. Because of the trust and convenience factors, customers are also overpaying three percent of the time. The net result is that Bergen is at least breaking even. Employees are paid handsomely too: average wage is $15.50 an hour.

For more information on City Cafe Bakery, check out this article on Bakers Journal.

Vancouver Bloggers Meetup

Published on Jul 29, 2008   //  Events

Continue to improve your blog in 2008 by networking with other bloggers. Join the July meetup of Vancouver bloggers and get inspired by other bloggers and create networking opportunities to grow your blog.

When is the event happening?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM

Where is it happening?
The Black Water Cafe - 280 Carrall Street – Vancouver

Registration
You need to register here.

Event fee
$1.50 per person.

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