Monday, October 29, 2012

Spooky Marketing

      With another consumer holiday coming up, consumers can be certain that businesses want to take advantage of potential sales. Halloween is a big business and has become a true retail goldmine; in Canada, spending on Halloween candy alone was $331 million (2009) but that pales in comparison to our southern counter-part who spent a whopping 5.8 billion dollars (2009). Around 68% of Canadians plan to participate in some sort of Halloween activity. Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore, adults are the ones driving consumer spending habits as they celebrate, buy costumes, visit haunted houses, and decorate their homes.

    The Halloween market is growing, and that makes it very attractive for business opportunities. In 2006, a research survey by the Retail Council of Canada found that Canadians planned to spend an average of $60, but Value Village’s 2011 annual Halloween shopping survey found that the average Canadian spends about $300 annually on Halloween products. With annual spending habits increasing every year it is time to get creative with business marketing plans.
       The obvious retailers have an advantage over average sales-driven businesses. Retailers such as Value Village and Party City have no problem attracting customers this time of year – the product sells itself; even online costume retailers sit back as Google draws in their customer base. But this time of the year also presents marketing opportunities for retailers that aren’t directly related to the holiday; this spooky day dares to challenge businesses to get creative with their marketing tactics. Companies such Netflix, Bath & Body Works, Pizza Hut advertise in some form, but smaller businesses may have to get a bit more creative. By hosting a Halloween party, printing t-shirts, getting employees to participate by dressing up, or baking Halloween-themed cupcakes. Whatever the plan, they must be sure to incorporate some of that Halloween spirit and not miss out on one of the most profitable holidays of the year. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Will Blackberry ever be the “Crackberry” again?

     Remember when Blackberry was coined the “Crackberry”, and you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing someone glued to one? Now it seems like everyone (including myself) has kicked that habit. Research in Motion (RIM) only owns 3% of the smartphone market today; that has changed from 2010 with a high around 20%. The biggest problem for RIM today (Apple, for one) is rebranding the image of Blackberry and what it meant to have one only a couple of years ago. With the release of the Blackberry 10, Research in Motion hopes to change that, but will it be too late?

     RIM has a difficult job to do; to make a Blackberry owner feel proud again. Not all RIM consumers have abandoned ship; there is still a core group of customers loyal to their Blackberry smartphones. They have gone through network system crashes, the use of out-dated software, product launch delays, and heavy competition from Android, Samsung, and Apple. With the Blackberry 10 just around the corner, they hope to regain the “Wow” factor.
    For years now, RIM has been behind the curve with new advancements in mobile technology. Believing that the Blackberry is built for the corporate world, RIM has failed to keep up – sticking with their core group of customers (business people); supplying them with the ability to send and receive emails and instant messages while offering them the highest level of security has been RIM’s promotional objective. However, as the smartphone phenomenon quickly increased, it wasn’t just the corporate world that became interested – other companies were starting to catch on. Apple made as much of an impact in the mobile phone market as they did in the portable music player market – and that was the start of bad news for the makers of Blackberry as Google released its Android operating system, they simply could not keep up. With each release customers (myself included) were hoping for RIM improvements; slowly losing customers to the competition with every disappointing new release. Now after 3 years of decline, RIM believes they have something to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple, the Blackberry 10. But has too much time gone by to retrieve the “crackberry” addicts? Or has one of Canada’s most recognized companies reinvented into something worth talking about in the smartphone market?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Why the iPhone 5 isn't all it is cracked up to be

        I want to start off by saying that I love Apple products as much as the next person; their customer service is outstanding and their product line is second to none. The cult following that Apple receives is well deserved, but some die-hard Apple followers are highly unimpressed since the release of the new iPhone 5. The highly anticipated release date drew the usual public excitement as with its predecessors, but has so far failed to live up to its expectations. Although demand for the iPhone 5 still remains high, there are some factors you should consider that may make you want to hold off until the next release.

        Customers of the iPhone 5 have been complaining about horrible battery life, which lasts an average of about 4 to 5 hours from a full charge with regular use. Those who have already purchased the iPhone 5 were lucky enough to have the iOS 6 map app installed for them, but that has people running back to Google Maps because of missing locations, poor graphics and sending you to places that no longer exist. Problems have ranged from a “purple haze” on photos that have been taken with the new camera, no external or upgradable memory storage, and no replaceable battery. Apple still adopted NFC technology to the capacity of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Instead of building NFC into the iPhone, Apple is making you use it’s very own Passbook app, which can prove to be handy, but still doesn’t allow you to exchange content between two devices just by tapping them together, or use the pay-pal system for wireless payments and money transfers.
                As avid technology lovers, we learn to get used to some let downs; but these issues arising with the iPhone 5 has some people wondering if the release was rushed in an attempt to make rapid sales in lieu of the 2012 Christmas shopping season. Apple certainly did not expect such bad reviews, as their demand for the new phone is not nearly as high as it has been with previous releases; their market share dropped by $70 billion within the first two weeks alone. All we can do now is patiently await the updates and solutions to these problems, and hope that Apple’s response to these issues only proves to be an improvement. But on a side note, I recently purchased a iPhone 4S to replace my stolen iPhone 4 and i couldn't be happier to have it by my side again.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Little Bit About Me

     Hello everyone! My name is Cameron Downs, and I am the new intern responsible for all of Humber Marketing’s social media. What this means is that I will be updating the Marketing Humber Twitter, Facebook, andPinterest accounts, as well as blogging. I am taking over this position from Rachael Kennedy, and wanted to give a big ‘thank you’ and a ‘job well done’ for all she has done with these social media pages. Before I tell you a little bit about myself, I also wanted to thank Christina Clements for giving me this wonderful opportunity in support of the Humber Marketing program.
 I am a third semester marketing student at Humber, in the 2 year Marketing diploma program and I will be competing in this year’s OCMC (Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition, representing Humber College (Hawk What?! – Hawk yeah!!). But I don’t want to bore everyone with all my like’s and dislike’s and my history of how I got to Humber, because who really cares that I coach little league baseball and have played baseball for 20 years? Nobody! Everyone wants to hear that I will be writing and posting the latest in marketing, consumer trends, the newest in technology, and what’s new in business; just to name a few.  That’s what I am going to do; I am going to give you the best, and the worst that the world of marketing has to offer. So be on the look for all my tweets, posts and my next blog; where I discuss what’s wrong with the iPhone 5.