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Become a VICC Ambassador

Get Involved with The VICC (Vaughan International Centre for Commercialization).

This initiative was launched publicly yesterday at Vaughan City Hall and takes a new spin on corporate mash-ups and public-private partnerships.

Encouraging foreign innovation-led businesses to use Vaughan as a test-bed, host and launchpad into the N. American market, as well as local businesses to expand their horizons overseas, this entire initiative depends on local Vaughan businesses and instituions to drive the momentum.

When you register as an ambassador, you commit to a growing network that is indexed to Vaughan’s Economic Development. If you have taken a look at Vaughan’s plans over the next 5 years, this will provide you with a compelling incentive to get involved.

Learn more here.

Join up here.

Written By   Jon|Uncategorized|Comments Off

Technology trends in customer engagement

Commentary inspired by Fast Company (May 2015) – Reinventing Happiness: Inside Disney’s radical plan to modernize its theme parks.

I found it fascinating to read Disney World’s hesitant adoption of the MyMagic+, innovating smart armbands that would help improve the flow of traffic through the park, personalize customer engagement, and optimize incremental revenue through real-time data analytics.

The main obstacle to progress did not come from finance, IT or infrastructure but from the core architects of the Disney Experience known as ‘Imagineers’. The Imagineers’ mission is to make sure that the Disney experience is direct, intimate, authentic and the magic is ‘invisible’. Their objection was: when the interface is intrusive it changes the experience.

Are Disney’s Imagineers out of synch with the demographic trend? Our marketplace is excited by devices, generating a new order of billionaires and world’s largest companies. Can customer experience without devices be so incomparably better that we…

The Nobel Prize for Capitalism

(Getting back on the blog wagon)

Inspired by the news today: Facebook’s SMS app has reached 200MM users per day and the company is wondering how to generate a revenue stream from it — Facebook’s share price shot up on the news.

I think we are missing an opportunity to award a Nobel Prize for Capitalism — for the greatest value invested by Capital Markets for the social good of mankind.

We live in a truly remarkable era where Capital Markets generate wealth from products that generate little or no income. If I had to take a stab at understanding why there are more and more billionaires each year, I would put this as the reason:

  • Investors are putting more and more value on less. The macro-economic driver of this is technology, through which more can be achieved at lower cost, multiplying the market opportunity.

Charities raise funds to help fight poverty, Capital Markets…

Rebranding America: who’s buying?

From a marketing perspective the dramatic shift in how the world perceives America since it downgraded its rhetoric with Syria is an interesting study in the potential risks of rebranding, without fully determining the consequences across all your customer segments.

Politically speaking, America has, like any other country, 2 markets – domestic and export.

My interpretation of its brand message (since 1942) for export markets was: “WE TAKE THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY.” Its brand message to its domestic market was: “FEND FOR YOURSELF.” That dual aggression translated into US commercial domination of global markets from the ‘50s through to the ‘90s.

My interpretation of the current domestic brand message for America is: “WE TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN” (as demonstrated by Healthcare reforms and quantitative easing). Its export brand message could be similarly interpreted as “WE DON’T…

Written By   Jon|Advertising Truths, Brand Integrity|Comments Off

5 things I learned at the CMA National Convention 2013

  1. Failure is just one step back from success
  2. Bad habits feel good until good habits feel better
  3. Strange is the new normal
  4. There is such a thing as the “Accidental Entrepreneur”
  5. One idea shared is one idea squared

 

I also learned that Canadians love Sillicons. This promo drew 25% of show traffic to the Hydrogen booth and gave us a great opportunity to engage with serious people over some serious fun. Thank you CMA & The Art of Marketing for giving me that net takeaway.

Written By   Jon|In the News|Comments Off

The significance of truth in advertising

Did you know, zero gms of trans fat may not be a perfect 0? FDA regulations state 0.5 gms is permitted to disclosed as zero. Yet nutritionists believe that more than 2 gms of trans fat per daily diet can be harmful. How harmful? Who can say? But the notion that 25% of a harmful level is negligible seems to be an acceptable lie. (See: Are Marketers Out Smarting Us, by Stating Zero Trans Fat? http://everydayhealthforlife.com/zero-trans-fat-doesnt-necessarily-mean-zero/). Also, since the Organic Trade Association lobbied Congress to allow toxic additives in organic foods, you can probably only get true organic produce if you grow/raise it in your own backyard (See: What Does the USDA Organic Label Really Mean? http://www.care2.com/causes/what-does-the-usda-organic-label-really-mean.html)

Can we handle the truth?

Can placing a veil over the truth in order to gain acceptance really be considered a sustainable business model? Even if there is a…

A Report on the Customer Experience Conference, CMA – 11-04-2013

Overall: an uplifting event demonstrating that customer-centric marketing has come of age, albeit rushed through teen adolescence at light-speed, by the power of social media.

Some very strong presentations and some surprises:

GO Transit wins the award for a Public Agency teaching private enterprise how to go about their business: for putting customer experience at the front of the line and driving up commuter volumes. Their customer research, segmentation and designing their brand promise entirely around the customer’s values of ‘easy’ rather than a transportation value of ‘efficient’ is as customer-centric as can be. How far apart are easy and efficient? We usually separate them with a comma − easy, efficient − it rolls off the tongue. Go-Transit learned the hard way, that when you separate ‘efficient’ from ‘easy’ an entire customer base can fall through the cracks. Great job learning that and fixing it in…

My Google AdPicker, My Choice

When “Single Women Want You” ads started to appear in so many of the news and information sites I was browsing at my office, I became suspicious. Before that it was ads for a downtown hotel with a good reputation. I am not suggesting there was a connection, but my web-browsing exists solely for business (at home I prefer to read books), I am 25-years happily married, and have no reason to stay downtown in a hotel, so I was mystified why I was being haunted by these ads.

In Firefox I tweaked a few settings, so that now my cookies delete daily and the Women vanished.

Big news: Microsoft’s web browser default is now set to “Do not track”. This has earned the resentment of advertisers in general, because being able to track and insert ads wherever the customer searches and browses gives the advertiser a lot of impressions.

The beauty…

Customer Experience: a Roadmap for Marketers

Please take a look at the Canadian Marketing Association’s most-recently published whitepaper Customer Experience: a Roadmap for Marketers. It aligns very closely to our own publications on customer-centric marketing and many of the blog posts in this site.

PLANNING OUT YOUR PRODUCT LAUNCH

Planning Out Your Product Launch —

Avoid 3 common mistakes that could reduce your chances of success.

3 common mistakes that inventors, entrepreneurs and even experienced marketers make bringing products to market are:

  1. Falling head-over-heels in love with the idea
  2. Not properly defining the target market
  3. Under-estimating the amount of effort involved

 

These mistakes are easy to make in the excitement of launching a new product. But with good guidance and teamwork they can be avoided and your vision can translate more easily into success.

See more: http://www.hydrogencreative.com/planning-out-your-product-launch

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Jon Sherrington

Owner, Strategist, Writer – Hydrogen Creative Inc.

May 1996 – Present

My role is to provide strategic marketing guidance to clients to ensure their objectives are attainable, remain in focus and the communications solutions work.

My expertise is in how to realign goals-oriented brands, products, services or businesses to customer values to build loyalty, frequency and continuity.