Working away… and it’s actually not bad!

Hey guys,

So summer has started for everyone and that means I’ve started my co-op position. And you know what? Working ain’t half bad! Well mainly because I had set myself up for the worse and then realized it’s actually a really cool place to work. I’m currently working as an assistant coordinator for consumer engagement at TrojanOne— and before you ask because everyone else does, no, it’s not the condom company. It’s a marketing agency that focuses on brand activation in unique ways.

trojanone

Several reasons why I really like about my job/company:

1) They let me write a blog post on the Oculus Rift, gaming, and Game of Thrones 

2) You want a coffee break? You got a coffee break.

3) Random outings to the nearby Farmer’s Market!

4) Working in Yaletown ❤

5) Potluck Fridays!

6) Also boozy Fridays.

In which drinking on the job is actually okay :')

In which drinking on the job is actually okay :’)

7) Our CEO Mark Harrison’s blog (one of the main reasons why I applied to the company in the first place. I found his blog so funny and real.)

All that being said, TrojanOne is honestly a great place for me to officially start off in the world of marketing. Although our Vancouver office is nestled in Yaletown among lots of start-up companies (and eateries), TrojanOne is not a start up. In fact, this year it’s our 20th anniversary! The company started off doing marketing for sports related initiatives but have since branched off. Under my managers, I’m currently working on projects for BMO and ParticipACTION! Of course, the head office is in Toronto and that is where the bulk of the employees are. It has been quite an experience getting training though conference calls and Skype and I could not help but realize that I finally understand what this video is all about:

Awkward…

Anyway, sure of course I miss having summers to do nothing. But really, this ain’t half bad 🙂

– Karen

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How smart can you sound?

What is Twitter?

No, I’m not here to talk about the immensely successful IPO that they did earlier this month. But as a user, what is Twitter?

According to my Creative Writing for New Media class, here are the four basic things people tweet about:

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 11.20.29 PM

What do I think Twitter is for personal users? Basically, it’s like a test to see how smart you can sound in 140 characters or less. It’s a lot harder than you would think. Which is why my tweets usually go something like this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 11.17.49 PM

I guess it depends on who your target audience is. For me, it’s a random place for me to say something that I don’t actually expect anyone to read. I don’t have a lot of followers, so I don’t really have to keep a particular audience in mind. I use it to jot down either spasms of enlightenment or thoughts that I feel I must share on public– but not so public that it is on Facebook where people actually know me.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 11.26.03 PM

But if you have really good one-liners in real life, it sounds like you’d make a great Tweeter.

At the same time, I sometimes forget the importance of what those 140 characters can do– and just how public social media can get. Here’s a list of people who got fired over what they tweeted. http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-fired-2011-5

Of course, aside from personal accounts, there are plenty of good ones out there. You guys ever read @RealCarrotFacts‘ tweets? This account never ceases to make me laugh!
Elliott Holt also did an interesting story through a series of tweets (from different fake accounts), and they can be read here in its compiled form on Storify. It’s like a murder mysteries game.

So how will/do you make your 140 characters mean something?

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– Karen

Abercrombie’s CEO? How about CE-no?

In our current time and day, many companies encourage women to love themselves– not matter their size and shape. Who are we to say what figure is perfect? Dove recently came out with a commercial telling women that they are too harsh on themselves by hiring a forensics artist to draw the ladies according to how they describe themselves. The Body Shop also took a brave step in advertising away from the norm of skinny models, and explaining that not everyone should aspire to be stick thin. This being said, there are people who cannot seem to put on weight, and they get bullied for their weight too. Learning to love your own body is a challenge for almost everyone these days, and it poses a challenge for a lot of girls and boys growing up. It is a cause of great distress for many, and heck know I have faced negative comments about my appearance. But society is changing into becoming more accepting and moving away from a one-sided look on beauty.

And then you get Abercrombie/Hollister and their chain of retail stores.

Models+Female_wallpapers_156

Here are some quotes from Abercrombie’s (and their related retail stores and brands) CEO, Mike Jeffries:

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

“It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

They aim to exclude and attract ‘model’ teenagers. Their jean sizes go up to a size 10 and they do not sell XL clothing. To be honest, their large sizes are quite small too. So how about all those girls who cannot fit into their clothes yet are surrounded by classmates who can? Especially for a place like America, where this company is based, and depression is one of the most common mental health disorder. We really do not need a whole million dollar company standing for encouraging this kind of segregation.

Then there are the t-shirts they choose to print…

l for loser

Because calling gymnasts a loser makes you so cool. Sorry not everyone surfs. two-wongs

And as a Chinese, I love being portrayed with slant eyes.

I wonder how they get these designs approved.

I get that this is their point of differentiation, and their brand image has successfully been associated with beautiful people. A lot of the times, you cannot get into the store without squeezing past attractive guys with washboard abs, but you know what? I really do not care enough for their idea of beauty to shop at their stores anymore. I do not want to associate myself with what they stand for, and for that, I will no longer be buying anything from them.

Hey, but you can just write me off as another unattractive girl voicing her opinions.

– Karen
P.s. my marketing class is over, so this is in no way another one of my marketing blog post assignments. I just felt so strongly about voicing my thoughts on this that I made this post.

Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/abercrombie-wants-thin-customers-2013-5#ixzz2T9uivMcz
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-abercrombie-fitch-ceos-cool-kids-strategy-pretty-ugly-20130511,0,4858017.post
http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-depression/depression-statistics.html

Marketing Post #5: Perfecting Your Dreams– Now Fit For The 21st Century

A while back, I made a post on the Disney Princesses’ new look. I want to revisit that topic and delve into why Disney is recreating the figures that have always been a timeless part of many of our childhood.

Disney Princess Wallpapers 01

For a period of time, it seemed that Disney took a break from its franchise of princesses. The world was stuck associating six princesses with the whole line of Disney products; namely: Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine. And then it seemed that Disney decided to reawaken every little girl’s dreams of being a princess by adding sequels to the original movies, as well as introducing new ones such as Tianna, Rapunzel, and our latest princess, Merida. They also opened up the criteria for who they considered a princess, allowing Mulan and Pocahontas to join their ranks.

newlook

With the latest change, it was not only an introduction of new characters, but also a rework of their old princesses. They seemed to have opted to shower the new princesses with tons of sparkles. So why the rework? Why did they go through all this effort to change the classic images of the princesses dedicated fans have come to love? Marketing.

Disney Princesses sell. That is a known fact. The target market has always been little girls, but sadly, these girls grow up. A lot of us still retain our fondness towards the iconic characters, but of course, Disney recognizes that who is currently in their market is constantly changing. The late 20th to 21st Century also brought with it the attractiveness of teen pop sensations and celebrities. The old princesses’ hair styles and comparatively dull dresses seemed lacklustre compared to Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez plastered on magazines. Disney needed to change.

newdisneyprincesses

By improving aspects of the princesses, what Disney did was re-brand their franchise. Their marketing mix remains essentially the same, still producing the same range of merchandise, at the regular price, promoting them as they always did. However, stamping the new princesses onto their items help appeal to the modern little girl’s interest in fantasy and fairytales, and helps them to remain relevant in the market. They also integrated their princesses into new shows, such as Sophia the First, in order to reintroduce these princesses to the current rotation of girls in their market.

Although I was uncomfortable at first with the changes, I still stand by what I said in my last post in that I like the way the new princesses look (maybe because Cinderella’s original hairstyle has always bothered me), and I am interested to see where Disney will take their princesses in the future!

Sources: (x) (x)

Marketing Post #4: Let Me Tweet, Instagram, Share, Pin and Reblog This.

The rise of social media is upon us, and it seems that every company– both big and small– are scrambling to establish themselves these platforms (if not all of them). But the question is, do they really need to force themselves onto these social media sites?

I have seen some businesses that are on every social media site they can get their hands on. But how effective is Blackberry and their twitter account, where they throw info on where their demos are, as well as constantly reminding the world that they simply need a Blackberry (urging you to go to their closest carrier)? Or a pet food company’s Pinterest where not know what they should pin resort to posting pictures of dogs and cats?

While connecting with customers through social media sites have proven to be effective, I agree with what blogger Amy Wray says: “It’s not about self promotion”. Going back to the Blackberry example, they simply decide to tweet in hopes of promoting their latest products to customers. On the other hand, it is evident that Samsung Canada’s twitter does a lot of interaction with their customers, replying to tweets and fostering a relationship. This is a clear example of not simply signing up for social media, for the sake of simply having social media.

Before deciding to jump into the world of social media, a company should identify their goals for having an account on a site. Maintaining these accounts take time, and if you do not understand why you are investing the effort, it will all go to waste. Different sites also may be best depending on who your target market is. Pinterest is known for being popular among women audiences, and Google+ has more males as its users. I agree that social media is important, but I would urge a company to carefully evaluate their options, and make decisions accordingly– or else they will simply be wasting their time, or worst– make huge fools of themselves.

External blog references:

http://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/social-media-marketing/social-media-planning/

http://modprbyamy.com/2013/03/10/why-social-media-marketing-is-key-for-small-businesses/