Case Study: Home Depot

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In this blog, I will be answering some questions about a case study, Home Depot. Before I answer these questions I will catch you up to speed on this case study. A few years ago Home Depot was fully aware that they needed to start getting involved with social media. They were just simply afraid that their marketing message would not be translated properly, but they knew that had to connect with their associates and customers with a social media platform. In June of 2010, Home Depot began to post How-To videos on YouTube. A year later they reached over 8 million views on their channel. Which surpassed their views of their boring old commercials.

Now, that I have you caught up. I will be answering four questions about the case study. Just so you all know these are my personal opinions when it comes to the following questions.

  1. What in particular about Home Depot’s business made this How-To series of videos so successful? What other industries might be able to use a similar strategy?
    • There are several things that made their How-To videos a success. For one, they kept all of the videos up to date. That way all of their videos would be new and relevant to the viewer. Also, they had the videos tie in with the seasons, and they used real people. All of these things are what viewers look for in a How-To video. I feel like other companies like, Mendars, would benefit from this kind of tactic. That way they can show off their products and have the viewer see how to use them at the same time.
  1. Are these instructional videos actually more effective than overt commercials? Why or why not?
    • Like I explained above in my last question. Not only do people want to see the product, but also they want to see the multiple uses they can do with that specific product. In commercials, all you see is the product looking all pretty, but you don’t get to see what I can do or if it even has multiple uses. That is why I think instructional videos are more effective than over commercials.
  1. Why did Home Depot choose to focus on producing YouTube videos? Would videos exclusively hosted on its company website or on other videos sharing platforms have been equally effective?
    • They chose to focus putting their videos on YouTube because they knew that their valuable customers weren’t just going to the Home Depot site, but they are also going to either Google or YouTube. Which are both go to sites. So, by going with Youtube they would get more views and searches than going with any other site.
  1. What advantages did Home Depot gain from having in-store representatives featured in the videos? Name at least two advantages, and explain why they are important.
    • One of the advantages of having an in-store representative in the videos is that they aren’t actors. They are real people who work in the store. Which mean that they have more knowledge about the product than anyone else. If it were actors in the video they would have to read off of cue cards and practice with the product several times, but that isn’t the case with the reps that work in the store. Which brings me to my next advantage. When they are in the videos everything is real. They don’t have to read off a card or practice before filming. Everything is real and legit. This helps the viewer connect with the video better, and causes them to want to go out want to try out the product and its many uses.

Podcast

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The Fantasy Podcast: Ep1 Tom Baker

So the host of, Fantasy Podcast, Oliver McNeil, takes normal portraits and creates a fantasy world out of them. He also used to work with theater props and make-up for many years. In this podcast, he talks to, Tom Baker.

In the first portion of the interview, they talk about him being in the film, Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and how he got the role of Koura. He then revealed that the producers were interviewing him and they didn’t really want him playing a role that involved wearing a mask. So, they gave him the role of Koura. Following the reveal of how he got his role. He began to talk about how they would block theirs scenes with him and John Phillip Law, and how they would practice with swords. Well, during a scene they were fighting with them and John reacted to the sword coming at him and help up his hand. By him doing that Tom ended up cutting his hand really deep. The cut was so deep that it almost damaged John’s hand. Of course, he ended up being ok, but John got all persnickety towards him. Anyway, once he was done filming the movie he ended up being in Theater for a while. After he was in Theater for some time he heard about the show Doctor Who. So he wrote them a letter and sent a photo of himself, and they recognized his name and was aware that he was in Sinbad. The part about this was that the film was playing near the BBC. The producers of Doctor Who decided to go see the film and after seeing it they decided to give him the part. I thought that was pretty neat. When I heard him saying that he got a job from previous work that he has done. Makes me feel hopefully for my future career as well.

http://www.podcastdirectory.com/episodes/the-fantasy-podcast-ep1-tom-baker-40981088.html

Women Making it in IT

Kurt Franklin is the host of, InteropRadio. This is located in Las Vagas, Nevada. This podcast is based on the IT community. In this podcast session, they talk about women being in the technology industry, considering this particular field have a dominant population of males. This man then goes on to say that according to Intel, girls and women are more involved in with creating things with electronic technology tools, but they are not really involved with the traditional IT things. It then goes on about how they should try to make the IT part of technology friendlier towards girls and women. They then say women’s interest in a technology degree is declining and their appearance in the work world of that community is low. Kurt then goes on to say how men and women differ from one another when it comes to identifying themselves in this field. For example; men call themselves hobbyist, builders, and engineer. While women call themselves designers, creators, and artists. Even though these men and women are basically doing the same exact thing. Which is creating something out of nothing. As he goes on to talk in his podcast, Kurt mentions how surprised he is to see so many young women involved with robotic type technology, and amongst other things. In a way that kind of contradicts what he said earlier about how women’s interest a technology degree is declining. If it were declining then why would he see and know so many women that are involved with this. Further, into his show he then mentions Intel AGAIN mentioning certain challenges about women working in the technology field. The first one is that 7% of women don’t feel safe going to maker activities, 17% of women say they live in a culture where creating things are inappropriate, and 17% of women say they were excluded because they are a woman. The last one made me sad because this is why people lose interest in their passions. When people push them away or exclude them from participating just isn’t cool.

http://www.podcastdirectory.com/episodes/women-making-it-in-it-40977503.html

Dead Doctors Don’t Lie

This podcast channel is about alternative ways of taking care of your heath. In this podcast, they are talking about thyroid disease and how the thyroid gets involved with illnesses. Before I get into talking about all this. I just want to say that the host of this podcast was talking REALLY fast and jumped around on what he was talking about, but I got the basics of what he was saying. The host started off by saying if you have thyroid disease it means your immune system is all jacked up and hyperactive. It also means that you may have an autoimmune deficiency. Also, when you are sick with something, even if it something as simple as the common cold, your thyroid gets involved and tries to help fight it off. The host then recommended that if you take supplements it should help you stay healthy and keep your thyroid disease under control.

After he was done talking about the thyroid, they started to talk about cholesterol. In this portion of the podcast, they bring up how mainstream doctors say in order to throw away the cholesterol in order to lower it, but the host says that is not true. He said that when you eat less of the cholesterol its creates more of it. So, in order to lower it, you must eat more of it. The reason why someone’s cholesterol would get so high is because they are probably taking in too much sugar or eating a lot of starched foods. If someone is looking to lower their cholesterol just cut out the sugars and starched foods from your diet.

http://www.shoutcast.com/Search

Blogging about Starbucks Blogs

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All right, for this blog assignment, I will be blogging about bloggers, who blog about Starbucks. Basically, I will be trolling on bloggers who talk about Starbucks. This can range from the customer service to the actual product.

Coconut milk for your beverage at Starbucks: Beginning February 17th.

Before I get into the actual blog itself. I just want to take a moment to talk about the blogger. The blogger’s name is Melody and she’s basically a coffee addict. She grew up where the actual Starbucks was born, that’s right; we’re talking about Settle, Washington, the motherland of Starbucks. Being around Starbucks for as long as she has, and being absolutely in love with their beverages and products. She figured, “Hey! I love coffee and I love Starbucks. Let’s make a blog about all of that.”

Now, let’s talk about the actual blog topic itself. Basically, it is about how Starbucks has been experimenting with non-dairy milk since the summer of 2014. They even tested this “coconut milk” in a Portland, Oregon store, and the test was very successful. They then expanded that test to Ohio and so on and so forth. At this point, all the Starbuck chains in the U.S. (and possibly some Canada chains) have this coconut milk in their possession, but they will not be serving it to the public until Feb. 17th, 2015 (tomorrow). With this milk you can put it in any beverage of your choice; Latte, Mochas, and Frappuccino’s. The comments are very back and forth. For those that have tried the coconut milk have absolutely loved it or they hate it hardcore. Others are arguing over the fact that the coconut milk contains an ingredient called, carrageenan, which causes cancer.

http://starbucksmelody.com/2015/02/03/coconut-milk-beverage-starbucks-beginning-february-17th/

7 Reasons Starbucks is the McDonalds of Coffee

This blogger just talks about all different kinds of coffee. These coffee brands would range from Starbucks to Caribou. Heck if theirs coffee at a fast-food restaurant he will talk about it.

Now, about his blog topic, throughout his blog he basically talks about how Starbucks is slowly starting become McDonalds. He mentions how Starbucks decided to start serving breakfast sandwiches like McDonalds. After that, he talks about how Starbucks went on to switch over to instant coffee and automatic espresso machines. Lastly, he talks about how they then decided to change from, the standard espresso milk, to two percent milk, and how their mission statement is completely different.

Ex: Before; “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffees in the world…”

After; “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

As you can see their newest mission statement is a lot more vague and doesn’t talk about their coffee at all.

Also, you probably noticed I only mentioned five out of the seven comparisons he had discussed in his blog. The reason why I did is because I don’t agree with the ones he had mentioned. Those two points were the Frappuccino and the k-cups. First off, I don’t know why he would bring up the fact how Starbucks is becoming like McDonalds because of the Frappuccino. Starbucks was the first one to introduce this product in 1994. McDonalds didn’t introduce the McCafe in the U.S. until 2001. If anything, McDonalds copied Starbucks on that aspect. As for the k-cups they only did that so that Keurig users could enjoy their coffee at home as well. The majority of the people who commented on this post agreed with what blogger had said. Though, they did have some of their own opinions as to how McDonalds and Starbucks are similar, like how they aren’t considered fast-food but real estate, or how they don’t really focus on making the product amazing but how they make the customers experience amazing.

http://coffeecupnews.org/starbucks-mcdonalds-coffee/

Starbucks Is Making Beer Flavored Coffee?

 

On this site, it basically talks smack about all the hot products that are out there. They have pictures up and make fun of them, but they also talk about actual things that are going on and stay serious about it.

In this blog, they talk about how Starbucks is coming out with its own beer. With me being young and starting to explore the world of alcohol I thought it was very intriguing! The name they decided to go with is The Dark Barrel Latte. This drink contains espresso and chocolate stout flavor. They then finish it off with whipped cream and dark caramel drizzle. After reading that portion of it I was getting really excited, but then soon got disappointed it said that theirs no alcohol in the drink, but a lot of people have said it tastes like beer! It then goes on to say that Starbucks does sell beer and wine during the evening, but only at certain stores. Everybody in the comment section of this page agreed that it is ridiculous that Starbucks would have their own line of beer and wine. That it simply wouldn’t taste any good and that they should just stick to their coffee. Personally, I think that it’s a great idea that they have branched from coffee to alcohol, and are trying to incorporate those amazing coffee flavors into those drinks. Then again that’s just me!

http://cheezburger.com/8327237888#comments

 

Article Response to, “Just WOW!”

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I just finished reading the article, “Just Wow”, and all I could say at the end of it was, WOW! I couldn’t believe the lack of maturity of both, Dave, and the owner of Ocean Marketing, Paul. I understand why Dave would be extremely flustered with the situation. I know I have been extremely annoyed by companies who don’t deliver what they promise from the gecko, but that still doesn’t give him the right to speak to them like he did. On the other hand, Paul had no excuse to speak to Dave like he did. Overall he was just a jerk and looked like a complete idiot. I mean, what kind of man who owns a well-known gaming company would treat a loyal customer like that? That is just all kinds of messed up!

After reading the original article (which was an email conversation between Dave, Paul – Owner of Ocean Marketing, and Mike – Owner of PAX and Penny Arcade). I did some digging to see what happen after the initial posting of the conversation on, Penny Arcade. What ended up happening was that the post-Mike had made on his site went VIRAL. When I say viral, I mean it ended up on all the social media sites that you could possibly think! We’re talking Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Kotaku, Fark, and Slashdot. This story got so crazy that Mike’s server temporarily crashed and Paul got tons of threats. It had gotten so bad he had to change his twitter name several times. Even though his “loyal costumers” would find him and keep threatening him. The next thing you know Ocean Marketing no longer exists. Crazy what social media can do!

In this blog post assignment, I must answer two questions that are related to this article.

The first question is, “Hypothesize: You have just been given control of the social media reign at Ocean Marketing at the end of the original article. What steps do you take to rescue the company?” You know, after making yourself look like a huge jerk. It’s really hard to recover from the error of your ways, but all you can do is brush yourself off and try to make things right. Personally, I would’ve contacted both Mike and Dave, and to apologize to them for the rude behavior. Then I would promise Dave that he would receive a full refund of his product, but I would also promise him that he would still be getting his controllers if he still wanted them. After that, I would make a public apology on all social media sites, and promise those customers, that had pre-ordered the product months in advance, that they will be getting ten dollars back from their order. By doing that, I can still continue the ten dollars off deal that they were advertising on their site towards people who were just ordering their product.

The next question I will be answering is, “Do you think the original poster (David) should, or could have done things differently? How about Krahuliks handling of the flame war as things escalated?” This question has me completely torn up. On one hand David shouldn’t have been so aggressive in his emails like he was, but on the other hand, it was really smart that he included those gaming news sites in the email. Let’s face it both of their maturities sub par, especially Paul’s. I condone David for including those other sites into their little email war because guys like that need to be taught a lesson. Yet, I feel like he should’ve kept his poise throughout the conversation. I know that I personally felt torn between both Paul and David from how they were acting towards one another, but at the end of the day, Paul wins the biggest jerk award.

As for Mike’s (the owner of Penny Arcade and PAX) role in this whole thing, I back him up a hundred percent for posting that email conversation. Guys like Paul need to be taken down. At the same time, Mike should’ve told people to back off on Paul. Sure he was a huge jerk about the whole situation, but that doesn’t mean you stoop lower than his level and send threatening messages to him. I mean what are we three years old? People, just need to own up to their mistakes and act their age, and not act like a three-year-old who steal each others candy and say to another person that they’re going to tell on them. If you really think about it that’s how this whole thing ended. A war between three-year-olds, or should I say grown men with the maturity level of a three-year-old.

So, what did we learn here today? We have learned that people need to slow down and think before they respond, because if you respond before you think. Then all hell is going to break loose and you will be exposed on social media. Don’t be a David, Paul, and Mike.

How one customer brought down a brand – Case Study

http://www.penny-arcade.com/resources/just-wow1.html

Starbucks Target Market Personas

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Student

The role that a student has is gathering knowledge. If a student lacks knowledge then they wouldn’t be able to move on to the next level. This could be the next level or be graduating from High School, or a University. In this day and age, they have the need to be bigger, better, and greater than everyone else. What triggers this for them is the pressures that they get from their parents, professors, and coaches. With all these different pressures coming at them at once they also have the need to stay up all night. That way they can accomplish everything that is asked of them.

These students would be between the ages of 15-30, and they would of both genders. In determining what the income would be for these students would be difficult. Both High School and undergraduates would have little to no income. Unless, if they were going for their graduate degree, or something along the lines of that. Then their income would be decent. Their living location would also vary. If they were living on campus it would depend on where the college is located, but if they live off campus. Then they would probably live in an urban or rural area. At this point their lives they have any values. Since they are still trying to figure out where they fit in life, but when they have an opinion on something they will be stubborn and not give up on it. Though, this type of person may be stubborn in some aspects. They just want to have fun and be free spirited. These students also have a wide range on a technographic standpoint. In my personal opinion, I could see them in all categories, those being creators, critics, collectors, joiners, and spectators.

Professionals

These people take on the role of being entrusted in someone’s lively hood. With all that stress that rests upon them. The one thing they want to do the most is to unwind and forget their worries at work. The people in this field are 25-54 years old and are of the male gender. People in this kind of role are making between $50,000-100,000 a year. With that kind of salary, they are probably living in a suburban area. You could see this type of person being a workaholic, stubborn, and extremely serious all the time. They are the kind of people to value honesty, hard workers, and great communication. Finally, if they could be anyone on the technographic scale they would be a critic, collector, spectator, or inactive.

Stay At Home Mom

The role this person would take on is the caregiver. This is a very fitting role considering they have decided to stay home, and personally, raise the children. Though, taking on this role does have its downsides to it. Between taking care of the child(ren) and the rest of the home. That leaves the caregiver with no energy. Leaving them very tired and very cranky towards everyone else around them. This group of people would be 23-50 years old and they would be of the female gender. Since they are stay at home mothers they would have no income. They would be depending on their husband’s high salary. If that is the case (the husband having a high salary) then they would be living in an urban or suburban neighborhood. Stay at home mothers are kind, loving, protective, and patient towards children and their loved ones. They value honesty, family, love, happiness, and everything above. You could see them living in a nice, clean house and neighborhood. Basically, they would have the picture perfect family. Also, even when they are tired and overwhelmed. They would put on a happy face and try to stay upbeat. Their technographic personality trait would be either a collector or a spectator.

Kryptonite Case Study

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This case study all started when Chris Brennan, a biking enthusiast, posted on a forum a tiny flaw the Kryptonite bike lock had. On this forum, he showed that a Bic pen could easily unlock this expensive bike lock. This demonstration quickly hopped from one social media platform to the next. Which caused potential consumers to be very upset, and public relations with a hot mess to deal with. The company did respond within the 5-business day rule. They apologized for what had happened and offered existing customers the chance to exchange their bike lock for a new one. However, this didn’t matter to some and their product / response error landed in a book called, “Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers.” Once word of this book reached the head of public relations, Donna Tocci, she reached out to the authors, Robert Scobie, and Shei Isreal, to set the record straight. They then asked her if Kryptonite’s PR team handled the situation to the best of their capabilities, she said, “We could have responded to the concerns earlier, other than that, there wasn’t much more we could have done.” Even though the company did everything right. The negativity of the events still follows them to this day.

I feel like the reason why this story blew up was because it was so easy to break into an expensive lock. It didn’t help that the demonstration of breaking into it went from one social media platform to the next. Also, it probably didn’t help that the company didn’t address it right away. Even though they claim that they responded in a reasonable amount of time. This didn’t settle well with many of the consumers.

As for how Donna Tocci explained her PR team to the authors. My feelings on her response are mixed. On one hand, I feel like her team should’ve been monitoring all social media platforms that mention their company. That way they can respond accordingly and diffuse the problem immediately. On the other hand, they did respond to the customers and promise those who did have the bike lock an updated model. In the end, I would take her side on this matter because they did respond as soon as they could and tried to fix the problem.

What Kryptonite should do now to prevent this from happening again is to create a social media marketing team. By creating this team, they could set up several social media pages. That way, customers can leave their concerns on a legitimate media page and not a forum that the company won’t be aware of. This will help them respond to the customers concerns immediately. Which will hopefully restore hope to the company for both new and current customers.

If other companies have heard of this case. They should definitely learn from Kryptonite and their mistakes. Even though they did everything that they could at the time. It still backfired on them hardcore. When it comes to terms of listening to the consumer and being responsive. Every company must be very active at this. If they aren’t attentive to the customer they will get eaten alive! All those consumers will turn on the company and see them as being unprofessional. Another thing that companies should keep in mind is to have their media page user-friendly. By having it user-friendly, they should keep it simplistic and clean. If companies make their page complex the consumer will become so frustrated that they’ll give up trying to use. This will cause them to get turned off by the company and make them want to avoid the company completely. Lastly, what companies should keep in mind is, what is their competitor using? Before they decide which social media platform they should go with. They should research their competitor to see which sites they are using and how they are using it. This would hopefully put said company one step ahead of the competing company.