Monday, April 29, 2013

What Can We Learn From Korean Air?

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown

If you are in business, do you watch advertisements?  Better question:  Do you REALLY watch advertisements or are they just on television or in a magazine or newspaper and you simply “glance” over them?  Even better question:  Do you grade the advertisements you watch or read as to their effectiveness?  I do and so should you.

What can we learn from the Korean Air television commercial?  Actually a very valuable advertising and marketing concept.

How often do you think of Korean Air?  Before their most recent television commercials I would think – never.  At least for me it was never.  Then I watched their commercials.  

I remember vividly the first time I saw it.  It was not that men and women were over sized and superimposed on natural settings appearing as giants, it was because of what appeared to be three airline attendants walking side by side.  If you have seen the commercial surely you must have thought as I did, no one walks like these three women.  How stupid is that?  

Surprise, surprise, stupid maybe, memorable – absolutely.  I am writing about it am I not?

Think about Stephanie Courtney.  Who is Stephanie Courtney you ask?  Would you know if I called her Flo?  You probably know Flo.   Flo is dressed in all white and sells insurance.  Which insurance company?  Progressive Insurance.  Love her or hate her you know about Progressive Insurance because of Flo.  In fact if you look Flo up on the Internet under her real name Stephanie Courtney you may not even recognize her.
“How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?”  Does GEICO come to mind?

“Things go better with – COKE!”

Here is one that ages me, LSMFT.  If you know what that means you are older than I thought but I remember it as if it were on the tube just last night, Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco.  Do they even make Lucky Strikes anymore?

Just as old, “Timex, takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”  John Cameron Swayze

One more example, Cadillac.  Have you seen the television advertisement where they talk about how their new model can wipe rain drops away from the windshield at 190 miles an hour?  Who drives 190 miles an hour?  Who would want to?  How stupid is that ad?  Is it?  I am talking about it.  I have thought about it.  Did the advertisement work?  At least for me it did – I am recalling Cadillac am I not?
What can we learn from these companies and others?  

Whatever you do, give it time to work.  Do you think people remembered Coke because they initially came up with the slogan, “Things go better with Code” or did the message stick because they stuck with it?  Obviously because they stuck with it.  

Korean Air probably had no idea that the 2 seconds of their commercial would cause the ad, stupid as it appears, at least to me, would cause me to remember the air line.  Therefore, you never know what might click.  In fact Korean Air may not even know and then again maybe it is just me that found it unbelievable to the point of remembering it.

What are you doing to get people to remember who you are and what you do?  Are you thinking outside the box or are you simply doing what everyone else is doing and expecting different or better results?   Doesn’t that describe insanity?  Hmmmm?

Can we agree that the Internet is here to stay?  Do your own study.  Focus on television and print ads for just a day and count the number of times you see a company’s web address prominently identified in the advertisement.  I can save you the time – they don’t include it except for very few.  That is mistake number one.  Mistake number two is that when they do advertise a web address or an email address it is typically so small that you cannot readily read it.  Mistake number three is that the web address is so long or has so many words in it that again, it is difficult if not impossible to remember.

Correct me if I am wrong but just about everybody has cell phones and they keep it at their side constantly.  Most if not all of these phones have a built-in camera.  Put the phone/camera in YOUR hand.  You are reading a magazine or watching television and there appears an advertisement that catches your eye.  What good is your camera at this point?  If the company had included a QR code in their ad AND you had downloaded a FREE QR AP, you could use your camera to scan the QR code, yes even on your television set and immediately be taken to the company’s web site, or YOUR web site, hint, hint, hint!  Eventually everyone will be using a QR code at least until something better comes along.  If you want to be different, start using QR codes before everyone else does and especially on your yard signs where buyers passing by can obtain detailed information on your listing.

BE DIFFERENT; BE REMEMBERED.  In my area the car dealership advertisements all look and sound the same because they are the same.  None of them are memorable!  So why do they create them to where they are all the same?  I have no idea.  If you want to be different and also be remembered, check out this YouTube video for a car dealership.  You will probably remember it forever as I have; first saw it about 5 years ago.  Maybe one of the best advertisement series I have ever seen.  Johnson Automotive!  It is funny because it is based on some truths about sales people, certainly not you.
On being different and being remembered, I initially did it just to be funny.  I was checking in at a convention and the registration lady asked me what name I wanted on my Identification Card that you wear around your neck.  Don’t know what made me say it but I said “Gymbeaux” a phony Cajun take off on Jim Bo.  That was 1992 and the name stuck with me; one of the better things I have ever done.  Who remembers Jim Brown except for the football player?

And the kicker?  I took a photo of a bottle of Lemon Pledge and Pride the furniture polish.  I put the photo on the back of my business card.  When I gave someone the card I would explain;

“This card is special; you will want to keep it in your wallet/purse.  Whenever you are around people talking about their ‘pride and joy’ (usually kids, grandkids, dogs and/or cats), show them your pride and joy!”

There are people to this day that still have that card in their wallets/purses because there was a reason to keep it.

What reason do you give people to remember who you are and what you do?



Wednesday, April 17, 2013


By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, April 14, 2013

This Nugget applies to people who will buy real estate and/or real estate agents representing people who will buy real estate.  In effect, it applies to just about everyone!

What is a “hot button?”

In real estate sales, a “hot button” is whatever is important to someone who is buying and/or selling real estate.  This Nugget focuses on the buying side of the real estate transaction.

Whenever you purchase any item, there are characteristics, features, benefits and/or cost that plays a significant role in whether you purchase the item; or not.  A real estate purchase is no different. 

Buyers of residential (as compared to commercial) real estate are typically FIRST attracted to a property because of its appearance AND its location.  Location usually comes first and then its appearance.  But once a buyer gets past the initial appearance of the property, the important features, benefits and/or cost come into play in order for the buyers to make the all important buying decision.  The determining factors are what I refer to as HOT BUTTONS.

Unfortunately a great many real estate agents do not focus on buyers’ hot buttons” before a sale is consummated and then pay the price after the sale when the buyers’ hot buttons take over and the buyers then realize what they purchased is not exactly what they “thought” they were purchasing.

What would be an example of this?  I can give you lots of examples but let’s focus on just three.

EXAMPLE 1:  A purchaser’s son is heavy into sports and is the star catcher on his high school team.  The purchaser needs or wants to relocate but needs to stay within the same high school district in order for her son to continue with the same team.  When purchasing a For Sale By Owner, the purchaser specifically asks the homeowner/seller what school district the home is located in.  The homeowner says it IS in the desired district and the owner buys the home only to later discover it is NOT within the same district.

EXAMPLE 2:  A real estate agent lists a home on behalf of a homeowner and the homeowner indicates that the homeowners’ association dues (which is a required membership) is $50.00 A QUARTER.  A purchaser who is represented by a different real estate agent shows the property and looks over the Property Disclosure document that indicates the dues are $50.00 A QUARTER.  The purchaser submits an offer to purchase which is accepted and then it is discovered that the dues are actually $50.00 A MONTH. 

EXAMPLE 3:  A purchaser submits an offer to purchase on a home in a pretty exclusive subdivision and the offer is accepted and the purchaser moves in.  Within a short period of time, the homeowner sets up a home-based business in the new home and the neighbors complain and eventually take legal action because the subdivision restrictions specifically forbid home-based businesses where customers actually come to the home to conduct their business, eg., tax consultant.

In each of these cases the purchasers had “hot buttons” or issues of extreme importance to them.  It could have just as easily been the square footage of a home; the market value of a home; the ability to park a boat or recreational vehicle in the driveway of the home, etc., etc.

One of the most important questions a purchaser of real estate must ask themselves or a real estate agent must ask of the buying customer is “What are your hot buttons?”  Or in effect, what factors must you first satisfy to insure that the property you are purchasing REALLY or ACTUALLY meets your needs? 

Remember, there is a huge difference between a NEED and a WANT.  A purchaser MUST HAVE a NEED but can live WITHOUT acquiring a WANT.

So whose responsibility is it to insure that a hot button is actually satisfied? 

Consider the school district case.  A seller “told” the purchaser that the home was in the desired school district.  Can a purchaser rely on what was “told”?  NO!  If the school district is important to the purchaser the actual school district can be easily determined by a simple call or visit to the local governing agency that makes such determinations.  Since this was a For Sale By Owner, the purchaser must make that call or visit.  If the purchaser had been represented by an agent, the purchaser could ask the buyer’s agent to verify the information.  In either case, the verification should be IN WRITING to avoid any misunderstanding since it is vitally important to the purchaser.

But what would happen if the homeowner had been represented by a real estate agent and the agent entered the school district as conveyed by the sellers into the local multiple listing service (MLS).  The purchaser and/or the purchaser’s agent look at the information provided within the MLS description and it indicates that the home is indeed located in the desired school district.  DOES IT END THERE?

Absolutely not!  Most if not all multiple listing services have a disclaimer on the bottom of the MLS description sheets indicating that the information provided is deemed to be correct but not necessarily reliable.  This is because information can change, homeowners provide incorrect information (as in this case), and entries may simply be in error.  Therefore someone MUST verify the information that is important to a purchaser.

If the purchaser is NOT represented by a real estate agent the purchaser MUST verify whatever information is important to the purchaser.  If the purchaser IS represented by a real estate agent the purchaser’s agent MUST verify that information.  Using what someone “said” is NOT verification.  Remember, to be verified where you can use the verification as evidence, it MUST BE IN WRITING in order for it to be used without having to prove what someone had “said” which is almost impossible to do.

EXAMPLE 2:  Homeowners’ dues are very easily verified by obtaining the information from the homeowners’ association.

EXAMPLE 3:  Anyone can obtain a copy of the Subdivision Restrictions from the local court house.  A word of caution.  Some homeowners provide a prospective purchaser with the homeowner’s copy of the restrictions.  The problem with this is that there is no guarantee that the homeowners copy is the most recent or accurate copy.  .

VERY IMPORTANT UNDERSTANDING:  If you think about it, there is no way that a real estate agent who lists a property, would be able to verify every bit of information that is either required or made available through the multiple listing service.  It would take weeks to list a property if it were required to be independently verified.  Again, that is why the disclaimer appears at the bottom of each MLS description sheet.  It is incumbent upon the purchaser and/or the purchaser’s agent to verify that information that the purchased feels needs to be verified.  When a seller not represented by a real estate agent provides the information, the information provided is what the seller “believes” to be correct.  But, what the seller believes may in fact not be correct or accurate.