You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2008.

In professor Hope Jensen Schau’s Integrated Marketing Communications course, teams of University of Arizona students select a company and create an integrated campaign that includes everything from packaging and distribution to advertising and public relations.  The campaign doesn’t typically result in a signed contract with the company, but for four UA Eller College of Management students, that’s exactly what happened.  The students chose to build a campaign around Toasti Toes, a product produced by HeatMax, a manufacturer of air-activated heat packs used by skiers, snowboarders and hunters—a predominantly male market.  “One of our group members was an actual consumer of the product,” said Kevin Romo-Leon, a marketing senior and project team member.   “Because she had already been using the product for a different purpose, we immediately saw the opportunity to expand it to the female market.”  They proposed changing the packaging to appeal to female consumers and target professional women who need to keep their feet warm in inclement weather. Their new audience included women who may be attending upscale events in cold weather, but who still would like to wear open-toe shoes.  The team dubbed their reinvented product Toasti-Toezies, and created a hip repackaging plan and a detailed distribution strategy. “Along with the change in packaging, we introduced new distribution channels – two of which HeatMax had never considered,” said Romo-Leon.  Encouraged by their professor to take the concept back to HeatMax, Romo-Leon contacted the company, which agreed to fly two of the students to company headquarters in Dalton, Ga., to meet with executives in research and development, as well as the company’s CEO. The Eller College marketing department funded the other two airline tickets, and the team traveled to Georgia and delivered its presentation.  The students ended up signing a contract with HeatMax that will allow them to stay involved in every aspect of the new product launch. The team also will receive a percentage of sales, have the opportunity to travel with HeatMax sales representatives to visit prospective buyers and will contribute to future marketing campaigns.  

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LimeLife, Inc., a women’s media company, has announced the beta launch of its new lifestyle site at LimeLife.com, accessible via the Web and mobile phones. Targeting young media-savvy women, the site delivers life-relevant, pop-relevant content in a voice that is fresh, smart, sassy and fun. The new site continues LimeLife’s strategy to provide content-rich lifestyle destinations, utilities and entertainment for women, 18-34 years of age, across multiple media platforms. The new LimeLife website covers a range of lifestyle topics that includes music, entertainment, fashion, beauty, dating, news and shopping that users may now access online as well as via their mobile phone.  The launch of LimeLife’s website also marks the debut of its innovative “My Snaps” utility, a social Web application that allows community members to clip or “snap” their favorite things from across the Web – images of new outfits, must-have beauty products, emerging bands – and share them with friends on LimeLife and Facebook(R). The “My Snaps” tool is conveniently added directly to the consumer’s browser toolbar. The next version of “My Snaps” will expand upon LimeLife’s strategy to deliver an immersive Web and mobile experience. Consumers will be able to “see, snap and share” their favorite products and inspirations directly from their mobile phone and upload to their personal profiles at LimeLife.  “LimeLife is the first company to establish a female lifestyle brand on the mobile Web. Today’s beta launch of our online destination marks the next step in the company’s strategy to introduce LimeLife’s original content to an audience that navigates seamlessly across media platforms,” said Kristin McDonnell, LimeLife’s CEO. “Our goal is to enable consumers to access everything they like, wherever they are – whether it’s lifestyle content or their My Snaps collections, on the web and via their mobile phones.”

Entrepreneur magazine, in partnership with the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), released its second ranking of the 50 fastest-growing women-led companies across the nation and Canada. The Top 50 generated a combined $3.6 billion in 2007 sales alone (up from $1 billion in 2003), and are each managing to build growth in the midst of a difficult and ever-changing economy.  “The companies on our Top 50 list underscore the dynamism of women business owners today,” says Amy Cosper, VP/editor-in-chief at Entrepreneur. “They highlight the entrepreneurship fundamental to our nation’s economy. These businesses, and the women leading them, are continuing to create jobs and opportunities critical to our overall economic security. We’re proud to be recognizing their achievements.”  Says Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., president and founder of the WPO. “Once again the list illustrates the important impact women business owners have on the economy and employment, and it continues to confirm their innovative approaches to fast growth.”  To be eligible for the ranking, the Top 50 companies were required to be privately held, woman-led businesses in the U.S. or Canada and have reached revenue of at least $1 million in 2007. All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combined percentage and absolute growth. From this list, the Top 50 were selected.  To view the entire list visit, http://www.entrepreneur.com/women50. 

FranklinCovey Products and Design-her Gals have announced that the two companies have launched a new line of women’s products during October, Breast Cancer Awareness month.The new line, The GALS Collection, is based upon the Design-her Gals innovative product line where customers create personalized stationery, note cards, announcements, calling cards and stickers that include their own avatar (“Gal”) with their likeness, including hair color, hairstyle, eye color, designer outfits and accessories. The products range in price from $3.95 to $119. For more information, please visit www.franklinplanner.com/designhergals.  FranklinCovey Products donates a portion of every GALS purchase to the Gal to Gal Foundation, Design-her Gals’ sister non-profit organization, that dedicates its resources exclusively to Stage IV breast cancer patients and their families. Nearly 300,000 women and men this year will die of the disease.

A new site for female auto buyers has hit the Internet.  CarZen is a simple and personalized car research website that promises to empower women to make better car-related decisions during all their life stages. CarZen has created several breakthrough tools to help consumers find their perfect vehicle match, while also offering invaluable tips, tricks and techniques to save money, time and countless hassles. The site also includes expert reviews, detailed pricing, specs and features, photos and multimedia. CarZen aims to empower women with trustworthy information, efficient tools, and concise advice in plain english — this combines to create “auto enlightenment.”  CarZen makes auto data usable. Instead of words like “horsepower”, “torque”, and “gear ratios”, CarZen translates automotive data into a usable form like “passing on the highway”, “vehicle agility” and “rear seat comfort.” Furthermore, CarZen divides high level concepts like ‘Safety’ into more usable ‘Traits’, such as Accident Avoidance and Protection, allowing individuals to prioritize their unique needs and find the ideal car to fit those needs.  “We developed the site with the help of a group of women with a similar story,” says Nick Gidwani, founder and CEO of CarZen. “These women spent many, many hours researching cars, ending up with a lot of ‘specs’ and data — a good size spreadsheet worth of semi-useful information — but no way to sort through it all. Too many made a somewhat arbitrary purchase based on availability or a special deal — or worse, they were ‘sold’ by a dealer. CarZen’s goal is for buyers to have that great feeling that comes from making a well-researched purchase that really fits what is wanted and needed, for a fair and reasonable price. That feeling makes us feel warm inside whenever we step into our car – yet too few individuals get to experience that feeling.”

Women are a majority of undecided voters in the 2008 presidential race, as they were in past elections, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). For example, a new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, conducted two weeks before election day, finds that women are 60% of all undecided registered voters and 61% of undecided registered white voters. The Pew poll is the only recent poll with a large enough sample to allow a meaningful breakdown of undecided voters by gender and race.  National and state polls continue to show gender gaps, with national polls reflecting gaps in the 6-7 percentage point range and state polls presenting gaps of varying magnitude, according to CAWP. The Center’s latest review of polls is part of Women’s Vote Watch, a weekly look at the women’s vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Be Jane, a nationally recognized brand in the female home improvement space, recently created a quick female empowerment video that encourages women to vote in this election.  Suzanne Horton, Be Jane’s CEO and president (who was also a recent M2W® E-ssentials interviewee) is encouraging everyone to check out the video, possibly rate it or make a comment and pass it onto friends.  The site can be checked out by visiting www.bejane.com (just click on the cool powerful women video link) or on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7gT9751hkw.  Says Horton, “Be Jane has made a lot of headway over the past year, and I want to thank you all for your cheers and support during this time.  Thank you so much for helping us to spread the word—Jane Power Rocks!”  Be sure to check out Horton’s entire M2W® E-ssentials interview at http://www.m2w.biz/essentials/interviews/suzanne.php.

The New York Times Customer Insight and Advertising Groups has announced  the results of a study that for the first time offers detailed information about reaching a key group of affluent, female consumers who have an exponential influence on purchase decisions — the ones who spend more, know more and talk more about the products they like. This is the first major public study ever released that focuses on word of mouth among affluent women. It provides much-needed insight into reaching these key consumers in five major industries: finance, fashion, consumer electronics, automotive and travel.  Given that studies suggest that a majority of consumer purchase decisions are made or influenced by women, this research fills an important gap in understanding how to increase marketing return on investment in today’s challenging economic environment.  “In a time of tight marketing budgets and an increased focus on return, this study provides advertisers a much better understanding of consumers who are powerful catalysts for purchase behavior and brand influence,” said Denise Warren, senior vice president and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group. “The Marketing Multipliers research will help advertisers effectively reach and communicate with this key group of customers.”  The research was conducted in conjunction with TSC (The Segmentation Company), a division of Yankelovich, which surveyed more than 3,000 affluent women across the country via an online survey. Additionally, the research company Just Ask a Woman conducted a series of in-depth, ethnographic interviews in New York and Los Angeles regarding the five topic areas.  For more information about specific industry insights and a copy of the white paper, contact Alexis Buryk at 212-556-1234.

MyInspirationLounge.com, a company dedicated to helping busy women create and inspire change, has launched an online resource aimed at empowering and inspiring women of all ages to realize and exceed their dreams.  A powerful solution to the overwhelming amount of information on the Internet, My Inspiration Lounge is an online portal connecting women to useful, focused and moving content for a more personalized experience that helps them more effectively navigate the best of the web. By eschewing information overload and irrelevant search results intended for broad audiences, My Inspiration Lounge is the only content aggregator to focus on helping women cut through the clutter on the web so they can get instantly informed, inspired and empowered. My Inspiration Lounge was founded by Misty Gibbs who wanted to create a website that would finally address the growing need for an Internet resource that reflects what women really want.  “My Inspiration Lounge provides an alternative to the fashion, celebrity gossip and dieting sites that proliferate the web,” Misty says.  “Women are seeking content that moves them to be more engaged and informed, and I wanted to create an online resource that that would help all women live a fuller life and make the world a better place.”

Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries and Brickfish(R), the social media advertising network, are pleased to announce the “What Do You Dream About?” campaign, located at http://www.brickfish.com/dreaming. Inspired by Hilfiger’s women’s fragrance, Dreaming, the campaign invites entrants to create a video, photo, or blog illustrating their unique and individual life dreams. One grand prize winner chosen from all entries will receive $3,000 to help make their dream a reality, as well as a Tommy Hilfiger fashion wardrobe and Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger fragrance.  “Dreams can be storehouses of creativity and may in fact be the well from which imagination springs. Dreams were a great source of inspiration for the development of our fragrance,” said Ottavia Piergiovanni, executive director of Global Marketing, Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries. “We’re excited about the opportunity to gain an inside perspective on the aspirations of real women and to make some of those dreams come true.”  Brickfish social media campaigns enable brands and agencies to launch online marketing campaigns that get consumers engaged in a meaningful brand dialogue.  “The ‘What Do You Dream About?’ campaign is a phenomenal way for the brand to reach fragrance fashion fans through the power of social media,” said Brian Dunn, CEO of Brickfish. “Because the campaign was created to reflect the inspiration of the fragrance, we are confident that the brand message will reach consumers loud and clear across the Internet.”  The “What Do You Dream About?” campaign ends November 13.

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