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Brand Engagement

Reflections on Engagement 2012

lookingbackAll about price?

I heard WCBS Newsradio and Wall Street Journal reporter Joe Connolly say the other day that price has become everything…

Not so. Look at the performance of Whole Foods over the last year, whose stock has provided a handsome return for investors. People will pay more for a pleasant, quality experience. Shopping for Christmas dinner, I needed help finding two items over the course of a recent visit. Two separate employees made a point of guiding me right to them so that I could be on my way. Millions shop there, even though many call it ‘Whole Paychecks.’

Where the rubber meets the road.

I walk into a Verizon dealer near my home to get a new screen cover for my Droid 2 smartphone. The young man guides me to the product, then, without my asking, offers to apply it to my screen, which can be a delicate process. As he does so, he nonchalantly points out that this is an old smart phone, that there are new versions that are much faster, etc. When I point out that I do not think I’m good for an upgrade, he calmly says that he’ll check it out after he applies the plastic cover. He carefully cleans my screen and applies the cover so that suddenly my screen is like new. Within a few more moments he has determined that I am indeed good for an upgrade and points out the advantages of going to the new 4G models. I like my phone, but I’m always interested in the latest versions. You can imagine the rest. I didn’t buy right then and there, but I’ll be back after the holidays. This is how engagement translates into sales and profits.

What investors want.

Ray Hoffman of the Wall Street Journal and CBS Newsradio recently noted that the stocks that did the best this year were companies like McDonalds, Abbott Labs, Pfizer and others that returned a good old fashioned dividend. He wryly noted that people who invest like their parents did were outperforming many hedge funds. When investors begin to think that way again, there will be a further impetus for Enterprise Engagement.

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