The chat bot technology is rising and becoming a preferred customer interface. Chat bots are personal assistants designed to simulate conversation (text or voice-based) with human users over the Internet. They have been around for quite a while now, but the quality is becoming better and better through natural language processing and big data analytics. They can answer your question, help you to get things done and do suggestions. Chats bots are also great for interactive customer service because they are accessible 27/4.

Apple Siri

One of the most known examples is Apple Siri. Things you can ask Apple Siri are for instance: ‘how is the weather tomorrow?’, ‘can you wake me up at 7 AM tomorrow?’ but also ‘what is the best sushi place in town?’ Imagine you are an owner of a great restaurant; of course, you want Apple Siri to mention it.

Only Sending an Emoij to Receive Relevant Information

In the travel industry chat bots are already quite popular. Companies like KLM, Booking.com, Cheapflights and Skyscanner are using chat bots on a daily basis. One of the most progressive examples is Dutch airline KLM.

KLM uses the chat bot technology as a new kind of service towards their customers, and has built a code on KLM.com that makes it possible to show a personalised Messenger plugin. If you use the plugin then things like your boarding pass and flight status updates will be sent to you directly via Messenger. It has never been so easy to find your information, and be up to date!

But that is not it, KLM offers also offers services during your holiday.  Imagine that you look for a bike rental; you only have to send a bike emoij and your current location and KLM instantly replies with the best address. Check it out here!

Chat with Miss Piggy on Facebook Messenger!

Recently The Muppets promoted their show on ABC via a so-called celebrity chat bot promotion. It was possible to chat via Facebook Messenger with Miss Piggy and ask her anything! Miss Piggy is definitely a chat bot with character. The people behind The Muppets Show came up with 6 000 possible reactions in de style of Miss Piggy and it was a success: some chat session took over 30 minutes!  

There are many ways that consumers and companies are using chat bot; as this technology continues to develop it is creating new and innovative ways to simplify and improve efficiencies in our lives. The technology has proven advantageous for everyone from everyday iphones users, to promoters of television shows. Keeping an eye on technology, such as the chat bot, is critical if companies and consumers are going to keep up with our growing markets!

Written by Leonie Douma

We’ve all heard of Taylor Swift, the singer/songwriter who started as a country starlet and managed to completely crossover and convert into a full-fledged pop superstar with her latest and very successful album 1989. She is the most followed celebrity on Instagram (62.32 million), Twitter (more than 60 million) and has the on-demand music industry at her feet.

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Whether you love her or hate her, it is undeniable that she is a trendsetter, not only in music but in everything she sets her mind to. However, it wasn’t always so smooth for Swift, she had to overcome major bumps before she made it to where she is now – Forbes’ list of the world’s highest paid celebrities with position #8. How did this happen you say? Here is a major marketing insight that places Taylor Swift at the top of her game:

 

She Reinvented Herself: Re-Branding – A vital part of a sustainable marketing strategy is to know how your company, your brand, your product is perceived and Taylor Swift’s team did exactly that analysis. Not too long ago, in 2013, Swift made regular appearances on the “Most Hated Celebrities” lists and was consistently one of the worst-performing magazine cover stars. While her fan base was strong, it wasn’t enough to erase the strong associations Swift had with being a serial dater, an immature girl who was crazy and desperate for a boyfriend. While these labels were making headlines, nobody wanted to read about her nor click on online articles related to her besides the Swifties (as her loyal fans like to call themselves) – her appearance on Cosmopolitan’s Christmas cover was the worst-selling issue that year. It was evident she had to reverse opinion (especially of women) and, for the most part, she surely did. 

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Phase 1– Late in 2014, after disappearing from the spotlight for six months, Taylor wrote “Blank Space”; a song that basically made fun of her media portrayal of a ‘maneater’ and that was designed for her to take ownership of the joke. She remained single while writing her album 1989, focused on writing about herself and staying out of the boy-talk in the tabloids. Then, with her single “Shake It Off”, a song you could not miss, even if you lived under a rock, she sang about ignoring the haters and being yourself. In the video of the same song, she showcases some terrible dance moves to different song genres, and slowly Taylor managed to go from a desperate girl to a lovingly awkward one.

 

Phase 2Upon assessment of what may be hindering the sales or positive image of your company, brand, or product, it is necessary to make an 180-degree change. At the beginning, Taylor Swift constantly portrayed herself as the innocent girl who got bullied and got her boyfriends stolen by other “cooler” girls. She probably detected that pinning other girls affected her image and she decided to change her strategy. Not only has she been more vocal and supportive of feminist comments, she also recruited the coolest girls in town, and created what we all know now as her #squad. Now, her photos are all about her adventures within her “cool” and powerful group of friends including (models) Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, and Kendall Jenner and (musicians) Selena Gomez, Ellie Goulding, Lorde, among others.

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Taylor Swift teaches us that no matter how good and loved you are in your field and/or by your loyal customers, you also have to reach for new ones. The best way of doing that is assessing your company, brand or product and identifying areas in which a change is needed in order to obtain a better image. If it goes anything like it did for Swift, these changes and sacrifices are definitely for the better.

 

Written by Laura Garcia

We all know it: we go to the supermarket fully planning on finally beginning a healthy life, but somehow you’ve found yourself on the couch again, with a bag of crisps and a life size stash worth of chocolates. How did this happen!? Where did we go wrong? Is our discipline really that embarrassingly low; or are there other factors at play? Well, the latter seems to be the case. You see: supermarkets are masters of psychological mind games, that keep making us want to buy shit (excuse my language) we don’t even need. Being poor students, it’s about time we knew how these sneaky bastards play with our minds. I shall call it Supermarketing, and here’s how it works:

We enter the store…

…and we usually see the fruit and vegetables section. Now, this has several reasons.

It makes us happy

First of all, the fruit and vegetables look so joyfully colourful and fresh, that it instantly makes us happy. We then see the rest of the store in a positive light. This, in turn, makes us more susceptible to other marketing tricks.

The marketplace-feeling

Looking more closely, notice that in most supermarkets fruits and vegetables are gathered in big bins. Now, this is some really farfetched stuff, but the vegetables and fruits in bins are supposed to give us a feeling of being at an outdoor market, which then gives us a (false) indication of low prices. Crazy, right? Even crazier is that this stuff actually works.

Trigger for unhealthy consumptions

But wait, there’s more! Once we have obediently put some fruits and vegetables into our cart (which is designed to show the bottom for as long as possible – so it seems emptier, and so we keep buying stuff), we start thinking about how super healthy we are being. Once we see that bag of crisps or other UNhealthy items, we buy it more easily because we’ll feel less guilty.

Moving on

Most supermarkets have approximately the same mapping: as mentioned above, you start at the fruits and vegetables area. Then there are some really tactic places for other products:

  1. All the ingredients for your diner can be found close to one another: it makes you more eager to combine a lot of products to make a lovely meal. The same goes for breakfast and lunch.
  2. Milk and cosmetics are necessities. They are placed at the very back of the store. This way we pass all other isles to get to the place we need to be. By that time, however, we’ve probably already grabbed some stuff we didn’t think we needed before we walked into the store.
  3. We reach the cashiers , and one last killer attempt is made to make us buy EVEN MORE. Here, we find small packets of gum or peppermints. The prices seem so small compared to what you’ve already bought, that you’ll think taking one won’t really matter that much.

Having finally reached the check-out though, we’ve been walking through a minefield of mindgames. Here’s some others you may encounter:

Placing products

Products a supermarket wants to sell, will be placed at the eyesight on the shelfs. Big action pack that have relatively low profit, will be placed on the lowest shelfs with the unpopular brands.

Popular products will be placed right at the middle of an aisle. So that, to reach it, we first need to cross the entire aisle with tons of other temptations.

People with kids have even more bad luck coming their way; products that kids tend to like are placed at kids eye-sight. Once the kids see the product and want it, it’s only a matter of time before mom or dad gives in and adds at least one extra product for their kid to their basket.

Colours, smells and sounds

Colour

Colours can play with our emotions. A lot of supermarkets will therefore sneak the colours red and yellow into their stores. For instance; red attracts our attention, and makes objects seem closer than they actually are (and lazy as we are, that makes it more easy for us to reach it!). Yellow makes you happy, optimistic and gives you confidence.

Smell

How wonderful is the smell of freshly baked bread? Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but most of the time that ‘fresh’ smell is just an illusion. Most supermarkets add this smell artificially, to give you a hungry feeling while walking through the store which will eventually make you buy more food.

Sound

Supermarkets tend to play music that is very low-pace. Science has actually shown that this gives us a calm feeling and makes us stay in the store longer (also notice the absence of clocks in supermarkets, also meant to not rush you out of the store). This will in turn make us buy more products.

Even more crazy is this: science has also shown that when French music was played as background music in supermarkets, people tended to buy French wines. When German music was played, people tended to buy German wines. Awesome!

So there you have it: supermarketing. Next time you go to a supermarket, start to pay attention to these sneaky mindgames, and you’ll save loads and loads of money! It would be awesome if you guys knew any other psychological tricks supermarkets use! In case you do: don’t hesitate to leave a comment! Or, you know, if you want to use the comment section to cry out a little about all those years you’ve been fooled by supermarkets, that’s ok, too.

By: Kim van der Vliet
Sources: radar.avrotros.nl, bonappetit.com, theplate.nationalgeographic.com, tallsay.com, businessinsider.com

 

Hello, its me
I’ve been wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over, everything
They say that time’s supposed to heal ya
But I ain’t done much healing

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Let’s start today with a little anecdote. The inspiration for this blogpost came this weekend, when I played Adele’s ‘Hello’ on the piano. I have to confess, I am a big Adele fan. I love her. And I was curious about ‘Hello’ and how hard it would be to perform. At the moment Adele’s smashing hit from her album 25 has more than 1 billion views  on YouTube (for those of you that also need a visual: 1.000.000.000 views),  which is absolutely insane, and breaks all kinds of records. So when I looked at the chords for this song a few days ago, I was astounded: this could not be right. Only 4 chords?! Okay maybe 1 or 2 more in the bridge, but that’s it.
How could such a simple song become such a hit? Is it brilliant in it’s simplicity (she would not be the first one)? Or is it the marketing? Let’s have a look at both sides of the story.

A 30 second clip to release the storm
The pro-marketing party states that the clever build up to the song caused the immens amount of hits on YouTube. The release date of the single was a well-kept secret and an unannounced teaser was aired during the commercial break on X-factor UK:

The crowd went wild. Their Adele was back, unannounced, and with her most emotional and powerful voice ever. The buzz around the release of the new album was enormous; fans had been waiting a long time for this new album, after complete silence from the singer for over 3 years. Adele does not do interviews, prefers to keep to private events and does not reveal much of her private life; her voice and the lyrics with the commercial were enough to create a hype. Additionally, there were also marketing

Beggars Group - Adele 25 "The New Album", GVB 2087, Lijn 14, Bos en Lommerweg, 15 november 2015. Foto: René van Lier.

Beggars Group – Adele 25 “The New Album”, GVB 2087, Lijn 14, Bos en Lommerweg, 15 november 2015. Foto: René van Lier.

expenses for offline exposure of the album, as the striking example of the ‘Adele tram’ here in Amsterdam illustrates:

Hello, it’ me…on a tram

Adele’s marketing team understood perfectly that, in order to match the number of sales of her last album ’21’ , the fanbase needed to be reengaged. The teaser was exactly enough to release the buzz storm online. The singer’s marketers did a great job by listening to the fan base and giving them exactly what they wanted: just Adele and her voice. Nothing more, nothing less.

Adele’s secret weapon
However, there is also the artistic side of the song. For example David Rees, of the Dave conservatoire state, said:

“Adele’s performances express a direct kind of emotional connection that her audience clearly loves. She has mastered a range of vocal colours and techniques, but cuts particularly through her long, held, higher notes – a key feature of both ‘Hello’ and ‘Rolling in the Deep’. This is, in our view, Adele’s secret weapon.”

The song is simple, yes, but does that mean that it is not art? In it’s simplicity it is also easily copied, covered and sang under the shower by the immense fanbase that Adele has build, which contributes to the virality of the music video. As David Rees states, the emotional connection that Adele has in here voice is something the audience clearly loves. So one could argue that the quality of the song in combination with Adele’s unique voice are the reasons behind the succes of ‘Hello’.

The question I want to raise today is: what do you think?
Are you with team marketing, and do you agree ‘Hello’s success is purely based on strategy, or are you with team musical skill, and do you think it is simply a beautiful song? OR could it possibly one of the most lovely marriages between art and marketing to this day?

I would love to hear your thoughts. To inspire you some more, here are some stils from the ‘Hello’ videoclip.

Enjoy 🙂

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