I just got an email from The Chartered Institute of Marketing about an event titled “Brand Creative“. It made me think I must get back into doing more of these types of events: they appear to be lucrative and it helps keep you on your toes.

People often think me a little bonkers the way I stick my hand up for public speaking and seminars but I do enjoy it and you can get to meet some interesting people.

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“Act as if you are lucky and you probably will be. Act as if you are unlucky and you almost certainly will be.” See Think positive and become lucky-Business-Enterprise-TimesOnline

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I watch BT’s consumer business with great interest. This Sunday Times article, BT to spark landline price war-Business-Industry Sectors-Telecoms-TimesOnline, is a good read.

Reducing prices to stem losses on the landline business seems to be part of the thrust.

As a BT customer I feel that simplifying the offer might be a good start. Someone acting for BT cold called me two weeks ago and managed to completely confuse me. BT offers and pricing online, in print and on the phone needs tidying up.

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I was off to a BBQ at the home of a French man yesterday. I thought I’d take a couple of bottles of English wine.

So off I trotted to Marks & Spencers at The Meadows near Camberley. Not a bottle of English wine in site.

Then I wnt to the Tesco megastore next door. Hundreds of wines from all over the world: but just one English wine on sale.

English wine manufacturing may have made great strides in recent years but, from my experience, the distribution is lagging behind!

The English Wine website:

Key facts about English wine

1. There are around 400 English vineyards
2. ‘Quality wines’ are subject to rigorous controls
3. Where’s the biggest English vineyard? Only 20 miles from London (Denbies, Dorking – 250 acres))
4. Whites – wide variety, but traditional English whites have very floral bouquet & high acidity – very refreshing!
5. Reds – Once thought impossible – but it is and they vary from light, thru mellow and even full-bodied
6. Sparkling – The great success story – similar soils to champagne and edgier climate mean truly great English sparkling wines – as evidenced in international competitions”

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Sale shop window - 7 compelling reasons not to discount

It’s rather nice to get feedback that my web content has proved useful. The article, 7 Compelling Reasons Not To Discount, has been on my main site for a while and I was told the other day that it helped win a debate within a company.

It is often too easy to reduce price but very difficult to increase prices.

Reassuringly expensive – perhaps that should be an objective. 🙂

Here is the full article.

7 Compelling Reasons Not To Discount by Jane Francis

If you are selling a service and you only have your personal time to sell, one hundred hours is one hundred hours—and the number of discounts you give to customers can make the difference between a profitable year, or not.

Unfortunately, discounting as a business practice is so entrenched that I probably don’t need to help you recreate the arguments that justify it.

The dictionary describes the effect well: ‘to deduct from the amount, cost; to disregard; to make less effective by anticipation.’

Before you succumb to the temptation to win new business by offering a discount take a moment to consider these seven problems associated with discounting:

Reason not to discount 1
Negotiations over discounts focus attention on price—as if that were all that matters. If your only competitive advantage is price, you are in trouble, because the price can always be matched.

Reason not to discount 2
Discounting starts price wars. The company that usually wins is the one with the biggest balance sheet—the one who can afford to hold out the longest.

Reason not to discount 3
Discounting can affect the customer perception of your service. The less they pay, quite likely the less they will value it.

Reason not to discount 4
Discounting will affect your profit margins. Consider what would happen if all your competitors met your discounted price—do you think your customer is going to accept any less quality?

Reason not to discount 5
Discounting may affect the quality of your service. Yet, if you compromise the quality of what you sell, you risk disappointing customers and you may lose repeat business, and lose credibility or gain a bad reputation, or end up spending time fixing complaints. One way or another today’s discounts could rob you of future business, and profits.

Reason not to discount 6
Discounting may lead to ‘stockpiling’ where customers purchase more than they need while the price is cheap. This will affect demand and potential profits in the future.

Reason not to discount 7
Habitual discounting can become psychologically disempowering. A reduced price can be a short-sighted ‘quick fix’ that reduces business growth in the long run. Before you discount, stop and think: Is this the only way to give value?

Be mindful when you’re offering a discount. Why are you doing it? Is it an investment, and will it net you a greater financial return in the future? Or is it something you do all the time, a thinly disguised (yet noble!) excuse for not charging your worth?

Are you offering a discount as the ‘lazy way out’—instead of making the effort to explain or demonstrate your value? One of the basic rules of negotiating is that if you are going to offer a discount, you offer a different product or service. Perhaps negotiate different terms, or a shorter guarantee, or longer lead times. Challenge your customer’s proposition for a discount with: “If you want a better price, give me a better order.”

About the Author

Jane Francis is the author of ‘Price Yourself Right: A guide to charging what you are worth’ [ISBN 0-595-38601-6] which is available at Barnes & Noble (US), WH Smith (UK) and at www.amazon.com. You can read more at her blog: www.priceyourselfright.blogspot.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jane_Francis

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Building on a post I made yesterday, I was pleased to see this article as it shows my ex-employer Sony rated tops on ‘brands most respecting the environment‘. See http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/item/56488/259/263/0?eid=e04&ln=greenweek03

When I was with Sony (1985 – 1996) we were already developing packaging and recycling initiatives to address the environmental issues facing the business.

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This is a very interesting report http://www.yougov.com/archives/pdf/CPW060101004_1.pdf

Titled “The Mobile Life Report 2006 – How mobile phones change the way we live” this document is packed with quantative and qualitative data about mobile phones.

Think I’m a ‘smart connected’. What are you?

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