Fresh Pick of the Day, Oct 28, 2015: “Hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats cause cancer, World Health Organization declares”

From Washington Post – “A research division of the World Health Organization announced Monday that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat probably does, too. The report by the influential group stakes out one of the most aggressive stances against meat taken by a major health organization, and it is expected to face stiff criticism in the United States. In reaching its conclusion, the panel sought to quantify the risks, and compared to carcinogens such as cigarettes, the magnitude of the danger appears small, experts said. The WHO panel cited studies suggesting that an additional 3.5 ounces of red meat everyday raises the risk of colorectal cancer by 17 percent; eating an additional 1.8 ounces of processed meat daily raises the risk by 18 percent, according to the research cited.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, Feb 13, 2015: “Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Job”

From Inc Magazine – “It’s not that you don’t like what you do. In fact, you really enjoy the people you work with and the projects you have for the most part. It’s just that, well, you’re bored.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, January 13, 2015: “Chinese Consumerism |Inside China|CNBC International”

From CNBC – “As Beijing attempts to transform into a consumption-led economy, global businesses are eager to cash in. CNBC’s Eunice Yoon has more. Inside China provides viewers with a front row seat to the historic changes shaping the world’s second largest economy. CNBC’s Eunice Yoon travels across the country to cover trends that are defining the new China and influencing the world.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, Oct 29, 2014: 10 Great Habits for Working At Home

From Inc Magazine – “Working from home is becoming an increasingly popular option, with employees from secretaries to CEOs utilizing the advantages of a home office at least part of the time. While there are still some lingering critics who insist that working from home leads to stunted professional relationships and lower productivity, the majority of employers in the United States are becoming more lenient with the alternative work environment.”

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3 Qualities of Successful Food Retailers

Question posted on May 16, 2014: “I am recently appointed as manager for a small local food chain based in Northern Philippines. WE have about 3 branches. Can you please provide strategic advice on how I can keep and increase loyal customers”

Answer from BusinessMango, May 26, 2014:  Thank you for your note. We did some research and had some discussions on how food chains such as Mcdonald’s, KFC, and Krispy Kreme have gained massive following. We agree that there are three common qualities of these stores which explain their customer loyalty and success.

Taste: KFC

Our sources told us that great tasting food plays an important role in ensuring customers’ constant visits to these restaurants. This idea may sound simple, but many elements are responsible for great tasting food as illustrated by KFC’s highly popular Original Recipe and Hot n Crispy chicken.

Many people know that the founders’ family tradition led to the creation of KFC products, while subsequent product development efforts have enhanced them. The Original Recipe is tasty, flavourful, and addictive, while Hot n Crispy is spicy and extra crunchy. However, not too many know that KFC products have achieved their exceptional taste through thoughtful preparation, as much as through their recipes.

For its Original Recipe, KFC fries the chicken in a covered pressure fryer, resulting in tender and flavourful chicken. Meanwhile, for Hot n Crispy, KFC double breads the chicken and fries them in an open fryer, resulting in little dotted crispy crumbs coating the fried chicken.

One will likely notice that KFC chicken is golden brown and never dark. This is achieved through the use of fresh and transparent cooking oil all the time. Freshly fried chicken pieces are left on a rack for a few minutes to drain the excess oil so as to ensure that chicken served to the customers is not greasy. This step also lowers the fried chicken’s temperature to a manageable level, after which the chicken is transferred to an oven cabinet to keep warm.

KFC chicken is always served at a specified temperature, so that it is never too hot to burn the lips or tongue, nor too cold to reduce its flavour. KFC policy dictates that chicken not sold within 90 minutes of cooking be discarded to guarantee that only freshly fried chicken is served to customers.

With its original recipe and through thoughtful preparation, KFC chicken is always delicious, fresh, clean and warm, thereby convincing customers to patronize KFC for an exceptionally tasty chicken eating experience.

Experience: Krispy Kreme

Another key factor in the success of food retail chains is experience. In today’s consumer market, food retail chains need to manage the feelings, activities, and sensations that a customer experiences in all possible touch points—from the instance customers see the store from afar, walk in, place their orders, and sit down to eat, to the moment they exit the store. By paying attention to these elements, Krispy Kreme is able to make the store a fun and enjoyable place to visit, experience, and create sweet memories.

Visit a Krispy Kreme store and you will feel like you are facing the stage in a theatre. Why? Inside the store, one cannot help but notice the well-lit doughnut display—a set-up that enhances the freshness and colours of the doughnuts visually. So too do the colour-coordinated tub chairs, tables, frames, and walls; the special red ceiling lights; and the general cleanliness of the store including its restrooms. Further, the professional and lively crew contribute to the pleasantness of the store visit. In some countries, Krispy Kreme stores have a doughnut factory, where passers-by or customers can see how the doughnut is made, fried, and then dipped in the original glaze.

On top of the stage-like set-up, Krispy Kreme aims to minimize pain points and make the customers feel special by adding extra touches. For instance, crew members occasionally give customers free glazed donuts while they line up to order. This, of course, is aside from the special dough which Krispy Kreme is known for, Krispy Kreme has likewise made its brand distinct through its take-out boxes, its “unmistakeable red and green boxes”, which are sometimes placed in a white eco tote bag. The crew serves customers who dine in the Krispy Kreme doughnuts on clean white plates with matching silverware. Even the recycled coffee sleeves are extra special as they almost feel like cloth and not at all like the plain brown paper carton most often used in coffee shops.

Lastly, the Krispy Kreme experience shows “mirror genes” in action, that is, customers following the behavior of other customers. The sight of customers coming in and out of Krispy Kreme carrying red and green boxes on their way out, stimulate the curiosity of casual observers and lure them to experience Krispy Kreme themselves. Customers who do walk in end up buying a dozen doughnuts for themselves or for their loved ones, sooner or later.

Authenticity: McDonald’s

The most significant trait we see in successful food retail chains is authenticity. Authenticity refers to consistency of action with the brand character – the values, human personality, and image that distinguishes one brand from the rest. When a brand character is authentic, it establishes a genuine relationship with its target market. This leads to the fostering of trust and loyalty among customers, both of which are crucial to sustaining a business.

McDonald’s is a great example of authenticity. We can describe the brand character of McDonald’s as youthful, spirited, and dynamic–characteristics manifested in all aspects of the restaurant from its design, the personality of the crew, the activities, on to the menu items. McDonald’s bright and casual welcoming design, colored yellow and red, sets a happy tone for its customers. The crew consists of individuals who are upbeat, friendly, and pleasant, regardless of their age. They flesh out McDonald’s promise to make customers happy while in the restaurant. The Happy Meals and Kiddie Parties reinforce McDonald’s thrust to be a fun and exciting place. Children are often eager to see what toys are inside their Happy Meal box. During Kiddie Parties, they are happiest when they meet the Happy Meal Gang led by Ronald McDonald.

The brand’s dynamic personality is reflected in how McDonald’s readily adapts to changing customer tastes. For example, the restaurant now serves premium coffee in response to the shifting trend of customer taste toward gourmet quality coffee. In the Philippines, McDonald’s is one of the first few restaurants to use environmentally friendly packaging to help promote sustainability. Meanwhile, in the United States, the restaurant has introduced low calorie and healthy food options to cater to customers demanding better nutrition. By being true to its brand character, McDonald’s has earned the trust of its customers and continues to fulfill its mission to be their favorite place and way to eat and drink.


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Marketing Metrics: How effective are your marketing efforts?

Question posted on May 12, 2014: “I am a corporate head for a local skin care brand. I want to know how successful our marketing activities are. Where and how do I start?”

Answer from BusinessMango, May 19, 2014: Thanks for posting a question on our site. Here are some thoughts on marketing metrics:

An increasing number of companies have actually started using marketing metrics as a result of pressure from top management to justify spending on marketing. These firms may either have their own team dedicated to marketing metrics or they may engage consulting firms to build their marketing measurement capabilities.

Marketing metrics aims to encourage discipline in managing profitability and to inform business judgment by employing a set of measurement tools that facilitate understanding of customers, markets and products. Marketing metrics helps legitimize marketing spend in today?s environment where top management requires every business function to be accountable to the value it brings to the organization.

Marketing metrics, such as return on marketing investment, customer lifetime value and brand equity, aids the marketing function by aligning its activities with the overall corporate strategy of the company. In addition to helping enhance the role of marketing, marketing metrics helps identify growth opportunities, allocate resources, keep tabs on the competition, and provide a clearer direction on marketing strategy. Lastly, marketing metrics provides CEOs and finance executives a strong case for pursuing a marketing strategy.

A study by the Chief Marketing Officer Council reveals that companies with formal marketing performance systems achieve 29 percent higher sales growth, 32 percent higher market shares, and 37 percent higher profitability than those without formal marketing metrics capabilities.

John Wanamaker, considered the father of advertising and a pioneer in retail marketing, once remarked: “Half of my advertising budget is wasted. Trouble is, I don?t know which half?” Had John known about the marketing metric called Return on Marketing Investment, he could have measured the profits generated from advertising spend on television, print, radio, or on below the line ads such as billboards and sponsorships.

By combining market research techniques with business judgment, one can determine how much sales and profits will be generated for various advertising spend.

Return on Marketing Investment

Return on marketing investment also gives information on which advertising spend was worth undertaking, to begin with. Through this metric, the marketer will obtain an insight on which creative types, mediums or time slots work best for his or her products, thereby enhancing marketing efforts.

Customer lifetime value

Another meaningful marketing metric is the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Imagine yourself promoting the products of Smart or Globe: How much should you spend on promotions to acquire a new customer for broadband subscription? You will find this decision complicated because there are several issues to consider.

First, there is the traditional profit margin per subscription payment. Second, you are aware that a customer uses your service for extended periods such that income from that customer is a regular stream rather than a one-time payment. Third, there is the question of loyalty?how long will your customer stay with your products? Lastly, you need to consider the cost of money involved in your promotions.

Customer Lifetime Value takes all these factors into account and gives a peso value for each type of customer. For a lifetime broadband subscription costing P999 per month, the lifetime value of a customer is about P55,000. Given this CLV, a telecom provider should be willing to spend a maximum of P55,000 to acquire or retain a customer in the form of free Internet tablets or other technology gadgets. In addition, the CLV can help a marketer determine which market segments to target. Choosing customer segments with high CLV will make marketing efforts pay more for a given effort.

Brand equity

Brand equity is one of the most exciting marketing metrics thanks to the annual rankings prepared by Interbrand and Millward Brown of WPP on the top 100 global brands. Brand equity generates the following: higher demand for a company?s products and services, a price premium, customer loyalty, and ultimately sustainable financial value for the company. Good marketing practices necessitate the periodic valuation of the brand equity of the products of the company and its competitors, in order to assess the success of marketing efforts.


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