Who markets the best ice cream in town?

As a smaller town, Wilmington has a lot of competition between businesses. Kilwin’s has always been known as a “go-to” location for ice cream in Wilmington and a popular tourist spot.  This past summer the ice cream industry grew by one, adding the Fuzzy Peach into the choices for a cool treat on a hot day. The Fuzzy Peach is located less than a mile from UNCW and this is their only location. Both Coldstone and Kilwin’s are chains and have locations across America.

Coldstone is the largest of the three and it has stores internationally. Their marketing strategy involves television commercials, promotional coupons, direct marketing at UNCW events like the Involvement Carnival. They are a sponsor for the UNCW Athletic Department. On our basketball tickets, you will find a coupon provided by Coldstone. They set themselves apart from the competition because they have lots of different combinations such as “Cookie Doughn’t You Want Some” and “That’s How I Roll”.  You can see their entire signature creations made right in front of you and they have pictures of each combo on their website. Their portion sizes are called “Like It” “Love It” and “Gotta Have It”. They also sell ice cream sundaes, smoothies, and pre-made ice cream cakes. This company is also known for their quirky songs that they sing when you walk in the door and when you leave them a tip. You can hear the same songs at each location, so you know that you’re walking into a Coldstone when you open the door.

The Fuzzy Peach opened in May of 2010 and already has a lot of brand recognition. Their t-shirts and facebook page are almost as popular as their low fat yogurt.  The frozen yogurt bar allows you to choose the toppings that you want and how much of each topping you want on your yogurt.  The Fuzzy Peach is the only frozen yogurt bar in Wilmington, so that makes them stand out from their completion. The price is calculated by the weight of your bowl and toppings. Their slogan is, “Providing Wilmington with a healthy dessert alternative.  On the website, they have a comparison of why they are better than their competition, which includes Dairy Queen and Baskin Robbins.  Their marketing strategies include t-shirts with their logo, which allows people to recognize the brand since the logo is a peach. They also use direct marketing by passing out coupons, stickers, and shot glasses at events.  They come to UNCW’s Involvement Carnival in the beginning of the year and give out samples.

Kilwin’s is a downtown Wilmington classic. It is a common tourist location. They sell ice cream, chocolates, caramel apples, fudge, and more. Kilwin’s makes their own traditional waffle cones, which lures customers in from their scent. Kilwin’s creates an exciting experience by creating the cones right in front of you. It ads a personal element of trust, since you can see the people hard at work on your waffle cone. They rely mostly on word of mouth marketing, as well as social media and their website. They draw people into the store because they bake their own waffle cones and the aroma drags people in by their noses. They are not as big as Cold Stone, only located in 15 states with only 9 locations in North Carolina.

Who do you think has the best marketing strategy? The winner is…….The Fuzzy Peach! We think this because they employ the most promotional strategies. They handed out coupons and got customer input on what the best flavor is at UNCW’s 2010 Beach Blast. The store has been open for less than a year and a second location is already in the making. We look forward to seeing how much The Fuzzy Peach grows in the coming years.

Happy Data Privacy Day!

Last month, Facebook updated the layout and features of users’ profiles, making it easier to share information with friends.  The upgrade also included tighter privacy settings.  Many users began complaining about Facebook’s privacy policy after learning that their personal information was being accessed by external sources without users’ permission.

Facebook users also became wary of privacy settings on Wednesday when Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg’s own Facebook fan page was hacked.  The hacker’s message encourages Facebook to become a publicly traded company “if facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks.”  The IP address connects the hacker’s location to the US Department of Defense office in Williamsburg, Virginia, although he could have hacked into their IP network.

With users questioning Facebook’s privacy settings, the social networking site needs to appease its customer’s worries in order to keep them from moving to other similar sites.  This week Facebook is enabling HTTPS so that users can be sure that their information is being held by a secure connection.  If anyone tries to hack into a user’s Facebook page, they will not be able to see any of their information.  The catch, however, is that users must turn on HTTPS on their own.

Facebook has also added authentication features that will ask for more information if suspicious activity is detected.  Photos and other information from a user’s Facebook page will be used to ensure their identity and questions will be asked that only the user could know the answers to.

With all of these new privacy features being implemented with the help of Facebook’s public relations team, Facebook hopes their brand will remain legitimate and that they won’t lose any of their customers.  They have listened to the concerns of their users and have found multiple ways to calm down their worries.  With today being Data Privacy Day, we will see how long Facebook can keep their customers happy.

-Brie Golden

Not So Fast Apple

Believe it or not, Google is nipping at the heels of Apple in smart phones and tablets. While in some circles Apple has won the popularity contest with Blackberry they have had some serious competition from Google’s Android network. According to Eweek.com 2,200 application developers were polled by Appcelerator and IDC. The polling revealed that 87 percent of responders were very interested in writing apps for smart phones compared to 92 percent for the iPhone. The iPhone is still king in the market place we are starting to find that application developers are eager to work with the Android network. There is still growth for the Android in the tablet market.

The Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb was introduced at the 2011 Consumer Electronics show and is going to make a splash in March 2011. Respondents from the Appcelerator-IDC say they are very interested in developing for the Android tablets. They claimed that price was the most important factor, and most want to develop for the Android 3.0 Honeycomb. As you can see the Honeycomb’s popularity keeps growing daily before its release. The most impressive part about the Honeycomb is the tab browsing which you can sync with your Google Crome Bookmarks. The selling point for the New Android tablet is multi-tasking.

It seems that 2011 is ushering in new competition for Apple. Google is growing by the minute and while I love the versatility of my Blackberry the Android phones seem to have a lot of potential. Apple is on top of the market, for now, but this could be a big year for Android. The brand competition between Apple and Android is something we will be focusing on all semester, and as Google continues to grow I expect Apple will adapt to its market.

Are Apps Changing the Way We Do Business?

Technology giant Apple is once again in the news this week.  No, they haven’t come out with a new iPhone and the new generation of iPads are not yet available; the company has sold their 10 Billionth App.  Yes, you read that correctly BILLION!  On Saturday Gail Davis, of Orpington, Kent, UK, downloaded Paper Glider (a free App) making history for Apple and also making her the winner of a $10,000 iTunes gift Card.

Apple’s Apps, short for applications, can be downloaded from the App Store on iTunes onto iPhones, iPads, the iPod touch, and now even your computer.  Ranging from free to $999.99, these popular downloads can help you with everything from finding a place to eat, translating words into another language, making dinner reservations, entertaining your child, studying for the California Bar exam (in case you were wondering what the most expensive App does) and anything else you can possibly imagine.

The popularity of Apps has many retailers and other businesses taking notice and developing Apps of their own.  Apps have become yet another tool for them to reach target audiences and perhaps gain new ones.  Everybody from car insurance companies to retailers to airlines have developed Apps hoping to target new audiences and keeping the attention of existing customers. This trend has even spawned a new way of doing business, m-commerce.  Similar to e-commerce, or shopping online, m-commerce is shopping on your mobile device.

This new form of business, ushered in by Apple’s introduction of the App, is changing the way companies market themselves.  In the age of Apple’s i-products, the standard practices of print and media ads aren’t going to cut it.  Companies must adapt and incorporate practices such developing Apps if they want to continue to remain relevant and build their customer bases.

-Eliza Wadson

Tablet here, tablet there, tablets everywhere!

What in the world is a tablet? Last I checked, tablets were being used in the Flinstones to share information and, somewhere along in the Bible, Moses used them to share everyone’s favorite commandments.

It all started with a device known as the Kindle. A simple, yet very effective e-reader created by Amazon. Its target market audience was certainly specialized in the sense that the only people purchasing this product would be those that could see the Kindle aiding in their avid reading habits. Then something happened. Technology-friendly giant Apple revealed to the world the iPad: basically a really, really ginormous iPhone. And what a success it has been. The iPad has sold over 2 million units. That translates to an iPad being sold every 3 seconds. Apple knew exactly the amount of lure and desire its iPad product would have on its loyal Apple customers because, as you may know, it costs a company five times as much to attract a new customer rather than to invest in the loyalty of its current customers. The amount of marketing and advertising that Apple has done for the iPad has exceeded well beyond any other tablet competitor on the market. The way they advertised it was also pretty ingenious. They marketed their product by showing the relevance of the iPad and how similar its functioning was to a laptop and PC; but it is perceived as cooler, sleeker, and geared towards the ever-evolving, fast paced, give-it-to-me-now technological society.

So naturally, with the success of the iPad, came the injection of other technology giants to capitalize on this groundbreaking movement that somehow seems to be the next phase in this apparently unstoppable migration from big, clunky PCs to sleek, portable tablets.

At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an unprecedented 45 new tablets were unveiled as being in the developing stages or already being moved into production. This mass influx of tablets is going to prove to be quite the competition for these companies as they begin to advertise and market their products towards consumers. One of the most important questions that all of these corporations are going to have answer is, “Why would someone need a tablet if they already have a laptop?” Apple seems to have already answered this question with the amount of exclusive user friendly applications designed specifically for their tablet that literally, cannot be accessed on any other device.Relevance and receptivity are going to be major components of the five Rs (relevance, receptivity, response, recognition, and relationship) of IMC that need to be addressed by companies somersaulting into the tablet arena. When will customers and prospects be most receptive to advertisements about tablets and at what point of brand contact will the customer be most receptive to the incentive to buy a tablet?

It is going to be quite interesting to see how the market changes with this upcoming inoculation of tablets. Technology establishments will need to pay close attention to aggregation to determine just how many of their consumers are likely to jump on the tablet bandwagon. Instead of using segmentation to break down customers into different demographics, aggregation will allow companies to determine what exactly it is that customers do and how their behavior in the marketplace determines whether or not they will purchase a tablet. It was popular back in Fred Flinstone’s era; let’s see what happens in the next couple of years.

-Deji Adeleke, Anna Kate Babnik, Katie Eagle, and Tiffany Evans

Is Apple taking over the world?

As you might have read over the past few weeks, there has been a media frenzy regarding Verizon Wireless receiving the iPhone 4. This has further added fuel to the cutthroat marketing campaigns of both AT&T and Verizon. With this in mind, the real question is how this will affect the marketing and brand image of the iPhone.

By utilizing two wireless networks, the constant battle for customers by Verizon and AT&T may actually have a negative image on the Apple brand.  Apple, known for its superior technologies, has an overall positive brand image.  With both companies airing commercials attacking one another, how can Apple maintain their image? This is the most controversial issue that Apple has had to take on to date.

Below is the most recent commercial for the iPhone 4 released by Apple.

In the commercial, Apple is remaining neutral with AT&T and Verizon. This is keeping both companies on an even playing field, while not portraying one as better than the other.  This may change once Verizon’s iPhone is released in stores and a new slew of Verizon and AT&T ads hit the airways.  Will Apple continue to remain neutral or eventually choose a side? The future is uncertain, but on January 19,, 2011, Apple became the largest mobile phone vendor in the world by revenue. If this upward trend continues, they will continue to dominate the market share, regardless of which company carries the iPhone.

-Allison Day, Jessica Berinson, Megan Canny, Melissa Gagliardi, Scott Burgess

What Will We Get From IMC?

Many of us in the class (myself included) have recently taken the Introduction to IMC course, so we are aware of the basics. However, now that we are delving deeper into the subject to obtain a complete grasp, we can ask ourselves what we wish to ascertain from this course.

When I looked at the outline for the semester, I saw how this class was not like any I’ve taken before. In fact, it doesn’t even look like a class! There are no tests or quizzes, but rather group projects, client presentations, and a collective class objective of aiding in the preparation of the IMC Conference which Dr. Persuit is spearheading this summer. We aren’t playing the role of the students, but rather hired agents in the IMC field.

The skills that will be learned from this class will definitely prove helpful once we’re thrown into the piranha-pit that is the current job market. Dr. Persuit isn’t holding our hands through this course, but instead is making us collaborate on our own accord to complete the assigned tasks. This blog your reading right now is a perfect example. We were not given any specifics, just the basic guidelines and the repercussions if they weren’t followed. The class was able to set aside small groups to begin working diligently to meet deadlines. Only three classes in, and we’re already gaining the knowledge of how to come together and work towards one common goal, much like the principles IMC. Being put in this position to work on real presentations with real clients will give us the type of experience that’s needed in almost any workplace. Not only will we be well-versed in IMC by semesters end, but also we will feel comfortable taking charge and making ourselves necessary aspects of a company.

-Will Cosden