Marketing to Muslims poses a challenge for retailers

Leafing through a Best Buy flier over the holiday season, Celena Khatib spotted a small greeting near the bottom of the page: “Happy Eid al-Adha.”

The good wishes for the important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims seemed a milestone in U.S. marketing. “I finally felt that they are recognizing Muslims like we are a part of this community,” said Khatib, 31, a suburban Detroit mother of two. “We live here, we spend our money here.”

But on Best Buy’s website, people around the country posted contrasting views. “You insult all of the heros and innocent who died 911 by celebrating a holiday of the religion that said to destroy them!” wrote one. Many others said they would no longer shop at Best Buy.

The controversy underscores the continuing obstacles that retailers and other companies face in marketing to a U.S. Muslim population estimated at more than 2.3 million by the Pew Research Center.

Read more at Marketing to Muslims poses a challenge for retailers – Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan 2010

Flickr photo credit: al-Taqi [feeling surrealistic]

By |2012-01-05T06:58:53+01:00June 2, 2010|Blog, Diversity, Marketing|0 Comments

Design Your Customers’ Decisions

There is a vital lesson buried in the August 19, 2009 Jet Blue announcement that they were suspending sales of the $599.00 “All You Can Jet” promotion they’d debuted only seven days before. Any student of Behavioral Economics could have predicted that an “all you can eat” approach would inspire vastly different behavior than if Jet Blue had charged a lower fixed fee plus $1 per mile. Similarly, over a decade ago when AOL switched to a usage-independent flat price, connection time increased four times more than they anticipated.

“All you can eat” is an entirely different price than “very, very cheap.”

Traditional economics says that lowering the marginal price from $2 to $1 should have a similar effect to lowering it from $1 to $0 — but experience and experiments have both shown that the traditional demand curve acts in an odd manner when we reach $0 marginal cost. Jet Blue’s executives should have known better. But the Jet Blue management team is not alone.

Many executives assume their customers are more rational than they really are. For example, most leaders believe in enhancing the options given to customers, but increased choice can actually freeze decision-making by overwhelming the shopper. Excessive options is a key reason that an average of 60% of all online shoppers abandon their purchases mid-stream.

Read more at Design Your Customers’ Decisions – Harvard Business Publishing, 26 Aug 2009

Flickr photo credit: pawpaw67

By |2012-01-05T06:58:54+01:00August 27, 2009|Blog, Marketing|0 Comments

Case studies of social media success

If you read our blog, you know that we really care about social media for social good. Our team puts a lot of time and thought into how we can help nonprofits use innovative techniques and tools to help their organizations build awareness, support and donations, through our programs and content. For instance, we have Josh’s Learn the Lingo series which attempts to break down the social media tools you hear about but may not understand, so anyone can easily get started. Or, our Tech for Good posts, where Eric takes it a step further and muses on what’s happening in technology and how it relates to nonprofits. Maybe it’s my online communications background, but for me, one of the best ways to learn more about something is through stories and examples of how others do it, and do it well.

Last month, we released an Assessment and Reflection Report authored by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine on America’s Giving Challenge, a program we launched in order to test and encourage the power of individual giving online. As part of this report, Beth and Allison featured three case studies on organizations that were successful in mobilizing their supporters during the Challenge. The case studies are based on interviews with remarkable individuals leading their Challenge efforts and winning $50,000 each for their causes.

I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight these organizations again in case you missed them. Below are short summaries to pique your interest! Make sure to check out the report if you haven’t already, and let us know of other organizations that are successful in using social media for social good.

Read more on the case studies of nonprofits Love Without Boundaries, Students Helping Honduras and IDEA League at Case studies of social media success – Case Foundation, 25 Aug 2009.

Flickr photo credit: Mindful One

By |2012-01-05T07:14:16+01:00August 26, 2009|Blog, Nonprofits|0 Comments
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