Why do I already want the new Iphone?

Hello blog readers,

My name is Mitch Feldman, and I am addicted to apple products….Jeez, almost sounds like a support group introduction, but the fact of the matter is that I truly feel I am addicted. It all started when I bought my very first IPhone 4s. Knowing that I had an upgrade in the coming, and at around the same time of my upgrade, the new IPhone was being released, I needed it. Of course in my preparation for the arrival of the newly anticipated phone, I had to do my research. Every day after school, I would immediately come off the bus and look up youtube videos and read articles about the upcoming device. Finally, after my induction ceremony to the National Honors Society, my parents purchased me the IPhone 4s. My gateway device.

Fast forward to 2014. I now own a Macbook Pro, an apple IPad, and the IPhone 5s. Recently apple released the new IPhone 6, and unfortunately (or fortunately) for me, the screen on my IPhone is broken. Although I know it is a waste of money, and I could just buy an older phone for much cheaper, something inside me wants the IPhone 6 badly. How does apple make me feel this way?

At first I thought I was just a delusional individual with an obsession, but now I see the same thing happening with people around me. Walk into a college classroom and the glowing apples staring back at you will prove my point. That is exactly the reason we love the apple products. We love the apple products because of the apple. There are many products on the market that are extremely similar if not better than the apple products, but what apple does extremely well is branding. Stamping the apple logo will instantly make a product sell.

The other thing that apple does well is interweaving all of their products. If its on my IPhone, its also on my mac, and my IPad. If I were to switch to a different product, many aspects of my life would be directly affected. All of the apps I add on my devices make the switching cost increasingly higher. Brilliantly, apple markets their products as being interlaced, and the fact that they are interlaced makes it that much harder to switch.

Regardless of whether or not the new IPhone bends, because it has that apple logo, I want it.

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Normal Tuesday –> Special Tuesday

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An adventure to the new renovated Blue Wall Cafe at UMass, Amherst.

It’s 1:30pm, a normal Tuesday afternoon. It’s the first day of the class, and I am hungry. ‘Where should I go to get my first lunch for this new semester? I need something new and fresh right now’

The destination I choose to go to is the new renovated dining facility called “Blue Wall Cafe”. Where exactly is it? What is it like to have lunch there? I found answers with my little experience on a normal Tuesday afternoon..

Once you reach to Campus Center at UMass, follow through a long maze that eventually leads you to “Blue Wall Cafe”. You will pass through a lot of rooms including a barbershop!

The first scenery that is exposed to your sight is a LOT of people. Tens of lines of people waiting for their food to come out. There are TEN different food stations. American, Italian, Mexican, Asian, you name it. You will be overwhelmed by a variety of choices. For me, I choose “Star Ginger”, because I’m South Korean and I love Asian food. Rice is my main meal everyday you know. The food I choose is grilled lemon chicken w/ rice and salad for the side. ‘I got plenty of time to try different food in other days’. I really liked it. Grilled lemon chicken, rice, and salad are perfect combination for a foreigner like me.

The interior of “Blue Wall Cafe” is simple and spacious which creates the atmosphere of happiness and full of vitality with people in it. It’s not just a eating place, but a socializing place with variety of people. Good food makes everyone happy, and good people is an extra.

So how about trying this new “Blue Wall Cafe” for your lunch? This renovated facility will save your time a lot between classes, and you will be provided with almost the same quality of food that you have in other Dining Commons. Provided with a variety of choices, you will be overwhelmed, and your normal Tuesday won’t be like normal Tuesday, but special Tuesday.

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U2: Given to U for free, only 2 be deleted later

Earlier this month, I was listening to music on my Iphone on shuffle, when a U2 song started to play. The song, “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone),” was one of eleven songs that I did not recall purchasing. Looking more into it I had soon realized that U2 and Apple had partnered up to distribute U2’s latest album “Songs of Innocence,” which is now the largest album purchase in history for FREE. Now giving away samples has always been a marketing strategy on a smaller scale, but to give away an entire album for free….

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The gift from Apple of course had a side deal with U2 in order to buy the album and distribute it freely to half a billion customers. The benefits for this bold marketing scheme has created a vast amount of conversation (positive and negative) for both U2 and Apple.

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Earlier in the year Beyonce distributed a surprise album only using word of mouth to market. Seeing the success with that had to have played a role in the decision for U2 and Apple to seek such innovative marketing techniques, much more aggressive techniques. However, there is a famous saying that Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) and Bono (U2 singer) did not recall. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

The Apple customers are speaking up against the generous gift from Cook. Complaining to the point that Apple has now created an easy walk through to remove the new album from all Apple devices. After spending again roughly $100 million dollars on an ad campaign to distribute the new album, people are complaining about it. As a college student anything free is good enough for me, but then again Apple should have at least offered the album to its customers for free. Giving customers an option would have been much better than forcing it into Iphones with the new software upgrade.

So this brings us to the point, was the move worth it? An attempt to draw more attention for U2’s upcoming tour and encourage more people to sign up for Itunes, which if you do not have at this point you are behind the eight ball. Could this be the turning point that other innovators need to bring down a monopoly named after a fruit? Or was this all a plan to gather the attention of the media and customers indirectly in order to bring more attention to the Iphone 6 and new Apple watch?

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Originally posted on Nicole Hirshfield:

This past Sunday, September 28, I participated in Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Holyoke Community College for the third year in a row. This is an event that I look forward to every year since I joined college my freshman year. I have volunteered every year that I have participated and I find it to be an extremely rewarding experience.

One of the most important parts of participating is the fundraising aspect. The walk is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association which is a non-profit organization created to fund research for alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Marketing for this event is key in order to reach as many people as possible to donate. I find the gift rewards a good motivation for the younger audiences. But my favorite thing that they do is at the event itself.

The promise garden tent is where I have volunteered the past three years. This is where each…

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Twitter Ads

If you use twitter, I’m sure you have come across sponsored posts. Whenever one comes across my feed I just scroll right through it like the nuisance that it is.

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Whenever I see that yellow arrow I know it is not going to something I’m interested in. The question for marketer is, “how can we make these ads catch more eyes”. According to about.twitter.com there are 271 million monthly active users of twitter. Twitter allows marketers to put themselves out to a wide audience, but it also allows the audience to scan over the ads.

There are many different strategies marketers are using to get their ads read. A fairly new feature to twitter is that pictures automatically show up on your timeline, you do not have to click on a link, so an ad with a picture in it stands out much more than just a regular tweet. If you can add an interesting picture to your tweet it will stand out from the rest and catch many more eyes.

Another way to get attention for your ad is to make it funny. People love comedy, laughing is the best part of many peoples days and twitter is a great place for it. For example, a relatively unknown comedian named Rob Delaney made a name for himself on twitter. He was awarded “Funniest Man on Twitter” at the 2012 Comedy Central Awards, the first comedian to do so.

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He now has over a million followers. His stand up comedy special on Netflix lists him as “Social Media sensation”. Rob Delaney reaches an audience of over a million people a day because he is funny. He is not in movies or on TV shows. He did not even have a special before twitter, but his small following grew because he’s funny. If marketers could get their message across while remaining humorous then they could gain a following for their companies as well. In fact if I were a CMO I would hire a comedian to handle the twitter account for my company. Comedy is one of the worlds bests weapons

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GymFanatics

Get Big For Less

Me: Hi! Im Joseph and I’m Cheap.

Others: Hi Joseph.

Me: “I refuse to go shopping at any local supplement retail outlet. They’re nothing but overpriced, marketing scams with uneducated and lousy sales man.”

Hard feelings? 

Do you love supplements as much as you love going to the gym? But do you feel like spent hundreds of dollars of month on these supplements? Do you feel like your getting ripped off at the local supplement retail outlet? You see, places like GNC, Vitamin World, Vitamin Shoppe, or other supplement stores are pricing all their products at  absurd amounts. Well lets just say, your time and money can be better directed when spent at an alternate source.

Reality. 

Many people have read forums on bodybuilding.com for fitness advice, but the website also has an extensive collection of workout supplements. These supplements mirror the quality of GNC products but are sold at cheaper prices.

Lets Throw A Curve Ball At You. 

If you go to your local GNC to purchase a 30 serving tub of “C4 pre workout”, you’ll pay $39.99. If you go on bodybuilding.com you can get the same exact product for $10 cheaper. Also they have a deal that if you buy two online you get one free. In the end, there really shouldn’t be a choice. This is not only for this particular product, all the multi day vitamins, protein powders, and every other types of supplements all the brands offer.

But it doesn’t stop there… 

Overall, the benefits form buying your supplements for your everyday healthy lifestyle on bodybuilding.com is not limited to your finances. After large purchases, they also throw in free “shaker bottles”, shirts, stickers, build store credit,  also they give away samples of other brands for different supplement use. You even can get free advice on how to exercise, and what programs you should use to improve your diet and workouts. You can’t get better then that! But there is always a con for all those people with no patience. Obviously, because it’s a online purchase, it’s going to take 2-3 business days to get to your destination. To me, its worth it, but to others, they may want there supplements right away. If you can’t to spend the extra buck, and take time out of your day to drive to the outlet and buy your supplements be my guest. I’ll rather save in the long run and be able to build my reputation with bodybuilding.com.

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Sources: 

http://www.bodybuilding.com

http://www.gnc.com/home/index.jsp

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=135861941&page=1

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Food, Glorious Food! Or Is It?

Fast food chains are constantly growing in the same manner they were a decade ago. We have all eaten from a fast food restaurant at least once in our lifetime or certainly know someone who has. In my country, a beautiful island called Sri Lanka, the first successful fast food chain opened in the late 90s. The restaurant was McDonald’s and it popularized the “foreign” concept of food in the form of burgers. There is a McDonalds in every part of the world, no matter where you go, be it China, Brazil, India or Africa. How is this company the world’s largest restaurant chain? Well, I have some ideas.

Apart from the very obvious reasons of fast food being convenient and serving food at a good value, there are many others. The restaurant chain is innovative and flexible with their products and services, which goes a long way. According to a New York Times article, there are about three new McDonald’s opening daily in the United States. The goal is to make sure every person is no more than four minutes away from a branch. Such a strategy of branding seems almost imposing to the consumer. Many times I have found myself going to McDonald’s by default and instantly regretting the decision upon noticing another (better tasting) restaurant in the area.

In terms of being innovative with their products, they target young children with promotion strategies of tying up with potential blockbuster movies. By ensnaring the young children through toys and games, they further lure parents with a variety of “healthy” options. From their first menus to their most recent ones, many slight alterations have been made to attract various customers.

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I think that is a great feat to have tapped into so many different markets, especially in countries where the cuisine is very different. This brings me to the flexibility with their menus. Although McDonald’s initial started off in Illinois, they know how to adapt quickly to the environment to attract their target market. Unlike selling technology, food has more specific dietary requirements. In my country, we do not have many pork and beef eaters and therefore, while the Big Mac in the US is a beef burger, we have the option of getting burgers in chicken or beef. Another strategy they have implemented is using our country-specific food in their creations. For example, paneer (a cottage cheese type food) is very popular and instead of just having a veggie sandwich, McDonald’s has come up with the “McSpicy Paneer.” Their continuous experimentation with and incorporation of local cuisine places their company well ahead of others.

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Another thing about McDonald’s that I have noticed is that if an order takes too long they always put in an extra small something to make up for it. I know they are not the only restaurants that do such a thing but I find that these acts go a long, long way in providing customer loyalty. The strategy has certainly worked on me! If I am in that area, I remember the experience and it makes me want to go there again because I know I will be treated well.

The word “fast food” is almost synonymous with the word “McDonald’s” more than any other fast food chain. This brings me to the question of, how much of a choice do we as consumers truly have when it comes to choosing which fast food chain to eat from?

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