Tag Archives: Business

Has Starbucks Lost its Cool?

Starbucks discontinued breakfast sandwich.

Starbucks discontinued breakfast sandwich.

I went in today and noticed Starbucks has introduced new breakfast items like hot oatmeal and whole wheat buns. A few days ago, I was at another Starbucks that was still serving those breakfast sandwiches that make the store smell like a cheap diner rather than a joint for premium coffee. Something isn’t quite right at the house of mermaid. Too much expansion. Venturing away from their core product. Every place looking way too much like the other, which normally shouldn’t be a bad thing when trying to maintain brand consistency. Whatever it is, what used to work for me no longer does.

Maybe it’s because in Vancouver, we have an abundant choice of excellent coffee shops with loads of individuality and charm… something that appears to be missing at Starbucks. The once symbol for cool coffee and a great place to meet, is beginning to feel like a bad corporate hangover with a self-indulgent CEO at the helm who has lost his grip on the experience and setting. Or it may just be me. But, I find myself increasingly drawn to every coffee shop OTHER than Starbucks to grab a cup of joe or meet for business or catch up with a friend. Sure, when I’m travelling, I tend to look for a Starbucks because I know what to expect because I don’t know the local coffee scene and don’t have time to explore. And I’m fully aware that delivering that consistent product and experience is key to that statement, and what we all like to preach about when running a successful business. But, there is a fine line between consistency and cookie-cutter. I think the mermaid may have crossed over.

25 Comments

Filed under Branding, Business, Coffee, marketing, Small Business Marketing, Starbucks

Sneak Preview of PEER 1 ‘Growing Pains’ Episode 2

Here’s a sneak preview of PEER 1 Growing Pains, episode 2 – ‘A Walk in The Park’ of our humorous (now award-winning) short video series about web hosting. See Episode 1 here. Some time after being tossed out of the house, Todd and Janet try to mend fences over a nice walk in the park. All seems well and the moment feels right, or so Todd thinks….

digg story

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, Business, Co-location, Comedy, Communications, data center, e-commerce, Hosting, Humor, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, ServerBeach, servers, Technology, video, Viral

Interview in Ping! Zine Magazine – Blogging for Business

Blogging for Business in 2008I was recently interviewed by Dave Young for an article entitled “Blogging for Business in 2008” that appears in the latest edition of Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine. Below is an excerpt along with a link to the pdf:

I studied their products and services, their corporate websites, but the real studying was done by reading their blog posts. Three of my personal favorite blogs belong to PEER 1, Mailtrust, and MailChimp, names you may already be familiar with if you pay attention to what’s going on in the hosting and software industries.

Okay, so you are probably asking “what’s so great about these companies and their blogs?” I took the time to interview the people behind these successful blogs. The responses I received are quite intriguing. Rajan Sodhi, VP of Marketing and Communications at PEER 1, started “Big Marketing for Small Businesses” and has been posting to his blog (bigmarketing.wordpress.com) since august 2006. Sodhi said, “My blog has been successful in giving me an opportunity to discuss, share and engage with others about my favorite topic – marketing.”

Sodhi enjoys discussing ideas and concepts in marketing on his personal blog. However, blogs are able to do more than just communicate your personal thoughts on whatever interests you the most. For example, Pat Matthews, president of Mailtrust, a Rackspace company, said, “My blog has helped us generate business as well as recruit more effectively.” Matthews has been posting in his “Small Town, Big ideas” blog (patsweblog.com) for over 2.5 years. He believes potential customers and employees like to read about the company they are going to do business with or work for in the future. Matthews added, “My blog has made a big impact on both levels.” Sodhi and Matthews’ blogs are independent of their company’s websites and still help them build business. What happens when you fully integrate your blog within your corporate website?

Download article (pdf): Blogging for Business in 2008

2 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Branding, Business, Communications, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Web 2.0

Google’s GOOG-411 Connects You to Local Businesses for Free

Google has come out with another free cool service called GOOG-411, a voice-activated 1-800 line that connects you to businesses in your area. For example, if you’re looking for ‘pizza delivery’, say it along with your city and state or province, and it will give you available businesses to choose from. Here is a video demonstration of how easy it is. I have already added it to my speed dial.

3 Comments

Filed under Business, Cell phone, Communications, Electronics, Google, innovation, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, Small Business Marketing, Technology, Web Sites

Change HR to ‘Talent’

You can never underestimate the power of a word. Seth Godin wrote a post about marketing HR (human resources) and how the terminology “HR” brings it with a legacy of treating people like replaceable and interchangeable resources. Almost every business operator agrees that their biggest assets are their people and the skills, knowledge and expertise they bring to the table. So why not change the department name of HR to “Talent” as Seth argues? May sound like a spin at first, but I agree with his assessment that the word brings along with it a new mind set on how the recruit, manage and grow talented people. Read more

2 Comments

Filed under Business, Communications, marketing, Recruting, Small Business Marketing

Getting IT with New Web Campaign

we get IT logoWe’ve officially announced our new “we get IT” campaign at PEER 1 through this press release today. My team and I designed this campaign as way of telling our customers’ business story, and how hosting has played a critical role in doing what they do. So far, we’ve launched three video stories: Plentyoffish.com (no.1 free online dating site), Vonage (leading broadband telephone provider) and Blast Radius (interactive design agency for fortune 500’s). This blends with my strong belief in making the customer the star, and allows us to keep the campaign as fresh as the individuals we profile. People are doing some very unique and innovative things online, so there is no shortage of content and intrigue. We’ve adopted a casual interview style with the segments hosted by former MTV VJ Brian Adler, who helps by injecting some humor and taking some of the mystery out of technology so that anyone can understand it. The other part of this campaign was a trial piece we launched on social media sites called “Growing Pains” which tells the story of a guy named Todd who brings home a server to start his own online business. “This is going to grow into something beautiful,” he exclaims. He’s right. Well, sort of. Things do grow… but just a little out of control. A fun (yet experimental) piece that we launched on October 19th and has since received over 34,000 views and over 500 entries into our free managed hosting contest. The next segment is in the works.

3 Comments

Filed under advertising, Branding, Brian Adler, Business, Co-location, Dating, Design, Hosting, Humor, innovation, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Markus Frind, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Plentyoffish.com

Size Matters for Lovers on New Jumbo Jet

Size Matters for Lovers on New Jumbo JetIn the competitive world of air transportation, Singapore Airlines has jumped ahead as the first to add the new Airbus A380, the world’s biggest jumbo jet. The plane, among other things, boasts 12 first-class suites complete with double beds. Comfortable? Yes, but perhaps a little too comfortable for Singapore Airlines who is now asking customers to refrain from using the beds to join the mile high club. The cabins are private, but are not sealed or sound proof. Could be live entertainment for some, a triple-X nuisance for others. “So they’ll sell you a double bed, and give you privacy and endless champagne and then say you can’t do what comes naturally?” Tony Elwood, who traveled with wife Julie in a suite aboard the inaugural flight, told the Times of London. And who said men don’t understand foreplay.

3 Comments

Filed under Bizarre, Business, Humor, innovation, marketing