Discussion in ‘Freebies’ started by Heaventrix, Dec 13, 2014.
Discussion in ‘Freebies’ started by Heaventrix, Dec 13, 2014.
In 1982, seven people in the Chicago area died after they bought and consumed Extra Strength Tylenol capsules. An investigation determined that the capsules had been laced with cyanide by parties unknown.
Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Tylenol, responded by immediately removing all Tylenol products (even those not involved) from shelves across America, at a cost of $265 million in 2020 dollars. They offered to replace at no cost any products consumers had already purchased. They did not restock stores until they could repackage with new, tamper-evident seals and safeguards.
In the aftermath of the crisis, the Tylenol brand’s market share plummeted from 35% to 8%. But within a year, Tyleonol had regained and surprassed its previous market share. Today, this case is used in business schools as an example of how to respond to negative publicity. Even though Tylenol is just generic acetominephen, it still enjoys non-commodity pricing power because of consumer’s positive associations.
In contrast, in 1994 Professor Thomas Nicely of Lynchburg College reported to Intel some strange results in calculations he was performing with Pentium chips. Intel, after some delays, acknowledged the bug, but minimized the issue, initially saying it was a rare condition and most users would not experience the bug. Under pressure, Intel agreed to replace faulty Pentium chips but only if users could demonstrate that they were affected by the bug.
This news broke not long after Intel’s initial Pentium sales campaign, which featured the “bunny suit” commercials, lavish channel spending on promotion, the Intel Inside campaign, and that tedious four-note theme. All of that massive spending could not outcompete nightly CNN stories, David Letterman “Top Ten Pentium Bugs” monologues, and wide news coverage. After more heel-dragging, Intel announced it would replace any Pentium chip on demand (an offer very few customers bothered with), but the damage was already done. In the end, Intel took a $730 million (2020 dollars) charge.
What do these two episodes in business history teach us?
1. If you have bad news, don’t cover it up. If you’ve been hacked, or if you have some unexpected downtime, customers and potential customers appreciate honesty. For example, BuyVM (a well-respected provider) once had a set of bad power supplies that took down many nodes. The BuyVM team worked long and hard to get everyone’s service restored, and through it all kept posting regular updates. As a result, they received a lot of praise for their transparency.
On the other hand, there have been many providers who denied or minimized problems have seen their brands damaged when the truth comes out because it breaks trust.
2. Sweeping things under the rug costs more in the long run. If Intel had immediately said “yes, errata in chips is common, we acknowledge the error, and we’ll replace any defective chip,” there would have been little coverage outside of obscure engineering journals and very few customers would have taken them up on it. By resisting any concession, Intel eventually spent $730m and enduring brand damage.
3. One piece of bad news is better than many pieces of bad news. It’s painful to announce “we had some nodes go down” or “we got hacked”. But it’s better to get all the bad news out at once than to die by a million cuts as new revelations dribble out daily.
4. Brands can recover from everything except broken trust. Things don’t get much worse for a brand than “our headache medicine can kill you”. Yet, J&J bounced back through honesty and focusing on the customer experience rather than short-term profits. If you take a blow, acknowledge the issue, think long-term, and put your customers first.
Black Friday will soon be upon us and the staff at LowEndBox/LowEndTalk would like to take a moment to give providers some tips to maximize your success during this traditional event.
Be compelling. Our readers expect to see door-busting deals during BF and will be disappointed if you’re just posting the same pricing and promos available on your web site. You can limit stock, restrict geographies, etc. if you must but please make sure you are bringing a deal on Black Friday.
Be creative. Not every offer is measured purely by the percent off. Throw in something unusual or different to help you stand out. Many providers use Black Friday as a way to get their name out and attract reviews and influencers. This about what you want to accomplish with Black Friday and setup your offers for success.
Be fun. It’s a crazy event! Dress up your offer with a holiday theme, think up a clever way to phrase your offer, or do something no one’s ever seen before. Don’t just post the same old 1GB offer, but rather make your offer something that stands out and is different.
Be engaged. Be sure to check comments on LEB and participate in the LET BF thread. Our community appreciates people who participate and providers who build ties with our user base enjoy more sales. Devote a little time on Black Friday and following days to check comments and threads and followup with any questions.
Follow these tips to ensure that your 2020 Black Friday experience is one for the books!
One of the most important questions a provider can ask himself is: why should someone buy from me instead of from a competitor? In marketing, this is called differentiation.
In the early days of hosting, the market was rapidly expanding and anyone could show up, offer services, and attract customers. Today this is no longer the case. The market is saturated and supply is highly elastic. Even worse, there are very few barriers to entry. If you want to sell a new type of microchip or a new kind of electric car, you need billions to setup shop. To start hosting, you only need to rent a server, throw up a web site, and start accepting orders. This leads to intense price pressure.
So how do small players compete? By differentiating themselves. They look at their business (and the market) from a consumer’s set of eyes and say “what will make me stand out?” They ask “why would someone shopping for hosting pick me?”
Let’s look first at some things that are not good differentiators.
“Great Customer Service”: everyone promises this. Other than reading reviews, the consumer has no way to evaluate this. There are already tons of hosts that have 24×7 service.
“Small Company/Personal Touch”: This angle works better when you’re selling home cleaning services or auto detailing or daycare. In those markets, people want to know the provider intimately. On the other hand, they don’t care if their gas station is independent or part of a chain. Hosting is more like a gas station.
Things Everyone Offers: Saying you provide free SSL, Softaculous, etc. is not a differentiator because everyone offers those things. The bar keeps rising. Ten years ago, including DDOS protection was indeed a differentiator because few providers offered it. Today it’s very common and no longer sets you apart.
Many Locations: If you provide KVMs in multiple cities, you’re one of many. Adding a 9th or 10th city does not bring you to a new level. Now if you had technology that allowed customers to move their VMs around from city to city at will, that would be a differentiator because few hosts do that.
Security: There is genuinely a difference between someone who’s written a custom panel and had it professionally audited and someone who hasn’t, or someone who has good security practices in his farm and someone who doesn’t. The problem is that the consumer expects high security and has no way to knowing who’s not telling the truth, so from a marketing perspective, this is not a differentiator.
Value-Added Services: For example, if you can provide a high-touch white-glove service to businesses, this will set you apart. I don’t mean just saying “24×7 support” because everyone says that. I mean offering web design, consulting, web site management, etc. Something you don’t charge $5/month for but rather $100/month. Of course the time and effort to acquire these customers is much greater but someone knocking on a business owner’s door, sitting down with a PowerPoint of services and a set of references, etc. is setting himself apart from HostGator.
Niche Expertise: An old example is game hosting, though that market is pretty crowded now. If there is a specific application you have expertise in, setting up hosting for that platform and positioning yourself as the best-known name for that product can be lucrative. For example, CaseBox is a solution for litigation management. If you sold VMs that came with CaseBox pre-configured and were there 24×7 to answer questions about CaseBox (not just the VM, but provide consulting on how to use the product), you would have a unique niche.
Unique Features: Geography can be a differentiator, if you are truly located somewhere unique or rare. Hourly billing is still not that common, nor are pooled services (where the consumer gets a set of cores and GBs and disk and deploys VMs as he wishes). There are some features which you only really see at the mid-market position such as load balancers, block storage, a robust API, etc.
Compelling Story or Company Personality: This is much trickier and lower impact, but a company that has an interesting story to tell, has unique branding, has an owner that is well-known in the industry, etc. can stand out from a host that uses the same ThemeForest template as 100 other hosts. Just having a fun or eye-catching web site isn’t enough, but it can be part of your strategy.
Differentiation is not the end-all of a marketing strategy, but in a crowded market, examining what sets you apart is critical to the long-term health of your company. Try to look at the market as a whole and your place in it, and ask why the customer will pick you.
Are there some other things providers can do to stand out in the marketplace? Please comment below!
According to a comment from @ZachLipton:
I believe that the United States allowed visa-free transit under certain circumstances (and a similar program called international to international) for those who would otherwise need visas, even without exit control (the airline was responsible for ensuring you do not wander usually by keeping your passport and escorting yourself). It was completely finished in 2003 for security reasons.
What was the exact name of this program and how did it work?
Launch a dive plane while the engines are running and you have surprisingly little time before the plane hits the ground … strong.
"They would fall right? This is not very curious for you ???" Of course, they would fall right down. The towers were not inclined after the impact. The only external force exerted on the building was therefore gravity pulling straight down. Some debris on the upper floors fell outside the building footprint as these floors were sloped.
"Also tower 7 falls without a plane, even hit it? Hmmmm" Tower 7 was heavily damaged by falling debris from the main towers.
I watched the pictures as that happened. I've read what many experts have written. Some French morons with a YouTube video and no basic understanding of physics will change my mind.
If you want to believe that the US government is behind the attacks, well, be an idiot. If they were, they hired the people who took over the planes. All of the BS on explosives (it would have taken weeks to wire those buildings, someone would have noticed) and remotely controlled military planes painted to look like airliners (none are missing) are crazy.
BlackHatKings: General Discussion on PPC
Posted by: MizspesE
Post time: June 26, 2019 at 05:25.
[ Politics ] Open question: Is it possible that President Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have a false flag on Easter Sunday that is even more catastrophic than 9/11? .