Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'Focus Brands International' Marketing Stinks... Literally!

The majority of you will read this and hear 'Focus Brands International' and have no idea who that company is, but I guarantee 90% of you have eaten their products or at least heard of them. Focus Brands International is a privately owned company that owns 5 different world wide food brands:


Many of us have engaged in a mouthwatering Cinnabon after walking through the mall and breathing the sweet aroma of frosting and cinnamon. Do not be ashamed to admit to your gluttonous behavior because we have all done it. I am guilty of being at the Boca Mall last weekend with my Sister-in-Law and while on the way to the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale (Yes ladies it is still going on! BUT HURRY!) and walking by the 1 of 2 Auntie Anne's in the Boca Town Center. The freshly baked pretzel bites were screaming my name and here I go giving in to their stinky, smelly, but 'ohhh so good' marketing technique. 

Everyone has a different approach to marketing and for the Focus Brand International franchises their approach has made them a hit. Their signature marketing tactic is smell. Research has proven that 80% of taste is aroma. So how have they used this to their advantage? Smell has been linked with 'involuntary memory'; these memories are triggered by different scents that induce powerful and vivid memories and are more realistic than a 'voluntary' memory that is person is purposely trying to recall. By using different scents a brand is able to develop a stronger and more emotional relationship with the consumer. Once the scent becomes embedded in a person's brain, the experience with the scent can be revived when introduced later. Cinnabon has used this 'stinky' marketing to help restore their customers' experiences and reintroduce the craving for their product to generate sales. 

Like I mentioned earlier, everyone has been in a mall shopping when all of a sudden....."Cinnabon... you want a cinnabon.... you NEED a cinnabon...." happens. The smell of the cinnamon rolls is so powerful that in an instant your mouth is watering and you are in the line. But how and why does this happen?

Cinnabon bakes their products and when baking the natural aroma of the buns is released. But, they can't bake all day long to continue to maintain that smell... Correct! Cinnabon actually uses top of the line cinnamon scents and air fresheners to help maintain the succulent smell that never fails. By continuing to release the scent into the air, mall shoppers are constantly being exposed while walking by and some will give in, thus creating sales. Focus Brands believes that smell marketing is one of the strongest ways to create and maintain their brands' relationships with their consumers. By associating the smell of fresh baked goods with the experience, they are able to 'involuntarily' reenact these experiences with the exposition of their smell to their consumers thus creating a demand to relive the positive encounter.

This marketing technique has also been used by bookstores (Barnes & Nobles), coffee shops (Starbucks), fast food restaurants (McDonald's and KFC), and even retail stores (Abercrombie & Fitch). Next time you're out shopping, check to see if you can smell your products marketing!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

'Feel Good' Marketing = Coach Factory's Tactics

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that it feels good to buy things at good prices. 67% of American's admit to buying items that they did not intend on purchasing if they felt like they were getting a good deal. This marketing strategy is called 'Feel Good' Neuromarketing and there is one company that holds the gold metal in this tactic: Coach Factory Outlets

Many women are subscribed to numerous websites for deals, coupons, sales and promotions. When you subscribe to these sites they send you emails on occasion to promote whatever sale is occurring. Coach Factory store's send several emails per week notify the subscribers of different sales that are occurring. The newest sale intrigued my inner marketer, so I decided to engage in the sale. Below I have attached the screenshot of the Coach Factory online sale that is currently running. If you go to the website ( you have to be a subscribed member before you are given access to the website and its sale. 

TACTIC 1: Get a conversion. The potential buyer is on your site because they are already interested in your promotion, now you are funneling them to provide an email address to subscribe to the site in order to gain access to the website and sale. This tactic does two things for Coach, (1) it allows their user to believe that this is a 'members only' and 'exclusive' sale to them. Because you are a member we are giving you this % off our items. This is initiating the 'feel good' experience that you are aiming for in this marketing strategy. (2) If the potential buyer goes online, goes on the site, looks around, and decides not to purchase anything, you already have a valid email address to that purchaser. So even if they did not convert when they went online, you have a way of contacting them in the future to try to close the deal next time. 

So now your on the Coach Factory site, your logged in, and you begin to browse. What do you see? TACTIC 2: Incentives. The first incentive is (1) SALE ENDS: 1 Day, 3 Hours. This gives your viewers a sense of urgency; you have 27 Hours to engage in this special offer or your going to miss out. (2) Invite Friends for $10 off, 50% off of Everything, Free Shipping on $150+. So not only do they feel the urgency to purchase to get the 'Feel Good' savings, but they now have 3 incentives: 
  • If they tell their friends about the sale, get an extra $10 off
  • They have 27 hours left for 50% off of everything
  • If they purchase $150+ they get free shipping (More Savings! Yay!)

So these viewers are going on this site, and they are being overwhelmed with all these good feeling: I got 50% off of a new purse, I got free shipping, Sally signed up and how I got an extra $10 saved! So the customer is feeling good and happy and engaging in the website doing EXACTLY what Coach Factory wants them to do:
  1. Give us your email so in case you don't purchase now, we got the line in the water and can reel you in later.
  2. Buy and buy NOW! They are pushing the sale with the time limitation
  3. We will give you $10 for referring a friend because we will make money off of them and you.
  4. Purchase over $150 and we will pay for the shipping. An incentive to a higher purchase.
So the customer feels good and happy about all the savings that they feel they are getting, and Coach Factory store is happy because the audience is engaging exactly as they planned. 

TACTIC 3: Reinforce the feel goods. Once you actually start to look at the products you see that they reinforce what Coach has been telling you since you got on their website: It's a good deal, engage. They show the picture of the handbag, the name, the regular price, the sale price, then the 50% limited time offer price in red. So you see a purse you like and it was originally $358, then now it is $279, but for the next day at 50% off it is $139.50. That 50% off price sounds a lot better than the original $358 retail price. Product placement is also influential during this marketing campaign. In the screen shot you will see that the most expensive purse is placed in the middle of the page, in between the two beige bags which make it stand out the most on the page. All the purses around this bag are the same price ($114.50) except the purse in the top right corner (which is where the most eye traffic goes naturally to the top right corner of any website, hence the reason it is always recommended to place your phone number and contact information there) which is the least expensive bag at $101.50.

There a many other tactics that are used on Coach Factory websites, along with other top named brands. To learn more, subscribe to the Tandem Interactive Blog and email me directly at