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Toy Story 3 Marketing

“Adventure is out there!” I say dramatically quoting Charles Muntz from “Up”.  It is up to us to find it and that, my dear friends, is exactly what I intend to do today.  Granted in order for this theme to work you need to have a very loose definition of “adventure” which I fortunately have, seeing as my last adventure was trying to find the remote which has been getting increasingly good at hiding itself these days.  I think it’s started wearing camo.  Enough about my remote and the impossible task of locating it, on to the good stuff!  (Chocolate!)

Pixar is the best company I can think of for the topic of this week’s article: reputation.  As I’m sure you are all aware the third and final Toy Story was released a little under a month ago yet it is still holding solid in the theaters.  Now I don’t really watch a lot of TV anymore, that pesky remote got too irritating and I gave up fighting it, but I still knew Toy Story 3 was soon to come a couple months ago.  The biggest reason for this is because Pixar has a reputation for making movies that are amazing that as soon as they make any sort of announcement everyone in the world seems to know about it.  Fun fact off Wikipedia: Finding Nemo was the most successful movie Pixar made (based on worldwide gross).

“But Pixar is, well, Pixar, I’ll never be able to get that reputation and respect,” those of you with little self confidence may say.  “Wrong!” I protest vehemently (5 point word!), “Pixar didn’t start out as the movie-creating God it is now, they had to start at the bottom like the rest of us.”  Well, most of us, some royalty and people who inherit money *cough* Trump *cough* have it easy from day one but since that is a very small percentage of the 6 billion people that live in this world we can safely exclude them.  As I was getting at, building a reputation like Pixar’s doesn’t happen overnight, you have to put a ton of conscience effort into building and maintaining it.  For small businesses where you interact with your customers personally, like a mom and pop shop, you have to make sure to have a smile on your face even if your landlord just took your dog or favorite couch.  For the bigger companies, a big problem we all seem to see a lot is when untrustworthy staff or accountants ruin the company because the proper checks of power and quality of character were not in place.  Granted it’s getting harder and harder to find people with strong morals but putting that extra effort into finding and acquiring them is the difference between Pixar and Enron.

Now for the theory part of this blog: How to Keep Your Reputation Up.

The reason this is theory is because I don’t own a company.  These are the things I would strive for that, logically, seem to make sense.

The first one I can think of is to address all problems and complaints quickly and correctly.  Toyota would be a great example of what not to do.  Instead of covering up the issue they seemed to know about by saying it was the floor mats they should have fessed up and done a recall.  This would probably cost them a ton of money but the amount they would save in their reputation and trust from customers would be priceless.  For better or worse that problem seems to have blown over but I still think they went about it the wrong way.

Next I’d say go out of your way to be kind to customers, ESPECIALLY if you’re a small business.  It’s a great way to get yourself mentioned to friends and family which means repeat business and more customers.  That little extra smile goes way farther than you may think so tighten those muscles and curve your lips up a little, it’ll be worth it.

For bigger companies, and small ones if you get feedback, listen to it.  No one knows what your customers want better than your customers themselves.  That’s how companies like Dell managed to turn themselves around and become increasingly popular while HP continues to dwindle.  If any of you are like me and are part of the 11 million and growing people that play WoW then you know about Blizzard’s new expansions and changes soon to be released in Cataclysm.  Blizzard is a company that is very good at sifting through the massive amount of feedback and finding the true problems then fixing them.  The bigger you get the harder this becomes but the moral of this paragraph is that feedback is one of the best assets a company has, use it wisely.

So this turned out to be waaaaay longer than I had anticipated, hopefully you guys made it all the way though though God knows I wouldn’t have.  Keep in mind all I said about being kind to customers still applies to internet-based companies.  Rather than smiling, however, you have to make sure your e-mails are cheery and grammatically correct.  I think I got all I wanted to say down, if not next weeks article will be an amendment to this one.  And now ladies and gentlemen, with my Hard style slamming in my ears, I must finish this article by saying “live long and prosper”.