New Look, same company.

Natural Phentermine with the service due to go dwell in April 2015 in about 60 pharmacies in three North East London boroughs. Tremendous Rx Pharmacy its Free Diabetic Medication Program which a number of the most popular Kind II Diabetes medications to customers with a valid prescription from their doctor. As now we have highlighted a few weeks ago, Walgreens will now not part of the Categorical Scripts pharmacy network. I, apparently together with Audrey discover Specific Scripts to be a royal ache within the tuchas when they screw up a script.

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Posted by on in Social Media

Waking up this morning was bit more difficult than a regular Monday as most of us will have an extra +2000 calories to work off today from some amazing Superbowl parties.  Congrats to the new Superbowl Champions the Seattle Seahwaks, and a “shame shame” to the Denver Broncos who were anything but the “The Greatest Offense of All Time”.

I’m glad all the mayhem is finished though, because that means it’s Monday and here at Look Matters, that means: the Monday Hot Five!


Posted by on in Business

An article by Donald Cooper, MBA...

How to change the game and grow your bottom line.

Last week I had dinner with a friend who complained that in his business, the wholesale distribution of safety supplies, it's all about price and they struggle to make a decent profit.  He was looking for sympathy...and he didn't get any from me. What he got was a different way of looking at his business that may also be helpful to you if you're being pressured on price.

I told my friend that it's never all about price...unless you say it is.   I asked him what he'd have to do in his business to make it not all about price.  What additional value would he have to create and consistently deliver?  What unique products, services or information would it take to set his business apart? How might he change his entire business model to raise the bar and dominate his industry?

Or, conversely, what he would have to do to proactively make it all about price...and then to win that battle, profitably? 

Here are the two choices that most businesses have...

a)  To add some compelling functional, emotional or long-term financial value that makes it not all about price...or,

b)  To intentionally make it all about price and then become so efficient and so aggressive that you win that war,   

But most businesses would rather just carry on being be mediocre, being marginally profitable...and then whine about it.  So, here's what I told my friend, that may also be helpful to you...

1.  First off, I told him that maybe it isn't all about price...maybe he has just convinced himself that it is.

2.  Next, I reminded him that most business make the mistake of defining themselves by what they sell and by how they've always done. What they need to do is to redefine themselves, not by what they sell, but by how they HELP their target customers.  It's simple and transformational.  In my friend's case, they would stop defining themselves as "being distributors of workplace safety supplies" (who are constantly being beaten up on price), and redefine themselves as being in the business of helping companies keep their employees safe, healthy, alive and on-the-job.

Then, they will ask and answer two simple but powerful questions...

a)  “What kind of help do our customers need in any way related to keeping their employees safe, healthy, alive and on-the-job?  What products, services, information, education, increased awareness, training, coaching, reminders or encouragement do they need?"

b) “How can we actually deliver some of that help in a way that 'grabs' our target customers, clearly differentiates us from our competitors, makes us 'famous' in our industry...and grows our bottom line?"

3.  Workplace safety is a very big deal. Between 800 and 1000 Canadian workers die each year in work-related incidents. Over a million workplace injuries occur in Canada each year. The cost to families, to our economy and to individual businesses is staggering. To address this tragedy we don't just need safety equipment.  We need awareness and action.

So, to take the lead, we can hire one of North America's leading employee safety experts, on retainer, to do the following...

  1. Write a free, monthly E-Newsletter to educate our customers about safety issues and solutions, while positioning us as the knowledgeable and caring 'coach' in the field of industrial safety.
  2. Write articles on workplace safety, in the name of our business for industry magazines in the sectors we serve.
  3. Help design our 'best of class' website to deliver on-line safety info and solutions.
  4. Speak on our behalf at industry Conferences about the tragedy of workplace illness, injury and death...and how to get it right.
  5. Help us design our own Branded product line of safety supplies to give us superior, differentiated, higher margin products. Have those products produced for us overseas with our own Brand so that we are competitively priced on unique and superior products, while making a much bigger margin.  Depending on our current sales volume, we may have to buy up a competitor or two to get to the critical mass required for overseas production.  Of course, once we have created superior products and created our own Brand, we can then enter the USA or European markets.
  6. Help train our sales staff to sell safety solutions more effectively.
  7. Call on key accounts with our management and sales team to help them with major safety challenges.  For a fee, our 'expert' can perform Safety Audits for customers.
  8. Offer ‘best in class’ courses (for a fee) to train "Safety Officers" for businesses.  These courses can be customized to suit specific industries.  As demand for these courses expand, our 'expert' will train additional instructors to meet the demand.  This can become a significant profit center.

4. To promote 'workplace safety', and our own Brand, we will run small awareness ads in business and industry magazines each month showing how many people have been injured and have died on the job, in Canada, so far that year.  These 'shock ads' will raise awareness of workplace safety at the senior management level while reinforcing the need for our products, services and courses.  They will also get us talked about and interviewed in the media, thus positioning us as the concerned professionals.

As part of our commitment to safety, we can create an annual 'National Workplace Safety Awards' event at which companies are honoured for their success in creating safer workplaces.  This, of course, attracts more national and local media exposure for our business, raising us from 'expert' to 'celebrity' status.

Because we also sell safety vests for school crossing guards, we will run an annual Award for Canada's Best Crossing Guard.  Schools will support the program because it helps them get kids to respect and heed their crossing guards.  School children will write in to tell why their own favorite crossing guard should receive the honour. 

Once again, the media publicity for this event at the national and local level will be incredible with the winning crossing guard, the student who nominated him or her and an executive from our company being interviewed on national and local TV and in print media.

Through these kinds of activities, we elevate ourselves to being a respected national (or international) workplace safety Brand.  Is this a lot more work than running a mediocre safety supply distributorship that constantly complains about price competition and low profitability?  Absolutely...but creating something extraordinary is always more work than whining.

5.  Going the other way. Making it all about price... and winning that battle. Perhaps it really is all about price and creating an extraordinary national or international workplace safety 'Brand' is not the most profitable way to go.

If it really is all about price, we must become the most cost-efficient, aggressive player in the industry so that we can sell competitively and profitably.  Or, we actually undercut our competitors, driving their profits down to the point that they go out of business...or we buy them for cheap.

This is a very different business model that requires world-class purchasing, cost and inventory control, warehousing, order processing, picking and shipping. The business will have a transactional focus rather than a value-added relationship focus.

6.  Making a clear choice...or just doing nothing.  I've challenged my friend to ponder the alternatives and come up with a clear direction for his business.  At the same time, I challenge you to choose a clear direction for yours.  Will you choose to make it all about price and then compete efficiently and aggressively to win that battle profitably?

Or, will you redefine and differentiate your business to be truly extraordinary by delivering more help, more information, more expert advice, more value, more uplifting experiences, faster response time, higher performance, more unique products or services?  And then, will you find innovative ways to communicate that value, attract media attention and achieve celebrity status in your markets?

Specifically, what will you do to move from commodity, to expert and then on to celebrity? 

Whichever way you go, what expert help will you need to become remarkable...and will you commit to searching out that help and getting them on board?  Or, will you just be mediocre, get beaten up on price and whine?

But remember, in this highly competitive world, mediocrity is no longer an option.

- Donald Cooper

Posted by on in Social Media

If politics is show business for ugly people, then advertising must be sports for the uncoordinated.

At the risk of ridicule, I have to admit that I am writing a blog about the Super Bowl and I don't even know who is playing in it. I am not even going to Google it right now it to pretend like I know.

I can however tell you a lot about the ads that are going to be running in between the annoying football bits of the broadcast that is expected to draw in more than 180 million viewers.

Posted by on in Strategy

I hear it time and time again….

 “Can you tell me how many people landed on this specific page after going through these 3 before it?”

“Why is this keyword only generating a 0.06% click-through rate, when this one is generating a 0.08%?”

Posted by on in Advertising

I am choosing this controversial title because I want to stress the importance of advertising for online business. The notion that you just have to put something on the Internet and your work is done, is as ridiculous as having a brick and mortar store without signage and/or telling anything about it.

Posted by on in Social Media

Most of us start off our week’s the same way: with a yawn and a stretch. Here at Look Matters we like to combat those contagious yawns with our ‘Social Salon’ (patent pending).  If you’re like me, the image that comes to mind is all of us talking about social media and getting our hair ‘did’.  In actuality, a salon was also a place back in the 17th and 18th century where distinguished guests would gather and discuss major topics, usually art.

Posted by on in Business

Your brand is a symbol by which your customer recognizes your company, your product, services and above all your reputation. You company works hard in order to make customers happy with the products and services they provide.  It’s is then your brand that associates your products and services with the reputation and loyalty you’ve earned from your customers.

Posted by on in Business

An article by Donald Cooper, MBA...

At the end of every year we retreat to our country place for three wonderful and peaceful weeks to reflect, refresh and relax.  Although it's only two hours north of Toronto, it feels like a million miles from anything 'city'...especially in winter!  But, even here, one learns important business lessons. 

As soon as we arrived this year, I hung a bird feeder right outside our kitchen window.  Think of this as a new business start-up with a great product (ok, so peanuts from Bulk Barn), no customers, but great potential in the form of a nearby forest full of hungry birds.  This new venture had 'success' written all over it!

But how, I wondered, do I promote my 'grand opening'?  First, I thought of advertising but birds don't read newspapers, don't listen to the radio or watch TV...but they do ‘tweet’.  Then, I thought that maybe I should create a 'grand opening special' by lowering my price...but hell, I was giving my peanuts away.  How much lower could I go?  I even considered sampling, but didn't fancy myself standing outside, under the feeder, at minus 35 degrees, holding out a handful of free peanuts. 

Here’s what happened during the first five days of my new ‘business venture’…

Day #1...No customers.  Not one single bird. Our new business was a failure!  

Day #2: Things are looking up!  We are visited by one chickadee, who apparently loves free, imported Spanish peanuts. He stays to shop the entire day.

Day #3:  Things are really looking up. We have dozens of chickadees and two kinds of nuthatches.  Apparently birds tell other birds. Funny how that works.

Day #4:  We have dozens more chickadees, endless nuthatches and two sizes of woodpeckers…both males and females.  Apparently, peanuts are a one-size-fits-all item...and not gender-specific.

Our 'grand opening' is officially declared to be a huge success!  We now have line-ups. It’s like an Ikea grand opening…our customers are actually fighting for the ‘merchandise’. 

By the end of the day we're running out of peanuts and I make a special trip to town to replenish our inventory and purchase two additional feeders to expand our operation, eliminate line-ups and improve our customer service.

Day #5: Our customer base grows even more with the addition of one blue jay and a red squirrel.  He doesn't fit our demographic, but we welcome him anyway, as long as he doesn't frighten away our primary target customers.

So, here are your five important business lessons from the bird feeder...

  1. You can't build a business in one day. Be in it for the long haul.

  2. Word-of-mouth works! One delighted customer can profoundly affect the success of your business.

  3. Don't run out of what your customers want.

  4. Expand your business only when you have lineups. Don’t get ahead of yourself.  Too much inventory or too much overhead can kill you.

  5. You may get customers that you didn't expect.  Welcome them!  They create a whole new possibility to grow your business. 

- Donald Cooper

Posted by on in Culture

Growing up I was a huge fan of Disney and all of their stories.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that I watched the cartoon Robin Hood with the fox at least twice a day in my childhood.   In fact, I used one of the songs from that movie in my wedding! I can recall being in awe of the Little Mermaid, the Lion King, and Aladdin when I saw them in the theatre for the first time.  Needless to say, like most of us, I have a very special and nostalgic place in my heart for Walt Disney and one of their stories. 

Posted by on in Strategy

When it comes to your business you need to have a strategy, especially one that involves social media marketing efforts. If you don’t have a strategy in place, well then you’re not going to be making good progress. At least not the type of progress you hoped for.

So what you’re going to do first is…

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