By Jetta Bates-Vasilatos and Edited by: David Wolinsky
As a business owner or marketer, if you’re not living and loving the brand you’re selling, please count me out as a customer. Are you selling your new line of make-up, but giving out Mac “Viva Glam” air kisses? Designing clothes no one ever sees you in? Your actions are sure to hit you square in the profits.
If you don’t believe in your product, why should the marketplace?
During a recent trip to Taiwan, a country that’s working hard and smart to be a top-of-mind destination for avid bikers, it became readily apparent they get the importance of putting actions behind words. What I experienced there was beyond a few slick ads touting the pleasure of riding. It was a holistic effort designed to capture the attention of the consumer and turn them into Taiwanese bike-culture believers by essentially doing two simple things that are easy for every entrepreneur:
1. Keep it real
After being fascinated by the story of Giant Bike chairman King Liu’s nine-day ride around the whole island at age 73, I couldn’t help but be impressed. Hearing about a man in his seventies biking the Taiwanese perimeter wipes out all excuses not to get your own pedal on. Seeing senior leadership bike into the parking lot certainly drove home the idea that they were in-tune with their product. Because they use what they sell, their feedback comes from a place of an end user’s experience, which bodes well for future innovation.
2. Make it fun
People should enjoy and benefit from engaging your brand. Taiwan is selling biking as a lifestyle and using amusement and improved health as the lure. While visiting, I was energized by seeing teams from around the world excited to compete and onlookers arriving on their bikes to show support. The message that “riding is cool” was not lost on me. A beautiful bike ride around Sun Moon Lake delivered exactly what the Taiwanese promised, a great way to stay in shape while taking in gorgeous scenery. They made sure promoted biking areas throughout Taiwan were well-marked and free of bumps and trash … as there is nothing better than a brand delivering on its promise.
Jetta Bates-Vasilatos is founder of Twist Communications and a life stylist with 10+ years of award-winning consumer engagement/strategic planning experience for luxury and global brands like BMW and Coca-Cola. She also serves as an on-air correspondent and writer with a focus on luxury and experiential tourism, lifestyle, sustainability and personal finance (how to be chic yet savvy). Jetta has appeared on stations such as WCIU-TV, KBS-TV(Korea), ABC-7, CLTV and KBC-TV (Kenya), writes for national print publications such as Essence, Recommend, Ebony and HomeStyle Design and is the host of the Jettasetting segment on WVON radio.
Visit her website jettasetting.com, find real-time tips on her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter: @jettaset.