Famous Amos Meets the Web

http://www.njbiz.com/print_article.asp?aID=72999

By Joao-Pierre Ruth
1/21/2008
NJBIZ

BOOK REVIEW

In two new books on marketing, New Jersey entrepreneurs Larry Bailin and Christopher Rosica provide a collection of tips for attracting and retaining customers. Bailin focuses on the Internet in “Mommy, Where do Customers Come From?” (Larstan Publishing; 151 pages; $24.95.) while Rosica offers brand-building advice in “The Authentic Brand” (Noble Press; 212 pages; $19.95).

Rosica, CEO of Rosica Public Relations in Paramus and owner of Noble Press, culls anecdotes from the careers of notable businessmen such as Jerry Baldwin, co-founder of Starbucks Corp.; Jeff Taylor, founder of online job site Monster.com; and Wally “Famous” Amos of Famous Amos Cookies.

Creating anecdotes about a company and its services can help keep customers interested, writes Rosica. The story of Amos baking his own cookies stuck with customers because of its authenticity, Rosica says. “You live the story,” he quotes Amos as saying. “When it’s authentic, no one can dispute, deny or steal it.”

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, the maker of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, provides a similar example. “There are a bunch of businesses that are named after fake people,” Rosica quotes Greenfield as saying. But by using their real names, the founders of Ben and Jerry’s created the sense that they stood behind their products.

On the question of what to look for in a job applicant, Rosica cites vacuum-cleaner maker David Oreck, founder of Oreck Corp., who notes that glowing resumes and sparkling references don’t necessarily show how effective a person has been in his or her last position. “If a guy comes from a company whose profits increased $10 million in the five years he worked there, in all likelihood, it’s a coincidence,” says Oreck “He just happened to be around.”

Meanwhile, Bailin offers insights into how to cultivate contacts through the Web. Bailin speaks from some experience: He founded Web site developer Online Resource Incorporated in 1995, and, after selling that company, launched Single Throw in 2000.

“Mommy, Where Do Customers Come From?” discusses the importance of keeping online marketing messages clear, noting that too many sites are cluttered with flashy graphics that block the marketing message.

But clarity is just the beginning, notes Bailin, relating the example of a client who got a big order that the buyer wanted delivered within 24 hours. But the client shipped the order via ground freight, with no chance of meeting the deadline.

“So angry was this customer that he fired off one of the nastiest e-mails I’ve ever encountered, which detailed the failure to pay attention,” writes Bailin. The furious customer was Pixar Animation Studios, one of the most prominent studios of its kind in Hollywood, which lost all interest in coming back for more.

To purchase The Authentic Brand, please visit www.theauthenticbrand.com.

Public Relations Contact: Rosica Strategic Public Relations

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