Santa did bring a few horological items this Christmas season.
First off, an extremely high-end vintage find from my brother-in-law…
Second, a Seiko Black Monster (SKX779). Standard workhorse 7S26 automatic movement, hardlex crystal, screw-down crown, diver’s (aka extra long to fit over a wetsuit) rubber strap, superluminova markers, 200m water resistance, and Seiko’s unique “monster” look bezel and chapter ring. Came in the very typical brown cube mailer from Singapore, packed in styrofoam peanuts with a small plastic bag protecting the face … to me it’s worth skipping fancy retail packaging in exchange for 75% off MSRP!
I am finding this watch to be smaller than I expected, both in size and how it wears. The strap especially is quite narrow, which makes it look quite different than some my vintage 6309 diver (which is still my favorite!). For those people thinking of this watch but worried about it being tooo “big”, it’s definitely not.
Santa did bring a few horological items this Christmas season.
Let’s face it, to have a good customer relationship it by definition has to include the customer thinking that you care about them. Any if you’re honest to yourself, you’re probably only really doing a good job (in whatever your role is for them), if you actually do care about your customer.
But actually caring, although the most important part, is not everything. If you have customers, you have to realize that communicating this to them, is part of your role. I f you deeply and sincerely care about a customer, but they don’t know it, you’ve thrown it all away. EVERY business needs to market, which means communicating your strengths, and one of the most important strengths to communicate to your customers is that you actually do care about them.
Doing this may sound like like a “bad used car salesman” type of tactic to many of us, and we’ll shy away from it The simple answer is, too bad, do it anyway! The fuller answer is that you don’t have to be overly syrupy or fake – just make sure that what you do with your customers includes relationship communication.
I just sent out short basic “have a great holiday season” email to many of my customers (I’m sure I’ve missed some emails due to computer changes this year, hopefully not too many!). But this is just one specific item out of a lot of regular communication I do throughout the year, and I actually mean it – I appreciate every one of them, and believe that none of them own me any business unless I actually earn it. I think it shows – in my case, almost every single customer of mine sent me a personal reply.
Too many firms send out over-the-top Christmas cards that just scream “faking sincerity” to the recipient. Don’t do that. Just communicate in your own normal way, that you care about and appreciate them.
I’m taking a break and will not be posting again until the new year. So to all of you as well … have a great holiday season yourselves, and I hope you and your families have a great 2008.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some recent eBay auctions I’ve followed and been interested in, but that quickly went past my budget. It’s always interesting to see what’s bringing in the dollars.
5717 Chronostop ($421). I’ve seen a few of these go for more lately, given the condition of this specimen it’s a reasonable price.
6217-8001 62MAS ($340, $355). Two of these sold for virtually the same price.
6217-8001 in MINT condition on the other hand – $1,800!
6138 Bullhead Chrono ($283). The bullheads always command a premium price, but lately they seem to be pulling in a few more dollars for the sellers than earlier this year.
6138 Slide Rule Chrono ($330). Another chrono type that commands a premium, even if some aftermarket parts and repainting.
Benrus Type I Military Dive Watch ($792). Nice watch, sold for more than I expected it would however!
Lord Marvel 3600 Manual Wind ($374). An example of the high level of interest in the higher-beat movements.
6218 Seikomatic Large Day ($203). I expected this one to sell for more, in good shape.
Elnix SG ($195). another rarity I expected to sell for more.
3823 VFA Quartz ($403). Somebody out there knows their old Seiko quartz models, this was worth the price but one of those that often can go for a bargain due to low general knowledge of the model.
7016-5011 “5 in 1″ Monaco style chrono ($341). Always a lot of interest in these.
6138-8020 ($311). Very nice condition, great looking chrono, I’d like to get one of these but I’ll have to search for a while to pick up a bargain!
6159 Diver in good shape ($1,242). Good quality examples of the older divers, especially the higher depth limit, or professional versions, always command a good price.
Reading Virtual Hosting Blog’s Top 50 list for Optimizing Your Website for Holiday Conversions, impressed me on a couple of points.
First, it’s a very well laid out list, organized in topics that make a lot of sense.
- Landing Page
- Closing the Deal
Second, it confirms that USABLE CONTENT IS KING – yay! Third, note the section called “closing the deal” … so many people new to ecommerce website design forget that part, you need to ask for the money. And last but close to my heart, 10 items on the list are about TRUST! Your branding has to be not only truthful, but you need to communicate that truthfulness.
Many of my friends now use Gmail – it’s easy to setup, easy to access, and easy to use. I don’t myself because of my need to keep substantial amounts of email history in a fairly complicated storage arrangement, however I can see the appeal.
We’re been reading for the last several years about the “battle of the titans” – Google versus Microsoft – in the search engine, online advertising, and social media arenas. Gmail and Google Apps have been called the entry points for Google’s attempt to move into and dominate more than search. On theAppleBlog this week is a good read from another perspective – Google versus dotMac as an upcoming cloud computing powerhouse.
People are looking for a cheap, preferably free, way of getting universal access. Question is who will achieve it first, and who will get it right?
… Gmail is the true gateway drug. As soon as you switch, you feel compelled to use all the other Google utilities and features available … while .Mac may look pretty and be feature friendly, but I’m sticking with Google … interesting to note that the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, is also on the Board of Directors for Apple. So while they may be competing for universal access, maybe they really are just be building off of one another …
From a Europa Star magazine article this month:
… TAG Heuer introduced an extensive online advertising campaign in USA last month, making the luxury watch brand the largest Internet advertiser for the watch and jewellery industry, and the only luxury watch brand with an interactive online campaign …
The site is definitely leveraging their relationship and association with auto racing.
Here’s some recent posts I’ve read that support (from various views), the need in today’s social networked world, for firms to have truthful branding and valued content.
OnlineSPIN: “Brands: Become a Part of the Content or Become a Part of History … When it comes to social media, forget the concept of advertising to a captive audience and instead focus on creating branded content that people want to see and would choose to share with other…”
Pronet Advertising: “Gamespot: How To Destroy Your Brand And Alienate People … This blog has discussed the benefits of transparency before, though this incident shows how far many companies have to go to realize its benefits…”
Britopian: “Social media speaks volumes but are you listening? … how social media differs from that of traditional media; direct marketing, advertising, public relations and its overall impact on branding … consumers are tired of being marketed to. They are fed up with the millions and millions of marketing messages that are thrown in their faces and computer monitors everyday. And, even when these messages are coming from a third party (Cnet, Techrunch, NYTimes), there is still no guarantee as to the authenticity of the message…”
theAppleBlog: “The Apple Store: The Next Starbucks? … Nothing beats word of mouth marketing, and by creating a completely open environment for customers to enter and be free to play, talk or hang out is a beautiful thing. It’s like the Starbucks of the IT industry…”
OnlineSPIN: “Thanksgiving Wishes, and a Little Follow-Up … having a platform such as the Online Spin makes my voice heard far faster than the average customer…
Brand Autopsy: O”On Authenticity … the of role “authenticity” in branding … Authenticity comes from evolution, not from creation. No magic pill exists and no big bang will cause a company to become authentic. The honor of being authentic is earned only over time and through consistent, deliberate actions…”
PR-Squared: “Marketing: It’s Evolution Not Revolution … It’s easy for us, as marketers, to hyperventilate about how Social Media represents a revolution. It’s not revolutionary, though; we need to apply some Big Picture perspective…
Digital Influence Mapping project: “Dell’s Journey in Word-Of-Mouth … How to avoid credibility deficit…”
Tapestry Of Time: “The Perception of Value and the Rise of False Limiteds … How do you perceive value in luxury watches and what factors play a part? … Information from folks you believe”
This year’s GlobalSpec annual Engineering trends survey is out.
- Engineering, technical and industrial professionals rely on the
Internet to do their jobs, with the vast majority of respondents using
the Internet to find components and suppliers (90%) and obtain product
- Traditional media usage continues to decline among engineers
- This audience has clear preferences for searching online. The major-
ity of respondents use more than one search engine for work-related
purposes, and their preferences are clear. The top three search engines
used are Google, GlobalSpec and Yahoo!, used by 93%, 51% and 37% of
- An online presence drives industrial professionals to take offline
action. 85% of respondents stated they have contacted a supplier after
visiting their Web site, and 49% ordered samples.
- New media still have not taken hold in the industrial sector.
I suggest taking note of point 5 … new media is the darling of the ad industry right now, but if you’re doing a campaign for the industrial marketplace or another engineering focused area, be careful. Other than webinars, even though may of this audience may view rich media on their own time, they tend to ignore it in or for their business environment.
If you’re interested in the full report, you’ll have to register at GlobalSpec to get it. If you’re in that part of the industry it has some useful stats that I think are worth the download – just take the self-serving perspective with a grain of salt. Obviously they want their studies to support use of industrial portals such as themselves, however I find them a little heavy-handed with their analysis compared to other firms.