10 Apr

Zip International on the Importance of Networking

Recently, the assistant manager of Zip International, Vancouver based marketing firm, made his way through Canada meeting with industry peers on a networking expedition that was a huge success. In fact, Kai Petrich, Zip International’s manager explains that networking should be a vital function within any business no matter how large or small, no matter what industry is involved.

“No business can keep the doors open for long without a constant influx of business and the best way to accomplish this is to get out and about so that people know who you are. However, networking is more than getting leads for new sales or good deals from suppliers. Networking is perhaps the key component in branding,” Kai Petrich explains.

Over and over again it is being evidenced that today’s consumer wants to know the face behind a brand. Millennials especially don’t want to buy products or from companies they cannot engage with. It’s all about trust and unless you meet someone, shake their hand, make eye contact, it is extremely hard to develop a sense of trust.

“Sure, companies that have been around for a number of years have had the time to establish a loyal customer base and list of suppliers,” Kai Petrich goes on to say, “but what about startups? How are consumers to know who you are, what you do and even more importantly, that you can do what you say you can? Meeting them face to face, one on one, gives them a chance to meet you up close and personal. They can read your nonverbal communications to see that you are on the up and up. They can assess your body language to see just how comfortable you are when making claims about your products and services.”

Zip International believes in putting their money where their mouth is. They do, in fact, encourage their employees to get out there in the field networking. They have had great successes doing just that and now it’s time to show their clients that some good old-fashioned handshaking is often what it takes to close a deal.

Not only will you get that client, but you will leave the door open for your well-satisfied customers to suggest you to their own peers and clients. Effective networking has all but become a lost art in this digital age and Zip International is here to prove that sometimes it just takes learning from the past. Want to succeed? Get out there and network. It really could be just that simple.

24 Mar

Zip International Reviews Culture Branding

The United States is a culture loving country. Whether it’s record breaking pop music, art galleries, or contemporary dance, we can’t get enough of it. It would seem to make sense, therefore, for businesses to embrace culture as part of their branding. This isn’t as easy as it might seem. If the brand and the cultural element aren’t natural bedfellows, it can seem false and contrived. A recent article in Branding Magazine looked at one example of cultural branding that was a perfect fit. Here, Zip International reviews the article, and consider how businesses can tap into culture.

“Culture is a very personal thing, so what one person loves, another may hate”, said Kai Petrich, director of Zip International. “For this reason, it’s essential that a business thinks carefully before allying themselves to any one brand. In this case, the link has worked perfectly. OK Go are at the cutting edge of pop music, and Honda themselves are technological innovators. It’s a great example of cultural branding done in the right way.”

OK Go have been making thought provoking alternative music since 1998. In that time, their music and lyrics have garnered critical acclaim, but they are even more famous for their innovative music videos. Their videos don’t feature special effects, models or film stars, and are often low budget, but they catch the eye and ear of consumers. Their breakthrough in this field came in 2006, with their video for ‘Here It Goes Again’. The video featured the band members performing on treadmills. It quickly went viral, won awards, and has often been imitated. To date, the video has received over 50 million views.

The Entrepreneur article looks at the video for their new song, ‘I Won’t Let You Down’. The band collaborated with Honda throughout the video. In a nod to the treadmill, they are seen riding UNI-CUBs, a miniature and futuristic personal transport device that the Japanese company are developing. The video itself is shot by a Honda drone known as an ‘octopus’. Honda have wisely stepped back from overtly advertising themselves in the video, and concentrated instead on the fun and playful aspects of their products.

“This is a great music video, that brings a smile to your face”, said Kai Petrich. “Honda have played it perfectly, by letting the video stand as a piece of popular culture, rather than an advert in itself. In this way, they are showcasing not only their technological innovations, but their ‘cool’ credentials.”

Zip International are themselves masters of marketing innovation. Their bespoke campaigns increase customer acquisition and brand growth.

10 Mar

Zip International Consider the Importance of Organic Reach

Every entrepreneur can learn a lot from listening to the most successful business leaders speak. By following their practices and guidelines, we can hope to follow them on the path that led to success. It can be even more helpful, and revealing, when these legendary business people open themselves up to questions from the public. A recent article in Branding Magazine looked at a question and answer session that featured Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Here, Zip International review the article, and look at the lessons we can take from Mark Zuckerberg’s answers.

“Inspiring business figures don’t come much larger than Mark Zuckerberg”, said Kai Petrich, director of Zip International. “He took a business idea at a university, and by his indefatigability turned it into one of the world’s leading, and most important, companies. It was fascinating to read what he said, particularly his views on the importance of organic reach.”

Questions were posed to Mark Zuckerberg, as you might expect, through a Facebook page. It was an online question and answer session that was open to all. Over ten thousand questions were posed in all. The most popular, and interesting ones, were passed onto Mark himself, who replied on the same page. There were light hearted questions on subjects such as his nondescript taste in t-shirts, but they were also questions that got to the heart of his vision and business strategy.

One of his most intriguing questions was regarding organic reach. Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform, so it should be a great place to advertise. Many businesses, however, are complaining that they aren’t getting the organic reach that they’re paying for. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t deny this. In fact, he stated that because more and more people are signing up to Facebook every day, increased competition and increased numbers of consumers mean that organic reach will continue to drop until it becomes non-existent. He has announced that he is committed to providing a great platform for his users first, rather than catering primarily for business and promotional needs.

“Social media can’t be ignored by businesses today, but it’s important that they realize that it can’t be used as a substitute for a joined up marketing strategy”, said Kai Petrich. “Traditional forms of advertising, such as face to face marketing, are still the best way to be assured of reaching consumers and getting personal interaction. In this way, the organic reach can be much better than that you’d get on Facebook and the like.”

Businesses can reach customers, and acquire new customers, through the marketing expertise of Zip International. They bring real returns on investment.

23 Feb

Zip International Looks at How to Connect with Customers

Without loyal customers, it’s impossible to achieve and hold on to success in business. Sometimes though, their loyalty can be taken for granted, and that can lead to diminishing sales and a damaged reputation. A recent report in Branding Magazine looked at how some of the nation’s biggest retailers were attempting to build an emotional connection with their customers. Here, Zip International reviews the report, and look at a quick and effective way to click with consumers.”The number one aim of a business should be to acquire high quality customers, and then keep them loyal”, said Kai Petrich, director of Zip International. “It’s important to continue doing what attracted them to you initially. Some of our biggest retailers, have found what can happen if that emotional connection is lost.”

In recent years, however, some companies have moved away from the products and values that made them successful, and the results have been little short of disastrous, as sales and profits declined sharply. This is why it is so important to stick to your core values that customers have grown to love.

“Over the years companies have realized how important it is to understand what a customer really wants, and then appeal directly to them”, said Kai Petrich. “That’s at the heart of our marketing campaigns. We believe in talking to the public in a direct, face to face way. This is the easiest way to build relationships with a customer, and create loyalty and emotional connection between customers and a brand.”

Zip International are experts in direct sales and marketing. Their unique campaigns help businesses acquire customers, and grow their brand awareness.

05 Feb

Zip International Reviews ‘Smartcuts’

Some business grow steadily, and after a long period of continual improvement, they finally achieve a real level of success. Other businesses, however, take a very different route to the top, and seem to become successful almost overnight. How do they do it? The book “Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, And Icons Accelerate Success”, by Shane Snow (published by Harper Business), aims to provide the answer to that question. Here, Zip International reviews the book, and look at the lessons that businesses can learn from it.

“Business books are always a source of wisdom and inspiration to me”, said Kai Petrich, director of Zip International. “‘Smartcuts’ is one that I’ve found particularly useful. Hard work is essential to achieve success, of course, but that doesn’t mean that you have to work for years before you can expect to see any rewards. Innovation can put you on the fast track to rapid yet sustainable success.”

Shane Snow’s book looks at how some businesses can create spectacular success in a very short space of time, including examples of businesses that have gone from start ups to making billions of dollars in months. To do this he looks at examples in the business world, such as YouTube and Ferrri, but also looks at examples from history, such as Alexander The Great, and in the world of entertainment, such as the instant success of Tonight host Jimmy Fallon.

The answer that Shane Snow comes up with, is that true and rapid success comes from boldness and innovation. He likens these fast rising entrepreneurs to computer hackers, in that they bypass long held concepts of how success should be achieved, and take a quick route to what they want. He also turns some conventional thinking on its head. Among the claims in the book are that it’s easier to build a huge business than a small business, and that it’s a waste of time making our children concentrate on times tables rather than encouraging them to be creative and innovative.

“The author is careful to differentiate between shortcuts, where short term gains are achieved at any cost, and smartcuts, where sustainable growth can be quickly achieved”, said Kai Petrich. “The secret to creating smartcuts is thinking big, and being ambitious. That’s a lesson that businesses of any size can profit from.”

Innovation is at the heart of Zip International’s operations. Their unique marketing campaigns help their clients attract customers and increase their brand awareness. They’re true smartcuts.

18 Jan

Zip International Why Sport and Business Go Hand In Hand

Sport is something that unites communities, brings people together and helps us all view a healthy way of life as an important thing. When it comes to physical well being, sport at an international, competitive level is something we all can see as giving us aspirational goals, but actually, sport also helps shape us mentally for the challenges that we face in life, for example in business. Here, managing director Kai Petrich of Vancouver based marketing specialists Zip International reviews why sport is a great thing for preparing people for a life in business.

Sport is something that many people do just for fun, as a way of keeping fit and expending some of their excess energy. However, sport can actually mean a lot more than that. It can be a way to exercise your competitive drive and win at something. In sport, this is down to being the best or investing the most time in what you are training to do, and this can actually be the same in work. Companies that put a lot of time and effort into their marketing and go head to head with other similar companies tend to be the ones who come out on top.

“In sport, people do whatever they can within the rules to win, and I believe that business is no different,” said Kai Petrich, Managing Director of Zip International.  “People who want success tend to need to put in a lot of effort and go the extra mile, whether it is in a sport or in business. Children who are brought up with sport as a major part of their lives tend to thrive in business in later life because they have a built in understanding of fairness, competition, and what it actually feels like to win. This helps them a huge amount when they later try and forge careers for themselves. As entrepreneurs there is a lot people can do, but being from a background where healthy, fair competition is encouraged like sport they can do so much more.”

Zip International really believe that events like the Football World Cup, the Olympics and the Common Wealth Games help get more kids into sport are helping our next generation of business leaders.

04 Jan

Zip International Reviews Sales Training Techniques

A study by the Bridge Group found that sales training was often given little thought, and that one in seven companies didn’t train their sales staff at all. Here, Zip International review this study, and look at new ways to train sales professionals.

“The world of business is changing, so old sales techniques may no longer be relevant”, said Kai Petrich, Managing Director of Zip International. “It’s vital, therefore, that sales training is both up to date and ongoing. By empowering your sales staff, business can grow quicker than ever.”

The study compared sales people to professional athletes. Athletes have to train intensively to reach a peak level, but they don’t stop at that point. They have to train continuously to enable them to be able to perform to the best of their ability whenever called upon. Things are very different when it comes to sales training. Sales professionals may be provided with a few initial days of training, or sent on a refresher course once a year, but that’s where their training ends. It becomes inevitable that staff will forget some of the valuable lessons and techniques learned during the training process, yet the study found a clear correlation between integrated sales training and success in meeting sales quotas.

New technology can help businesses train their sales staff more effectively. Many businesses are now using sales training apps, so that sales representatives can access training whenever they need to. It’s available on a 24 hour basis, and is much more time and cost-effective than annual training courses. It can also be utilized just before a sales person goes into an important meeting, ensuring that they are ready and empowered to seal the deal. It’s just as important to ensure that sales staff are trained to meet the changing face of business today. Social media and lead generation tools can be invaluable to a business, but unless sales people are trained how to use them effectively, the benefits can be lost.

“Social media training is essential for all sales staff”, said Kai Petrich. “Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide the ideal ground to approach and win new customers, but if the approach isn’t relevant and consistent it can create a negative impression of the business.”

Zip International believe in continuous improvement, and are transforming the way that direct marketing is used. Their techniques have helped businesses nationwide grow their customer base and increase brand awareness.