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Be Like Jack: Lessons from a Hollywood Icon for Social Retail

BY Dan Berthiaume

The rapid spread of a presumably false rumor about Jack Nicholson retiring from acting last week got me thinking about what a true Hollywood icon he has become and how he took a very unique path to greatness. Retailers aspiring to greatness in their social efforts may want to “be like Jack” in the way they apply social media technology.

Know your own strengths
According to legend, a producer who rejected Nicholson for a part early in his career told him, “We don’t need you right now, but when we do need you, we’ll need you badly.” Nicholson was not a conventional leading man and did not become a Hollywood superstar by portraying conventional roles. He had a singular ability to find and project the humanity in troubled and even dangerous characters and make the audience understand and sympathize with them, and leveraged that ability to its fullest.

Retailers need to take a similar approach to their social strategies. An edgy, youth-oriented retailer should have a very different social marketing campaign from a mass merchandiser. A retailer with a highly efficient supply chain should take advantage of it with real-time or near-real-time social offers, while another retailer with superior customer satisfaction scores should use social media to create brand evangelists out of happy shoppers. There is no “right” path to social retail success any more than there was a “right” path for Nicholson to achieve superstardom.

Stay true to yourself
Once you know your own strengths, be willing to stay true to them, even if it does not produce immediate results. Nicholson was hardly an overnight sensation, plodding through years of bad 1960s horror and biker flicks before breaking through with a supporting role in the 1969 hit “Easy Rider” (a great 1960s biker flick). He was in his early 30s, far from young in Hollywood years, but by sticking to the kinds of performances he knew he was meant to play, Nicholson was able to become one of the biggest movie stars in the world for the next five decades.

Especially in the fast-paced world of digital retail, it’s easy to assume a social media strategy is a failure if it doesn’t instantly produce huge results. But if a strategy is properly aligned with a retailer’s core strengths and values, it is bound to eventually catch on and produce long-term success that following the latest short-term social retailing trends will not.

Stand out from the crowd
Nicholson did not rise to the top by being another pretty face on the silver screen. He stands out as a colorful and intriguing presence and has never been afraid to deviate from the norm in his performances.

Now that social media has lost its novelty as a retail channel, retailers need to also stand out from the crowd in their social activities. An appealing Facebook page and clever tweets are important, but not enough on their own to make customers take notice. Make your social presence colorful, intriguing and a little different. Use the real-time nature of social media to reward customers for active participation and use video, audio and even 3-D and artificial reality technologies to do things in your social space that couldn’t be done anywhere else. Jack Nicholson used film to create personal connections with millions of viewers; you can use social media to do the same with millions of consumers.


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Sep-27-2013 03:31 am

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B.Johnson says:
Sep-27-2013 03:31 am

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Former Clorox exec appointed to natural health and wellness board

BY CSA STAFF

Nature’s Sunshine Products, a leading natural health and wellness company, has appointed former Clorox executive Beth Springer, to the company’s board of directors.

"We are excited to welcome Beth Springer to our board of directors," said Gregory L. Probert, Nature’s Sunshine chairman and CEO. "Beth brings significant, broad operational and financial experience to Nature’s Sunshine and the board that I know will benefit the company and its shareholders. We look forward to her guidance and strategic thinking as a member of the board."

Springer is currently a board member of Central Garden & Pet Company and on the board of trustees and co-chair of the Development Committee of Bryn Mawr College. Springer held various positions at the Clorox Company from 1990 to 2011, including EVP and general manager from 2009 to 2011; group VP, chief strategy and growth officer from 2007 to 2009; group VP and general manager from 2005 to 2007; VP and general manager from 2002 to 2004; and VP, marketing from 2000 to 2002. Springer received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College, and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Nature’s Sunshine Products markets and distributes nutritional and personal care products through a global direct sales force of more than 340,000 active independent managers, distributors and customers in more than 40 countries. Nature’s Sunshine manufactures most of its products through its own state-of-the-art facilities.

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Bud Light and Justin Timberlake host scavenger hunt

BY CSA STAFF

Bud Light Platinum and Justin Timberlake are launching "Platinum Nights," a digital-to-real-world scavenger hunt that will challenge social media-savvy fans to unlock a series of weekly clues for a chance to win Platinum flyaway experiences during Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience World Tour.

Throughout the next 13 weeks, Timberlake, Bud Light Platinum’s creative director, will release a weekly clue via his Facebook page to lead fans to online and real-life Platinum experiences where they can unlock additional clues.

Participants earn points based on how quickly they complete the scavenger hunt and the reach of their social sharing. Players who score highest each week will win two tickets to a Platinum Nights flyaway adventure to see Timberlake perform, and receive travel and hotel accommodations, admission to exclusive clubs, spending money and car service throughout their stay. The clues will also be released on PlatinumNights.com.

"I’m always trying to find new ways to connect with my fans on social media, and Platinum Nights is a new twist on scavenger hunts that combines digital and real-world engagement," said Timberlake.

The scavenger hunt begins with a trip for two to the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas to see Timberlake perform and attend the red carpet premiere of his new 20th Century Fox film "Runner, Runner," which releases nationwide on Oct. 4. Subsequent prizes include flyaway trips to The 20/20 Experience concerts throughout 2013.

In addition to the national scavenger hunts, Bud Light Platinum will host local scavenger hunts in every The 20/20 Experience World Tour city. Concert tickets will also be given away through local radio promotions.

Click here for details and official rules.

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