Make Em Say Uhhhhh

Image result for master p restaurant

Na Na Na Na. Be like Percy Miller, aka Master P and make sure you diversify that portfolio. What investment has he made? Albeit Big Poppa Burgers in New Orleans, LA. Whether it’s music, food, or clothes, Master P does entrepreneurship right. And speaking of Big Poppa, it’s something that he wants to grow into a franchise opportunity so he could provide not only delicious food for others but also jobs. Not only are his burgers touted as great, but don’t sleep on the chicken sandwiches…especially when some other company is out of them.

Master P, and other rappers know how to do the whole entrepreneur thing right. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, i.e. music (although that works for some), but diversify yourself as a person. Provide goods or services for your fans. You want to have a sustained stream of income even past your rap/singing prime. Remember, if you are going to venture into the world of being a restaurateur, just make sure your customers say, yummmm na na na na.

-JC

Viva Las Chicago

To catch you up, here’s the latest little summarization per the Chicago Tribune:

What exactly did the state House and Senate pass?

The legislature sent Gov. J.B. Pritzker a bill he’s expected to sign that will dramatically expand legal gambling in Illinois. Existing gambling venues get more gaming positions that can be dedicated to either slots or table games. The bill allows slot machines at O’Hare and Midway, as well as horse racing tracks. It adds casinos in communities around the state, such as Waukegan and Rockford. It clears the way for a mega-casino in Chicago with 4,000 gaming positions. And it legalizes sports betting.

When can I place a legal bet?

It’s not clear how quickly this will take to implement once Pritzker signs it into law. Some say there could be lawful sports betting in Illinois in time for the beginning of football season. Others believe that is overly optimistic.

Where will I be able to place a legal bet?

Casinos and racetracks are eligible for sports betting licenses. The bill also allows a company that sells lottery tickets to get a license to take parlay bets at a limited number of locations. Eligible to open sports books, too, are seven Illinois sports venues with capacities of 17,000 or more. That includes six in the Chicago area: Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, Soldier Field, the United Center, the Fire’s stadium and Joliet Speedway. Sports betting licenses would range from $3.2 million to $20 million and be offered to both brick-and-mortar facilities and to online operators, with taxes of 15 percent.

Most of the legislature passed, legal gambling and cannabis, has to do with pulling the state of Illinois out of a financial hole and help fund their Rebuild Illinois capital plan which will be over $45 billion. Lots of opportunities for states to get themself out of the hole. I do wonder if more or less people will continue to use their bookies, considering you don’t have to worry about the tax implication, albeit shadiness. And how much will it effect the small mom & pop businesses that have video slots currently, and the stand alone shops like Dotty’s or Betty’s…whatever they are, there’s a ton. There’s still a lot of time for all this to play out now. Between licenses, building casinos, hiring, marketing, increased tourism for gambling and cannabis, and Chicago being the best city in the nation. We’ll see how all of this plays out and we’ll revisit this topic in the future.

-JC

I’m Feeling Blue…JetBlue

The age old argument of Pepsi vs Coke has taken flight yet again. This time, JetBlue has decided to replace in flight beverages from Coke brand to Pepsi brand and people are SHOOK. “We’re refreshing our core complimentary beverage line-up to offer customers exciting new product options they’ve asked for, while also bringing sustainability benefits, and controlling growing costs,” an internal JetBlue communication stated. People asked for new product options?! Apparently the Coke fans surely didn’t because there was outrage on Twitter, but what’s new…this is the social culture we live in. I’m not a pop guy so I’m not sure how big of a difference the taste makes, but when it comes down to cutting costs for JetBlue they’re all for it and this will take place June 3rd. They also plan on serving water out of larger bottles and doing both snack/drink service at the same time on shorter flights (which I’m not sure why that wasn’t a thing). So toughen up Coca-Cola lovers, that is if you choose to fly JetBlue.

-JC

Those Darn Millennials 2.0

Oh geez, now what…? Entrepreneurship doesn’t seem to be that big of a thing amongst millennials, which I think has a lot to do with failure. A study of 2014 data by the U.S. Small Business Administration revealed that fewer than 4 percent of 30-year-olds are actively in entrepreneurship, compared with the 5.4 percent of Generation X-ers and 6.7 percent of baby boomers at the same age. Failure is a big deterrent of pursuing something, but there’s a lot to be learned from failing. Which goes hand in hand with some tips to really spearhead your way into the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Are you passionate about a creating a company or selling a product you think consumers might need? Do it. Some say, yeah go all in! If it’s not reasonable for you, build an empire in your spare time after working your 9-5. If you really want it, achieve it..it’ll be a grind and you’ll be drained but in the end you can’t say you didn’t try. Don’t do it for a quick buck, put something out you truly think people need and you can be happy about selling. Without consumers you’re nothing, and you need to truly care about those using your products or services…this is VITAL. This is a tough one, but PATIENCE! It’s going to take time to create your company, go through the legal process, brainstorm, retain customers, grow organically, and find new leads. Stay patient..you won’t become a Fortune 500 Company overnight, always remember this given the instant gratification society we live in. So get after it, just like us here at Ciconte Consulting did.

-JC

whaT tHe heCk

Well this is going to be an interesting topic to briefly touch upon…and I’ll only be getting into advertising aspects of cannabis since this can easily trigger audiences. Is their a double standard for cannabis advertising? Yes there is. What the heck? How many cannabis ads have you seen on your tv, Facebook, or Google (two of the largest online ad platforms)? Zilch. Cannabis companies aren’t allowed to advertise their products on such platforms. Acreage Holdings actually tried to advertise, during the Super Bowl, the benefits of medical marijuana that some patients experienced. CBS said, “Under our broadcast standards, we do not currently accept cannabis-related advertising.” So nah fam. Cannabis is taboo and legalization of it has grown in recent years both on a medical and recreational level, but ads are forbidden on television and in traditional print…because they’re inappropriate. All while commercials for beer, hard alcohol, prescription drugs, condoms, yada yada yada, are all appropriate. Our friends at Big Pharma kept spending big—and, in fact, went even bigger, dropping more than $3.73 billion on national TV commercials last year, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv (Fierce Pharma). Makes you think. This post was strictly munchies for thought. Do you think we’ll see cannabis advertising deemed acceptable as it becomes legalized in more states?

-JC

Uber Rewards

In order to keep customers just using Uber, and not comparing prices to other services like Lyft, Uber is rolling out a rewards program. Not only will you receive points for every ride you take with Uber, but also for your Uber Eats orders. It’s free to join the rewards program and there are four different levels with different benefits.

The first level is Blue, which lets you earn points for every ride or order and the opportunity to earn $5 Uber Cash for every 500 points you earn. The next level is Gold, which gives you priority support and more flexible cancellations. Next, is Platinum, which gives you price protection between your two favorite places and priority pickups at airports. Finally, the highest level is Diamond, which adds complimentary upgrades, special access to high rated drivers, premium support, and free delivery on three Uber Eats orders on top of all of the previous benefits.

To be in the Blue group you need zero points, Gold is 500 points, Platinum is 2,500 points, and Diamond is 7,500. Uber Pool rides and Uber Eats orders both give you 1 point for every $1 spent, 2 points are given for every $1 spent on UberX rides, and 3 points for every $1 spent on a Premium ride.

Points are earned during a six month period. So however many points you accumulate over those six months, their rewards will be available to you for not only the current period but also the next six month period too.

It is currently only available in nine cities, but will be available everywhere in the U.S. within the next few months.

-EC

Food, Fast Food

No politics here (yes the government is shutdown and the White House chefs weren’t available). What’s with the spread of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and some other fast food joints? The Clemson Tigers were visiting the White House to celebrate their National Championship win. But heck, putting myself in those shoes as a college student (especially a growing football player) I’m all in on that smorgasbord of fast food served on silver platters! Oh McNuggets and as many dipping sauces as you want, don’t mind if I do. A few quarter pounders, baconators, and heaps of fries, SURE WHY NOT.

I get this isn’t a ritzy dinner like other teams that have visited, but you have to make the most of the situation you’re in. That ties directly to running your business. You may not always be in the best situation when it comes to sales, marketing, management, but find the silver lining. Speaking of silver lining, some nice exposure on a national/global level for these brands seeing as every news outlet has reported on this. And here at Ciconte Consulting you bet we’re going to partake in the insanity.

-JC

BREAKING NEWS

Pho restaurant forced by city to take down ‘offensive’ sign advertising its name. This is just a funny little news story I saw as I was surfing the web and all I have to say is it’s some great advertising (offensive? Maybe…to some). This French-Vietnamese restaurant in Keene, New Hampshire which won’t be open until March 1st is already in hot water (pho pun!). So the owners are going back and forth with city officials trying to get this issue resolved. The majority (see below) was for the name of Pho Keene Great, which has my vote.

Thoughts? Is the name really Pho Keene Great?

-JC

That’s So Fetch

Stop trying to make fetch happen! But what are some marketing trends we’ll see happen in 2019 (oh and Happy New Year)! One thing we saw the emergence of in 2018 was User Generated Content (UGC), this is something that will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond. Why? Social media. Example, like this post, share it, tag a friend in it, usually entails a giveaway but it builds tremendous brand awareness for practically zero cost. How about this little feature called live video? It’s becoming bigger and bigger for companies showcasing their products or services on Instagram or Facebook. Live video makes things more interactive and hands on, ask a question and get an answer almost immediately. Maintain that relationship with your customers or continue to grow it through live video. With the grow of esports, I think we’ll see a lot more companies getting into advertising on video game streams (streaming) or sponsoring teams/events. The industry is absolutely surging, and I’m guessing this will last well beyond 2019, but it would be a good time to take notice and try to stay ahead of the game..aha.

Just a few marketing trends to keep your eyes open for in 2019, and if there’s any other concerns about trends or your marketing CONTACT US…we got your back like a chiropractor.

-JC

Sweet Cheesus!!

Global Cheese Market Forecast to Cross USD 124.2 billion in 2022: ZMR Report. Read that again and let it sink in. Like what?! I read that and can’t even comprehend how much cheese is consumed globally on a yearly basis, let alone anywhere near the forecasted amount of dollars for the cheese market in 2022. There has to be a cheese mafia out there if the market share is that large, respects to Don Mozzarella and Sammy Stringcheese. With the cheese/dairy market being so large that means a pretty competitive market at that, so position yourself wisely. Side-note: Dairy Foods’ 2018 Cheese Outlook Study revealed that “natural cheese” accounts for 81% of current cheese production, and nearly 9 out of 10 respondents (89%) thought that all-natural, organic and/or artisanal cheeses are “in style” for 2018.

Well if you or your company are in the cheese industry, how can you gain that competitive advantage over other companies? Maybe have sampling options at a grocery store (if stocked) or offer those same samples at a trade show, farmers market is another option. You want your product tasted and you want it to stand out from others. Fully utilize digital marketing and social media marketing! We live in a digital age, and yes cheese/dairy brands should be taking advantage of that fact. Build your online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest (cool cheese creations?). Your company can be cheesy when it comes to content..but don’t let your content get too blue, it should be pretty gouda stuff. We can help your consumers become very fondue you, contact us today!

-JC