Al’s column

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SWEET TOOTH: New research showed trust and brand equity in different market areas. Three of the five highest-rated brands among consumers in 2010, which includes trust as a factor in this over-the-counter loyalty, are candies: Hershey’s Kisses chocolate candy; M&M plain chocolate candy; Hershey’s Milk Chocolate candy bars;, and Duracell batteries. For non-profits, the highest five organizations ranked in trust, are: St. Jude’s Research Hospital (for the fourth year); Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Mayo Clinic; Cleveland Clinic, and Doctors Without Borders. These lists are convenient. Eat enough candy and visit your clinic of choice.

SWEET IDEA: On the subject of candy, Nestlé has taken product localization to an extreme in order to increase its value, encourage loyalty and garner customer trust. The company created 19 unique only-in-Japan flavors for Kit Kat, one of the best-selling chocolate candy bars in the world. Japanese customers enjoy flavors like soy sauce and wasabi and they made Nestlé the No. 1 confectionery brand in Japan. Sam Geist is a lecturer and conducts training seminars on sales and marketing and he advises, “Look to your local markets and build value by offering unique products and services for them. It’s certain to deepen brand loyalty and trust. Always be on the lookout for great ideas and adapt them to your situation to grow your brand.”

MATTER OF TRUST: It’s not new that there is a lack of trust of senior management in the workplace. It’s that this phenomenon seems to be spreading, according to this recent research. Only 49% of employees have trust and confidence in their senior managers. That means more than half sit with their back to the wall. Just 55% say senior leaders behave consistently with core values. That means 45% don’t trust their leaders or the 55% who voted for them. Only 53% believe senior management has made the right changes to stay competitive. That means if management fired the 47% who voted nay then the company would probably be more competitive. Only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source of information. That means more than 70% of employees feel they are working for a rich moron. High trust companies outperform low trust companies by nearly 300%. That’s a no-brainer. Be a high trust company.

TABLES TURNED: There is no shortage of research. Studies confirm that constant email interruptions are making to- day’s workers less productive and less creative. Here’s why: Desk workers lose 2.1 hours of productivity every day to interruptions and distractions (Basex, IT research & consulting firm). Email overload can cost large companies as much as $1 billion a year in lost productivity (Intel). Each day a typical office employee checks mail 50 times and uses instant messaging 77 times (Rescue Time). A study suggests it takes a worker 15 minutes to refocus after an interruption (Microsoft). Researchers found productivity dropped as much as 40% when subjects tried to do two or more things at once (University of Michigan). I can live with the time lost, but the $1 billion lost revenue annually is a bitter pill.

WHO’S YOUR ADDY?: The Chattanooga Advertising Federation presented Shaw Floors with two prestigious Addy Awards. Shaw Anso nylon Consumer Brochure won a Gold Addy Award and the 2008 Shaw Sustainability Report won a Silver Addy Award. The Addys are the advertising industry’s largest competition, attracting more than 50,000 entries every year in local contests. Conducted by the American Advertising Federation, the event is a three-tiered national competition. In the first tier, local entrants compete as the best in their market. In the second tier, local winners, such as Shaw, compete against other area winners in one of 14 district contests. District winners then compete for the national awards. We’re rooting for Shaw to go all the way.

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