12+ Things You Can Do to Share the Zen Rabbit Love

You’ve heard the recommendation before that you should always ask for what you need. “Ask and you shall receive.” This is not a new concept. But I was made aware of a big, cool way to do this the other day and I jumped right on the opportunity. Perhaps it will benefit you too, if you implement.

The idea comes from Jeff Hayzlett, via Bill & Steve Harrison’s Reporter Connection if I’m remembering correctly how I found it. Jeff is the Chief Marketing Officer for Kodak and he wrote a book called “The Mirror Test.” Of course he wanted to see it become a best seller. In order to help other people help him (oh, geez, that Jerry Maguire quote just popped into my head!), he posted a page on his web site with suggestions of how to make “The Mirror Test” a best seller. Click here to see his web page and list.

Genius that I am at swiping and deploying good ideas, I immediately wrote up my own list. Want to help Zen Rabbit share the gratitude with 100,00 people in the next 12 months? Step right up, or should I say, click right over, and read my own list.

Then take some action. First, rush to do as many things off the Zen Rabbit list as you can to help. Next, create your own list, post it on your web site and then blog about how you got the idea from me.

The Problem with the Airline Industry

commercial airlinesIt’s time for me add my voice to the blogsphere on this topic after a conversation I was involved in on a flight from Dallas to Sacramento last week. WTF is the airline industry doing?

On this flight, the guy sitting next to me was buying the sandwich and chips. The flight attendant says, “are you sure you want it? It’s $10.” (What a great salesperson, huh?!) He was hungry, it was lunch time, and yes, he did want it and was putting it on his company expense report anyway. Then he commented how the airline should really just add $10 to the price of his ticket and give a sandwich meal to everyone. I had to add my two cents and say while they’re at it, add the price of checking a bag to the ticket price too. The flight attendant says she hears this constantly from passengers who are tired of being nickel and dimed to near death. However, she added, flying is cheaper now than it was 20 years ago.

Cheaper maybe, but everyone dreads it. And everyone I know would pay MORE to have a better experience.

So why aren’t the people running the show listening? How can airline execs possibly be so completely oblivious to how bad the flying experience is for their customers? Yes they need to find new ways to generate revenue but every move they make these days just further alienates passengers, like let’s take these checked baggage fees that everyone’s complaining about and make them HIGHER!

If airlines cared at all about the customer experience, they would make decisions based on creating a better experience for their passengers. They would take a page or two from the Disney playbook, which is all about creating magic and making people love being in their “care.” Cost doesn’t matter so much (have you seen the price of a ticket for a Disney park? And somehow they‘re always packed) and profits follow because people like doing business with companies that treat them with respect.

Now that more and more people are understanding the power of social media, airlines can expect to see even more publicly expressed outrage at their treatment of customers, like this video created by musician Dave Carroll after United Airlines baggage handlers broke his guitar. He was subsequently given the runaround by customer service for nine months and denied compensation, so he creatively shared his experience with the world. His  “United Breaks Guitars” video has gotten almost 7.5 MILLION views. Great public relations for the airline!

The takeaway lesson for you as a businessperson is every business is a SERVICE business. Listen to your customers and give them what they’re asking for. Use their feedback to improve your offerings. That’s how you make money and stay in business.

Update on Shine A Light

Sad news, at least for me. Zen Rabbit was not chosen by the judges as a Shine A Light finalist. There were thousands of entries and I have no idea how the judges waded through them all to get to their final decisions.

While I am a bit disappointed, because YES, I truly did believe Zen Rabbit had as good or better a chance at becoming a finalist as anyone else, I am honored to have been nominated and to have such an amazing and supportive network of people who endorsed my nomination! This is just one step in the continual process of building a business.

Thanks to everyone who partipated. Stay tuned, I’m sure something else is just over the horizon.

PS: If you want to see the companies that were chosen as finalists, visit http://shinealight.ivillage.com/nominees/

Shine A Light: Inspiring Small Business

So exciting! Zen Rabbit has been nominated for an opportunity to win $100,000 in grant and marketing support from American Express, in partnership with NBC Universal.
Endorse Zen Rabbit's nomination for Shine A Light contest
In order for Zen Rabbit to be eligible to become a Shine a Light finalist, we need your help in the form of an endorsement by September 13, 2009.

If you are so inclined, and you haven’t already, here’s what you need to do to endorse:

Go to this page: http://tinyurl.com/nyfnef

First you have to REGISTER at top right corner of the page. (Remember to scroll down/read the Program Rules & click on “I Accept Terms”.)

After you click SUBMIT, come BACK to Zen Rabbit’s page either through this link http://tinyurl.com/nyfnef or by going to the NOMINEES page and putting Zen Rabbit in the search/go box at top of page there. Click on ENDORSE NOW and you’re done!

Yes, I know it’s somewhat involved and not so user-friendly. So I REALLY appreciate your time and effort to support me! Once we win, celebrations will include Cookies & Crunch for all!

Also, if you’re so inclined, tweet and post on Facebook & LinkedIn to help spread the word and garner more endorsements.


How’d You Get on Rachael Ray?

Ever since I announced that Zen Crunch was chosen to be Snack of the Day on Rachael Ray’s daytime talk show, people have been asking me how I did it. It’s not a big secret and I’m happy to share a bit of the behind the scenes.

Back in January, my fab PR expert Sara Becker got the name of the Snack of the Day segment producer and I sent her a letter along with a box of Gratitude Cookies. I’m good at sending stuff out, and not so good at follow up later. That’s why I’m so grateful to have Sara. She called and emailed the producer to find out if she got the box, if she liked the cookies, if she thought they were a good fit for Snack of the Day, etc.

She did like The Gratitude Cookie™, but felt they’d been giving away too many cookies recently and preferred to diversify.

No worries, Zen Rabbit also has Zen Crunch! So I sent another letter along with a couple bags of Zen Crunch. Once again, Sara was on top of the follow through and two weeks later we got word from the producer that YES! Zen Crunch would be included as a Snack of the Day in taping the following week. Now, she asked, could we overnight 160 bags of Crunch to New York for distribution to one studio audience?

Um, yeah, I think we could do that!!! I did, they taped the show and another two weeks later it aired.

So simple. Like most things in life, it really comes down to follow up and persistence. Okay, and maybe finding the right person to contact.

PS: Did you miss the show? See the local news coverage, which includes the Snack of the Day clip here: http://www.tinyurl.com/wptv324

Rachael Ray’s Snack is Zen Crunch

On Tuesday, March 24th, Rachael Ray’s Snack of the Day is Zen Crunch! Set your TIVO to record. Not sure what station and time the show’s on in your market? Click here to find out.

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray

And in case you haven’t yet heard about the newly famous Zen Crunch, it’s kind of mix of granola and nut brittle.  It starts with a base mix of coconut, oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and a sweet caramel-type nectar that binds it all together.

Then one version includes dried cranberries, cashew pieces and white chocolate chips. A second version includes dried cherries, almond slices & semi sweet chocolate chips.

Rachael Ray audience members each received an eight-ounce bag of the treat. To get yours, simply go to ZenCrunch.com.

Zen Crunch

Zen Crunch

Zen Crunch on National TV

Last Friday I was asked to overnight 160 bags of the most yummy Zen Crunch to a TV studio for the Tuesday morning taping of a national show named after its celebrity host.

Once we have an air date, which I expect will be within the next two weeks, I will certainly let you know what show, what day and what time to watch. And you can be sure my TIVO will be set to record.

In the meantime, may I suggest that if you are a Zen Crunch fan, or you want to taste what everyone is talking about, you order now before the big rush.

Good Day Atlanta

Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta covered the Great American Dessert Expo live on Tuesday morning. The Gratitude Cookie ™ and Zen Rabbit were featured in this segment, right after Spice Rack Chocolates. Want to see it? Click here.


The Grammy’s or the Granny’s?

Once again the media is making your job of standing out, being distinctive and impressing your clients easier. I watched the Grammy’s last night and was totally unimpressed. Earlier in the day, I had said how much I was looking forward to watching the 50th anniversary show of the original music awards. I even said that it was one of my goals to one day attend a Grammy Awards show because I love music so much.

Midway through the show my husband had abandoned the couch because he was bored. I stuck it out, ever the optimist, hoping it would get better. THAT was the 50th anniversary show? What a mess! This is an industry of flash and celebration and excess. Where was that kind of spectacular exhibition? I fear the Grammy’s are now more the Granny’s, as in plain as granny panties.

The good news is that people’s standards of excellence are slowly being pulled lower and lower. So as a business person who wants to stand out in the crowd, you need only make a slightly greater impression than your competition. You no longer need to try that hard, just make some kind of effort. And then imagine if you were really creative, what kind of fantastic experience would that create for your clients?

Super Bowl Advertisers Should Be Ashamed

Speaking of the Super Bowl, every year there is discussion around the commercials. Some people care at all about the game and watch just for the ads. I’m thinking those people have been disappointed this year. I certainly am. I kept waiting and hoping a really good commercial was coming up next. But it never aired. What did air has to be the WORST bunch of crap that’s ever run all in one evening.

Not only am I fairly certain those spots didn’t generate interest in buying the product or service (which is presumably why a company would advertise in the first place), they weren’t even interesting! Watching Justin Timberlake take all that abuse in the Pepsi ad was amusing because finally he’s getting what he deserves. Beyond that, snooze city.

The “experts” top five picks are a complete waste of $13.5 million and think of how much more money was squandered by the advertisers in the rest of the spots. If you’re looking for new clients, for my budget and yours, creativity and target/niche marketing is the smarter way to go.