All Articles Tagged "consumers"
We could go on, and on, and on, about the lack of roles for black actors in Hollywood, but what about supporting the people in the parts we do have? That’s what actor Laz Alonso spoke to us about after he participated in a Verizon Wireless panel alongside Kevin Hart and Jill Scott at this year’s Essence Festival. After talking about the power of technology and its influence in Hollywood, Laz spoke to MN more in depth on the power black consumers hold, specifically, and how they can use that buying power — and general support — to shift the black landscape in Hollywood. Listen up and tell us what you think. Is he right?
More on Madame Noire!
- From Dropping It Like It’s Hot To Oscars: 10 Celebrities Who Got Their Video Vixen On Before Making It Big (Fellas Too!)
- Name It & Claim It: The Importance of Speaking Your Dreams and Desires Into Existence
- It’s Women Like Kiana Howell And Makeeba Graham Who Make It Hard For All Of Us To Get Through Security At The Airport
- Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Does Makeup Really Matter To Men?
- When It Comes To The Magic Stick, Does Size Really Matter?
- Magazine Cover Curse: 9 Couples Who Shared Their Love With Us And Ended Up Yesterday’s News
- Wait, How Did You Get That Role? 14 Of The Crappiest Casting Calls in Black Films and TV
Distrust of financial institutions continues to spread. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.* admitted Tuesday to accidently charging customers in several states including New York and Connecticut twice for their debit card charges. It’s just the most recent financial snafu.
Last week’s data security breach had card holders up in arms. Global Payments, Inc., the company responsible for last Friday’s breach of 1.5 million bank card numbers, claims the “incident is contained.” However, security experts say other transactions may have been compromised.
Read the rest at BlackEnterprise.com
Verizon apparently missed the memo that consumers don’t like to pay to access options that are rightfully theirs–like paying a bill. Remember how quickly Bank of America backtracked with the $5 monthly fee they were going to charge people to access their own money? But if the phone company is looking at things from an airline perspective, they might assume that sure, consumers will put up a fuss initially, but at the end of the day what other choice do they have?
Starting Jan. 15, Verizon will charge customers at $2 fee if they pay their bill with a credit card online or over the phone. Most companies I’ve had personal experience with charge to pay a bill over the phone–and typically more than $2–but those fees were standard policies from the beginning, not a sudden attempt to cover the ability to “continue to support these bill payment options” as Verizon explained it. And being charged to simply pay a bill online with a credit card is extremely rare.
A Verizon memo says it will offer customers free options before charging the fee. That includes snail mail, enrolling in Verizon’s AutoPay, allowing the company to keep a credit, debit or ATM card or bank account on file (their preferred method), electronic check, using your bank’s online bill pay, or paying at a Verizon kiosk.
It should be noted that Verizon Communications Inc., the landline phone company that owns most of Verizon Wireless, tried to impose a $3.50 fee for people who paid their bill for FiOS TV or Internet service month-to-month by credit card last year and backed out after complaints. I’m pretty sure this attempt will follow suit. With enough people struggling to just pay a bill, the last thing customers need are erroneous fees.
Does your phone company charge you fees if you pay your bill a certain way?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
By Charlotte Young
Marketing to moms is essential for any business to survive. Kat Gordon, the founder and Creative Director of the marketing agency Maternal Instinct, tells Inc.com that women are increasing making the shopping decisions in the household, even with automotive, electronics, and insurance purchases.
Women currently control $13 trillion of the world’s $18.4 trillion in consumer spending. Even still, she says that 71 percent of women feel brands only consider them for beauty and cleaning products. How should companies woo these women consumers? Inc.com reports on ways businesses can start reaching out to women consumers.
First tip to reach women consumers is to make accessibility easy. Research shows women spend the equivalent of 17 days in a year in the car with their kids. Companies must make their site mobile. In addition, women love online communities, especially Facebook. Instead of asking women to change their online habits, companies should find opportunities within existing communities and networks to market their product.
Research also shows that videos are a must! Over 80 percent of moms want to see a product in action so companies must be ready to give their product a video spotlight. Women consumers want to be greeted as friends through marketing, not talked at with sales pitches. While humor is a good marketing strategy, it’s also important to give female representatives a chance to preview the campaign. Women represent only 3 percent of creative directors and men often forget that male humor can be borderline offensive to women.
Women are givers and they like to buy from companies that are givers as well. Inc.com reports that 82 percent of women are more likely to buy from companies that support charitable causes that they believe in and are also more likely to switch products to one they feel helps others.
When a firm woman base has been established, Gordon notes that it’s also important to thank women consumers and to use a “story-selling” approach that will continue to give the company a human perspective. With a new marketing strategy in place, it’s also good to ask for feedback. Women know what they like and what they want improved and they’re not afraid to offer their opinion.
(Wall Street Journal) — Retailers are coming to terms with a new reality: the consumer who traded down during the recession and never came back. Buffeted by high unemployment, heavy debt loads, falling home values and high food and gas prices, these shoppers have been whipped into a permanent state of consumer caution. They buy only what they need, avoid premium labels, clip coupons and scour sales. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Mike Duke told analysts in a recent conference call that paycheck-cycle shopping is more pronounced than ever, with shoppers stocking up shortly after getting paid, then moving to smaller product sizes toward the end of the month when they run short of money. “Consumers are fragile, fatigued and fed up,” said Chris Christopher, senior economist at IHS. Global Insight, citing wage stagnation, food inflation and high gas prices. Retailers and manufacturers are figuring out how to appeal to these new “forever frugal” consumers—rather than pin too much hope on economic rebound. Some are waiting longer to pass on higher costs, whether for food or cotton. Coca-Cola Co. and other companies have added new packages at small sizes and lower price tags. Some retailers are holding the line on hiring, even as they head into their busiest season of the year. Many stores are expanding their selection of cheaper private-label products and some are offering credit cards with across-the-board discounts. Layaway has made a comeback.
(Wall Street Journal) — Consumers, pinched by falling incomes, trimmed their spending last year even as prices for everyday goods climbed, according to a new report from the Labor Department. Consumer groups, defined as families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, and two or more persons living together who share expenses, saw their average income before taxes drop 0.6% from a year earlier to $62,481. Average spending dropped 2% to $48,109 last year. Even as income and spending fell, consumer prices increased 1.6% in 2010.
(Bankrate) — The ‘Magic’ of display: We can learn a lesson in Underhill’s book from a story told by a retailer about a tempting display of T-shirts. “We buy them in Sri Lanka for $3 each. Then we bring them over here and sew in washing instructions, which are in French and English. Notice we don’t say the shirts are made in France. But you can infer that if you like. Then … we fold them just right on a tasteful tabletop display, and on the wall behind it we hang a huge, gorgeous photograph of a beautiful woman in an exotic locale wearing the shirt.” Resist the urge: “Write a monthly mall shopping budget and stash cash in an envelope specifically for that purpose. When the envelope is empty, stop spending,” says Ramsey. “A written budget makes you think twice when you are tempted by impulse buys.”