Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Creative ideas and testimonials for Promo Video

As we are planning the promotional video for Crua Stone, we want to capture your creative and sincere thoughts. We are looking for:
Music options
Student's testimonials about the process of developing the marketing for Mike
Customer's testimonials about Mike's jewelry
Any other ideas you want to share

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Etsy Virtual Labs

observational research

I think for Mike observational research is the way to go. Watching consumers interact naturally with their surroundings is key.Usually, the consumer is not aware that they are being watched so they behave naturally, and you can catch how they really react to things they like or don't like. You can find what people like now, and what new trends work or not. you can stay on top, but just watching. :)

Chapter 8 : Survey Research

Survey research would be best for Mike product since Mike audience is mostly the younger generation. Most kids today are more communicate actively using internet especially the social media like Facebook and Twitter. They like to express their opinions and thoughts, search for the new things, meet friends, online shopping and more. Survey will be good way to get them involve and it should be quick and easy. The questionnaire design should be open-ended question where they get to express themselves more freely.
Besides that, survey will get to reach out further and more responses. Listening to what his audience thoughts and ideas about what they like might be helpful and inspiring for his new design.
Social Network especially Facebook and Twitter are widely use by many big companies nowadays. So let's Tweet about it!

Chapter 8, Casey Ligon

I think that one of the best resources for Etsy users to guage user interest is Google Analytics. Their ability to track and display site traffic with your Etsy pages is amazing. My favorite part of this style of observational research is where you can see what pages have been clicked on the most. This is particularly useful for seeing which designs are the most popular. Perhaps more importantly is the ability to see which section of jewelry people are clicking on most by deciding his products into sections (necklaces, rings, etc) and seeing which section gets the most hits overall.

Observational Research

Observational Research is a good tactic for Mike to use. Looking who and what people buy will help him improve is product line. If he sees people wanting something selling well he might make a limited addition having the consumer want to buy it before it is gone. Or even what's not selling so well and maybe do something else in place of that item. This way he can branch out as well and know what people like or dislike  . . . . . what would be a successful sale and what he might be wasting his time on.

Monday, March 29, 2010

This is a personal thank you to everybody in our class. Everyone has done an amazing job so far and has put more effort into this project than I could have ever hoped for. It is an honor for me to have so many extremely talented people working with me and on my business. I understand that we all have very difficult schedules at school and finding the time to do all the fantastic work you have done is awesome! I would like to personally thank Li Mei Tan and her group for the wonderful job you did on my logo. It is something I would have never thought to design that way but the more I look at it the more I love it. It has a sense of class and grace without losing its masculine feel, which I like very much. The flow of the text and image are very nice in the way it moves your eye through the logo. I would like to personally thank Alex Terry and his group for the amazing job they did on the packaging and the tutorial movie. Both are going to be extremely helpful to me and are in themselves an extension of my brand and feel. Very nice job guys. Next I would like to thank Aless and her group for the fantastic design of the banner. It looks very eye catching while maintaining a clean look which I like a lot! Also I would like to thank everyone that worked on my bio and announcement for my page. It is hard to write things about yourself because it is hard to evaluate oneself. You have made that extremely easy on me and done a knock out job on pin pointing who I am as a person. Also thank you Justin for your fantastic drawings and storyboards. They are very cool and reflective of my style as a person and I appreciate that. Thank you to the countless others who have been posting weekly on my product and pointing out things I would have never noticed or payed attention to. The insight you have all given me into my own product is priceless and something I never expected. All the time and effort of the class has blown me away and I would just like to let you all know how much I appreciate it because I may not convey it very often but I am truly thrilled by the work we have done as a class. Thank you.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chapter 8, Mail Surveys

Mail Surveys could be a way to follow up on a purchase as well as gaining research for Mike's product. This could even be done over email. A short questionnaire could be sent to anyone who buys something from Crua Stone.
The questions could be as simple as: "what attracted you to buy from Crua Stone?" or "was your purchase for yourself or for a gift?"
This feedback could help us understand the fan base Crua Stone already has, as well as helping develop the SWOT analysis further. Even if the customer chooses not to fill out the survey, they still will have seen the name CRUA STONE at least one more time.

observational Research

The observational Research Method applies to Mike’s jewelry very well, it is based on watching what people do, who buys what kind jewelry and were. It could also include what kind of people wears what kind of jewelry.

This is especially important to decide where to sell it (although we already know where we are selling mikes jewelry).

It also helps shaping the profile of the potential costumers and the profile of the brand.

This method is also used to gather information from other companies from the costumer position, this is called mystery shoppers; The researcher goes to a specific store and observes from the way they packed or not the shelves, costumer service all the way to packaging and labeling.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chapter 8

I think the best research method for Mike or any other small business starting off would be a blog. First of all, the internet is becoming more and more popular. People are blogging and reading other blogs more often. They are constantly on the computer finding new things that interest them. The age range we are looking at for Mike's target are younger and high tech. They are the ones that would understand what a blog is and be interested in it. A blog is also good for Mike because it's speaking to consumers on a more personal level. It's more laid back and fun, like Mike's product. What Mike does is an art and there's a story behind it. There's nothing else out there like Mike's products. Mike can tell little stories in his blogs about what he's working on. People who love his art would love reading the blog about what's new and what he's working on. Consumers can comment on the blogs of what they like about his work, what he should change and what they want out of it. I think they would feel more comfortable being completely honest in a blog. He can take this information and use it to his advantage. I think a blog is the perfect tone for Mike's products. It's real and communicates on a personal level.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Market Research

Please read chapter 8 about marketing research.
Select one research method that can be adopted by Mike Decker or any other creative entrepreneur and explain what data can be collected and how can the research data be utilized to support marketing decision making. Read the other comments and try to be original.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Seth is a genius

I think this applies to Etsy :)

"Telling a Story on the Label"

"Here's a $20 bottle of soap. Functionally identical to a $3 bottle, so what's the $17 for?
Let's assume the people buying it aren't stupid. What are they paying $17 for? A story. A feeling. A souvenir of a shopping expedition or perhaps just a little bit of joy in the shower every morning. Let's dissect:

1. The hang tag. It's special because most soap doesn't have a hang tag. Hang tags come on things that are a little more special than soap. And hang tags beg to be read. This one says a lot (and nothing, at the same time.) It reminds us that it doesn't contain SLS. What's SLS? Is it as bad as SLES?

2. This isn't soap. It's mineral botanic. Both words are meaningless, which means the purchaser can attach whatever feelings they choose to them. In this case, the marketer is hoping for old-time, genuine, down-to-earth and real.

3. It's not made by a soap company. It's made in a Dead Sea Laboratory. Laboratories, of course, are where scientists work, and the Dead Sea is biblical, spiritual and really salty. The company has a name (Ahava) that is onomatopoeic and reminds you of breathing. Breathe deep and find calm. [Even better, I'm told it means 'love' in Hebrew].

4. My favorite part is that it's made from bamboo and pansy. At least a little. Bamboo because it's fast growing and Asian and gentle and wood and grass at the same time. And pansy... well... pansy is for girls.

5. Two really good things here. First, it's for very dry skin. This is brilliant. If your skin is dry, you don't want to hear that it's sort of dry, kind of dry, not as dry as that guy over there... No, you want to hear that it's extremely dry, really dry, so dry it's like sand. That kind of dry. This bottle understands how very dry your skin is, and it's here to help.

Also, it's in French! I love that there's the language of love and sophistication and diplomacy right here on the bottle. I can imagine that models for Chanel are using it on the Rive Gauche as we speak.

6. Did I mention the part about velvet?

It took guts to take this packaging so over the top. It doesn't match my worldview, but it might match yours. There's not a lot of room for slightly-out-of-the-ordinary."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


When his sculpture teacher told him that he couldn’t carve anything small with the stone he was using, Michael Decker had no choice but to do just that. It was that type of rebellious and creative spirit that started Decker’s passion for creating unique stone and hemp jewelry. Each necklace, bracelet, or ring is made out of Brazilian stone, and each is different from the next. Long after the sculpture class at his community college in Florida was over, this hobby has turned into the beginning of what could be a lucrative small business called Crua Stone. Before, Decker would make stone jewelry for himself or for friends, but now he in the hands of his Marketing class at Ringling College of Art and Design.
Mike’s jewelry was voted to be the subject of the class’ latest Marketing project. The students have been divided into different groups, each handling a different aspect of the Marketing Mix. Each week the class covers another step of the marketing process for Crua Stone, doing things such as working on the packaging, picking out a name and logo, price setting and understanding the target market. The class has decided to use, an online community specifically for selling handcrafted products, along with the school’s local store, Made By Ringling, to sell Crua Stone’s Jewelry. is tailored to pieces like Mike’s Crua Stone jewelry. This project allows students to experience first hand everything that goes into marketing a product.
Crua Stone already had a small following, but now Mike Decker’s business has the chance to expand with a greater force than ever before. To find out more about this 23 year old from Texas who now resides in Sarasota, Florida, check out his web page!

Chapter 15: Advertising and PR

I think much more in bullet points so i'll initially list the info like that.


*Spending on advertising is different for new and established brands/companies. Emerging products/companies have to spend proportionately more to make themselves known. Big names like Coca-Cola and Verizon Communications (even though they pay nearly $10million a day on advertising) concentrate on reminding consumers of their presence and they are already known thanks to their heavy investment in advertising in previous years.
* The reason for switching advertising methods is that after a certain point diminishing returns set in aka the Advertising Response Function. After this point, money spent on advertising will become decreasingly effective at raising awareness. You can only tell so many people about something new until you start running into the same people basically.
*Serious/Dramatic ads work better to improve negative attitudes from consumers toward positive ones. Humerous ones work better among those who already have a positive attitude towards the product/brand/company presented in them.
*Institutional advertising has been on the rise. These work to promote the company/organization on the whole and preserve their desired identity. Advocacy ads, responses to recent controversies and accusations are included in this type of advertising.
*Product Advertising is something we've been swamped with since our first days in existence. Pioneering, Competative, and Comparative Advertising are all specific angles that are taken in this type of ad.
*For an Ad Campaign: planning, development, execution, scheduling (for tv: flight, pulsing, or seasonal for example), and post campaign evaluation are your basic formula


*PR can either be set up through press releases and proactive media relations but can also create themselves such as the diet coke + mento mint geyser video. (Mento estimates the online buzz spurred on in fan videos to be worth over $10million. Mento spends under $20 million on advertising. Total.)
*Weapons in the PR Department's arsenal: product publicity, press relations, corporate communications, public affairs, lobbying (oh the dreaded lobbyists), employee and investor relations, and crisis management (damage control for when bad publicity happens)
*New Product publicity - here's where the extra money goes to introduce new products. Publicity stunts such as Henri Desgrange's bicycle race to promote his newspaper (known as the Tour de France today; 100 years later) fall into this category.
*Product Placement: The fun "SONY" logo you see in a movie or phone you see placed into a scene in a show.
*Consumer Education: "informed consumers are better than loyal consumers." Seminars and educational programs regarding services pertinent to the providing comapny/organization fall under this category.
*Sponsorship: Keeping athletes many times wealthier than us since before Michael Jordan
*Internet Web Sites: Convenient yet losing popularity. Many products no longer receive their own site. Instead they may be promoted on the parent site established for the whole company entity. If anything though, companies are moving towards blogs, essentially the newspaper of our generation to promote themselves online in ways aside from advertisement banners and pop ups.

ch 15

After considering our class discussions and reading Ch. 15 on advertising I decided to investigate the advertising techniques of Coca Cola. They use the nostalgia of the brand to their advantage, whether it be through their print or television advertisements. Their message is that coca cola has and will always be there. although coca cola does alot of advertising, some of it we fail t o recognize. product placement in television and movies, as well as other places we wouldn't pick up on. Coca cola does not make its money off of syrups (fountain drinks). They make their money off of the can drinks you buy, so why then do you see coca cola fountain drinks offered in ball parks, stadiums, and many other venues? it's all for the advertising. the amount of money coca cola spends per year to be at fenway park (for example) is enough to cover the price of being at fenway, and that's it. however, the advertising that is provided just by being at fenway is thought to be enough to justify that placement. As far as public relations is concerned, i think their current advertising campaign says it all. coca colas newest campaign features womens heart health and also 'benefits' womens heart health. This is just one of the many ways Coca cola excels in both these areas.

Rough Film Ideas

I've put together a simple and straight forward storyboard outlining the overall feel of what the video for Mike could look like. I was leaning towards a more interview approach where the a majority of the video is about the person talking about themselves and the product mixed in with some shots of the surrounding areas of the school and the Madeby Store. Mike being interviewed on a beach nearby would tie in with the whole "natural" theme of the product and also reflect on the target audience.

Mike's Bio--20 Something

Mike Decker: the 23 year old rebel. Don't tell him he can't do something, he'll just prove you wrong. This is what drives him, along with his supportive family. He never wants to be anything but the best, and he'd willing to work hard for it. This advertiser/artist has a strong opinion (sometimes direct) and when he's passionate about something, no one can tell him he's wrong. When he's not busy carving Brazilian stones, he likes to skim, surf, skateboard, hang out with friends, and loves to do ceramics. Music is an important part of his artwork. Doesn't matter what he's listening to. It's more about mood. Music is half the experience of stone carving. It keeps him going. The music sets the pace and tone of what I am carving that day. “ Other than music, Mike is also influenced by the natural shapes in nature. He has an eye for finding hidden symbology within the art and makes up his own meanings. It's a very personal type of artwork, requiring both time and patience. Only the most dedicated can do what Mike Decker does. Mike considers his mom a mentor for always being there for him along with his high school art teacher, Patrick Woodruff and technical school teacher, April Irwin. His main goal is to graduate college being the top of his class with the knowledge and skills he needs to revolutionize the industry. After school he wants to obtain a well respected job and earn enough money to retire at a young age to open his own art studio and gallery. The ultimate goal? To live life and be happy doing art.

Chapter 19

In chapter 19, it talks mostly about customer relationship management, which is a strategy used to manage and nurture a companies interactions with clients and prospects.
It's an essential part of modern business management. Termite Extermination Inc was able to develop and implement a marketing plan that increased sales dramatically. Banks introduce the customer relationship management system to become more customer oriented. Maybank has won the customer relationship management excellence award 2010 for its high performance and high return on investment crm. Maybank said it emerged tops under the "growth" category.

Final 3 logo

After developed more variation during the weekend, Mike took a look and preferred these 3 logos.
Here are the final 3.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chapter 15

Johnson and Johnson is a company that spends a lot of money on advertising, but a majority of their advertising goes towards Institutional Advertising. The company spends billions of dollars on corporate identity and advocacy advertisement. They are a company of reputation and use public relations wisely. They are on top of the consumer reminding them constantly of their effort to help a cause in society. You are more likely to hear of the company's name than a product the are attempting to introduce. Their products hold a major reputation and are for the most part trusted even with babies and need little introduction. Johnson and Johnson has an air tight strategy to keep the consumer on their side and they exercise public relations to the max of their ability. In this attempt to use their public relations to their advantage they utilize a variety of advertising appeals from health to environmental consciousness. Johnson and Johnson also involves itself in noise-free reading and advertisement...{content brought to you by...} In this site I have provided you can see a list of campaigns Johnson and Johnson has launched that focus primarily on institutional advertisement for the company.

Public relation is what helps the marketers understand, evaluate their needs and learn about what they want and care about. The consumers and helps the consumers understand, accept and trust on what is being offered to them. When there is good costumer service brand loyalty tends to increase, if we as costumers know that we will be treated good and respected we will give that back to the company and it makes the experience of buying the product or using the service much more pleasant and satisfying. Sales are good to attack costumers that maybe had sassed to purchase or use a certain product for economic reasons or for experimental reasons ( to try other newer brands). When you give the costumer to get something for less money it gratifies them, it is an opportunity they have in a set period of time which influences their decision making.

A company that is very good on sales is Charlotte Russe, their sales go up to 50% and sometimes even more. This is a clothes company and whenever a new collection comes in the prices of the previous one go drop down. This makes a big difference and the stores bloom at that time of the year because their main consumers are teenage girls who might not have that much money but they like to spend it in clothes and if they can get more for less even better.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chapter 15-Pioneering Advertising and Netflix

When Netflix debuted as a new way to rent DVDs with no late fees and no traveling to a store their initial advertising was considered to be pioneering advertising. As their company flourished and their member numbers increased dramatically they switched from pioneering advertising to competitive advertising, this switch was not only triggered due to their higher membership listing but also by the introduction of Blockbuster Video trying to offer the same services in addition to their store services. The most recent competitive advertising campaign can be seen at this address:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quick logo/label design by 4th Group:

iPad Parodies

Behold! The future of Apple products :P I don't know where I first saw this image, but it's one of definitely many iPad parodies out there. I also added a couple links to video parodies on Youtube below.

The Mad TV skit is actually before the iPad came out, it was only announced like a couple years ago.

This last link is that scene from Valkyrie (I think), that has become pretty popular to replace the original conversation with humorous subtitles, this one being about the iPad's release. Beware, there is foul language, but only written. :P

PR, sales and customer service

Public relations, sales and customer service are usually separate functions, which reside outside of the marketing department. As the size of the business gets smaller, these functions fall under the responsibility of the marketing manager. Based on your reading and the discussion we had in class, how do you think public relations, sales and customer service compliment the marketing mix? Supplement your answer with a link to a company that excels in one or all of these areas.
Reading assignment:
Last name A-G chapter 15
Last name H-R chapter 16
Last name S-W chapter 19


black mamba: objectives for mikes business

Mikes business objectives for the time being are to create enough revenue from sales of his art to sustain his lifestyle with a profit by August of this year. While other objectives have been discussed, we felt that this was one of the more pertinent, realizable goals for his art for the time being.

black mamba: pros & cons of etsy and madeby

We were assigned to discuss the pros and cons of selling mikes art on etsy vs. the made by store and found a few for each.

Etsy would allow for Mikes art to reach a wider audience, while the madeby store only allows Mikes art to reach a select group of people in the Sarasota area. Another issue with the madeby store (that we discussed in class) was the location, which ends up being another pro for selling on etsy. Another issue that came up was how much it would cost to list his items for sale with each store. Etsy does require a fee, but we did not determine if the madeby store did. Constantly posting new pieces on etsy could become very time consuming, also the shipping could become problematic. Madeby is here in sarasota, and that proximity does make it appealing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mike's Pricing

We've thought of a few pricing strategies for Mike's jewelry:

Physical work pay could fluctuate depending on how much you would want to be paid an hour.

The additives of the piece (if any) could be calculated along with the original cost of the Brazilian stone. For example glass beads, decorative wire, etc.
The size and detail of the piece could also be a variable in the total cost.

Mike's Pricing

We've thought of a few pricing strategies for Mike's jewelry:

Physical work pay could fluctuate depending on how much you would want to be paid an hour.

The additives of the piece (if any) could be calculated along with the original cost of the Brazilian stone. For example glass beads, decorative wire, etc.
The size and detail of the piece could also be a variable in the total cost.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

M2 - some logo sketches

Still in developing stages but would like to present some idea here.
We were thinking simple but bring out the rawness of the stone.
Since our target audience are parents, we need something that elegant but playful at the same time.

Package Design - Fourth Group

The first set of sketches shows a basic concept that summarized our original emails to each other about package design ideas.


We also thought another good package design (alternative to a box) could be a kind of hand folded envelope, that is later placed in a shipping box if sold on Etsy.

The paper would be recycled from paper grocery bags (if everyone in the class gets paper instead of plastic for one week, we'll have enough bags for Mike to last him through the summer. Each bag could provide enough paper for 2-3 packages). The brown paper could be given a colored wash, like watercolor, in earthy tones that would give it a random and organic texture, just like the stones.

The envelope would be hand folded like a large letter, and wrapped vertically with hemp. A small stone charm would be tied at the closure, which could be the icon for mike's designs, or a simple abstract shape. A card would also be tied at the closure and include the following information:
The origin of the stone and explanation of how the materials are all natural.
Information explaining that the packaging is natural/recycled
A quick how-to on how to take the hemp + charm that come around the package to make your own simple necklace/bracelet.

The space inside the envelope would be filled with rafia or another shredded paper material, as padding (the same goes for the shipping box).


I believe that we were all in agreement that the larger necklaces would require a sturdier package, even just for the MadBy store, so a box design would work best. We have a few templates for box construction as well.


From there, we wrote a few solid ideas that we want to see in the final package design (in either an envelop/bag style or box design):
pendant and hemp closure
card with: stone story, how-to, and package info
texturized brown paper
rafia as padding


Mission Statement Take II

"A mission statement is a formal short written statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides "the framework or context within which the company's strategies are formulated."
"(Raw Stone) is a nature-based organization that strives to achieve sustainability with the materials used while being a role-model for social responsibility and staying environmentally aware. We want to change the way you perceive natural resources by wearing some."

-Raw Stone can obviously be replaced by the name chosen by the class/Mike


Monday, March 1, 2010

SWOT Analysis for Mike's Stonewear.


  • handmade

  • environmental friendly (renewable resources)

  • no color fading

  • can be custom made

  • naturally varied

  • handcrafted sometimes makes greater appeal than mass production: people get a sense of love put into the product.

  • wide range of audience?

  • can be worn anywhere

  • if people know that the money doesn't necessarily go to him, they see it as selfless and tend to buy it than something else


  • Rate of production

  • Nature of the stone (can be fragile)

  • Limited colors

  • Wear and tear (treatment of the product, gets smelly)

  • Limited sizes (can't go too small)

  • Possible breaking

  • Limited edition

  • Supply fluctuation

  • Post purchase


  • Introducing new materials- would result in new pricing like wires, glass workings, acrylics, stone insets, and new kinds of chains to put them on.

  • New stonewear sets- rings, bracelets, anklets, etc.

  • New lines (sets with new materials added)

  • Beach Themes, Nature themes, Totem themes

  • Events and shows (like jewelry shows)

  • partnerships


  • Big jewelry companies

  • Cheaper from over seas

  • Want something from that specific area

  • Activist not wanting the rock/hemp removed from its natural environment

  • Economic times

  • Other local artists