The owner of a local bakery specializes in wedding cakes. The owner just completed a college course in Marketing. The owner wants to use what he learned to promote his business. The owner wants to develop a public image for advertising purposes. The owner also has a great idea, one that will link his business with the local community in the eyes of his customers.
The new city hall building is very distinctive looking and attractive. It has won several design awards. With some imagination, the owner see’s that it also happens to look a lot like a wedding cake. The owner’s idea is to photograph the building and, using a computer, morph the image with a wedding cake of your design. The result will be simultaneously recognizable as the city hall building and your cake, linking his business with the city.
The owner meets with a local printer to discuss having a set of promotional brochures printed that use his idea. He likes the idea. He says that his shop can do the whole job. The owner signs a deal in which the printer will do the layout, image manipulation, and printing. The photography will be done by one of his subcontractors. Five thousand dollars will get a pre-press version of the brochure for the owner’s final approval. The owner writes the check. It is a go.
When the proof comes back, it looks fantastic. The printed brochure looks better than the owner had anticipated. The owner is about to okay a print job that costs over $30,000 to complete.
Are there any additional actions that the owner should have taken before beginning?
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There is a misconception about the field of marketing; those who are not in the field believe that marketing is mainly about being very creative and artistic, and that the work of the artist with the most talent is the most successful. This is not the case. Marketing is not entirely about the artist’s concept of the good and services being sold; instead, good marketing entails the ability to present the goods and services in a way that reflects the personality and the lifestyle of those who are more likely to demand them.
Although the owner did have a wonderful idea, he had some studying to do prior to finalizing the contract. He should have first asked whether it is a legal practice to use a public building to promote a personal business venture. Public or not, some cities have clauses that prohibit the use of city icons for the benefit of personal profit. Imagine spending $30,000 on merchandise that infringes with the laws of the city. Since marketing is a task that requires input and output, he should have gotten clearance prior to beginning the venture.
Second, he should have done a customer profile to see “who” the average customer at the wedding cake bakery is. He may be surprised to find that, perhaps, his average customer reunites a series of traits that could call for different marketing strategies. Moreover, having a trending pattern in customers may help him make better marketing choices to attract even more potential buyers.
Third, he could have studied the marketing trends of other shops around him. Do they favor websites over paper brochures? Are paper brochures worth the investment? Where is the potential customer looking for wedding cakes? The answer may completely drive the owner away from investing so much money on paper products, especially if he will feature an image that may be subject to infringement.
Since the city hall is a public building, it is proably acceptable. The bakery owner should check with city hall just in case. The building may not be owned by the city. It also might belong to the architect. The baker should make sure that he is not infringing on any copyright laws by taking this picture. If he does, he could be sued. That will end up costing him more than the pictures could. However, it is also a clever idea that might help put the city on the map, so he should look into it.
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