Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic April 23, 2001

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:00 AM): No returns last week, thankfully! :-) I did some work this weekend on my songbook, and talked to the artist I'd like to do the cover, so I think it's going to start moving at a good clip.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:00 AM): Morning, Rob!

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:00 AM): Greetings this fair Monday morning...

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:01 AM): Rob, I just sent you a note re the Etailers chat -- thanks for the log

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:02 AM): Okie doke, I'll check it a bit later. Do you think you'll repeat it?

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:03 AM): Yes -- we've scheduled a second session for this Thursday.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:03 AM): My Email gives a bit more detail about what transpired

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:03 AM): I figured as much. Who knows? You may have the start of a new biz here...

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:04 AM): LOL... no, the two I have now are about one too many!

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:04 AM): Announce it to the list again...tomorrow, maybe so they can plan for it

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:05 AM): Will do, Rob. Thanks.

Pat (4/23/2001 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Pat (4/23/2001 9:05 AM): Good Morning everyone

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:06 AM): Hi Pat

Erik Gloersen ( (4/23/2001 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Pat (4/23/2001 9:07 AM): Hi Erik

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:07 AM): Hi folks...anyone want to jump in?

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:07 AM): Hi Erik

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:07 AM): Erik, is the e-mail working?

Pat (4/23/2001 9:07 AM): Sorry have to leave - have fun today

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:09 AM): Hope it wasn't something I said...

Erik Gloersen ( (4/23/2001 9:09 AM): I just read this article about FEDEX changing their branding strategy, Did you read it? Yes the email is working. Great name don't you think!

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:09 AM): If nobody else jumps in, I have one...

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:09 AM): Where did you read the article? How are they changing?

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:09 AM): Terry, jump in.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:09 AM): I'm starting to put some thought into KIDiddles' site redesign...

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:10 AM): I know that it could use a major overhaul, both in what goes where and the new navigation, etc.

PaulieShark (4/23/2001 9:11 AM): Sorry I was called away

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:11 AM): And......?

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:11 AM): My main concern is that if I completely rearrange the navigation, I'll lose visitors to frustration over how things 'change' ...

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:11 AM): Any thoughts on how to ease them into a new design?

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:11 AM): How radical is the re-design?

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:12 AM): particularly if I put the emphasis on the store over the content (as content now holds first priority)

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:12 AM): I'm not sure how radical it will be ultimately yet -- I'm hoping that I can actually make it EASIER to navigate and find things, but it's still only on paper... so who knows? :-)

Del (4/23/2001 9:13 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:13 AM): Well, the first thing you gotta do is make sure that the change doesn't convey a "we're just out to make bucks" kind of message.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:13 AM): Morning, Del

PaulieShark (4/23/2001 9:13 AM): Terry, have you considered a "truth based email" of these, "We're offering you special shipping arrangements because our web site design has changed" Tell stories about how change is frustrating yet inevitable and was ultimately done to help them... However, that you'll be by the phones (if you are) to help them navigate and enjoy the improvements. Maybe confess your own frustrations with change in there also?

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:14 AM): I think if you wisely go over what needs to be changed and what you can keep, you'll end up with a balance that works.

Del (4/23/2001 9:14 AM): morning all. Terry, sorry for missing the eCommerce chat. Any chance of a transcript floating about?

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:14 AM): Actually, Paulie, just sent out an e-mail that announced they were now having to charge shipping. It was well done. You can send the same kind of announcement,

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:15 AM): Rob -- I definitely DON'T want to give the impression of only being there to sell -- not only is it not my style, but it's not the truth.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:15 AM): Paulie, that's a good suggestion. Thanks.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:15 AM): The announcement also gives you a legitimate chance to contact everyone whose e-mail address has been registered at your site.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:15 AM): Del, I'll have the transcript posted on my site later today and will send a note out to the group to let them know where to find it.

Del (4/23/2001 9:16 AM): Terry: Great. Thanks.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:16 AM): That's fine, Terry. So keep some of the colors and visual elements but move the e-commerce stuff up to make it more "accessible".

Frederick ( (4/23/2001 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:17 AM): That's one of my problems, Rob -- I'm not very good at marketing myself. I hesitate to send a mass message anytime -- am always fearful that I'll tick them off.

PaulieShark (4/23/2001 9:17 AM): Rob, I totally agree. It's a delightful excuse... :) with the empathy position you can take it may be appealing. Terry, I'm having the same situation in the netradio pre-IPO I'm an investor within. radio as they've changed the programming format to prepare for satellite narrowcast. This is of course ultimately a benefit to the listeners but they're all upset :)

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:17 AM): Part of making the site "easier" to navigate is making it easier to buy stuff.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:17 AM): Terry, it's no big deal. Write the e-mail as if you were writing to your friend -- because you are!

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:18 AM): True enough, Rob. I've been trying to do that by incorporating suggestions within the content part of the site. i.e. Someone looking at the lyrics for "Farmer in the Dell" will see a note at the bottom suggesting albums or songbooks the song can be found on.

Del (4/23/2001 9:18 AM): Terry: Dedicate a page for "Making the most of the site" and use a character to guide the reader through the interface redesign. :-)

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:18 AM): Del, that's an excellent suggestion -- thanks

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:19 AM): Later, when you get into it, you can do the blatantly self-promoting stuff that I do! Actually, I find that the self-promotion stuff is a necessary evil. If I don't self-promote, I know that nobody will do it for me! how else are they supposed to know?

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:19 AM): Speaking of good marketing, has anyone looked at Microsoft's Press Release about getting rid of "Clippy"? They've actually devoted an entire Web site to talk of its (his?) demise and promoting the newest Office package

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:19 AM): Brilliant, in my opinion

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:20 AM): Rob, I know I need to promote, but dang! It's hard! (Heck, we were trying to sell girl guide cookies this weekend, and I couldn't even bring myself to ask someone to buy a box!)

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:20 AM): On the other hand, there's a lot to be said for just making the change and being done with it. Don't overextend to the point of pandering. you lose your leadership if you do.

Erik Gloersen ( (4/23/2001 9:21 AM): I had to go and look for the article on FEDEX. The "change" seems more like a re-focusing to me, but let us know what you think. Here it is:,1640,11252,00.html

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:21 AM): All the more reason to build your brand and its branded community!

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:22 AM): Last week, launching FrankelTips (<--- plug) was little more than an e-mail announcement or two.....over 100 subscribers in the first few days.

Del (4/23/2001 9:23 AM): Terry: Planning on using a primary navigation bar (with text, tabs or graphics)...and if the latter, have you thought of mouseover animation?

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:23 AM): Rob -- it was a 'no-brainer' to sign up for it. It's easy to envision value for money out of the newsletter (at least it was easy for me)

Del (4/23/2001 9:23 AM): Rob: Quick $1,800. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:23 AM): Del, yes, I'll definitely be doing mouseovers this round

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:24 AM): I wish that I could come up with something like that on KIDiddles!

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:24 AM): Yes, I think it will be a healthy endeavor for everyone. But the key was basing it on a branded community. Terry, you should be able to leverage yours, if you've done it right.

Frederick ( (4/23/2001 9:25 AM): Rob, How many people in your 'branded community'?

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:25 AM): Rob, the tough part is coming up with something fairly easy to create that folks could buy into and have distributed electronically

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:26 AM): Fred - low thousands

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:26 AM): The songbook will help contribute to a better profit point, but it just seems to me I should be able to come up with something else that would be -- but it's not come to me yet

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:26 AM): terry, that's simply a matter of clearing the decks for a day, turning off the phones and brainstorming

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:27 AM): You're likely right, Rob

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:28 AM): I conduct war room sessions for clients where we do just that -- Erik and I did one -- and I can tell you that you can turn around an entire brand strategy with products in one day.

Del (4/23/2001 9:28 AM): Terry: Safety tips based on the month/season/holiday along with a tape/CD/songbook recommendation and link to your site and that product? (Viral possibility?)

Frederick ( (4/23/2001 9:28 AM): Terry, talk it over with yourself for a good while, don't make any decisions, then sleep on it. It's amazing how many answers you will have in the morning!

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:28 AM): Erik, the FEDEX thing isn't really much of anything, from what I can tell.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:29 AM): Terry, what free service do you provide to your potential prospects?

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:29 AM): Del, I think I'd have to offer more 'value for money' than that -- info that isn't so readily available elsewhere

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:29 AM): Rob: one of these days I hope I can afford your time to undertake such a session! :-)

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:30 AM): Rob, right now I send out a 'Song of the Week' -- lyrics included in the body of the message; MIDI file on the site so they can hear it.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:30 AM): Terry, half of the problem is that you haven't cleared the time out to work in an undisturbed environment. When people pay my day rate, they MAKE SURE to do just that!

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:30 AM): I also offer a store newsletter with product reviews and other info about items in the store

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:31 AM): Terry, if you can expand that content to broaden as many people as possible -- while giving them something of value -- you can build that branded community so that you can launch the new site with ease.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:31 AM): I've got about 3000 subscribers to the Song list; 600 or so to the store list

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:31 AM): Newsletters are a real double-edged sword.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:32 AM): Most people use newsletters as transparent self-promotional sales letters, which people ignore.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:32 AM): The proof of a newsletter is whether people will pay for it!

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:32 AM): At one point I offered a 'paid' subscription service where people could get the notes to the songs for a monthly fee, but it was more trouble than it was worth, and few people signed up (yet many of them write and say they'd like the music notation)

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:33 AM): So perhaps if I could find a way to distribute the actual sheet music for a fee, that would work

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:33 AM): The reason why FrankelBiz works so nicely is that while free, people derive real value from it for their own gain.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:33 AM): of course people want everything for free!

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:34 AM): Rob, I had some personal issues to deal with last year and the song didn't go out for awhile -- I had hundreds of Emails from people who wrote to say they missed it

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:34 AM): But that's why I offer them a choice of budget-bracketed products (

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:34 AM): But you're right -- everyone wants it for nothing

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:34 AM): Yeah -- you stopped their free stuff!

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:35 AM): I must get 50 requests a week from people wanting free advice.....

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:35 AM): Grin... Yup

Erik Gloersen ( (4/23/2001 9:35 AM): Rob, I read the article twice and still couldn't find any major changes. Still, the FEDEX people seemed to think that they had come up with this radical plan, which would improve on their branding strategy.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:35 AM): ...which is actually what motivated me to write the book record the tapes, and launch FrankelTips.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:36 AM): Erik, all I see there is FEDEX getting bored with their success. The truth is that they're feeling pressure from UPS and others, so hey have to come up with something. But the truth is that they don't. All they need to do, IMO, is make sure they're set up to handle the e-commerce emergence.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:37 AM): I get messages from people wanting free sheet music; and free recorded versions of songs, etc. -- they're used to the sites of the world, and want it all for nothing. Mention an album in the store and they get outraged

Frederick ( (4/23/2001 9:37 AM): I get requests for free advice, too - I send them to their local library and tell them to ask for SCORE - the service Corps of Retired Executives. Works wonders!

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:37 AM): If FEDEX is vulnerable anywhere, it's in the e-space, because there's still no leader there.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:38 AM): Frederick -- that's a mistake. You're leaving money on the table. They've come to you because they think you can help. You should develop something that crates some sort of value for you.

Frederick ( (4/23/2001 9:39 AM): Hmm. Good point!

Erik Gloersen ( (4/23/2001 9:39 AM): I agree. They are still writing down your credit card number on the airbill, which I thought was a little low-tech AND low-security.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:40 AM): Plus, I hope everyone is archiving their requests from people....these folks make a great list for announcing your new products.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:41 AM): Yeah, Erik, but their forms only leave that blank open on the necessary copies. I think they black out the other ones...

Erik Gloersen ( (4/23/2001 9:42 AM): Well, I still use FEDEX every time. It was just a little odd that they don't swipe the cards.

Del (4/23/2001 9:42 AM): Rob: Any opinion on the Ken Envoy stuff ( ClickZ had an article that mentioned the site.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:43 AM): Del, I personally like Ken, but I don't subscribe to his stuff. Ken and I discussed launching The Revenge of brand X through his operation, but decided against it.

Roan (4/23/2001 9:43 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:45 AM): Del, being the brand-o-maniac that I am, I think that anytime you submit to someone else's brand, you subordinate your own. Ken's strategy completely consumes your own. In other words, his operation leverages your content for his brand. IMO, at least

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:46 AM): I'm launching a new knowledge-based site soon and part of our offering will be publishing. But I will be offering our brand as a platform to launch others' brands. Which is how I think it should be.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:46 AM): Plus, last I heard Ken was trying to unload or had already sold his operation.

Del (4/23/2001 9:46 AM): Rob: The only thing I thought was interesting is his method for product pricing (online survey responses generating a pricing curve.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:47 AM): Del, that's actually Marty Chennard's Pricing Strategy at work. It has some value, but it's no panacea.

Del (4/23/2001 9:47 AM): But that presupposes all respondents are truthful.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:47 AM): First, it's totally skewed data. Only the respondents influence the data, so how can you be sure of their qualifications?

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:48 AM): On my tapes, I devote a considerable amount of time to the subject of pricing as part of your brand strategy.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:48 AM): The fact is that pricing is a leadership statement.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:50 AM): Incidentally, I was very pleased to find that Declan Dunn is using The Revenge of brand X as a textbook for his class at the University of California next month....

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:50 AM): Anyone else? Roan? What can I do for you today?

PaulieShark (4/23/2001 9:50 AM): Bravo, Mr. Rob Frankel :)

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:50 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Del (4/23/2001 9:50 AM): Agreed...however, take a look at what is happening with American Greetings....Loss of market share to Hallmark and other smaller competitors, primarily in the .99 cent arena. (Everyone else has them, American Greetings doesn't). End result. Price for the mass consumer.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:51 AM): Perfessor!

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:52 AM): Del, of course the consumer plays a part in determining price. But there's a lot of play in there. After all, the local doughnut shop sells coffee for 50¢...Starbucks charges $1.35 American....

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:52 AM): ...and they DON'T line up at the doughnut shop!

Frederick ( (4/23/2001 9:52 AM): Del: Surely, price for the mass consumer ONLY if you want to appeal to the mass consumer.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:53 AM): Price point perception -- I'm willing to pay $3.95 for a card for my Mom that spells out exactly what I want to say...

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:53 AM): but for my daughter's friend's birthday, $0.99 looks a whole lot better.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:53 AM): Also, if you price yourself below your competition -- and that's all you do -- you're basically letting the consumer believe you're not worth as much.....

PaulieShark (4/23/2001 9:53 AM): Rob, have you ever had a real estate investor as a client... Ala, a Ron LeGrande? What thoughts do you have on selling people into having you help them with their foreclosure?

Del (4/23/2001 9:53 AM): Frederick: In American Greetings' case, mass consumer IS their market.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:54 AM): Yes, but look at how hallmark created ShoeBox and other sub-brands. Very effective.

Terry ( (4/23/2001 9:55 AM): Paulie, do you mean helping the people who will have their mortgages foreclosed? If so (and speaking as a former paralegal who did foreclosures for about 5 years), EMPATHY would be the key

Roan (4/23/2001 9:55 AM): Sorry Rob, I got a phone call - I'll ask my question next week

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:55 AM): Still got five minutes Roan

Roan (4/23/2001 9:56 AM): I have a new client who is a sports psychologist and author

Roan (4/23/2001 9:57 AM): he's been describing his work with a phrase

Roan (4/23/2001 9:57 AM): How important would it be to try to trademark that phrase, and is it worth the effort to protect it?

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:57 AM): Paulie, I missed your's my answer: show them the light at the end of the tunnel. All you need to show them is that you're the guide that knows the way out of the darkness

Roan (4/23/2001 9:57 AM): My understanding is that people identify him with the phrase

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:58 AM): Roan, as long as you have the "SM" above the phrase, you're protected (I'm no lawyer, but just look at my top frame). That shows you using it as a protected phrase.

Roan (4/23/2001 9:59 AM): Does it add value? Is it worth it from a branding perspective? or does it dilute his "name" recognition?

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:59 AM): Paulie: Too many counselors focus on the PROBLEM. You have to show them that of course solving the problem is what you do, but it's the new beginning that you can see from here.

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:59 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 9:59 AM): Roan, in the first issue of FrankelTips, the issue was "Fictitious Names versus Real names".

Terry ( (4/23/2001 10:00 AM): Roan: look at it this way. If he DOESN'T protect it, and someone else gets it, will it hurt his business? (probably yes)

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 10:00 AM): Sign up at !

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 10:00 AM): As for myself, "Rob Frankel" is the brand, "big Time Branding" is more of a product...

Roan (4/23/2001 10:01 AM): sold :-)

Rob Frankel ( (4/23/2001 10:01 AM): Okay, folks, we ran out of time! Let's do this next week and pick up on these topics -- these are good threads! See you online!

Terry ( (4/23/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks, Rob. Have a good week, everyone!

©2001, RobFrankel, Contact Us">Contact Us