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					Argyle Conversations
   by Argyle executive Forumsm

                    featuring

                  Seth Lasser
            Vice President of
            Brand Marketing
          1-800-Flowers.com

                            &

                   Te Smith
            Vice President,
           Communications
              MarkMonitor
                                 On December 15, 2010, Seth Lasser,
                                 vice president of brand marketing
                                 for 1-800-Flowers.com, and Te Smith,
                                 vice president, communications, for
                                 MarkMonitor, spoke about brand
                                 repositioning and targeted messaging.
a r g y l e co nv e r s a t i o n s
                                                                                                     Page 2
December 15, 2010


   Seth Lasser                     Seth Lasser is the vice president of brand marketing at
                                   1-800-Flowers.com. In his current role, he is responsible for the overall
                                   marketing strategy and defining the brand positioning for the world’s
      leading florist and gift shop. Additional responsibilities include driving traffic to 1800flowers.com
      through a variety of offline and online marketing channels.

      In a previous position at the company, Seth created Celebrations.com, the leading Internet
      destination for user-generated and professional content on party ideas, holidays, and other
      celebrations.

      Seth has long been active in online marketing and strategy development. He began his career
      at Monitor Group, a leading strategy consulting firm. At Monitor, Seth focused on marketing and
      digital strategy for Fortune 100 companies.

      Seth holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and graduated from the University of
      Pennsylvania, with honors.




   Te Smith                 Te Smith is the vice president of communications at MarkMonitor. Her
                            career in marketing and communications covers more than 25 years with
                            market-leading brands in a variety of high technology product categories.
      From launching innovative companies like Zone Labs and Netflix to growing market share at
      established software leaders like Lotus Development Corp., Te has honed her skills in branding,
      public relations and demand generation.




                            w w w . a r g y L e F O r u M . c O M
a r g yL e e x e c u T i v e F O r u M 122 w e S T 26T h S T, 2N D F LO O r N e w yO r k , Ny 10001
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December 15, 2010


  TE SMITH: 1-800-Flowers recently decided to reposition its brand. What led to this decision?

  SETH LASSER: The process we’re going through is less about repositioning and more about
  clarifying our positioning. We’ve realized over the last couple years that we, like lots of companies,
  have been trying to talk about all the great things about 1-800-Flowers.com. The problem is, when
  you’re communicating with consumers, you can’t make every point or you start to sound inconsistent.
  It’s important to determine, of all the wonderful things that you can do, the most important ones for
  consumers. Then really focus on that and explain why it makes more sense to shop at
  1-800-Flowers.com than any other competitor. In the past couple of years, our messaging across
  channels had not been as consistent as we want. The messaging that we’re starting to use now is
  better edited and better curated, with focus on a couple of areas.

  When you have lots of great benefits for customers, identifying what really resonates is an art
  as much as a science. Where are you currently in this clarification process?

  We’ve aligned on the key messages, and on generally how to speak about them. We are working
  with a creative agency to translate that into a new creative platform. We want to make sure we get
  the words right for the consumer. Every channel is at a slightly different stage of evolution. The email
  communication channel is probably the early adopter, and we have made some changes to our website.

  What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in this clarification process?

  It can be hard to choose what messages to focus
  on. We all live and breathe the online floral space “Every time somebody hears about
  everyday, but it’s important to marry our beliefs us—whether it’s something they read
  about our brand—what makes us different—with
                                                            in a blog, or see on a display ad, or
  consumer perception. It requires understanding
  what each of our customers wants to hear. When hear on the radio—those messages
  it comes down to what our banner ads are going need to be mutually reinforcing”
  to look like, and we have six or eight words and
  one image to work with, you have to really summarize it. Whether it’s there or in a TV spot, where we
  have just a little bit of time, we really have to boil it down to its essence.

  A process like this also can present some opportunities. Have you found that?

  Almost all marketers have a limited opportunity to communicate with consumers. Like most
  companies, our marketing budget is constrained, so it’s still not possible to talk to everybody as much
  as we’d want to. So by narrowing down our messaging, we’re able to make a bigger cumulative
  impact on the customer. Every time somebody hears about us—whether it’s something they read in a
  blog, or see on a display ad, or hear on the radio—those messages need to be mutually reinforcing.
  And hopefully one plus one plus one equals more than three. The opposite—having three different
  messages out there—can be a little confusing for consumers. We certainly expect this to make our
  individual marketing channels work harder, but I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to really measure the


                              w w w . a r g y L e F O r u M . c O M
a r g yL e e x e c u T i v e F O r u M 122 w e S T 26T h S T, 2N D F LO O r N e w yO r k , Ny 10001
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December 15, 2010

    impact. The results will be seen in the overall performance of the brand.

    What role do interactive marketing and digital strategies play in this clarification process?

    Everything we do is digital. When we do offline advertising—radio and TV—those ads are designed
    to drive consumers to the website. We continue to have strong and important phone business that
    a brand named 1-800-Flowers.com is always going to have—people want to call us and that’s an
    important part of what we do—but our largest concern is our online business, which includes mobile
    as well as our traditional commercial site. Our business is more than 80% online. We don’t have silos
    of digital versus non-digital.

    Can you share some more detail on the messaging platform you’re working on, and maybe
    say a bit about the rationale behind it?

    Thinking about our mission at 1-800-Flow-
    ers.com, we’ve always been about helping “Our largest concern is our online
    people connect and express themselves. That’s business, which includes mobile as
    what we do everyday. You’re sending flowers,
    and they’re beautiful, but you’re also sending
                                                     well as our traditional commercial
    feelings and emotions. Distilling that, what site. Our business is more than 80%
    we’re saying is that 1-800-Flowers.com online. We don’t have silos of digital
    arranges smiles, a 100% smile guarantee. So versus non-digital”
    everything we do here—from working with the
    farms, to figuring out what flowers we want to
    sell, to designing the arrangements, to taking the orders, to delivering—is designed to help deliver
    a smile. We’re guaranteeing that if anything throughout the process does not make you smile, we’re
    going to make it right.

    So what does that mean? Why are we the only ones that can live up to a 100% smile guarantee?
    First of all, we have truly original arrangements. We work so closely with our florist network, and our
    product is hand arranged and hand delivered. We can get things to people that somebody that only
    ships through UPS or FedEx can’t. As an example, we have the birthday flower cake, which looks
    like a cake—it comes in a cake box and has candles—but it’s made out of flowers. That requires the
    artistry of the florist, and you can’t very well throw something like that in the mail.

    We believe another key differentiator is that our flowers help you express yourself perfectly. When we
    design our arrangements, we’re thinking about why people are coming to us. Maybe someone you know
    is having a bad day. For something like that we have an arrangement called Make Lemonade, which is
    made of beautiful yellow flowers in a pitcher with a lemon in it. We really think about the emotions people
    are trying to express. Also, on the website, we guide people toward products based in part on who they’re
    sending to and why. The final key differentiator is that we are a caring team that’s obsessed with service.
    We only work with the best florists and we have a rigorous quality-assurance program to make sure that
    we meet people’s standards. Our customer service has won awards which helps reinforce this point.


                              w w w . a r g y L e F O r u M . c O M
a r g yL e e x e c u T i v e F O r u M 122 w e S T 26T h S T, 2N D F LO O r N e w yO r k , Ny 10001

				
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