Frager Factor

Friday, March 16, 2012

"The 'O' Factor:" In a " O Fragerized" Overstock, .CO would Shine and .COM Stand For Something Bigger

"It's commonly known as the "O" Factor, but when Oprah Winfrey touts a product on her show there's nothing common about the craze that follows. Each year, starting in September, Oprah's staff picks products for her November "Favorite Things" show, which highlights a range of products from laptops to sleepwear to pastries.
"We had a hunch we would see an uptick in sales but not to the extent that we did," Schroeder said.
"The afternoon (Oprah's Favorite Things) broadcast we had over 100,000 Web hits and our sales volume for the month of December increased by over 100 percent." Source: CNN Money

Hum. Two being branding faux pas, Oprah known as Oprah and O becoming OWN and losing her audience and Overstock confusing customers by advertising as a replacement for something that wasn't broken. What if we were to trade O for O or if the two companies worked together? It seems like such a natural fit. In fact I think Oprah should simply buy Overstock, and make the QVC that sells her "favorite things" and book clubs. Here's what I'd advise her:

I am so sick and tired of (mainly) domain investors and the press cite what really was a strategic Advertising Campaign Call-To-Action blunder serve as an indictment of the .CO extension or a permanent stain in Overstock's future success.

It is said that "The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. " (W.C. Magee)

And... There's only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.

What this tells me as a marketing strategist who has a long track record of successfully turning around companies simply by fix in positioning and branding mistakes is:

The three primary reasons Overstock is not getting the results they need:
==>Your website is lacking traffic
==>Your website is not designed to produce sales
==> You're not in control of your destiny- Google is
==>Your business name is not relative or memorable
==> Key compelling messages are buried and not leveraged center stage
==> Ads follow the David Ogilvy recipe for failure by making the creative the star at the expense of the product or message

If I were advising you I'd suggest that you acquire a package of "feeder" domains that offer benefits to the customer and help you get known for what you are: The first place anyone should check or compare before buying anything anywhere else."

I'd change the ads to the more cheesy direct response retail ads offering a specific event at a specific time- "Big Warehouse lost lease, consigned 1000 GE dishwashers Wed 10AM while supplies last" Use email to make these offers. Buy data from Facebook to understand who is looking for what.

Other domains you could leverage include,,, and SaveMe (which offers a cause-related tie to saving money and the planet).

Using these domains in specific campaigns with sense of urgency to act will become the success stories that will grace Time and Forbes as "The New Madison Ave" or "How Overstock succeeded in online business without being at the mercy of Google."

Revisit the .CO value and make a new series of ads that promote it. It is a shortcut. But more than just a navigation tool.

The more important shortcut you never emphasized is a shortcut to one click ordering, having your styles and preferences and sizes on call.

Having events on the calendar so you can get texted reminders that it's a birthday or anniversary and yours is a great place to find a gift that only looks expensive.

Promote it as an IPhone app- cool-the symbol always on, always with you, where price checks and comparisons are made easy. Where you can add to the wish list and get notified when floor models or other liquidations will include an item on your list.

I'm talking about M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G with a capital M.

They say you have 10 million accounts and one billion a year in revenue- one smart fragerized idea would leverage existing prospect pipelines to double that virtually overnight and ensure the 4th quarter loss you had last year would be a celebration next year because Christmas at Overstock starts now.

Some other ideas: Make Oprah your spokesperson. Use to do a QVC show starring her presenting her favorite things that you will sell out immediately. It can also be carried on Own.

Put kiosks in malls. Show shoppers how to use your site. Install your app in their phone- train them. And give them commission to send their friends.

I think of Overstock as Century 21 downtown, Orchid Street, The rug sales in tents, When they take you in the warehouse at Best Buy to sell off the last year models, like the outlet malls etc- Your ads look like Rodeo Drive.

Point of this post is not to give away Frager ideas (because for each idea there's one on the shelf to blow it away), but to show you that a domain and fancy TV ad alone does not build a business in a digital age where competition is just a click away and making email offers to your customers at rapid pace.

You can't stand still. You need to integrate the best of old and new world thinking.

And if you start by taking a celebrity or cause that stands for something bigger but fits your branding like a glove, launch a name around that and watch what a domain can do. Love to see the hater faces then.

"o before one indicts those responsible or the extension, remember a domain is only one component of the larger recipe for business success.

Read my primer. Then reread it and ask yourself does Apple do this and how. Then you'll see that you have the power to be anything you want to be.

About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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