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Sunday, April 08, 2007

When Business Flags turn to Reality TV or the Internet

I was just watching a site on the news talking about Donald Trump's latest exploits in Las Vegas.  As the real estate and mortgage market trembles a little bit this spring, Donald Trump is slightly concerned about one of his new high-rise projects going out and so he's turning to his reality TV show, The Apprentice.

He's going to have his contestants do what he has been unable to do himself, develop a marketing plan to help maintain the price of the Las Vegas Luxury Condos he is attempting to build and sell.  He's essentially creating a price premium on his condo products leverage off of his reality TV show.

Regardless of what you think of Donald Trump or of his TV show, it is an interesting example of how a corporation can leverage entertainment to build in a price premium.  It's not a new concept, in fact it's one that's been proven by Walt Disney, Planet Hollywood, Universal Studios, MTV and Hard Rock Cafe and many other entertainment companies that have ventured into side businesses.  This is somewhat unique in that a real estate company has ventured into the entertainment business and is now boosting that core business with entertainment.

Many companies even at the mom-and-pop level are getting some exposure to this concept through the use of their websites and web marketing programs especially as it relates to business blogging.  Businesses are rapidly creating blogs to personalize their company their leadership and their products in a way that enables them to leverage a large Internet community of customers while maintaining a close and personal business relationship with those customers.  When your business touches thousands of people around the world via the Internet, it's not possible to wine and dine your clientele or take them out for a round of golf.  You don't get to make close contact with your customers and shares some of the personal stories and tribulations that go into running your business.

Companies are using many vehicles including blogs video blogs and podcasts to help bridge the gap that the Internet has created using new technology available through the Internet.