Brand Building

On Your Desktop:

Financing College: Taking Control

Better Businesses Online

Effective Websites

Why Microsoft 2000

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on November 10, 1999. All rights reserved.

Recycling Computers

The Trenton Waste Exchange has set up a permanent

drop-off

site for used electronic equipment at 800 New York Avenue in Trenton.

Small businesses and residents of Mercer County can deliver used and

obsolete equipment to be re-manufactured and recycled on Wednesdays

from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Recycling a monitor will require a $5 handling

fee, but for nonprofits this fee will be waived. The Trenton Waste

Exchange is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the

environment

by keeping unwanted equipment out of the waste stream. For information

call Carol Royal at 609-921-3393.

Top Of Page
Brand Building

It took Ivory three decades to carve out a place in

the minds of American consumers. Priceline.com, the bargain basement

website, did it in just a few months.

Is it just Internet hype? Not exactly, says James L. Dettore,

founder of the Brand Institute Inc. "They were able to reach

megabrand

status in a great campaign with William Shatner as their

spokesperson,"

says Dettore. "People always like to see a face to a product,

especially around a success story. I think you’re going to see a lot

more of that in the future."

Famous faces and punchy names, says Dettore, a fast-talking Harvard

Business School graduate who speaks at the American Marketing

Association’s

meeting on Monday, November 15, at the Somerset Hills Hotel in Warren.

Dettore’s subject: "Brand Building — The Challenge of Creating

and Growing Equity." Cost: $40. Call 908-497-2339.

"Look at Yahoo, E-Bay, those are truly breakthrough names,"

Dettore continues. "It all started with Apple: what did a fruit

have to do with a hardware product? For the first time, MacIntosh

came through with developing a brand for a product that was not

product

specific."

There’s a war for words waging in the .com world, says Dettore, who

launched the Brand Institute six years ago and holds accounts for

J&J’s Accuvue, as well as Proctor & Gamble’s Bounty and Pampers

products.

"In the virtual world, you’re just another me too," he says.

"The Internet has brought advertising to a global level, where

you can be cost effective, but you have to be very creative in your

naming. Every word in every dictionary is taken with .com or .net,

so no longer can you have one real word."

Baseball took Dettore briefly to the University of Hawaii but he

received

a degree in communications from Florida State University, Class of

1975. He has worked in sales and marketing for Ralph Lauren and Pepsi

Co., and earned an MBA from Harvard. He estimates three years before

taking the Brand Institute public.

"The media has escalated branding up to a period of months,"

he says. "The power of branding is that a brand becomes synonymous

with the customer’s perception and their want and need for that

brand."

When choosing names for an Internet start-up, neologisms (made up

names using two, three, four words that make one non-real word) will

come in handy, but Dettore warns that names shouldn’t be too specific

or limiting: "You have to think what names are going to capture

the institutional sector as well as the retail sector."

Top Of Page
On Your Desktop:

Marketing Toolchest

Are you getting the best marketing mileage out of your

PC? That PC in your home or office is a marketing powerhouse in

disguise

— you just have to learn to use it more effectively, says Ed

Keenan, president of Document Depot, 126 Stanhope Street, Forrestal

Village. Keenan will discuss "Your Desktop Marketing

Toolchest,"

for the Princeton Chamber on Wednesday, November 17, 7:45 a.m. at

the Holiday Inn. Also speaking is Robert Obusek from Innovative

Computing & Networking. Cost: $21. Call 609-520-1776.

Most PCs come with the Microsoft Office suite of computer software.

The challenge is not only learning how to use the programs, but to

use them effectively. Says Keenan: "Outlook, PowerPoint, Word,

Excel, and Access are very powerful tools for contact management,

word processing, Internet software, and databasing. And a lot of

people

don’t know how to take advantage of the software they have on their

computer."

"Marketing is about being in contact with your customers,"

says Keenan. An important part of marketing is effectively managing

those contacts. "Your contact list can be used for periodic

contact

and scheduling with customers and prospects. And you can use the

information

in your contact management software, be it Act, Goldmine or Outlook

on a home PC or a Palm Pilot (an electronic organizer), to get in

touch with your customers through other computer-related

communications

tools like broadcast faxes, E-mail, and mail merge."

It could be that for small businesses and those in sales, the race

for new customers will be won by those who are the most organized.

"Used to be that salespeople kept index cards in a file or

business

cards on a Rolodex. When it came time for a mailing they had to wade

through this sea of paper. With the computer and the Palm Pilot, as

you meet people you can enter their data in your contact software.

Then when you need to get in contact with them, either one-on-one

or as a segmented group, it’s simple to do. And that’s the power that

the computer grants to marketing professionals."

Keenan is a 1985 graduate of Fordham University with a BS in

accounting,

is married and lives in East Windsor. After graduation, Keenan worked

in public accounting for six years serving the needs of small

businesses

and small business owners. He received his CPA designation in New

York in 1990. In 1996, Keenan moved to Philadelphia to accept a

position

as operations manager for Office Tech, a Konica dealer in Bellmawr,

NJ.

Document Depot (E-mail: documentdepot@att.net) was born in

August

of 1998 and based on Keenan’s belief that there is a need in the

marketplace

for value-added copy services. "The copier industry is changing,

machines are becoming digital, and this is creating new opportunities.

I felt that there was a need for graphics and print services where

we can add value relating computers to the printing area."

Keenan is bullish on the marketing opportunities for small businesses

represented by today’s computer contract management software. "I

want to stimulate people’s imagination as to how they can use their

own computers. The tools on your computer are very powerful and can

be very useful if they’re used correctly. You can do anything on the

computer with the right knowledge."

— Jeff Lippincott

Top Of Page
Financing College: Taking Control

Have kids or planning to? Then there’s a good chance

that the largest purchase in your entire life will be their education.

Some four-year private colleges now cost more than a four-bedroom

home in a posh neighborhood.

"Need-based" financial aid may not sound like an option if

it so happens you can afford that four bedroom home, but don’t rule

it out just yet. College may be getting more expensive, says Kevin

Simme, a college funding specialist, but there’s plenty of money

to go around. "I’ve seen clients who earn six figures actually

get some kind of need-based aid," says Simme, who walks anxious

parents through the harrowing financial aid process on Thursday,

November

18, at 7 p.m. at the Plainsboro Public Library. The seminar is free

by reservation. Call 609-275-2897.

There is more than $80 billion in financial aid and only 1.5 percent

it is available through scholarships, says Simme. So when it comes

to competing for financial aid, "parents shouldn’t take themselves

out of the ball game," says Simme (College Funding Alternatives,

609-452-0252). "Parents spend a lot of time and money looking

for scholarships when they really should be spending more time looking

where the money comes from."

Simme received a BA in history and business from Houghton College,

Class of 1985, and worked for a college marketing company before

becoming

a personal finance consultant. It was there that he discovered an

untapped niche within his industry. "People kept asking if I knew

anyone who handles college funding," he says. "I thought they

meant saving when the child was two, but they were talking about the

financial aid process."

In the financial aid process, parents generally lose control to

colleges

because there’s no one to turn to, says Simme. Although the Web is

a good place to start (Simme recommends the College Board

http://www.collegeboard.com,

http://www.FinAid.org and the Princeton Review http://www.review.com),

the Internet can bog the overwhelmed parent down even more.

"There’s

a lot of information on the Internet about financial aid. But the

concern I have for parents is that the whole process is overwhelming.

When you have more information that can overwhelm you to the point

of overload," he says.

An important thing for parents to consider: "Whether you’re

applying

for need-based aid or merit-based aid you have to fill out the same

forms and go through the same process," says Simme. He suggests

parents keep the following in mind:

The financial aid process is first come, first serve so

don’t procrastinate. "Get forms in early," says Simme. Another

thing to consider: the Department of Education estimates that 90

percent

of financial aid forms are turned back due to error, which means 9

out of 10 applications get bumped back in the first-come, first serve

line-up, says Simme.

Many colleges offer less and expect to negotiate. "The

colleges don’t want you to know this," says Simme, "but many

will under-award you or mis-award you." Parents need to learn

when to say a financial aid package is unacceptable and how to

negotiate.

College aid scams generally guarantee a certain award.

When seeking professional help in the financial aid process, watch

for promises. "If someone is guaranteeing you a particular amount

of money in return for a fee, that’s one thing that you might want

to stay away from," says Simme, who offers a simple satisfaction

guarantee. "Anybody who has any expertise in the area or is a

good risk is going to do a very simple satisfaction guarantee,"

he says.

If college costs don’t scare you now, consider that the cost

of college is rising nationally at about 7 to 8 percent per year (New

Jersey claims a low 5.4 percent inflation rate). Simme can also tell

parents about some loopholes that will help them save for the future.

"No matter where you go to school costs are going to continue

to rise because professors need increases in their salaries, overhead

is huge, and schools need to keep dumping money into technology

because

they have to stay up with it."

Top Of Page
Better Businesses Online

Businesses that use the Web have higher annual revenue

than those who don’t, according to the U.S. Small Business

Administration’s

latest report, "E-Commerce: Small Businesses Venture Online."

The report shows that small businesses that use the Web had average

revenues of $3.79 million in 1998, compared to $2.79 million for other

small businesses.

"Small Businesses built Main Street, and they will likely lead

the way in E-Commerce," said the SBA’s chief Council for Advocacy

Jere W. Glover in a press release. The report, which surveys

the practices and attitudes of small business (fewer than 100

employees)

who have websites, is available at

http://www.sba.gov/advo/stats/e_comm.pdf

or by calling 202-205-6530.

Business-to-business trade, the report indicates, is the largest

component

of electronic commerce, with anticipated revenues of $327 billion

in 2002. Studies by other research groups, including Cahners In-Stat,

ZDNet, and Giga Information Group, yielded the following other

factoids:

The minimum initial investment in an E-Commerce site is about

$10,000 (Giga Information Group).

Small businesses can expect to spend 20 percent of the launch

cost for annual maintenance and support of their website (Mehling,

1998).

Online retail marketing is reaching 200 percent annual growth,

and online traffic doubles every 100 days.

Among the biggest barriers to going live, businesses reported:

a lack of personnel to maintain the website. Roughly 76 percent of

small companies see the lack of available workers as one of the

greatest

pitfalls (Pricewaterhouse Coopers). Bad news for small businesses,

and good news for IT professionals.

Top Of Page
Effective Websites

Business-to-business companies are generally slower

getting to the Web, says Mike LaCourte, of Amper Consulting.

"They think that they’re not going to increase their market share,

and really there are a number of other reasons to be there."

For example: breaking geographic sales boundaries, learning more about

your consumers, and fostering corporate image, says LaCourte, who

discusses "Effective Implementations of

E-Commerce/E-Business,"

a free seminar by Amper Consulting, on Thursday, November 11, at Pines

Manor in Edison at 8 p.m. Call 732-287-7849.

"It used to be people would turn to the Yellow Pages and based

on how large your ad there was they would make certain

assumptions,"

explains LaCourte, who holds a BA in accounting from Rider, Class

of 1971, and is earning his CIS this year. "Now they go to their

website. You can also capture a lot of information about the users

— who they are, what their interests are, where they spend the

most time, where they spend the least time."

"You can still get a competitive edge, but you can’t do it by

putting up a haphazard site," LaCourte continues. "There needs

to be a lot of planning to determine the purpose of the site, and

the tools that will be most effective."

Top Of Page
Why Microsoft 2000

An expanded Active Directory and better audio and video

downloads to the Internet are just two reasons why Windows 2000 is

a vast improvement over Windows NT, says Dennis Sheil, chief

technologist and one of 18 trainers worldwide handpicked and trained

by Microsoft to teach Microsoft consultants and technical staff about

Windows 2000. "It addressed a lot of things that were wrong with

NT — scalability for big companies, enhanced security, and there’s

also a much tighter integration between the Windows 2000 server and

the desktop version so that it’s definitely much simpler to manage

what kinds of programs are deployed on desktop."

IT professionals can get a jump on their Microsoft 2000 training (if

that’s the platform you choose for the new millennium) by joining

a free special interest group led by Sheil on Wednesday, November

17, at Delta Corporate Services at 129 Littleton Road in Parsippany.

The group will meet monthly. Call 800-335-8220.

With NT, Sheil explains, the directory was limited and it was hard

to manage a large environment. "If you had more than 20,000 or

30,000 users on the system you would have to start playing games,"

he says, "creating additional NT domains — it got complex

and hard to manage. The biggest reason why a company will be looking

hard at Windows 2000 is because they’ve done a good job integrating

everything into the platform."

"Active Directory is the center of Windows 2000," says Sheil.

"It gives a business a central point for storing information.

Programmers can write routines to access information in Active

Directory.

Now you can store all of the E-mail information you used to have to

buy Exchange for and you can potentially store just about any

information

that you want. A programmer who’s developing an application can now

use Active Directory as a data source just like a normal database,

like Sequel Server or Oracle."

Video and audio feeds through the Internet are also smoother on the

new platform because of a feature called Quality of Service. "With

NT one of the typical problems is if the network is busy, the quality

of video feed is poor," he says. "But Windows 2000 has

something

built in that allows the network hardware, software, operating

systems,

and applications to communicate and determine how much of network

bandwidth is needed and to guarantee that amount of bandwidth is

available

going across."

Microsoft 2000 should be available by February, but now is the time

to start training, says Sheil. "This is not something you’ll do

in a week," he says. "Most companies will be spending years,

determining if it can be deployed, what applications are going to

work, what parts of the network need to be upgraded, if any, and we

feel its important for companies to start looking now. There are

companies

that are already deploying it even though it’s in beta now. The

companies

that start now will have an advantage."

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

Eckerd Corporate is writing a check to the Salvation

Army for over $100,000 to support "Project Bundle Up." The

money was raised from Eckerd’s Celebration of Lights. Call

727-395-6397.

Princeton Township turned over a house at 52 Leigh Avenue to Habitat

for Humanity for the price of $1. Terry Smith of Richardson

and Smith Architects, and Kurt Schulte of Schulte Restoration

both volunteered their services. Habitat needs more volunteers for

committees and construction work. Call Peter Madison at

609-924-7792.


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