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  1. #1
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    I was offended by GAP affiliate program manager
    Yesterday, I wrote to GAP affiliate program manager on CJ regarding my affiliate link application. This is the last sentence in his/her reply:

    Finally,
    we're not certain that Gap would appreciate being associated with a
    "Pig" site--this brings up issues of branding and marketing on their
    end.
    I was so pissed-off by this reply. My domain name contains 'pigg', not 'pig', which is intended to offer piggy cash back to online shoppers. I am wondering if this domain sounds really that bad or not. Should I choose another different domain other than sticking to 'pigg'??

    thanks

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Perhaps an appropriate reply is that you were not aware that the name "Gap" was referring to the space between their ears and that you also perceive a problem with association. You've decided that it would not be in your best interest to be associated with morons and that you will be more than happy to send your customers to their competitors.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  3. #3
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I would say a couple of things about this.

    First, it's obvious from the response that the program is managed by a thrid party, whom is clearly making branding decisions for The Gap. I hope The Gap is aware that these branding decisions are being made, and I hope that the 3rd party is being paid enough (and has the knowledge) to make them.

    Second, any program is COMPLETELY within their rights to not include any affiliate they want (or more directly, Not Want.). Do you think Stickley and Audi would want to advertise on HorseHockeydotcom? Will Martha Stewart be running ads on Hugh Hefner's network of sites any time soon?

    I understand the branding effort you're trying to make DealP, but you also have to give the merchants SOME control over where their brand is published. Brand dilution is a hot topic in board rooms across the country. I'm sure it is at the Gap as well.
    Kevin Webster
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  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I missed the second question you had: If you want to avoid these situations, another domain might be in order. However, your current domain will have value to some merchants, so you;re in a catch 22.

    As an example, none of my brands would have an issue with appearing on your site. At the same time, Martha Stewart might
    Kevin Webster
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  5. #5
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    They let in a chimp, monkey, fish and assorted other animals, why not a pig(g). They've offended pork lovers the world over.

    I agree that every merchant has the right to refuse admission based on whatever criteria they choose, arbitrary or not. However, it seems obvious (to me at least) that they didn't even view the site and made their decision strictly on name alone.
    Do you think Stickley and Audi would want to advertise on HorseHockeydotcom?
    Horse hockey has a definite connotation for a a lot of people and some would no doubt find the name offensive. I see nothing inherently offensive in the word pig(g).

    Will Martha Stewart be running ads on Hugh Hefner's network of sites any time soon?
    Ah, here is a case where the content most certainly will not match the audience. Totally different situation.

    Again, I agree that merchants and AMs can refuse entry for whatever reasons that they like or for no reason at all. I also believe that successfully promoting the hell out of their competition can be the most satisfying revenge of all.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I also believe that successfully promoting the hell out of their competition can be the most satisfying revenge of all.
    No argument here.
    Kevin Webster
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  7. #7
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Further, pig can carry negative connotations. You and I might not think so, but apparently others do. That's the "beauty" of the PC society we live in.

    Again, and I know you're not picking a fight with me, but I'm simply explaining that in the board rooms of the Fortune 1000's, these issues are discussed ad nauseum.

    Where we (as marketers, you as an affiliate, and me as a marketing buyer) are left to figure out on our own is: What do MY customers find offensive. And where are they making buying decisions?

    The Gap might be completely foolish to have excluded themselves from DP's site. And when/if they come crawling back, I would hope DP has the sense to ask for a commission increase and a monthly real estate fee
    Kevin Webster
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  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    Again, and I know you're not picking a fight with me, but I'm simply explaining that in the board rooms of the Fortune 1000's, these issues are discussed ad nauseum.
    Nah Kevin, I'm just havin' some fun and tryin' to get a little respect for DP. It can be very frustrating at times when you know you can add value to a merchants program and you don't get the chance to prove it.

    The Gap might be completely foolish to have excluded themselves from DP's site. And when/if they come crawling back, I would hope DP has the sense to ask for a commission increase and a monthly real estate fee
    Wouldn't that be great?

    Hang in there DP. There are plenty of merchants to chose from (also the "beauty" of the PC society we live in) Just remember that there could very well be a point in time when they're begging to be included on your site.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  9. #9
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    "Finally,
    we're not certain that Gap would appreciate being associated with a
    "Pig" site--this brings up issues of branding and marketing on their
    end."

    What was the first part of the reply. The way that's worded, it seems they gave you more than a few reasons before they got to "finally". And probably the first part was the real reason, just curious to what it was.

  10. #10
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    here you go, the first part of the reply:

    At this time, we feel there are a couple of reasons why DP is
    not the right fit for the Gap. First, DP is geared too much
    towards deals in general and not enough on fashion specifically. Second,
    were not sure of accepting your site because we're unsure if you can
    control the coupons and deals that appear on your website. We noticed
    that DP allows users to post deals themselves--a problem the
    Gap often deals with since many users of deal forums post coupons that
    are not allowed to be posted through the affiliate channel.
    Many other deals websites are affiliated with Gap, I don't understand why they don't approve mine.

    Thanks for all the discussion!!! I appreciate the suggestions

  11. #11
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    "Second,
    were not sure of accepting your site because we're unsure if you can
    control the coupons and deals that appear on your website. We noticed
    that DP allows users to post deals themselves--a problem the
    Gap often deals with since many users of deal forums post coupons that
    are not allowed to be posted through the affiliate channel."

    That's the real reason. And it's a problem you're going to run into more and more with your model.

    There are a few threads here with some of those sites (their users) grabbing exclusives off of other sites and posting them. Posting bad or expired coupons. Posting coupons not for affiliate use. So with merchants that have it in their agreement or in affiliate emails, saying only post coupons made for affiliate use, a site like yours isn't going to fit with that. And Gap is one of those merchants where you're only supposed to post coupons they give out to affiliates to use.

  12. #12
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Lost in this discussion, btw, is that the merchant actually provided a decline reason in the first place. That's ground breaking in and of itself.
    Kevin Webster
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  13. #13
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    Lost in this discussion, btw, is that the merchant actually provided a decline reason in the first place. That's ground breaking in and of itself.
    Very true. And I stand corrected as it does appear that the Gap took the time to actually visit the site and make a determination based on more than the name.

    DP, you may want to rethink your model. As Trust said, you may find this as an issue with more and more merchants. Keep in mind that you are 100% responsible for content posted on your site, whether posted by you or by a user and posting unauthorized coupons is enough to get you bounced from some merchant programs.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  14. #14
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    I was also rejected by Gap last year, but received a personal email after the rejection that it was because I wasn't domiciled in the US.

    I think it says something that the merchant actually took the time to give you (and me!) the reasons.

    With some merchants, brand-association is VERY important. While I have nothing against pig(g)s, Gap has been trying to re-brand as more a more stylish & fashionable line of clothing.

    I know this segment well, and some merchants choose to distance themselves from deal/sale oriented websites. No doubt, they are aware of the fact that they are losing potential sales, but keeping the brand more exclusive is a marketing strategy in itself. Some of these merchants will keep datafeeds exclusive of sale prices (ie. they won't flag a sale price, or deep-discounted items are not included). It's all about their own marketing strategy.

    Personally I like working with merchants who choose their affiliates one at a time, rather than the blitz approach (accept all applicants, no matter what!). It shows more consideration to placement.. and less chance of parasitic/sleazy affiliates getting in (site-scrapers, etc).

  15. #15
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    Audi would want to advertise on HorseHockeydotcom?
    So how long have Horses been playing hockey?

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador delsol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkear1974
    So how long have Horses been playing hockey?
    I heard that the NHHL (National Horse Hockey League) has been operating since a few years, in the remote parts of Canada and Iceland :-) It's a form of "cow tipping" for those isolated individuals...
    Proof:
    http://www.artincanada.com/lisarotenberg/gallery2.html


    More seriously DealPigg. It did take me a bit, to realize that the "pig" in deal pig was both a reference to Digg and Piggy-Bank. No sure it is possible, but you might want to make it more obvious to figure out in seconds.

    The pig is usually not a very classy animal and sometimes the term is very pejoratif. In some culture the pig is synonymous of "filthy". I understand that most aff. managers should be concerned being associated with such a name. You might feel that way, if you worked hard and spent millions to try to create a brand/image.

    You might want to consider changing domain names...
    Or
    just promote brands that also appeal to the low price, discount shopper (no necessarily the case with Gap). In other words the Gap and DealPigg are probably not a good match...

    Sometimes as "Techno-Geeks", we forget that what we are really doing is also and maybe mainly Maketing...

    On a Technical side I really like you idea...and I think it can work well with most stores...

  17. #17
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    Not only are there websites that aren't a good fit with a merchant, there are merchants who aren't always a good fit for your website. IMO, Gap is just such an example. For low traffic sites, I wouldn't waste my screen space with a merchant with a 1 day cookie who only pays 4% on regular price merchandise and 2% on sale items. And they are a batch merchant who last reported on 2/6 (and 1/18 before that). That is not at all what I consider affiliate friendly. Just because they are a well known brand, that doesn't make them a good fit.

  18. #18
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    The other reasons they gave, I could see, but in my eyes their last comment was an uncalled-for jab.

    IF they really included it over image concerns (which I doubt...it really seemed mean-spirited, and nothing more), but IF they were telling it straight, then this applies:

    I think these image-crazy merchants are just that: crazy.

    I could see not wanting to be on some TRULY offensive site (one where a reasonable person would leave in disgust), but to be so oversensitive as to mention the "pigg" in the name is just dumb. Some people don't like pigs--so what! Some like them. Some even love them enough to collect pig-shaped stuff! So that's a stupid reason to reject a site. Heck, you could call your site XYZ.com and some people would be "offended"

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    Not only are there websites that aren't a good fit with a merchant, there are merchants who aren't always a good fit for your website. IMO, Gap is just such an example. For low traffic sites, I wouldn't waste my screen space with a merchant with a 1 day cookie who only pays 4% on regular price merchandise and 2% on sale items. And they are a batch merchant who last reported on 2/6 (and 1/18 before that). That is not at all what I consider affiliate friendly. Just because they are a well known brand, that doesn't make them a good fit.
    I agree, but I'll take it up a notch: Such a puny commission isn't a "good fit" for ANY website, regardless of traffic level. No reason to waste ANY amount of traffic on some miserly program when there's plenty of merchants who are willing to pay a respectable commission.

    Again I am reminded how the cheapskate merchants are always the ones wanting all kinds of eggs in their beer. Whenever I see some really way-out ridiculousness, there's a skinflint responsible for it.

    they are a batch merchant who last reported on 2/6
    Argh! And the other thing about cheapskates is how often affiliates practically have to pry what little commission they were supposed to get, out of the tightwad's bony hands!!

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    And they are a batch merchant who last reported on 2/6 (and 1/18 before that). That is not at all what I consider affiliate friendly.
    They don't batch regular transactions, they probably just batch returns. If you look at the 7-day EPC, it would actually be in a spike followed by declining pattern if they really only posted sales every 3 weeks.

  20. #20
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    Such a puny commission isn't a "good fit" for ANY website, regardless of traffic level. No reason to waste ANY amount of traffic on some miserly program when there's plenty of merchants who are willing to pay a respectable commission.
    Not speaking specifically about Gap, I don't agree with this. Now a combination of a puny commission, neglible return days and long periods between reporting, that's another story. I no longer join programs that have a 1 day cookie.
    They don't batch regular transactions, they probably just batch returns. If you look at the 7-day EPC, it would actually be in a spike followed by declining pattern if they really only posted sales every 3 weeks.
    Do you know from personal experience that they don't batch regular transactions? I doubt they batch returns since their Advertiser Detail says they don't process chargebacks. I also wondered how they can display a 7 day EPC if they haven't reported sales in more than 7 days. Something doesn't add up.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    Do you know from personal experience that they don't batch regular transactions? I doubt they batch returns since their Advertiser Detail says they don't process chargebacks. I also wondered how they can display a 7 day EPC if they haven't reported sales in more than 7 days. Something doesn't add up.
    I don't know from experience, but I do have a few years experience as an affiliate and as an advertiser on CJ. If they were in fact batching every X days, you would see a spike, followed by a decline to zero for the next 6 days on their 7-day EPC. From their EPC chart, they're obviously reporting via pixel every day.

  22. #22
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delsol

    More seriously DealPigg. It did take me a bit, to realize that the "pig" in deal pig was both a reference to Digg and Piggy-Bank. No sure it is possible, but you might want to make it more obvious to figure out in seconds.
    I didn't catch that at all and I was wondering why you spelled it Pigg instead of pig. Does your target market even know what Digg is?

  23. #23
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    I am just curious why my target audiences have to know digg. I personally like the functionality of digg. The reason why I came up with pigg instead of pig is for the piggy bank I'm going to offer on my website. The piggy bank is the container of the cashback for my online shoppers. (like fatcash for FW).

    thanks!

  24. #24
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Read my first sentence. If someone tells me to go to dealpigg I'll probably go to dealpig unless I related pigg to something that has to do with the site. If that doesn't matter to you then it's really not important. Too bad dealpig.com is taken. It would have been nice to register both and have it redirected. I had to do that with my coupon site because the first word could be spelled two different ways.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    Read my first sentence. If someone tells me to go to dealpigg I'll probably go to dealpig unless I related pigg to something that has to do with the site. If that doesn't matter to you then it's really not important. Too bad dealpig.com is taken. It would have been nice to register both and have it redirected. I had to do that with my coupon site because the first word could be spelled two different ways.
    yes, dealpig is now redirecting to a site that seems similar as CJ, SAS, LINKSHARE. So, dealpig(g) is a decent domain name, huh?

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