There are many opportunities to delight your customers and create a memorable connection. And because branding is all about what makes your product or service distinct, sometimes a memorable opportunity is right under your nose.
Take Lipton Clear Green Tea for example. As a promotion for this blend, a carry bag was designed in the form of an actual Lipton Clear Green tea bag, with a sample of the tea enclosed and handed to mall shoppers as a giveaway. By turning a tea bag into a shopping bag and turning mall walkers into walking ads – everybody wins. It’s a brilliant yet simple touch point that couldn’t be more on brand.
So what’s your obvious brand touch point that’s perhaps right under your nose. The opportunities outside the bag are limitless.
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Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees or the bag for the tea.
A brand can portray its personality through creative execution. Or, it can accomplish the same feat by selecting an on-brand method of distributing the message. But, when a brand accomplishes both – that’s a double whammy.
James Ready Beer, positioned as a low cost adult beverage, did just that while connecting its cost-conscious customers with multiple deals around town. And, by turning their billboards into coupons it screamed low cost in a memorable way. Deals like, “Save $2.26 on stain removal from pants” or, “15% off couples hair removal” (see more at http://bit.ly/d6wbtb).
How does a billboard become a coupon? By leveraging today’s technology, you simply photograph the billboard with your smart phone and head to the store. In addition their website promotes deeply discounted event such as…Free Semi-Professional Portraits, Free Personalized Underwear and Free Stylish Haircuts. Between all the billboard coupons and free events there’s no reason not to buy more beer.
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If you’re looking for big ideas, remember it can be the message, the medium, or if you’re really good, both.
What does it take for you to make your customers forget about the other guys? Not good ideas, but better ideas. Starbucks, who introduced us to the coffee house, when others far better positioned in the marketplace could have (but didn’t), continues to innovate.
But, it’s how they continue to innovate and increase brand value that you may find surprising. They do it by leveraging the insight of those who have the most to gain – their customers. By building an online community of brand advocates, whom they now refer to as the “MSI Community” (my Starbucks idea).
Once someone in the community shares their idea online, it’s thoroughly discussed, voted on and then you follow along to see if it gets implemented. Will it be a “current popular idea,” will it rise to the next level of “ideas under review” or will it ultimately reach the pinnacle of “newest ideas launched.” They even feature a leader board for those submitting, commenting and voting.
So far they’ve literally launched over 150 of these free ideas, with one giving customers the ability to buy a drink for a friend remotely. So, someone who drinks a lot of your product gives you an idea to get others to drink more – that’s not good, that’s better!
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When you’re working on ideas in the coming weeks to hit those 2011 revenue numbers, forget the caffeine jolt, and go straight to your customers.
What serious marketer wants to hear about guerilla marketing? The one that realizes social media has put the “guerilla” in the middle of the strategy war room. You can’t miss it. You must recognize it, and well… embrace it.
There are great examples everywhere of innovative companies choosing non-traditional media, executing something dead-on brilliant and then leveraging social media to give it flight. Ikea is but one example – check it out at http://bit.ly/dm6Lwk. Hundreds of red picnic blankets cover a large park area with picnic baskets in the center of each one. It is virtually art. Yet, it brings attention to two of their products in the environment you’d enjoy them, promoting the benefit of the products and delighting you.
Now, here’s the twist. Several years ago it would have been for the benefit of the fortunate few who witnessed the promotion. But, you guessed it, with social media thousands will see it and wish they were there. So gather the team and start brainstorming. Surely you can conjure up at least one “guerilla.”
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Today, while it’s less and less about traditional media it is more and more about innovative, meaningful ideas that can be given incredible lift through social media channels.