Why think of a witty pick-up line when your beer does it for you?
The folks at Molson may have hit a home run with this one.
Called "twin label technology," bottles of Molson now feature what amount to pick-up lines on the back label. For folks frequenting the bar scene, or any frat guy who doesn't have enough "game" on his own to strike up a conversation with a woman, Molson has become their savior.
This is pre
marketing at its best. I'm not a beer drinker, but as someone who likes to make a fool of himself in as many settings as possible I'm all for this. For many, the labels will become just as much a reason to buy the beer as the beer itself. I wouldn't be surprised if Molson's brand loyalty skyrockets among the social drinking scene.
It also passes my ultimate test - it's one of those things you wish you thought of yourself.
Tom Peter's New Favorite Company
Tom put together a PowerPoint today
about three of his favorite new companies. Number one on that list was Cirque du Soleil.
It's hard to disagree with him. Apparently they spend 40% of their profits on R&D to ensure they remain the best in the business. They willingly give up the revenue that would surely come by doing dozens of shows, choosing instead to focus obsessively on one a year.
The result? According to Business 2.0, the company has never had a show flop in their 20-plus years in business.
Pretty remarkable stuff.
Sometimes, you can be worth talking about for the wrong reasons....
The Internet gives consumers more power than ever before - making the task of quality control even more important.
Consider this snippet - a hotel guest at the Howard Johnson in Bremerton, Washington was appalled by the state of disrepair at the establishment. So much so, he decided to take action.
What's even crazier is that the company has made absolutely no effort to respond to this man's complaints, even after repeated calls and a visit to the customer feedback section of the corporate website.
What must happen at a company in order for neglect like this to take place? How infected must the corporate culture become? How invaluable must the employees feel?
If you embrace a philosophy that the complete antithesis
marketing, you'll likely still be talked about. But it won't be something to brag about.
A clean car....and a show
"It's not enough to offer good value at a fair price. You have to offer an experience."
This comment isn't from Seth Godin or Jay Levinson. It's from Mark Thorsby - of the International Carwash Association. He's talking about the Rainforest Carwash in Lafayette, Indiana. According to the New York Times, the owner spent over $1.5 million to create a rainforest environment for his carwash. Fake monkeys, elephants, and replica Mayan ruins are all part of the experience.
Proof that even the most mundane of industries can be reinvigorated with the right mindset and a willingness to try something new.
Worth talking about in two ways at once....impressive!
BMW's hydrogen powered H2R set nine
international world speed records for internal combustion engines. Nine.
Having an environmentally friendly vehicle is great. Having it seriously haul is even better. BMW might know what it takes to convince power/speed hungry Americans to make the switch to fuel-efficient vehicles.
Now, to build one that looks a little less like a spaceship...
Innovation by Solving Human Needs....A Brilliant Discourse
One of the more copious blog posts I've ever read, but a phenomenal read nonetheless. Take the time to digest this:A Prescription for Innovation
Location, location, location....still a good maxim
IHOP opened a new store in Harlem, and within the location was ranked 14th out of over 1000 stores in terms of revenue.
The secret? Nothing earth-shattering - just a fantastic location. The restaurant is within walking distance of 100 churches in Harlem, a hospital, a YMCA, a police station and a high school.
Just proof that location can still represent a trump card in the world of business.
A Big Company Thinks Small...and Pink
Victoria Secret is going after college students
at university campuses. While there are certainly ethical and moral questions about such a campaign, I have to say I love the tactics - taking a page from Guerilla marketers and putting promotional dogs all over campus.
The dogs are coupons, able to be redeemed at local stores. It's a clever way to break into a market that is largely skeptical of traditional advertising tactics.
Making Rapid Prototyping a reality
Tom Peters has talked at length about the concept of rapid prototyping - that by compressing the iterative cycle for your project from weeks or months to days or even hours, you can vastly improve the quality of your deliverables.
For things like websites, graphic design or other "soft" projects, this is a fairly simple process. But when creating a new product the process becomes a little more difficult.
A company called Stratasys is trying to change that. The latest Cool News
showcased the company and it's rapid prototyping system - one that's affordable enough for small companies to afford. The company only generates $50 million in revenue, but it's market position in what appears to be a category of one means that life is good for the Minnesota firm.
Over-roasted coffee is harder to find than you think...
"If somebody wants to get business with Starbucks, you have to think, breathe, live and sleep quality."
No, this isn't the Marketing Communications Manager for the coffee behemoth. It's actually a quote from Alfredo Robert, a coffee farmer in Costa Rica.
Starbucks has taken a lot of heat for not selling predominantly free trade or organic coffee, and many so-called coneissours have blasted the company's product as being sub-par. But according to an article in the Seattle Times
, the company has ridiculously stringent standards for it's coffee beans. The number and range of criteria appear to be far beyond what their competition requires.
In fact, the problem Starbucks is facing is that there aren't enough beans up to their standards to support their growth. Who would've thunk it?
With the perpetual talk about corporate irresponsibility, it's refreshing to see a company maintain it's standards for quality when it doesn't necessarily need to.
Particularly when the company sells legal addictive stimulants that I couldn't give up if I had to.
A Bank that's not a Bank
Washington Mutual is trying to turn the concept of banking upside-down. They've begun to roll out branches that look much more like retail stores than banks.
Gone are the teller lines, ropes, and much of what one would consider a typical banking experience. Gone also are power suits and the austere disposition common in many other establishments - employees wear khakis and plain blue shirts, and spend their days at "towers," stations out in the open where customers can approach them with whatever concerns they have. There's also a "concierge desk" to help people quickly find what they need, and even a space for kids to hang out and play video games while their parents take out a loan or open a checking account.
The company has grown by a factor of 10 in the past decade. While some people would chalk that up to their aggressive buying of other companies, but they've also managed to acquire over a million new customers independent of mergers and acquisitions. The reason? Offering people what they want, and being willing to take risks and pleasantly surprise their customers.
From sneakers to spandex
Nike has an illustrious history of taking celebrities and turning them into larger-than-life heroes. Traditionally this has been done with mass media advertising campaigns, pelting us with images of Michael Jordan. They made kids all over the country fall in love with the guy and desperately want to wear his shoes.
Now they've got a hero for adults. And he wears tights.
Lance Armstrong is easily the best athlete in the world, which would have been enough for many of us to dust off our bikes and daydream about climbing through the Alps. But his personal story and the obstacles he's overcome have turned him into an icon - one that might eventually rival Jordan himself.
Consider the yellow bracelets. Nike's longtime creative agency, Weiden + Kennedy, helped them piece together the concept of the yellow bracelets as a fundraiser for his cancer research foundation. The bracelets are a walking advertisement - we see someone wearing it, and we think of Lance. We think of overcoming adversity, living our lives to the best of our abilities, and completing the race called life victorious. That's a pretty powerful message for a little bracelet.
And what does Nike get out of all of this? We fell in love with Lance. We buy the bracelet to support his cause. We became extremely fond of the guy, to the point of wanting to be like
him. He becomes a hero for adults - and though we can't ride as fast or as far as him, we can look just like him in our Nike gear (except for the beer belly. Yours, not his.)
A modern-day hero - built not on mammoth television campaigns, but on a story we can't ignore and inexpensive mechanisms for spreading the word. Welcome to the world of personal branding, pre
Another Great Manifesto...
Every time they publish a new set of manifestos over at Changethis, I immediately fall in love with one of them.
Stay small. Never compete with low margins. Do what you do best, forget everything else.
I remember when my favorite ideas and authors were found at the bookstore.