Creative, Multipurpose Packaging Drives Customer Engagement – And Hopefully Sales

Packaging can play a role in delivering your marketing objectives.

Get some creative packaging ideas into your marketing mix by giving this topic attention and focus during your plan development process.  While “package design” or graphics tends to get more attention, don’t overlook opportunities to leverage the actual product container (“structural packaging”).

Plus, depending on your product or service, there may be integrated, total experience, packaging-related benefits and/or news you can create.

Here are two recent examples that caught my attention.  They’ll give you some food-for-thought this summer.

KFC Germany's Bluetooth tray liner. Translation: Try the zinger burger. Credit: photo from KFC video.

KFC Germany’s Bluetooth tray liner. Translation: Try the zinger burger. Credit: photo from KFC video.

Bluetooth Tray Liner Keyboard – KFC Germany

For fast-food marketers like KFC, creating news and staying top-of-mind with customers are always primary objectives.  But there are only so many price-oriented product promotions to roll out.

Plus, since some of the KFC menu items are eat-with-your-hands foods, it can be difficult, or should we say greasy, to operate a smartphone at the same time.

So, while their American colleagues are pushing the return of Colonel Sanders, the German KFC team (and partner Serviceplan) came up with a clever idea.  They turned a common tray liner into a useful tool – a Bluetooth connected “Tray Typer” keyboard for smartphones and other mobile devices. Continue reading

How L.L. Bean Creates Employee Brand Ambassadors

Wouldn’t it be financially advantageous if employees throughout the organization could regularly think like their customers?

There are creative ways to encourage the development of passionate customer-focused champions/ambassadors for products and services.

L.L. Bean store in Freeport, ME. Credit: L.L. Bean.

L.L. Bean store in Freeport, ME. Credit: L.L. Bean.

Iconic brand L.L. Bean offers and implements a suite of programs to create raging fans inside the company, which ultimately help Bean outside the company.

Consider Bean’s “Team Days” and “Outdoor Experience Days:”

“From hikes to paddling trips, we provide opportunities for employees to develop their outdoor interests, enjoy L.L.Bean products and build stronger relationships with coworkers.”

These are paid days out-of-the-office.  Depending on seniority, salaried employees receive 3-5  per year for such activities.  That’s money well-spent. Continue reading

“Internet of Everything” Chief Talks Digital Disruption Implications at IWNY

Challenge what you believe to be true every day.

Joseph M. Bradley – IoE Evangelist and Vice President IoE Practice, Cisco Consulting Services – May 20, 2015

I didn’t know what to expect from Internet Week New York, the annual celebration of technology’s impact on business and culture held last week.

It was cool to hear from the well-known — like Chelsea Clinton and New York City’s Police Commissioner William Bratton  —  and to learn from new people like Cisco’s Joseph Bradley.

Joseph M. Bradley - VP, IoE Practice, Cisco Consulting Services. Photo credit: Cisco.

Joseph M. Bradley – VP, IoE Practice, Cisco Consulting Services. Photo credit: Cisco.

Bradley was in New York to talk about the Internet of Everything (IoE) and to encourage the leveraging of “dark assets.”  The word “evangelist” isn’t in his title by accident.

Bradley is a dynamic speaker and presenter.  He commands the stage, engages with stories, and comes across as someone who knows what he’s talking about. That’s a rare combination.

What stood out for me were Bradley’s “Top 5 Implications of Digital Disruption:”

  1. Innovation is more than ideation. Invention + Execution = Innovation.
  2. Context is king.
  3. If it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work.
  4. Real-time is too late.
  5. Data is everywhere but insights are scarce.

These five points have broader, day-to-day meaning for marketing and business professionals.

Continue reading

US Senator Politicizes National Guard-NFL Team Sports Marketing

Controversy has arisen about marketing sponsorship programs between NFL teams and the National Guard/Department of Defense.

US Senator Jeff Flake (R – Arizona) singled out the New York Jets in an April 30th press release, declaring  an “egregious and unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars by the New Jersey Army National Guard (NJARNG).”

It’s part of his #PorkChops series highlighting what he perceives to be government waste.  The story was reported locally in New Jersey on May 8th (Christopher Baxter and Jonathan D. Salant of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com).


Let’s explain what happened and then assess.

Credit:  NJ National Guard.

Credit: NJ National Guard.

The New Jersey National Guard (NJARNG) paid for a marketing sponsorship with the New York Jets the past four seasons (2011 to 2014).  The components were relatively standard fare for sports sponsorships.

Key features included:

  • Allow 10 NJARNG Soldiers to attend the Jets’ Annual Kickoff Lunch in New York City.  At the luncheon, the Soldiers will have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with various members of the Jets organization for promotional use for recruiting and retention purposes for the NJ Army National Guard.
  • In-stadium branding on monitors; Facebook social media promotion.
  • Allow NJARNG to participate in the Jets Hometown Huddle charity event in which Jets players and coaches will work side by side with the Soldiers to build or refurbish a community asset. i.e., build a new playground, rehab an existing park, etc. for promotional use for recruiting and retention purposes for the NJ Army National Guard.
  • 24 Game Access Passes.
  • Use of Atlantic Health Jets Training Center for up to 100 attendees to conduct formal meeting or event.
  • A videoboard feature – Hometown Hero.  For each of their 8 home game, the Jets will recognize 1-2 NJARNG Soldiers as Home Town Heroes.  Their picture will be displayed on the videoboard, their name will be announced over the loud-speaker, and they will be allowed to watch the game, along with 3 friends or family members, from the Coaches Club.

Total payments from the Department of Defense and the New Jersey National Guard to the Jets over four years were $377,000.

What’s so controversial, you may be wondering?

After all, we’re used to seeing a variety of marketing communications geared to promote recruitment for the various branches of the armed forces and to keep brand awareness strong (no complaints for The Few, The Proud, The Marines, I don’t think).

When we cut to the chase – shock and awe – politics are driving this controversy!


Let’s sort it out.

To begin, Flake’s press release is sensationalized, incomplete and out of context. Continue reading

This Law Firm is a Marketing Powerhouse

It’s no longer a surprise to see a law firm or medical practice marketing itself.

What stands out now is when one embraces marketing to grow its business — in this case a law firm advertising on sports radio station ESPN New York 98.7 FM.

That’s worth a deeper look.

Cordell & Cordell is a nationwide law firm that “levels the playing field for men in family law cases.”  They operate in 29 states, with more than 100 offices and a team of 170+ attorneys.

Credit: Cordell & Cordell.

Credit: Cordell & Cordell.

I like the fundamentals that underpin the Cordell & Cordell go-to-market and growth strategies.

1.  Sharp Business Focus.   There’s no room for misunderstanding.  Cordell & Cordell is “the law firm for men going through divorce and/or related issues such as child custody.”

2.  Clear Positioning and Defined Target.  Cordell & Cordell are “advisors and advocates for men before, during, and after divorce.”  Take a look at this TV commercial:

3.  Easy-to-Understand Services and Benefits.  Spend less than 30 seconds on their website and you know exactly what the law firm does and whether it matches what you’re looking for. Continue reading

NJ Hospital Improves Patient Experience with Free E-Cards

This is a special video podcast edition of Marketing World Today.

Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey prints and delivers free, same-day e-cards to patients.  It’s a small, patient experience touch-point that can make a big difference.

(Note: WordPress has disabled video play in emails, so please watch this video directly on my site.)

Harvey Chimoff is a marketing and business team leader who drives performance in consumer products and manufacturing companies. Contact him at hchimoff at gmail dot com.

“Magic Hour” is Real Deal Marketing for European Outdoor Clothing Brand

European outdoor clothing brand Peak Performance is running some outstanding marketing right now.

The brand, founded in Sweden in 1986, is owned by the Danish IC Group.  They sell clothing that caters to five broad target sectors: ski, outdoor, running, mountaineering, golf and bike.

I was not familiar with Peak Performance until I saw this advertisement (thanks Creativity):

It’s rare to see such marketing harmony between advertising, positioning, branding and promotion.  That’s why the Magic Hour marketing concept is terrific.

Specifically, the marketing/advertising idea captures the pure brand essence.  It delivers the brand idea in a stimulating way that makes core consumers, and maybe even potential consumers, want to get outside, be active and enjoy life.

What is the brand?

Peak Performance is a lifestyle brand with a real story and long history. The Peak Performance consumer is not divided into age groups or by gender.  We simply call our core consumers “Social Adventurers.” Continue reading