see all

posted by Kevin Smith Jan 27,2009 @ 10:40AM

Guerillas at the Grill

It used to be that the smartest marketers cultivated, continually refined and constantly reinforced their brands using mass media. The most obvious examples are clothing brands built in the pages of fashion magazines. The process of building and maintaining these brands was expensive, and their corresponding images took years to create.

In the new economy, there’s a smarter way.

Nearby my house is a gourmet grocery store chain called Earth Fare. When I passed by the other day, the store was having a cookout. It was lunchtime, and there were three employees cooking hamburgers on as many charcoal grills. As the employees were passing out hamburgers, they were talking about the quality of the organic ground sirloin.

Brilliant. Customers and the store’s staff were socializing like neighbors. People were sure to tell friends and coworkers about this as well. Even if they didn’t, the smell of the cookout wafted all over the neighborhood, no doubt making a few wonder: “How about we grill out tonight?”

In a single day at lunch, Earth Fare’s guerilla marketing tactic had said more about their brand than a month of traditional circulars and newspaper advertising could.

Guerilla marketing isn’t new, but in today’s economy, it’s more relevant than ever, because people are starved for individual attention from the stores they frequent and the brands they support.

Such attention needn’t be difficult or expensive to implement. It’s important to remember that even if your budget has been cut, it is crucial to avoid communicating less. The key is to communicate differently. How can your organization start today?

posted by Teresa Coles Jan 23,2009 @ 06:32AM

The Repentant Consumer

We all know the economy is the monster birthed by the oil giants, financial industry, insurance kingpins, and every other human being who ever dared to sport a pinstripe suit. The MAN has done it to us, once again.

Boo. Hoo.

Did THE MAN force us to create our own personal artic air mass with the touch of the AC button every time the temperature dared to reach 70 degrees? Did HE shove you and your co-workers into separate cars every day, only to have you arrive at work at the same time Monday through Friday? What about that Lipitor? Surely you can’t be expected to think about what you eat and get some exercise to control your cholesterol. You’ve got to rush back to work for an hour and a half between dropping off and picking up the kids for ballet, tennis and soccer. Come on.

Yet surprisingly, this wasn’t always the case. There was a time when people actually turned the lights off when they left the room and slept with the window screens open. They returned little green Coke bottles to the corner store, and got 5 cents for their trouble. There was one bottle of aspirin and some rubbing alcohol in the medicine cabinet. If those two things couldn’t help you, you were probably dead already.

But here we are today, in debt, fat and on five kinds of antibiotics. And mad as hell at THE MAN for doing it to us.

Smart companies facing this kind of consumer backlash have two choices:
1. Keep pushing more of the same kind of excessive, mass consumption on consumers
2. Enlighten consumers on how we can all have more by consuming less

Case in point: Getting consumers to take responsibility for their own energy choices. Sure, making a conscious decision to run the dishwasher at 11:00 pm rather than 7:00 doesn’t sound like much. But when we all think about the way we’re consuming energy, it can make a huge difference. And odds are, we’ll feel better about ourselves—and even the energy company— when we accept the fact that we all had a hand in this mess.

Whether you’re the producer or consumer, there’s an appropriate level of repentance due from us all. Getting out of the blame game and channeling it into positive action is the payoff for us all in the days ahead.




By the numbers

youtube is 2nd largest search engine