Why The Return of “Geoffrey the Giraffe” Demonstrates the Power of Brand Marketing

A recent conversation with a business executive reminded me that, for many non-marketers, there’s often vagueness or even confusion about the term “branding” and its application.

I suspect it’s connected to a fuzziness about what marketing is/does in general and the use and power of brands, branding and brand management in particular. That’s unfortunate because excellent marketing and effective brand management can be cornerstones for strong customer relationships and sustainable long-term business success.

Take last week’s announcement that Kroger is mounting a major 2018 holiday season push to sell specially branded toys via the launch of Geoffrey’s Toy Box across a multi-banner network of nearly 600 supermarkets.  The branded store-within-a-store is a reconstituted marketing and brand concept created from Toys “R” Us intellectual property. More on this in a moment.

Credit: Geoffrey LLC.


First, as a general principle, when it comes to your products and services, it’s an excellent idea to brand them. Doing so creates a distinct identity and perception with your customer that can generate sales, establish differentiation and produce loyal, repeat business. Lack of a brand name may put you into an unknown, generic box with everyone else. Continue reading

Continue Marketing After the Sale with Packaging Messages. Even B2B!

The marketing job doesn’t end when the sale is made and the product is purchased or shipped.

Many factors contributing to company image and brand perception continue to be in play after the product leaves your premises. Top of the list is likely product performance. There’s something else though, perhaps underappreciated and deserving of more attention, that contributes to the overall customer experience.

The packaging that comes with your product — whether it’s the retail shopping bag, the shipping box, the actual product contents structure or even the B2B product container — can be a strong influencing factor in how you feel about what you just bought.

Credit: Harvey Chimoff.

Case in point is clothing and sports performance marketer Under Armour. Buy something in one of their factory stores and you’ll take your items home in a bag that boldly declares: Everything here was engineered to make you better. Continue reading

Why Every Marketer Dreams of a Wiffle Ball Type Customer Connection

WIFFLE®, the beloved and iconic American brand of white plastic ball and yellow bat, celebrates its 65th birthday this year.

While you can buy other baseball-size, plastic balls, there is no comparison when it comes to the combination of Wiffle’s performance and emotional attachment. These two factors make the 65-year sales run an excellent marketing and brand management achievement. The National Toy Hall of Fame agrees. They inducted the ball last year.

Photo Credit: Harvey Chimoff.

Continue reading

8 Brand Management Success Factors Drive Hess Toy Truck

Credit: Hess Toy Truck social media.

Both of these marketing statements are true:

  • The Hess Toy Truck brand is thriving.
  • The Hess consumer-retail brand is dead.

No, this isn’t a strange SAT logic test. It’s an example of how a strong sub-brand can flourish even though the parent brand is essentially defunct.

Keep reading for the explanation, and the eight, winning brand management success factors. Continue reading

This Is Marketing: We Are in the Holy S*** Business

A new corporate brand campaign for MGM Resorts International has a hidden benefit.

It helps translate and demonstrate what some business leaders consider “mumbo jumbo.” That would be marketing cornerstones such as branding, positioning and customer experience.

These critical building blocks, and others, are like oxygen to marketers and business leaders who believe in the power of smart, disciplined marketing to help build and grow profitable businesses, and keep them relevant.

But, not everyone is a believer, and not all practitioners have instilled confidence.

Credit: MGM Resorts International.

So, particularly for the marketing skeptics, this new MGM marketing is instructive. It’s strong, bold marketing that grabs attention. And seemingly has a chance to be effective.* Continue reading