Why Your Business Needs “Marketing Discipline”

This isn’t about the kind of discipline you get in the principal’s office.

I’m talking the good kind of discipline here, what I refer to as Marketing Discipline. You’d better have some in your business, or don’t be surprised when the CEO calls for the wrong reasons.

To me, the concept of Marketing Discipline is a fundamental criterion of success. Yet, with the unrelenting focus and fascination on shiny new tactics, the discipline part of marketing often gets lost in the wash. Continue reading

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

“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

Uber Shifts Gears in Spain to Build Brand

Uber is an agile marketer and tenacious competitor.

The company is known for disrupting (positively, for the public) the taxi/car ride industry.

Whether by design or not, Uber has demonstrated many agile for marketing characteristics, including being flexible, experimental, empowering and customer focused.  As I’ll explain, Uber also seems to have a strong, clear vision that’s aligned with adaptive execution.  (Thanks to Barre Hardy of CMG Partners, and her recent webinar introduction to the agile for marketing concept.)

Vision and execution bring me to what Uber is doing in Spain.  

In December 2014, a Spanish court ruled that Uber could no longer operate its UberPop car sharing service in Barcelona.  Instead of being hamstrung, the company made a smart and creative brand-building pivot.  Uber switched gears to nurture its developing brand equity and maintain its business platform foothold.

In February, the company launched UberEats.

UberEATS - Barcelona, Spain. Translation: From hungry to happy in 10 minutes. Photo Credit: Uber.

UberEATS – Barcelona, Spain. Translation: From hungry to happy in 10 minutes. Photo Credit: Uber.

According to the intro blog post, UberEATS is “an on-demand food delivery service that gets you the best meals from the best local restaurants in under 10 minutes.”  (Uber has a similar Uber Fresh service in Los Angeles).

Here’s how Uber is executing the strategy: Continue reading

Coke Turns Used Soda Bottles into Fun Tools in Vietnam

What if you could turn a used soda bottle into a paint brush, pencil sharpener or water squirter?

You can.  In Vietnam.  Thanks to Coca-Cola.

The soda giant has launched a simple, yet brilliant marketing promotion that combines environmentalism with brand building.

Coca-Cola 2nd Lives marketing program in Vietnam. Photo: Ogilvy & Mather China.

Coca-Cola 2nd Lives marketing program in Vietnam. Photo: Ogilvy & Mather China.

Coke is giving away a series of 16 special caps that screw onto used soda bottles and transform them into fun and useful objects. Consumers get the caps for free upon product purchase.

The program is called 2nd Lives, and is part of Coke’s sustainability efforts. Continue reading