Take Poll on New March Madness Basketball Courts

Notice anything different with the basketball hardwood this March Madness?

The NCAA has implemented a complete “packaging” change for this year’s men’s basketball tournament.

2016 NCAA men's basketball tournament. Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI. Credit: Connor Sports.

2016 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, RI. Credit: Connor Sports.

The most important new design feature is highlighting the “March Madness” brand with a giant center court logo. It replaces the blue, circular NCAA logo. That’s a smart brand management marketing move. Continue reading

Focus on Customer Content Drives Costco Marketing Strategy

Credit: Costco.

Credit: Costco.

Take a spin around costco.com, and you’ll find a website loaded with consumer-friendly product information designed to inform, persuade and generate “Add to Cart” shopping clicks.

Costco utilizes a consumer education strategy online, particularly for many of its OTC healthcare and dietary supplement products.

Pay attention, B2B and DTC marketers. Shoppers desire complete product information and accurate photos as part of their research and purchasing process. I can’t quantify the benefit, but it stands to reason that investing to upgrade the content for your communication platforms will pay-off, and effectively differentiate your company and brands.

Recently, Costco added a consumer website called TreatMyHeartburn.com to promote its Kirkland Signature branded acid reducer product.

Credit: Costco.

Credit: Costco.

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Domino Confuses and Optimizes with Sugar Package Change

Converting a product from a resealable pouch to a flip-top canister is a dramatic packaging change.

Different enough to confuse the shopper that brought it to my attention.

Too buried among tens of thousands of SKUs for the in-store customer service team to know the scoop.

Finally solved by calling Domino and getting the explanation.

Photo/Graphic Credit: Harvey Chimoff.

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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

Hain Celestial Gives Rice Dream Easy-Open Top

Consumers of Rice Dream rice drink can now prepare their morning cereal faster thanks to a new packaging innovation.

Credit: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

Credit: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

The Hain Celestial marketing team is phasing-in a new, easy-to-open screw cap atop its familiar Tetra Pak carton.  Offering this consumer benefit continues a trend of  making the pour easier, although it’s been quite some time since the last update (pull-off foil strip) was incorporated.

Anyone who’s ever had a pull-strip malfunction, which then required puncturing the seal with sharp or blunt force, will appreciate the new closure.

More good news for shoppers:  the new convenience feature appears to have been incorporated within the brand’s existing price structure, as retail pricing is unchanged at present.   Continue reading