Sunday, October 24, 2010

Marketing in a Minute + 200th Posting

It's been a long time coming but the Bright Ideas Blog has now reached 200 postings; a small feat for a consultancy with over 10 years of experience. A digital cake is in order.

Rather than a long-winded insight, I wanted to share a few real-life initiatives that I've come across over the last few days.

As I discussed in a separate posting, one of the best ways to grow a business in a recession is through product extensions. The above is another way; to increase the frequency of purchase, especially for consumables. This may be excessive for a burger advertisement, although Burger King does actually serve breakfast. Does an ad like that work? It all depends whether consumers find that Burger King is in their decision matrix for breakfast. Marketing research and product development to the rescue.

Spotted at the GO Bus Station at Union Station

The next is a take from Japan's preference and saturation of vending machines to sell everything and everything. Need that last minute scarf or tie? Mark's Work Warehouse has got you covered. Apart from clever positioning for the downtown business unit and seasonal product placements, it acts as an active advertisement for their brand as a whole. The company was founded on clothing friendly to trade workers; overalls and spill-resistant clothing. Only within the last few years have they taken a functional as opposed to fashion approach to designing professional clothing. Their benefits include shirts that repel stains and never need to be ironing. I believe that the vending machine serves more of a purpose to expand this helpfulness of the brand than counting on the volume of scarves it can sell at a high mark-up.

Spotted at the Union TTC Station

The last one for now is our good 'ol friend Uncle Ben. A new set of ads has blanketed the downtown core, hoping that everyone gets back in touch with him. Another ad read: "Why yes, I'd be honored to join you for dinner. I can be ready in 2 minutes.". A third? "The faster our lives get, the more sense BISTRO EXPRESS rice makes." It was really strange that I personally felt a draw to the ads. Growing up with the iconic orange boxes was a throwback to Uncle Ben himself. It might be tempting to imagine it targeting the baby boomer generation, but it is likely slightly younger; 25-35 not unlike me that grew up with the brand but have long neglected it for fast food or other prepared food options. Authentic and nostalgic is challenging to achieve without being cheesy or patronizing. Uncle Ben making a comeback is very much the former.

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