Promotion

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The Great Harvest Bread Company is in year 2 of a really smart sampling promotion called the “National Bread Challenge.” Bring an unopened loaf of processed supermarket bread to one of Great Harvest’s 200 stores nationally and they’ll replace it with one of their loaves, which began taking shape at 2:30 A.M. that morning – kneaded by hand from freshly milled grains. Sound like a heavy loaf? Sound dry? Sound crunchy? Not even close. This bread redefines bread. It’s wonderful.

Great Harvest is betting consumer taste buds will help them grow market share. They are trying to recondition the market to pay more for better bread. Healthier bread. Every marketer needs a mark or a villain and this time the villain is processed white bread. Bread with no nutritional value, despite what Wonder Bread will tell you.

(Disclaimer: Great Harvest president Eric Keshin is a friend.)

Trial, getting people to try your product for the first time, is a time-tested marketing tactic. In this case, it’s an expensive one.  Giving away free loaves from November 10-12, 2017 is a high stakes effort. Were the bread average in taste and quality, it would be a silly move. It’s not. Find yourself a processed loaf and trade it in. Let those taste senses fire off some new synapses. Fresh is the new fresh.

Peace.      

 

 

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Check out this video of the Cut and Paste digital design competition in NYC in October. It is the best single promotional video I’ve seen for getting high school and college kids to get into commercial web design.  The beats, the fashion, the story all serve up the craft of digital design brilliantly.  If you don’t like rap and you don’t like the city and you don’t like brew, you can still get into this vibe.  It’s real and it’s tomorrow. I’m not sure that this Cut and Paste competition was tasked as a recruitment tool and frankly before the recession there were a lot more these type of digital throw down parties but, hey, R/GA, Razorfish and Rockfish, forget the recruiting tents, beer cozie circuit at campuses and get behind Cut and Paste because this is the haps.

 Look into these kids eyes.  This isn’t staged “Put your hands in the air!” crap.

If you read the comments on Agency Spy, Adweek or Ad Age, you’ll know many agency people are jealous, angry, envious and delusional.  Even before online comment pages, the business was infected by malcontents. (And with many out of work, the business they love to hate is filled with even more vitriol.)  But Cut and Paste gives me hope. The next gen of beanie-wearing, skinny jeaned design acolytes are pretty excited and pumped.

We need more of this.  Give people something they love and the won’t work a day in their lives.  Coding at 2 A.M.by the light of a Red Bull machine may not be glamorous, but this vid points toward the prize. And as my chillens used to say “I yike it.”  Peace. 

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Like, like….like

I went to a PSFK Conference a number of years ago and posted “Sort of” is the new “um.”  Well, I’m here to update you — “like” is the new “um.”  For 5 years it has been a nervous word kids and Millennials use to fill in their sentences.  But now the word is taking on more meaning, or lack thereof, thanks to Facebook’s use of “like” as a ranking system. 

When a teen or tween tells a friend the gut-wrenching “I like Mary” it’s very different than the like-gating or liking that’s going on when marketers are cheesing consumers into pressing the like button.  Don’t native Inuits have nine different words for snow?

One used to rank online affinity by counting web traffic.  If a site had lots of traffic, it was a well-appreciated site. Web Trends followed that traffic to see what people really landed on and it informed marketers. But then SEO jockeys started cheesing the system and traffic became less relevant. Enter the “like” button. But now even liking isn’t always liking. Google likes liking and calls it +ing (plusing).  

A number of Facebook and Google Plus cottage industries are emerging and helping marketers game the system.  It’s a huge business.  But only about 10% of them really know what they are doing. And that 10% get what corporate CEOs and CFOs get — tie likes to new and recurring sales and you have a touchdown. Otherwise, those likes are flatter than a non-redeemed coupon.  And how would Mary feel about that?  Peace!

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The problem with appointment promotions is they don’t really build customer loyalty. When Starbucks tells you to come to the store on Thursday between 12 and 2 P.M. for a free apple fritter and they publicize it in a big newspaper ad, you have to make an appointment to go.  They’re trying to generate traffic. If you must buy a new cup of something in order to get the free fritter, it’s about product trial.  It’s not really a loyalty play because everybody can participate.  Unexpected promotions are much better for loyalty building. 

Unexpected promotions are much better, also, because they’re more social. With an unannounced promotion, especially one of the free variety, there is a wonderful surprise and feeling of serendipity. With mobile phones what they are today and our “always on” culture, free can go viral fast.  And those virused are usually best friends or most appropriate friends. 

Let’s say I go into Starbucks to order coffee and get a blueberry fritter, not my usual apple fritter. As I’m waiting online I might tweet or 4square it.  Or, text my commuting office mate.  Why would I do that?  Because I’ve been hit with a pleasant random act of kindness and I can pass it on. I’ve been recruited to be a good guy.  And Starbucks has enlisted me to curate their promotion.  I mete it out based upon who I think will enjoy it.  The human algorithm.  And, by letting “the people” promote your promotion, you can spend more money on the giveaway itself and less on advertising. Try it you’ll like it. Peace.

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