Fast Forward - January 2017
Make It Snappy
Pop-up eyewear vending machines inspire trendsetter FOMO
Like a Bigfoot sighting or a triple rainbow, Snap’s big yellow vending machines only exist for those who have seen them. The Snapbot machines have been dropped in just a handful of places, on no particular schedule, to dole out picture-taking sunglasses, called Specs, manufactured by the company formerly known as Snapchat—now just known as Snap. The first sighting was in the company’s hometown of Venice, California.
Oversized and funky-looking, the sunglasses are outfitted with cameras that let viewers take circular video in a 115-degree field of view, then upload to Snap for instant sharability. But don’t blink, because the video only records 10-second spots at a time.
Five Minutes With Jay Deutsch, BDA
Beer promotion scores big with help from bobbleheads, courtesy of BDA, Inc.
Beer supplier Constellation Brands wanted a way to increase in-store visibility and boost sales for the Corona beer brand, so it turned to longtime promotional partner Bensussen, Deutsch & Associates, Inc. for a head-turning idea. Jay Deutsch, CEO and co-founder of BDA, Inc., shares how the Woodinville, Washington-based distributor applied its expertise in bobblehead promotions to turn heads in the marketplace.
PPB When Constellation approached BDA, what were their goals for the program?
Constellation has been a client of BDA for years, so when they decided they wanted to increase Corona beer sales during football season, they turned to BDA to create a promotion to gain floor space in stores and ultimately increase beer sales. The only limitation was the fact that the promotion had to be within a budget of $200 per bobblehead.
PPB How did you come to select Jon Gruden and bobbleheads as the focal point of your product development? What was the process like for obtaining permission to use his likeness, and where were the bobbleheads produced?
Deutsch [Former pro football coach and current ESPN analyst] Jon Gruden is the current spokesperson for Corona, so it seemed only fitting to use him for this promotion. Once we decided we wanted to involve his likeness, we worked with the Corona brand team to get his approvals.
BDA is the largest producer of bobbleheads and we were on track to produce 3.8 million bobbles last year. However, this is the first time we created a four-foot bobblehead for in-store promotion which makes it so exciting for consumers.
The bobbleheads were distributed to nearly 4,500 stores nationwide. Now, here’s the really cool thing our team did. It typically costs up to $350 to ship one of the Gruden bobbles across the country. But by managing the distribution ourselves, our team sent product to seven different distribution points bringing shipping costs down to $55 per unit.
PPB How long did the development of the promotion take, from initial meeting to delivery of product? How long did the promotion run in stores?
Deutsch The initial proof of the concept was created in May 2015 and then we showed a sample of the physical product at the national Gold Network Summit (GNS) in March 2016. And, as they say, the crowd went wild. As soon as Constellation gave the green light on the promotion we went into production from March to June and the first deliveries were made in July and early August. BDA has offices in China that allow us to work directly with a factory for some custom projects. The promotion ran in stores for 30 to 60 days. The biggest lesson we learned from this project is that we must plan ahead. Even with a six-month lead time, we maxed out production on nearly 4,500 four-foot units and 15,000 seven-inch units.
PPB Beer seems to sell itself pretty well during football season, so how did the bobblehead promotion affect Constellation’s sales?
Deutsch Beer is a crowded category, and the success of this promotion brings attention to the Corona brand during football season. This promotion was all about gaining share of eyes and having something in a unique place with creative displays. The never-before-seen, four-foot Gruden bobblehead also generated a lot of organic social media buzz. Corona was successful in driving nearly 4,500 new placements this season.
Opening A Can Of Marketing Genius
Tuna company promotes packaging redesign with online instant-win game
When you’ve already got a fan base on Facebook, how do you improve on social media marketing? Make a game of it, of course. That’s what Chicken of the Sea did when it wanted to promote its new pull-tab tuna cans to consumers.
From October to November last year, Facebook users logged on to the company’s page and played the interactive Pull It Off Game and Promotion, which offered the chance to win $25,000 in prizes. The online game featured a virtual “kitchen” setting where players tried to grab a tuna can as it revolved on a table—but only EZ-Open cans would open in the game.
The company reported more than 228,000 plays from 45,000 unique players and a resulting 473-percent increase in overall web traffic. Since the program’s launch, a record average of 10,700 hours of consumer digital engagement time per week has been measured. More telling than the online numbers are the in-store sales: Chicken of the Sea’s EZ-Open product sales increases are in the double digits.
Brand And Deliver
Your brand makes a promise—don’t break it.
As a B2B company, your brand does more than serve as an identity; it also serves as a reminder of the promises you make to your customers. A study conducted by McKinsey & Company showed that business buyers rely heavily on vendor reputation to help them make purchasing decisions—sometimes more so than by asking questions about service, pricing, product availability and quality.
It’s not that these aspects of a business aren’t important; rather, the reputation conveyed by a brand serves as a shortcut to the answers. Rather than existing as a marginal element of a company’s value proposition, brand plays a central role.
So what does it look like when a company breaks a brand promise? Brand strategy expert Mark DiSomma shares these seven examples:
- – Overpromising and under-delivering. A brand doesn’t do what it promises, either willingly or because it is unable to.
- – Delivering on your expectations rather than the consumer’s. Does your customer know what you’re promising? If not, chances are high that you’ll give them ‘X’ when they were expecting ‘Y.’
- – Attaching conditions to your promise. Will you deliver on your promise only if consumers can meet stringent requirements or unrealistic qualifications? If so, you aren’t truly prepared to give your customer what you’ve promised.
- – Delaying fulfillment. Whether you miss delivering on a promise by the expected deadline, or you take too long to resolve a customer issue with the promise itself, trust in a brand can erode quickly.
- – Failing to launch the promise. Even worse than under-delivering is not delivering on a promise at all. If your product or service isn’t ready to share, don’t promote it in the hopes that it will be by the time consumers are ready to ask for it.
- – Promising the obvious. If you’re trying to sell a service that customers already expect, you’re merely committing to the minimum, which your customers can get somewhere else for less—if not for free.
- – Promising what everyone else already has delivered. Promises that appear to be unique at first can quickly become the norm when other companies deliver on them before you do. Stay in tune with the marketplace to ensure your brand is promising something unique and hard to replicate.
Brand promises, simply stated, tell customers what a company can and will do for them, and how it will be done. Of course, promises can have both explicit and implicit intentions, and the challenge for the company is to learn what its promises mean to the customer first.