Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Date You Were Born On

Had a recent birthday.  Received calls from family and friends, and lots of nice messages on Facebook.  Got a few e-cards too.  Several companies I buy from know the date of my birth so they sent me some formula birthday greetings.  Got one from my home and auto insurance office--never met her.

And then I got this, from a radio station in Minneapolis that I often listen to online:


I don't know them and they don't know me but it looks like Sarah Jane would like to meet me.  And she's willing to give me six FREE cupcakes to start our relationship, with no strings attached.

When you click on her site, there she's Sarah Jane!  She looks like she cares, doesn't she?   She looks authentic.  Spend some time on her site, read 'About Us.'  You'll quickly realize that she's your mom, your aunt, or your childhood neighbor.  The site, the pictures, the words -- authentic, schmaltzy, genuine.

If I lived in Minneapolis I'd be placing my order today and I bet Sarah Jane would have a customer for life.

The next time your company wants to acknowledge a customer's date of birth, why not partner with someone who can do more than that.  Find someone who can help you say HAPPY BIRTHDAY...and mean it.  They'll thank you for the connection.

I really feel (not just think) that Sarah Jane wants me to have a Happy Birthday.  And she's pretty sure that her cupcakes will do the trick.   I feel she's right.

Oh, and FREE always works.  Because when done right, it doesn't cost a thing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pudding Face

Jello, a division of Kraft Foods (not a client of mine), makes 17 flavors of pudding.  They also make several pudding sizes and varieties such as; 100 calorie/fat free, snack sizes, pudding mixes, etc...

But take a look at this commecial

How remark-able is that?  Just the sheer joy of having Pudding Face.  And notice that they don't use the words joy, happiness, or tastes so good.  They let the Pudding Face tell the story.

I bet this is happening somewhere, right now...

A spoonful is consumed, she grins from ear-to-ear and says, "Look, I've got Pudding Face!"

And the story spreads.

It can be hard to fight the temptation to say too much, to talk about all of the flavors, to try and convince everyone.

Everyone?  C'mon.  Impossible.

Just give me some Pudding Face!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"A Rainbow Of Colors"

Heard a radio commercial today for a women's clothing store that's touting its new Spring Collection.  "A rainbow of colors, the perfect way to get Spring fever," is what I think it said.  Did anyone hear that, feel that, see that?  Nope.  Cliches -- way overused.

How about this...

"Remember in The Wizard of Oz  -- the house is spinning, everything's in black and white and grey.  And then...crash...the house hits hard and wakes up Dorothy.  She slowly makes her way to the door...and then...she slowly opens it.  Do you remember what it looked like?  So many colors!  Take just a second...can you see it right now?  You can at XYZ -- we call it our Spring collection..."

Did you see that?  Sure you did.  And it looked a little different to you than it did to me because you created it yourself, in your own mind.

But they won't say that because it takes too much time.  It doesn't give them time to talk about their "great customer service" or their "large selection of sizes" or  "ample parking."

And they do this because they think the message has to have something in it for everyone.  Who's everyone? 

What about you?  Do you let your customers use their imagination?  Do you tell them a story they can spread? you go from cliche to cliche listing "benefits" that nobody hears?  And then, lemme guess -- you probably wonder why very few people show up.

"The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size."  Oliver Wendell Holmes

Take each customer on a trip.  Expand her mind -- it won't return to its original size, but she might just return to your store.


Friday, May 13, 2011

The light is green...


Wanna lose weight?   Start.

Have a great business idea?   Start.

Feel the desire to repair a broken relationship?   Start.

Here's your nudge. A quote from W. H. Murray:
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: 'Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness had genius, power and magic in it.' Begin it now."

Start. And listen, to yourself. You might hear yourself say, "But they won't like it." "What if I fail?" "I don't have time!"

Every great artist, every successful entrepreneur, and every world-class athlete has heard that voice too. And they didn't ignore it. They owned it and then they turned it upside-down, inside-out.

So when you hear it, and you will -- talk to it, laugh at it, and let it know the gig is up. Take it out of the shadows and expose it -- shine a light on it. Give it a name if you want. Dress it up and give it form.

Fear hates to be exposed.