Big impact through small details: Marketing doesn’t stop with websites and brochures

One of the first things that attracted me to the marketing and advertising profession was a ketchup bottle. Sound weird? It’s true—before picking a major and packing up for college, I was walking through a grocery store and some Heinz ketchup labels caught my eye.

Rather than simply the logo and product name plastered to the package, there was an assortment of fun, personality-infused messages about all of the reasons why we love ketchup. On a first name basis with onion rings. Meatloaf enhancer. And many more.

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It struck me how something as seemingly small as a ketchup bottle label could have such an impact on me, the customer—and how none of Heinz’s competitors had thought to customize that small part of my experience with their products.

 width=Heinz isn’t the only company that’s tapped into this kind of opportunity. A former colleague of mine used to collect the stickers from Chiquita bananas and stick them up all over the bottom of her iMac. I was once pleasantly surprised when putting on a pair of jeans and seeing “You’re beautiful” stitched on the inside of the waistband. And who doesn’t love looking for the Google Doodle on holidays?

This kind of attention to detail may be most noticeable in consumer marketing, but the same opportunities to surprise and impress your target audiences abound in B2B. We’re still talking to consumers, and consumers are always looking for companies who go above and beyond their expectations.

Start by thinking about every time a customer interacts with your company. List out every touch point from the time a prospect first learns about your product or service through when the sales cycle is complete—and remember that there’s no such thing as “too small” when it comes to a customer’s experience with your brand!

After you have your list, consider what opportunities you have to get creative and better communicate your brand’s personality or your product’s features and benefits.

  • How do you answer your phones?
  • What does your email signature say?
  • Are there places inside your facility for unique signage?
  • What about your product packaging is interesting?
  • What do your employee uniforms look like?
  • What happens after your product or service is delivered?
  • What tools or resources can you provide your audience?

For instance, at VantagePoint, our guest wireless password is a strategic three-word phrase rather than a random string of letters and numbers. (I can only tell you what it is if you ever come for a visit!)

So, today I challenge you to stop looking at letterhead as paper you print on or your lobby walls as structural necessities—instead, start considering every moment a customer encounters as an opportunity to catch their interest, impress them and, ultimately, earn more business.

Comments

  • Yvonne says:

    In addition to the Heinz 57 Varieties campaign, the company is famous for its marketing strategies involving a green pickle. At the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the H.J. Heinz Co. exhibit was on the second floor of the Agricultural Building, a flight of stairs above foreign and imported food products. Many visitors would enter the building, but seldom would they climb the staircase. Heinz solved this dilemma by getting young boys to hand out white promise cards that could be exchanged for free souvenirs at the company exhibit. As Robert C. Alberts describes in The Good Provider, the souvenir was a “green gutta-percha pickle one and one quarter inches long, bearing the name Heinz and equipped with a hook to serve as a charm on a watch chain.” The technique was an instant success, as the company handed out over a million pickle watch charms.

    Wikipedia.org/“Boston”
    The Heinz Pickle Pin gained worldwide notoriety at the 1892 World’s Fair.Later that year, a New York Times article, “Narrow Escape at World’s Fair,” reported that the massive crowds caused structural damage to the building, noting that “the gallery floor of the Agricultural Building has sagged where the pickle display of H.J. Heinz Company stood.” Since its introduction, the pickle became synonymous with the H.J. Heinz Company and its founder, who was known throughout the country as the “Pickle King.” The pickle souvenir tradition continues today; over 100 million Heinz pickles have been passed out at various trade shows and factory tours in the company’s history.


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