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Archive for July, 2015

A purposeful gaze.

Friday, July 31st, 2015


The most amazing scenarios are in the most unexpected places. Shot by Jon Keeling.

Surprise and delight.

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

When a brand is seeking to reach a larger group of consumers, strategic partnerships are often utilized. Cross-promotional marketing, also known as a mutually beneficial partnership, occurs when like-minded companies choose to create a partnership in an effort to maximize their marketing efforts. These collaborations allow each brand to access groups of consumers in a unique way that might have otherwise been difficult to reach.

Two brands that recently mastered cross promotion through a surprise and delight campaign are Coca-Cola and JetBlue in the “Share a Coke with Humanity” campaign. The cross-promotional campaign took place at New York’s Penn Station. A vending machine set up in the station returned two Coca-Cola cans to any customer who purchased one. When the puzzled customer received the second refreshment, signs on the machine encouraged them to “Share a Coke” with someone else in the station. For the customers who did share their second drink with a stranger, a JetBlue crewmember approached them and praised them for their generosity. Captured on camera, the crewmember tells the customer their act of generosity has earned them two free round-trip tickets on JetBlue.

Of the 150 transactions from the vending machine, 70% of the unsuspecting customers gave away their second bottle and were rewarded for their generosity. Both Coca-Cola and JetBlue are brands that tend to celebrate positivity in all of their marketing efforts. This cross-promotional campaign highlights the shared values and principles of both companies and provides a successful example of how sharing (not just a Coke) can make a difference in a brand’s marketing efforts.

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Ann Keeling says:

Good creative campaign concepts, particularly those that are built on real world engagement are optimal for a brand. Coke and JetBlue hit it out of the park with this concept that showed the generosity of humanity served up as something to surprise and delight people. Wouldn’t it be great if more marketers thought about consumer engagement in this way – the brand visibility and authenticity aspect is far more valuable than a bunch of billboards, print ads, etc.


Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Let’s face it; online shopping has become the preferred method of retail therapy over in-store shopping. No long lines, no location requirements and millions of products at your fingertips. Amazon has established itself as a one-stop shop spanning hundreds of categories. Claiming to have “Earth’s biggest selection”, Amazon attracts a variety of shoppers and even provides a loyalty program for its customers called Amazon Prime. This paid subscription service provides members free two-day shipping, unlimited photo storage, access to instant video and much more. Recently, “Prime Day” was advertised by Amazon to further promote this membership.

The “Prime Day” event featured flash deals and sales for Prime members and was advertised as a shopping day even better than Black Friday. The day of deals on July 15, 2015 received some criticism on social media due to deals that sold out within hours of the sale beginning and unexciting deals for the remainder of the day. The e-tailer received backlash heavily on Twitter, #AmazonPrimeFail trending by early afternoon.

But was Amazon’s strategy really a #fail? Despite the negative conversations occurring on social media, TechCrunch reported Amazon’s sales were up about 80%. By the end of Prime Day and despite heavy criticism, the Amazon brand came out ahead. So why did Amazon create this day of deals and what can other brands learn from its prime marketing?

Amazon wanted to celebrate its 20th anniversary by showing the longevity of the brand. In addition to this celebration, Amazon wanted to find a new way to reward their customers’ loyalty. Since members pay for Prime, Amazon wanted to show these loyal customers how much it really pays off. An underlying goal was to attract other customers to Amazon Prime and gain new subscriptions. Even if Amazon failed to win over consumer sentiment, this day of sales provided loads of data and insight into what products are in demand. Despite the sold-out deals and negative social media attention, Prime Day will contribute to the future growth of Amazon as a prevalent brand.


Ann Keeling says:

It’s difficult to inspire loyalty with customers with too many sales and offers. Why then would those customers want to shop with a retailer on non-sale days? This type of strategy is really training customers to wait because customers know w/ the frequency of sales and promotions that some retailers offer, that it will only be a few days before they can pay less than they can today.

Serious business.

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Storm over MSJ UniversityHeed the warning of a foreboding sky.

Shot by Lesley M Rowe on an iPhone.

Opportunity vs. Integrity

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Each year students adorn a cap and gown, shake hands with school officials and swiftly wave goodbye as they join the wonderful world of full-time employment. College graduation is a time of celebration, but also a time of considerable uncertainty and worry – not just for students… but for colleges and employers as well.

Over the past few years an unsettling trend has emerged amongst college grads; students are accepting employment offers, only to then decline the offer at a later date in light of a better opportunity. In an increasingly competitive and success driven world, capitalizing on an enhanced opportunity seems wise, right? Perhaps, however, students are failing to recognize the aggravation reneging causes colleges and employers; not to mention the potential damage caused to the student’s credibility.

When a student goes back on their word it is embarrassing to the college and could ultimately sever ties between the college and recruiter, thus, crushing opportunities for future students. But more than that, someone who doesn’t honor their commitment, particularly in the professional world, can be branded with damage to their credibility.

“Recruiters spend a great deal of time spinning their wheels to fill the opening, and often the effort does not end in finding a good fit to fill the role. In this case, the position can go un-filled. In some cases, the budget set aside for the hire will be allocated for other purposes. Final hiring numbers are lowered which can in turn effect the following year’s hiring numbers.” – says Kayla Vilwock, Manger of University Outreach and Recruiting at SAS.

A student’s decision to renege can also create great consequences for the student. Some colleges and universities are putting their foot down and blacklisting reneging students from career center services, including any and all career placement opportunities.

“Reneging is going back on a promise. Some companies have you sign an agreement, and some don’t. We think your word is your commitment.” Says Jim Kranzusch, executive director of MBA Career Services at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business.


Ann Keeling says:

I’ve never had this situation, but if I did, I would likely never recommend that person based on character, regardless of skill set. Is that really worth taking a “better job”?