Monday, December 20, 2010

Want to attract
New Customers?
Try a Sense of Humor

"One of my all-time favorite viral marketing campaigns is Will It Blend?  One lazy Saturday evening, my nephew Sebastian turned me on to this...and let me tell you, it is hysterical. Will It Blend? centers on a Blendtec blender, the ├╝ber line of industrial-grade blenders for home as well as business use. You may have seen a few of their commercial blenders behind the counters at your local Starbucks or Planet Smoothie outlet.

While the point presumably is to prove that Blendtec blenders are the best in the business, founder Tom Dickson does nothing to promote or tell you to buy one of their blenders. Instead, in a Mr. Science–style documentary, he decides to blend something that no one would ever dream of putting in a blender. Items have ranged from his grand-kids’ Matchbox toy cars (because they left them around the house) to Ipads, glow sticks, broom handles, and (my favorite) an entire chicken together with a can of Coke—yes, aluminum can and all. Look for the one where he blends a McDonald’s Extra Value Meal. Lending an ironic sense of authority to the presentation, Tom appears in each episode in a white lab coat, safety glasses, and rubber gloves. These videos are campy, dry, daring, and funny.

Here, take a look...

The Will It Blend? campaign took off instantly, impacting sales and making Tom a cyber celebrity. The videos have gone viral and ignited the brand. They sell without selling. Tom’s popularity has landed him on TVshows, blending anything viewers would deem impossible to blend. The viral videos have become so popular that Blendtec sells Will It Blend? merchandise on their site, including spoof T-shirts with the slogan “Tom Dickson Is My Homeboy” and the popular “Will It Blend?” logo.

This type of silliness has engendered an online audience for Blendtec and has flashed a big spotlight on its line of blenders. It has made them a leader in a niche market that is hard to sell in. Who says fun can’t ignite sales?"

From Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia - Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing The Way We Run Things, page185.

We are strange times. Baby Boomer Brands are suffering as brands from their past slowly disappear. Brands like Playboy, L.L. Bean, James Bond, etc...will become irrelevant unless they reinvent their Unique Selling Propositions for a new buyer. A new buyer that has no relationship with them. Boomers grew up with these brands, Gen Y did not (they played video games while we watched TV), so a new relationship has to be created.

In order to attract newbies to your brand, try lightening up and having fun. In case you are thinking this is just for kids, well Generation X is now 34 - 45 years of age and Generation Y is between 18 - 33. They have money to spend and power to buy. They are not like Boomers in any way shape of form when it comes to growing up. Respect that.

Make a list of companies that are reinventing their brands for an online, always-on-the-go young consumer, yet not isolating their existing customers: Old Spice, Slim Jim, Timberland. Today, even CNN, Whole Foods, and Best Buy are using Twitter as a consumer gateway! My wife and I were able to contact CNN directly when the earthquake hit Haiti in order to check on family and friends. It was amazing to be part of this transparent process."

- Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia, page 186
Time to create a buzz on the World Wide Web. Take a look at a few more I cover in Liquid Leadership...

Wine Library TV with Gary Vaynerchuk
Watch for Gary's rants on his beloved NY Jets.

Ford Models on YouTube
Brings out the voyeur in you...

It will take time to figure out which campaign worked for you. It isn't rocket science, but it does take a grasp of your target audience and their habits, online tools such as social media sites and web videos, and...drumroll please...a sense of humor.

Thank you again for reading,

Brad Szollose

PS: Sorry to be so intense sometimes. I know my previous posts were a little in your face, but sometimes a good rant helps. I appreciate your patience;-) And I promise to lighten up after every heavy article. See ya next week...

Leadership Lessons from a Web Pioneer.

The Art & Science of
Leading a 21st Century Workforce

Brad Szollose's (pronounced zol-us), is a globally recognized Leadership Development and Management Consultant who helps organizations dominate their industry by tapping into the treasure of a multi-generational workforce. 

He shares his management strategies within the pages of his award-winning, international bestseller Liquid Leadership...strategies that ignited his own company, K2 Design, beginning as a business idea in a coffee shop to a publicly traded company worth $26 Million in just 24 short months with an IPO on NASDAQ.

As a C-Level executive, his unique management model was awarded the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation Amongst Employees (the phrase Workforce Culture did not exist back then).

Today the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on Millennials, and he has been featured in Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Advertising Age, The International Business Times, Le Journal du Dimanche and The Hindu Business Line to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CBS and other media outlets.

Since the year 2010, and the release of his award-winning international bestseller, Liquid Leadership, Brad has created customized training programs for The American Management Association, Tony Robbins Business Mastery Graduates and Liquidnet Holdings, as well as several dozen Fortune 500 companies to name just a few; preparing them for the next generation of business leaders.

Mr. Szollose is also a TEDXSpeaker, and his talk The Age of Radical Disruption, focuses on the impact video games and serious gaming has had on the work habits and behavior of Generation X & Millennials.

Brad’s programs have transformed a new generation of business leaders, helping them maximize their corporate culture, creativity, innovation, productivity and sales growth in the new Digital Age economy.

Brad's work will expose the secrets to managing a cross-generational workforce:

Brad is the author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Cross-Generational Management Strategies That Are Changing The Way We Run Things and the publisher for Journeys to Success: The Millennial Edition: 21 Millennial Authors share their personal journeys of failure and success…based on the success principles of Napoleon Hill.