This is a guest post from Tamara Kleinberg.
As a small business owner and entrepreneur, you know competition is fierce. Your customers are inundated with messages from you, your competition, and everyone else with an offer they must act on TODAY! In this sensory overload world our customers live in, marketing can be your best weapon for standing out, or it can simply add to the clutter. There is a big difference between marketing with a bang and marketing that fizzles. You know great marketing when you see it. It drives you to buy from that business, it gets you to share with friends, and sometimes you might even blog about it.
The key to marketing with impact is simple—creativity. Creativity means creating marketing that separates itself from the pack. It means that your marketing is not like everyone else’s, and believe me, putting a clever tagline does not do the trick if everyone has a clever tagline. Creativity in marketing also means recognizing that every touch point with the world is an opportunity to build a clever and memorable marketing tactic. So, the next time you sit down to think about that oversized postcard mailer or clever newsletter, I want you to remember and get inspired by these 5 marketing techniques that work!
1. Will it blend: Blendtec makes industrial grade blenders like the ones you see in Starbucks. They are a business-to-business industry that did something totally outside of the normal boundaries of marketing; they created a YouTube video that shows their blenders mixing up everything from 4×4 wood to iPhones. These videos, while campy and totally fun, highlight the strength of the product while being highly entertaining. Go ahead, send to your friends—you know you want to!
How can you create a marketing campaign not typical in your business?
2. Johnny Cupcakes: Right now, somewhere across the US there is a pop up Johnny Cupcakes store. He goes in, makes a lot of buzz, pops up a store for a few days, then moves on to the next city. Instead of trying to drive traffic to his retail stores, he is heading on the road and to his customers. Believe me, once you get a taste you’ll be waiting in extreme anticipation for him to come to your city.
How can you go to your customer instead of waiting for them to come to you?
3. Thank you from imaginibbles: If you buy something from imaginibbles.com/shoppe you’ll receive a strange thank-you email. It includes a note letting you know that the team is doing the wave in your honor and sprinkling a little pixie dust for extra luck. Why? Well, there is no better time to engage your customer than right after they’ve purchased. Some customers have even emailed the thank-you email to their friends. A receipt that gives your typical information and puts a smile on your customer’s face. Go ahead, it’s hard not to want to return when you feel so loved.
How many times have you used your typical processes to help your business stand out?
4. The manifesto of LuluLemon: If you’ve ever shopped at LuluLemon you know that you get one of those great bags with their beautifully done manifesto on it. Those bags don’t get thrown away like most shopping bags. They are then used as grocery bags, kids clothing bags, travel bags, and anything else you can think of. That means the LuluLemon has walking billboards all around town as men and women proudly carry their bags. Seriously, watch as you walk down the street on any given week. You’ll be amazed at how many LuluLemon bags you’ll see around town.
Are you missing an opportunity to turn your customers into walking billboards?
5. Denver Water: If you live in or near Denver, you’ve seen the signs that say, “Use Only What You Need.” That in itself is a smart campaign, but they add a big touch of creativity to their efforts. The signs often take up only a quarter of the billboard. You can’t help but notice, and in many ways internalize what they are saying. Totally fun and meaningful marketing all at the same time!
How can you bring your message to life with more than just words?
When it’s marketing time, remember, creativity is the key to standing out in this competitive landscape.
Tamara Kleinberg is a serial entrepreneur, idea tinkerer, lover of disruption, and the Chief Imaginator @ imaginibbles.com, an edu-tainment organization that spreads innovation like wildfire. Her imaginibbles Shoppe is a hub for entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their shockingly cool, crazy-creative products. It has become a must-stop for all rule-breakers, sideways thinkers, and all who seek the latest and greatest imaginative, not yet known to all gifts, products, and must-haves. For more ideas, how-tos, and inspiration, check out her brand new book: Think Sideways: a game-changing playbook for disruptive thinking and her wildly successful new webshow imagi-NATION: disruptive innovator’s road tour.
Photo: maveric2003 on Flickr