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Updated by Stan Phelps on Dec 11, 2017
Headline for Pink Goldfish Project - Embracing Weakness and Amplifying Weirdness in Business
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Pink Goldfish Project - Embracing Weakness and Amplifying Weirdness in Business

A "pink goldfish" is when a brand embraces and amplifies weirdness in business. It is based on the premise that what makes you weak, also makes you strong and what makes you weird, is what makes you wonderful.
This list is part of a crowd sourcing project. Stan Phelps and Dave Rendall are collecting hundreds of examples for the upcoming book, Pink Goldfish (2018).

1

Buckley's Cough Syrup Tastes Awful

Buckley's Cough Syrup Tastes Awful

Buckley’s cough syrup is nasty and they are proud of it. They aren’t trying to hide it. Instead, they made the bad taste the focus of their advertising campaign by comparing it to trash bag leakage and sweaty gym socks. The tagline is “It tastes awful. And it works.” However, the implicit message is that it works because it tastes awful.

Obviously, this approach won’t work with everyone. Kironmoy Datta, senior brand manager for Novartis Consumer Health, says that “Buckley’s isn’t for everyone. . . We made a conscious choice to not be everything to everyone.”

It takes courage to call attention to existing weaknesses, but takes even more courage to make those weaknesses worse, to exaggerate them.

Source: http://onwardmag.com/how-flaunting-your-weaknesses-can-build-trust/

4

Apple Embraces Being Flawsome

Apple Embraces Being Flawsome

Apple released the new version of the iPhone 5. Drumroll please, it’s plastic. To steal a line from a famous Breyers ice cream ad, its POLY, POLY CARBONITE Jony.

To Apple’s SVP of Design Jony Ive credit though, he doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t lead with polycarbonite or another fancy word. He says 42 seconds in that “the iPhone 5c is beautifully, unapologetically plastic.” He was celebrating the phone being flawsome.

Flaunting a Weakness Into a Strength

A portmanteau is a combination of two (or more) words, and their definitions, into one new word. The word comes from the English portmanteau luggage (a piece of luggage with two compartments), itself derived from the French porter (to carry) and manteau (coat). Think blog (web log), infomercial (information commercial), or email (electronic mail).

I came across a portmanteau a couple of weeks ago that knocked my marketing socks off. Flawsome is a combination of Flaws and Awesome. I came across an article by Claire Dunn that talked about the concept of being flawsome.

The core message of the article is that today’s consumers are empowered. They know more than ever before. Therefore, don’t hide your flaws. Honesty is truly the best policy. Dunn states,

“We no longer buy ad campaigns that are too good to be true. Consumers now want honest conversations about products and appreciate brands that show some maturity, humility, and humor.”

Source: http://www.purplegoldfish.com/apples-new-iphone-is-unapologetically-plastic-are-you-flawsome/

5

Being the Five Foot High Marketing Guy

Being the Five Foot High Marketing Guy

You can even use this approach with your personal branding. Jimmy Vee at Gravitational Marketing calls himself “The Five-Foot High Marketing Guy.” He doesn’t try to hide or minimize his short stature. He celebrates it and it makes him likable, memorable and interesting.

Source: http://onwardmag.com/how-flaunting-your-weaknesses-can-build-trust/

6

Miracle Whip Understands They Are Not For Everyone

Miracle Whip Understands They Are Not For Everyone

What is Flawsome behavior?

Kraft food launched a campaign for its Miracle Whip brand titled “We are not for everyone” and then went on to make videos featuring celebrities who expressed their love or hate for their product.

FLAWSOME sits as part of a bigger trend towards HUMAN BRANDS.

So, while HUMAN BRANDS might not be a ‘new’ theme, four currents are now converging to make consumers more focused on brand attitude and behavior than ever before:
“...human nature dictates that people have a hard time genuinely connecting with, being close to, or really trusting other humans who (pretend to) have no weaknesses, flaws, or mistakes”
Consumers’ disillusionment at corporate behavior has (finally) spilled over into outright disgust. As a result, any brand that can show business in a new light will be (deservedly) welcomed with open arms.
Nearly 85% of consumers worldwide expect companies to become actively involved in promoting individual and collective wellbeing; an increase of 15% from 2010 (Source: Havas Media, November 2011).
Yet only 28% of people think that companies are working hard to solve the big social and environmental challenges (Source: Havas Media, November 2011).
Consumers are more and more aware that personality and profit can be compatible (think Zappos, Patagonia, Tom’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Michel et Augustin, Zalando and more). With every business that succeeds while remaining reasonable, helpful, fun or even somewhat ‘human’, consumers will become increasingly disenchanted when dealing with traditional, boring, impersonal brands.
Most people would not care if 70% of brands ceased to exist (Source: Havas Media, November 2011).
Online culture is the culture, and inflexible, bland ‘corporate’ façades jar with consumers who live online where communication is immediate, open and raw (also see MATURIALISM). What’s more, people openly broadcast and share their lives online - flaws and all - and thus brands are increasingly expected to do the same.
Last but not least: human nature dictates that people have a hard time genuinely connecting with, being close to, or really trusting other humans who (pretend to) have no weaknesses, flaws, or mistakes - don’t assume brands are any different.

Source: http://marketingfaq.net/branding/flawsome-awesome/

7

Alamo DraftHouse Is Serious About Watching Movies

Alamo DraftHouse Is Serious About Watching Movies

BRANDS increasingly monitor the Internet for negative product reviews, and contact reviewers to remedy complaints, persuading some to revise reviews with higher ratings.

But when Tim League, the chief executive of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a movie chain based in Austin, received an irate voice mail message from a young woman recently, he did not want to change her opinion.

He wanted to publicize it.

The caller had been ejected from a movie for texting, violating a prohibition against using mobile devices underscored in videos shown before movies, and Mr. League decided that the phone message was fodder for yet another public service announcement.

From an Alamo Drafthouse YouTube video, "We do not tolerate people that talk or text in the theater. In fact, before every film we have several warnings on screen to prevent such happenings. Occasionally, someone doesn't follow the rules, and we do, in fact, kick their asses out of our theater. This video is an actual voicemail from a woman that was kicked out of one of our Austin theaters. Thanks, anonymous woman, for being awesome."

Source:
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/business/media/24adco.html

10

Call to Solve Problems, Stay for the Jokes

Call to Solve Problems, Stay for the Jokes

"A customer service help line is essential for most internet services. The problem is, customers that use internet services most likely want to avoid picking up the phone to call because they are greeted with multiple redirections and elevator music. Zappos tackles this issue by turning customer service calls into opportunities to create fun. The end of every customer service call ends with “Press 4 to hear the Joke of the Day”. With that, they successfully turned something that’s an Achilles heel for many companies into a word of mouth marketing tool."

Source: http://www.hiretheworld.com/blog/employers/business-news/company-competitive-advantages

131

Authentic Haka Experience Embraces the Emotion of the Maori Dance

Authentic Haka Experience Embraces the Emotion of the Maori Dance

Submitted by Bridgette Johnson,

Thinking of companies that embrace weirdness and/or amplify weakness to achieve meaningful differentiation in business, one I think would be the Authentic Haka Experience (based here in The Netherlands). They go out and do team building exercises giving a session on how to perform the Haka, just like the All Blacks do and what it means and how to embrace the emotional part of it. The guys name is Storm Carroll, his email address is; Info@authentichaka.com

138

Flight Media dings the bell

Flight Media dings the bell

Submitted by Josh Coffy:

Flight Media is filled with tons of quirky, weird habits & rituals that has propelled our team into quick growth and nearly 0% turnover. For example, our team's project management software makes this "ding" of a bell sound when a task is checked off. Whenever our office hears that little bell, everyone starts cheering. That simple, weird habit has cultivated an environment of people trying to knock out to-do lists – thus increasing productivity significantly.

2

Mini Stays True to Its Name

Mini Stays True to Its Name

Years ago Alex Bogusky and his ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, were the creators of many well-known and successful advertising campaigns. Among those successes was the introduction of the Mini car to America. It's success was based on amplifying weaknesses of Mini, not minimizing them.

“Instead of hiding qualities that may seem negative – such as Mini’s tiny proportions – Crispin exploits them. ‘It’s part of your job as a marketer to find the truths in a company, and you let them shine through in whatever weird way it might be.’ Naturally, that risks pissing someone off.”

3

Hardees Embraces the Weakness of Fast Food

Hardees Embraces the Weakness of Fast Food

It takes courage to call attention to existing weaknesses, but takes even more courage to make those weaknesses worse, to exaggerate them. That is what Hardee’s did and it saved their company.

Here is a letter from Andy Puzder, President of Hardee’s, on the back of the bag for a Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger.

“A few years ago when I became president of Hardee’s Restaurants, we were selling so many things that we had truly become a ‘jack of all trades and master of none.’ Unfortunately, in today’s competitive fast food world, that wasn’t cutting it.

The chain needed to become known for doing something really well again . . . So I challenged my menu development folks to come up with a new line of burgers that would make people say ‘Wow! I can’t believe I can get burgers that good at a fast-food place.’ And they did. They came up with ‘Thickburgers.’”

It is important to note that Hardee’s was going out of business and closing many of their stores before developing this new line of burgers. Even more importantly, most other fast food companies were furiously adding healthy options to their menu. In response to criticism about the negative health effects of their offerings, fast food outlets were offering water, fruit and salads. Hardee’s moved in the opposite direction.

In essence, they were saying, “our food is fat and nasty and will make you fat and nasty.” And it worked.

They succeeded by amplifying the weaknesses of fast food while everyone else was busy trying to moderate those same weaknesses. They took fast food, which was already tremendously unhealthy and made it unhealthier. They took fatty foods and made them fattier. They took nasty food and made it nastier. And it worked.

Source: http://onwardmag.com/how-flaunting-your-weaknesses-can-build-trust/

8

McDonald's Decides to Embrace Fast-Food Identity

McDonald's Decides to Embrace Fast-Food Identity

McDonald's has decided to shift focus back to core products after losing 500 million US orders in 5 years.

"After losing about 500 million U.S. orders over the past five years over failed attempts to widen its customer base, the fast-food chain said it is going to embrace its identity as an affordable fast-food chain and stop chasing after people who will rarely eat there.

The decision comes after the company conducted its largest-ever customer survey last year to understand why it was losing customers. The study showed that it was losing customers to other fast-food chains, not to fast-casual restaurants serving healthier fare."

"Critics have long been urging the chain to focus on its core customers, but McDonald’s had added more salads, snack wraps and oatmeal to its menu to attract health-conscious customers. In recent months the chain pulled many of those slow-selling products."

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcdonalds-to-expand-mobile-delivery-as-it-plots-future-1488390702

9

Lululemon Admits Plus-Size Clothing is Not a Part of its "Formula"

Lululemon Admits Plus-Size Clothing is Not a Part of its "Formula"

Lululemon Athletica, the retailer famous for its $98 yoga pants and other athletic wear, explained this week that it doesn’t offer plus-size clothing because focusing on sizes 12 and below is an integral part of its business strategy — one that is based on a “design, capacity and operational perspective.”

“Our product and design strategy is built around creating products for our target guest in our size range of 2-12,” the company wrote on its Facebook page Wednesday in response to complaints from the public. “While we know that doesn’t work for everyone and recognize fitness and health come in all shapes and sizes, we’ve built our business, brand and relationship with our guests on this formula.”

The company, which enjoys a cult-like following among its customers, declined to comment for The Huffington Post’s story earlier this week about its marketing strategy. However, Lululemon representatives later joined the conversation by answering Facebook commenters who accused the retailer of shunning plus-size shoppers and discriminating against certain body types.

Lululemon admitted that its size range limits the type of customers who are able to shop at its stores, and added that the plus-size consumer is not a focus right now.

“We agree that a beautiful healthy life is not measured by the size you wear. We want to be excellent at what we do, so this means that we can’t be everything to everybody and need to focus on specific areas,” one Lululemon representative wrote on the Facebook page. “Our current focuses are in innovating our women’s design, men’s brand and building our international market. “

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/lululemon-plus-size-clothing_n_3696690.html

9

Disney turns long lines into an interactive experience for customers

Disney turns long lines into an interactive experience for customers

"Anyone who’s been to a theme park knows to expect line ups, whether it’s for cotton candy or for rides. Nobody likes them, but it’s one of the pains we as customers have accepted in order to experience 30 seconds of mechanical exuberance. Disney, however, would have none of that. As you wait in line for the Haunted Mansion exhibit at Disneyworld, they have placed interactive queues with musical devices and motion censors in the lineups to extend the ride experience past the 5 minute ride."

(youtube video demonstrating interactive queues)

This innovative thinking allowed Disney to turn the lines and waiting for their attractions into a part of attraction itself.

source: http://www.hiretheworld.com/blog/employers/business-news/company-competitive-advantages

9

It’s Fun to be Safe

It’s Fun to be Safe

"Airplane safety is no joke. It’s a serious issue that if not properly addressed can lead to hazardous results. The problem is, nobody wants to hear about it. Virgin America took this on and made the topic entertaining with an animated safety video, covering all the proper safety instructions while acknowledging that the video in itself is a fairly mundane activity."

Instead of focusing on simply "informing" customers of the required safety information, Virgin America used this as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from other airlines. The safety videos are a weakness for all airlines because they are a part of flying that customers do not enjoy. However, Virgin America was able to make this experience a little more enjoyable for customers.

9

One of Apple's Biggest Weaknesses is Becoming its Biggest Strength

One of Apple's Biggest Weaknesses is Becoming its Biggest Strength

Apple, famous as the computing company that likes to "think different," is going corporate.

In fact, nearly half of all iPads are bought by corporations and governments, according to a Forrester estimate included in a feature about Apple's enterprise strength.

Since teaming up with IBM in 2014 to sell iPhones and iPads to big Fortune 500 companies, Apple's products have become the "preferred mobile computing devices for corporations," reports the Times.

Companies like British Airways deploy as many as 40 custom iPad apps for flight attendants, pilots, and airline workers. These apps allow the airline to, say, rebook a passenger or check a passenger manifest. British Airways has already bought 17,000 iPads for its workers and is looking to buy more.

Many enterprise apps are developed by IBM, which has created 100 enterprise apps for over 2000 companies, and now generates more than half a billion dollars from Apple-related services. IBM has made apps for insurance companies, retailers, and other specific industries.

One of the reasons why businesses have decided to embrace iPhones and iPads is that Apple's security is superior to Android's, thanks to the way Apple controls both the hardware and software.

It's quite a turnaround for Apple, which is seeking new sources of revenue as sales have dropped on an annual basis for the past two quarters.

Apple's always sold computers to businesses, but while CEO Steve Jobs was in charge from 1998 to 2011, the company was significantly more focused on consumers.

Aside from the famous photo of Jobs flipping off the IBM logo, there's one fun anecdote that hammers the change home. Back in 2008, Jobs called chief information officers, the people who buy computers for big businesses, "orifices," according to a story told by VMWare CEO Patrick Gelsinger:

“I went with (former Intel CEO Paul) Otellini to meet with Jobs and his lieutenants. We go into this meeting and say Steve, let’s work together to make your Macs better for enterprise customers. Jobs looks at us and says ‘why would I do anything for that orifice called the CIO?’ At Intel we’re aghast; two-thirds of our business is that orifice called the CIO. He went on to say ‘I’m going to build devices that are irresistible for consumers, and CIOs will just have to deal with it.”

source: http://www.businessinsider.com/one-of-apples-biggest-weaknesses-is-becoming-a-strength-2016-8

9

Spirit Airlines is cheap, and CEO Ben Baldanza's proud of it

Spirit Airlines is cheap, and CEO Ben Baldanza's proud of it

For a company as controversial as Spirit Airlines, one might expect someone as flamboyant as Virgin Atlantic Airways' Sir Richard Branson at the helm. That's not Ben Baldanza, 47, the CEO of Florida-based Spirit, which bills itself as the country's first "ultralow-fare" airline.

Baldanza says very little of his personality is part of the brand and image of Spirit, a private airline known for loud ad campaigns with sexual innuendoes, ads in passenger cabins and on flight attendants' aprons, and, most of all, very cheap airfares. A typical one: $54 one way from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport, the Bahamas.

Spirit has kept its costs lower than most airlines, which has enabled it to squeeze out a $17 million profit during this year's first quarter — when other carriers were swimming in recessionary red ink. In 2008, it reported a $16 million loss, much smaller than most competitors.It's a leader in à la carte pricing that has swept the industry, charging extra for almost everything. Baldanza proudly says Spirit was the first airline to charge for a checked bag and "to stop pouring water for free."

Its sales policies and customer service, though, have enraged many fliers and put the carrier in hot water with government regulators.

"Our complaints are statistically much higher," Baldanza admits, "but compared to the number of people traveling with us, it's a tiny drop in the ocean."

Spirit carried 6.8 million passengers last year, and the Transportation Department received 792 complaints. That's more than triple the number of complaints against low-fare airline Southwest, which carried 102 million passengers. The largest number of Spirit complaints were for baggage, reservations, ticketing and boarding problems. Spirit also received a large number of complaints about customer service and refunds.

"We're the Wal-Mart or the McDonald's — not the Nordstrom's — of the airline industry," Baldanza says. "No one walks into McDonald's and gets disappointed when they don't see filet mignon on the menu."

"They are the absolute worst airline in the country," says Hanni, executive director of FlyersRights.org. "If it costs a little more, take the other airline."

Some airline experts, though, have a very different view of Baldanza and his airline.

"Ben is a brilliant CEO," says Paul Dempsey, who served with him on the Frontier Airlines board of directors. "So long as an airline is profitable and safe, it is successful. Too many airlines lose money."

source: https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/profile/2009-06-21-spirit-airlines-ceo-baldanza_N.htm

11

Why In-N-Out Burger won't expand to the East Coast

Why In-N-Out Burger won't expand to the East Coast

One of In-N-Out burger's' biggest weaknesses is its presence only on the west coast. In-N-Out uses this weakness to play up the "quality and freshness" of their ingredients.

"In-N-Out, the cult favorite burger joint of the West Coast, has been teasing the East Coast with rumors of expansion for years.

The fast-food retailer has slowly expanded eastward over its 65-year lifetime to Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and more recently Texas. The company has also been holding "pop-up shops" around the world, where burgers tend to sell out within minutes.

All signs seemingly point to a plan for expansion."

"But quality control makes it highly unlikely that East Coasters will get to experience the joy of an In-N-Out in their neighborhood anytime soon."

"There are no freezers or microwaves in In-N-Out restaurants because the company has a strict policy of serving its food fresh. Therefore, all locations must be close to the company's distribution facilities, which are in Baldwin Park, California, and Dallas.

"At In-N-Out Burger, we make all of our hamburger patties ourselves and deliver them fresh to all of our restaurants with our own delivery vehicles," In-N-Out vice president of planning and development Carl Van Fleet told Business Insider. "Nothing is ever frozen. Our new restaurant locations are limited by the distance we can travel from our patty-making facilities and distribution centers."

In-N-Out owner Lynsi Torres says the burger chain's quality is what sets it apart from competitors.

"We're not changing things like many other companies do," she told the Orange County Register in a February 2013 interview. "That's kept us unique; it's kept the customers feeling like we're not a sellout." "

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-in-n-out-burger-wont-expand-east-2015-4

11

Marmite: Love it or Hate it

Marmite: Love it or Hate it

Marmite uses their "love it or hate it" campaign to prove that some people may just not like the way it tastes.

"So what is it with the English and Marmite? What dark forces are behind this rather odd obsession?

Well, as with so many things, advertising is largely to blame. Marmite's status as a national institution is closely tied to a history of canny marketing. Since it launched in 1902, Marmite has been adept at adapting itself, tapping into prevailing cultural trends with impressive alacrity. Until the 1970s the brand positioned itself as a nutritious food for children, even utilising a Marmite sales force to target health professionals in a similar manner to today's pharmaceutical reps. The brand focus then shifted to Marmite as a family favourite, before embracing the memorable "My mate" tagline of the 80s. But Marmite's most genius marketing move yet may well be its most recent "Love It or Hate It" campaign, devised 15 years ago when a creative team had a difference of opinion over whether the spread was gross or great.

Instead of glossing over the fact that a good portion of the populace feel Marmite is really quite grim, the Love it or Hate it campaign embraced the truth that Marmite is a strong flavour, which evokes strong feelings. In doing so, it created a way for even those who hate Marmite-the-product to interact with and love Marmite-the-brand."

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/nov/30/marmite-love-it-hate-it-pr

11

A Volvo Isn't for Everyone

A Volvo Isn't for Everyone

In this 2013 Volvo ad, a mom driving her children in a white Volvo pulls up at a red light next to a woman in a black Mercedes. The woman in the Mercedes is extremely concerned with her appearance and is constantly looking at herself in the rear view mirror. The mom in the Volvo, however, is looking through her rear view mirror and goofing around with her children in the back seat. After these scenes are shown, the voice over says "A Volvo isn't for everyone. And, we kinda like it that way" followed by "the Volvo XC60, designed for real people".

In this commercial, Volvo is blatantly showcasing that they are different, a little weird, and this is not something they plan on changing any time soon.

11

Whole Foods Defends High Prices

Whole Foods Defends High Prices

One of Whole Foods' biggest weaknesses is high prices. Whole Foods justifies this weakness by having high standards for things such as animal welfare. A loyal customer base is then created around these important principles, without regard to Whole Foods' high costs.

"Shopping at Whole Foods? It's no secret you might pay a premium for your groceries. The supermarket chain is known for high prices, leading some to even dub the grocer "Whole Paycheck."
Though he didn't deny that his groceries are pricey, Whole Foods CEO and co-founder John Mackey told Mic costs are high for a great reason.

"If you want to get a good automobile, a higher quality automobile, you're going to pay more money," said Mackey, co-author of new book The Whole Foods Diet, in an interview at Whole Foods in TriBeCa, New York, on April 13. "Nobody's complaining that the Tesla is expensive ... Clothes are the same way. Housing is the same way. You pay for what you get.""

"Now, Mackey was adamant that competitors don't always have the same quality standards: "[Competitors] will make a bunch of claims that don't mean anything," he said. "Stores will talk about their meat departments being organic natural, all natural, no artificial ... they take something like chicken and they make a big deal out of not having any growth hormones in it and it's like, yeah, that's because chicken doesn't have any growth hormones in it.""

"Whole Foods has been so successful, people are copying our marketing, and they're making claims that simply aren't true," Mackey said, arguing that competitors don't have "third-party standards" like Whole Foods — referring to the animal welfare standards and other requirements for Whole Foods meats.

Source: https://mic.com/articles/174916/whole-foods-ceo-defends-high-prices-nobody-s-complaining-that-the-tesla-s-expensive#.4pwEAl7gd

11

Levi's - Quality never goes out of style

Levi's - Quality never goes out of style

Levi's has faced enormous competition in recent years from the hundreds of new and trendy denim brands on the market. Levi's marketed the fact that while they may not have the trendiest denim, they do have years of experience producing denim. With this came their slogan "quality never goes out of style". This slogan plays up Levi's weakness of not having the most trendy denim and utilizes it as a strength.

"But despite its powerful brand story, Levi’s hit its commercial peak back in the 1990s. In 1996, annual sales at parent company Levi Strauss & Co. (the Levi’s brand accounts for over 80 percent of the company’s total sales) reached $7.1 billion. By 2003, however, revenues had fallen to $4.2 billion and, over the next decade, barely grew as Levi’s saw its core business attacked from all sides by a surge of competitors. Fast-fashion retailers and other value players, offering very low prices, took the bottom off the business, while new premium denim specialists targeted the top"

"There are more denim brands born this century than in the previous 104 years,” said James Curleigh (or “JC”), global president of the Levi’s brand, sitting in a conference room at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. “All of a sudden, we get attacked by premium. All of a sudden, value and own-label and fast fashion come and try to take a piece of the business. Traditional competitors, like Wrangler and Lee, also wake up to a moment of denim growth,” he continued. “So, you’re getting attacked by premium, value, traditional and fast fashion."

"While years of ubiquity had eroded much of the aspiration around the Levi’s brand, the denim maker remained much loved. “We have the highest awareness and the highest affinity of any apparel brand in the world. People know Levi’s and they love us,” said Curleigh. But weighed down by a mix of poor management and a design vision too closely tethered to the company’s heritage, Levi’s was slow to introduce new cuts, colours and fabrics and ultimately failed to translate affection for its brand into sales."

"Indeed, building on the brand’s classic 501 franchise — “one of the iconic products for which we’ve been known and loved for over 140 years” — is a key part of their strategy. “The biggest shift in the denim today, I would say, is the return to authenticity,” said Cheung. “I think there is a swing away from alternatives to a regular pair of jeans back to a regular pair of jeans. People want something with meaning.”

Source: https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/inside-levis-comeback-plans

11

Volkswagen "Think Small"

Volkswagen "Think Small"

"As the 1950s came to a close, Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) and Volkswagen decided to completely destroy the status quo for automobile ads with the “Think Small” campaign. The 50s and 60s were a time when cars weren’t just a way to get the kids to school. Cars were fashion statements, testosterone boosters, muscles on wheels. They were built to be fast, big, stylish and the ultimate way to earn bragging points.

The Volkswagen Beetle was a small, slow, ugly, foreign car that the folks at DDB turned into an iconic piece of American pride. Keep in mind, this wasn’t just any foreign car either. This was a post-WWII German car, “the people’s car,” a Nazi car whose development was tied to Adolf Hitler himself.

If you asked me to sell this vehicle to a country still bitter about a war that threatened their most core ideals, I would’ve thought you were nuts. How in the world did they pull it off?"

Here is an excerpt from one Volkswagen Beetle ad:

“So you can easily break almost any speed low in the country in a VW. And you can also cruise right past gas stations, repair shops and tire stores. The VW engine may not be the fastest, but it’s among the most advanced.”

See what they did there? It’s a classic straw man situation. They set up this ideal car and told you why the VW wasn’t anything like it, then they bashed in the straw man by telling you how this was a good thing. The VW isn’t fast, so it doesn’t guzzle gas, burn through tires or need frequent repairs. Wait, that sounds pretty nice actually. It’s not fast, it’s smart. That was something average, every day Joes could identify with and even find desirable."

Source: https://designshack.net/articles/graphics/the-greatest-print-campaigns-of-all-time-volkswagen-think-small/

11

Eat More Chikin

Eat More Chikin

In the early '90s, Chick-fil-A was primarily known for being a mall-based fast-food chain, but beginning in 1994, the chain started slowly shifting its focus to freestanding units. With that shift came a new batch of competitors—big burger joints.

These chains spent more in one week on their advertising than Chick-fil-A could afford to spend in a year. Plus, the chicken chain was already at a competitive disadvantage due to its stance on all locations being closed Sundays.

The brand needed an agency that could work with its budget to create stop-you-in-your-tracks advertising campaigns and encourage more people to choose Chick-fil-A over "the other guys."

Eat Mor Chikin

"The idea was perfect. Fans of the chicken chain fell in love from the moment they saw that first cow duo painting its first sign—"Eat Mor Chickin," it read—in 1995. No other fast-food chain had created anything remotely similar. Everything was big budget TV spots, product shots on top of product shots and run-of-the-mill, cowless billboards.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A scored the title of No. 1 fast-food chain in terms of sales per store, reaching $3.1 million per location. One year later, Chick-fil-A surpassed KFC in sales, despite having a smaller ad budget and closing on Sundays."

Source: http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/chicken-beef-untold-story-chick-fil-cow-campaign-171834/

11

Kmart: Ship my pants

Kmart: Ship my pants

"Kmart, the US discount department store chain, had recurrent out-of-stock problems and since supply chain changes were impossible looked to marketing for answers. This campaign highlighted an existing free home delivery service in a humourous way, with the YouTube video going viral. The inventory problem was turned into a customer service win and led to growth in sales."

Source: https://www.warc.com/NewsAndOpinion/Opinion/1894

11

Weetabix: Turning a Barrier into a Benefit

Weetabix: Turning a Barrier into a Benefit

"Cereal brand Weetabix was boring. The UK cereal market was fragmenting, and 'plain cereals' were the biggest loser. This campaign turned that weakness into a strength with the 'Weetabix Week' – a playful conversation emphasising versatility, and featuring real people's ideas of add-ins and benefits. Crucially, this built on the brand's existing well-known healthy messaging."

Source: https://www.warc.com/NewsAndOpinion/Opinion/1894

  • Listly By

    Stan Phelps is a Forbes Contributor, IBM Futurist, and TEDx Speaker. His keynotes and workshops offered at PurpleGoldfish.com focus on how to create meaningful differentiation to win the hearts of both employees and customers. He’s the best-selling author of: Purple Goldfish -12 Ways to Win Customers and Influence Word of Mouth, Green Goldfish - Beyond Dollars: 15 Ways to Drive Employee Engagement, Golden Goldfish - The Vital Few, Blue Goldfish - Using Technology, Data, and Analytics to Drive Both Profits and Prophets, Purple Goldfish Service Edition - The 12 Ways Hotels, Restaurants and Airlines Win the Right Customers, and Red Goldfish - Motivating Sales & Loyalty With Shared Passion and Purpose. Connect with me at stan@purplegoldfish.com or +1.919.360.4702.

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