Fifty Shades of Grey was all over the news. Lovers stores took advantage of all the press by putting-up banners asking “What’s Your Shade?”
They were not the first to take advantage of what’s hot, and won’t be the last. However, some have done it better than others.
Keep it Relevant
Pi Day has been gaining visibility in recent years, with observances including math discussions and eating pie. What caught my attention this time was how WDLabs ran with it as a marketing opportunity.
Usually I’m Steve Case the Xerox guy, or the Dell guy, or the JoeBugBuster guy. Sometimes someone confuses me with the other Steve Case, like the person who recently sent me this thoughtfully crafted invitation on LinkedIn:
I’m getting in touch as I’m really looking forward to your insights at South by South West (SXSW) in Austin next week and I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn if that’s ok?
Good luck with all the good work!
The South by Southwest Connection
I’ve never even been to South by Southwest. In fact, when I worked for Dell and visited the Austin area a few times a year, I deliberately avoided visiting during SxSW. Flights and hotel rooms were painfully hard to come by as Downtown Austin hosted the festivities.
I pass several coffee shops and kiosks on the way to my favorite one. Certainly I could save a little time and mileage by stopping at one of those, but going the extra mile is worth it to me.
What makes Blue Steele Coffee Company worth the longer drive? In fact, how do folks know Blue Steele exists? They don’t do much marketing beyond social media postings on Facebook. Thanks to word-of-mouth advertising, they’re known for several things including their coffee, their service, and their history.
They bring me my food and drink. (They don’t make me listen for my order to be called the way fast food places and some coffee shops do.) That’s a big deal to me, especially if I’m meeting someone.
When people see my tweets, they often ask “why JoeBugBuster?”
My first tech job was at a now-defunct startup called MicroRight. The company offered vertical market software and systems for video stores. At one point I was doing software testing, and really took the job to heart. Apparently I did a good job, because I was nicknamed BugBuster in recognition of the number of bugs I identified.
The name stuck. I even named my first web site BugBuster’s Best, complete with a spider dropping down a web strand.
Some at Consumer Reports were no-doubt trying to figure out a good way to explain how their much-vaunted ratings system had broken.
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
As it turned out, Consumer Reports cleverly decided to trumpet that their ratings system had been broken. The strategy worked so well that their web site crashed, apparently under the load of all the interest raised by the headline: Tesla Model S P85D Breaks Consumer Reports’ Ratings System.