Did I Get Your Attention???

Cutting through the morass of brand messaging is an age-old problem.  One brand, Chase, has seized an opportunity to find new ways to activate their brand and their airline loyalty program – the handrails on escalators at airports

I like to think of these types of activations as ‘interrupters’ – ad firms, brands, service providers, and property owners (in this case, an airport) finding new ways to catch our attention (and monetize their assets).  This reminds me of when ads began appearing on the little separator bars on supermarket conveyor belts at the cash wraps – or Cheesecake Factory’s menus that are full of advertising.

It appears this new activation opportunity is the business model of a firm called AdrailUSA

What do you think?

  • Is this too much or it is a perfect blend of relevant (airline loyalty program activation at the airport) and timely execution?
  • Are we moving towards a world of omni-advertising that consumes every surface and experience a consumer has in obtrusive ways?
  • Or, is this an example of stated preferences (“I think there are too many ads”) being out of alignment with observed behavior (this type of activation driving conversion and actions)?

In a Brand Positioning Jam?

In a sea of sensory overload, consumers are unable to navigate the differences between brands and what they stand for – and how they are different.

I was in Chicago’s O’Hare airport not so long ago and I saw the campaign below from the office brand #Fellowes.   It struck me as a great example of a brand that did their homework to define a brand position that is unique, impactful, and immediately resonates with their target consumers – in this case, business people and procurement staff who purchase and use shredders.

What is the #1 problem that you have had with shredders?  I bet it is that they JAM!!!   They always seem to jam and then it is a brutal wrestling match with a knife, scissors, etc. to push the jammed paper through and ‘set the machine free’… (It would be interesting – and probably a bit scary – to see the statistics of how many people injure themselves trying to de-jamify shredders)

Now, for Fellowes, they could have positioned themselves as faster, as more aesthetic, easier to use, etc… but I assume they ‘did the math’ (evaluated the situation, maybe with consumer insights or maybe with common sense) and realized that the number one problem we all have with shredders is that they are not tough enough… we want shredders to suck huge quantities of paper through and chop it all up – with NO PROBLEMS.

It appears that Fellowes took this opportunity to heart and with their slogans and creative:

“The World’s Toughest Shredders” and “100% Jam Proof” – great examples of carving out a ‘reason for being’ that is unique and immediately resonates with their target consumers.


  • What is your brand’s ‘reason for being?’
  • How does this brand positioning manifest itself to consumers?
  • As consumers expectations change, will your brand position need to evolve to stay hyper-relevant?


Peanut Butter Pretzels!

Anyone who has ever had Trader Joe’s pretzels, probably has had a whole bag of them.  They are addictive, to say the least.   However, unique products are only a part of the success equation at Trader Joe’s.

What truly makes TJ’s different – and what ensures that they are swamped with loyal fans, is their commitment to the in-store shopping experience.

Jeanne Bliss wrote a great piece on Trader Joe’s consumer-centric strategy in a piece called Trader Joe’s Customer Experience Obsession.

She proposes some good evaluative questions in the article:

Do you obsess about the moments of connection? About how you relate?
• Do you think about not just what you say, but how you say it?
• How would you rate your intent and ability to obsess about the moments of connection – the key interaction points with customers?
• Can you identify your most important customers contact moments to determine what you should “obsess” about?

Click below for the full story



Can You Focus on Partying?

Do you ever wonder how we are able to key in on a specific conversation at a cocktail party?  Even when there are myriad competing noises from the other conversations, people laughing loudly, kitchen doors swinging, glasses clinking, etc.?

Melinda Beck of the Wall Street Journal looks into this phenomenon of our ability to focus on a task at hand, despite many other influences… and our inability to productively multitask. Here is a cool video on the topic:

I wonder what the implications are to marketers as we think about consumer engagement and the overabundance of sensory inputs we all receive every second of our lives?

The short piece poses a bunch of great questions – below are some of the recommendations for productivity (and safety):

Recognize your limitations. The brain can only fully attend to one thing at a time.

Make your senses work together. If you’re trying to listen to someone in a noisy room, look directly at the speaker.

Focus on what’s important. Many professions—from pilots to police officers—depend on keen powers of observation. Training and practice help. But experts say things like chess and videogames likely won’t expand your overall attention skills.

Allocate blocks of time to specific tasks. Sometimes a deadline can force people to focus.

Avoid distracted driving. Don’t talk on a cellphone, text or give voice commands while at the wheel.