October 22, 2011
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day is a brand that's been on my radar for quite awhile. It sits somewhere alongside Method in terms of what it seems to have put into making itself an interesting and recognizable player in the green cleaning sector. The brand itself has a compelling story. Its development was inspired by a hardworking mother of nine children from Iowa, and its mission is simple - to create products that clean "like the dickens" and smell like a garden. How could you not be won over by a pragmatic (albeit slightly folksy - but that's part of the charm) goal like that?
The Mrs. Meyer's street presence at fairs, fests, and in high-traffic area is one of the strongest I've ever seen. They've managed to communicate their entire brand to consumers through a mobile/pop-up platform. They not only have a Mrs. Meyer's van, but they also have an immersive room-like set up that brings their brand to life for passersby. It's complete with wooden walls, rows of plants, product, and a flatscreen TV playing videos that tell the brand's story. They even go beyond just handing out samples of their product - they smartly have a coupon sample combo that's as nicely packaged as the rest of their mobile presence.
I admire how the brand has created something that allows people to be completely drawn in to the Mrs. Meyer's expereince. This is a great example of a brand taking the prevalent "street team" or "sampling" idea and elevating it to something much more engaging.
[posted by: Hillary Hempstead]
March 26, 2011
February 23, 2011
I'm always one for consistent brand experiences. Like my blogging counterpart, Karen, I'm a sucker for thoughtfully designed products and retail experiences. When a company really takes the time to communicate what its stands for in every piece of its marketing material, it can truly make a difference in a consumer's overall perception of a brand (sometimes, even at a subliminal level).
That's why I was struck I happened upon this sign for a local design and construction firm. Talk about really taking what a brand stands for (in this case, green design) and translating it well. They could have just made a standard logo sign like almost every other company does. Following the status quo is easy and accepted, so why not? But this company obviously reflected on what they stand for as a brand, and they managed to integrate that into their storefront identity.
The result was an eco-minded, on-brand sign that also illustrates how much thought they put into the details of a project. My bet is that many potential clients draw that conclusion even before they step through the door. The concept is a great one, and it communcates intelligent thinking on their part. Nicely done.
posted by: Hillary Hempstead
December 1, 2010
Another reason why I love Etsy so much is the personal contact with the sellers of these fine creations. They're such nice people and provide thoughtful customer service. I've only had one person who turned out to be a jerk in the two years I've been buying things from the site. Most everyone is quick to send you a response to a question, and almost all will include a personal note with your purchase. One Etsy seller (Mia from Finland!) wrapped the item I ordered with such creativity and flair, I didn't need to do anything but hand it over to the birthday girl for whom I purchased it. She was equally as impressed.
I hope these folks continue to do what they do because I will return to their shops again and again. In the short term, I think it's going to be an Etsy kind of Christmas for my family and friends! (But, shhh -- don't tell!)
photo credit: Bee Things
posted by Karen Raidel
October 18, 2010
Having moved from my beloved Chicago to the less-populated-but-still-lovely Columbus, Ohio several years ago, I've become quite the online shopper. I'm embarrassed to admit how many packages arrive at my office each week (and subsequently, get sent back). I think Zappo's will tire of me one day; I think I've kept one pair of the dozen or so shoes I've ordered in 2010.
What's been an interesting study is to see how certain brands and stores handle packaging their merchandise and correspondence in absence of a brick and mortar experience. As you can imagine, it varies wildly. Some of my favorites have included pseudo-indie darling Anthropologie, stationary designers Screech Owl Design, and Gap's shoe concept Piperlime. Cosmetic-centric Sephora isn't bad either. It's the little touches that endear me: A thoughtful bow. Coordinating tissue. Thematically-lined boxes. And maybe a little freebie (or in the case of Sephora, six freebies). These little touches seem to say, "Thanks! We like you. We 'get' you."
And so they do. You see, I like to wrap gifts in a similar way. I want to give gifts that are well-wrapped and thoughtful because the recipients are worth my attention to detail. I guess I want to be treated in kind by the stores and brands that have acquired my loyalty. Yes, even when they are just sending me a package.
You want to know one of the biggest disappointments I've had? Surprisingly, Method. You know, the soap and laundry products brand darling? Now, to be fair -- perhaps the online shopping experience is different. I didn't order product; I received my Method package because of a Facebook contest. However, it did seemingly come from their offices with nothing other than a bubble wrapped liquid hand soap, and packing peanuts. No note. No brand experience. Nichts.
Zappos isn't great either, especially when compared to Piperlime. However, I do think it's befitting of their brand itself: Totally utilitarian. You get shoes in a shoe box, a receipt, and if you're lucky a few recyclable pillows of air cushioning. That's it.
I am a believer in a thoughtful experience even when it's just a package. It's simply good branding. I appreciate stores and brands that go the extra mile to provide me that.
How about you? What companies and brands have surprised you with great packaging you've received from them? Which ones have been disappointments?
Coordinating correspondence from Anthropologie
Raffia bow, free card, a hand-written note, and coordinating tissue from Screech Owl Designs.
Sephora's myriad of freebies!
Method's packaging from Facebook contest with bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Boo!
-posted by Karen Raidel
April 9, 2010
For a few weeks now, it's been my intention to start a little herb garden on my patio. "Intention" is the operative word here.
Like most things I intend to do, it was relegated to my to-do list. And it stayed there.
But I was reminded of my mission in a somewhat unexpected place - the cookie and cracker aisle of my local Safeway. I noticed the box of Triscuits that I typically buy had changed ever so slightly. The box loudly touted the brand's commitment to the "Home Farming" movement. And to prove that Triscuit is actually serious about the movement (and not just giving idle lip service), they included dill or basil seeds in 4 million boxes of their crunchy little woven crackers.
A little online research revealed more about the brand's promotion. It's part of Kraft and Triscuit's partnership with Urban Farming, a nonprofit that's committed to creating community gardens in unused city lots. To support the effort, the brand has created an fairly robust and well-designed website with videos, a community forum, and home gardening tips.
This partnership is exciting to me. I appreciate that the brand has latched on to a relevant cause, and it has managed to execute it well online. But because my Midwestern roots have made me a slightly biased champion of all things farm and garden, I'm wondering if this marketing effort will resonate with others - or will millions of basil and dill seed packets just go to waste?
Shout out your thoughts on this one - I'd love to hear your perspective.
- posted by Hillary Hempstead
February 22, 2010
I stumbled upon this fantastic series of videos from Redscout on the topic of Account Planning. Redscout interviewed a diverse range of planners about their opinions on where planning is going, what they look for in a new hire, etc.
The video I posted here is about talent and which traits planners should possess, but (so far) there are at total five in the series. All are worth watching.
I just love to hear planners talk and share their ideas like this because it tends to get me very, very excited about the craft of planning (to be honest, I get chills) It's a good reminder of why I like planning so very much.
posted by: hillary hempstead