Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Your company environment IS your marketing

When I was a kid, my dad would occasionally take my brother and I along on his business trips.

Whenever he worked in Chicago, we’d stay at the Hyatt Regency in Rosemont.

Or, as we used to call it, “The Spicy Peanut Hotel.”

And to this day, we still call it that.

Because that’s what I remember. See, every night after my dad would finish work, my family and I would sit in the lobby, eating spicy peanuts.

So one night, I got curious.

“Hey Dad, why do they always give us free spicy peanuts?”

“Well, Scott, think about it," Dad said, "What happens when you eat LOTS of spicy peanuts?”

“Um ... your mouth breathes fire!” I said.

“Right,” he joked. “And what does that make you want really, really badly?”

“A soda!”

“Exactly,” Dad replied. “And where do they sell sodas?”

“In the bar!”

He smiled at me.

And at that exact moment, my first official marketing light bulb went on.

Ah-ha! They give away spicy peanuts for FREE so you have to BUY drinks! Genius!!

Of course, I was only seven at the time.

Had no idea I’d end up working in Marketing.

Anyway, 20+ years later, the principle still rings true:

Your company environment IS part of your marketing.

Here’s another example…

Last summer I was walking over to Starbucks for a meeting.

It was 97 degrees outside.

“Would you like a drink to go with your lemon pound cake?” asked the barista.

“Nah, it’s too hot for coffee. I’ll just grab a glass of ice water,” I replied.

So, I sat down with my snack, fired up my laptop and waited for my friend Dan.

And not ten minutes later, I stopped typing and realized something:

It was FREEZING in that store!

They must have set the thermostat at 55 degrees! I thought.

Either way, I got up from my table, approached the counter and smiled at the two baristas.

“So, do you guys make it REALLY cold in here so people buy hot drinks?”

They laughed.

“Well, our manager controls the temperature, so…” one of the girls chuckled.

“Mmm hmm…” I joked. “A likely story!”

They laughed again.

“Anyway, I’ll have a Grande Carmel Apple Cider.”

Damn it! They got me again! I thought.

Just like those spicy peanuts.

Your company environment IS part of your marketing.

Last example…

On Main Street in Disney’s Magical Kingdom, you might recall a store called Blue Ribbon Bakery.

Did you notice the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies as you passed by?

Of course you did. Who could miss it?

But, did you know...

...those weren't actually cookies?

Nope. Disney's smell specialists have crafted a “fresh-baked chocolate cookie” smell that is piped through a vent directly over the door to the bakery.

Blast! Those slick marketers again!

- - -

So, peanuts, cold air, the scent of baked goods … each of these are examples of marketing through environment.

And they work.

Because they appeal to the senses.
Because they affect customers’ emotions.
Because they make the mundane memorable.
Because they create UNFORGETTABLE impressions.

REMEMBER: Your company environment IS part of your marketing.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you changing your company’s environment to promote purchasing?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your best "marketing through environment" example here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How are YOU making the mundane memorable?

Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com for video lessons on delivering UNFORGETTABLE service!