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Newsletter #1044: The “Lessons from Borrowing” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Borrowing creates an interesting relationship between a consumer and a business. Unlike a sample, it gives you a better opportunity to get feedback, to answer questions, and to ask, “What did you think?”

Learn how these three companies took the traditional test drive and try-on one step further by letting people:

1. Borrow a ride home
2. Borrow an outfit
3. Borrow a cat
4. Check it out: VHS covers for modern films

1. Borrow a ride home

In Singapore, Mini partnered with a towing company to bring their Mini Coopers to stranded drivers. The driver gets a complimentary loaner car from Mini while their car gets towed to the shop. Mini says people who test drive the car are more likely to buy them. But the stunt is about more than just getting people behind the driver’s seat.

The lesson: Mini’s reaching these customers at a crucial moment. They’re stranded, frustrated with their car, and possibly in the market for a new one. By showing up with the tow truck, they beat everyone else to the punch at being the hero.

Learn more: Adweek

2. Borrow an outfit

Pimkie, a French clothing brand, created something new for hotels to offer their guests: a Mini Fashion Bar. This “mini bar” for clothes is full of outfits and accessories picked specifically for the hotel’s location, events going on in the area, and weather. Guests can rent the clothes while they stay at the hotel and buy them if they feel like keeping them.

The lesson: Like Mini, Pimkie reaches their audiences first — after they realize they forgot to bring a jacket, some sandals, or whatever, and before they leave the hotel. They’re there to help by giving them something fun to try at a pivotal moment.

Learn more: PSFK

3. Borrow a cat

At one county government office in New Mexico, employees can check out cats from a cat library in the lobby to take to their desks for an hour. It’s part of a partnership with a local animal shelter to give the adoptable cats a little human interaction as well as make their cause more visible to people coming in and out of the office. Some government employees have even adopted the cats on their own.

The lesson: It’s part quirky work benefit for the county government office and part clever advertising for the local animal shelter. But by joining forces, the two made their cat libraries newsworthy.

Learn more: Laughing Squid

4. Check it out: VHS covers for modern films

A certain type of art was lost when companies stopped making VHS tapes and therefore stopped making that unmistakeable VHS cover art. But lucky for us, artist and ad designer Julien Knez brought it back by designing VHS covers for modern shows and movies like Game of Thrones, Gravity, and The Walking Dead.

Check it out: Golem13

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