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Newsletter #829: The “Make It Different” 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.]

If you’re doing everything like everyone else, you’re doing it wrong. Experiment, tweak it, mix it up, have some fun, and see what happens. A few opportunities to do it:

1> Your packaging
2> Your pranks
3> Your press releases
4> Check it out: Conflict History

1> Your packaging

You don’t need big budgets or teams of designers to create memorable packaging. New York City pharmacy chain Duane Reade is known for their goofy approach on packaging for otherwise generic stuff. Their store brand toilet paper, for example, boasts it could stretch “From Midtown to Flushing” (Flushing is a neighborhood in Queens). And each package of their plastic cups proclaims “Beer Pong Certified.” Even their barcodes are customized to make the outline of the Statue of Liberty.

The lesson: Great packaging and design isn’t about budgets, it’s about personality and personalization.

Learn more: Laughing Squid

2> Your pranks

Pranks are a great excuse to put a twist on the norm. Take the Just For Laughs comedy festival, for example. They took advantage of April Fools’ this year by proclaiming a new holiday: April Serious Day — the one day of the year Just for Laughs takes seriously. They hosted special shows, offered “pay what you want” tickets, and even sold $10 bills for $5. The whole thing was unexpected, a little weird, and a great match for their brand’s personality — not to mention a huge success. More than 1,000 people lined up for over four hours to get in on the fun.

The lesson: Pranks, stunts, and goofy events are a great testing ground for word of mouth topics.

Learn more: Pow! Right Between The Eyes

3> Your press releases

Most press releases disappear in some online abyss. If you’re going to put the effort into making one, make it worth talking about. Lithium Technologies recently did just that with their infographic press release for their user conference. Its charts, statistics, and graphs make it fun, interesting, and something people will actually read.

The lesson: Stop going through the motions. If you’re going to put out a press release, make it worth sharing.

Learn more: PR Squared

4> Check it out: Conflict History

History and geography buffs will love this: Conflict History shows you a timeline of war and conflict across the globe — all the way back to 4000 B.C.

Check it out: Conflict History

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