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Newsletter #724: The “Give Away Permanent Stuff” Issue

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So much waste is involved in purchases. Turn this garbage into marketing

1> Packaging that lasts

2> Reusable shopping bags

3> Receipts that are saved

4> Check it out: The Gary Vee of frozen food

1. Packaging that lasts

Most packaging is simply a means to an end and is quickly discarded after the
purchase. Great packaging, however, is saved, reused and displayed by customers.
Fossil gives away a classy tin container with every watch sale, and in perhaps
one of the most amazing package designs we've seen, Spanish waste management and
consulting firm Grupo Hera sent clients wine in a case that converted into a
desktop lamp.

The Lesson: Packaging represents an opportunity for permanence and display
among your customers.

Learn More: The Dieline

2. Reusable shopping bags

Send your customers off with a well-designed, durable bag that they can use
to not only haul your stuff, but will also work when going to the mall, the
beach, or a concert. Lots of grocery stores sell reusable bags for a small fee,
but Threadless nails the concept by giving away a stylish, useful bag that can
be used for $1 off future purchases. Plastic bags and cheap sacks are quickly
tossed out, give your fans something they can reuse and show you off with

The Lesson: Not only are cheap sacks bad for the environment, but they're
also a wasted opportunity for free advertising.

3. Receipts that are saved

Almost every sale ends in a receipt, which often finds a quick home in the
waste basket. But since you're already printing the receipts, you might as well
find a good marketing use for them. CD Baby includes a funny story on their
receipts describing how a team of 50 employees carefully polished and inspected
the CD to make sure it was perfect before mailing — which people blog about and
show off to their friends. Other ways to get your customers to keep and pass on
your receipts include printing coupons on them or letting them double as passes
to special events you're hosting.

The Lesson: Earn repeat business and word of mouth by embedding a coupon in
the receipts you're already printing.

4. Check it out: The Gary Vee of frozen food

Meet Gregory Ng, who is to your supermarket's frozen food section what Gary
Vaynerchuk is to the wine industry. His mission is to deliver you real reviews
and real answers to one of life’s most stressful decisions: choosing the best
frozen foods on the planet. Gregory takes the guesswork out of the freezer
section with in-depth reviews of packaging, cooking directions and times, and
most importantly, taste.

Check it out:

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  1. Gregory Ng: The Frozen Food Master March 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Andy, Thanks for the mention and for the comparison to my idol, Gary Vaynerchuk. Not sure if you know this but I appeared on Gary’s show earlier this year for a special Frozen Food/Wine pairing episode!
    You can see that episode here:
    -Greg: The Frozen Food Master

  2. Andy Swindler March 26, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    And I think customers these days appreciate the green angle as well. I just got some Elfa shelving (life-changing, by the way), and the red hardware bags they give out make perfect grocery bags. Light and durable.
    At Astek we sponsor a golf tournament for a client every year, and historically we’d given out Astek-labeled plastic bottles. But that’s in the past for all the reasons you mention. I even had a client refuse to take a plastic bottle from the office when I offered it, and not because he wasn’t thirsty.

  3. David M. Patt, CAE March 26, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Jewel Food Stores, in Chicago, has been printing coupons on the back of receipts for some time. Getting shoppers to notice that – and check for deals – seems easier than it really is.

  4. GoEverywhere Team March 26, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    I think these are some really great ideas, from both a marketing standpoint and an ecological standpoint. Great combination of efforts that gets attention and makes a difference.
    Nothing like a little simple genius.

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