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Newsletter #770: The “Lemons to Lemonade” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email 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.]

Like the old saying goes, when life hands you lemons, great marketers find ways to make lemonade. How a few smart folks did it:

1> For charity
2> For new business
3> For fun
4> Check it out: Letterheady

1> For charity

When business is slow, when you’re hurting for exposure, or when inventories are overstocked, look for opportunities to partner with a worthy cause to keep things moving. It might seem counter-intuitive for a hurting business to give it away, but consider what the high-end St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort has been doing lately: During this slow booking season, the resort has been offering free meeting and event space for charities. They still bring in a little revenue for catering the big fundraiser galas, but more importantly, they get a ton of exposure to the folks making big donations to nonprofits. And generally, this demographic is the same one that books executive meetings and corporate retreats.

The Lesson: Extra inventory in slow times can be a great chance to help a worthy cause and meet some new prospects at the same time.

Learn More: USA TODAY

2> For new business

If new business isn’t coming in at a pace that meets your capacity, is there a way you could use your resources to create the business yourself? Take for example the folks at Chicago’s Schafer Condon Carter agency. They used their smarts and knowledge of beverage branding to launch their own children’s drink, “Hogwash,” in the middle of the economic recession. The low-calorie product was immediately popular with moms and kids, and Pepsi soon bought the brand after sales jumped 90 percent. If building an entire brand isn’t feasible, try applying this idea by submitting proposals and ideas to clients you’d like to work with.

The Lesson: Take advantage of the slow times to use your talent and big ideas to develop the new business when it’s not coming to you.

Learn More: SmartBrief

3> For fun

Sometimes the business world hands you a lemon in the form of a negative review, a competitive challenge, or even a little mocking. It happened to Miracle Whip when The Colbert Report took a few shots at their anti-mayonnaise campaign. But rather than ignoring the jests or taking some corporate moral high road, the Miracle Whip team saw an opportunity. They immediately responded with some humor themselves, saying to Colbert, “We will own you.” In a hilarious and highly-publicized letter to the host, they promised to dominate Colbert’s airspace the following night with a bunch of ads featuring “hardcore Miracle Whip attitude and revelry.”

The Lesson: Nobody is perfect, and nobody is immune to a little mocking now and then. Great marketers use the opportunity to show off their personality and have some fun, too.

Learn More: Comedy Central

4> Check it out: Letterheady

Letterheady shares some amazing examples of classic letterhead designs. Their growing collection includes stationery from Thomas Edison, Elvis Presley, and Coca-Cola.

Check it out: Letterheady

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