As most know, I've been writing about innovation in the face of adversity; our industry's changing, the economy's sucking the breath out of good companies, and, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the bubble won't break until at least 2013. That's four years of this. Tired of the bad news, we thought that we would task this highly creative industry to either show us your stuff, or keep your mouth shut. Talking the talk is easy. Prove to us, and the industry, that you've got the creative mojo and win some free publicity.
It doesn't have to be "ads" or "campaigns." It could be your business model, an engaging strategy, how you changed the way you purchase media, social media tactics, recession-proof tactics, or even a small, "Hmm, I wonder..." question that turn into a creative leap. Something like what Guy Kawasaki, owner of Alltop, just engineered.
Alltop gives its clients, prospects, vendors, and friends both business cards and business stickers. However, Guy admits that while he freely gives out cards, he's reluctant to hand out stickers to promote the brands because they could be used to deface property; plus, he did not want to "burden" others with his branding efforts. And there is always the chance an Alltop sticker might end up plastered on the toilet of a rank rest stop on I-70. Can you say, "negative brand association?"
Then he had an "A-Ha" moment: could the business cards and business stickers be combined? He emailed one of his friends, who happened to own StickerGiant, to find out. He asked this friend, John Fischer, if a business card could be printed on the back of a sticker, and if anyone had done this before. John answered that, yes, it could be done but, no, it had never been requested. So, Guy requested his friend to check into it.
Writing on Open Forum, Guy describes his thought process:
"Psychologically, a stickercard is a powerful concept. By applying the teachings of Robert Cialdini, I hope that it engenders reciprocation and consistency. That is, since you’ve given someone a cool sticker, the person feels like they should reciprocate by sticking it somewhere visible. (Did you donate money to Hare Krishna because one of its followers gave you a flower?) Then, once the stickercard is stuck, the person is more committed to the company, product, or service. That stickercard on laptop is a declaration to the world that they like the what it stands for. To be consistent, they must stick to their positive opinion of your company, product, or service.
The process, or how the idea comes alive, doesn't have to be a masterpiece. It's the idea that matters, and whether or not it works. At any moment, Guy Kawasaki could have stopped and said, "This is stupid." Instead, he followed through. His tweet tonight stated that the stickercards was his best idea ever.
His best idea ever... and he's had a lot of ideas. To take it a step further, the first thing he did with his new "invention" was share to it, which speaks highly of his character. He sent out the tweet and a link. StickerGiant made a video. And the stickercards went from idea to product in a week. Be warned though, StickerGiant charges $500 for 500 cards. At least Guy has character.
If your company has something that makes "the cut," send it my way. Until that time, leave a comment... it will raise your social media score.