The Best Communications Tool for Customer Service

December 5, 2011

by Kerry Martin

No one likes to be inconvenienced, especially at the airport.  When you come to a place that is supposed to facilitate travel, it’s irritating to be shuffled around through alternate gates and detours because the airport is under renovation.

It is here—when passengers have been awake for hours on end, flights have been delayed and people’s patience runs thin—that customer service needs to go above and beyond its normal function.  And sometimes a barricade’s message of “Please pardon our dust” just doesn’t cut it.

As I was traveling through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the obstructions around the terminal caught my eye and stuck out in my mind as a brilliant strategy to allay passengers’ annoyance.  LAX took the opportunity to use clever branding messages to make fun of the necessary blockades:

Through the campaign “Re:LAX It’s All Good,” the airport takes an “LA state-of-mind” approach to spoof those pesky airport construction signs. What’s more, they made me laugh more than they made me grumble.

To me, humor is always the best communications tool to deal with customers (especially jet-lagged ones).

Marketing & Promotion: Which of These Ideas Work?

August 11, 2011

by Kim Taylor

This week, two new campaigns caught my eye.

The first:  a promotion from Domino’s Pizza reviving the ever-popular Noid character from the 80s in a game on their Facebook page.  Players of The Noid’s Super Pizza Shootout compete to win coupons for one of more than 10,000 free pizzas.

Why this works:

Even though the game launched during a week when all ‘the world seems to be bashing remakes of “Dirty Dancing” and “Footloose,” Domino’s proves that putting a new twist on an old campaign can work.  The Noid is fun, light-hearted and celebrating his fictional 25th birthday.

The second: Gap’s new food truck, “Pico de Gap.” Presumably piggybacking on the food truck craze, which, while relatively new to Orlando, has been fairly active in California (the Gap’s home state) for some time now.

Pico de Gap is promoting the brand’s ‘1969: L.A. and Beyond’ campaign, literally taking their campaign to the streets. Tacos are $1.69 and come with a coupon for Gap’s denim.

What do you think? Did the Gap nail it on this one?

Even though I think it’s clever, I don’t get the connection. When I think of “mi amigos,” my first thought isn’t exactly pre-washed denim. Nor have I ever been walking through the Gap and had a sudden urge for a taco.

So, what do you think? What are some examples of promotions you’ve seen recently that work or don’t work?

Who Invented the Light Bulb?

February 11, 2011

by Dionne Aiken

In “light” of today’s Google doodle, one question comes to mind: who really invented the light bulb?!

There’s an endless amount of information on the Web to help answer this question:

And once you start digging, you’ll notice the names of other contributors like Humphrey Davy, Joseph Wilson Swan, Lewis Howard Latimer and William David Coolidge just to name a few.

Joseph Swan's light bulb 1878 (left) - Thomas Edison’s light bulb 1879 (right)

In the race to perfect the light bulb, amidst patent feuds, lawsuits and successions of failed attempts, it becomes unclear as to where proper credit is due for this “bright idea.”  It does shed some light however on one thing:  It took more than just one person.  The end product we’ve come to know today is actually the end result of a multitude of revisions and collaborated efforts from many inventors, physicists and scientists.  It was revolutionized and improved upon over time – each discovery building off of findings from the previous.

There is a great deal to learn from the invention of the light bulb and the power of collaboration in building upon and improving new ideas.  We learn that all the time in our team brainstorming and creative problem-solving process.  The possibilities are endless and far greater than what one person can accomplish.

Christmas Story

January 6, 2011

by Roger Pynn

Everyone loves a good Christmas story.  The folks at Spanair wrote one that unfolded on Christmas Eve and demonstrates the value of thinking outside the box and of going above and beyond to exceed customer expectations.  The airline did what no one would have expected and has YouTube followers clicking away on this video.

YouTube v.s. Vimeo – The Faceoff

January 5, 2011

by Dionne Aiken

When it comes to video embedding and sharing, there are many options such as BlipTV2, Flickr, and Photobucket just to name a few.  However two leaders that continue to stand out among all others as the top video streaming services are YouTube and Vimeo.

So what are some major differences between the two? And what makes one better than the other? I pulled together a comparison chart to see how they both measure up to help answer that question:

Click here to view PDF.

CEOs across the state are talking via video about how technical assistance from a client program of ours called GrowFL helped grow their business.  Here is the same video in both YouTube and Vimeo:

The video streaming service you use will most likely depend on your specifications and needs but of these two champions in the game, which one is the winner?

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas in This Happy E-Mail!”

December 17, 2010

by Dan Ward

I’ve noticed that our reception desk is devoid of the usual clutter of holiday cards this year, and while I’m sure there’s a possibility that we’re simply no longer popular and have fallen off of many holiday lists, I think there’s another factor at play: the holiday e-mail card.

As the holiday envelopes have dwindled, the “please open your holiday message here” e-mails have quickly grown.

I’m curious whether others have noticed this as well, and whether you think this is positive or negative. Certainly an e-mail card is more cost-effective, important in today’s economy. It’s also more environmentally friendly. But does it still provide the same personal touch as an envelope and a stamp?

Personally, I’m happy for any holiday message I receive, whether in the form of a card, e-mail or tasty cookies (hint, hint).

As for us, we’re sticking with snail mail and are keeping the tradition alive this year of a more than a little off-the-wall holiday card, because nothing says Happy Holidays like Frosty, WikiLeaks and the TSA.

Stay tuned for a major leak …


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