Friday, May 13, 2011

How does your company think outside the box?

Does your company think outside the box? While I agree that the term “outside the box” is one of the most over-used expressions in the marketing world, there is much to gain by considering new ways to do business. How many of us would still depend on landlines if the technology world, and especially Steve Jobs, hadn’t thought outside the box to create the iPhone? There is no doubt that the smartphone industry would not be as evolved or competitive as it is today.

Consider how Kimberly-Clark thought outside the box (no pun intended). The Kleenex brand of tissues has become such a common household product that we have replaced it with the name of the brand. How many of us sneeze and just ask for a Kleenex?

Over the last couple of years, the Kleenex brand has made significant changes from the standard packaging that we associate with tissues and introduced seasonal products to their product line. During the spring, triangle-shaped boxes appeared in stores featuring oranges, limes, and watermelons – with the hope that these boxes would appear on picnic tables alongside real fruit. While the boxes were a different shape, they immediately appealed to female shoppers who appreciated the new approach to a typical everyday item.

Then, to celebrate the holiday season and family celebrations, four new boxes appeared in the same triangle shape and featured red velvet cake, chocolate cake, chocolate-covered strawberries, and cherry pie. As a result of the long hours that the designer spent baking, these boxes could have been placed on any dining room table alongside the most delicious of desserts.

While considered a novelty item with a slightly higher price and smaller quantity than most other tissue boxes, these unique boxes made a statement – and don’t all brands make statements? Why do people wear shirts with the Nike swoosh? Why do people drink Coca-Cola from that unique bottle? Why do people choose to fly a specific airline or drive a specific car?

So, how does your company think outside the box to improve your product or service and re-engage your customers?

To read more about these unique designs:

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