The Nut as an Effective Marketing Tool

Immediately impress your clients and prospects with strategic three-dimensional marketing

“The nut” arrived in the mail, as is, without a box, for a deep visual impact. The postal carrier was so impressed, she had to stop in and hand it to me personally. Why? Because “the nut” is a coconut!—a three-dimensional fruit sent to gain my attention. And that it did.

the-nutHand-written quotes from numerous famous and influential people cover “the nut”. Karl Schweitzer, president and founder of MobiRez, a client, colleague, and friend, sent me “the nut” to honor our relationship and to make an impression. For him, it was the perfect marketing device.

Consider, for a moment, the effectiveness of your marketing if you sent your version of “the nut” to tightly targeted prospects. It most definitely would be remembered; people would stop to admire and inspect it. It could even become the buzz of the office. On thing is for sure—it would make an impact.

Imagine sending these three-dimensional mailings to your current clients, to thank them. Karl wanted to further solidify what was an already sound relationship. That he accomplished.

Three-dimensional marketing. At a marketing conference a few years ago, one pundit told us of the value of three-dimensional marketing. “We’re partial to sending blocks of wood,” he said. I asked my Art Director what she thought of that idea. She said simply, “out of context”. She continued. “A block of wood has nothing to do with what we do, there is no connection, no context. What would be more effective is a 3-D mailer with a direct connection to who we are and what our prospects gain from collaborating with us.”

And so this is the beauty of Karl sending “the nut”. His office is in Honolulu, on the island of O‘ahu, in Hawai‘i. Karl’s mailing succeeds on a number of fronts. First, the islands are teeming with coconuts, so there is a direct connection to Hawai‘i. Second, Karl is in the business of attracting tourists to visit Hawai‘i, again and again—“the nut” gives recipients tangible evidence of the islands. Third, Karl’s very existence exemplifies the motivational and inspirations messages of such pithy quotes. With “the nut” being covered with some of these quotes, it not only provides a connection to him, but more importantly, gives something of value and something to consider to the recipient. There is a personal connection; and it is common knowledge that such a connection powerfully motivates action.

More evidence of success. Earlier this year, I judged an international marketing and design competition. One entry that quickly caught the judges’ attention: a three-dimensional mailer from a computer peripheral manufacturer touting the benefits of their newest device. The entry was pyramid-shaped, its top cut off, on a square foundation.

Unfolding the sides one by one revealed a simple key—a powerful image, metaphorically and physically. The key tied directly into the marketing message and to the printer’s name. The key enabled prospects to receive a free demonstration, on their own networks, to try first-hand the benefits of this new enterprise-wide printer.

I’m all for innovative design. In marketing, however, an innovative design that fails to market is worthless. The marketers who submitted the piece stated their response was over three times higher than any previous marketing effort. Three times! Certainly well worth the extra cost in design, construction, and mailing.

In today’s world of multiple messages from multiple streams, getting through to a prospect is indeed a daunting task. And while the world continues to focus on electronic communication—and rightly so—perhaps some consideration can be given to a stand-out marketing device, one that actually puts something tangible into the hands of your prospect. What a welcome change that can be.

The quotes on “the nut”.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” –Albert Einstein

“The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret to success.” –Henry Ward Beecher

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” –Albert Einstein

“The way to succeed is to double your error rate.” –Thomas Watson

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” –William Arthur Ward

“I owe my success to the fact that I did not allow my schooling to interfere with my education.” –Mark Twain

“The most important key to success is to know how to get along with others.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“In the end it is not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years.” –Abraham Lincoln

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest your reap, but by the seeds you plant.” –Robert Louis Stevenson

“If you realize how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” –Peace Pilgrim

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” –Buddha

[Note: This post first appeared as one of my position papers: The Nut as a Marketing Tool]

—Rich Maggiani

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