Friday, May 9, 2008

Papa John's lights bigger fire with crowds than in the oven

Not even 24 hours after what will forever be known as "23 Cent Pizza Day" Clevelanders are left unsatisfied. A number of area locations shut down after they admittedly could not handle the volume of orders, while others were forced to have police officers regulate traffic flow and control the crowds.

On my drive in to work this morning, I was listening to a radio station asking people to call in with their horror stories from surviving the crazy day. One woman called in and explained that her area Papa John's broke out into a riot over the madness and another caller described the lines outside to resemble homeless people lining up outside a food shelter.

Do we still think this was a marketing stunt or was it just a funny bounce of the ball? And most of all, was it worth it?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bruce Felber creates first Industrial Round Table

As president if the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce, I am pleased that our first Industrial Round table Breakfast was a success. I started this forum to encourage the industrial segment of the chamber to be more involved and give them something back from the chamber. See article that appeared on the front page of the Record Courier today.

- Bruce

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Marketing ploy, or a job for the brand police?

During the Cleveland Cavaliers grueling series against the Washington Wizards it is no secret LeBron James was fouled – a lot. Given that he is Cleveland’s most valuable player, he is going to be given the ball more than his fellow players and thus, he will be fouled more than others.

Area Washington DC Papa John’s pizza locations felt he was taking advantage of his stardom and being a “CRYBABY” about being fouled too hard. A few locations took it upon themselves to order T-shirts with the number 23 and the word “CRYBABY” on it – complete with Papa John's logo.

In Washington, Wizard fans went nuts for this shirt on Friday night’s game 6 against the Cavaliers. Fans wore this shirt, piggy backing on the taunting the Wizards had started before the series began.

So, what’s the problem then? The corporate office of Papa John’s pizza never authorized the use of their logo on the crybaby T-shirt. The Washington Wizards are also not taking blame for the distribution of the T-shirt. Fingers are pointing to a franchise in the Washington DC area responsible for this entire mess.

The international franchise is now faced with a huge problem – thousands of upset Clevelanders. In order to rectify the situation they are offering a single item, large pizza for only 23 cents all day Thursday to the more than 40 locations in and around the Cleveland area (including the Toledo and Youngstown areas). They are also donating all proceeds to the Cavaliers Youth Fund along with $10,000 of their own money to hope salvage their reputation and beg forgiveness.

This begs the question – was this planned all along as a marketing stunt, or was this a failed use of brand police? Sure, any marketer would hear this story and laugh, such as I did. And yes, it will up the sales significantly in both regions, but what are the long term effects Papa John’s will have to endure?

There is a truth in order to protect your brand from being used inappropriately ("CRYBABY" shirts included) you need to have standards and set guidelines set forth by your company. In order to protect brand equity, these certain guidelines have to be set forth when using your company’s logo and representing your brand.

For instance, a T-shirt directly targeted at one of the most valued and respected NBA players of all time with YOUR company’s logo on it – not so smart. I can assure you if this franchise would have run this past their corporate headquarters, this T-shirt never would have made it in to the public. And, the person responsible for this idea would still have a job (I am assuming they since have been asked to leave).

If you have to stop and think, “Is this wrong?” Chances are, it is. Sure, Wizard fans will have a keepsake of one of the most controversial T-shirts in sports history, but all of Cleveland will be enjoying this marketing mistake in a large Papa John’s pizza tomorrow night, watching our Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs. I know I will.



Tuesday, May 6, 2008

6 months feels like a year... unless you work with the Felber family.

A few months ago, I interviewed the other members of the Felber & Felber team on their reflections of 2007. Having started in early October, it was too soon to do my reflection. But, having survived 7 months at Felber & Felber, it is now time for my reflection and to answer some of the questions I asked them.

Initially I was a little fearful of going from a sales position into a marketing position. Seems easy, but change has always frigtened me. Luckily, the Felber team made the transition very easy and I am still very excited about learning new things about our business, our clients and our network.

Last year, I learned a great deal about taking chances and being open to more things. There is a chance you may never have the same experience twice (sometimes that's a good thing) and therefore you need to live in the moment.

Looking ahead, I am looking to become even more involved with our clients and business networks. It is my goal to have all of our clients feel as comfortable with me as they do with the other team members.

The one thing I am going to continue doing is volunteering and advising. It is no secret here that I love animals and am interested in animal rescue organizations. Currently, I am an advisor with my sorority, Delta Gamma Fraternity and knowing I have the ability to influence the up and coming generation is a powerful, and very rewarding, idea.

In closing, I want to say that I have had the privilege of working along side a few of the most dedicated and hardworking people in marketing. It has been an absolute wonderful experience in learning from each of them from the different aspects of their specialties and how they work together to make things happen.

Thank you to the Felber team for all that you do and letting me be a part of your family.