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Got a McDonald's or Burger King Coupon? Here's the Smart, Surprising Thing to Do With It. (You Only Have 3 Days)
December 29, 2018 6:01 am|Comments (0)

This is a story about a smaller restaurant chain trolling McDonald’s, Burger King, and other giants of the business. And it’s kind of brilliant. Before the details, a quick explanation.

The fast food industry is a smart and fun one to follow no matter what business you’re in, and for two big reasons.

First, there’s the pure scale. Make a menu change at McDonald’s for example, and you’re upending the routines of hundreds of thousands of hungry Americans. You can learn a lot just by watching how they develop and test new products.

But second, there’s the marketing.

Think of McDonald’s, which spends $ 2 billion a year on marketing and ads. That’s half the entire value of its much smaller competitor, Wendy’s. It’s an incredible chance just to unpack what they do, and figure out why they think that various ideas will work.

Which brings us to some shoot-the-moon marketing campaigns that can actually turn the big chains’ efforts on their heads.

The only catch? You had to place the order from a McDonald’s restaurant. (Technically, just being within 600 feet was close enough to trigger the offer.)

Of course, Burger King isn’t small; just smaller than McDonald’s. But it shows how if you’re creative, you can use a competitor’s strength–in that case the fact that there are roughly twice as many McDonald’s in the U.S. than there are Burger King locations–to your advantage.

But what if you don’t have 1.7 million Twitter followers and a full time social media marketing operation, like Burger King, to get word of your deal out.?

What if you don’t even have a mobile app (or a burning desire to get people to download your app, which is what the Burger King promotion and so many others these days are all about)?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Smoothie King.

Again: not exactly tiny, although very small compared to McDonald’s and Burger King. Smoothie King has close to 800 stores, heavily concentrated in warmer weather parts of the country.

It’s privately held, and even if you’ve never tried it, you might recognize the name from the $ 40 million naming deal it has for the NBA New Orleans Pelicans home arena (“Smoothie King Center“).

Now, like its bigger competitors, Smoothie King also has a rewards app, and it’s launched a contest to try to incentivize people to download and use it. (The “Change-a-Meal Challenge.”)  

But what attracted me to this whole thing is how Smoothie King is kicking off its promotion: By letting you use any coupon from any other fast food restaurant — McDonald’s or Burger King included — at Smoothie King.

It’s good for only one day, New Year’s Eve, and regardless of the competitor’s coupon’s value, it gets you $ 2 off a smoothie at Smoothie King on December 31.

And in truth, I don’t know how many people would take advantage of it. But that doesn’t really matter in a way; what matters in this social media age is whether you can find a truthful, fun way to troll your competitors and turn their strengths to your advangage.

As a marketing strategy, I think it’s brilliant.

As for the Smoothies, well, I don’t know. I’m writing this from New Hampshire, and it looks like the nearest Smoothie King would be a three hour drive away. You’ll have to let me know in the comments.

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Chelsea Manning Is Using Social Media Like It’s the Good Ol’ Days
June 7, 2017 10:25 am|Comments (0)

After seven years in a military prison, Manning was free on May 17th. And over the last few days, her social media posts have been reminding us of the good old internet, before logging on meant bracing yourself for news of the next disaster.

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Man sentenced to 30 days in prison for accidentally hitting woman with his drone
March 15, 2017 1:22 am|Comments (0)

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Attention drone operators: Watch your aim with those things or you could end up in behind bars.

Yeah, we’re serious. Paul Skinner, a 38-year-old Seattle man who accidentally knocked a woman unconscious with his drone back in 2015 has received a 30-day prison sentence along with a $ 500 fine, after being charged with reckless endangerment back in January.

When Skinner, an aerial photographer, flew his two pound, 18-by-18 inch drone — which retailed for $ 1,200 — into a crowd of people at 2015 Seattle Pride Parade, it accidentally fell on top of a 25-year-old woman’s head, knocking her out. Read more…

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‘Miitomo’ Has Amassed Over 100 Million Users In Three Days
March 20, 2016 11:35 am|Comments (0)

Nintendo’s first mobile app Miitomo has not only been a huge success by reaching the top of the iOS charts since its release but it has also amassed over 100 million users in just three days.


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