KG and Torii return to Minny

kevin_garnett_rookie_display_image2015 is primed and ready to be a great year for Minnesota Sports…. Or at least two teams. In addition to signing a new manager/coaching staff the Twins re-acquired Torii Hunter. Last week the Timberwolves traded so they could bring back Kevin Garnett. Garnett comes back to the Wolves to lend his experience to young players on a team trying to learn how to win. Hunter comes back to the Twins with exactly the same mission. Garnett is 38. Hunter is 39. Both are multi-time All-Stars. Both were among the best defensive players in their respective leagues. Garnett is a former league MVP, while Hunter received MVP votes in four separate seasons.

Torii Hunter Signing

Most importantly, both were fan favorites when they were in Minnesota and their teams are hoping they can bring some much needed excitement and success back to the Twin Cities sports scene. I’m not a Timberwolves fan but as a Twins fan I can tell you that they desperately need some fan support right now and to create some excitement. Having not made the playoffs since 2010 and finishing with a below .500 average since then as well they [hopefully] finally hit rock bottom and made some major changes this off season in hiring a new manager and bringing in some new impact players. This is a perfect opportunity for the Twins and Timberwolves to capitalize on the fan excitement on getting these two players back and run a joint advertising campaign. I think something even as simple as putting up a few billboards up around the cities with the two guys shaking hands or something could do wonders for fan sentiment on both teams. I addition to that a humorous commercial would be best to showcase the personalities of these guys and remind the fans of what they’re like. Torii has made some great commercials for the Twins in the past and I have no doubt he’d be up for doing it again.

All in all while I’m not a huge fan on the new Twins manager I’m hopefully that Torii can get the clubhouse going and light a fire under the Twins this year as KG will be trying to do with the Wolves.

Birthday Blunders

Being the poor college student and marketer that I am, I love loyalty programs. For any company that I visit on a regular basis, I most likely have some type of loyalty card for them. In terms of just coffee shops I’m signed up for three! My birthday is this month so I am very much looking forward to getting free stuff from all of my loyalty programs. Beginning first on September 30th from Noodles and Company, and October 1st and 12:01 from Drake, I started receiving my birthday offers. Unfortunately, my birthday is not until the 13th. These companies were sending me things nearly two weeks before they should have been. This lack of attention to detail is due to laziness.

Emily_Gutknecht_Marketing                                These companies have all of their loyalty members in a database and they probably just hit a button on the first of each month to send a birthday promotion to everyone who has a birthday that month. All they would have to do to be more accurate and therefore more credible to the people whose birthday is not on the first of the month is some database management. Even sending a birthday promotion at the beginning of each week would be better than just the first of the month – a task perfect for an intern. It’s disappointing that companies can’t be more detail oriented in an effort to improve and retain their relationship with their most loyal customers.

Unlike the companies that have been sending me my birthday promotions, when used correctly, these programs can be very adept at building long-term customer loyalty. For instance, even though the program is not very advantageous for the consumer, (buy 12 drinks, get one free) The Starbucks program is one of the best in my mind. All a consumer has to do to join is register a gift card. With this registration they get a free drink on their birthday, free black coffee when they stay in the store, random emails with promotions, and a free drink for every 12 they purchase. When a consumer purchases a certain amount of drinks in a year, Starbucks sends them a personalized Gold Card. This card comes with extra perks in addition to the ones listed above. As a consumer, the Gold Card is a really cool thing to have it’s shiny, has your name on it, and is a status symbol so that everyone knows you drink a lot of STARBUCKS coffee. From a marketing perspective, the Gold Card is a gold mine for Starbucks. Members load money onto their card which they then use to purchase Starbucks products, so Starbucks knows everything about their best customer’s buying habits – what they buy, how often they buy it, even the time of day of purchases. They can use this information to create custom direct marketing offers for specific types of consumers.

Emily_Gutknecht_Marketing Have you ever experienced a well-intended but poorly executed promotion?