Improving Life on the Road: Inspired Creative Minds

Traveling a lot certainly has its ups and downs (yes.. literally). One of the surprising “ups” is stumbling upon marketing and design brilliance, sometimes in the most unexpected places. For me (admitted marketing geek) I get true inspiration from creative, elegant and insightful solutions that demonstrate deep understanding of the plight of the customer. And when these solutions stop me in my tracks and make me say “what a great idea” and “I’d love to chat with whoever came up with that”, even better. Following are some serious props for ideas which moved me, made me think, or simply made me marvel.

1. Water Fountain Bottle Fillers.
Seen at one of the airports in DC…after security.

Water_fountain2

A water fountain designed for refilling water bottles. Seriously? Why is this the only one I’ve ever seen? Brilliant.

2. Leveraging Rooftop Real Estate.
Flying into DFW I often fly over a Container Store warehouse which has recognized they are in a flight path (duh) and made the best of it by capitalized on their rooftop real estate. And what is the message they choose? Not, “Buy our Products” or “Container Store is Great” but, “We Love our Employees”.

ContainerStore_We_Love_Our_Employees

Intrigued I was prompted to Google the phrase and found that it’s part of a whole campaign around employee appreciation.

Guess what? I heart Container Store and am now more likely to shop there (even though it’s crazy expensive) simply because they put their employees first. Bravo Container Store. Bravo.

3. Relevant, Timely Messaging.
Going through security at most major airports is a pain in the @#$. But a bit of creativity has lightened my frustration ever since Zappos started branding the shoe bins. What an awesome idea! Now, when you remove your shoes and grab a bin frequently it will have a witty, snappy message at the bottom, brought to you by Zappos!

7-30zappos

So the very moment you are noting the threadbare bottoms, worn out toes, or broken heels of your favorite kicks you are reminded of a great solution and a brand that gets it. #majorpropstozappos

4. Quirky Brand Voice.
And last but not least, KimptonHotels.com. I am a loyal Kimpton fan. Great boutique hotels like Monaco, Allegro, Palomar (my fav). Love the quirky brand, the “independent” feel, super happy employees, great loyalty program, creative energy, fabulous restaurants (I could go on).

Sad to say, I HATE their website. It’s really, really bad. Poor navigation, doesn’t work well on an ipad, need to log in multiple times to access your account (seriously? Haven’t you ever heard of single sign on?) But.. one good thing about their online persona, the brand personality comes through in simple and consistent ways. For example, trying to log in to my account and I mis-typed my password and receive the following message: “Aw snap. Sign-in failed”.

kimptonhotel_screeshot_close

Made me smile. Thanks Kimpton! Love the brand. Now… please do something about your website and navigation experience!!

At the end of the day, traveling gives me a great chance to see lots of places, experience new things and best of all, find inspiration in the most unexpected moments.

Can’t wait to see what is next!

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