While this crosses into the food category, I absolutely love this idea of branding, innovation and customer engagement from Chiquita Bananas. They asked, ““How do we leverage the iconic real estate that we already have on all our bananas, throughout the world?” A tiny bit of real estate at that! But a piece of real estate we would all immediately notice if changed. The New York Times reports how they did it:
The campaign involved using this inconspicuous and familiar little bit of branding turf for a visual experiment: instead of the familiar logo, the stickers carried bold and whimsical iconish face imagery — a monkey, a happy Cyclops, a vaguely anime-style girl, a luchador and so on. Using the same colors as the familiar Chiquita logo, the designs were genuine eye-catchers.
And they may have caught even more eyes online than they did in the store: Chiquita set up a Web tool for people to whip up their own sticker drag-and-drop mixes, and an obliging public created more than 25,000 of them in less than five months, according to the company. This enthusiasm has led to a competition — 1,355 entries were submitted over several months, and online voting starts tomorrow at eatachiquita.com to pick 18 designs that will be stuck onto actual bananas.
By actually contributing to the defamiliarizing of something familiar, the contestants layer new “intrigue” onto one company’s supply of what is, after all, a pure commodity.
It’s an amazing campaign of community and letting go of the control of your brand to bring emotion to it. Or as Chiquita reps put it, the campaign is “designed to re-engage that emotional connection with consumers.” So many brands try to this, but with little success. The attempts are usually fairly meaningless, because adding your words to a coffee cup isn’t nearly as interesting as genuinely engaging, re-working and re-imagining an iconic brand to include your ideas, not your ideas of what you think the brand will like. Way to go, Chiquita.