You won’t believe how this gardening truck beats the marketing game

You won’t believe how this gardening truck beats the marketing game.

I got stuck in traffic recently. A big gardening truck was blocking my view. The back of the truck was a cage and there were rakes around the edges. I couldn’t see the traffic ahead of me. But I wasn’t irritated.

This truck could have been irritating

Ah, see the trick this gardener has used? You can hardly be angry for long. Who’s on there? Sponge Bob, a witch, Snoopy, Hello Kitty, a smurf, Mario…now I’m too busy giggling to care about the view I lost. And my kids are in the back, giggling and pointing out the stuffies. Are we late? Can we see? Is that truck dirty and blocking the view? Who cares?! Not me. I’m too busy trying to figure out who’s on the truck.

Of course, a friend, who’s a nurse, worried for the plight of these poor souls. “THEY’RE TRAPPED!! Did you help them? Are they okay? Please tell me they’re okay!!”

And, while I was pointing out the stuffies to my kid, my inner (okay, not so inner, more of an all-the-time-inside-and-out) marketer was marvelling at the brilliance of this gardener’s trick.

It’s all about turning a negative business situation around – making it into a positive. Look at a problem and turn it into an opportunity. This gardener turns frowns into smiles. The gardener might have improved upon the positive attention by putting a logo and a joke on the back of the truck – free advertising for this very original garden party.

Can you do the same for your business? Look for a way to turn a negative experience or feature into a good one. Consider how Disneyland has turned line-ups into part of the entertainment experience. Or think about how Five Guys and Fries lets you scoop up a basket of peanuts to shell and eat as you wait, taking your mind off how much longer fresh food takes to make. Sleep Country has their delivery people wear little booties, so your floors remain clean and you remain focused on the excitement of your new bed. Ikea decorates their stores and provides a cafeteria just before you’re completely worn out, so that you can recharge before making your way to product pick-up. Ivory built an empire on their floating soap.

And it’s just just about managing customer experience. You may find an opportunity in a negative. I know of a law firm that became well known for it expertise in helping unfairly fired employees. A few years later, they expanded into helping employers avoid making the sorts of mistakes that would get them sued – the firm leveraged its knowledge in one area to move into another.

How can you turn a negative into a positive?