Version: primary July 2016 - Gemba Marketing

In the World of Marketing, Emotion is King

A billboard is fleeting – a distracting visual we notice for an instant, and then we move on. There’s a chance we’ll read that magazine ad while we’re sipping our morning latte, but there’s a better chance we’ll flip right past it. Commercials have become buried beneath DVR and Netflix, newspapers are slowly depleting, and web banners are more annoying than those Candy Crush requests we get on Facebook (60% of all web banner clicks are mistakes*). The marketing mix has evolved dramatically over the years, and experiential marketing, it seems, is taking center stage. Today, brands connect with consumers on a deeper, more engaged level by developing targeted experiences that stimulate the senses and trigger an emotional response. Experiential campaigns are bigger than a two-sentence headline or a 30-second commercial, and they’re more personal than a billboard or magazine ad. They’re live experiences that are designed to impact consumers physically and emotionally, even after the event or campaign has expired. Check out a few of this year’s experiential activations that tugged on heartstrings and made us feel, proving the real power and influence of experience. Helping Kids Explore the World. Expedia and St. Jude joined forces to create a powerful experience for children receiving cancer treatment. Thanks to a 360-degree camera and a team of compassionate people, St. Jude brought the jungle, the desert, and the ocean to the hospital room. You’ll probably need some Kleenex for this. Or not. But if this video doesn’t make your heart swell up, you’re probably a monster. Making Dreams Come True. The Children’s Wish Foundation did what they do best and helped make a nine-year-old’s dream of...

How To Actually Go On Vacation. Hint: Leave Your Work at Home

Summer: the season of sun-kissed skin, family picnics, and well-deserved vacation time. It’s a time to replenish our minds, recharge our bodies, and recognize the hard work we accomplished over the last six or seven months. On vacation, we disconnect from our jobs, content with the fact that the office will function just fine without us. We ignore our email inboxes, shut down our laptops, and escape the daily grind. Except, that’s a load of bologna, a falsified fantasy one can only dream of fulfilling. Nobody goes on vacation anymore. Nobody takes time away for personal enjoyment. Nobody relaxes just for the sake of relaxing. And if we do, we’re distracted by digital devices and work obligations that get in the way of that margarita on the beach or that excursion in the mountains or that hiking trip with the kids. Vacation is an underutilized, tech-saturated form of relaxation. 40% of American workers leave PTO days untouched and, on average, only 11 of our allotted 15 days get used throughout the year*. Even worse, 44% of employed adults check their work messages at least once a day while they’re on “vacation”**. It’s no wonder we’re so stressed out – we don’t know how to relax anymore. So what’s the solution? How do we fix this gloomy epidemic? How do we adjust our mindset into accepting the fact that taking a few days off to replenish our mind is, dare I say it, okay? We’re hard workers at Gemba, we’re creative thinkers, we collaborate together on a daily basis, and we deliver products that exceed expectations. But we also know how to unwind and take...

Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival, A Summertime Lover’s Paradise

As a Minnesota native and someone who appreciates the wonders of the outdoors, I’m officially convinced that Traverse City (TC), MI – Gemba’s stomping grounds –  is the playground of the north. With its small town feel, intimate beaches, and vast array of seasonal festivals, there’s not much more one could ask for. TC is the Cherry Capital of the World, so it only makes sense that our biggest event of the year, the National Cherry Festival, revolves around the blossoming cherry orchards of northern Michigan. Last weekend kicked off the festival, with over 500,000 tourists flooding the streets to soak in the sites and experience summer in all of its suntanned glory. I’m a Cherry Festival rookie. I moved here last September after spending two humid years in Florida, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Friends warned me about the crowds and the traffic, that commuting to and from work might bring out spurts of road rage, that walking along the sidewalks will feel more like mucking your way through peanut butter than taking a casual stroll around town. What they didn’t tell me, though, was how lucky I’ll feel to live and work in such a desirable, friendly, beautiful place that can only be described as paradise. They didn’t tell me the Airshow would send shivers down my spine as five Blue Angel Navy jets flew over my head. Or that watching an incredible fireworks display on the shores of the West Bay would remind me of the summers I spent at my childhood cabin. Or that sipping craft beer atop a riverside patio while taking in the views of a...