PepperMill June 2017

Tim Likes Celebrations

I was pondering plans for Fourth of July and started thinking about how, through time eternal, we have created holidays and how much they have become a part of our culture. There should certainly be a holiday for the birth of a nation and I assume most countries have something similar.

It got me to wondering whether Pepper Group could instigate a movement of having a National Pepper Day. You’re way ahead of me. Not only are there a few pepper-related days, there’s a website called The Chili Pepper and Spicy Food Calendar.

January 22nd is National Hot Sauce Day. It’s ironic that it falls on the anniversary of us moving into our offices seven years ago. Probably not a coincidence is the fact that January 22nd is also Wilbur Scoville’s birthday (for whom we named our meeting suite). And for those keeping score, November is National Pepper Month.

Through my research on unique holidays, I found other days you might want to observe over the summer.

15th Smile Power Day (this is definitely a super power)
19th National Kissing Day (and there’s probably a competition involved)
29th Hug Holiday (you have to wait 10 days after kissing?)
6th International Kissing Day (wonder if there was a Paris Accord for this)
22nd Hammock Day (likely a 90-degree day, so take a nap under a tree)
26th Aunt and Uncle Day (everyone has a favorite)
5th Work Like a Dog Day (is there a Sleep Like a Dog Day?)
8th Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day (seriously)
27th Just Because Day (very similar to Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day on November 14)

Hope these inspire you to explore not just the big holidays, but the everyday celebrations that make life fun.

Tim Padgett

Mom always tells me to celebrate everyone’s uniqueness. I like the way that sounds.

—Hilary Duff

Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.

—Anonymous (appropriately)

Client Spotlight: Probat

“Stir your passion” for coffee with a Probat roaster!

For nearly 150 years, Probat has been providing high-quality, cutting-edge coffee roasting equipment to the coffee industry. From small specialty coffee shops to large commercial coffee chains, 70% of the world’s coffee is roasted on a Probat roaster.

With the Global Specialty Coffee Expo approaching in the spring, Probat had an opportunity to reach a unique audience with a fresh message. Owners of specialty coffee shops are dedicated to great coffee. Pepper Group created several themes that could play on this, but the one that resonated the most was “Stir Your Passion.”

We then worked to determine the best way to carry that theme into tactics to generate leads. Knowing the rich history of Probat, we featured a contest to win a trip to Germany with an exclusive tour of Probat’s world headquarters. This was communicated in a creative and compelling pre-show mailer that included a boarding pass, luggage tag and postcard all showcasing the “Stir Your Passion” theme. The recipient could go online before the show or visit the booth at the show to fill out a survey and enter to win.

We also designed several compelling items to draw attendees to the booth, including collectable “Stir Your Passion” buttons that were handed out at the show and a unique t-shirt that visitors would receive if they completed the survey. All of this culminated with bold booth graphics featuring the theme and emphasizing the new messaging.

Overall, the campaign stirred success. Probat’s response rate to the mailer far exceeded expectations and they added significantly more leads during the show itself. The survey was a fantastic lead capture device too as Probat could assess each prospect’s unique needs, opinions and future purchase plans.

Want to see more about how Probat helps shop roasters stir their passion? Check out this new video we recently completed with Metropolis coffee.

4,096 Ways to Repurpose Content

Ask a marketer about his or her top content marketing challenges, and most likely something like “producing new content on a consistent basis” will be in the top three responses.

There are many solutions to this challenge, and one of them is to simply repurpose. To help our clients do that most effectively, we’ve created the Pepper Group Content Matrix.

The Content Matrix is a unique and proprietary tool that helps us and our clients find multiple combinations of content type, format and distribution method. For example, a content type could be a customer success story, education on a specific topic, a tip or a shortcut, or industry survey results. Formats can include an article, video, infographic or slide deck. And finally, distribution methods include social posts, direct email, a press release or sponsored posts.

For example, let’s say you have a customer success story. In addition to it living as a write up in the form of a blog post and posted on your website, that same content can also be repurposed into a short video, PDF, infographic and/or a slide deck. It can be distributed as an email, sponsored post, press release,  print out or shared on social platforms. In short, the impact of one blog post has now been amplified!  

Our Content Matrix shows how one of 16 types of content we’ve identified can be repurposed into 16 formats and then distributed over 16 channels. That’s 4,096 possibilities. It’s helped us solve the biggest challenges companies face in a smart, effective and creative way.

Are you struggling to create engaging content on a consistent basis? Are you creating new content and then just using it one way? Ask yourself if you could be doing a better job with your content marketing. If the answer is yes, then send me an email or give me a call. We’ll review our Content Matrix together and no doubt identify some key opportunities to help you succeed.

George Couris

Top 5 From the Creative Suite

This year I had the opportunity to attend the HOW Design Live Conference. It’s an event that brings together great designers from around the world to share their greatest thoughts, ideas and experiences regarding design. It’s a great place to reinvigorate the design senses and discover new trends and ideas. Of all the things that I learned and experienced, these are my top 5.

  1. Dream the way you did when you were a kid

Creativity isn’t something that you can turn on and off, but it is something that you need daily to be a graphic designer. That isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish. Dream the way you did when you were a kid is the best way to fix this. Kids don’t always understand the rules; as a result, they are always thinking outside of the box.

  1. Hello, I’d like to add you to my professional network on Linkedin

Frank Chimero is a speaker who thinks like he did when he was a kid. He was reading The New Yorker comics one day and saw a contest asking people to think about a simple line for their next comic. He took it a step further and decided to come up with a line that would work for every comic ever printed in The New Yorker. What he came up with went viral. “Hello, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” It started out with a simple post on twitter and ended up being printed in an issue of magazine. Hello, I’d like…

  1. Not all fonts are created equal

Fonts have been around for a long time but only recently have people outside of the design world really started to pay attention to them. Computers have made access to thousands of fonts easy and cheap. The problem is that many of those fonts are designed for printing and not screens. Font foundries have taken up the task to redesign many existing fonts to better appear on screen. They have also expanded the different weights of fonts to include various versions of fonts like light, regular, book, medium, semi-bold, bold, black, etc. If you use a cool new font, make sure you know how it’s being used so it always looks its best.

  1. Learn to speak in business terms, understand your clients pains and show how you can fix them

Designers are visual people. We can spend hours talking about a design and why we chose to design it the way we did with certain colors and elements. Understandable—clients don’t always share our enthusiasm for all that detail. They hire us to fix a problem for them. We need to speak about a design with the purpose of showing them how a whole design piece will help them fix their issue and increase their sales or presence in their market.

  1. Spew Bag Challenge, Make Plane Rides Fun Again!

Inspiration comes at the most random times. Speaker Gemma O’Brien spends a lot of time in airplanes and needed an outlet for her creativity. She found it in the pocket on the seat in front of her. She decided to draw funny illustrations on the air sickness bags (or spew bag) and leave them for the next person to find. Spew Bag Challenge!

Joe Whittington

360° video: Bike the Drive

Few amateur cycling events have the grandeur of Chicago’s MB Bike the Drive. Each year on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, the iconic Lake Shore Drive is opened up exclusively for bicycle traffic from 5:30am - 10:00am. Our latest Pepper Group 360° video is an inside look at the 16th edition of this annual event that raises money for the Active Transportation Alliance. An estimated 21,000 cyclists participated this year and we were very pleased that the forecasted thunderstorms turned out to be warm sunshine.

If you look closely at the beginning of this little tour, you may recognize our own Pepper Group CEO, Tim Padgett, stretching out his legs as he moves up alongside the camera.

Playback of 360 videos is most immersive if you have some form of a Google Cardboard viewer and can open the video in the YouTube app on your smartphone (email me if you don’t have a viewer and I will send you one). You can still have a lot of fun without one though by making the video full-screen in your Chrome browser and clicking and dragging with your mouse to explore.

Make sure to put this casual ride on your bucket list if you haven’t already had the pleasure!

Did we spark any ideas about how to involve 360 in your business? Reach out and we’d love to talk with you about it!
Want more? Check out our Pepper Group holiday 360 offering.

Todd Underwood