Fairmont Kea Lani Has Smart Marketing Afoot

Here’s a marketing tip that’s perfect for summer.
The posh Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui is one of my most favorite resorts in the entire world. Everything about this haute hotel is divine – from the all-suite rooms, to the private villas where celebrities stay, to its award-winning restaurant Ko that has been named the best restaurant on Maui.
Recently, my husband Bill needed to mend his broken beach sandals, when we were staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani on assignment for several magazines. He bought his sandals to the concierge, who gave them to one of the team members in Maintenance. Faster than you can say, “Flip flops,” Bill received his mended sandals. The Fairmont Kea Lani maintenance worker simply used tile caulking to fix the sandals and they were good as new.
Furthermore, making the situation even more sweeter – the maintenance worker also gave my husband a complimentary pair of the hotel’s signature flip flop sandals. That action was a fantastic example of how this resort always goes the extra mile, for guest satisfaction. We were wowed by that. And get this: Not only do these sandals bear the hotel’s name, but the underside, on the sole, carries a marketing secret: The words “Fairmont” and “Kea Lani” are carved into each of the soles, so that when you walk on the beach – especially wet sand – the name of the resort is embedded into the sand. Brilliant!! This literally makes these sandals the epitome of a “walking advertisement.” Clever!
As a Boston marketing consultant, travel writer, and content creator, who loves savvy marketing ideas, the Fairmont Kea Lani’s signature sandals are a great example of a creative marketing solution. This is thinking outside the beach — and dare I say it? — thinking outside the bunion.

Smart Marketing: Moen Launches Faucet Jewelry

Have you ever walked into a beautiful powder room, and gone gaga over the designer sink and fixtures?
Home hardware brand Moen has just launched a novel advertising campaign, in which they are showcasing their designer faucets – as nothing less than jewelry. You heard that right. They are now, for their marketing campaign, touting the faucets and spigots as necklaces for glamorous women, in the hope that the idea will glorify its faucets as high-fashion. It plans to translate its spiffy home hardware into neckware, by working with various designers around the world. Let’s face it – stylish spigots and faucets are indeed beautiful accessories to a bathroom and they definitely make a statement.

The luxurious jewelry is the star of the show in Moen’s print and TV campaign, and will also be featured at various home-shows around the country. A limited-edition of faucet-inspired pendants will also be given away at industry events.

As a marketing copywriter for the home goods industry, I believe this is a unique platform and a great idea.

Downton Abbey Begins Mass Merchandising

What can you do, if you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, if you just can’t make it until the new season starts in January 2014 in the States?

Well, you could watch reruns. You could also buy the DVD set and watch those too. You could even go to England to visit Highclere Castle, the gorgeous location where the hit TV show is filmed. Afterwards, you could go to the gift shop to purchase any number of goodies – everything from clotted cream in specialty Highclere Castle gift boxes, to scented soaps, to unusual cufflinks portraying the castle, which cost a mere 15 British Pounds – about $23.

But let’s not stop there. In fact, the producers and investors behind the show are just now starting to take advantage of the show’s wild popularity, by coming out with a wealth of products that feature housewares, clothing, a board game, and wine.

Wow. It’s about time. As a Boston marketing expert and Boston publicist, I’m actually quite shocked that the program has taken this long to capitalize on Downton’s amazing success. Here in the States, it’s standard practice to have new products rolled out with a huge merchandising program in place. Until now, the most that fans could procure were wall calendars, DVD sets and desk diaries.

The Downton Abbey program makers are poised to cash in, and I’m sure audiences everywhere will thrill to the new products being introduced. In England, the Marks & Spencer stores will peddle a Downton line of beauty products featuring nail polish, lotion, soap and scented candles. Coming soon will be Downton Christmas ornaments. In addition, the London-based company that supplies the program with historically accurate paint hues, including the “Amber Gray” that is the color of the kitchen of the downstairs staff, also has just brought its wares to the marketplace. This is all smart marketing. Here, here!

Clever Marketing: Diet Coke and Marc Jacobs

This post is all about smart partnerships between businesses, and this one is practically guaranteed to get great results.
Designer Marc Jacobs has partnered with Diet Coke, and the result are classy cans of soda.
Ah, it’s a marriage made in Heaven. Diet Coke and a fashionable designer can. What woman could resist this particular pairing?
As a Boston copywriter and Boston marketing communications expert, this is a savvy step by Diet Coke. Just as Louis Vuitton has hired designers to dress up its handbags, Coca-Cola hopes to attract its audience with a fashionable soda can.
Who better than Marc Jacobs? His styles are to-die-for.
That said, Diet Coke recently launched designer Marc Jacob’s special can collection, called “So Fashion.” The classy cans are inspired by the last three decades in the world of fashion. The Eighties are celebrated with a design inspired by Broadway, Radio City Music Hall and the women’s liberation movement. The Nineties demonstrate a model in a top hat, wearing heels and a bustier. The new Millennium – the 2000s – are covered with a sporty look reminiscent of the Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 runway attire.
The beverage industry is very crowded, with the old reliable brands and new start-ups. Anything a brand can do to get itself noticed is smart marketing indeed.

Smart Marketing: Katie Holmes Touts – and Owns — Haircare Company

Here’s a marketing post about beauty marketing, and about the smart pairing of celebrities with name-brand products.

I have blogged previously about the fact that celebrity Jennifer Aniston is now a co-owner of Living Proof, based in Cambridge, Mass. She will not only be a spokesperson for the haircare company, and not just a paid endorser – she is part owner of the company, giving her testimonials even more credibility. Ads show her touting the product as the “co-owner” of the company.

She will make a bazillion more dollars as a result of this — not that she needs it.

A similar move has been announced by Alterna Haircare. As a Boston marketing consultant, and a marketing consultant specializing in unusual strategies, I believe that these types of marketing marriages are a win-win for everyone. It’s so blatantly true that celebrities in this country are worshipped and seen as role models – and sometimes, the worse their behavior, the better. But a celebrity endorsement, nonetheless, can always kickstart any company’s marketing campaign.

Alterna is know for all kinds of haircare products, including $60 “Ten Shampoo’” and “$32 hair conditioner. (Seems to me you need a celebrity to afford it!) They have hired actress and entrepreneur Katie Holmes as their co-owner and first-ever celebrity spokesperson for the brand. Over the course of her multi-year deal with Alterna, the ex-Mrs. Tom Cruise will offer her creative and consumer insights to help the brand grow and expand its devout consumer following around the world, as well as inspire salon and retail partners.

“Katie inspired us by gracefully evolving from an actress to a multi-faceted artist, designer and style icon,” says Joan Malloy, President/CEO of Alterna Haircare. “We’re confident that adding Katie’s natural beauty, gorgeous hair and creative instincts to our state-of-the-art, results-driven haircare collection will be a game-changing combination.”

Consumers will get their first glimpse at the partnership with in Spring 2013. Marketing will appear in March women’s beauty, lifestyle and salon trade publications. This will be the largest ad campaign for the company since its inception; the campaign invites consumers to experience the “transformational” power of Alterna products “after just one use” via product sampling.

Says Ms. Holmes: “I’m really proud to be a part of this company – not only because the products are incredible, but because their ‘accessible luxury’ and ‘free-of’ philosophy really speaks to me.”

Smart Marketing: Christian Louboutin’s Red-Soled Shoes

I’ve blogged about this before, but it’s absolute genius that French shoe designer Christian Louboutin had the brainstorm to paint the soles of his shoe designs in a bright red color, to set them apart and to advertise them in a subtle way — without even any wording or message. If you ever watched Oprah before she took her show off the air, many times you would have noticed the soles of her expensive Louboutin shoes in the wide shots shown on TV. Before Louboutin and his smart marketing, everyone’s shoe soles were simply black or beige. But Louboutin took his shoes one step further, and was able to trademark the red soles as his brand – and his brand alone. Watch any of the late-night talk shows, and chances are, you will see a wealth of celebrity women wearing these famous scarlet-soled shoes that cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. The red soles became his trademark, his gimmick, his logo, if you will. While I believe that such expensive shoes are yet another sign of wretched excess in this country, I do applaud this marketing. As a marketing expert who specializes in marketing for small business, and marketing solutions and marketing strategies, the use of color is smart indeed. After all, smart marketing and advertising is finding a new niche – and filling it.

Recently, the U. S. Appeals Court in Manhattan overturned a lower-court decision, and they ruled that Louboutin’s red sole is in fact entitled to trademark protection. That means that no other shoe manufacturer can use the red sole as its marketing gimmick.
But how about someone else coming up with a trademark blue or canary-yellow sole? Or etching their product name on the sole itself? It reminds me of one of my favorite marketing techniques. It involved Vacation.com etching their name on the soles of flip-flop sandals, so that when people wore these sandals in the sand, the name Vacation.com was footprinted in the sand at beach resorts. Brilliant!

Marketing Tip: Hold A Contest Like Venus Swimwear

One of the smart, savviest marketing tactics a company can take to promote itself is to hold a contest. Hawaiian Tropic has done this many times, quite sucessfully, in Australia since 1991, and another company that has proudly conducted a model search is Venus, a manufacturer of high-end fashions and swimwear, based in Jacksonville, Fla. (Check out my blog post on Venus, professing my love for their clothes, by clicking here). The company has been doing model searches for more than 15 years; even “The Donald” himself – Donald Trump – flew in for the event in 2002.

As ownership of Venus changed, there was a lull in the Model Search for Ms. Venus, but it returned to smashing success in 2011. The winner was Kayla Gill, was flown to Miami to join Venus on a photo shoot. Check it out by clicking here.

For 2012 there was an even larger contest held, and more than 1,000 models from across the United States and abroad entered. A panel of judges chose the Top 70 entrants, and their photos were posted online for public voting. Public votes and judges’ votes determined the Top 12 finalists. And the winner is – Melissa. Check her out by clicking here here.

The winner receives an all-expenses-paid test shoot with Venus, and $1,000.

Each contestant competed in the cocktail dress and swimwear category.

As a marketing expert, I believe it’s safe to say that Venus now has at least 1,000 new customers! And that’s what smart marketing is all about.

Pantone Color Marketing Is Fit For A Queen

Do you know what Pantone is? It was established in 1963 as a system of codifying colors for the graphic arts community. Today, Pantone is the last word and The Authority on color, as it pertains to home furnishings, fashion, hospitality, electronics, stationery, arts and crafts, and beauty.

In 2012, Pantone’s color of the year is Tangerine Tango, a reddish-orange that is said to provide us all with an energy boost. It was embraced by designers all across the board.

Pantone has also been very creative when it comes to marketing. This year, in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, the Pantone company created a Royal Pantone wheel that showcases Her Majesty’s many outfits, in the hues of coral, lemon and green. Each of her outfits lists a Pantone number, and the day she wore the ensemble. For over 60 years, Her Majesty has opted for a full spectrum of color-coordinated ensembles, from the Primrose Yellow she wore at Will and Kate’s wedding in April 2011 to the tasteful Lilac Snow outfit she wore last year. A special presentation box was made for the book to be presented to Her Majesty.

This has been a huge public-relations hit for Pantone.

It also has its own magazine, Pantone Universe. It is touted as “a design-led collection for the home, the workplace and the road… Accessories and apparel you need in designs you want – and in colors you love, by Pantone, the author of the universal color language.”

Clever marketing, indeed, and I say that as a Boston marketing writer. I love some good “Meshuganah” crazy marketing. In my opinion, there isn’t enough of it in this world!


Have you read my bestselling book, Off The Wall Marketing Ideas? It contains a goldmine of get-successful marketing strategies. One of the most successful ways to make your business memorable, is to link it to a celebrity. When a Hollywood celebrity gives an endorsement to a product, well, it’s golden. The news is that the Kardashian sisters have just lent their name to fashion products that will debut at Sears. Bear in mind that the Kardashian family, that dysfunctional reality-series clan, raked up a whopping $65 million in profits last year. Over at competitor Kohl’s, there is a new debut of a fashion line with Jennifer Lopez’s name on it. Also at Kohl’s, there is a new launch of the Mark Anthony Collection – even though he and Jennifer are no longer together. It features $60 dress shirts for men and $180 military trench coats so you too can look like a sexy Latin star. Hollywood publicists are forever bombarding stars with their free merchandise, just in case that celebrity is photographed wearing or using it. If you can do the same for your business — maybe even just with a local celebrity — you may boost your business. I say this as a marketing expert and owner of Maxima Marketing, in Westwood, Mass.


It’s pure marketing genius. The vivid, glossy, lacquered red soles that stand out on every pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos.

Next time you watch the Oprah show, check out her shoes. Many times, she’s sporting Louboutins, and you know that she is, thanks to the red soles of her high heels.

This marketing gimmick of Louboutin’s is sheer marketing genius. He took a mundane object and, with its distinctive red sole, and made it instantly recognizeable and into an international brand. He did it with color – and not even a logo. That’s smart, effective marketing — and an effective low-cost marketing technique.

The French designer made his first pair of shoes with the red soles for a mine owner. He sells about a half-million pairs of shoes every year, priced anywhere from $395 to $6,000. For the women who can teeter on those sky-high heels, Louboutins are the ultimate status symbol.

Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom sell genuine Louboutin in Boston.
For more information, visit my website at www.MarketingAuthor.com.