What Charles Barkley’s Snack Hoodie Reminds Us for B2B Marketing

What Charles Barkley’s Snack Hoodie Reminds Us for B2B Marketing

If you have been following March Madness, you know the fabulously creative Capital One ad featuring NBA-legend Charles Barkley wearing his “snack hoodie.” Commercial co-stars Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson add their own witty comments. The commercial was done by mega-agency DDB Chicago. You can find it easily online.

For those who missed it, Charles Barkley is featured on a couch watching the game while wearing his own unique invention: an orange hoodie worn backwards so he can fill the hood with snacks for easy access to his chips. It’s genius.

Look at Things in a Different Way

It reminds me that we all need to look at things a little differently, perhaps with a less serious approach. While B2B marketing must not sacrifice gravitas, a well-thought-out creative business development strategy may be more memorable.

The biggest obstacle often seems to be time. Many companies today operate at a hectic pace in a competitive business marketplace without the luxury to take a breath, step back and brainstorm for an inspired approach that will set them apart.

In the professional services arena where we like to stick to the facts, there is often little room for imagination. But professionals in the law, accounting, finance, and technology arenas — and beyond — are well-served by taking the time to work with their marketing specialists to make a splash in writing for their websites, blogs and social media.

Beyond the written word, savvy B2B professionals leverage photography, video and innovative events to showcase their creative talents and engage their audiences. A clever approach may yield additional benefits such as building reputation and generating a buzz.

Make the Experience Effortless

Another reminder from this epic commercial is that customers want things to be easy. In a recent American Bar Association Journal article entitled “Law Firms of the future will give clients an effortless experience,” author Jack Newton says: “Leading law firms will focus on delivering effortless experiences that reduce the amount of friction involved in accessing legal services.”

Newton notes a study that finds “modern consumers are not seeking exceptional customer experiences. Instead, they prefer effortless experiences.” Consumers are trending less toward appreciating loyalty and going above-and-beyond, and more toward simplicity of the user transaction.

While eating chips out of your hoodie is not exactly the same as receiving an effortless experience from your lawyer, banker or CPA, both instances speak to an easy solution. According to the ABA Journal, today’s contemporary consumer wants an interaction that is stress-free like those found with Uber and Amazon.

From Madness to Genius

As featured in the commercial in another classic line by Charles Barkley, there’s “a very fine line between madness and genius.” No matter where you and your business fall on the continuum from madness to genius, consider stepping outside of your comfort zone to instill your marketing efforts with some spark and make your business messages sing. Then, think like your target audiences and streamline your processes and operations to provide a modern, effortless experience for your customer.