This isn't exactly your average column geared toward supply chain strategies, but since it's the holidays let's step outside the box a bit to thank existing and prospective clients for their business. Show them why they chose, or might want to choose, to do business with your company.
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) could have tapped this strategy when earlier in the year it experienced product shortages and long lead times -- between six and eight months -- to deliver on goods. So, "Do You Flip?" That's Cisco's tagline for the holiday campaign for the Flip video camera, a small portable video camera that lets you point, shoot, and upload the video to your company's Website or to YouTube, where clients can view, download, or post to their own blogs or Websites.
Flip video is gearing up to ask consumers that question. This year's holiday spots will ask for creative video from everyday consumers using their own Flip video cameras, as well as personal footage from celebrities such as Jenna Elfman, Brooke Burke, Evgeni Malkin, and the band OK GO. Why not share the same strategy with existing and prospective clients that require assistance from your supply chain?
This year's holiday campaign is expected to follow last year's. It relied on 10-, 15- and 30-second clips shot on Flip video cameras by everyday Joes and such celebrities as Usher, Tony Hawk, and Weezer. Cisco turned the clips into TV commercials, as well as online social media and rich banner ads. Chances are you won't make TV spots or banner ads from the Flip video clips, but nothing's stopping you from posting them on your Website or YouTube to promote a little holiday cheer.
Manufacturers of components can also make videos of finished goods to show consumers the products on their BlackBerry (Nasdaq: RIMM; Toronto: RIM) or Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)
smartphones, as well as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPads or Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) laptops. Spread a little holiday cheer. After all, during the Black Friday weekend, the National Retail Federation estimates, consumers spent $45 billion.
During the first 33 days of this year's holiday season $16.8 billion has been spent online, up 12 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to comScore. The most recent week saw four individual days surpass $800 million in spending, led by Cyber Monday, which became the heaviest online spending day on record at $1.028 billion.
Tuesday, Nov. 30, reached $911 million, making it the third heaviest online spending day on record. Wednesday reached $868 million, and Thursday $850 million, also record levels. And although growth rates for the season subsided in the latter half of the week, there's still plenty to cheer about.
If you were to share a 30- to 60-second video with clients, what would it convey?