A Market Strategy to Copy

Last Updated Jan 11, 2008 10:44 AM EST

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been ragging on Marketing. I've accused marketing groups of wasting money on pointless activities that do nothing to make it easier or cheaper to sell. Well, I take it all back, because this week I came across such an incredible example of effective marketing that I simply must share it with the world. After you read about this amazing marketing move, you will realize, as I did, that my previous criticisms were callow and without substance.

The company that I humbly praise today is Xerox. Just in case you don't remember, Xerox isn't exactly known for its marketing acumen. Xerox, for example, had a desktop computer functionally equivalent to the Apple Macintosh years before Apple -- but failed to market it. And they've spent the past twenty years (and hundreds of millions in marketing dollars) exiting the copier business -- a move that makes about as much sense as Google exiting the search engine business, Fedex exiting the overnight delivery business, or Kleenex exiting the tissue business.

Considering its long history of bonehead marketing, Xerox's recent coup seems all the more remarkable. In a flash of strategic brilliance unequaled in modern times, Xerox Marketing has added a croquet ball to their corporate logo.

I kid you not. Here's the old corporate logo, which dates from the days when Xerox was the most innovative company in high tech:

Xerox's Old Corporate Logo
And here's the new corporate logo, just announced this week:

Xerox's New Corporate Logo
I can only imagine the wild expressions of joy and relief among Xerox's long-suffering sales teams when the new logo was announced. There's no question in my mind that having a croquet ball in your corporate logo is the best way to generate new revenue and reduce the cost of sales.

Better yet, from an ROI perspective, the new logo probably only cost Xerox only a few million dollars in market research -- and will only cost a few million more to change all the brochures and stationery.

But that's not the best part. Here's a quote from the official press release:
The new Xerox logo is now a lowercase treatment of the Xerox name - in a vibrant red - alongside a sphere-shaped symbol...designed to be more effectively animated for use in multi-media platforms.
Yes, they're going to animate the croquet ball! Brilliant! It's simple logic that if a croquet ball in your logo will increase sales, making the ball roll around the screen will send revenues through the roof!!!

I have only one minor complaint. Xerox should come up with a new tag line, one that emphasizes this bold new marketing strategy. Here are my suggestions:
  • Xerox: We'll send you through hoops!
  • Xerox: We go round and round and round!
  • Xerox: We're really balling with you now!
or my favorite:
  • Xerox: We have only one ball!
Got any more suggestions?

Next week: Nothing about Marketing. I promise. I'm thinking maybe something about how to get to decision-makers. All things considered, I figure that sales pros need all the help they can get. Because they sure ain't gettin' it from Marketing.