Hall of Shame #11: Reach Out and Touch Someone

I have been a loyal AT&T Wireless customer since 1996, long before mobile phones were not the mandatory business tools they are today.  I have watched the Company re-brand itself more times than Madonna.  Ah the memorable slogans – More bars in more places, Your World. Delivered, and their latest, Rethink Possible. The Company spends billions on fancy marketing campaigns to remind you that they have a great product and terrific service.

I had a recent episode with AT&T that left me scratching my head.  My Blackberry Bold 9000 was overheating and killing the battery.  After 2+ hours of pulling the battery, re-booting, updating and re-installing, tech support  “granted” me a new battery.

I thought this would be a great opportunity for the smart marketers at AT&T Wireless to do some damage control and rebuild my confidence in their service.  Instead, AT&T determined it was in their better interests to use free packaging from FedEx.

AT&T Marketing

Unexpected delivery from FedEx. Must be important.

Tiny battery, BIG landfill packaging
Tiny battery, BIG landfill packaging

This package lands in our Conformer Hall of Shame for a number of infractions –

1 – AT&T totally blew a great chance to Reach out and touch someone. They had a great branding opportunity but opted to cut corners and promote the brand of FedEx instead of their own.

2 – Not only does AT&T not care about their branding, they don’t care about the environment.  The FedEx Padded Pak is both grossly over-sized and is not recyclable.  Does a battery really require bubble padding?  I wouldn’t think so.

3 – AT&T is paying double what they should be to ship this package.  I did a quick price check.  FedEx Express Saver, delivered in 2 – 3 days costs roughly $11, though I am sure they have a lower negotiated rate.  Had AT&T used USPS Priority Mail, they could have used a recyclable, AT&T branded Conformer Paperboard Mailer made from post consumer content, and paid $5.35.

It’s time for AT&T marketing to Rethink Possible. With the $5.65 they could have saved in postage, AT&T could buy some pretty snappy eco-conscious, brand enforcing packaging.

-Bob Makofsky at bmakofsky@conformer.com

About Bob Makofsky

Bob runs operations and marketing and is Conformer’s resident postal expert. Bob has over a dozen years of entrepreneurial experience in the technology industry, in both marketing and business development roles ranging from negotiating $100 million-plus contracts nationally and abroad to developing marketing campaigns. He is regularly featured in print and packaging trade magazines on innovation. Bob is a competitive cyclist and longtime member of the Century Road Club Association in Central Park, competing in the Empire State Games (2007, 2008). Bob graduated from the University of Denver.
This entry was posted in Branding, Cost Savings, Hall of Shame, Mailers / Envelopes, Postal Info. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hall of Shame #11: Reach Out and Touch Someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *