He realized that if he didn't effectively communicate his sales message in the already saturated marketplace, it would eventually have an impact on the solicitation of new business and on the long-term future of the company.
By 2002, Friedman had decided that if CDC was to have any real chance of maintaining its steady rate of growth, he would have to find a way to make his business stand out from the crowd.
After brainstorming with his executive staff, Friedman developed three simple, goals:
1) Increase CDC's visibility and recognition.
2) Extend the company's new-found recognition to provide continuity to its lesser known and new products and services.
3) Capitalize on the latest technology to maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
UPS launches An eye opening marketing campaign
It was during the 2002 Olympic Games when Friedman saw the UPS launch of its now extremely successful "Brown" campaign. To the causal viewer, it was just a great TV commercial, but to a knowledgeable advertising professional, that ad campaign embodied marketing simplicity and clarity of message.
The campaign reintroduced and rejuvenated UPS and its services without having to completely re-brand the company. The UPS "Brown" campaign exemplified a perfectly executed marketing plan and message.
Friedman was not unfamiliar with successful marketing practices. Under his leadership, the company had grown from $900,000 in annual sales in 1976 to $33 million by 2002. Recognizing the brilliance of the UPS campaign, he decided to undertake a similar approach to reintroduce CDC to the region.
Friedman focuses on re-branding CDC
Re-branding is very expensive, and it's a gamble – customers may not like drastic marketing changes, fearing they may herald loss of quality in a possibly redesigned product. Friedman's sense of practical and creative marketing told him that a subtle approach to re–branding his company would be a much better idea.
It was time to take the company's fine reputation, name recognition and consumer good will, and bring the company to the next level using re-branding to recapture the attention of current and potential customers.
The marketing plan needed to be comprehensive, be sustainable over a long period of time, be aggressive while permitting a multi-tiered, phased-in approach, and have a contemporary and creative look and feel. Above all, everything had to be packaged in an easy-to-recognize, simple message.
With a few key executive staff members, Friedman started laying out the framework of their own "brown" campaign – their brown being coffee.
Creative manpower needed
After the team reworked their company logo, they quickly realized that although they were able to set goals, determine action plans and schedule activities, they needed additional technical and creative abilities to execute such an encompassing plan, as well as the personnel to give it the attention it required.
Friedman chose Paul Jann Advertising, a metro New York City-based marketing and communications agency, which has extensive experience at creating effective campaigns for companies ranging from local to national. Friedman believed that the agency's methodical battle plan approach to marketing and cutting-edge design sense would mesh perfectly with his vision and goals for CDC.
When it came to considering methods of getting his message across, Friedman again found a way to keep things simple.
He knew that if he advertised in a consumer magazine, the cost would average $21.45 per every thousand people he could reach, and a potential customer would maybe see the ad once or twice.
If he advertised on billboards, it would cost only $3.55 per thousand people who might see that stationary ad as they passed it.
Trucks and vans as advertising media
But if he used the trucks and vans that he already had, he would only spend 90 cents per thousand people, and he would have continuous mobile advertising.
CDC has a fleet of almost 100 delivery trucks and vans traveling throughout the region, being seen by literally hundreds of thousands of would-be customers every day. It made perfect sense to use them as an advertising platform to lay the foundation of the marketing campaign.