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@conformerinc.com

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

  1. Bob,
    I could not agree with you more. It is good that your company is fully committed to eco-friendly packaging.

    Best Regards,
    Liz Hobby
    Liz Hobby Silks

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