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How to Win Clients the FedEx Way

Written by Alun John

Alun founded Marketing Tom and delivers some of its courses.

September 3, 2005

The Church of the Customer have an interesting write up about a FedEx client who appears to have incurred the wrath of the mighty corporate company. It would seem that José Avila decided to use his FedEx cardboard packaging boxes as furniture in his new house – he apparently didn’t have the cash to buy new furniture having moved from one part of the US to another – and then posted some of the pictures on the web. This is the story according to Joe Jaffe, who seems to have generated a lot of buzz surrounding the story:

* Jose moves from California to Arizona

* Doesn’t really have the cash to go to IKEA, so in the spirit of
creativity and armed with the tagline, “it’s ok to be ghetto”, he decks
out his apartment with Fedex boxes

* Sticks a few pictures on his website and before he knows it, the web lights up with activity and interest…

* Word gets out to Fedex who find Jose’s efforts to be a distraction
from the development of their next Superbowl spot or a raging debate
about the recommended Pantone colors from their next branding logo
styleguide.

* Fedex issues a Cease ‘n Desist, citing everything from the Digital Millennium Copywriter’s Act to Box Theft. Site taken down.

* Jose connects with Jennifer Granick over at Stanford who fights Fedex’s imbecilic behavior all the way to the blog. Site back up.

* Avila maintains his position that it’s ok to be ghetto and soaks up publicity from Countdown to the Today Show.

He believes that José Avila:

“a pink-haired, unassuming software engineer who could quite
possibly be the marketer of the year (or at least the hour)”

When you read something like this you can’t help but wonder at how incompetent some of these large corporate giants can really be. Instead of promoting the story and using viral marketing to push the brand for them, they wheel out the big legal guns and try to beat the poor customer into sumbissions.

Stupid buggers!

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