A blog entry (formerly posted in multiply.com; posted January 12, 2008) on the then, very trendy promotional strategy of companies of giving out planners.
Before it was the free shirts, bags, umbrellas, calendars, pens and/or pencils…Then came THE MOST COVETED LIMITED EDITION PLANNER/ORGANIZER/JOURNAL/DIARY!!!! And like Sir Chong, I would like to meet/see the guy/girl who started this fad. Whoever thought of this is almost as brilliant as the guy who thought of ‘carbonating’ sodas. Since Planner Person wasn’t brilliant enough to sign this idea up under IPR (intellectual property rights) jurisdiction like the Soda Guy did, Planner Person isn’t any richer now than he was before. Awwwww,sad (hahahaha).
In the beginning,only those hired to do a white collar job knew how to operate a planner (and maybe a few college students). Other people would find no use for a notebook demanding lists of meetings,projects, agendas, phone numbers and other details. Then came the awesome Planner Person who probably worked at Starbucks HQ. Starbucks wanted to get people interested in their foundations, their Christmas blend and most importantly, the company’s profits (hehehe). And the answer? LIMITED EDITION PLANNERS! The promo starts a few weeks before Christmas and ends a few months after. This way, customers can give the planners as gifts or if not, they can now plan the year ahead. They made the mechanics easy too! All you have to do is: 1) Make a purchase within the bracket of limited edition products; 2) You get one sticker for every limited edition item; 3) Collect X amount of stickers and; 4) Get a planner for free! This project was perfect since it fits their target market’s lifestyle so perfectly. And it worked, as expected-the lines grew longer, shops became more crowded and regular customers visited more frequently. The first trial became a success! So they repeated it the next year. Soon, they made it an annual project. The planner became a Starbucks trademark. The start of the Christmas blend season became a red letter day for every coffee lover.
But this year was different. Yes, Starbucks still had their Christmas season. The only difference is they shared it with Powerbooks, Jollibeeand Watsons (among other establishments). Watsons had the same set of mechanics. Powerbooks and Jollibee tweaked it to this: 1)Buy stuff amounting to X pesos in a single receipt; 2)Get the planner for free/at a cheaper cost! =). Jollibee has the planners because they are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and its a way for them to give back to their customers (so they say >wink< ). Lalay told me thatSeattle’s Best has one too and give out shirts with their planners. They even have baristas wearing shirts that say:’You deserve more than a planner’. Anzen told me about the journal with ‘this journal will change your life’ written in bold letters on its cover. Proceeds of the planner will fund a tree planting project of an NGO (I forgot the name. The planners are sold at Powerbooks). And of course, there are annual Lasallian planners and the UP centennial planner, so show school spirit! (Yey! hahahaha)
So now, having a planner is sooooooooo in! (hahahahaha) And for the first time in a long time (if not in history), we have a useful fad. Sure, it made all the establishments a hell lot richer but look at what’s happening, squint your eyes and observe intently.
It is now trendy to be in control of your schedule, to be organized, to be on time, to note memorable events, to keep memorabilia, never to miss greeting a friend’s birthday…It is now fashionable to be organized, efficient and punctual. This is a good thing. A great thing! Especially for people like me who would prefer to procrastinate than work early =).
Being a wanna-be semi non conformist, I’m glad I went out of my way with this one and followed the fashionista herd. Now I can put myself back together and try to make everything work. And I bet a lot of people would want to be this fashionable as well.
Sayang Planner Person. Sayang talaga…