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Think One-with-One Empowerment

What you do with customers to increase the likelihood of staying connected forever is far more important than what you do to the customer to gain a few more sales. Take the “to” out of One-to-One and move into a One-with-One relationship.

The brand and the user add “stickiness” to the relationship by becoming a supportive twosome rather than opposing one another. With an empowered consumer and an empowered marketer regularly sharing value-added, experiences, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.

Update October 14, 2016

Non-Tech Entangled Marketing

Chick-fil-A, as we saw with the Furry Animal Sleepover, is a masterful innovator when it comes to entangling the brand in the life of the customer. Their restaurant operators love doing exceptional things together with customers. It’s a one-with-one mindset.

Some of the franchise owners come up with their own ideas to foster a supportive relationship. One of them is Brad Williams, a Chick-fil-A restaurant owner in Suwanee Georgia, an Atlanta suburb.

Williams, a father of four, was concerned about the consequences of widespread cell phone usage. “Over 25 years I’ve seen customers go from sharing quality time and talking with one another to being on their phones the entire meal,” says Williams. “There’s just a major disconnect.”

Realizing how well a no-cell-phone-while-eating rule worked for him at home, Williams decided to try it at his Chick-fil-A restaurant. He came up with the Family Challenge. It’s a way to entangle visitors in giving up scrolling Instagram or texting friends during the meal.

Here’s how it works.

There is a small, decorative box on each table with a simple challenge. Before starting the meal, deposit the cell phones of folks at the table in the box. If nothing is removed by the end of the meal, the challenge has been met successfully.

You enjoy the food and the company without distraction and receive a free ice cream for dessert as your reward.

Customers want to be entangled with Chick-fil-A in a worthwhile activity. “The Family Challenge has completely taken off,” says Williams. “Now we even have people asking to take the boxes home with them.”

Interest is spreading across the U.S. exponentially. More than 350 other franchise owners now are bringing back quality time with the Family Challenge.

In this instance, rather than use high-tech digital experiences to get close to customers, Chick-fil-A is going the non-tech entanglement route.

Update July 20, 2016

NYTimes: The “Doing With” Dynamo

The NY Times has taken another dramatic step in what can best be described as embracing an entanglement business model. It’s the best response yet seen to the uncertain future faced by newspapers in the digital age.

The brand is partnering with meal kit company Chef’d to deliver the ingredients needed for dishes featured on its popular NYT Cooking website. Meal Kits are the latest way to master preparing the meals in the unmatched NY Times collection of 17,000 recipes.

Each pre-packaged kit contains everything needed to put together the perfect meal at home – from American classics like Braised Halibut to Continental classics like beef Bourguignon to regional classics like Southern Shrimp Scampi. Everything is tailored to a person’s unique preferences. There are cooking tips and easy-to-follow instructions often provided by famous chefs.

The NYTimes brand is now with the consumer in the kitchen sharing a one-with-one cooking experience.

What is different in the new business model are the many ways to make money for the newspaper. The NY Times already has started businesses appealing to a range of interests from a wine club to a unique travel experience.

Many of the “Times Journeys” are led by the paper’s foreign correspondents. For a truly memorable journey, travelers willingly pay thousands of dollars. Enough people are doing it to turn “Times Journeys” into a big profit maker.

The new Meal Kit delivery business is expected to be even bigger. Bloomberg reports that last year “other revenues” generated about $95 million in sales annually for the NY Times. That number is expected to double and redouble over the next few years

With reader interest in food and travel covered what will be next? How will the NYTimes continue to entangle its brand in the daily lives of its readers?

Will it be a money-maker built on the Entertainment, Science, Real Estate, Sports or Business interests of followers? There is no limit to the ways a newspaper can satisfy a person’s interests beyond delivering the news.

Update June 14, 2016

John Hancock Does It Again

John Hancock life insurance, the brand that pioneered fitness rewards, is breaking new ground. This time they are handing out perks to policyholders who follow a healthy diet.

It was just a year ago that John Hancock became the first insurance company to entangle the brand and the insured person in adding years to her or his life. The benefit is loud and clear. Lead a more active lifestyle. Earn a lower insurance premium. Live a longer life.

The brand benefits by replacing the negative side of selling life insurance with a positive outlook. John Hancock’s President Michael Doughty interviewed in USA Today said: “Life insurance has always been a difficult conversation to have with people. Now you can have a conversation where you’re talking about living, about earning points, about engaging in healthy activities.”

John Hancock and the consumer become an entangled twosome that never let go of a shared commitment to better health for the insured person. Doughty says he has seen a positive impact already for the fitness program with participants taking more than 9,200 steps on average per day – nearly twice the number taken by an adult in the U.S.

With the new Vitality Healthy Food program John Hancock rewards policyholders for filling the grocery cart with fruits, vegetables and other recommended foods – up to $600 a year in cash back at 70 grocery chains around the country.

Policyholders earn points for making smart food shopping choices just as you might in a frequent flyer program. There are immediate benefits and additional savings of up to 15% on annual life insurance premiums.

The new Vitaliy Healthy Foods program is an addition to the year-old fitness program that rewards things like working out and getting an annual physical. By supporting a total wellness lifestyle, John Hancock has redefined the degree of closeness possible between an insured person and the insurer over a lifetime.

Both sides of the relationship come out ahead with an Entangled Marketing mindset.

Update May 26, 2016

IBM-plus-Anyone Takes a Quantum Leap

The laws of physics are different at the quantum level. It is where the phenomenon of entanglement is a fundamental fact of life. Entanglement occurs when two sub-atomic particles share an inextricable connection no matter how far apart they may be.

We believe that quantum entanglement is a perfect metaphor for the enduring connection with customers a brand can maintain in the digital age.

Over the years, quantum theory was proven to be a reality. The door opened to startling applications of sub-atomic mechanics. Most astonishing is the progress in development of a quantum computer. Once considered a far-off science fiction playground, the era of quantum computing is arriving sooner than anyone expected.

The race to build a real quantum computer has Microsoft, Google and IBM competing along with others. Canada’s D-Wave claims it already has created a small-scale version.

“Quantum mechanics is being used to construct a new generation of computers that can solve the most complex scientific problems. These will perform computations in seconds that would take conventional computers millions of years,” according to Vivek Wadha in The Huffington Post.

Just a few weeks ago, IBM turned the tables on the entire field by announcing they are putting a quantum computer on the cloud for anyone to use. The researchers at IBM call it “The IBM Quantum Experience.”

The goal is to reach out to anyone interested in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Starting with a set of five short, online tutorials, you are given a hands-on opportunity to experiment on an actual quantum computing processor.

Students, developers and science enthusiasts gain access to IBM’s quantum computing platform. Participants enter a virtual lab where they design and run their own algorithms by way of the cloud on processors located at the Thomas J Watson research center.

If you sign up online, you can learn whatever is needed through the tutorials. If you already have the right capabilities, you are welcome to use the IBM Quantum Composer in simulation immediately.

Imagine what it would be like to be there as IBM pursues the challenge of building computers far more powerful than any supercomputer in the world. The IBM-plus-Anyone Quantum Experience makes this possible.

It is the most innovative example we’ve seen of “doing with” to entangle a community of believers in a brand’s breakthrough product development. With an Entangled Marketing mindset. IBM has put itself at the forefront of the quantum computer revolution.

Update March 22, 2016

John Hancock and You at the Boston Marathon

The latest move by John Hancock Insurance to enhance its One-with-One approach to marketing is the launch of a new #Run Bold social media campaign. Individuals can create customized banner designs on to compete for selection as one of the 26 banners on display close to the race’s finish line.

As a Boston Marathon sponsor, John Hancock hangs hundreds of street banners annually, but they have never before involved people in this way. Individuals create an image of themselves on a digital banner featuring an inspiring word such as gratitude, passion or believe.

The personal banner can be saved to share with friends or posted on Instagram to be considered for viewing at the heavily attended marathon next month.

John Hancock goes farther than any other company in empowering people to set and reach goals for a longer life. In the book, we highlighted the brand’s life insurance Vitality Program. The better a policy-holder does in meeting personal health goals -- with loads of assistance from John Hancock -- the greater the rewards.

Your “Vitality Age” calculated at the John Hancock website when compared with your actual age indicates your overall wellness. Improving the score with the inventive things you do together is doing wonders to revitalize the brand.

Check it out at You’ll get a first-hand view of an overwhelming dedication to the principles of Entangled Marketing. It’s a transformative new approach for the industry. The insurer and the insured person never let go of their lifetime commitment to better health and longer life for the policyholder.


Join Our Community

Sebastian and Stan are inviting interested advertising and marketing professionals to be part of their LinkedIn group.

If you choose to join, you become part of a community which shares great examples and personal experiences dealing with entangling the brand and the consumer in a mutually beneficial relationship. Along with the other "insiders," you can gain a decided advantage in the fierce online competition for market share.

Click here to join the Entangled Marketing™ community on LinkedIn.