Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Slush as a Service, Icicle as a Service, Acorns as a Service: You heard it here.

Last winter, Kyle Waring – a local advertising/marketing guy who works in the gaming industry – came up with quite an idea. Ship Snow, Yo! offered boxes of snow, which were FedEx’d to those who live in snow-deprived regions. One of his taglines: Our nightmare is your Dream!

That was apparently true for over 200 folks, who actually ordered product – or, as Waring dubs it “Snow as a Service”. While Waring was at it, he also raised a few bucks for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless.

nd, by the way, no shipping within the state, where – after 10 feet in 5 weeks - we had had enough already:

Note: We will not ship snow to anyone in Massachusetts! We're in the business of expunging snow, no joke!

As a long-time veteran of the wonderful world of Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Security as a Service, Whatever as a Service, I was delighted to see that Waring has commandeered the as-a-Service thang.

And as a marketer who for years has held up the guy with the truck that said We clean blinds as the master of messaging clarity, I doff my ear-muffs (or will, once winter rolls back around) to Waring for including in his messaging the words: We ship snow.

For years, I longed to work on a product/service that could be explained in three little words. Instead, it was largely my marketing lot to work on products that were complex (and generally high priced). When I was commuting on Route 128 all those years ago, I would see that blinds van and think to myself “maybe someday.” Well, it hasn’t happened yet.

Anyway, Waring is at it again, with a new offering, Foliage as a Service, “Shipping New England Foliage to Anyone in the US.”

Once again, a marketing message of inordinate clarity. And there I was, trying to define Genuity’s Black Rocket in fewer than 100 words. I did get it down to three words at one point – Glorified Web Hosting – but that wasn’t actually a message that we could use externally.

Foliage as a Service doesn’t come cheap: $19.99 for just three leaves. 3-leafBut, it’s not as if Waring just picked up a couple of leaves off the sidewalk and threw them in an envelope.

The leaves are collected from trails and others spots around New England, and then carefully cleaned and preserved with ammonia and glycerin, to ensure they stay alive and colorful for years to come, Waring said. (Source: Boston Globe)

Gotta love this guy!

And folks absolutely should take advantage of New England foliage while there’s still time. The leaves are turning later and later each year – last year, most of the trees on the Boston Common were still in full green leaf running into Thanksgiving – so it’s probably just a matter of time before there’s no foliage season at all to speak of.

Which will really be too bad. Forget the havoc being played with our environment – as if that’s not bad enough – but the idea of not being able to experience gorgeous fall foliage…Well, sigh. I won’t miss the bus-loads of leaf peeping tourists, but when you’re on the road, on a blue-sky day, during foliage peak, there’s really nothing quite like it.

I’ve been thinking about it, and I have a few ideas for product extensions that I’d like to see Waring bring to market.

How about Slush as a Service? It could come in two sizes: ankle length and mid-calf. Why not let everyone experience that wonderful New England feeling of stepping off the curb and having the slush slop over the top of your shoe or boot?

And why not Icicle as a Service? Sizes could range from 10” length with half inch diameter, way on up to 6’ with a nine inch diameter. You could charge extra based on how pointy the end was.

For fall, I recommend Acorn as a Service. No, oak leaves aren’t as colorful as maples, but still…

Spring is more difficult, but folks who visit Boston in late April-early May do tend to go ga-ga over the magnolias.

I see two forms of Magnolia as a Service. Peak would be a beautifully preserved magnolia blossom. (Would ammonia and glycerin do it?) And Past-Peak would be a slippery, brown-edge blossom on a brick. Wheee….

Summer’s harder, still. I was toying with the idea of beach rocks or scallop shells, but I think that Fenway Park peanut shells, soaked in Bud, would be a better representation of summer in New England. Fenway as a Service could help us keep our minds off the abysmal quality of the play. (Oh, but that was the 2015 season. Wait until next year.)

What do you say, Kyle Waring? All yours. Just say that you heard it here.

Waring used to work for a site called bored.com If you’re in need of a time-waster, this one’s for you.

And thanks to my sister Trish for sending this one my way. I’ll be looking for a very nice leaf to gift you with next time I see you.

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