Wednesday, February 20

Marketing Big to Small


I get the question all of the time ... "How do I apply all of this big brand marketing to my small business?"  This has come up especially a lot recently, as entrepreneurs and small business owners alike have been discussing the Super Bowl advertising and how on earth they can apply anything to their brands.

Creatively,  cleverly, quickly ... that's how.  Let's look to some inspiration.

Gardiners Furniture.

This entrepreneur and small business owner in Maryland launched a cleverly timed, creatively applied promotion that was linked directly to the Super Bowl, without ever going near any sponsorship deals.  He simply promised to give away all the furniture purchased during the days leading to the Super Bowl if the Baltimore Ravins returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Sure enough, as luck would have it, it occurred ... forcing him to live up to his promise.  $600,000 worth.

Suddenly, a local hero, even more than Jacoby Jones who scored the goal.

Not only did he make his customers and all of Baltimore happy, he gave them something to remember and share about him, forever.  And he gave the local media something to talk about, in a heartbeat, the entire week after the game.  And because he tied it to a huge pop culture event, he got the attention of the national media as well.  He was even featured prominently in the New York Times.  All for the low low price of $12,000 for the insurance policy to cover it all.

He says that says before and after the game have never been scoring!

This small business entrepreneur was able to leverage the obsession of a pop culture event into a relevant brand promotion into local and national attention and into brand sales and loyalty.  He applied big brand promotion and event marketing in a way that worked for his small business, timed perfectly to something that all of his customers were participating in.  And now talking about, sharing, and apparently buying.  Bravo!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect for Small Business
Marketing Professor, NYU

PS - Join us for live tweeting about the marketing during The Academy Awards this Sunday at 6:00pmEST at #OscarExp

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