Holmes Report 31 Oct 2013 // 2:22AM GMT
By Sabina Gault “How do you do more with less?” This is the daunting question that every marketing and communications pro is asked by clients on a regular basis. One can come up with many answers that would be adequate in today’s competitive landscape but the underlying truth is that success comes to those brands that think strategically, creatively and venture beyond the expected. Sometimes, this means looking at those tactics and strategies that you already have in place, and tweaking them to make them stand out. Brands that push the envelope from all directions, while targeting their main demographic, are the most likely to break through the clutter. A good example of this is the PR strategy put to work in the marketing of the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory musical. Using the traditional notion of a physical press kit and altering it to speak to the subject matter, the musical’s PR team sent a press kit to editors across the country on a flash drive that looked just like a Wonka bar. This cute, fun and engaging idea (that easily accommodated a smaller budget) made a splash with media and got tons of Instagram posts, Facebook engagement and even Tweets - all before the media even covered or saw the musical for themselves. This is a prime example of maximizing an otherwise simple concept to create a visible impact in the online space, while driving Web traffic and even sales. We work with a baby and children’s brand called Babiators (aviator sunglasses for babies- brilliant concept!) An exciting, growing brand, Babiators’ smaller budget did not afford them the opportunity to execute large consumer events, participate in major promotions or buy ad space in high circulation publications. Looking for other ways to publicize the brand, our team decided to activate on a smaller scale and support their strong media relations with other, more doable tactics. One of these, was strategic, and well-executed influencer product seeding. We gifted the glasses to celebs, trendsetters and anyone that fit our demographic and would help in creating word-of-mouth buzz. Soon, pictures appeared everywhere- little tykes wearing the glasses out with their parents, in line at the grocery store, at the mall, on the street, at the park, etc. People started asking about the glasses and the brand – and sales started rising on the company’s e-commerce site, as well as at a retail level. By placing this very visual, cute, impactful product directly into the people’s hands and with their own children as models, we spread the word much faster than we could have done through advertising. The vote of confidence came directly from the parents ― not from a paid source. Creativity does not have a price tag and even with the most modest means, there are ways to stand out by thinking differently and making small changes that can have a large impact. Pay attention to what other brands are doing and what messaging is breaking through in a big way. How can that be altered or amended to fit a specific brand’s needs? How can that be scaled down (or up) to make a big impact? All these are questions that can lead to results-producing campaigns. Whether it's a brand partnership, event, gifting opportunity, innovative media relation tactic, social media initiative, etc., there are a multitude of activations that will add value to the brand without a steep hike in price. Sabina Gault is founder of Konnect PR based in Los Angeles.