Monday, September 16, 2013

Is "America’s Team" A Very Large Promotional Product?

Our family is a lover of America’s team, the Cowboys. Jerry Jones has worked out a deal to rename Dallas Stadium, the AT& T stadium, which at a recent dinner table discussion prompted me to point out that the stadium was a really large promotional piece with prime real estate for AT& T’s brand. Events in this venue will carry their title sponsor name; sports casters will use their name repeatedly during broadcasts. At 49 I can remember the local hometown stadium was only referred to by the school name or perhaps a beloved coach that died and the community wanted to honor their memory. Like drinking from garden hoses, we also attended many events with blank products! Shame on us! Think about the events you attend now, branding opportunities thrive to offset costs or for fundraising dollars.

However, the concept of branding products is hardly a new idea. When I first started my journey to become a Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) I was introduced to a story describing how creativity and opportunity created invention. The story goes that a printer in the late 1800's, took a break from the press to watch some school kids on their way to school. He noticed that the kids books would fall in the dust or mud. In the corner of his print shop he saw a burlap sac and thought, if the student had a sack for his books they would not get dirty. He printed the name of the business next to him, Smith’s Shoes and took it over to suggest that Mr. Smith buy bags to give to the students to help the students books stay in good condition. In turn he suggested that when they needed shoes, their family would think of him! There were also early examples of how commemorative coins and collectibles were used as brand advertising. If you’re not really sure how effective those branding efforts were for early companies, watch a Pawn Stars episode or consider what you know about the brand Coca Cola.

Did you also know that when Coca Cola started branding their new recipe to the public in the late 1800’s they were one of the first companies to use promotional product branding, creating an experience by serving products on shiny serving trays? Coca Cola’s relationship to promotional products has created a major brand. The brand alone that is worth over 68 billion dollars.   Now that is ROI!

Is promotional marketing cost effective?

According to survey data from ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute) In the US the average cost per impression of a production product is half a cent! $0.005!

I’m sure number crunchers have projected the number of impressions viewers at Dallas Stadium/AT& T stadium will average per month or year; crossing that information with print advertising bearing their name or the amount of times the name will be used in broadcasting. Most certainly part of AT&T’s strategy will include how promotional pieces using their logo will work with visitors to the various events in their venue space.

Are you skeptical about results?

Keep in mind from that from the ASI survey it was determined that 60% of respondents indicated that they have done business with an advertiser AFTER receiving an item; creating a change in behavior! Shaping consumer behavior requires that an advertising campaign affects the recipient. Promotional pieces have a long term exposure to the recipient when placed in functional spaces of the recipient’s daily routine whether that is personal, travel, office or home.

The studies year after year show that recipients like free products and those products are changing opinions. In fact,
41% of respondents have a MORE favorable opinion of an advertiser after receiving a promotional product. 

Most recipients keep promotional items longer than 7 months a year.

What’s on your desk, in your kitchen or in your bathroom drawer right now? Last time we surveyed our own clients about their office space, most partners replied that they owned an average of 20-35 items within their easy reach of their desk. The “winner” had 43 products, most kept over 2 years.

Like it or not, the holidays are coming and preparing your brand to hold prime real estate is important. Ask yourself, what do you do to acquire and retain your most loyal clients, employees and referral partners?  When was the last time they got a card, a call, a visit or a gift from you? Would you turn away someone bearing gifts? Right now is the right time to take a look at branding your “stadium space” to retain and grow your brand. If your currently one of our clients make sure to RSVP for our annual holiday showcase, or if you’re not…ask us to share the details for this opportunity to learn more about securing you’re “top venue space”.

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