Posts Tagged guerilla marketing

Guerilla Marketing Inspiration

Guerilla marketing, the tactic of pulling stunts to get attention for your brand, is a prime way to stand out from the crowded marketplace.  Sometimes it even saves money compared to traditional advertising.  Barter, trade, or donate, and allow  your audience to participate in your fun.

There are five excellent specimens of guerilla marketing campaigns for inspiration highlighted on Smarta.  IKEA places thousands of picnic blankets and baskets in Central Park (as well as furnishings all over New York City) to remind people of the way design makes life better.  Half.com gets a town to rename itself after the brand for a year, provides booty for residents.  T-Mobile starts a disco in London’s Liverpool Street Station and airs it on a TV commercial.

What can your brand do?  Think about your mission and your audience.  What would they respond to?  Are you trying to stamp out carbon footprints?  What are some stunts that could help your cause?  Think giant feet in the town square, hot air balloons, or stickers on everyone’s meter boxes.  Think big, and don’t censor yourself until you get to logistics and costs.  Let the ideas fly first – you never know.  I mean, who would have thought that a town would agree to rename itself after a dot com?

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Personal Branding For Business – Brilliant, Not Backwards

Personal branding, the science of establishing a brand identity for individuals, usually related to career/professional development.  The personal brand idea is taken from what companies have been doing since the dawn of capitalism, and an individual uses these principles to find a way to stand out from the crowd, figure out what value he or she adds, presenting a consistent personality online to develop a reputation in this space of too-much-information.

I’ve been reading quite a bit about personal branding lately; as a marketer, it fascinates me.  And I realized that some of the tenets of this practice are employing major principles of marketing that have atrophied in business, principles which need to be reexamined if brands are going to survive.

Me, Inc.The following is a list of 10 reasons individuals, especially job seekers, should be concerned with personal branding.  It comes from personalbrandingblog.com, the brain child of Dan Schawbel, one of the current proponents of the field, and author of Me 2.0.  I took these principles and turned them right back around to business branding, because businesses often seem confused in their Web content and social media strategy, as well as branding as a company-life-long effort. Which technologies to use?  What kind of content?  What does our audience want from us?   The information below is taken directly from Schawbel’s blog. I’ve added my comments in italics.

 1. Generations are colliding online

Facebook started out as a hang out place for college students, but now we’re seeing older generations adopt social networking. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010. This means that communication between age groups is occurring more and more each day, and your audience is changing rapidly. Entire families are interacting online and 70% of parents friend their kids. You have to be aware of your audience and the content you’re publishing because if they don’t match, it can have a negative effect on your personal brand.

Understand your audience. What are the demographics of the largest portions of your customers?  Don’t exclude older users from technology tools, including social media.  And consider your content and how it relates to them. 

2. Your online reputation can make or break you

Your brand is on the line, wherever your name and face is seen. Clients, managers and other professional stakeholders in your life have access to what you post publicly on the net. You can even lose your job over blog comments or attacks from people that already have a negative view on your reputation. For instance, Madhu Yarlagadda was hired by Skype as the new Chief Development Officer, and after a TechCrunch blog post, people came out of the woodwork to expose Madhu. Skype replaced him after a month of employment….

The brand of your employees matters as much as your company’s brand.  You must consider what your people are publishing, and encourage them to develop their own brands as experts in your industry, especially the execs.  And watch out for negativity.  Have policies in place about commenting or responding on blogs!  Transparency is great for business, so you don’t want to have too many watchdogs, but there ought to be some guidelines for avoiding bad publicity traps.

3. Employers are reviewing your online personal brand …

Almost every website on the planet has a search engine component to it and employers are using them to find more information about you.… Make sure your personal brand is consistent and up-to-date.

Make no mistake, people are Googling your company.  With the dollar tighter than ever, people want to know they’re making the right choice when they spend their money.   Check your Google results, and your online reputation.  Make sure it’s consistent with how you want to be perceived. The challenge is always aligning audience perceptions with your own, and how you wish to be seen.  It’s a give and take, but you can help it along with the right Web content, professional profiles, and SEO.

4. Perception (how we present ourselves) is king

It’s the little things that count, whether you’re in an interview, or interacting with people online. A CareerBuilder survey states that 67% of hiring managers say that failure to make eye contact would make them less likely to hire a job candidate and 38% said lack of smile. People will judge you on small things that make a big difference. By being professional, using good eye contact, shaking someone’s hand, having good posture, and using appropriate images online, you will be more successful when communicating with others.

Your customers will judge you on the small stuff, too.  Make sure you’re portraying your brand in a light that engages with your particular audience.  Know who that is.  If it’s a family friendly atmosphere you want, smile in all your photos, talk about your kids in your blog posts, and provide Web content related to child safety or education.  People need to perceive that you are who you say you are, and the tone in your blog and even the way you answer the phone matters.  Tell your employees to always answer the same way, with a smile – others can hear it. 

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Ad Performance Art – Sony’s cinematic bouncy balls

I like marketing that inspires.  Anyone can say, “Buy this product” or “check out our service,” but when companies take the time to make something inspirational and connect with audiences/customers on an emotional level, however abstract, it turns advertising into art and often inspires brand loyalty.  It has to be right for your customers and your product, but anyone can find a way to make marketing more inspirational with a little creativity.

Even better, if you mix inspiration with guerilla marketing tactics, public and viral acts that get people’s attention and are passed around for you, you have marketing that is also performance art and not just fine art.  This is the best possible scenario.

Check out Sony Europe’s Bravia ad – 250.000 bouncy balls unleashed in San Francisco to illustrate the power of color and the unique perspective of Sony.  It works.  They cleaned up the balls by the way, and they bought them from stores surrounding the area, so they gave back to the community and did not order the manufacture of hundreds of thousands  of rubber balls – in case anyone was worried about environment or community impact.  I did wonder if any residents got car dings, but their how-to video seems pretty positive about the whole experiment.  And the experience of watching their handiwork is calming, beautiful, and inspiring – perfect marketing performance art.

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