The next time you visit your favorite sea food establishment, try ordering a Patagonian Toothfish or ask how the Slime Head is prepared that day. Or perhaps an appetizer of a whore’s egg drizzled in rapeseed oil is more your liking.
Personally, I’m a big fan of seafood. I will try just about any kind but a Toothfish? A Slime Head? Or a whore’s egg is not something that I would try or is it? It turns out that the Patagonian Toothfish is not just something I would try but something I have tried. It’s better known as the Chilean Sea Bass and it’s delicious. The Slime Head, AKA Orange Roughy and a Whore’s Egg has been rebranded as a Sea Urchin. Rapeseed oil might not fly off the shelf at your local grocery store but Canola Oil on the other hand works.
My business is marketing and as such we talk about image and branding all the time. Most of the time the context is how to make a logo better or how a website looks and feels but branding comes in many ways. Good branding appears in the most subtle of ways. These not so obvious ways of branding, in my opinion are the most brilliant examples of branding. The literal term of branding comes from branding cattle. Don’t brand your company like cattle.
Build a brand that will last over time. Strong with substance behind it. Creating your brand requires thought and creativity. Before sticking your company logo on everything from mouse pads to coffee cups consider the value of your branding efforts.
Slapping a logo on every pen, notepad, coffee mug, mouse pad and stress ball in the office is not branding. At least it’s not quality branding and it provides little value. Rather than sticking your company logo on every trinket in the office supply catalog why not spend the time and money on developing a great content piece that you can attach your brand to?
Marketing manager tells me all the time that we are “building brand awareness” and I get it but lets consider the time and money spent on office merchandise and the reality of the return on the investment. Granted it doesn’t require much time and very little thought to download an approved company logo and send it to the office supply trinket store and order some branded pens, coffee cups, stress balls and mouse pads but what does that get you?
Let’s say for example you order 1000 pens, 100 coffee cups, 100 stress balls and 100 mouse pads. Branded pens run about 85 cents each for an order of 500 and then you get 500 “free” so there’s that. Coffee cups run about $1.58 each, stress balls are about $1.43 each and mouse pads $1.05 each. (Pricing estimates from pens.com). So the total cost for all of the above is about $831. In marketing terms that can be a relatively nominal amount to spend on a campaign but now lets consider the return on that $831.
Now you’ve spent a handful of hours ordering the above trinkets (disregarding the cost of that time) and they arrive in the mail at the office. If I have to guess, 20% of the merchandise is given to the employees. That means that of the potential 1400 items about 280 of them are going to people that are already very aware of the company brand, they work there. That leaves the potential of still reaching 1120 people with the company brand on your new merchandise. Let’s be realistic, there will be another 20% that sit on the shelf in the office supply room leaving just under 900 items to distribute. Now with the 900 items to distribute they go to the sales team. I am being generous in saying that 50% of the remaining 900 go to existing customers, again people already aware of your company brand, they already work with you. In my estimation, that leaves the potential for the sales team to distribute 450 branded items to potentially new customers. Even with a sales team of 10 people that’s 45 items to distribute to potentially new customers for each sales team member. I’ve been in sales a long time, that would take a good month or better to distribute and that’s assuming the merchandise doesn’t sit in the trunk or back seat of your sales person. Let’s assume the team is aggressive and distributes all the items within one month. That’s a reach of 450 potentially new customers in a month at a cost of around $900. That’s about $2 per potential lead. That’s being generous calling a pen in hand to someone a “lead” but for the sake of this topic we will make that assumption.
Typically for pennies a click in a well designed pay per click campaign could reach thousands of potentially new customers. At 5 cents a click we could yield 18000 impressions alone but that aside my point is the value of your branding and pay per click advertising is another topic for another article.
A good marketing team could spend a day with your $900 budget and develop a create content piece. For example, GRIM Digital Media could write 9 or 10 creative blog articles or produce a good video and reach potentially thousands of potentially new customers or even millions. When’s the last time a coffee cup with your logo on it went viral? I guess you could throw a company branded stress ball around a full stadium of drunken fans at a football game and reach a bunch of people but even if that could happen who are you really reaching with your brand? They could be Tennessee Titan fans and that wouldn’t be a full stadium.
I propose to you two things before considering any type of branding campaign. Stop and think. Think about what brings the most value to your brand. With some creativity and some real thought, you can strengthen your brand over time and that will yield you the greatest return on your investment. I challenge you with this…Brand like a fisherman not like cattle.