Halloween’s a weird one, both in concept and history. A holiday that reflects pagan sensibilities, of Welsh and Iris h origin, under the guise of a Christian holiday. Today it doesn’t have much to do with honouring saints or praying for the dead, and has instead taken on a face that more significantly reflects hallmarks of contemporary American culture. Spooks, scares and sweets all wrapped up in enormous orange marketing efforts. When and why then did it make its way down under? It doesn’t seem a very good fit.
There’s something decidedly Autumnal about Halloween. A celebration of harvest time and getting comfy against the coming cold. It’s wrapped up in oranges and auburns, with pumpkin’s flooding the streets (and every product imaginable https://www.eater.com/2017/9/26/16330438/pumpkin-spice-food-pop-tarts-kit-kats-milanos-jello). With it coming at a time when we here in Australia are breaking out the eskies and barbies again, there’s an understandable dissonance.
The Australian kick back against halloween is, however, perhaps more to do with its commercialisation and a particularly American form of commercialism at that. The holiday itself, as aforementioned, has little to actually do with Australian culture and has only taken its first stumbling steps into the Australian national consciousness in the last few years. Its popularity has grown particularly amongst younger generations, due to the influx of American media through the internet and television. Deakin Business School researcher and consumer behaviour expert Dr Paul Harrison (http://this.deakin.edu.au/society/should-we-really-be-celebrating-halloween-in-australia) has charted the close association between American big business and Halloween’s present day incarnation. America is responsible for producing a vast amount of the world’s sweets. Confectionary giants like Mars, Inc. hold a massive place in contemporary culture and have everything to gain from any and all foreign markets embracing a holiday devoted to the celebration of all that is sweet and sugary.
Harrison believes this is where disgruntled Australians should focus their aggravations, on the commercial side of things rather than the holiday itself. Harrison suggests that, as Australia has done with so many other cultural traditions in the past, the country should be open to the holiday. Halloween is not merely a product of America, but something celebrated the world over; by differing people in differing ways.
Business is at the heart of Halloween and is the biggest player in its expanding popularity. Perhaps the key to Australia coming to terms with Halloween is in acceptance and adaptation. It seems unlikely the practice is going away any time soon. It’s time to put that distinctive Aussie spin on an old, and already amorphous tradition. In both business and practice.
“In his 2005 book Brand Sense, branding expert Martin Lindstrom argued that those that invest in multisensory branding are likely to have a loyal customer base.” https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/multisensory-branding-immersing-all-five-senses
A book written more than 10 years ago and we are glued to our digital screens more than ever. However, we are seeing consumer trends move from material to experiences.
A ‘Smells and Emotions’ study of 1,000 people by psychologist Silvia Alava, found that people remember 35% of what they smell and only 5% of what they see. And that 85% of people said happy moments were recalled with certain smells.
So how does a brand tap into the senses? How can you taste or smell an App for example or an online brand, or a charity?
We find ourselves in an environment that has a lot of noise. Yes we might be able to reach our audience, but will they remember you/your brand? There are more brands, more products, more messages, more channels. A creative problem awaits us all, which means brands to survive need to think outside the status quo and become more adventurous and continue to test a variety of applications to connect with their customer.
We are seeing online stores, like Amazon create pop-up shops. Fashion stores creating café experiences, fragrant collaborations across all industries, non-food brands opening restaurants, car brands selling apparel….
Champagne is a classic 5 senses product – smell, touch, sound, sight, taste. A magical moment that brings all your past celebratory moments in one. A lot of Coke’s ads have been based on how Coke stimulates the senses. When this happens, I don’t know about you, but it takes me right back to childhood summers and no responsibility.
We are not all in the space of creating a restaurant dining experience for our brands, but if we were to think about the 5 senses, what would our brand sound like, taste like, smell like, sound like, look like?
A promotional product campaign can take this knowledge and apply it to create an experience, a strong alignment with your brand where there is not just reach, but also recall.
Australian marketers spend more than $1.34billion on promotional products each year …. despite the growth in digital marketing spend.
“69% of advertisers said promotional products increased brand interest and 84% it created more favourable impressions of the brand itself.” Australasian Promotional Products Association.
Why promotional products still work for the marketer?
- A way to position your brand, more serious, more fun, adventurous, innovation, etc.
- It helps to grow your brands perceived value, through association, partners, etc.
- If delivered correctly, you have a captive audience.
- It can be an inexpensive way of engaging and connecting
- It demonstrates brand creativity and effort.
- You go beyond tapping into one of the senses and therefore have a greater opportunity of engaging and creating memory.
- A lot of promotional products a kept and used by the receiver for years – creating engagement and personal memories with your brand.
- The creativity used to get a response is the key to increasing profits and promoting your brand.
Why promotional products work for the customer
- It’s physical. It tactical. People like to hold onto something. Evidence of this is all around us – people with their phones!
- They provide customers with an added benefit – not just you advertising your brand.
- If the synergy between customer, brand and promotional product is right, the customer will enjoy the association.
- Customers feel special when they receive a gift. The acknowledgement of being a valued customer feels good.
- Their impression of a company is more positive after receiving a promotional product.
- They are more likely to do business with a company after receiving a proposal product
Every man and his dog is doing or has done notepads. A long standing promotional product, that continues to grow. Year on year the notepad holds a top 10 position in the most popular promotional products. People still love stationery; despite being constantly tied to our phones. The great thing about the notepad is that you can make it work for your brand and your customer. It comes down to the type of notepad, the accessories you team it up with (e.g. pen or pencil), and the design. How and where you position your logo. What message do you want to convey to the audience? Is it a message that inspires and motivations? A message that people want to Instagram? The target market is wide, so it’s just about finding the right style.
- Spiral, Stitched, Stapled
- Hard Cover, Hard Backing
- Lines, Blank, Grid
- With Pen or Pencil
- Material placeholder
- Full Colour Print
- Landscape or Portrait
- A4, A5, A6, every and any size
- Leather, Woven, Board
A number of large companies love to celebrate back to school, so there is a lot of noise around this time, which makes it even more important to be creative and stand out from the crowd if you want to cut-through. Your products and services may not be specifically targeted to school age students, however, imagine the exposure of your logo to mums, dads, teachers and the future generation. Consider the following questions and perhaps you too could run your own back to school campaign.
- Who is your customer – Mums, Dads, Children, Teachers, School Suppliers?
- Why would they want to hear from you?
- How can your product make their life better?
- What is your message?
- What channel would you use to get your message across?
- How can you reach them?
- Who would you close the loop, so they continue their engagement with you?
- What will the customer feel about your brand after this experience?
A promotional product is a great way to get your message out there, especially if you do it in
a way that’s unique to your brand and is purposeful for the user.
Tradeshows are a dime a dozen. If you have recently been to the ICC in Sydney, you will see that there can be up to five shows on any given day. This year alone, I have gone to over five tradeshows.
Tradeshows are a great way to engage with your current and potentially new customers in a way you cannot do online.
But it’s a show. It’s theatre.
The more theatre, the more engaging, the more customers to your stand, the better the opportunity for new business.
The same people are attending the same tradeshows year on year, it’s in everyone’s best interests for business and brands to continue to bring new life to their stand.
Here are our tips for putting on the show:
- Each year start with a blank canvas – Open the door for some new thinking. How can we do it better than last year?
- Communicating to your customers before the show telling them what they could expect when they visit.
- Create space in your space. More room for customers. And the more customers on your stand, the more drawn to the stand will any passers-by.
- Bring some fun. What are the fun spikes? This is good for both the staff on the stand and the customers.
- Food is always a draw card. As long as it’s relevant. Having chocolates and snacks gets people, but it’s even better if the give-away has a direct association with what you do. Promotional products are a great take-home. If you take the time to create something that is too good to discard post the show, it’s a great opportunity for your brand awareness and consideration. Even better if you tie in a call to action.
- Stand design… it’s worth the investment. It’s the difference between someone stopping or not. You want to stand out. What will it take for you to be up there with the best of the best.
- Follow up! Get leads, add to your database. Then make sure you follow up and keep interacting after the show.
Energy is everything. Dynamic personalities that can speak to anyone and everyone and have fun at the same time. Find these people to work on your stand so you make it work hard, and get a great ROI.
Brand intimacy – what is it? Creating not just a connection, but an intimate connection with your brand, sounds potentially farcical, but before you judge, just listen and observe. People can and do get very close to brands. Why on earth would someone buy a $400 T-shirt from Gucci?
I once was asked, by a marketing team (of course!), if a brand was actually a person, who would I want to share my bed with? Sounds ridiculous, until you start to think about how you would answer the question! Then your inner dialogue starts, and you are thinking maybe this brand, maybe that brand!
We all use brands in our life to demonstrate to ourselves and the entire world who we are, how we think, what we like and what we don’t like. Social media has only exemplified this form of aligning ourself with brands, giving us a platform to scale our associations.
So knowing this, how can we build on the relationships customers are having with our brands, so they become more intimate? So they become an extension of the person. This is not limited to fashion brands. All brands can find a way to build deeper relationships with customers by finding the balance between resonance and aspiration.
Promotional items can definitely help with this. It’s a great way to invigorate a brand … but first dedicate the thinking around selecting the right item and the message.
Find the sweet spot, that encourages your customer to get that bit closer.
The go-to promotional item for so many businesses, particularly if there is someone in the business that plays golf. And who doesn’t want a massive umbrella?! No fun when the sun is out, but when the rain hits, you couldn’t be more in love. The umbrella has its hero moment.
So it’s a bit of a winner as far a promotional item… but how do you get more out of this medium and avoid becoming another boring golf umbrella.
- Think about your brand positioning.
- Think about your customers.
- How can you find the sweet spot between your brand, the customers and the promotional item?
- Can the message be more than your logo?
- Is there an opportunity to stretch the usage? Smaller umbrellas may be the answer during hot summers.
- How do you stand-out from the crowd of branded umbrellas, so the user becomes excited to see rain fall.
Let us know if an umbrella is on your wish list as your next promotional item, and we can work on a way to get more interest from this perennial favourite.
There is something about building blocks, the inspiration of many cities, flying objects, robots and epic battles.
Nostalgia is back in full swing, and having the multi purpose use of tech and stationery items that you can play with at your desk is pretty appealing. The grown up’s version of the fidget spinner!
Bright colours, loads of different items and great branding space, the new office blocks series is an easy choice for a simple way to intrigue your customers.
There are too many to list here, so just call me and we can talk about your project and how you can have more fun with it.
We spend a lot of our time in the digital world, seeing brands. An Apple study found that on average we unlock our phones 80 times day. The mobile has been referred to as an extension of your body. Are we saying that your phone is a new body part… well close enough!
Despite spending more time in the digital space, our appetite for ‘living experiences’ has grown. This may well be in direct relation to, the life we would like to portray, through the digital world, or that, we want more from life. The booming travel industry is proof of this.
How does this relate to your brands and business? What experiences are you creating or being apart of to connect with your customer in the real world? If you are creating experiences that are memorable and have high talk-ability and Instagram-ability then the life of the experience extends beyond the moment.
How can you do this and do it better? Some questions to ask:
- Who are my customers?
- What’s important to them?
- What do they do?
- Where do they go?
- What do they do for fun?
- How can my brand play a role?
We are seeing brands become savvier in how they are connecting. Nike Running Groups, Google Digital Garage, Restaurants offering Cooking Classes, Starbucks Country Origin Merchandise. These experiences are seen to be designed for the user, with the brand being a complimentary partner in how they live their life.
Adding value to customers in the space that they are already in or through creating new spaces, whilst still maintaining brand positioning, is the win-win for everyone.
It’s a great place for any brand to be.