PROFITING ON WHAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT? AMAZING!
Yes, we here at the Mountaintop Marketing Fortress are harpies.
We harp on the idea of making people care.
They should care about your brand.
They should care about what you're saying in your marketing.
They should care about anything your brand puts out in the world--or you shouldn't put it out there.
It should all make them feel one way about your business.
And the reality is: most of your competitors are putting it out there. Badly. It's apathy inducing. Can you trump them?
Here's a shiny, glossy, make-it-yours example of how a national brand has done something entirely scalable for a small-business brand like yours.
DO YOU CARE ABOUT SPRAY PAINT?
Who really cares about spray paint besides the people who make it?
Spray paint is a necessary evil that most people use badly.
Spray paint is about a patchy, irregular, rock-hard finish of drips and sags and orange peel and wrinkles.
Or, spray paint is about delinquents defacing property not their own.
(Hey, you kids! Get off of my lawn!)
Suddenly, I care a bit more.
AdWeek magazine runs a competition for "Media Plan Of The Year."
Yes, that sounds about as exciting as "Stale Bread Of The Day."
Until you actually start looking at the media plans, especially the really low-budget media plans.
As AdWeek says, "These Media Plans Represent Creativity at Its Finest, Regardless of Budget."
And as a champion in the under $500,000 campaign, there is oh so much good stuff to be learned from Deutsch's media plan for Krylon spray paint.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE YARD SALE HIJACK CAMPAIGN?
Over the summer, you may have seen one or two of their goofy little TV commercials.
Each vignette shows a family going to a yard sale.
They buy one man's junk for dirt cheap.
Then, they transform it into treasure using Krylon spray paint.
And they sell it back to the same man for a huge profit.
It's simple, cute, fun, and features some nice performances.
"BUT I CAN'T AFFORD A TV CAMPAIGN!"
No, you can't.
But wait, there's more.
This campaign was merely the tip of a public-relations and social-media iceberg.
This TV campaign was the tee-up to Krylon's sponsorship of The World's Longest Yard Sale.
If you're unfamiliar, the Highway 127 Corridor Sale is a huge, expansive outdoor second-hand sale along U.S. Route 127. Stretching 690 miles from Michigan to Alabama, it runs for four days, beginning the first Thursday in August.
And last year, Krylon was there.
At this point, maybe it's a good idea if we let Deutsch do some of the talking about Krylon.
FROM THE DEUTSCH CASE-STUDY VIDEO...
Spray paint companies all talk about
the same thing. Protection from rust.
Protection from rain. Protection from
whatever. But Krylon, the leading spray
paint company, wanted to talk about
something people actually care about.
So we showed how the old items you
already owned could be worth more
with a simple coat of paint.
WOW! "SOMETHING PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT"
Yes, we're pointing it out again and putting it in bold italics:
make people care.
Do that. Or else just don't put it out there.
As for the Krylon TV spots, I have no idea where they aired. But to come in under $500,000 and still have a budget to execute the rest of this, they had to be flying low and fast.
Maybe they were buying remaindered air time. (You can do that too. It's cheap.) Anyway, back to the case study...
After the TV aired, we hit the road,
bought 690 miles of worthless items,
renovated them using Krylon, and sold
them in real time as the first brand ever
to use Pinterest's new buyable-pin feature.
This idea was perfectly suited for Pinterest,
the fourth largest social network and the
most-used medium for DIY projects.
"WAIT--SOCIAL MEDIA? I CAN AFFORD SOCIAL MEDIA!"
You probably already use it now.
Are you using it strategically?
Let's see: Krylon unleashes a sensational campaign for DIY'ers, and they post about it in not the biggest social media outlet, but the one most used for DIY projects.
Do something sensational.
Make your core customer care.
Go find your core customer who cares.
THEN, SHOW HER MORE OF WHAT SHE CARES ABOUT...
How's that for strategic? The case-study video continues...
From old lamps to wagons and furniture,
the old items were painted, photographed
and sold for at least double, giving all the
money to charity. We used Twitter to spread
the campaign from the road, giving fans over
100 ideas how to make their own unwanted
belongings beautiful again, with before & afters,
animated GIFs and how-to videos.
WAIT. FIRST PINTEREST? THEN TWITTER? I USE TWITTER!
Yes, you probably do use Twitter.
And maybe you use Pinterest, too.
Maybe even Facebook. (Krylon was there, too, connecting with people and talking about their DIY projects.)
And if you don't already use social media, you can. If you understand it, social media cheap and easy. Like me. (OK, that part's a lie. I'm admittedly expensive and difficult.)
Finally, here's the balance of the copy from the Deutsch case study...
Even the idea itself proved our concept
of paying next to nothing and turning a
huge profit. With a relatively small budget,
we gained $2.7 million worth of earned
media, and increased our daily visits to
Pinterest by 400%. The world's longest
yard sale. The first-ever Pinterest yard
sale. And millions of people who now
see spray paint in a new and useful way.
Wow. Krylon and Deutsch turned less than 500,000 bucks into almost $3-million worth of earned media. That's a whole lot of eyeballs trained on spray paint and DIY.
LET'S SEE, WHAT WAS THAT TAGLINE AGAIN?
Krylon. Make It Yours.
What's the media?
TV, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook. YouTube, and tons of PR.
All of that is easily within the reach of the small-business owner. We've shown it here repeatedly.
There's also a Krylon-Yard-Sale branded microsite--another effort equally within reach of the small-business owner. (There's one client for whom we've built subject-focused microsites at a rate of about one a week. It can be done quite inexpensively.)
Something else that helped Krylon: they did the how-to videos with Amy Devers.
"WHO THE HECK IS AMY DEVERS AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?"
You are obviously not a fan of DIY TV shows.
Because if you were, there'd be no question.
Instead, you'd be jumping up and down, giddy and clapping.
Granted, maybe you can't afford celebrity talent.
But in your business niche, couldn't you become the celebrity talent?
Because hey, someone as un-telegenic and brash and un-schooled and technically inept as Gary Vaynerchuk became a multi-million-dollar video sensation.
If that loud, brassy Soviet-immigrant kid can do it, someone as handsome and charismatic as you should have no problem.
THIS YARD SALE IS AN OBJECT LESSON IN WHAT IS POSSIBLE WITH LIMITED BUDGET
Let's face it: Krylon spent peanuts on this.
They're a subsidiary of Sherwin-Williams, which has annual revenue of over $10 billion.
Less than 1/20,000 of Sherwin-Williams' annual revenue was spent on this campaign.
If your annual revenue is one million, the relative budget is about 50 bucks.
And no, that isn't really a viable budget.
And you probably can't afford to hire Deutsch to develop your campaign.
But you have all of the same tools at your disposal.
And you can easily hire people to help you execute a project scaled down to reach your market.
THERE'S A SUBSCRIBER TO THIS SCREED WHO HAS A BIRD-FEEDER COMPANY
She's been discussed here previously regarding her impeccable customer service.
What if she decided to launch a video and social-media effort to "Feed One-Million Birds This Winter"?
She could do videos about how to attract birds (and feature her products).
She could invite customer participation (like bird-feeder prizes for bird photos and videos).
She could use social media (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) to engage her customer with photos, videos and blog posts.
How do you keep track of a million birds?
I have no idea.
But think about the potential.
How much could that possibly cost her?
AND HOW MUCH WOULD HER CORE CUSTOMER CARE?
She'd be talking about something her core customer cares about.
And her core customer would be engaged.
And her core customer would share.
Pictures and video of birds?
A professional bird-feeder woman talking about the joy of feeding birds?
Do you love birds?
Do you love having bird feeders?
What's not to love about this campaign?
AND IT DIDN'T TAKE ME DAYS TO THINK THIS UP, NO SIRREE BOB
I just pulled this out of my ear, right this moment, while talking to you.
Obviously, the concept needs development and finessing.
But let's face it: such a campaign would be cheap.
I'd wager that she could do this for just a couple of thousand bucks, including production and the social media buy.
All because she'd "talk about something people actually care about."
And when you get right down to it, that's the core take away from Krylon.
When you talk about something people care about, they're engaged.
But to make them care, you don't need to be a national brand.
You don't need to spend huge amounts of money.
You merely need to reach out and matter.
You need to talk about what people actually care about.
Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.