Word-of-mouth has always been the most valuable tool for generating brand success, but how do you get people talking about your brand? When I worked in promotions marketing 15 years ago, we relied heavily on street teams handing out fliers, samples and coupons. I worked in San Francisco and it seemed like every street corner in Union Square had somebody trying to hand you something. In recent years, those promo people are scarce, as companies focus more on getting their product into the right hands vs. wasting a lot of product with a mass sampling campaign.
So where did those street teams go? They got off the street and onto the information superhighway as social media started carving out a niche once only occupied by advertising and celebrity endorsements. We are living in an age of “If you tweet it, they will come.” And if they really like it, they will retweet and like and share and create a snowball effect with a reach much farther than you could pay for, and it all happens with the perfect story.
Nancy Behrman, founder and president of PR firm Behrman Communications, operates her company on the principle that the success behind every brand is an authentic well-told story. PR pros like Behrman are regularly seeking out media influencers to be part of those stories and share them.
Every brand has a story, and every story needs a good storyteller to really bring it to life. It’s not about just tweeting a one line ad or putting a photo of a product on Instagram and calling it a day. It’s about crafting a story and showing how that product pertains to everyday life. The story has become so central to our communication that Snapchat, Instagram and now even Facebook have stories options for when just one photo won’t do.
Blog posts are the perfect platform for presenting this story, but it takes a personal experience to weave a tale around a product and take it a step beyond just a plain product review. When it’s done well, you’ll have a story that draws in the audience, holds their attention, and hangs in their memory long after they’ve finished reading. That’s where the success lies, making an impression that lasts longer and goes deeper than an unwanted flier left on a windshield or an easily forgotten street sample.
If you just toss your receipts in the trash without looking at them closely, you could be tossing out free stuff and discounts!
A trend I’ve taken full advantage of is the receipt survey. Usually printed at the bottom of your receipt is a claim code and offer, and all you need to do is go to a website and answer some questions about your visit.
Examples of recent receipt bonuses I’ve claimed: $5 off groceries at Winn-Dixie, Free Chick-fil-A sandwich, Free Whopper at Burger King.
It takes less than 5 minutes and earns you an average of $5-$10 either in discounts or free stuff. It’s totally worth it if you go to that particular place all the time anyway.
So check those receipts! They aren’t always printed on every one. I get one maybe every other visit though, so the odds are pretty good!
* As a side note, I know barely anybody looks at the backs of their receipts because I once tried advertising my boutique on the receipts at Winn-Dixie. I did it for 3 months, with a full color photo and 15% discount on any item in the store. I had one person come in and they didn’t even buy anything! So unfortunately it was a total waste, but it did get me looking at my own receipts at least.
My son is just getting into building things, so when there was an opportunity to apply for a Strictly Briks Tryabox from Tryazon, I signed up immediately. I figured, I’ve suffered through enough episodes of Ryan’s Toy Review, getting kids to review toys looks easy enough.
So guess who has a new respect for Ryan and his willingness to play with toys and not throw them? Yeah, it’s not that easy.
We were off to a good start with the closed box. Keelan was excited to see what was inside. The high level of excitement continued as we pulled the brightly colored packaged from the box. There were squeals of delight when he spotted the Trap and Gap Baseplates with the pictures of cars on the front. And that’s when everything went downhill.
He quickly tore into the box to discover there were no cars to be found. Just tons of tiny building bricks. This was way out of his recommended age range, but there was no stopping him once he saw the box. He did give it his best shot, maybe thinking if he built it, the cars would come.
The entire time I’m trying to convince him to let mommy help build it and we can get cars to go in it. He was having none of it.
I tried to steer him toward the more toddler-appropriate larger Briks and he threw them behind the couch. I then tried to get him to play with any of the other fun looking things Strictly Briks had sent us:
He refused to play with anything else and the whole episode ended in one giant meltdown. So I packed everything away to try another day.
Today he started asking where his new “little blocks” were. 🙄
I’m sure we have plenty of Strictly Briks fun in our future, but for now those little blocks are back in their box until we reach a new milestone of maturity. One that includes not throwing blocks at mommy.