In marketing, a simple idea can have an immense impact. We often hear about it when a marketing idea goes wrong, but what about the successes?
As a Marketing Consultant, below I take a look at companies that have used interesting marketing techniques to engage with customers and gain attention for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.
Goldenpalace.com is an online casino that in 2004 was faced with the challenge of getting their name out there while still adhering to tight marketing and advertising restrictions.
This led to Goldenpalace.com embarking on their fair share of garish marketing stunts over the years, from paying boxer Bernard Hopkins $15,000 to get a fake tattoo of the company name on his back for a match against Felix Trinidad, to paying streakers to invade the pitches of major sports games.
However it was the Goldenpalace.com purchase of a grilled cheese sandwich with the face of the Virgin Mary for $28,000 that gained worldwide attention. Goldenpalace.com didnt stop there. They capitalised on the notoriety they had gained by buying the pan the sandwich was made in and displaying the sandwich to the public, gaining further media attention.
What can we learn? Even the most outlandish marketing stunts can work to your advantage so dont be afraid to push the boundaries (within reason).
Maui Beverages 2005
In 2005, Maui Beverages was not a well-known brand, so they enlisted some marketing and PR assistance. Maui decided to change their founding executive titles: from CEO (Chief Executive Officer) to Chief Entertainment Officer and the Chief Technology Officer to Chief Tasting Officer, giving their company an element of fun.
Next, the founders of Maui threw a Caribbean island themed party, giving out free sunglasses and samples. This doesnt sound like a particularly complex marketing strategy and it has been done plenty of times before, but the difference was that Maui focused and embraced the fun element that their business embodies, leading to their eventual success.
What can we learn? A strong brand identity should run through every part of your business, not just your marketing.
In 1999, Half.com decided to think outside of the box with their marketing strategy. They decided to pay a small town in Oregon, USA called Halfway to change its name.
In exchange for $100,000 and 20 computers for the towns school, Halfway changed its name to half.com, to fall in line with the website for approximately one year.
The media soon caught on to what half.com had done and the renaming of this simple town became a sensation. Less than half a year later, eBay bought half.com for $300 million.
What can we learn? You can achieve a surprising amount of attention and profitability from a marketing strategy that is basic yet effective.