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Brand Sponsorships 101
Let’s talk about sponsorships. A brand sponsorship is defined as: Advertising that seeks to establish a deeper association and integration between an advertiser and a publisher, often involving coordinated beyond-the-banner placements.
What does that even mean?
Instead of the word sponsorship, let’s use the word “support.” A brand sponsorship is allowing your company or brand to show support to another. Whether that’s making a financial or product donation that enables an otherwise unfunded event to take place, or if it’s product sponsorship in the form of advertising (i.e. sponsoring a certain celebrity by giving them your clothes/shoes/etc.), you’re essentially tacking your name onto another name and saying, “We support this. So if you like this, you will probably like us.”
What is the benefit of sponsoring? Product placement, advertising, product endorsement, brand connections, philanthropic perception, potential to reach a greater client base by reaching someone else’s- there are countless benefits to getting your name out there when you put it out there strategically.
Every day we make brand associations and judgments, whether we mean to or not. If we see a skater wearing a certain brand of shoe, we assume that’s a skater shoe. If we see a A-class celebrity wearing a certain brand or drinking a certain brand, we assume that is more of a luxury item. By sponsoring and partnering with other companies, you can capitalize off of their marketing and cut your marketing budget in half. It’s a great way to make what we call back-scratching-friends. For example, if you own a flower shop, you may decide to sponsor a chocolate festival. Now all of those chocolatiers know who you are- as do their customers. And whenever your customers come in for flowers, you can also suggest a great chocolatier.
If you own a small business, sponsoring local events can be a great way to not only show your clients that you are engaged in the community, but also to collaborate with other business owners and learn how you can support each other.
How do you decide who and when to sponsor? Think through the following:
- What do we have to offer?
- Who would benefit from this?
- Where else does our audience shop?
- What causes do we as a company believe in?
- What do we want our brand image to be? What other brands have a similar image?
If that’s not working for you, ask yourself, “Who is the peanut butter to our jelly? The milk to our cookies? The ying to our yang?”
Be strategic and don’t be afraid to put your name out there.