Challenge: Identifying a unique-to-the-segment promotional product to boost brand awareness and aid in differentiation.
Question: Which marketing venue gives you a window into the next and best practices in your segment, provides countless networking opportunities with customers, vendors and peers, and builds a bridge for potential new partner and client introductions? Answer: conference and tradeshow marketing.
Bridge Consulting, a strategic communications planning and implementation firm serving, among others, companies in the pharmaceutical, financial services, consumer products and technology industries, taps the conference marketing strategy by attending, exhibiting and presenting at communications and branding conferences across the country. The Bridge team’s conference goals are to generate new business, increase brand awareness and differentiate the firm to their target market, predominantly internal communications, human resources and organization development marketing professionals.
For Bridge, such differentiation lies, in part, with conference giveaways, which is why the team turned to ePromos, their trusted promotional products vendor, for advice and direction. Account Executive Stephanie Kraut led the product search effort, focusing on promotions that would meet the team’s criteria. They wanted a product that would 1) attract people to the conference booth, 2) be useful, “sticky,” so recipients would continue to be reminded of Bridge Consulting and 3) be unique and creative enough to differentiate Bridge from its competition—a product unlike those other firms would be handing out.
Solution: Branded sticky book filled with sticky notes in various sizes and colors.
Stephanie, after listening to the team’s requests, suggested and sent a sample of what turned out to be the perfect, criteria-matching product for Bridge: the Sticky Book. Internally, we thought the Sticky Book would work for Bridge for yet another reason beyond simply meeting criteria: we see Bridge Consulting as metaphorically representing the “sole sticky pad” to which firms turn when planning and implementing solutions for tackling significant—often “sticky”—business challenges, such as those related to engaging employees, increasing communication and introducing and managing change.
The Sticky Book, a convenient, pocket-sized note holder, is filled with sticky pads in different quantities and sizes: 100 sheets of four-by-three-inch sticky notes in yellow; 25 sheets of three-by-two-inch sticky notes, also in yellow; and 25 sheets of page marker strips in five neon colors. To offset the firm’s blue and green logo, the Bridge team selected white (pink, blue, red and silver are also available); they also added to the cover the firm’s website address and brand message, “Connecting People and Strategy.”
Result: Sticky book wows conference goers, becomes effective client leave-behind.
Conference marketing, brand awareness and differentiation missions—all accomplished. The team, giving away approximately 1,000 Sticky Books annually, reports that the product has become a much-desired item by conference goers and clients alike. The entire Bridge team so liked the Sticky Book that Bridge consultants soon began leaving the books behind after client meetings, taping a business card on the reverse side to make the promotion even more effective. And because the Sticky Book product is new to the segment, Bridge’s competitors and other conference exhibitors aren’t yet using this promotional tool in conference marketing efforts. The unique promotion works well to attract conference attendees from across the room; once at the booth, recipients respond with positive feedback. And to further add to Bridge’s Sticky Book promotion success, the team also reports that clients actually use the product: it is often seen “in action” when Bridge consultants meet with clients.
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