50 Business Challenges: No. 21 Off the Wall Marketing

Sometimes business gets to be very sensible and staid. Sometimes it pays to break out and do something a bit different, particularly in the field of marketing where the whole aim is to be noticed.

This is not to say that “anything goes” – you still represent your brand, and need to get the right message across. Turning up dressed as Elvis to an undertakers’ convention will sell the wrong message. For a coffin maker to display not only a range of traditional oak and pine, but also one in the shape of a chilli (as seen in Ghana), would attract large numbers of people to the stand.

Whatever your normal marketing channels and methods, consider making a small experiment in the full knowledge that it might fail. (Do not, of course, bet the firm). Over the next few weeks a commercial firm might invite clients and contacts to view the Lions Tests over brunch (Sky subscription). A High Street firm might hold a coffee morning for a charity, handing out free pens. A twist on something popular might work, such as a fashion and grooming event for men, or a women only session with the local car dealer. Whatever the choice, make sure you get some publicity from it.

If it works, you make more money. If it does not, at least you have tried something creating.

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