We’ve talked about "Summer-izing" your promotions before (take a look here). Now we're taking brand development a step further and getting inspiration from some big brands we love!
Here are 5 takeaways and tips that you can apply to your small business marketing strategy this summer.
1. User Generated Content - Otherwise known as UGC, is a tactic for getting your customers to upload pictures (or videos) via their social profiles. UGC is a great way to generate word-of-mouth referrals, engagement and brand awareness. The best platform for this is Instagram. Ask your customers to upload photos while in your store on social, tag it with a catchy hashtag and offer a reward to the customer with the most likes!
Omaha Steaks is doing a fantastic job at utilizing this strategy. They currently encourage foodies to cook up weekly dish challenges and submit a selfie on Instagram of their great creation.
2. Crowdsourcing - Put your customers to work! Let them come up with a new product or service at your business, whether it's a custom combo or new name for your specialty drink. Ask customers to enter by writing down their ideas, and announce winners at the end of the summer. Generate new ideas and engage with your customers at the same time!
Remember Frito-Lay “Do us a Flavor”? Lays asked consumers to submit ideas for new Frito flavors. This was a huge success for its brand development and went viral across all social channels receiving over 12 million submissions.
3. Giving Back – It's common for many brands to partner with charities. This is a powerful way to not only make a great impact, but it also strengthens brand affinity and relationships with customers. Consumers like knowing that the purchases they're making can help make the world a better place, even if it's just in a small way!
Unsure who to partner with? Ask your customers to vote on a local charity and kick-off the partnership by donating a percentage of profits one day!
The infamous New York burger haven, Shake Shack, raised money for the No Kid Hungry Campaign by having a simple bake sale. They created 7 baked good-inspired frozen custard flavors and sold them customers, and all profits went directly to the cause.
4. Event Sponsorship – Endorsing a large local event (or even a small race in town) can definitely boost your brand awareness and attract new customers, too.
Here in Chicago, summer is all about street festivals. A local brewery partnered to provide beer at the free concert series in Millennium Park. What better way to reach the masses!
5. Annual Holidays – You don’t have to wait till Christmas, there are always holidays to celebrate. Uber celebrated Earth Day by offering rides. Make sure to come up with unique ways you can tie your business into holiday themes. For 4th of July, be sure to get red, white and blue!