Thursday, August 28, 2008

It’s All About Placement

Getting effective exposure for your business today is difficult. Cutting through the noise of marketing messages and rising costs for starters…not to mention trying to find even the tiniest space that doesn’t already have a logo on it.

Today, however, I saw something new. From one of the fastest growing internet businesses of recent years, not surprisingly--Zappos Shoes ( Thanks to the TSA regulations we all have to shuffle through security check-point lines—coughing up our metals, liquids, fingernail files, laptops, a bit of our dignity…and our shoes.

And there’s magic moment for Zappos. You go to put your valuables into one (or three) of those plastic bins—attention sharpened by adrenaline (from the flight, the security maze, or the Starbucks)—and you are met with a creative and colorful promo for Zappos. What a great idea. New real estate in and virtually promo-message-less space. And I’m sure they got a great deal—I don’t really see the TSA plastic bin folks as the most knowledgeable negotiators of ad space pricing.

So this makes me wonder what new promotional real estate is available for college stores on campus or around town. What about the baskets or bins at campus or local libraries? Or perhaps a joint venture with these organizations for bags. The messaging could focus on books and reading—what we have in common. What about the welcome carpets in specific campus buildings? I could even envision the luggage carts of campus or community hotels and residence halls…if you use the right message and your store logo in an appropriate way.

With all the promo noise in our world. It’s going to take laser targeting and creation of whole new opportunities (think Blue Ocean Strategy) to get our messages across to our customers. Zappos came up with a great idea. What opportunities are waiting out there for your store?

Tony Ellis, CAE

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