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Coffee Cup Marketing (Pt. 1)

Michael Brown

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In marketing seminars I used to pose the question, "Where would you eat if you were traveling to a distant city and wanted dinner?" Then I would offer a choice of a well-known, national chain, such as Outback Steakhouse and a local restaurant of equivalent status. I would repeat the process with hotels. Better than 80% would select the familiar over the unknown. We all seek the familiar. It's safer.

You will get more calls if you can make your brand familiar, recognizable. Sure, the consumer may tell you they found you in the yellow pages. That's true. It's where they found your number. But why did they select your company out of the entire array presented in the competition pages? More than likely, your name was more familiar. The consumer may not even consciously recognize it, but it's there.

The trick is to make your brand the most familiar around. This drives most outdoor advertising. There isn't time to get much of a message across, but you can drive familiarity, even subconsciously. It is why you slap your name on your mobile billboard - your truck.

Brand familiarity drives most advertising premiums. Companies do not give away logo'ed pens because they want the public to write more. They do not give away calendars because they want people to remember the day of the week. They want people to see and recall their logo, their brand.

An innovative means of getting your name out is to place it on ceramic coffee cups and offer to give them to independent coffee shops. In return, offer to pass out flyers or coupons for the coffee shop on service calls.

To the coffee shop, you're removing a cost, which is the cost of buying cups. You're also helping to promote their business. For your company, you're gaining low cost brand promotion. You're also offering an additional value add to your customers when you give them coupons to the coffee shop.

Some coffee shop owners may tell you to take a hike. They're the same people that would refuse a $20 bill if you handed it to them on the street. Others, however, will take you up on your offer.

Visit a local coffee shop. Buy coffee. Ask to see the owner or manager before you leave. Complement him on the service. Then, run the idea by him. Ask him how many coffee cups he has and how many he runs through in the course of a year (one of my first jobs was in a restaurant and believe me, if anything could be broken or chipped, we broke or chipped it).

The owner might say no. He might say yes. You have nothing to lose by asking.

Since it helps to "see" examples, you might want to download a copy of the "Build a More Profitable Service Business" notes by clicking on the link below.

http://www.serviceroundtable.com/Freebi ... p?PCID=295

Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.

Free subscriptions are available at:

www.serviceroundtable.com -- click on the Comanche Marketing tab

Copyright © 2004 Matt Michel

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I'm betting that if you just do a google search for "marketing materials' and then search within the results for "online catalogs" you'll find lots of sites where you can order customized mugs and styrofoam cups.

While you're on those sites, sign up for their catalogs. Word of caution - once you sign up for their catalog, don't be surprised if you start receiving catalogs from everybody and his uncle.



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