Once you’ve established your brand position, and even created a branding commercial or two — it is inevitable that the next call you receive from your boss (or the CFO) is a plea/mandate to run a promotion to sell your product (yesterday)! In that moment the balance sheet requires moving a product for the financial viability of the company and all the time and money you’ve spent carefully crafting your brand position suddenly is irrelevant because you’ve got to move product! In that moment, however, you do NOT have to give up your brand position, with a little creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, you can use the promotion to extend your brand position.
There are two necessary components to using a promotion to extend your brand position. The first is determining how to tie a product promotion to your brand position. This probably seems intuitive, but to execute it well is quite difficult. Say for instance, that you sell tires, and that your brand position is about creating a better local community – how would you tie putting those tires on sale to creating a better community? Hint, the answer is not: “advertise the great sale price!” This is where you have to get creative. What about a good sales price, and a small donation to a local charity? Better yet, if you sell “X” number of tires, can you promote your donation of tires to a kids charity’s bus? If you do have a partnership with a local charity (or 2) can you give them and their supporters a “pre-sale” deal where a portion of the proceeds go back to the charity? How about donating the used tires to create a play structure for the charity? You get the idea, it’s more than the price, it’s about extending your brand through the promotion.
The second component to extending your brand through a promotion is to create a promotional advertisement that looks and sounds like your brand position. For instance, if your brand is about sustainability and you sell furniture, your promotion is going to have to address how purchasing the furniture from you reinforces sustainability. You’re also going to have to hire the same talent you use to voice your brand commercials to voice your product promotion, using the same visuals and sound background. And more what’s more difficult, you need to spend 20-30 seconds of your 60 second commercial on your brand position.
That necessitates two things: 1) You’re offer is going to have to be compelling, 2) your offer is going to have to be able to speak directly to your brand position. Not an easy task – but if try to get creative on your product promotion, you will be successful in being able to use a product promotion to extend your brand position. In the end, it’s worthwhile, because long after the product promotion has gone, your brand will remain – stronger than it was before.