How to have your (royal) cake and eat it
From limited edition gin and beer, to Mr Kipling bridal-themed cakes, restaurant royal menus and Windsor holiday packages, thousands of brands are hastily jumping on the bandwagon to launch their own royal wedding-themed products and services in a bid to grab a slice of the action of the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Saturday 19th May 2018).
At Five by Five, we’re certainly advocates of seasonal marketing – if your brand can cut through the noise. But is the hard work really worth it just for one day or is it possible to enjoy long-term benefits?
Stay true to your brand.
To create longevity it’s vital your brand is a good fit for the occasion (see 4 brands that have done this well). Lots will stretch their product to fit the theme, but consumers can spot a gimmick a mile off. British brands like Burberry, Emma Bridgewater and Barbour, that can leverage the event to raise awareness of their heritage; ignite patriotism and fly the flag for Britain is something that can be continued long after the bunting is packed away.
Windsor & Eton Brewery are a great example. Located five minutes away from Windsor Castle, they created the limited edition beer, ‘Windsor Knot’, first to commemorate William & Kate’s wedding, and now for Harry and Meghan – using each couple’s background as flavour inspiration. This is launch marketing that uses an occasion to raise its profile, but still has relevance to the audience post-event. In short, make sure your brand’s essence fits the occasion, don’t change your brand to fit.
Make it emotional.
An occasion like the royal wedding delivers the feel-good factor and launching a product against a positive backdrop can cement the association between you and that warm, fuzzy feeling. If you’re looking to make it work in the long-term, nothing builds brands like emotion. Gatorade’s 2016 Olympics ad ‘The Boy Who Learned to Fly’ about Usain Bolt’s life was a great way of getting consumers to emotionally connect with Usain and in turn, Gatorade.
EasyJet also took an emotional approach to its 20th-anniversary celebrations by transforming customer data into powerful stories. Entirely personalised emails that told each customer’s travel story resulted in open rates 100% higher than average – 7.5% of those customers who received the email went on to book a flight in the next 30 days*. You need to get into your customers’ hearts if you want to create a lasting relationship. So make it personal and tap into their emotional needs.
Keep it fresh.
As a marketer, you’ve got to have your eyes on the future. Think of it as less of a one-off marketing campaign and more as an ongoing conversation. Don’t think you’re done once the event finishes! You have to keep your audience engaged. Can you deliver ongoing, compelling content that is valuable? Is your product part of a range that people want to collect? It’s all about creating short-term buzz to drive long-term desirability.
LEGO is the perfect example of a brand that keeps its content consistent, yet fresh. Its ability to remain popular for more than eighty years is clear evidence of its ability to innovate its marketing strategy to stay relevant and valuable to its consumers year after year.
Just remember to remain visible to your audience post-event and give them a reason to come back for more. Harry and Meghan aside, these principles can be applied to any seasonal or event-based marketing approach. Just remember to stay true to your brand, connect emotionally and keep it fresh and you’ll have a long-term launch marriage made in heaven.
By Fiona Healey
PR Manager - Client Services, UK