Guerillas at the Grill

It used to be that the smartest marketers cultivated, continually refined and constantly reinforced their brands using mass media. The most obvious examples are clothing brands built in the pages of fashion magazines. The process of building and maintaining these brands was expensive, and their corresponding images took years to create.

In the new economy, there’s a smarter way.

Nearby my house is a gourmet grocery store chain called Earth Fare. When I passed by the other day, the store was having a cookout. It was lunchtime, and there were three employees cooking hamburgers on as many charcoal grills. As the employees were passing out hamburgers, they were talking about the quality of the organic ground sirloin.

Brilliant. Customers and the store’s staff were socializing like neighbors. People were sure to tell friends and coworkers about this as well. Even if they didn’t, the smell of the cookout wafted all over the neighborhood, no doubt making a few wonder: “How about we grill out tonight?”

In a single day at lunch, Earth Fare’s guerilla marketing tactic had said more about their brand than a month of traditional circulars and newspaper advertising could.

Guerilla marketing isn’t new, but in today’s economy, it’s more relevant than ever, because people are starved for individual attention from the stores they frequent and the brands they support.

Such attention needn’t be difficult or expensive to implement. It’s important to remember that even if your budget has been cut, it is crucial to avoid communicating less. The key is to communicate differently. How can your organization start today?

This entry was written by Kevin Smith, posted on January 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm, filed under Advertising, Offerings, Social Consciousness, Trend: Localism and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

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