Big brands are arrogantly losing out on large market loyalty by their snub of community events.
It’s no longer news that big businesses are struggling despite huge discount sales, large advertiskng and marketing budgets, shiny and large social media following. They seem to be doing everything right yet, customer behaviour towards big businesses continue to dwindle, pushing most of the largest brands to the brink.
Social media and spark in e-commerce and online shopping have received the finger pointing. However, the phenomenon is not just effect of social media and internet but the very fact big businesses have refused to grasp the real shift in customer behaviours and the influence community events are exerting on consumer consciousness.
Gone are the days when just your brand logo, big adverts and billboards sold products. Today’s consumer is wiser and has diverse options and they’re making that choices based mostly on who reaches them on human to human level.
Consumers are wiser and are learning everyday to put their money where their mouths are. The eagerness to support local business knowing that growing their local economy has more direct relevance to them that further growing fat bank accounts of ‘greedy’ conglomorates.
Big brands have a great job of getting off their high mountains and begin to look beyond their their noses to see the larger market where their loyalty and market are settled – at lpcal and community events.
Sponsorship of events is arguably the most reliable and effective way to build brand presences, awareness and loyalty. Sponsoring a smaller event brings you much closer to the grassroots where real loyalty dwells which will bring superb return on investment.
Understanding to strategically activate these oppprtunities, will help the businesses actualise their overall goals. Jennifer Whiteford, head of UK brand at Investec in an article for Cityam said, “It is not enough to simply secure the sponsorship and ensure that your businesses branding and messaging is displayed prominently. Maximising the value of a partnership involves more proactive activation, including through PR, digital strategy, or broader advertising that links the opportunity back to the business.”
“It’s really important for you to look at the sponsorship and see what you can make from it. It could be an opportunity to better engage with clients.” She wrote.
Unfortunately arrogance of big businesses are denying them this huge untapped market and opportunity to solidify their influence and win lifetime loyalty within communities.
Oftentimes, these businesses refuse to sponsor smaller events or when they do, they simply hand in more and does nothing to activate the partnership to benefit both parties. They distance themselves from the event promotion thereby making the sponsorship fall flat yielding nothing.
Success of a sponsorship depends not just on the organiser but also on your brands ability to exact it’s weight, strategically adding points of Interests which the client will remember at the long run. You must do all you can to make the client see your brand as a brand interested in their community thus they embracing your business as theirs. Until a client sees your business as theirs to protect and grow, branding hasn’t really occurred and the aim of your sponsorship hasn’t yielded a thing. In my experience at Divas of Colour, 80% of businesses booking their slot early and engaging with the event promotion are 100% satisfied after each event. What happens is that, the public finds out they’re exhibiting and makes note to visit their stand. Our audience who probably never knew about them decides to interact with them. More and more bloggers, media and buyers become interested in featuring their businesses as they discuss the theme of the event. However, unfortunately we experienced even big brands paying fee to sponsor events and disappear in the background, they never interacts with the event on social.media or do any follow on PR or advertising and on the day, their presence just falls flat and their sponsorship brings no real value to them and the event.
This era of social media, its even more important for businesses to associate with community and smaller events, as this has become the new norm opportunity for friends to meet and network. And people respect opinion of their mates and wants to belong. When they meet your brand face to face, they feel closer and more willing to follow and interact with your brand on social media. Their social media review after a meeting at an event is usually always positive and in good light.
What all of this means is, businesses need to embrace sponsorships as a partnership and not just paying fee to secure a sponsorship right or exhibition space only to show up on the event day. All partners of any event has the opportunity to make the event as high profile and impactful as possible to benefit all involved. And this is not exclusive to large corporations but also applies to small businesses book for exhibitions spaces.
Smart marketers are now reaching out to smaller events reaching their core audience in the communities and grassroots for sponsorships using their platforms to rebuild their relationship and trust with the consumers, and reestablishing their impact and superior impression in the minds of people, thereby building unshakeable loyalty that is cost effective with a short and long term goal actualising benefits.
Faustina Anyanwu is the founder and director of Divas of Colour International Women’s Festival, the only festival bringing diverse and most affluent women of Colour face to face with businesses and brands targeting this hard to reach market.
Divas of Colour is a two day event which includes trade show and exhibitions, fashion show, music, conference and awards dinner. Held every March in London, bringing some of the most influential women of Colour from around the globe.