Buy Tickets for the Momentum Train

By Cristina Goodenough
Executive Engagement Director

Name a few events that come to mind when you think of large consumer gatherings? The election, holidays, Olympics, festivals and sports tournaments are standouts.  Whether you participate in these events or not, one thing is for sure – you want to be where the people are and hop on the momentum train. The word of mouth with these events is nothing short of an advertiser’s dream.

Using the election that just passed us as an example, people are talking about this event whether it’s the good, bad or the ugly.  Can you imagine your brand name mentioned as many times as the words ‘Donald’ and ‘Hillary’ have been uttered?

Some advertisers understand the value of associating themselves with things that are culturally relevant. Bob Evans had their sausage selection campaign this year where customers got to vote for their favorite sausage. Ben & Jerry’s released a limited-edition ice cream flavor called ‘Berine’s Yearning’ and Noodles and co took a survey with their customers asking if their food brought more comfort to them vs. this year’s presidential election. Their survey also found that nearly half of Americans (45 percent) say they’ll “dine with her” and would rather share a bowl of mac and cheese with Hillary Clinton than any other presidential candidate this year. And, while traditional mac and cheese reigns supreme, 22 million Americans favor a spicier variety, such as with hot sauce, with 17 million claiming that a more savory addition, such as beef, wins their vote. * Learn from the success of brands like these and take a page from their playbooks.

If I were a restaurant owner I would be thinking through how to capitalize off electric events that are key pillars in society conversation. You have plenty of time to plan for it and know exactly when these events will occur. Customize promotions, advertising, menus, food items, etc. and make some incremental spend off the buzz. Would suggest nothing polarizing unless you want to pull a Chick-fil-a move and take a stance against an important issue – there sales did go up double digits for standing up in what they believe in!

It is important to remain relevant and in-tune with what is going on and what consumers are talking about. In particular with social media. By now, if you don’t have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account that is working to build relationships with consumers, you are missing a huge opportunity to develop brand ambassadors and achieve earned media.

In a world that wants everything in ‘real-time’ your business can’t afford to be outdated and resting on past experiences. We are moving at a rapid pace so whether you are pro the election marketing noted above or pro culturally relevant marketing that is keeping up with the times, at the end of the day, you just have to pro adapting to change.

So speak with your marketing team, figure out how you can stand out, shake things up and not be another face in the crowd. Take some risks in controlled test and learn scenarios and don’t miss out hopping on the momentum train.



Li Brown