I’d like to spend the next few paragraphs on pep rallies. I know what you’re thinking… huh?! Pep rallies? Besides getting pulled away from math class, what can one possibly say about pep rallies? A lot, actually — if you can get over the underlying smell of gym socks, that is.
For young entrepreneurs interested in juicing up their marketing skills, one need only consider that simple pep rally — the cheerleaders moving in step, the band playing the school’s fight song and everyone routing for their team. In other words, look at the elements that really worked and how they can provide insight into your own marketing plans.
Here are seven elements to consider adopting:
- Shared loyalty. Whether you were preppy, a brain or a shop kid, that football team was yours. You may have known the quarterback or maybe you went to grade school with one of the bench warmers. No matter what, you were already inclined to support the goal of the rally; you agreed that your team was the best. What can you do with current or potential customers to help them feel that kind of connection? Do your customers feel like part of your team? Do they want you to win?
- High energy. From the band blasting the school’s anthem to the crowd shouting cheers, a high school pep rally is designed to generate enthusiasm for the upcoming game. Do your marketing echo that energy? Are your customers excited to use your services or buy your products? Do they leave your store or restaurant much more interested in your company?
- Cheerleaders. These are the most enthusiastic participants in the assembly. They create special displays and encourage everyone else to get involved. Some of their efforts are pre-planned, but their excitement at the actual event is absolutely contagious. Are your employees cheerleaders for your company? Do they generate enthusiasm in your customers?
- Consistency. Then there’s the fight song. It’s simple, consistent and darn catchy. There's comfort in the familiar, and memories are powerful. So, capitalize on it. Every time you reach out to your customers, remind them who you are with familiar music, images or messages that reinforce your brand.
- Sitting next to friends. No matter how you felt about your school’s team, just getting to spend time with friends always made a pep rally fun. Does your product bring people together? Have you planned ways for customers to share experiences with their friends? What can you do to encourage people to share what you offer with others?
- Authority talks. From the student body president to the coach, hearing from the people in charge likely made you feel valued. What opportunities do you provide for your customers to hear from you?
- Building expectations. A pep rally is not an end in itself but an event designed to generate excitement for the game. Are you doing enough to beat the drum before your special product introductions or grand openings?