In my book, Stick This – Using Promotional Stickers to Build Identity, Create Word of Mouth and Grow Sales, I sighted a few examples of successful businesses utilizing stickers to help launch their companies. One was Reddit. Many people don’t realize that Reddit was started with a $500 advertising budget – all of which was used on stickers. The other example of business success through stickers was J Skis. There is too much great information from founder Jason Levinthal in the published interview to cover here (let me know if you’d like a free copy of the book). But, what I’d like to touch on are some examples of Sticker uses for a start-up through the lens of a business I am launching right now.
I started FlowStir as a way to try and bring a little more happiness to the World. There is no immediate profit motive at all so it was more important than ever to keep costs down. And, being involved in a sticker company and understanding the promotional power of stickers, I obviously needed stickers to be a major part of our marketing efforts. So, how is FlowStir integrating stickers in our year-1 start-up plan?
Business Sticker Uses:
Visibility / Local Promotion – At Websticker we have always had fun and positive stickers to hand out to friends and visitors to our office. We also mail out stickers with invoices and with custom orders. In the past we built our sticker themes and campaigns around our Ned character, but it was an easy shift to the sticker themes and designs of the new FlowStir brand. Our eye-catching Sticker Mobile (company car) could also be slightly altered to represent FlowStir with its similar mission to make people smile and lighten their day. Of course employees and friends using stickers on cars, water bottles, laptops, etc. also helps start conversations and increase visibility.
Free Stickers to Build Community and Lists – As part of our efforts to build a FlowStir Community from scratch, we offer packs of free stickers. Not only is this a great way to gather names and addresses, it also connects people to the brand and puts a great marketing tool in their hands for further exposure out in the world. Read more about building a 100% qualified community with stickers.
Product Sales – Stickers aren’t just for promotion, they can also be a profitable product. Stickers with higher perceived value like Vinyl Cut Stickers, Sticker Sheets, and limited-edition designs make great add-on products and have high profit margins. For FlowStir we are developing AffirmAction Sticker Sheets that tie in with our mission and practices but also have a direct benefit to our growing community. We will develop more sticker products as we discover what themes, graphics and messages resonate most with our growing community.
Bonus Gifts – Based on the exceptional marketing value of stickers it certainly makes sense to keep putting them in the hands of customers and adding them in with product shipments and any physical correspondence. For FlowStir we add stickers to everything we can. They are not only a gift and a badge for recipients, they are a marketing medium that keeps the start-up momentum going and growing.
Stickers are fun, increase visibility, can be highly targeted, can turn customers into a marketing force, and strengthen relationships with physical interactions in the real world. Stickers are low-cost to produce, but have high-value marketing potential.
In my opinion there are just 3 basic stages of business marketing; invite people in, make them comfortable, and send them happily on their way. There is no beginning and no end, just an ongoing cyclical process of moving through these three stages. So, invite them back in, make them more comfortable, send them off happy again and more apt to spread the word about you or your product or service. Then do it again.
The unique power and beauty of promotional stickers is that they can be utilized in all three stages of the marketing at a very low cost. Integrating stickers into all three marketing stages of a start-up can compliment all the other efforts going into launching a successful business.