Stickers only work as a part of a marketing strategy if they are seen. Stickers are only seen if people are displaying them publicly. Stickers that are (at best) hiding in desks or underneath piles of paperwork or (at worst) in the trash can, aren’t doing much good. If you want people to actually display your sticker, the first step is to understand the reasons why people display them.
Here are the 3 basic reasons why people display stickers in visible locations:
A sticker that is purely promotional represents a company, brand, place, product, person, idea, etc. The graphic can be a logo or include an actual name. In the case of a popular company, brand, etc. the person displaying the sticker may have paid for it because they are loyal customers, followers, etc. This really is the best case scenario and is a win-win for that organization. Not only did they make a profit from the sticker, but they are also receiving the benefit of the free promotion. In other cases, promotional stickers are included as a part of a promotion or a giveaway. If the organization isn’t as well known, they may need an enticing plan to encourage people to display the sticker. For example, people that are “caught” displaying the sticker win a prize.
Sometimes people display stickers simply because they like the look of it. Maybe it has a cool design or includes their favorite colors. An artistic car bumper sticker, for example, makes a car stand out from all the others that are the same make, model, and color. Examples of artistic stickers include racing stripes, flames, and flowers.
Other personal reasons
Arguably, all stickers are displayed for personal reasons. Promotional stickers are displayed because a person really likes a company, brand, product, etc. They stand behind it and are showing off their loyalty in an effort to get others on board as well. Artistic stickers resonate with a person on a personal level because they like the design and artwork. However, there are plenty of other personal reasons to display a sticker. Personal stickers are like tattoos. They project a certain image, but aren’t necessarily promotional. Think of the family stick figures on the back of the mini-van or the “I love my Golden Retriever” bumper sticker.
You may notice that there’s some overlap between each of these reasons. As a marketer, it’s in your best interest to tap into each of these reasons if you want to be successful with your sticker promotion. The sticker needs to resonate with the recipient if you want them to display it. Not only does the sticker need to be promotional (to meet your needs), but it also needs to meet your target audience’s needs in some way. Think about these above reasons when deciding on the art, shape, size, etc. of the sticker. If recipients of your sticker feel no connection, or simply don’t like it, it’s not going to be displayed!