How much ink has been spilled writing about marketing for small business? As small businesses with limited resources, we are constantly trying to find ways to creatively stretch our budgets to reach as many customers as we can. If you’ve had a chance to glance at our book, Mom Inc., you’ll know that we’re huge fans of PR for small businesses because there are a lot of creative things you can do that don’t have to cost a ton of money.
This week, U.S. discount retailer Target delivered a master class in creative PR by setting up shop in Toronto…for a few hours.
Fifteen hundred shoppers flocked to the pop-up shop to scoop up cheap fashions and meet Vancouver-born designer (and couturier to Michelle Obama) Jason Wu.
Not slated to hit Canadian soil for another year, Target came up with the pop-up idea to promote brand awareness and generate some hype. In the world of PR, how clever was this idea? It was brilliant. There were line ups several hours before the doors opened and the event received national news coverage. (Mostly) women scrambled to snap up Wu-designed frocks. The sold out collection generated $60,000 in sales, all of which was donated to the United Way of Toronto. That’s a pretty darn good news story.
Clearly, most small businesses don’t have the kinds of budgets that would allow for the kind of splashy event that Target threw this week. But instead of being intimidated by this kind of marketing, let’s be inspired by it. Last year Canadian company Snugabye got creative by launching its adult Lounge Wear collection with a slumber party in a downtown hotel. And lots of companies are now hosting relatively low cost Tweet-ups to promote their brands.
So even though it may be hard to relate to the marketing budget of Tar-jay, they sure did teach us all a thing or two about clever marketing this week. Target managed to get us all talking about their store more than 12 months before they’ll be here. They are creating pent up demand in the market to ensure an explosive launch. What a great reminder about how it pays to think outside the box.