Guerrilla Marketing: noun; innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product.
By its very definition, guerrilla marketing techniques lend themselves well to creative and motivated small business owners. If you want your products to be the talk of the town, then you need to give the people something to talk about. Read on for some great guerrilla marketing tips for small retailers that you can customize to use for your own store.
- Treasure Hunt: Creating customized, adventure-driven treasure hunts is another cool guerrilla marketing tactic that can energize customers. These treasure hunts should utilize social media to post online clues to hidden items scattered across the local area. You could either have people look for specific items using a single clue, or make it leveled, where one discovery includes a clue that will lead to the next. Offering hunts with both small and big prizes will drive up the public interest, because there will be lots of winners – And it will also increase social media followers. At the end, rather than dispensing prizes as-is, offer them in your store’s customized gift boxes or bags.
- Art/Graffiti: Is your store located in a city or medium-sized town? You might want to try some graffiti/art work to draw in customers. First and foremost, you’ll need permission from the property owner, but painting over a previously barren city space is sure to draw the eye of anyone who passes by. What you paint is entirely up to you. You could have an artist paint an idyllic mural, or even a life-size false storefront. Or go a simpler route and use stencils to spray on your company logo or images of your newest products. There’s also another, more subtle graffiti method known as ‘reverse stenciling’, in which a stencil is placed over a grimy wall or sidewalk, and then cleaner is applied to the open spaces instead of paint. What remains is a clean patch in the shape of your logo or company name.
- A simpler, more temporary alternative is sidewalk chalk. This could go anywhere, not necessarily just in front of your store. A weekly design or work of art will have folks coming back to your store to see the latest design! When the sidewalks are suddenly more colorful, people will take notice, and the talk will lead right back to your business.
- Team up with other local businesses: Rather than simply competing against other retailers, join forces to create some mutual benefit. Work with a few other stores and offer each other’s flyers or promotions at check out – so other stores are leading folks to you, while you encourage your customers to visit them. Not only is this a great way to easily drive more traffic into your store, but it also imbues a sense of camaraderie and community among local retailers.
- T-shirts: This is effective and super-easy! Order a bunch of t-shirts with your company logo, and be your own mobile billboard. You can up the promotional ante by offering them to customers as free gifts with specific purchases from your shop, or for winning social media contests. This concept isn’t limited to t-shirts, of course. You could do the same with custom totes, pens, rubber bracelets, or even stickers.
- Events: Holding or hosting some type of event – whether big or small – is a very broad strategy that works well when implemented with your specific customers’ needs in mind. In a salon or spa, offer workshops on skin care or makeup application. In a children’s clothing shop, any kind of kid-friendly entertainment like storytelling or a clown that makes balloon animals is great. Use social media and in-store signage to advertise the events.
For more inspiration, check out these 122 brilliant examples of guerrilla marketing.
And, of course, for more tips on promoting your business, especially through customized packaging and bags, contact us.