February 15, 2016

Have A Hat!!

This is an image from my customer acquisition presentation. It's a screen shot from a John Mellencamp video - Rain on the Scarecrow.

Notice the hats the farmers are wearing ... GARST. That's the Garst Seed Company. That's the home of my first job, as a Statistical Analyst (1988 - 1990).

We gave out a lot of hats, for free. I can remember being in a meeting, probably in 1989, where a marketing person said there were two things that farmers loved ... free hats and free food. The marketing person made sure that the plant breeders, when they were canvassing the midwest in search of new customers, gave away a lot of food and a silo of GARST hats.

The hats were a form of free advertising ... no different than Russell Wilson wearing Beats headphones or news/weather folks wearing L.L. Bean coats.

What free advertising do you leverage? What do you give to the customer, and then, what does the customer do to spread the word on your behalf?

The brand response marketer works terribly hard to plant seeds. A GARST seed company cap ends up on a music video in the 1980s. A simple, nearly free, boring cap, doing heavy lifting.

What is your version of the GARST hat?