Promotion by association

Hugh has an interesting promotion he's cooking up at Gaping Void:
So here's an idea I'm pitching around the Stormhoek boys, in order to get more signed prints "out there":

How about if, as well as being able to download high-resolution images off gapingvoid, I also started making more signed, fine art prints available, to anyone who wanted one?

How about, instead of charging you money for the print, we had a similar arrangement to the one we have with the high-resolution downloads i.e. How about if we gave them to you for free, with a "gentleman's agreement" that if you ever came across a bottle of Stormhoek in your local supermarket, you'd consider giving it a try?

Stormhoek would pay for the prints, my "readers" would get to hang them on their walls, the costs would hopefully be covered by new Stormhoek conversations and new business being generated.

I think the whole thing could possibly work quite well, as both a commercial proposition and an interesting marketing case study.


My first thought was 'That's not a promotion for Stormhoek, that's a promotion for Hugh Macleod.'. Basically Stormhoek would pay for sending out Hugh's signed prints, which would definitely cause SOME conversation about Stormhoek, but I believe that would be a small and ancillary affect of a greater buzz for Hugh Macleod and Gaping Void.

But the question I have is, is that a good or bad thing for Stormhoek? Or to be more clear, will the the time, money and effort that it's going to take Stormhoek to send out the prints, will that be overcome by increased sales of Stormhoek wine? My guess is probably, but I can't see this one promotion being a huge success for Stormhoek. Perhaps moreso as a continuing theme of joining the community.

So what does the Garden's community say? Who benefits the most from this promotion, Stormhoek or Hugh Macleod? And if you say that Hugh does, do you think the ancillary benefits to Stormhoek, as a client of Hugh's, would make this promotion worth their while?

Totally unrelated PS: Jordan at Tell Ten Friends needs your help with a marketing survey which he says takes about 2 minutes. Thanks.

posted by Mack Collier @ 12:38 PM,


At 2:03 PM, Anonymous hugh macleod said...

methinks you might be looking at this from too linear an angle ;-)

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Think so? To me it seems more like a personal branding promotion for Hugh Macleod, rather than a promotion for Stormhoek to sell more wine. Now having said that, a promotion that positively affects Hugh Macleod and Gaping Void will have some spillover benefits for Stormhoek, my question was simply, how much?

Either way, it's interesting, as most of your ideas are.

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Ann Handley said...

It's an interesting idea, and I like the concept of Associative Promotion. As Hugh suggests, it's a fun experiment. But it seems to me that there's a lot of factors that need to line up in order for the program to work effectively --

1. Hugh fan
2. wine drinker
3. Stormhoek distributed in your area

By "work effectively" I mean, of course, from Stormhoek's perspective, Seems to me that it works effectively for Hugh regardless, which I guess is what Mack was suggesting.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Exactly Ann. It will work for Hugh regardless. What I'm wondering is, will the recepients view the print as coming from Hugh, or Stormhoek?

My guess is they'll mentally file it as the print that 'Hugh gave me'. And if they want to buy some wine, the odds are they will remember the print and think of Stormhoek. But by the same token, the print would probably also influence them to remember the tailor that Hugh works with, if they were also in the market for a new suit.

I think Hugh is the primary benefactor of this 'promotion', and any clients he works with, and blogs about, are the secondary beneficiaries.

But as I said, very interesting nonetheless. And very cool that Stormhoek continues to use such unconventional marketing.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Yeppers, it seems like more of a good faith gesture for true fans, etc.

Certainly good to generate some buzz among the faithful, but with nowhere near the viral power of the 100 bottles and geek dinners promos.

He sells the stuff unabashedly at gaping void, why shouldn't it be a two way street? Who cares who benefits more, really?

Hugh fans have come through in the past, so keep greasing that wheel, I say.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Jordan said...


Meant to say thanks for the link, but too caught up in the conversation!

At 6:15 AM, Anonymous hugh macleod said...

Mack, I still disagree with you. I think you're only seeing the chess game one or two moves ahead, instead of say, five or six...

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Well I see this particular promotion as benifitting you and Gaping Void the most. I do realize that Stormhoek will get a spillover affect from this, but so will any of your other clients.

Now I also see where as part of a campaign, there will be a greater cumulative affect for Stormhoek. You've got 100 free bottles....then 100 Geek free signed prints. If that's what you mean by seeing ahead 5 or 6 moves, then I agree with you. If you are talking about something else, then I'm not following you.

But no matter what happens, Stormhoek is likely going to gain business from this, that was never in question. And I think the more interesting discussion would be whether such promotions help to establish Hugh Macleod and Gaping Void as a 'brand'. Which I would guess is your end goal.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous JL King said...

Ann should have put a #4 as " is a blogger". All the promotion in the world won't help if someone doesn't read blogs at all. While everyone on blogs think that they are world famous and popular because they have " links" and " views" the real world still sees them as the cassette tape of the world. While blogging is growing everyday, it still is not in the hands of the people that matter " the middle Americans". Having a popular blog translates to having a booming lemonade stand in the real world.
Hugh has some great ideas , but in moving many spaces ahead he needs to think of ways to reach " the middle Americans " and not wine drinkers.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

"but in moving many spaces ahead he needs to think of ways to reach " the middle Americans " and not wine drinkers."

That may be where he's heading. But I think that's something we forget, that blogs are pretty damned important to bloggers, and the rest of the world really doesn't care yet.

If I were Hugh, I would use the popularity of Gaping Void to act as a bridge between the blogosphere and the 'real world' for the clients he represents. He has a foothold in the blogging community, but the 'real world' is where it's at.

My guess is that Hugh's thinking along these same lines, or at least he should be IMO.


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