Blog : Creativity

Small Business Promotional Ideas for March Madness

STANCE has a few promotional ideas for March Madness to offer small businesses.

First, some eyebrow raising numbers.

  • Last year, the NCAA men’s tournament’s Final Four match-ups and Final brought in $198.5 million in advertising revenue for CBS and Turner Sports, according to Kantar Media.
  • Each game last year averaged 10.7 million viewers, according to
  • CBS-Turner is committed to $11 million over 14 years of March Madness Broadcasting, according to Forbes.
  • The American Gaming Association predicts that $9 billion will be bet on March Madness.

HUGE numbers!

The thing is sports have a powerful pull on our minds…and wallets. Whereas major brands compete for attention, just in the hopes that we might like them; sports have a natural ability to excite passion by providing competition. And we LOVE them for it.

Companies need to take advantage of this! I’m not suggesting you pony up and raid the couch cushions to buy ad placement, because you won’t be able to. Prices at $10 million for ads might just be out of reach.

We don’t fall in love with brands easily, but with sports, we fall in love extremely easily. Supercede all those trust issues by doing marketing promotions geared towards those passionate fans.

Bracket Contest

Not hard to do. Fans love filling out brackets, give them one more to fill out, but offer something special. $500 off the next purchase, maybe? By running a contest you are stating that you are brand that knows how to enjoy themselves, you are in touch with fans desire, and it will create excitement. No one is going to turn down a free opportunity to win something and the interaction will be outstanding.

Local Team Support

Local team in the tournament? Our isn’t but yours just might be. Show your support by running a promotion that offers fans something if the local team makes it to the Final Four. Or directly support the team by offering promotional items. College kids love free stuff.

Create Your Own Bracket

Let’s say you have a bunch of different products. Eye-wear, accessories, shoes, magazine, etc. Create a bracket that fans can vote on. Rank your items according to past sales, and round by round have fans vote on their favorites. This accomplish two things. First, it makes you unique. Second, it allows you to gain insight into customer trends. Did the fourteenth ranked purple paisley shirt make it to the Final Four? Might want to start pushing it more.

Whatever the choices may be for March Madness, be careful. “March Madness,” “Final Four,” and other similar terms are all trademarked. Only official partners are allowed to use these terms in promotions. Don’t push it. If you are hosting these contests online, anyone can report you, and if you are reported, don’t expect to get away with it.


Reddit’s Commercial Cuts

Reddit’s Commercial Cuts

Brands spend millions of dollars each year developing their version of a perfect 30-to-90 second television ads, so it’s pretty hilarious to see that some reddit users and simple edits can turn these carefully crafted ads into dark hilarious comedies.

Check out this cut of the famous cheerios commercial, where Gracie learns the horrible truth.
(source : The A.V. Club)

Some of these cuts are clever, seamless stitchings like this cheerios one, while others are full on complete sound edits. Like this absurd/profane lunchables ad.

Or how about this hilarious ford focus ad, showcasing new automatic parking?

Regardless of the absurdity, these ads still serve a purpose and benefit the creator/company responsible for the original. Although the message originally intended may be long gone the product and company are still represented resulting in an influx of massive free content marketing. One of the rules on the subreddit is “The majority of the video MUST be the original commercial/audio,” so this means that the video will still be showcased and people will be able to find the original to compare the subtle edits.

The Subreddit has a total of 21,976 Readers who view and discuss these hilarious ad’s. That’s alot of free exposure these companies are getting as well as original viral content. I feel the lesson that can be learned here is that even though groups like this may seem antagonistic towards the company/product they’re doing a lot to spread the content and maybe bring new life to old dead commercials, still providing you value. Remember, any PR is good PR.

The Original Pocket Books

The Original Pocket Books

L&PM is the top publisher of pocket books in Brazil. Enlisting the help of FreeSurf and DM9Rio advertising agency, they managed to create an exclusive jean collection with real stories, poems and tales written by famous authors.


“great stories can fit in your pocket”






This whole campaign really served well to strengthen the brand in the public eye. Showing the companies message about the importance and beauty of stories, while providing an awesome jean collection, something people already needed. The whole idea was to communicate the convenience of the pocket book format as opposed to regular books, and they succeeded.


Now of course the video was created by the ad agency responsible for the campaign, so their is a bit of a bias on just how awesome it was, and the attributed 13% sales is definitely sketchy especially coming from a company that’s essentially advertising themselves and just how awesome they are for being involved.


Although the campaign was great and definitely did play a part in building brand strength and awareness, my main critique is how the whole thing didn’t strongly tie back to the L&PM brand. No where in the “The Original Pocketbook” campaign was L&PM really pronounced as a brand responsible for the jeans. Sure it was on the pockets, but it was under to the Original pocketbooks logo, making it seem like it was a separate company that partnered with The Original Pocketbook. Maybe this was on purpose as the design style was also vastly different than anything on L&PM’s website, regardless, I feel more attention should have been paid to tying back to the brand it was promoting.


Watch The Video

You Have to Love Us

You Have to Love Us

I know you probably hate us, but we’re here to stay and we’re only getting worse.

While we were practicing our “Feeny Call” or fanboy’ing over the Spice Girls, the explosion of the millennials seemed to have happened overnight. We’re always on our phones, impolite, and as radical as ever. Unfortunately, we are also edgy, passionate, and continuously desire to learn.

Wait, that doesn’t sound so unfortunate after all.

Articles around us, along with the popular stereotypes generalize millennials into a category full of irrational, ignorant and immature people.
Well that’s just rude!
It is often forgotten how you were when you were younger and how you felt. Did you feel trapped by the pressures of the world? Were you told to marry young and bring in babies? Sorry, we were told that too, but we didn’t listen. We’re focused on what drives us, what makes us wake up everyday, what our purpose in this world really is. Didn’t you want to change the world at one time? Didn’t you want to neglect the boring repetition in your life for something meaningful?

Here’s what’s really cool about us. We hold VALUE. We know things you don’t, but we want to teach you. We want to spread the knowledge to everyone. We’re influencers, professionals, and just really cool people. That’s why we’re assets to companies: why while we are maybe unwanted, we are needed-especially in the workplace.

Our jobs are our lives, even though we don’t think of it that way. We constantly network, meet people, and create communities, although most of it is online now. We need feedback. Whether the feedback is positive or not, you need to at least keep it real. We value honesty, even if it’s not what we want to hear. It helps us know what path we’re on and that because you’re giving us attention, you are committed to us as much as we are to you. We just want to be wanted!

According to Paul McDonald in his article, Developing Millennials Into Your Firm’s Next Generation of Leaders, there are questions, we need your help answering. These specific questions make us feel more passionate and more committed to the company.
• Where am I going in my career?
• What’s important to my company?
• How does my role help the company reach its objectives?
• How can my company and my manager help me reach my goals?

So help us help you. Let’s blog together, tweet each other, and create cool handshakes.

We’re in this together for the long haul and we are just as excited as you.


The Power of Colors in Branding

The Power of Colors in Branding

Colors are vital to the success of your brand.

color wheel, branding

Often times the importance of colors are overlooked when branding. The color palette for your brand should be determined only after research of your target audience and once the personality of your brand is defined. How easy would it be for a new business owner to simply pick their favorite colors for their brand? Super easy, but it shouldn’t work that way!

Step One:

The colors chosen for your brand should tie along with the purpose and the personality you want to convey to your customers.

Let’s imagine a few scenarios really quick:
Imagine if the whole world was blue. Trees were blue, grass was blue, your skin was blue, everything blue.
How would you feel? Which emotions would you feel most?
Again, imagine if the whole world was red? How about black?

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@amd5555″ suffix=””]Our emotions change with the colors we see. Every color has a purpose and a personality attached to it.[/inlinetweet]

Allow me  to help you get an idea of the type of colors best for your brand. You probably have an idea, but it’s usually not as apparent as it may seem.
You have a baby clothing brand, your colors should reflect pastels and should be gender neutral-yellow, green.
You have a Hawaiian restaurant. Your colors should reflect the Hawaiian community. Bright pinks, bright greens.

In regards to making your colors reflect your purpose, here at STANCE, our colors are red and tangaroa. Red is a bold, strong color associated with motivation and a desire to take action. Tangaroa (sample here) is a deep blue color. Dark blues instill trust and authority while still maintaining stability. We are trustworthy, highly motivated and action oriented, yet still stable and strong. Our colors reflect how we have positioned ourselves and our promise to our customers.

Choose the colors that will reflect your brand’s personality best-how you want the customer’s to perceive your brand. We are visual people. We get an idea of a person by what they’re wearing and the colors they use when presenting themselves. Your brand colors should do the same.

Color creates, enhances, changes, reveals, and establishes the mood of the painting. –Kiff Holland

Step Two:

These colors should relate to the brand’s target audience and still be visually appealing. During research, it should be determined the demographic of your primary audience and the colors that most influence them.

menvswomen colors when branding


Step Three:

A brand’s colors will also create consistency.  These colors will be everywhere in your business-logo design, collateral, websites, social media, packaging, etc. If it turns out the colors are not depicting what you had in mind, you’ll have to start over and that can be costly.

color branding collateral


Once step three is accomplished, the colors chosen for the brand should relate all of the personality the brand has to its target audience. The colors should also be used in all forms of business material to create consistency throughout the brand. Let your colors prove to the world your purpose.

Productive Napping at Work

Productive Napping at Work

Have you ever noticed how once you become familiar with something new, you begin to see the same idea everywhere? This happens a lot with me. For example, I’ll learn a new word, then all of a sudden it seems, I begin to hear this word everywhere! I’ll hear about a book I want to read, then all kinds of people will come up to me telling me how they’ve also already read this book and how amazing it is.

This odd coincidence happened to me this week. If you all don’t already know, I’m a busy person. I manage my life around two jobs and a full-time school curriculum. At times it seems impossible of course, but I try to push through it. They tell me there’s this light at the end of the tunnel. I think I may still be wearing my sunglasses. Hopefully that’s the only reason I can’t always see it.

Anyway! Since I have been extra busy this week, I have been advised to take a nap, while at work, on the company couch, during operating hours. This just seems completely ridiculous to me. Now, ridiculous has a negative stigma attached to it. I don’t mean laughable or stupid necessarily, but it’s just not a concept I have ever really thought of before!


Here’s where it gets weird.


Part of my job here at STANCE is to become familiar with other blog posts out there on the web and also generate insight for my followers on social media platforms. I try to use these blog posts as the insight for my followers because I hope one day, someone else will use my information as the knowledge they’re providing their followers. Usually, on a normal week, the information that I find is more so on the basis of logistics or marketing tools. This week, I noticed way more information on the health benefits of napping, and napping while at work! YES, this is an actual thing, people!

According to the information I found, a 20 minute nap can completely revolutionize your once tired body into a lean mean, branding machine (okay, that wasn’t necessarily the word usage. I improvised a little). I always turned down the offer of napping because I felt that I wouldn’t want to wake up and I would be so groggy when I awoke that I would not want to accomplish anything after.

Apparently, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@stancebranding” suffix=””]while you’re napping for a mere 20 minutes, the whole world refocuses and becomes a better place for you to be productive[/inlinetweet]. The stars align and all of a sudden, you can do anything! That’s probably why they call them power naps though. In only 10-20 minutes of sleeping, alertness and motor learning skills are improved and your learning capacity is broadened. So whenever you feel tired and unproductive, instead of trying to push through, take a nap. Twenty minutes of your time for a nap will be nothing compared to the amount of time you will waste while being unproductive.
All this typing made me tired. Time for a nap.

The One Persona

The One Persona

Soft blue eyes, a killer smile, six foot minimum, no children, a degree, preferably in a sustainable field, close to family, isn’t too stable in his career but there is room to grow, honest, funny…

Finding the person you will spend the rest of your life with is not an easy task. Some people spend their whole lives finding that one special person.

During the time leading up to finding the prize, we create a persona of a person we would like to attract. We create a profile for them. Whether it be if he has a dog or if he has money in the bank, we know him. They wake up at 7am, take the dog out, then make themselves a bowl of cereal with a banana on the side. This fantasy world goes on for the rest of their day.

The point is that we develop a persona for our target audience, the people we want to attract. The same needs to happen with your brand. A persona needs to be created for the exact target audience. You need to visualize what your customer does throughout their day and how your brand will be intertwined. You are going to spend the rest of your brand’s life with its persona. Therefore, you need to make sure you can commit and be serious about your new relationship.

The only real way of knowing a persona is to know its ins and outs, its secrets, and how you both can have a meaningful relationship.


Discover your Purpose

Discover your Purpose

Meaningful brands are driven by purpose. Behind, those brands, are great leaders. If you dig deeper, you will find that most of these brand leaders, have discovered and have a clear understanding of their purpose.

We hope for greatness thinking it only exists in a select few…
But greatness is something that truly exists in all of us, it comes from knowing who you are & what you believe…

Read More