At the Australian Open, there were massive opportunities open to sponsors. American Express—whose cards I carry exclusively—had a lot of perks for cardmembers, including free juices and radios, on presentation of your card. Membership does have its privileges—it was one of those rare times I had seen American Express market actively to reinforce its tagline.
I had tried some days before to book some travel urgently, only to be told that if I wanted to use my 350,000 points that I had saved up on the card, I would need at least seven days’ notice for them to send me a voucher. So much for privileges—and I hold a Platinum. The free juice helped.
There was a missed opportunity for Garnier. For some years, my favourite shampoo has been Garnier Ultra Doux, which I must stock up on next time I am in France. I have raised this with the person in charge in New Zealand, but I am told that I am only going to ﬁnd Garnier Fructis here.
So, while at the Australian Open, a Garnier demo girl handed me a Fructis sample and brochure. I commented on my preference for Ultra Doux and how I could not ﬁnd it in Australia, either. She looked at me, clueless: she was not hired to undertake market research.
Yet there were dozens of these pretty young things—beautiful women are rather easy to ﬁnd in Australia—all of whom acted as Garnier’s front line. They could have found plenty about customers, even casually. Reporting them back to the company would have shown a desire to learn about consumer needs, over the handing-out of product in a mere sales’ promotion. And it would have cost so little money—and the foot trafﬁc was massive at the Open. Pity.
Kia, meanwhile, put cars everywhere and at the Park Hyatt, where I stayed, they had three east Asians man an information desk. At least there was an attempt to get and give further information, but being the (very nice) Park Hyatt, none of the three stopped guests, who were far too digniﬁed for such rude interruptions. If you can afford the A$430 a night to stay at the Park Hyatt, would you want to enquire about a Kia? Your only interest may be to get in the Kia minivans that were going to and fro the tennis—so here’s hoping the vehicles were up to scratch to at least inﬂuence brand perception about the Hyundai subsidiary.
One crowd who got its sponsorship perfect was Rado, with its name everywhere—from the airport to the venue. The Rado function to which I was invited featured two glamorous and not yet well known tennis players, one Czech and one Russian, and speeches made to reinforce the brand’s position. It has helped build the brand’s proﬁle immensely, and after speaking in depth with Peter Käser, its global VP of sales, the sponsorship feeds straight in to the innovative, distinct image the company wants. Posted by Jack Yan, 08:02
great post Jack. I'll use it as a trackback on one of my posts.
Cheers, Mark! Checking out your motor racing stuff right now …Post a Comment
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