Situation – Highlight an advantage
NewCom Technologies designed cable television infrastructure which required a lot of field work to document power lines, power poles and ownership of existing components. The competitor’s employees used their own vehicles and were paid by the mile while NewCom provided its employees with company vehicles and paid them by the hour. As a result, NewCom employees took their time and their utility maps were more complete. But how do you demonstrate that story quickly and with impact at the company’s first-ever trade show in Orlando?
Strategy – Give the truck a starring role!
The truck had to be a star, but there was no room in the 10’ x 20’ exhibit booth to park a Chevy S10 pickup truck. So I looked for another prominent location to highlight this visual brand element. The least expensive sponsorship on the show’s list was a $3,000 coffee break, so we asked the hotel staff to serve the coffee and soft drinks from the bed of the truck. And they agreed.
Two employees drove the truck to Orlando (saving two airfares), had the truck detailed and then rolled it into the hotel hallway between the educational sessions and the exhibit hall. The truck was used for only one coffee break on the first morning of the show, but the hotel staff insisted that it stay throughout the run of the show for safety purposes. Taking advantage of this strategic location, we put a sign in the front of the truck directing attendees to the company’s small booth in the exhibit hall.
Results – Low-cost visibility
Company officials reported dozens of prospects stopped by the booth – which featured a graphic of the company pickup truck – and commented on unique lobby placement. The unexpected sight allowed NewCom staff to talk about their company vehicles and deliver a relevant and compelling value story.
What made it work?
- It was unexpected
- It was based on brand truth
- It was cost-effective