Guerrilla marketing for small budgets

Bold, original and often inexpensive, this type of promotion helps improve the image of an SME. Here is an overview of the most effective practices.

When a company wishes to launch a promotional campaign but does not have sufficient funds, guerrilla marketing can be a good alternative. Originally, this method was used by SMEs to protect themselves against the invasion of multinationals. Today, the concept has been adopted by all advertisers.

Guerrilla marketing differentiates itself by an unusual style, and inexpensive and unconventional methods. Some of the methods currently used are stickers or reverse graffiti, i.e. tags made not with paint but by removing the dirt from a part of the ground or a wall, using a pressure washer for example. There are also more extreme options, such as tattooing a brand name on someone’s body (e.g. a sportsperson).

Some examples of successful guerrilla marketing operations:

  • In Scotland, a radio station set up a stand in the street offering free air guitars. The originality of this concept made passers-by laugh while promoting the services supplied by the company.
  • In the U.S., the chocolate biscuit brand Kit Kat put stickers on public benches to make them look like its bars of chocolate. This operation gave the company a cool and irreverent image.
  • In Germany, Mercedes put copies of its famous star logo on other makes of car. These small metal medallions were accompanied by a voucher for a free test drive of one of this German car manufacturer’s models.
  • In Switzerland, Tibits, the vegetarian restaurant chain, stuck images of forks on tree trunks, giving the impression that the leaves of the trees were an edible salad.
  • In Switzerland, the parachute school Skydive stuck photos of Earth seen from the sky on the floors of elevators, giving people the sensation of being suspended in a void.

Sources: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your SmallBusiness 2007.

Last modification 16.02.2020

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