Sponsorship has the potential to contribute to brand building in a variety of ways, several of which are unique to sponsorships. The primary goal is usually to create exposure for the brand and to develop associations. Three other brand building benefits however, can be relevant to the selection and evaluation of sponsorships. Connecting the brand to the event/ customer bond is another aspirational goal.
- Mobilizing the organization for brand building. Both the process and result of a brand building effort often have a key payoff internally to employees and other brand partners, as well as externally to customers. This phenomenon is particularly common in sponsorships. Employees and other brand partners can receive emotional benefits that result from pride in being associated with the sponsorships, as well as the link between the sponsorship and their own lifestyle and values. Getting employees to attend events can enhance these emotional benefits. A team sponsorship can be particularly successful at generating emotional benefits because there is an attachment to a goal and a winner, as well as an activity. An event sponsorship can also act as a catalyst to create a global brand building implementation process and team.
- Providing an experience for customers. An event experience can provide a customer with a unique opportunity to develop a link to the brand and its organization. Simply providing customers with an event experience, especially when the event is prestigious, says a lot about the brand and the organization. Further, it represents a tangible and unique way to reward a key customer. Assuming that the event is sponsored over time, the reward can be provided year after year, giving the customer an incentive to nurture the relationship. In addition, the event provides a way to interact with key customers in a relaxed setting; access can be obtained that would not be possible without the event as a backdrop. Involving a customer in an event can also make that customer become a part of the same family or team as the brand. Especially when the experience is duplicated over several occasions, an intense level of loyalty can be created.
- Demonstrating New Products and Technology. The most powerful way to introduce a new product or technology is by publicity. If it is novel, interesting and important enough to receive press coverage, its brand building goals will be much more likely to be achieved. A sponsorship can be the necessary lever to elevate the news value of a product or technology so that press coverage results. Even if press coverage is not forthcoming, the sponsorship can provide a context to make a demonstration more interesting and vivid. An event can also be used to showcase technology that represents a key association of an organizational brand.
- Creating brand exposure. A host of examples show that awareness increases substantially as the result of a sponsorship, especially when brands follow up the sponsored activity with other marketing activities
- Develop Brand associations.
- Becoming part of an event/ customer bond – The Affiliation Effect.
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