By Tony Bianchini
On March 20th, the Denver Broncos announced the signing of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. With that huge signing, the Broncos and team executive and Hall of Famer John Elway sent the message to their fans that they are certainly serious about winning.
The next day, the Broncos traded Tim Tebow to the New York Jets in a stunning turn of events.
With that one trade, the Broncos dismissed not only Tebow’s late game heroics, but also some key things that drove the company’s bottom line during the 2011 season: 1) Tebow’s jersey was one of the top sellers for much of the season; and 2) The Broncos saw a tremendous increase in national TV ratings and prominence that was brought to the team when Tebow was under center.
Those business facts certainly did not prevent the Broncos from trading Tebow to the Jets, which while probably a good football decision for the Broncos, may not have been such a good business one.
As we saw with Jeremy Lin’s surprise emergence for the New York Knicks in February and as we’re seeing with the 3 million iPad’s sold by Apple in the first three days of its release, companies that are able to tap into the emotional side of their customer’s psyche can see their share price and business revenues skyrocket.
When Lin started at point guard for the Knicks on February 6, MSG stock was at $29.50. Two weeks later, when Linsanity was in full force, the stock closed up 13% at $33.43 on February 21st. Some speculated that the increased interest in the Knicks as a result of Linsanity brought Time Warner back to the table in its cable deal with MSG. Similarly, due to speculation of the release of the new iPad, Apple saw its stock skyrocket 28% from February 1 to the March 16th release of the new tablet.
These are just some examples of how an iconic person or product can mobilize a huge audience of people and positively drive the respective companies’ bottom lines. All it takes is for a company to tap into their customer’s emotional psyche and appeal to their wants, needs and desires.
While you might not have those icons on your roster, here’s a few key ways you can get there:
· Identify who your target audience is by looking at the primary market segments that are buying your products or involved in your issues.
· Complete an assessment or market analysis to identify what are your customer’s needs, desires and concerns.
· Develop a strategic communications plan that accurately targets your key customer groups in the places they receive their news, get advice on products to buy or congregate with others like them to support or oppose certain issues.
· And finally speak directly to your customers and influence them to take action by appealing to their emotional desires by pointing them to people like them who have successfully utilized your product.
Instant icons like Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin and Apple’s iPad don’t come along too often. That’s why it’s important for companies to identify who their basic stakeholders are, what are their desires and wants and finally what tugs at their emotional heartstrings and encourages them to take action.
It’ll be interesting to see if their trade of Tim Tebow turns out to be a good business decision for the Jets. It probably will. It may, however, not have been the best football decision.
Tony Bianchini is the Director of Public Affairs at Open Door Media, a public affairs and communications firm based in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at: (609) 396-6620 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Open Door Media at: www.opendoormedianj.com to learn more.