Living the BrandAs a big tennis fan, I was delighted to go to Wimbledon last Thursday, with centre court tickets obtained through the public ballot.  Apart from a great day out, I also came away with two important marketing lessons for small business:

Live your brand

I went to Wimbledon a few years ago – just as a ground pass. Another great day out, but I came away thinking that everything was very expensive and a bit over the top. This year, I had a different impression. Yes, things were a higher price – but the quality was also significantly higher than average (and last time). As an example, we brought a sandwich – definitely more expensive than the average sandwich (about £3 more) – but the sandwich was one of the nicest that I’ve had – I actually didn’t mind paying extra – and we brought another for dinner. It was very fresh and had loads of filling including good chunks of cheese. Differently a premium product.

This general premium theme was apparent throughout – plastic beer glasses looked as close to glass as you could get – toilets were plentiful and clean.  Yes, I had to queue for the ladies – but it was a smaller queue than I would expect for that number of people!

The premium brand was also reflected by members of staff.  Whether it was the stewards who opened the gates, directed people and ensured people only moved in and out of seats during the breaks or the people selling food and drink or the court teams who had to move visitors off reserved setting, everybody was friendly, helpful and cheerful.

However, Wimbledon is more than a premium brand, the traditions of the place are equally important and were clearly represented everywhere you looked.  The uniforms worn by the staff, the look and feel of the place and the inclusion of modern technology without intrusion, all reminded us that Wimbledon is a place full of history – but is moving with the times.

All businesses can learn from this.  You need to make sure you understand where your brand is positioned and ensure everything you do online and offline represents the brand accurately (whether it is premium, affordable, everyday, basic, etc.)

Take a strategic approach

As I’ve said, a few years ago I went to Wimbledon on a ground pass – joining the queue at 7 am.  I’m not going to lie, it was a delight to have tickets and to be able to just walk into the site.  We did walk around the courts to soak up the atmosphere, but it was fantastic to be able to get to our seats on Centre Court when we were ready.

It struck me walking around that those using a ground pass needed to have a strategy to approach the day.

  • They could look at the order of play for the day and focus on one court – queuing to get seats at the court – and then staying there once they had the seats.  They would see quite a bit of tennis – but perhaps not all the ‘best’ matches.
  • Alternatively they could move from court to court snatching small snippets of tennis as they went, always standing and perhaps not seeing very much. However they would get an overview of what was going on in the main matches – and catch glimpses of the stars.

This seems a perfect analogy for how some businesses are approaching their social media marketing.  Some are using a few channels and taking a long-term approach to achieve results. Others are moving around, trying different channels and hoping they hit the right contact. Which approach do you take?

Do contact us if you need training to develop a social media strategy or contact our new sister brand Concise Social Media if you would like to outsource your social media.

Have you got any sporting analogies that you can share to help us all develop better business?  Do add them to the comments below.