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One of the most interesting things we’ve learned about national brands and local markets is that a strong local presence is a significant factor in brand engagement and certainly helps users recognize the brand and want to participate.
We’ve been experimenting a lot over here at Pegmo. Since the weekly raffle is such a high profile element to the site, we like to juggle our options as to what the prize will be each week. Early on, one of our most successful raffles was the one sponsored by Harry Caray’s Restaurants. Certainly the prize amount ($25-50) was a factor in its success, but lots of people know of the name and to Chicagoans, it’s essentially a brand. Our first raffle using a big brand was Nike. We had users engage with various Nike Athletes and the Nike Store. Interestingly, even though it’s a much larger brand than Harry Carry’s, it didn’t achieve as much overall engagement.
This idea of local presence made us realize a few things. First, a well-known brand definitely makes it easier for more people to participate. If a restaurant less familiar than Harry Carry’s came up and maybe a user did not recognize it, they would be less likely to try to win. However, we found that while the brand itself is important, recognition alone does not generate active users. If anything, for Pegmo’s raffles at least, it’s about choosing a brand that is national, recognizable and has a strong local presence. Other successful subsequent raffles have been Starbucks, Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Groceries vary according to each person, but everyone has to buy them. Also, Starbucks is a daily activity for many people. Each of these “National” brands really acts like a “Local” merchant in their relationship with a person’s daily life.
It’s about finding a brand that speaks to people for different and multiple reasons so that more people can relate to it and ultimately, want it.