Owned media today is so often interpreted as digital media - a brand’s website, blog or social media. What tends to get overlooked in these click-obsessed times is a brand’s physical owned media, such as packaging, thank you notes or business cards. Here we explore five charming and creative ways brands are turning their physical owned media into valuable earned media.
1. Build functionality into your promotional media
Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca use the conventional restaurant matchbook instead as chilli growing kit providing Serrano chilli seeds for you to grow at home.
Cylance, a challenger in the anti-virus software industry, include useful webcam cover stickers in their business cards and promotional media to protect people from prying eyes.
2. Bury a hidden egg in your packaging
Nut butter brand, Pip & Nut, have subtly embossed 'Pip Pip Hooray' on the bottom of their jars. Not many will ever notice this but those that do won't forget it.
Sipsmith too have used this area of their bottle to emboss 'CYGNUS INTER ANATES' which google tells us is Latin for 'Swan Amongst Ducks'. Who the hell knows Latin? Oh yes Sipsmith's ideal customer. Bottoms up!
3. Create drama around un-boxing (even if you're not a tech brand)
Thelma's Treats dramatise the unboxing experience by turning their cookie box into a 1950's style oven complete with front loading oven tray.
Domino's Pizza recently redesigned their pizza boxes to dramatise their logo when purchased as a pair, making their existing owned media, photogenic and infinitely more shareable.
4. Use packaging to project your beliefs
Swedish drinks brand Oatly, have used a panel of their packaging to proclaim their Swedish independence and to make a promise that they will never sell out to a big conglomerate. At a time when many smaller challenger brands within food and drinks are being bought, such a promise becomes quite a unique stance to take.
5. Overcommit to personalising thank you notes
Fragrance brand Jo Malone have made a habit out of sending handwritten thank you letters to customers following an in-store purchase. It demonstrates to customers that Jo Malone is a brand that cares. Cares enough to have a member of staff take the time to write a letter by hand. Crucially, the note includes specifics about that last shopping experience so that the person receiving the letter knows it's been customised for them, and isn't part of a generic campaign to everyone on their mailing list.
Think about your business and list your brand's owned media?
How could you apply some of the ideas here to those?
Editor of The Challenger Project, marketing at eatbigfish. Champion of the underdog. West Ham fan. All adds up really.