Has your business explored new ‘channels’ the way Hallmark has?
Thursday, November 15, 2018
At this time of year, we’re likely to bump into someone who’s hooked on the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies. For many people, those annual holiday airings are the basis for their awareness of Hallmark.
The greeting card company is a great example of extending its brand through multiple channels — literally, including TV, streaming channels and this year: a branded satellite radio channel. It shows how a business can grow by exploring unexplored — and seemingly unrelated — avenues.
For some, the connection with Hallmark comes with its line of Keepsake Ornaments, which are highly visible in store displays and friends’ and family members’ Christmas trees. That’s a long leap from the Hallmark’s origins as a postcard company that transformed into a worldwide greeting card company.
So where can you take your company following Hallmark’s example? Obviously, content is king for Hallmark. It can be the same for you.
- How active are you with content marketing?
- How about blogging?
- How recently have you updated your website?
- Is it adaptable to mobile viewers?
- What about social media?
- Are you visible in your community, participating in projects or charity efforts?
- Can you host workshops or open sessions?
- Can your facility host unrelated activities? (Think community after-hours activities, even beyond simple networking events, maybe a trivia night or swap meet.)
If you’re brick-and-mortar and trying to swim against the tide of online retail, consider this: Hallmark, on top of its multitude of highly recognized outlets, also boasts about 2,000 stores across America, according to the company.
Even in the digital age, the century-old company has kept pace. Americans purchase about 6.5 billion greeting cards every year, according to the Greeting Card Association, and Hallmark holds about 51 percent of the market share, recording revenue estimated at $4 billion across its platforms.
Make note of what businesses outside of your industry capture your attention. There might be a hint there that you can adapt to your own firm. Obviously, starting your own TV network is cost-prohibitive, and it doesn’t tap into your skillset.
Use that skillset to your advantage. Tap into interests and expertise that might not necessarily relate to your industry. There could be an avenue to a new audience and market. Get more eyeballs on your brand and move forward from there.
A new audience can bring new ideas. Connecting with others can bring a new perspective on how to see and to promote your business. This is where that networking comes into use. Ask others how they get the word out. Ask them what they know about your business and industry. Then apply that knowledge to marketing yourself.
Maybe by "changing the channel" the way that Hallmark did, you’ll find that kind of success.
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