Olympics image - cropped

The 4 P's of the Olympics

With fewer than 100 days to go, are brand marketers ready?

Any brand that hasn’t already worked through how to maximise the oppor­tunity that this unique event affords them, needs to focus straight away, and I’d suggest 4 P’s of Olympics marketing (I’m sure there are more) are a good place to start.

I was accom­panying a spot of retail therapy over the weekend, and couldn’t help but notice the shelves stacked with a plethora of red, white and blue adorned items, some with overt links to the event, some merely patriotic in their presentation – both being purchased.

For those who say the Olympics is just for London, or just a marketing oppor­tunity for global brands, think again. The Olympics is limbering up, and sprinting into the psyche of even the most cynical groups.

I believe in the UK this summer - the “Summer of Oppor­tunity” as Jon Marchant, our Head of Account Management calls it! We will witness a fervour in and around our communities that has not been seen for many years. The Golden Jubilee, England winning the Euros, Andy Murray finally winning Wimbledon, and then the opening fanfares of the Olympics (including the Para Olympics)…

Consumer confidence may be battling to return, but expect there to be an Indian summer in the spirit and mood of the nation. No budget? It’s not about that, there’s plenty you can do. But if you do have budget, with good advice I doubt you would go far wrong.

So here are my 4 P’s to consider:

Passion. Pride. Parti­cipation. Profit.

Passion – there will be no time like the Olympics for brands to share their own passions for what they do. It doesn’t have to be sport related, just show what it means to you to have a real passion in life or business, and celebrate that with your customers and prospects. What are you truly passionate about?

Pride – Every business, from large corporates to the smallest independent retailers, can take and show pride in the fact that we are hosting undeniably the biggest event in the World. Britain will be front page news across the globe, and Britishness will be celebrated on every street corner in our own towns and cities. Be a part of it, share the pride. If nothing else, it will be a great conver­sation starter with your customers. How will you show your pride?

Parti­cipation – Behind the glory headlines of performance and achievement, there will be a great sense of involvement and parti­cipation. Brands should highlight the personal rewards of taking part, not just in sport, but in all walks of life. Sometimes worthy, sometimes just great fun. It doesn’t have to be about winning - sharing goals and exper­iences with others can be just as rewarding. How will you get involved and encourage your customers to participate?

Profit – The P word perhaps above all others for marketers, but don’t take it just to mean direct financial benefit. There are many ways in which brands can ‘profit’ from involving themselves in the Olympics, from increasing rate of sale on directly relevant products, to the more CSR inten­tioned activities. But softer measures such as increased brand commitment, greater consid­eration due to like-​​minded attitudes, heightened perceptions of dynamism and affinity, all could be seen as highly profitable returns. How would you like to profit?

So consider these 4 P’s, and if you haven’t yet executed a strategy for the Olympics, I hope these thoughts starters help. But importantly… You’ve got to mean it. Don’t ‘badge’ it, live it. Be believable. Share it with your customers – expect social brand chatter to explode. Profit from it, in whatever way you can. And finally, enjoy it.

47 Medals in the Olympics last time around, including 19 Golds. Can we beat that? And will Adele get cut off in her prime again in the closing ceremony?

Paul Arscott, Big’s Planning Director, has worked in commu­nic­ations agencies for over 20 years. He works across the breadth of our clients, and leads the output of our unique Strategic Services team.

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