Endorsements are a key facet of marketing today. In fact, 4 in 10 Snapchat users discover brands thanks to celebrity endorsements and online posts on the platform. Almost 29% of global consumers say endorsements influence their purchasing decisions. The downside, however, is they can be particularly costly to obtain and execute — especially for small businesses.
Alternatively, Implied endorsements can provide the best of both worlds. They're the perfect workaround to help benefit your brand without breaking the bank. It alerts consumers that you share their interests and values by supporting their favorite celebrity, team, media, or show without you ever stating it explicitly. Your implied support makes you part of their group, encouraging customers to follow suit and make a purchase as well.
Here's everything you need to know about incorporating implied endorsements into marketing to ensure you get the most of your experience at a reasonable cost.
A Recap of Implied Endorsements
An implied endorsement refers to the implication of your brand's connection to a team, concept, or fandom without ever definitively saying it is. It is a clever marketing tactic that aligns your ads with specific cultural touchstones without explicitly mentioning them, such as using team colors to show support without mentioning the team. Take the Oregon Ducks, for instance.
Since Nike's headquarters were in Portland, the Oregon Ducks have some of the best and most expansive uniform combinations (80!) in one season over any other college football team. For this reason, as well as the strong support from fans in the area, consumers are more inclined to purchase from a brand connected to their highly treasured green and yellow team.
Essentially, it is an advertising nod that is particularly helpful to establish your brand amongst your community, which is one of the biggest challenges for Portland businesses fighting for the attention of approximately 645,000 residents. Furthermore, tying your brand into bigger pop cultural events can attract more consumers in your area and widen your audience reach.
The Benefit of Implied Endorsements
Implied endorsement's most significant benefit is bringing similar benefits of standard endorsements (which can increase a brand's sales by as much as 4%) at a reasonable price small businesses can afford. It serves as a calling card to people who share similar interests, especially amongst your local community. If there's one thing we know about Portland residents, it's that they love to lend their support close to home. Using it to support a local sports team plays a significant role in reaching a nuanced audience. The more specific you can afford to get, the more genuine your brand will seem.
The 34X National Championship winners have the support of thousands all over the country. Still, it's their community fanbase that shows up to every game at Autzen Stadium louder than ever (so much so that they're considered the most intimidating fans to play in front of as an opposing team). Your marketing implies your support and fondness for the city when you include a Portland theme like the Ducks (or even Trail Blazers, Timbers, or Beavers).
Your implied support, in turn, attracts and connects you with the many residents in the area who have the same support and fondness for the city because they want to continue supporting brands and products that harness the same community pride and spirit.
Implementing Implied Endorsements with Finesse
One of the most important tips to remember when creating a marketing campaign with implied endorsements is that it requires a delicate touch to avoid any legal issues. There's a fine line between suggesting that you're connected with a local team or celebrity and paying out the necessary fees to be associated with that local team or celebrity.
A Portland media partner can help you navigate that thin line, ensuring that your messages and promotions are close enough to successfully imply your support without getting close enough to bury you in legal work and consequences. Your first step is to work with media experts to determine which endorsements will appeal to your target audience and shaping it to match their interests. Then, you can use it in your design for digital ads, a TV commercial, or a promotion.
The key is to take advantage of implied endorsements where it's not overused but certainly making a buzz. Portland's residents are very proud supporters of their community, and when they think you are too, they'll be more than happy to lend you their support as well. It doesn't matter what you imply your connection to — only that it resonates with the right people. Follow our Meredith Portland blog for more insight and resources on this powerful marketing tool and other marketing tips you don't want to miss out on this year.