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Direct Response Marketing

Media Zone: Six Ways to Extend Your DRTV Brand

1 May, 2012 By: Timothy R. Hawthorne Response

Timothy R. HawthorneThere comes a time in every DRTV product’s lifecycle when the big question arises: “Is now the right time to leverage beyond a single product?” One look around the industry reveals a high number of goods that started out with a single idea. Pillow Pets, OxiClean, Proactiv Solution and Space Bag are just four examples of how those aspirations can be leveraged across multiple product lines that sustain themselves for years, if not decades.

Take ITW Space Bag of San Diego for example. The company started in 1993 with a single, innovative household product that combined storage with vacuum sealing to help consumers save space when storing goods. By expanding on that single concept, the company has been able to sell more than 250 million units worldwide during the past 19 years. Its products are sold in every major retail channel, including mass merchants, specialty retail, catalogs, home shopping and DRTV.

Betty Jamieson-Dunne, director of marketing at ITW Space Bag, says knowing when to extend your brand is as important as understanding which products will perform the best. “It’s not a guessing game,” says Jamieson-Dunn. “You have to conduct qualitative and quantitative consumer research to determine the level of brand awareness. Then you take it from there.”

Here are six more tips that you can use to extend your brand, maximize your media dollars, and turn your DRTV product into a multi-channel success:

  1. Look at your own market for opportunities. When Jamieson-Dunn and her team initially expanded the Space Bag brand from a single storage bag, they took a hard look at the other storage options on the market. They looked for holes in what others were doing and then set out to fill those gaps. “Get a feel for your product’s major attributes and then parlay them into new options that no one else is doing the right way,” says Jamieson-Dunne.
  2. Maximize your campaign’s existing DRTV component. DRTV is highly cost-effective when it comes to driving customers to retail stores, websites and other venues that help increase sales. For the cost of 30 seconds in prime time, advertisers can fund dozens of airings across a broad range of stations. The DR metrics of a long- or short-form commercial can be accurately tested with as little as $25,000 in media. Even if your TV budget was cut during the downturn, you can still extend your brand using a DRTV-driven advertising campaign.
  3. Use DRTV to make branding decisions on the fly. A DRTV-driven marketing campaign delivers immediate, actionable results. Properly managed on a daily basis, every consumer response to a DRTV ad is matched with specific airings and measured against ROI goals. Changes are implemented within days, if not hours — instead of weeks.
  4. Check out new-media advertising venues. If all signs are pointing to a brand extension, consider new offers that appeal to the bargain-basement mentality of today’s consumers. Spurred on by the recession, housing market drop and jobs market, consumers are increasingly turning to daily deal sites like Groupon (which now has a “products” section that features DR goods) to find bargains.
  5. Hit up major retailers. The Wal-Marts, Targets, and Kmarts of the world continue to open their arms to DR products. By offering retailers a good mix of products, you can extend your brand beyond a single SKU and into the realm of Space Bag and other multi-product marketers.
  6. Leverage DRTV’s best attributes. If you’ve already put money into a successful DRTV campaign, then you already know that it’s a medium that makes consumers take action; it sells while you sleep; and it effectively supplements your firm’s existing brand media mix without cannibalizing the investment or undermining brand equity.

As one of the fastest ways to take a brand to the “next level,” DRTV will continue to serve as a critical element for marketers looking to go beyond the single-product mentality and develop a multi-faceted brand that endures.

About the Author: Timothy R. Hawthorne

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