Don’t Slight Your Brand Web Site in Favor of Facebook

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

With the full-on race to develop Facebook pages and launch promotions on those sites to build fans, don’t push aside the ol’ tried-and-true brand Web site; home base, Ground Zero for consumers to get an in-depth picture of the brand, discover products, benefits, download coupons, and yes, even access a link to Facebook.

Crate and Barrel, Cabela’s and Wise are examples of brands using their Web home pages as a staging ground for promotions.

Cabela’s and Wise are both running sweepstakes. This year marks Cabela’s 50th anniversary, and to celebrate, the outdoor-gear retailer unleashed a sweepstakes offering its largest prize pool to date. Wise is building on a successful sweeps it has run for three years.

On the Crate and Barrel home page, the “$100,000 Ultimate Wedding” contest is the main attraction surrounded by the site’s mainstays: gift ideas, gift cards, a calendar of in-store parties, a “Best Buys” flip book and other information about the brand and its products. A number of those services also appear on the contest microsite.

“It was important to have the couples visit and become familiar with our home page to learn more about our brand and see what Crate and Barrel is all about,” Marjorie Daugherty, director of Crate and Barrel’s Gift Registry, said. “Our homepage represents the brand, it is fun, lively and colorful.”

The promotion also appears on Facebook. (Speed TV and Miller Lite use Facebook to deliver “likes”.)

“Of course, our couples have the ability to login and vote through Facebook and then encourage others to vote,” she said. “That feature is important as it drives a lot of traffic to our site.”

The contest began Feb. 1 and during the first 10 days 2,000 people registered hoping to win the grand-prize $100,000 wedding budget and the day planned by wedding planner Yifat Oren.

Crate and Barrel is not only building its registry accounts, but also its email database of brides-to-be that it will communicate with several times per month with offers, products and news about promotions. Each entrant must create a registry valued at a minimum of $2,000. Once the contest, running on the Strutta Platform, ends on March 31, public voting begins to identify finalists.

“This is the most significant promotion we do all year and it “lives” all year long,” Daugherty said. “Some couples register a year before the wedding, so they may register in 2011 and the event date may not be until 2012 and that is when the registry and completion sales will come in.”

This is the second year the firm has run the promotion. Last year, 8,500 registries were entered during the two-month time frame, but the viral effect lingered.

A multi-tiered media plan utilizes beautiful images from last year’s winning couple’s wedding and are incorporated into banners, dedicated emails, Facebook ads, other media and in-store.

“[The promotion] created awareness and branding for Crate and Barrel’s registry and increased online buzz for the brand,” Daugherty said. “Throughout the year, the contest drove sales in gift registry and continued to strengthen our brand in the marketplace. “

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