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Personal Branding, Political Branding

Brilliant Location-Aware Advertising – Lessons for Personal Branding from Manhattan Mini Storage Posters

When you hear “location-aware” or “location-based” advertising you may think of amazing 4G mobile device technology that serves highly targeted ads with pinpoint geo-coded accuracy.

This post deals with a different kind of low-tech location-based advertising. I am referring to the ingeniously “localized” advertising posters for Manhattan Mini Storage displayed on billboards and subway cars throughout New York City. Here are two examples (for more great – and controversial – copy, check out this Google Image Search results page):

What makes these ads “location-aware?”

  • The political sentiment expressed is obviously geared towards a “blue state” audience
  • The religious reference is unlikely to cause consternation in an urban center (vs. a more religious bible belt location)
  • Both of the posters shown above are displayed in subway cars – the likely mode of transportation of people living in smaller apartments with a higher need for additional storage space
  • The ad copy resonates with the audience and creates a feeling of belonging, intuitive understanding and “being on the same team,” especially the bible quote making light of the fact that average living quarters in New York City tend to be rather small and lack “many rooms”

What are the lessons of Manhattan Mini Storage subway posters for your personal branding and value proposition pitch?

  • Politics are an extremely potent – and potentially dangerous – ingredient of your brand: Political sentiment can cause strong positive or negative reactions, so consider removing clear political positioning from your brand if you are pursuing a diverse audience
    • Hint: Check your “Google trail” for obvious examples of party affiliation (donation records, bulletin board postings, etc.). Remove entries if you don’t want them to become part of your brand.
  • Location-aware language can be a great ice breaker at functions or when presenting to an audience in a foreign city. Making reference to a local landmark, institution, or even a typically congested freeway can quickly create a subconscious feeling of acceptance and familiarity. The same is true for buzzwords related to a company’s culture and team.
  • Know when and where to pitch! Yes, I know that sounds a bit trite, but always consider your surroundings and the context of your communication. Pitching a storage facility in a crowded urban environment (and a subway car) makes a lot of sense. Doing the same on a billboard 200 miles away from the nearest city where space does not command a premium is a lot less effective.
    Similarly, your personal value proposition pitch may not go over too well if you are bending someone’s ear at a party, wedding or other celebration while the same exact proposal would have done extremely well at a brunch the following day.

    • Hint: Use a “hook” to generate interest and demand for your value proposition and then follow up when the time and circumstances are right.

To schedule your free personal branding consultation, check the Personal Branding Services page.

4M Personal Branding – The Proven 4 Step Program To Building A Powerful Personal Brand – Now available on Amazon Kindle!


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