Over the past few weeks I’ve had a several emails with regards to my last two blog posts; Taking a brand story to retail and, Consumer electronics & F1: A missed and wasted opportunity. The question raised was, why is one partnership (IWC) more successful than the other (BlackBerry)? After all, they are both in the first year of their sponsorships with the same team, Mercedes.
Keeping this as short and to the point as possible, I believe the increased success at IWC is based on time.
To explain, the luxury watch brand announced their three-year sponsorship agreement with the Mercedes AMG F1 Team in May 2012 – seven months before the partnership officially began, whereas BlackBerry’s partnership came together late, just before the season.
This seven-month lead-time allowed IWC to maximise their first year in three ways;
Creating a credible story leading to greater brand trust and perceived value of the product
“IWC worked with Mercedes F1 Team for nine months to create this range of F1-inspired watches”
If a brand launched a new range of (F1-inspired) products at the same time as launching a brand new partnership you’d be skeptical. Am I right? You’d question how on earth a company could research, design, prototype and build a new range of products in a couple of days. That is exactly why IWC announced and began their working relationship with Mercedes in May 2012. This period of time, before their partnership officially began in January 2013, allowed them to develop their range of watches with the team.
Maximising revenue opportunities
“The IWC Ingenieur range is out now!”
By having the product design work completed by the start of the marketing partnership, IWC were able to launch the product range in early 2013. If the product development had begun in January when the partnership officially began, then the range would not have been in store until late 2013 – the earlier a product is available for sale, the more opportunity there is to sell!
Backed up by a Full strategic marketing campaign
“Buy the Ingenieur range inspired by Mercedes AMG F1 Team”
The seven month lead-time meant that IWC could plan their sponsorship activation strategy to be operational in January, and could best support the product launch. IWC were able to place and earn, editorial brand content around the F1 partnership to help tell the story and increase awareness of the product launch. These editorial pieces created engaging stories around IWC’s core theme for the Ingenieur product range – ‘Performance Engineering’.
By planning ahead and developing clear strategies for both, future partnerships, and activation plans, businesses can maximise a sponsorship from day one, offering the opportunity to generate a much greater return. It would seem that too many brands finalise sponsorship agreements late in the day and miss out on seeing much greater returns.