Getting Started with Stickers: Finding a Purposeful Solution

February 4, 2021

A Short Guide for the Sticker Curious, Part I.

Ed. Note: This is the first article of a three-part series looking at the components and process for developing a smart, effective, and memorable sticker project.

It makes sense that stickers have staying power. Fun designs, intriguing formats, limitless customizations, and their ability to go on just about anything can make stickers a lasting and impactful marketing tool. It’s part of why stickers seem to be everywhere these days, including millions of posts on Instagram showing off all kinds of brand stickers in all kinds of places. There are plenty of organizations looking to jump on the trend as soon as possible. Many places end up settling for a basic logo on a single die-cut sticker to hand out and hope for the best. It’s a valid approach. But developing a great project that uses stickers smartly demands a bit more consideration and appreciation for the stories stickers can help tell. 

Like any good marketing initiative, the most successful sticker projects start with the why. Taking the time to ask “why are we doing this” before deciding how to do it can dramatically improve the consistency, quality, processes, impact and outcomes of any sticker project. The “why” should show in every dimension of the work, from the messaging, materials, and format, to design, distribution, and follow-through.

Here are a few tips to get you started answering the important questions that can lead to better outcomes. 

Start With Purpose, Not Products

Every project needs a purpose. So before deciding that stickers will do a lot of the heavy lifting for an integrated marketing project (we’re biased, but they probably will), you need to know what the job is that you are trying to do. Think big picture. Perhaps you’re trying to build affinity with donors, or stay top of mind and grow enthusiasm among prospects after an in-person or virtual visit. Maybe you’re trying to raise awareness or build affinity for your brewery, restaurant, cafe, or online store to drive revenue. Or maybe you’re working to position your organization as the go-to place for helpful resources early in the sales funnel. Spend some time refining your purpose and documenting it so you can keep it front and center before, during and after the project. Think through positioning, messaging, user experience, and the outcomes you want from the project so you’re prepared to pick the perfect products. 

Finding The Right Solutions

With a clear understanding of your project’s purpose, finding solutions that best fill the need becomes much easier. For example, thank you notes are a common tactic used to help cultivate relationships with donors. In some cases mailing a signed form letter to donors may be enough to convey gratitude. But combining a thank you postcard with delightful brand stickers not only shows gratitude, but also gives donors a way to share their affinity when they use the stickers to decorate laptops, keyboards or water bottles with your brand. That’s the strategy Elmhurst University used when thanking first-time donors. The outcome is a well-designed, well-conceived piece that stays true to its purpose and amplifies the outcome with the additional appeal of stickers.

Elmhurst-University sticker postcard
Elmhurst University used a sticker postcard to connect with first time donors.
Elmhurst Postcard Back
Elmhurst used the back of the postcard for a sincere thank you.

Independent, Integrated, or Coordinated

Flexibility is a core strength of stickers projects. They can work as standalone marketing pieces that combine messaging, branding and promotion in a single piece, or they can be integrated into other marketing pieces like Elmhurt’s postcard solution. Stickers can also play an important role in marketing campaigns, working as traveling billboards to raise awareness for organizations and initiatives as part of a coordinated effort. Regardless of where they sit in your marketing mix, stickers are at their best when they enhance the project’s purpose and offer a solution that no other product can match in terms of affordability, scalability, versatility, mailability, desirability, and stickiness.

Our team here at Magellan has years of experience helping organizations find the right solutions for their needs. Our dedicated team works directly with clients to conceive comprehensive marketing solutions that integrate stickers in clever, impactful ways. We put purpose at the center of everything we do. Get in touch with our account team to learn more about our sticker expertise.

In the next installment in our getting started series, we’ll look more closely at a variety of sticker products and how to find the perfect format to help you achieve your purpose.

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