Making Customers Search for YOUR Brand – Not Just the Products You (& Your Competitors) Offer

02.17.2016 Dan Glicksman3 min

Breaking Down Local Business Branding

For quick reference, download our advertising term “cheat sheet” here


You are driving down the street with a destination in mind, but no specific battle against time to get there. You come to a traffic light and there dances one of those sign spinners – you know, the ones holding those big arrow-like signs, flipping them in the air with an occasional 360 body spin before the sign comes down. The one you spot says “Just Opened, Spinning Chicken,” and it makes you think for a second (Do they sell food? Live pet chickens? Could be rubber chickens for all you know!). While you feel slightly curious (and maybe a little hungry), the sign alone is likely not enough for you to make the turn towards the Spinning Chicken parking lot.

Whether you know it or not, you are under the influence of several factors (hunger aside) that help determine your next move. Let’s rewind the clock and explore a series of strategic advertising moves that may have triggered you to make that turn into Spinning Chicken rather than passing it on by. So grab your flux capacitor as we jump in the DeLorean and go back in time to see how Spinning Chicken could better impact their future with you and, more importantly, how you can easily implement some of these ideas to grow your business.

An illustration by Denver illustrator Jonathan Fenske of a sign spinning Purple Man



You are sitting at home one evening watching your hometown team play ball when a 30-second television commercial comes on for Spinning Chicken (the advertising industry refers to this 30 second commercial as a spot). However, you were in the middle of talking to your friend on the phone when the spot came on, so while you caught the commercial with a quarter of your attention, you weren’t able to fully take in the message.

A day later, the same commercial comes on in the evening on a different sports news network, and this time you aren’t multitasking. You are able to pay greater attention – especially since you recall a few details you were able to catch during the first time you saw the commercial. Also, as it turns out, only you and a tight geographically-based selection of people near you are seeing that commercial at that very moment (while others in your city see a different commercial). Spinning Chicken isn’t located throughout the entire city (or what advertisers also refer to as the DMA), so they took advantage of an option to buy just a portion of the city, or what cable TV advertising refers to as a zone.

With their great creative imagery of delicious chicken and their offer to get an instant coupon online, Spinning Chicken has caught your interest. Not remembering the exact web address of the company, you type “Spinning Chicken <your city>” into a quick Google search. And low and behold, it comes up with 3 of the first 5 links in search results, something referred to as brand stacking. You go to the website, check out the menu and download the coupon to your smart phone – ready for your first Spinning Chicken experience. You are now aware of the brand and knowledgeable of the offerings of interest to you.

A few more days go by, and while looking up recipes online for dinner one night you notice display advertisements for Spinning Chicken on various web pages. Each time an ad displays on a page is referred to as an impression. During your recipe search you then come across a how-to video, and after hitting the “play” button you are treated to a non-skippable advertisement for Spinning Chicken with an instant offer you couldn’t refuse – so you clicked on it. In the advertiser’s eye, you were a conversion.

Finally we are back to the present, and there you are in your car approaching the intersection with the sign spinner. Before arriving at the traffic light, your phone buzzes alerting you to a pop-up on your screen that advertises a special today for Spinning Chicken – and reminding you that it is located right around the corner. This is an example of geo-conquesting, the targeting method of an advertiser using the location of a smart phone to serve up an offer (this is easy to do!)At that moment, you spot that same twirling sign-spinner directing you to make a right turn. With time to spare, and the recall of mouth-watering chicken television and display ad images running through your head, as well as a special coupon you’ve previously downloaded (not to mention your growling stomach), you make that right turn – and Spinning Chicken now has another potential lifetime customer. How valuable would this be to your local business?


As an advertiser, Spinning Chicken did some great work here by figuring out the demographics they wanted (in this case matched up to the type of people who watch the specific sport you watch – maybe they are more affluent than others, fall under a certain age group, etc.). And, they ran on cable TV during a time, or daypart, with multiple placements in an attempt to reach a certain number of households with as much frequency as possible – in this case, reaching you twice on different but comparable networks. A combination of TV, online and mobile advertising worked to get you (and likely others) into their new restaurant. And yes, perhaps a few acrobatic moves by the sign spinner didn’t hurt anyone either.

So, how can your business creatively make use of the Spinning Chicken example? Consider how your local business is advertising with a combination of different media like cable television, online and mobile. Work with your media consultant to determine the best mix, and check out our television and digital media glossaries to brush up on a few more terms that may help you come up with the perfect strategy. For quick reference, download our advertising term “cheat sheet” here.

I apologize in advance if this blog had any impact on your meal choice today, but I cheer any positive impact on your financial bottom line. Happy Hunting!

About the Author

Dan Glicksman

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