Leveraging Sponsorship in Brand Building – The Payporte-Big Brother Example

At a time when Nigeria was in the throes of an economic recession, and the last thing on the minds of Brand Managers was sponsorship in any form, let alone a perceived frivolous and valueless venture, Payporte saw things differently, and toed the unpopular path by sponsoring the controversial Big Brother Nigeria reality TV show.

Apart from leveraging the popularity of the Big Brother brand by agreeing to be the lead sponsor of its latest instalment, the managers of the e-commerce platform got their marketing spot on by employing various measures to ensure brand visibility and top of mind awareness in audiences during, and even after the show ended.

Payporte catapulted its brand from obscurity to the top as one of the most patronized online platforms in Nigeria by doing the following;

Embracing the path of high resistance: Payporte came under heavy criticism in some quarters for deciding to sponsor a show that purportedly promotes immorality. They could have allowed emotions stop them from partnering with organizers of the Big Brother franchise, but they didn’t. Rather, they kept their eyes on the price and ended up smiling to the bank, thanks to the success of the show. Sometimes, a brand needs do something that sets it apart from others in order to achieve great results.

Branding of the Big Brother House Arena: The Friday arena games were one of the highlights of the show, and Payporte was strategically positioned to be in viewer’s face by fully branding both the entire grounds of the arena. Needless to say the weekly game itself was tagged ‘The Payporte Friday Arena games.” This was also instructive because most people are likely to shop on Saturday, and so the brand ensured it occupied the viewer’s share of mind, which ultimately translated to sales.

Contracting Housemates as brand ambassadors: What better way to advertise clothes on the platform than to get viewer’s favourite housemates to wear them? Saturday nights saw housemates decked in eye-catching pieces they selected earlier in the week. And on other days too, they had clothing pieces from Payporte which they had to wear all through the day. The Housemates were also made to demonstrate the ease of using the platform, thereby convincing potential customers that they could do the same. For a show that had viewers emotionally invested it wasn’t surprising they wanted to wear exactly what Housemates wore, and the platform often had the particular merchandise sold out on the platform only a few days later.

Sustained Marketing Efforts after the Show: Payporte did not relax after Big Brother Naija ended. Instead they intensified their marketing efforts which included officially signing the most popular housemates during the show as brand ambassadors. The brand also opened a physical shopping outlet in Lagos to cater to more conservative shoppers.

Payporte’s journey to becoming one of the big boys in the e-commerce space by daring to do things differently is an important marketing lesson for brands.

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