I have decided to use the Truck Farm as my primary case study. It is the most recent and most relevant to current market conditions. Often it is difficult to get this kind of information from clients and I happen to have piles of Truck Farm information at my fingertips.
As well, the Truck Farm really demonstrates the value of creativity in branding when budgets are tight. It shows that when done right, branding can stretch media dollars a long way. The only media spend I did for the Truck Farm was Facebook and I kept that to a minimal amount - less than $2,000 over the course of the entire year.
I was told by two highly placed people in the ad industry that I am too old for the business. Clients apparently want youth at the table as opposed to experience. I am not one to take what others say as gospel and in fact I tend to take these kinds of comments as a bit of a challenge.
So, I rebranded my 20 year old, rusty pick up truck.
When I first came up with the idea to turn my rusty 1993 pick up truck into a Truck Farm my vision was to create a mobile demonstration of small space gardening to engage and inspire people as well as promote my seed collections. It has done far more than I ever expected.
It got me invited to speak at the March against Monsanto (my first ever time speaking in public). It was an integral part in a fundraiser for the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. It has helped me secure grants for programs in the DTES.
My ROI on it is pretty fantastic. As I planned to use it to inspire people to grow a little of their own food, I got a neighbourhood green grant to help defray start up costs this covered soil, materials and signage. So in reality my costs are limited to insurance, gas and maintenance which amounts to about $3,000 per year plus my time driving and hanging out with it.
The return on my $3k a year is significant:
- I was interviewed on CBC Radio for On the Coast, friday drive home time.
- I had a half page article written about me that ran on page 4 of the first section of the Vancouver Sun (with photo)
- I had a half page article on the Friday edition of the Vancouver Courier (with photo)
- I was on the CBC Friday night television news at 11pm.
- I have had three bloggers write about me
- the Truck Farm has been exhibited at Science World
- the Truck Farm was on exhibit at the PNE, and will be there again this year
- the Truck Farm has received free vendor space and received payment for exhibiting/attending events with a value to date of about $2,500
- the Truck Farm has connected with numerous movers and shakers around town
- the Truck Farm has close to 1,000 fans on Facebook
In all I figure the Truck Farm has garnered about $40,000 worth of publicity over the last year. Not bad for a rusty, 20 year old truck.