Guerilla Marketing 101: Getting Sticky with Stickers

Guerilla marketing is a catchall, informal term for unconventional, spur-of-the-moment, and opportunistic marketing practices. The name comes from the term “guerilla warfare,” the practice of less-organized smaller armies using ambush tactics to disorient larger forces and gain the upper hand. 

Of course, marketing and waging war are very different, but the spirit of looking for an opportunity, pushing the advantage, appearing where you are least expected, and doing a lot with limited resources is very much present in guerilla marketing campaigns. 

There are numerous examples of out-of-the-box marketing tactics that could be classified as guerrilla marking, but today let’s just focus on stickers. 

Why Stickers? 

In short, stickers are an awesome addition to your marketing repertoire. 

Stickers are a cost-effective way to dazzle customers and showcase your brand’s creativity. It’s not hard to start integrating stickers into your current marketing strategy, they have the potential to create significant word-of-mouth buzz, and they are just plain fun! 

Let’s dive into some of the benefits (and a few potential pitfalls) of integrating stickers into your marketing strategy. 

Stickers can be a great way to upgrade your guerilla marketing stratgey. Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels

People Love Swag – But They Will Also Pay for It 

Everyone loves free stuff. A few stickers dropped into a shopping bag or a shipping box is a great way to pleasantly surprise your customers. Stickers make excellent giveaways at events and during sales. They are good as bag stuffers, small rewards for employees, or as a way to thank customers who order over a certain threshold. 

Giving away stickers is a good way to create a positive association with your brand—why not sell them as well? 

Selling sticker packs is an effective way to recoup some of the costs associated with the production of the stickers and to generally produce incremental revenue.

They don’t take up much merchandising space, and they are an excellent small upsell at the checkout.

For e-commerce brands, stickers can be suggested as an upsell for an easy way to squeeze out marginal gains in average order value. 

Stickers are uniquely suited to these roles because . . . 

Stickers Provide Great Bang for Your Buck 

The unit cost of stickers is a direct function of their quality. Thin, flimsy stickers that come in limited sizes or shapes are less expensive.

Die-cut shapes, durable vinyl material, and flashy finishes or details increase the price but also make the stickers more attractive. 

Even premium stickers deliver a great return on investment—even if that ROI can be challenging to measure accurately. 

The bottom line is that when you give out stickers, people stick them places. While you can never predict where your stickers will turn up, it’s a safe bet that at least some of them will appear on water bottles, laptops, and other high-visibility personal effects that people take with them everywhere. You can’t buy exposure like that. 

Furthermore, people have a tendency to tune out ads or treat sponsored messages with suspicion.

Stickers on backpacks, phone cases, and elsewhere aren’t ostensibly an ad, meaning people are primed to notice them and potentially place more trust in them. 

This is really important because . . . 

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Stickers Showcase Your Brand’s Creativity 

Boring and drab design produces boring and drab results. People respond to creative, attractive, and inspired stickers. Similarly, if your design is lackluster, don’t expect people to clamor for your stickers. 

Think about it—would you slap a sticker on your laptop if you thought it was boring? 

If you truly want your stickers to deliver results for your brand and act as a great first impression, they need to be best-in-class.

Not an accomplished designer?

Head to Upwork, Fiverr, or other contractor marketplaces. It might not be cheap to get it done right, but it is essential that your stickers put your brand’s best foot forward. 

What NOT to Do When Marketing with Stickers 

It’s easy to get started integrating stickers into your existing marketing strategy, but there are some potential pitfalls you should avoid. 

Cutting Corners 

Lackluster design or flimsy stickers can damage your brand perception. At the very least, stickers that fail to impress will find their way to the trash rather than being proudly displayed.

If you aren’t going to commit to making your stickers a representation of your brand’s strengths, you won’t be happy with the results. If you see stickers as just another cost to be minimized, you will be throwing money—and stickers—away. 

Ignoring Strategy 

Marketing with stickers is easy, but, like all other marketing efforts, sticker marketing needs to be goal-based, monitored, and measured.

Handing out stacks of stickers can be a good way to gain some short-term good vibes from your customers, but think strategically. Does just anyone get a sticker or are they a tool to increase sales?

Are you giving away so many that no one is buying sticker packs?

Do you have exclusive designs that encourage people to share and display your stickers?

Is your brand clearly linked to the design? 

Don’t just hand them out willy-nilly when they can—and should—be a marketing and sales tool. 

Okay, Where Do I Get Started? 

A quick Google search can put you on the right path to a vendor who will supply you with awesome stickers for your brand. At ClydeBank Media, we use Sticker Mule. Their sticker maker is a great way to create high-quality custom stickers fulfilled at a reasonable per-unit cost. 

Check out the options available at Sticker Mule to inspire your next sticker marketing campaign!

🌳 Psst! Did you know you can plant trees with stickers?

It's true!

Check out our One For One Tree Planting sticker pack - each pack purchased plants one tree with our reforestation partner One Tree Planted.

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