The Power of “Give To Get” — Getting noticed with ‘Gizzits’
“A ‘Gizzit’ or Giz-it can be a number of things, but is basically a freebie, either blagged or freely given — usually the former and rarely the latter. There is a thin line between something that is donated by the ‘gizzer’ and something that has be proffed by the ‘gizzee’. Squaddies thrive on gizzits and in some places gizzits can become de facto currency.”
Ahead of DSEI I wrote an i3Gen blog piece about standing out, I finish what has been an extremely busy 10 days by considering how to get maximum effect from “Consent Winning Items” (to use the PSYOPS terminology) and their lasting Communications & Engagement value, or Return on Influence (ROI).
So, here are some observations from DSEI:
Grab Their Attention
While well-known companies will already have recognisable brands, many small or medium enterprises may struggle to grab the attention of passing potential clients and to generate interest. One solution is to have a strong logo, a recognisable ‘face’.
One such logo that jumped out at me was situated in the further corner of the ExCel, Typhoon International make dry bags and diving gear, and have chosen (for their military range) a pirate motif. An adaptation of the old Skull & Cross Bones, theirs features a skull in a diving mask backed by a cutlass and Fairburn-Sykes commando dagger.
While not suitable for the larger, traditional companies in the sector, this style is increasingly popular and used by the likes of BlueBeard’s Revenge male grooming products, Dead Man’s Fingers rum, the Sin Eaters Guild and Pirate Republic brewery in the Bahamas. It fits with the perception amongst many Marines, soldiers and veterans of themselves as rogues, buccaneers and scallywags.
Having grabbed my attention, Typhoon also had a surprise in their goodie-bag — in addition to their olive green branded t-shirt was a pair of navy blue men’s underpants, emblazoned with the logo!
Not only a practical gizzit, but also totally unique and generated a lot of chatter!
Want or Need?
While many gizzits would be considered by many as “consumables”, like pens and notebooks, the ‘Most Wanted’ items are those that are practical, sought after and frequently used.
The best example of this is the Hesco mini multi-tool, made by Gerber. Hesco is synonymous with the post 9/11 generation of soldiers and a much-loved UK brand. The multi-tool is small and perfect to by carried as a keyring or on a lanyard and includes pliers, a knife, file and tweezers.
It works perfectly as a gizzit because not only is it desirable, but it exemplifies the Hesco qualities of being robust, practical and durable, and being made by Gerber you know it is great quality.
Practical and fun was the approach taken by new comers 4GD who displayed their products via Virtual Reality at their “VR Bar”. From 4pm they offered a very tasty (and refreshingly cold) beer, along with a Fidget-Spinner/Bottle Opener gizzit. Linking the ‘take-away’ item with the lived experience, extends duration of the engagement’s effect. The gizzit becomes a talking point and will always trigger an association with the brand, which also has an impactful logo (Again featuring a commando dagger!), and their VR bar.
Grey Suits and Ties or T-shirts and Hoodies?
4GD also stood out as the only exhibitors in hoodies. Whilst events like DSEI are almost exclusively suit and tie affairs, wearing black hoodies and baseball caps undoubtedly stand out. But this only if it matches your brand image and values.
Brand values are especially important if you select t-shirts (or other clothing items) as your gizzits. What does the clothing say about the brand, but more importantly what does it say about the wearer?
I offer two examples:
Glock is a world-renowned firearms manufacturer those pistols are carried by militaries and law enforcement around the globe. Its key message is safety. The gizzits range from stickers to keyrings (including a golden Glock!), hats to t-shirts, predominantly black (like the pistols) and carry the Glock logo. Therefore, anyone in a Glock t-shirt is carrying that message; “Glock = Safe, therefore I am a safe shooter!”
So the wearer, and presumably a Glock user or advocate, subscribes to the core values of that brand.
Alongside the Sin Eaters Guild, HR4K has carved out an inclusive niche in the market. Not the ‘closed group’ you might expect, but a bolt-hole or ‘refuge for lost souls’ — the only entry requirement being that you share their values.
The sense of belonging, absent for so many veterans and others, has resulted in many getting Sin Eaters tarot card tattoos — not just wearing the t-shirt.
Brew or Wet?
Many at DSEI sought out HR4K not for a t-shirt, but simply to get a good quality (free) coffee. Much needed for those working the floor. Not only was Contact Coffee served at the stand, but the EB goody bag included Contact Coffee, ‘Battle Bag’ — A teabag, but coffee!
While not long-lasting, the offer of a coffee (other beverages are available) sits within the category of gizzit, as it draws people to your stand or business, enhances the experience and can carry your brand on the packaging (or on a mug!). Other popular ‘veteran’ coffees include Black Rifle Coffee in the US, Bolt Action and (my personal favourite blogging fuel) Explorer Coffee.
In summary, when considering offering gizzits companies and organisations need to carefully consider the following:
Who is the Audience? What will ‘work’ for them?
Consider the “Values”, not value of the items.
What does it say, about you, your brand and products, and the recipient?
What will be the lasting effect?
Identify and use advocates, for both the brand and products.
Above all, gizzits (like Consent Winning Items) need to be integrated within you Communications & Engagement strategy and implemented as part of your campaign plan, not simply ‘air dropped’ and scattered like PSYOPS leaflets or business cards.