Most companies would love to have people spend a few minutes of each day thinking about their brand, and many pay a lot of money for the privilege. However, paying to put your brand in front of people’s eyes and having people want to look at your brand on a daily basis are two very different things, with the former often leading to brand fatigue while the later leads to a case study and high fives around the office. Making people want to look at your brand isn’t what I’d call easy, but if you can find a service that people want to use anyways and then cover it in your branding, there’s a good chance you can get them to look at your logo on a daily basis and actually get some value out of it along the way. For UPS, that’s exactly what they’ve done with the POPURLS Brown Edition, a sponsored dashboard for business news.
POPURLS is a “dashboard for the latest web-buzz, a single page that encapsulates up-to-the-minute headlines from the most popular sites on the internet”. POPURLS Brown Edition takes that formula and delivers only business related news, including the U.S. Economy, Small Business news, the Global Economy, Capital Lending and more. UPS then pays POPURLS to make the page UPS brown, slap the UPS logo in a few different places, and slide video thumbnails of the UPS whiteboard ads in between content, with the end result being a branded space that automatically updates with all of the latest business news on a frequent basis. Think of it as UPS associating their name with some of the best business content online without having to pay a single dollar to any writers to do so.
One addition to the already proven POPURLS formula is that UPS has permanently added specific UPS links to the bottom of each section when appropriate, so for instance, the Technology section links to the UPS Mobile iPhone App and the Small Business section links to UPS Paperless Invoice service. These links are tagged with a small UPS logo, and work well because they’re categorized along with the regular news, so that someone who is interested in technology and browsing the technology news section can also see what UPS is doing on the technology front.
Another advantage of the POPULRS sponsorship is that UPS can use the POPURLS system to create dynamic banner ads that are constantly updated with the latest business news. This allows them to automatically inject hot keywords and relevant headlines into their banners that will grab people’s attention, and the rotating creative helps fight banner fatigue for viewers that see the same banner over and over. These banners rely heavily on the POPURLS branding, which works well in the social space where many viewers will have had previous experience with the POPURLS service, but may not work as well in other areas where the POPURLS name is not as recognizable.
Partnerships and sponsorships are a tricky thing to master, as each brand must benefit from the union, the two must be related but non-competitive, and the value needs to be high enough to deliver results, but not so high that the cost becomes prohibitive. However, when done right, a good partnership/sponsorship can be an easy way to create a service that people actually want to use, and that each side can be happy to be a part of.
- Existing POPURLS formula is proven, making it easy to create a new product with just a few small changes.
- Users get value out of the dashboard in exchange for their time spent in front of the UPS brand.
- Constant updates keep the content fresh and allow UPS to leverage the latest in business news.
- UPS is not a vital part of the equation, and a business news edition of POPURLS could easily survive without the UPS sponsorship.
- Lack of control over the content means there are potential risks for stories that don’t favor UPS.
- Partnerships and sponsorships allow brands to piggyback on successful web properties while delivering value to the user in exchange for brand exposure.