Sticker Marketing – 13 Ways Stickers Can Help Your Business

sticker-marketing-duracellSticker marketing – it’s not the latest digital technique, but it’s affordable, flexible and effective.

Stickers can be used in so many ways, they’re an option for just about any business.

Here’s a look at the why and how of sticker marketing, with plenty of great examples.

And we finish up with a sticker marketing checklist. Everything you need to make your next campaign deliver results.

Why are stickers so good for marketing?

  • They can be used almost anywhere. Retail outlets. Outdoors – including on cars. At events. In direct mail. As promotional items. On packaging.
  • They last. All print lasts longer than digital. Stickers last longer than other print. They stick around!  And that means more visibility for longer. More time for your brand and your message to sink in.
  • When customers choose to use and display your stickers, they endorse your brand. Does your laptop have an ‘Intel Inside’ sticker on it? What about car stickers? They work for sports clubs. They work for the ABC. Could they work for you?

Ways to use sticker marketing for branding

Increasing brand awareness is probably the commonest sticker marketing goal.  There are many ways to do it.

1. Use stickers to brand your packaging.

Custom packaging is a great way to promote your brand. For online retailers in particular, packaging is often the first time a customer interacts with your brand physically.

But if you don’t need high volumes, or if you need a whole range of different packaging for products of different sizes, you may be up for lots of expensive minimum orders.

Stickers solve the problem for you. Order one size of branded stickers which you can apply to multiple different packaging items. Now you can use standard boxes, bags and other packaging which don’t have minimum order quantities, but still promote your brand.

2. Use stickers to brand low-volume promotional items.

This works on the same principle as printed packaging.

3. Use stickers as branded giveaways.

sticker-marketing-car-windowWe’re back to car stickers again! But branded giveaways only work if people actually use the stickers.

It’s easy if you’re a membership organisation. Or if you’re a brand with passionate fans like the ABC or Apple.  What do the rest of us do?

Do you have thousands of customers you can distribute stickers to easily? If you’re sending monthly statements or annual certificates of renewal, why not pop a sticker in with each? The cost is minimal, so you only need a low percentage of stickers being used to get a good return.

For most of us, the answer is appealing stickers which customers will want to display – and which include your brand too. Even if they are not consciously promoting you, you get exposure and tacit endorsement.

Ideally the sticker content will not only attract attention, but also tie in to your product or service. And provide a contact detail if possible.

4. Use stickers at events.

As with any giveaway sticker, the stickers need to be appealing or useful.

If you’re creating stickers for a specific event, relevant creative may make them more popular. ‘I survived <the event name>.’ For international audiences, a local icon like the Sydney Opera House.

If you’re handing out stickers, don’t forget you can print on the backing paper too.  How about unique numbers on the back with a link to a website where you might have won a prize? Or a map promoting a nearby cafe or bar? (Great if you can get them to subsidise your print costs too.)

Events offer other options as well as sticker giveaways. How about a guerilla sticker marketing campaign around the venue to drive traffic to your stand? Make sure your stickers say clearly where you are. Offer a reason to visit. Print a codeword and offer rewards to stand visitors who quote it. Or ask an intriguing question, with an invitation to visit your stand to get the answer.

5. Use stickers on your company car(s).

sticker-marketing-wicked-campers-cane-toadsIf you or your employees are driving company vehicles, this is a simple way to advertise your brand as you go about your business. You can be as subtle or as in-your-face as you like with this branding.  And you can place it anywhere on the car that you like.

One point to consider if you’re stickering large parts of the car window is visibility. The driver still needs to see out. So we’d recommend micro-hole stickers. They let light filter through but still present a full image from the outside.

6. Use stickers in creative outdoor campaigns.

Outdoor sticker marketing options are endless.   But you do need to think about your image and the response you’ll get.  Putting stickers ‘on signs, poles, and even other advertisements‘ worked for Reddit, but it may not be right for you and your market. Especially if you don’t have a cute alien logo to help you along.

An alternative is to pick one particular part of the outdoor environment. Folgers Coffee chose steaming manholes in New York.

Also be aware that if you’re going to sticker lots of public places, you’ll need a lot of manpower to get your stickers in place.  Stickers themselves are very affordable, but be careful about your other campaign costs!

Use sticker marketing to share information

Stickers are often used on products or retail packaging to highlight information. Everything may be on the box already, but a sticker draws more attention.

7. Promote any awards, competitions or praise your product has won.

The wine industry does this all the time. It’s easy to add ‘medal’ stickers to all your bottles. And it’s a great way to differentiate on the shelves.

What about positive reviews from trusted sources? Put these on product or packaging so that customers see them when they’re in buying mode.

8. Promote product features

Think about the energy efficiency and water efficiency stickers on many white goods. They stand out with bright colours against the white.

If you sell in multiple markets, stickers can also help customise standard packaging. So you can promote what matters for each market.

9. Use stickers to provide updated information

What happens if you relocate? Change your phone number? Print up stickers with your new details and stick on all envelopes and packaging to communicate with existing customers.

…this is also great if you a lot of customers on account and you change your bank details. Stickers on a bill or statement will stand out far more than a simple paragraph.

sticker-marketing-homeless-rubbish-bin10. Information-rich stickers are also great for cause marketing.

Here’s an example from Help the Homeless.  The shock tactic comes from treating a garbage can as a food source and using food labelling. It’s a hard-hitting approach, different from the mass of charities simply asking for donations.


Use sticker marketing to drive action and get the sale

11. Promote price reduction.

Everyone’s seen footprint-shaped stickers on the floor leading shoppers to a product. It’s a simple, proven technique.

12. Stimulate demand and drive people towards your product.

Here’s a fresh take on the same idea. And in case you can’t read it, the text on that red sushi dish tells you how to get to the restaurant.


13. Use stickers in direct mail to encourage interactivity and engagement.

Have you ever received a mailing from Reader’s Digest? Did it have lots of little stickers which you could select to put on your reply? They used that technique because it worked.

Stickers can turn your direct mail text into images. They make responding fun. They give the respondent a sense of control. They’re especially good if you’re targeting families, as children love them.

Combine multiple tactics for really great sticker marketing.

This sticker campaign works on so many levels.

  • It’s creative and inventive.
  • It’s directly related to the business it promotes.
  • It uses a double-layer peel-off sticker which makes it interactive.
  • It has a ‘public good’ message which creates positive brand feeling.


And finally, the sticker marketing campaign checklist…

It’s clear that sticker marketing is flexible and can be very powerful, if planned and used effectively. To finish off, here’s a checklist to use for your next sticker campaign.

  • Be clear what the goal of your campaign is. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness or drive specific actions.
  • Be clear about your target market.  This will affect creative and placement of stickers.
  • Decide on your sticker placement. You want to put stickers somewhere your target market will notice them.
  • Make your stickers fit their location. If you want to give away stickers for people to stick up, a small size is better. If you’re implementing a sticker campaign yourself, think about appropriate sizes and shapes.
  • For maximum cut-through, you need great creative.  Stickers come in all shapes and sizes. They’re found in all kinds of unusual locations. Use those for inspiration. But try to stay relevant to what you’re promoting!
  • Consider die-cutting stickers to an unusual shape. This might fit a particular location, like the beer steins above. Or it might just make stickers you hand out more interesting.
  • Consider whether you need permission for your sticker marketing campaign. If you’re putting stickers on parked cars, you might get away without permission, but if you want to put them on escalators in a shopping centre, that would be harder.
  • Work out all the technical requirements for your sticker. Will it be outside and need to be weatherproof? Do you need micro-hole stickers to maintain visibility? How easy will it be to remove? What about other features such as peel-off multi-layer stickers, scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers or even unique numbering?

Whatever you do, good luck with your sticker marketing! And if you need help designing or sourcing stickers, just ask the experts at Xpadite.