What can we learn about MARKETING from the Calgary Stampede?

Let's face it ... The Calgary Stampede is a business; a big business with a huge reputation.  

 

Here's a few things that they do REALLY REALLY well (enough for me to spend time & money to attend when it was raining & cold).

  1. Create a crown and wear it proudly!  The Calgary Stampede is known as the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth".  That's a pretty big claim (I call it a 'crown').  That's right -- you too can create a 'crown' or a claim!  It's like a town that claims to be the "Prettiest Town in Canada" -- has anyone ever challenged this claim -- no, not as long as you wear it proudly.  Think for a moment .... what crown could you claim?  Make a claim - wear the crown - and wear it proudly!
     
  2. It takes a village!  Just as it takes a village to raise a child, so to does it take a village to create & host the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth!  From the moment we got on the airplane (yes, WestJet welcomed us to the Stampede) to the live 'Stampede' music at the airport; to the car rental, etc.  the whole town was in 'stampede' mode!  It's true that Stampede has been in existence for 100+ years; and it's true that it significantly contributes to the economy; however -- they do it right!  They have found a way to involve everyone in the city and surrounding areas into marketing that one event!  Even Tim Hortons employees wore Stampede themed hats, etc. If you hold events, give it some thought as to how could you involve more people -- people not even related to your business?  It's well worth the effort -- remember, you rarely succeed alone!
     
  3. Integrated & Stacked Marketing.  Calgary Stampede has one message -- The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth -- and it uses MANY different types of marketing to convey the same message.  They use print (there were people handing out information booklets at the airport); they use visuals (there were CS flags everywhere); they use merchandise (you can buy CS merchandise everywhere); they use television (CS events were on CBC daily), etc.  Ask yourself -- are you using one clear message?  Are you consistent with that message?  Are you using different types of marketing to convey that message?


It was great to experience the 'culture' of the Calgary Stampede.  I hope that next time I attend (notice I said next time) that the temperature will be above 16 degrees and the recommended footwear won't be rubber boots!