Anne Holland

SherpaBlog: Branded iGoogle Themes: How to Dominate the Desktop in 2008

September 22nd, 2008

Using branded screensavers used to be one of the coolest marketing tactics out there. At its height, 600,000+ fans downloaded Tabasco screensavers each month. Then came desktop apps – my personal favorite was Vail Resort’s – as well as branded IM ‘skins’ offered by marketers, such as Panasonic.

At 6 a.m. ET on Friday, September 12, 2008, handbag and design diva Kate Spade launched her version of the newest tactic to dominate the desktop – a branded iGoogle offering.

So far, results have been outstanding. In the first week, 17,000 fans in the US and UK customized their iGoogle homepages with Kate Spade graphics. (I’ve posted a sample of the email that made it all happen below.) Encouraged, Spade’s marketing team will expand their iGoogle offering promotions to the rest of the world in a campaign that will launch in early October.

The cost has been next to nothing. An in-house design team created the iGoogle programming. It took them about two months, but they were working on other projects at the same time. Then Spade’s marketing team sent an email blast to her house opt-in list and that was it.

I think this test is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what may be accomplished with branded personalized homepages. Now that Yahoo is launching a new version of their homepage, which increases personalization, opportunities for creative marketers will blossom there as well.

Sherpa will continue to cover this area extensively in coming months. If you’re testing anything interesting, please let us know! Share your experiences in comments or contact News Editor Bill Rupp directly at BillR(at)marketingsherpa(dot)com

Thanks and here is the sample I promised you:

Kate Spade iGoogle Theme Offer:

Sherpa’s classic Case Studies on:

Tabasco’s Screensavers for consumers and businesses:

Vail Resort’s desktop app:

How to advertise on IM skins:

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