The Power of the SXSW Brand


This week, the annual South by Southwest event is going in Austin, Texas. It’s a place for startups – companies, artists, musicians, etc, to get noticed, to see and be seen. The power of this event and the SXSW brand is pretty amazing considering it is mainly a giant networking/mass exposure event. Take a look at some of the facts surrounding the event:

SXSW has 72,000 registered attendees this year, 2,000-plus bands including big names like: Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Willie Nelson, Kanye West and Ludacris. People will be coming from 74 countries this year, up from 57 in 2013. SXSW has become Austin’s highest revenue-producing event. In 2013, it generated a total economic impact of $218.2 million with more than 300,000 in attendance. The music event has grown from 700 registrants in 1987 to nearly 12,000 registrants.


Photo above is from the Cottonelle “Refresh Lounge” blow outs and makeup touch ups for the ladies as well as free massages for anyone with an achy back.

You can brand anything from food trucks, restaurants, taxi & pedi-cabs, lounges, hotel door hangers, hotel shuttles, etc, just about anything you can imagine, here just a few examples of what you could expect to pay for some of these.

Branding a food truck will cost: $2,000 per day, five days = $10,000. But the costs are just getting started. Add in signage, permits, food and labor: $60,000.

Rebranded restaurant: Some heavy hitters will take over entire restaurants for the week. There was a CNN Grill last year, for instance. This is not a cheap option. It will likely run you about $750,000.

Street team: Walking around Austin during SXSW is walking a gauntlet of aggressive street marketing. You’d think this wouldn’t cost much. Ah, but it does. You’ll need captains, t-shirts and other material. Over the course of a week, the bills add up. Expect to spend $75,000 for a team of 10 to blanket the area.

The power of the SXSW brand is pretty amazing and the facts support that! Now you may not be in Austin or have the budget to market yourself or your company down in the Lone Star State, but you have to figure out how you can make a splash for you and/or your company in order to reach your goals and objectives. Think creatively, figure out what you can afford and lay out a plan to get in front of your target audience. Go forth and brand yourself today and start reaping the rewards!


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