February 26, 2013 smz-blog

The power of marketing … a snowstorm


– John Gielow, Vice President Director of Digital Strategy

I know way too much about weather. A weather geek I must admit. As Southeast Michigan braces for the onslaught of Rocky the Snowstorm later today, I find it interesting that the Weather Channel decided to name winter storms this season.

For those of us who live in the world of marketing and building our clients’ brands, this decision by the Weather Channel which they claim will bring increased awareness to winter snowstorms is, in my opinion, more about increasing the awareness of the Weather Channel brand.

Hurricanes have long been named, and that always made sense, given the potential devastation a one can cause. However, naming a snowstorm every single week seems a bit too much for an event that quite often is just a temporary nuisance. It will be interesting to see how this brand-building exercise plays out for the Weather Channel. We can poke fun at it. Yet in the end, if it continues to build the Weather Channel brand, it has done its job. We can learn a lot from how they have built their brand over the past 30 years. Proof you can take something as unsexy as weather forecasting and market it to almost every audience.

Listed below are Southeast Michigan’s top five recorded snowstorms, two of which I can remember firsthand. As Rocky visits Michigan later today, it won’t measure up to any of these storms.

• April 6, 1886 — 24.5″
• Dec. 1-2, 1974 — 19.2″
• Jan. 26-27, 1978 — 19″
• March 4-5, 1900 — 16.1″
• Jan. 31-Feb 1, 1878 — 15.7″

And from this professed weather geek, my prediction is a rather boring 5″ storm for us.


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