219 Marketing Analysis: get a tattoo for a 15% pay increase

This week’s marketing analysis includes a simple question: would you get a tattoo of your company’s logo for a 15% pay increase?

Recently we saw a news story that a real estate company was offering 15% pay raise if employees tattooed the company logo on their body. There weren’t any location or size specifications, just that simple: get a company logo tattoo and get 15% more money. That got us thinking at 219 Group, is this a good marketing strategy? What’s to be gained from the company? What’s to be gained from the consumer?

The obvious gains are:
-Exposure: Hello?! There was a news story on the whole thing. That’s how we heard about it. Free press, anyone?

-Advertising: for the rest of that person’s life (unless they have it covered or removed) the company will have advertising. People will probably ask them what it is and they’ll name the company. But it’s not free, because the company is paying the employee 15% more.

-Increase in moral: Someone in our office brought up the point that it’s about the culture of the company. Offering this incentive says: believe in us, and we’ll believe in you. It’s more about the company/employee relationship than the company/client or consumer relationship.

What our marketing experts thought:

“Great for the business, maybe not so much for the employee, who has to live with the tattoo forever, and who knows if they will work there in a year or two, no one knows what life will bring, plus even the most iconic brands go through revisions.”

“I suppose the real question is: are the people that will see this tattoo more likely to use the company’s services? I really really doubt this. People generally don’t inform their decisions based on tattoos…especially re real estate firms.”

“I would do it. I just wouldn’t put it on my forehead or anything, but I have so many already I would have it blend in with another one. For a little bit more money to represent something that you do… it isn’t such a bad idea.”

The point is, the company took very little risk in doing this. Except to ensure they could follow up with the promise of pay increases, there’s little fallout for the company. They could change their logo, re-brand, go out of business… it’s the employee that made a permanent decision.

219 Group’s Conclusion:
In the short term this was good for the company. Easy PR, newsworthy and gets people talking. Long term though, this won’t help them build a loyal returning client base. A real estate firm is only as successful as its agents. Even if everyone is tattooed with the logo doesn’t make them good at their jobs.

What do you think? Would you get a tattoo of your company logo for a raise?


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