Buyer's Guide … the one with the Encyclopedia!

Sponsoring the RP Photonics Encyclopedia: Branding With Sympathies From the Photonics Community

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

A comprehensive marketing strategy involves a variety of activities, each designed to achieve different objectives using diverse tools. Often, straightforward product marketing is the preferred route, aiming for immediate sales growth. Our advertising package for the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide is highly effective for this purpose. However, focusing on the development of the company's brand can also be incredibly beneficial. For this, we offer a unique tool: sponsoring of the RP Photonics Encyclopedia.

What Makes Branding Useful

For branding (= brand development), broad visibility is often seen as the key factor. However, it is just as important to associate the brand with specifically positive attributes, such as being helpful and contributing to the global community's welfare. Sponsoring the RP Photonics Encyclopedia helps achieve this dual goal, as it is both very widely used and extremely beneficial to the community.

The Concept of Sponsoring the Encyclopedia

The concept of sponsoring is easy to understand:

  • Sponsors financially support the extensive work RP Photonics invests in maintaining and developing the RP Photonics Encyclopedia.
  • The encyclopedia is a highly valued resource within the photonics community, used frequently and with great appreciation. This positive sentiment extends to our sponsors, who are seen as supporting a valuable community resource rather than just advertising.
  • This positive association gives sponsors a unique form of recognition, beyond what traditional advertising can achieve.
sponsoring of the RP Photonics Encyclopedia

I have the clear impression that our sponsors support our project not just out of self-interest but also due to genuine appreciation for the value it brings to the photonics community. This mutual respect also leads to long-lasting and fruitful business relationships. Advertisers benefit from effective marketing support and diligent service, and we appreciate the ongoing commitment of our sponsors; nearly all of them happily prolong their entries year by year,

The Relationship Between Sponsorship and Advertising

Typically, our sponsors also engage with our advertising package in the Buyer's Guide. This makes sense due to the measurable direct effects of advertising. While sponsoring alone is valuable, combining it with advertising maximizes visibility and impact. If budget constraints necessitate a choice, direct lead generation through advertising should probably take precedence.

The Power of Branding: Indirect but Highly Effective

Branding has a more indirect effect, which can be hard to measure. However, indirect does not necessarily mean less effective.

  • When focusing solely on direct sales and lead generation, each product or product category requires individual marketing efforts. In contrast, a strong brand supports all products simultaneously. This is especially crucial for large companies with a broad product portfolio.
  • For a small or relatively new company, trust in the company is a vital factor in purchase decisions. This trust cannot be replaced by compelling product descriptions alone. Trust grows when your company is perceived as established (with a recognizable brand), successful (also evidenced by resources for sponsorship), and clearly community-oriented.
  • Generally, a strong brand enhances the effectiveness (return on investment) of all direct marketing efforts. It should not be seen as an alternative to promoting sales but as a way to amplify the impact of other marketing activities. A strong brand can also justify higher prices if you are recognized as a quality supplier.
  • In addition, there are significant benefits beyond product sales. A well-developed brand increases the likelihood of favorable deals with investors and business partners and helps retain valuable employees, who prefer to work for a respected company. When selling a company, brand equity significantly influences its value.

By the way, RP Photonics itself relies heavily on its brand. Over the years, we have invested far more in branding than in direct product advertising. For instance, every new or improved encyclopedia article contributes to our brand, although it does not directly generate revenue. Our success story exemplifies how emphasizing branding can lead to remarkable achievements.

Current Sponsors

Here is the current list of our sponsors, whom we gratefully acknowledge:


Most of them have been sponsors for several years already.

Join the Club!

By sponsoring the RP Photonics Encyclopedia, you not only enhance your brand's visibility but also associate your company with positive community values, contributing to the greater good of the photonics industry. Join us in supporting this valuable resource and benefit from the unique recognition it brings.

Becoming a sponsor is straightforward. It involves agreeing to an annual financial contribution and ideally providing a short sponsor statement expressing your support for the project.

We offer three sponsorship levels (Gold, Silver, Bronze), each providing varying degrees of visibility. On every page of our encyclopedia (and various other pages), some of the sponsors' logos are displayed randomly, with different logos shown on each page view. Gold-level sponsors have their logo displayed at least a million times per year. For details, see our page on sponsoring. When you are ready, just contact me.

This article is a posting of the RP Photonics Marketing News, authored by Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta. You may link to this page, because its location is permanent.

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