The old adage “If you build it, they will come” is no longer applicable in this day and age. People are, on average, exposed to so much advertising throughout their daily lives, whether it’s through subtle YouTube plug-ins or blatant TV commercials, that they are becoming immune to advertising campaigns.
The main aim of brand marketing is to make a brand more personable and appealing to consumers. Gone were the days where a simple logo was all you needed to make yourself known in the market.
With the influx of an increasing number of companies entering the market, start-ups are struggling to stand out. Establishing a brand’s personality through clever brand marketing is, therefore, essential to make you more recognizable in the market.
In the AIDA funnel, brands are shown a specific outline to improve their sales. By garnering attention from consumers and building their interest in your brand, you can instill in them a desire to take action and buy your products.
By following through on this road map, you can gain access to a wider market.
Devising a brand strategy:
A brand is more than just a name, a logo, and a slogan. A brand is an intangible experience or feeling a consumer associates with your company.
With the rise in competition in the market, Honest-to-God marketing ploys no longer work. If Campbell soup company started out recently, then their slogan “Soup is Good Food” wouldn’t have made consumers bat an eye.
Your brand strategy defines your company’s values, services, and personality, so creating something of this nature can be a complicated process. Here are some of the brand marketing strategies that are in use today:
#1. Name-brand recognition:
This is the most commonly used tool by established companies to promote other subsidiary products they may be releasing. Big companies like Pepsi and Coca Cola expanded their product range from soft drinks to other forms of snack food.
PepsiCo is no stranger to this concept, as can be seen by its increasing range of products from soft-drinks to sparkling water to huge snack brands like Lays under its subsidiary company Frito-Lay.
#2. Individual branding:
At times, larger companies can establish other sister companies that differ greatly from the more well known brand. For instance, P&G has a wide array of products, each with a separate function.
All of the brands outlined in the above picture fall under the umbrella of P&G, yet each of them have their own logos, branding, and marketing strategies. From Old Spice’s crazy commercials to Pantene’s functional ones, P&G has a diverse array of products.
#3. Attitude branding:
Brands that target emotional marketing can often result in an identity that goes beyond the products it sells. Nike and Adidas are perfect examples of such marketing.
With such a simple ad, Nike made its political stance on the Black Lives Matter movement quite clear.
In this poster, they are stating their support for Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback who started kneeling during the national anthem as a passive protest against gun violence and police brutality.
Nike’s emotional branding is targeted towards all audiences, and their brand is well known for encouraging people to push themselves into becoming better versions of themselves. Their interesting marketing strategies even earned them a spot on the Forbes Fab 40 ranking.
#4. “No-brand” branding:
As opposed to the flashy branding ideas that most big companies make use of, “no-brand” branding is unique in its own way.
This means that products designed by the company are not branded with a logo or tag lines, which are a common attribute of a majority of the goods produced today.
A prime example of this particular brand marketing is Muji, which is shortened from Mujirushi Ryohin. This literally translates into “no-brand quality goods”, which is something the company has become well known for.
The above picture showcases a few of the products that Muji produces. Their practical, high quality, and affordable household goods have made them a famous lifestyle brand.
Note how all of the products are void of any clear logo or other markings and have a very minimalistic yet functional outlook.
#5. Brand extension:
This branding strategy requires that a company be well established. In brand extensions, one parent company expands into a new venture, something that is completely different from the original product that initially put them on the market.
Unlike individual branding, brand extensions make use of the parent company’s established name to sell their new line of products.
The above image showcases some of the extensions of Virgin company. Notably, all of them have the same general logo and color branding, whether it’s for an airline company or a media corporation.
By using their well-established name, Virgin Records managed to establish a well-known conglomerate of different companies.
#6. Private labels:
Private labels are also becoming popular, as megastores like Walmart and Target are gaining traction as major shopping destinations.
In private label companies, an item is manufactured by a third party and then sold in the market under the retailer’s brand names.
Target is a huge retail store that sells products such as chips and crackers in collaboration with Archer Farms, which is Target’s own private label brand.
Target is planning to introduce a whole new line of products by the end of 2020, under the private label “Good & Gather”, which aims to provide time-strapped families with access to affordable, high-quality food.
Crowdsourcing is used by brands as a way to outsource creativity. By funneling ideas from the consumers, engagement with the brand can be increased, as people develop a personal interest in the brand to see how far their idea can go.
Oreo created a “Daily Twist” campaign, in which they launched a 100 days of new cookie designs, all made by and voted on by the consumers. During the 100-day campaign, there was a lot of positive brand promotion occurring.
The image above showcases some of the excellent ideas the general public came up with for this campaign. During this campaign, Facebook page sharing increased by more than 4000% as compared to that of other months.
Marketing your brand in an effective manner:
Nowadays, a brand is more than just a logo, a pithy tag line, or some aesthetically pleasing content. A brand’s identity goes above and beyond just simple graphic design.
Marketing a brand, if done right, can improve the brand’s equity and perception in the market. Brands like Apple and Google are thought to rank high on brand equity.
Some of the ways you can improve your brand’s value are listed below:
#1. Create value:
In order to provide value to the general public, your brand needs to stand out. Building a strong brand is about more than just marketing; it’s about ensuring that your customers are receiving the treatment they deserve.
In a highly impersonal world, people are beginning to look for brands that treat them as valuable entities, rather than just cogs in a machine. Similarly, they are making mindful decisions about product sourcing as well as working conditions.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group, holds the following opinion about customer and employee satisfaction:
Brands like Zappos really exemplify this thought process, as they even created a department that is dedicated to providing customers with consistent digital and human interactions across the board. This department is known as Zappos Insights, and it is a very interesting approach to customer satisfaction.
#2. Tailor your brand’s message:
Finding a target market is perhaps the most vital step in brand marketing. Approaching the people who are more likely to find value in your product might be more fruitful as compared to aiming for a much wider audience.
Knowing the ins and outs of your consumer base can really boost your brand’s identity. Take, for example, the Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star make-up palette.
Knowing that a vast majority of the palette buyers would be fans of their YouTube channels, Shane created an 8-part long documentary/web series that was titled “The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star“.
The series detailed the lengthy process of creating a make-up palette from scratch.
Once the palette, named “Conspiracy”, was launched, it immediately sold out. By knowing his target market, Shane, having no prior experience with make-up creation before this, became a wildly popular “Make-up Guru”.
#3. Be consistent:
Consistency is key when it comes to establishing your brand firmly in your customer’s mind. Brands like Coca-Cola have mastered the art of having a consistent brand personality.
All of their social media sites and other digital ventures stay on the red and black theme, and they promote an air of positivity and community throughout their products.
By making sure that their tone of voice remains consistent throughout a brand’s digital presence, customers can find it easier to associate your content directly with your brand.
#4. A good design goes a long way:
Visually appealing design is a really important aspect of your branding. While branding is not only about the visual aspect of the brand, it is undeniable that color schemes and attractive graphic designs can really change the outlook of the whole company.
How you choose to utilize colors, fonts, and overarching themes to visually communicate the core personality of your design is completely up to you. Ultimately, how you package your brand can change the way it is perceived by your consumers.
Perhaps the most interesting rebranding story is that of Old Spice.
Old Spice had been leading the market for men’s deodorant, but Axe, a rival company, had managed to create a foothold in the market with the help of their suggestive advertisements.
Old Spice managed to revamp their branding strategy by changing its target consumers towards a younger audience. Their playful ads, with spoofs regarding how masculine their deodorant would make users, were a huge success, and just like that, Old Spice was back in the game.
#5. Make your brand meaningful:
If your brand has an intrinsic value, people will flock to it. Changing how consumers perceive your brand can really turn your business around.
Take luxury brands as an example. High-end brands like Gucci and Supreme make themselves out to be unattainable. Their products are seen by many as the height of luxury, and their goods are viewed as a status symbol.
Note how the model in the picture looks aloof and unattainable.
Gucci markets its luxury products in a way that makes consumers feel accomplished if they can get their hands on their products, thus creating additional value for the brand.
Each brand has its own way of creating value, and one of the more recent examples would be that of Bellroy. This company went viral for its stop-motion ad, which outlined how they make use of discarded ocean plastic to create high-quality goods like backpacks.
Their ad not only targeted consumers who are conscious of their carbon footprint but also provided consumers with a good that would make them feel like they were contributing to a good cause.
#6. Provide valuable information:
Content creation is one of the best ways to demonstrate your brand’s values and ideals. What matters when creating content is the quality, not the quantity.
By recognizing the needs of the average consumer, you can figure out what would be of value to people, and then aim towards creating content that falls under that category. Take Buzzfeed as an example.
Their viral articles revolving around pop culture may not be considered hard-hitting journalism by any means, but that’s because they’re not aiming for that. Their aim with regards to content is to provide readers with a break from the harsh news cycle.
By talking about trends and other viral phenomena, they are providing readers with a lighter, relatable outlook, which is why their company is so wildly popular among the younger generation.
Brand marketing aims to provide your brand with a personality, as well as a relatable outlook that consumers can find similarities with. Building a brand’s intrinsic value can result in lead generation, insight, and give depth to a company’s image.
Branding remains an important aspect of any new company. It can lead to a lot of advantages such as user loyalty, credibility, and emotionally connecting your target audience with your goods in the long run.
By mastering the art of marketing your business, you can create more than just a company; you can create a brand.