It’s fascinating how the internet gives us access to info we couldn’t even dream of back in the day. Ask any entrepreneur out there, and they’ll agree that the internet is a treasure trove. We can learn new tricks, like driving traffic to our Facebook page, figuring out the best time to post on TikTok or Instagram to grab as much followers’ attention as possible, or understanding why customers choose our product over others on the shelf.
Now, when it comes to drawing in customers, there’s this thing called brand marketing. You might have heard of it, or maybe it’s new to you. Either way, in this article, we’ll break it down for you in a fun and simple way.
We’ve been racking our brains to come up with the simplest way to explain this, and we think we’ve got it now. It might sound a bit different from what marketers would say, but stick with us.
Imagine a brand being the big boss overseeing all the products, services, and parts of a company. And now, when we say ‘brand marketing’, we mean all the stuff companies do to promote the boss’s concept.
Here’s what you need to pay attention to: Brand marketing and product marketing are two peas in a pod, but they’re totally different. Product marketing is a matter of spreading the word about your specific offerings to customers. Meanwhile, brand marketing is all about painting the bigger picture – your values, image, purpose, and what you’re all about.
The main goal of brand marketing is to plant the idea that no matter how your product lines change over time, your brand remains unique and special. It’s like bringing your brand the ‘X Factor’ that makes people wish to be part of it. And that’s why, these days, every company’s brand marketing desperately needs a solid, long-term strategy.
Before we discuss what marketing strategy should be included in your plan, let’s first take a look at some dos (and later, some don’ts) in today’s world of marketing.
You can’t just slap on a sustainability label and expect customers to buy the product anymore. People today are getting a better grasp of companies’ deceiving tactics. It’s true, though – customers are actually starting to take notice of how eco-friendly and ethical the brands they support are. So, it’s worth showing off any genuine progress you’ve made in these areas right up front.
Put an Emphasis on Your Staff
In this era of the ‘Great Resignation’ and a booming workers’ rights movement, it’s not just a good idea but an absolute necessity to demonstrate to consumers that the people behind the brand are treated with the utmost care and respect as valuable individuals.
Show Empathy to People
Showing genuine empathy is vital, especially after this whole global pandemic thing. Customers dig brands that understand times have been rough for everyone – they want those brands to get it, and that we are all in this together.
And now, time for some don’ts.
(A little heads up: these are a bit more detailed than the do’s since they include some of today’s modern business terms that need to be illustrated with examples from actual businesses.)
It’s absolutely true when people say today’s consumers deeply care about sustainable and ethical brands, even more so with climate change’s pressing effects now impacting us so severely. However, these consumers are also highly wary of companies that merely pretend to be eco-friendly for show – that’s what we call greenwashing.
Identifying greenwashing isn’t all that difficult; it becomes pretty obvious when a company forcefully pushes their green agenda without genuine commitment, which ends up doing more harm than good for the brand. So, our advice is to embrace sustainability as a core value for your brand, but only if you genuinely believe in it. Nobody wants to pay attention to yet another deceptive campaign that’s already everywhere.
Use Virtue Deception
We miss the time when brands would simply ask consumers if they wanted to buy their products instead of using noble causes as mere marketing tools to sell their goods. Most companies today are trying (probably too hard) to project the illusion of being socially responsible without actually contributing anything.
A good example of this can be seen in the razor-sharp satire in Bo Burnham’s Netflix show Inside, where he talks about a certain cracker brand.
The question is no longer, ‘Do you want to buy Wheat Thins?’ for example. The question is now, ‘Will you support Wheat Thins in the fight against Lyme disease?
The comedy serves as a harsh reminder for brands not to be too pushy with their idea of a mission, or else consumers will see right through you.
We all know trends change faster than the weather, with almost every single thing going viral within seconds on the internet today. Now, we know you get what we’re trying to say here, so let’s wrap this one up real quick.
Consistency is the secret sauce to successful brand marketing. It could be a long, tough game, and if you keep jumping on every new trend that pops up, you’ll lose your grip. The real powerhouses in branding find their groove and stay true to it – so take it as you will.
Tips to Nail Brand Marketing
Let’s get to the meat of the matter. Here are some tips for your brand marketing strategy with examples.
Identify A Brand’s Purpose
To start crafting your brand marketing strategy, you should begin by asking yourself some basic questions:
- What are your company’s goals?
- Who’s your target audience and why?
- What makes you stand out from the rest?
Just jot down some bullet points, and you’ll see how these answers help you build a clear picture of your brand. By doing so, you will be able to convey your message clearly and concisely.
Know Your Niche
When you target a specific niche, you’re specifically honing in on what makes your business stand out. It could mean offering specialized services, catering to a particular audience, or focusing on specific products that perfectly suit your customers’ needs. But why is this ‘niching down’ thing good for business?
Let us break it down for you. First off, you’ll have more time and energy to put into crafting the absolute best products and services for your customers. No wasted resources, no unnecessary expenses – that’s what we’re after. Also, when you’re the go-to expert in your niche, you can charge a premium for your exceptional services, which is definitely a plus.
Another perk is standing out from the crowd. While your competitors try to appeal to everyone, you’re getting noticed with a targeted approach. You know exactly who your audience is, and they know you’re speaking directly to them.
We’re not saying you have to narrow down to just one thing. You can still cater to multiple niches – if that’s what works for your business.
Tell Its Story
We’ve probably heard it a gazillion times: the journey is just as important as the destination, and that applies to marketing too. What we’re trying to tell you is, if your brand has a captivating backstory; a family legacy, heaps of industry experience, or perhaps an overnight success, don’t keep it to yourself – share it with the world.
Take Nike, for instance. Their brand marketing strategy isn’t just about selling shoes; it’s about selling a story. They weave their narrative into everything – from their online shop to their product descriptions to their social media. Nike seizes every chance to tell the story behind their products, their small beginnings, or their awesome ideas.
Create Your Visual Identity
Having a strategy is super crucial when you’re deciding how your brand should look visually. For instance, picking colors is not just about your personal preferences. Color psychology (we know this sounds like something straight out of a textbook) has a lot to do with it.
Let us break it down for you. Certain colors have vibes linked to them, and it’s backed by science. For example:
- Blue gives off dependability and trust, making it the most meaningful color (and the most popular, perhaps).
- Yellow brings brightness, warmth, and optimism.
- Black and white scream simplicity, confidence, and class.
So, when you choose your brand colors, take the time to give them some careful thought. Keep in mind that these colors will be everywhere – on your logo, website, design mockup, and so on.
Use Smart Naming Conventions
We totally agree that branding is way more than just a brand’s name (although some people still think it’s just that). Yet we can’t deny that most consumers, including us, love clever, coherent naming conventions.
Apple is a perfect example of this. Their star products are so iconic that people started calling every smartphone an ‘iPhone’ and every tablet an ‘iPad’. It’s all thanks to their killer, consistent naming game. Those moves help Apple create massive awareness for their products – kudos to their vision.
Find Brand Ambassadors
We humans and bees have one thing in common – we’re social animals. Most of the time we like to work in groups, just like our black and yellow friends. There is, however, a little difference here. Bees aren’t really swayed by some of their mates who seem more aspirational than others in their clan, unlike humans.
We think you get how humans’ minds work – we love recommendations and inspiration from others – and your brand marketing strategy can totally benefit from this. Get some brand ambassadors on board, maybe build a team of representatives. Look for influencers with a solid rep (don’t forget to do a background check) and a persona or lifestyle that vibes with your brand.
Similar to what we said earlier about how humans like to stay connected with each other, your customers love to interact with brands. So, obviously, your strategies need to involve creating brand engagement.
With that being said, hop on social media, connect with people, give thanks to your customers, and open up new channels for chats. Keep your clients in the loop, and the neat gimmick is to maintain that tone and style consistent throughout all the touchpoints.
Be a Part of Community
Why is this even important, you may ask? Well, it’s all about differentiating yourself from all the big companies. Basically, getting involved with your local community makes your brand more relatable and appealing to customers.
Here are some cool ideas for businesses to embrace their community. You can connect with other owners of small businesses, join local events, show off your valued customers on social media, or even sponsor kids’ sports teams in your neighborhood. All these moves will bring you closer to your customers and make them want to support your business more than ever before.
As a business owner, you’ve got a million things on your plate, and one important thing that should be on your list is brand marketing, no matter how big or small your business is.
Now, it’s no secret that doing all of this alone is impossible, and you’re bound to seek out some help along the way. We understand, though. Not everyone’s wallet can afford a marketing consultant, so it’s important for you to have an idea of what it’s like in the marketing field. Even if you have a team of marketing experts, at the end of the day, it’s you, the brand owner, who makes the final call.