Following the lead of successful companies can help the branding efforts of businesses of all sizes.
Brands are worth a lot. Why else would major publications spend so much time trying to figure out what brands are worth and then publishing the value? Every year, several magazines publish a list of the world’s most valuable brands. This year, the coveted spot was taken by Apple, which was valued at over $180 billion.
What does that mean? What does it mean when a brand is considered “valuable?” Well, if you tried to sell a product better than what Apple was already churning out, you wouldn’t be able to get as much interest generated in your product as if it were an Apple product. Even if you were selling a gadget that was way ahead of its time and basically put Apple to shame, as long as you were an unknown brand, you just wouldn’t gain significant traction.
Marketers understand the value of brands — that’s why they’re always thinking of innovative ways to build their brands. How you position your brand in the market can be critical to the success of your business. Coca-Cola, for example, saw a massive increase in its brand popularity when it launched its “Share a Coke” marketing campaign.
Successful businesses understand the importance of brand marketing and the lessons they can learn from other brands that have been there and done it. That is why we compiled a list of seven lessons you can immediately implement from some of the greatest brand marketing campaigns around the world.
- Creating the User Experience
Brand marketing is usually less about tactics and more about strategy. One strategy you should always look to promote is making the user experience a crucial part of your brand.
For example, have you ever tried to search for some variation of the “iPhone unboxing” key phrase on YouTube? You will typically find millions of results, with views typically in the hundreds of thousands and even millions. Apple is well known for having revolutionized the unboxing process. They even have a room where the designers will try out different combinations for the packaging that will make the unboxing process as emotional as possible for the users.
As a tech company, it might seem like there’s no need for Apple to place too heavy a focus on the unboxing experience. However, Apple understands that the experience of the user when interacting with their products is more important than any features they could ever pack into their products.
- User Engagement Equals User Support
The most clever brand marketers realize that involving users in their products can be very effective in getting their brands and products to stick in the minds of users. Coca-Cola is one such brand that has taken ownership of this strategy with many of its marketing campaigns.
The “Share a Cooke” marketing campaign was officially launched in Australia in 2011. It featured common first names in the country where the campaign was running. The campaign was a runaway success in Australia; so successful, in fact, that the campaign later spread to more than 80 other countries.
The campaign had numerous benefits for Coca-Cola. Photos with the #Shareacoke hashtag were shared more than 500,000 times, virtual “Share a Coke” bottles were shared online over 6 million times, Coca-Cola’s followers on Facebook increased by 25 million, and Coca-Cola consumption among young adults went up by 7 percent, among numerous other benefits.
All of this shows that when you involve your customers in the formulation of your brand, they will help to promote it. They will feel like they are part of something bigger and they are likely to want to recruit their friends and family into the brand family.
- Make your Users Emotional
People can forget what you say and do, but they rarely forget how you make them feel. You might be feeling a little apprehensive about whether your brand should be trying to make users emotional. However, there is an example of a brand that successfully pulled it off and reaped the fruits.
Nike has worked very hard to make their brand look cool and to make people feel great when they wear Nike products. From the way the products are designed, to the types of brand ambassadors that Nike picks for its products, to the way they craft their product ads, Nike works very hard to be consistent in the way they make people feel about Nike products.
From the athletes who endorse Nike products to the “Just do it” motto for which Nike is famous, Nike products have always been more about the feeling you get when you wear them than their specific features.
Nike’s strategy of inspiring greatness in its customers has been so powerful and consistent that other great business leaders like Steve Jobs have admitted that it is, indeed, genius.
At the end of the day, people don’t just feel like they simply bought a Nike shoe when they purchase one. They feel instead like they bought into greatness — like they bought greatness itself. So, think about the same for your brand marketing efforts. What are people buying when they buy your brand? How does it make them feel?
- Always Get People Talking
When it comes to branding, attention matters. Take GoDaddy, which has managed to court a lot of attention in what many consider a dry industry. With their Super Bowl ads, they have managed to increase their customers to 17 million and generate revenues of $2.2 billion. They purposely make their ads controversial so people start to talk about them, even if it is negative talk. That way, they have slowly built their brand to become the leading domain registrar in the world.
- Use Technology to Change Customer Behavior
We tend to form habits because they have become both comfortable and convenient over time. If you want to influence the behaviors of people, therefore, you have to make it both comfortable and convenient for them. Consider the SheBoard – Raised by Words project, which emphasized that, since words influence our beliefs and thoughts, we can change these by changing our vocabulary. SheBoard is, therefore, a predictive keyboard that suggests words which promote female independence, leadership, and creativity. The project has seen quite a lot of success and is changing views around the world.
- Take User Experience beyond Your Product
Have you ever wondered why IKEA has a restaurant and play space for kids? It’s a furniture brand, so why would it provide these things that have little to do with furniture? All you have to do is ask IKEA customers about their experience with the brand and they’ll tell you the restaurant features are an important part of how good they feel about the brand. IKEA has built their brand around the twin principles of satisfaction and comfort, and so they focus on making their users feel like they’re doing more than just buying furniture at an IKEA store. They actually feel like they’re entering a stress-free zone.
- Use Stories to Promote Your Brand
The power of storytelling is not lost on the best brand marketers. Microsoft promoted their IE9 browser with an animated story dubbed “The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator.” They then invited users at the end of the story to contribute some ideas through an interactive hub that implemented the IE9 browser. In the process, they got over 600,000 visitors, 1.7 million downloads of IE9, and an increase in its market share in the browser market.
Storytelling has a way of getting ideas and points across much more powerfully than facts or dry lists. If you really want to promote your brand to people, tell it through a story.
Brand marketing will always be an evolving area of marketing where new ideas come up all the time. However, there are always those tried and true strategies that have stood the test of time. Implement them with your brand and the sky will be the limit.
Written by: Jacob Dillon
Jacob Dillon is an editor and journalist at EssaysOnTime. Being passionate about what he does, Jacob likes to discuss stirring events as well as express his opinion about technological advancements and evolution of society. Find Jacob on Twitter and Facebook.