brand-marketing

Brand Marketing is an all-encompassing, constantly evolving strategy. It defines a brand’s approach to communications, sales, and products by promoting products and services in a way that highlights the overall brand.

Earlier this year, I had the chance to interview Anthony Gray at a conference about his insights on successful branding for businesses as well as individuals. In doing so I learned some key facts about marketing for brands. Among other things he mentioned were the following:

Much of messaging costs are determined by how much time it takes to communicate with potential customers. Mr. Gray feels that there should be more emphasis on money spent on advertising instead of spending money marketing brands themselves since “it’s not strategic. It’s tactical.”

The first step to creating a better brand is to identify the real reasons behind the brand. Instead of thinking of brands as individual company names, consider what they are known for or what image they want to achieve. From here, you will be able to create a marketing strategy that emphasizes the goals of your business. This will help you create awareness, interest, and participation in your brand.

If you want to create a successful brand, there are three key ingredients: consistency, relevance and engagement. You need consistency so customers know what you are about and can trust your message. Relevance is key because without it customers won’t pay attention to what you are trying to communicate about yourself or your brand.

What is Brand Marketing ?

Brand Marketing is the process of creating, communicating and delivering a message or relationship with your brand to groups or individuals, which creates a new awareness, desire, and/or loyalty for your brand. This method is based on identification and differentiation versus generic companies. 

What are the key Concepts in Brand Marketing ?

1. Product : Product is the content of your message (what you do, what you offer);

2. People : People are the audience;

3. Place : Place is where you create your message;

4. Time : Time is when your message is conveyed;

5. Visual : Visual refers to images, graphics, etc.;

6. Audio : Audio refers to voice, voice print and audio recordings as means of communication 

The three Ps in Brand Marketing: position , personality and promise

  1. Position

The company position expresses the company’s place in a given market place relative to its competitors.

It establishes the company’s image and provides the essential structure upon which to build all other marketing activities.

Positioning begins with a clear understanding of your target market and your competitive set within that market. In consumer markets, consider your brand as a product or service perceived by customers. In business markets, consider your brand as a product, service, or company perceived by its customers, suppliers and distributors – all of which have an interest in how they are seen by others in the industry.

  1. Personality

A brand is the sum total of all of the images, impressions, and associations attached to an organization. Personas are also called “segments” or “target markets.” The segments may be natural (like genders) or artificial (like age, social class). Personas allow you to focus on how your brand is perceived by each segment. Personas are based on insights gained from the research of an audience, whether they are consumers, employees or customers.

Personalities help you determine what will make your brand stand out; they guide you towards new thinking and innovations that will keep your company moving forward.

  1. Promise

The promise is the reason why you should buy your product over another similar one. It’s the “hook” that will make people notice your brand instead of the other one. It’s important to determine what you want to promise because once it’s out there, you have to keep it no matter what happens.

Businesses need a clear strategy for identifying, analyzing, and effectively communicating their brands in order to position themselves both visibly and intelligently in the marketplace. The mix of public relations activities supporting all marketing efforts can be considered as part of a larger integrated communications program. An effective integrated communications program requires careful planning to ensure consistency throughout all messages sent across all media at all times so as not to confuse or mislead target audiences.

What are the goals of brand marketing?

1. Make brand awareness – A brand is the sum total of all of the images, impressions, and associations attached to an organization. Personas are also called “segments” or “target markets.” The segments may be natural (like genders) or artificial (like age, social class). Personas allow you to focus on how your brand is perceived by each segment. Personas are based on insights gained from the research of an audience, whether they are consumers, employees or customers.

2. Create desire for brand – This means you’ve created awareness of your brand so now people want to buy what you sell so they go out and seek it out; they’re looking for your product; they’re buying it; they’re using it.

3. Build brand knowledge – Brand knowledge is the sum total of all people’s perceptions and expectations about your brand. You can increase brand awareness by involving professionals like advertisers and public relations professionals in promoting your product or service.

4. Build customer loyalty – The goal of building customer loyalty is to keep customers coming back, coming back again and buying your product over those of competitors. It’s a way to make repeated sales without them having to go out and search for you again.

5. Creating brand engagement – Engagement is the act of drawing customers into the brand experience. This can be achieved by creating unique features, promoting innovative campaigns or communicating specific values through your brand positioning.

6. Gathering brand ambassadors – Your brand ambassadors are your employees, customers, and suppliers. These people are expected to be communications managers for your brand. Engaged people take more satisfaction from brands they have been a part of, and they have the energy to spread the word about your brand to others. Every day they use- positive or negative – ALL the time in ALL areas of their lives, which is called a brand promise.

What’s the difference between branding and marketing, and which comes first?

Marketing is the art of communicating a brand. This involves creating a memorable experience for your customers.

Branding is the science of communicating your brand. This involves creating an unforgettable experience for customers.

What are some common goals of building a brand?

1. Create awareness – A brand is the sum total of all of the images, impressions, and associations attached to an organization. Personas are also called “segments” or “target markets.” The segments may be natural (like genders) or artificial (like age, social class). Personas allow you to focus on how your brand is perceived by each segment. Personas are based on insights gained from the research of an audience, whether they are consumers, employees or customers.

2. Create desire for brand – This means you’ve created awareness of your brand so now people want to buy what you sell so they go out and seek it out; they’re looking for your product; they’re buying it; they’re using it.

3. Build brand knowledge – Brand knowledge is the sum total of all people’s perceptions and expectations about your brand. You can increase brand awareness by involving professionals like advertisers and public relations professionals in promoting your product or service.

4. Build customer loyalty – The goal of building customer loyalty is to keep customers coming back, coming back again and buying your product over those of competitors. It’s a way to make repeated sales without them having to go out and search for you again.

5. Creating brand engagement – Engagement is the act of drawing customers into the brand experience. This can be achieved by creating unique features, promoting innovative campaigns or communicating specific values through your brand positioning.

6. Gathering brand ambassadors – Your brand ambassadors are your employees, customers, and suppliers. These people are expected to be communications managers for your brand. Engaged people take more satisfaction from brands they have been a part of, and they have the energy to spread the word about your brand to others. Every day they use- positive or negative – ALL the time in ALL areas of their lives, which is called a brand promise. 

Best brand marketing strategies in the business

There are two basic approaches to marketing, product-oriented and relationship-oriented.

First Approach

The First approach is product-oriented marketing. Product-oriented marketing focuses on how to provide existing or potential consumers with products that will satisfy their needs and wants, at the right time, at the right price, in the right place. This is also known as direct marketing. The goal of this type of marketing is to make a sale or generate leads for direct sales or contractual follow up. It focuses on short term results and immediate consumption.

Second Approach

The second approach is relationship-oriented marketing. Relationship marketing focuses on building long term relationships with current and future consumers who are satisfied by the business’s service offerings. The goal of this type of marketing is to ensure the growth and longevity of a business, and maximize its profitability.

Brand advocates are members of the target audience who have a positive emotional feeling towards the brand. They proselytize, spread positivity and enthusiasm about the brand.

Brand advocates are different from other consumers because they use the product(s) without any question as to value or price, but because they believe that it will solve their problems or that it will provide an advantage over competitors. This group of people could be considered ideal customers since they tend to define themselves by their membership with a brand-oriented group instead of with their membership in an individual consumer market segment.

Creative professionals such as advertising agencies and graphic designers can help build a brand’s identity by creating a visual identity, such as a logo, slogan or symbol that conveys the brand’s messaging.

10 Best brand marketing strategy

If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the crowd and capture more attention, here are ten ways that you can probably find success with.

1. Spotify: Offer a Different User Experience

If you’re looking to be different from all of the other brands out there, a great place to start is by offering a different user experience altogether.

For Spotify, their answer was to allow users to stream music for free.

This may seem like a no-brainer now but at the time, it made Spotify stand out from all of their peers who were charging for music streaming. In addition, it forced them to do things that other companies weren’t necessarily doing as well as them such as putting together playlists and ads that focused more on what they thought their users wanted rather than what they thought advertisers wanted (looking at you Pandora).

2. Bounty: Surprise Your Audience

The next big idea is to surprise your audience with something they didn’t expect.

Bounty’s answer came in the form of a “for women only” ad campaign that included a women’s oriented commercial and a pink version of their product, both of which were pretty surprising for a company known for its paper towels and napkins.

It definitely got their audience talking and it definitely gained them some extra attention from the media all while they avoided the negative attention that has come with companies like Heineken when they also attempted to target female viewers. In fact, Bounty’s campaign is still one of the most successful examples out there in terms of surprising sticking to sticking to their typical audience.

3. Sephora: Work Your Loyalty Programs

The next big idea is to work your loyalty programs in order to make sure that your consumers are loyal to you.

For Sephora, they were already providing great service in their stores with makeup advice, perfume advice and the like but when the recession hit, they decided to put their money where it mattered most. They took their loyalty points system that every store had and raised the point requirements for good deals.

This forced customers to spend more in order to get something back in return which certainly prevented some of them from shopping at Macy’s or other stores where they would have still gotten a great deal even if they didn’t earn any points back for it.

4. GoPro: Trust User-Generated Content

The next big idea is to trust user-generated content.

For GoPro, they knew that if they allowed users to share their videos online, customers would be more inclined to use the camera since that would give them the chance to share their videos with all of their friends. The result was an explosion in popularity as customers wanted to show off what they could do with the video camera. Since then, GoPro has also gotten into the drone business which capitalizes on this idea even further.

5. Nike: Sponsor Your Favorite Athletes

The next big idea is to sponsor your favorite athletes.

Nike is really the king of this idea and rightfully so. Before they became a popular brand, Nike were known for taking on athletes that had yet to become household names such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. So when these athletes took off, it helped propel Nike into the spotlight as well.

Since then, they’ve also continued to polish this strategy with LeBron James and many other athletes who have gone on to win/excel in their respective sports. If you’re looking to become more successful, it obviously helps to have more success behind you first before you can sell your products on it so this is a good idea for anyone who is looking to be able to do so.

6. Red Bull: Create a Spectacle

The next big idea is to create a spectacle.

Red Bull gets a lot of attention for their events and their energy drinks but they were able to bring that same level of memorable experiences to very few sports. By taking on the extreme sports world, they were able to create a spectacle around it which got more people interested in the sport overall. In fact, Red Bull has been so successful with this idea that they’ve now spread out into all sorts of other entertainment including concerts and movies as well as just using it as a marketing strategy on its own.

7. Apple: Build an Experience around What You Sell

The next big idea is to build an experience around what you sell.

Before Apple became a household name, they were mainly known for making music players and laptops. However, to get people to buy them, they decided to take their marketing strategy in a new direction by changing how they did things. Since then, Apple has become the forefront of the mobile marketing industry with their unique approach to selling products (and eventually, anything).

For example, you don’t buy an iPhone because you need an iPhone. You buy an iPhone because it’s an experience that you want to have or that will help bring your other products or services together so that will help sell something else in addition to your phone itself.

8. Myfix Cycles: Retarget Consistently Over Time

The next big idea is to retarget consistently over time.

If you’re a small business, this might sound like a terrible idea but Myfix Cycles has been able to create quite the following for itself by doing just that. The bike manufacturer continues to market their products through video ads as well as other forms of advertising as often as they can in order to keep the name in front of their users’ eyes over and over again because if we’ve learned anything from advertisers, we know that if we see something enough times, we’re eventually bound to buy it whether we like it or not.

9.Twitch: Focus on Your Niche

The next big idea is to focus on your niche.

Twitch is a live streaming service that allows users to watch live video broadcasts from the internet and gamers the world over. This has become a very popular form of entertainment and as such, Twitch has been able to build itself into one of the most popular websites out there and at the same time, garner a large following as well.

However, Twitch isn’t just focused on making gamers happy — it’s also trying to make themselves look good as well because making an entertaining site is one thing but if you don’t make sure that your customers are happy, they’ll leave your site in droves which will cost you not only money but also potential customers.

10. Vogue: Power Your Loyalty Programs

The next big idea is to power your loyalty programs.

Vogue is one of the most successful fashion publications out there and has been for 100 years now so clearly, this is something that they’re doing right. The secret lies in how they’ve used their loyalty program — meaning that they haven’t just given out discounts to people who purchase $100 worth of stuff within a certain amount of time but also give people different levels of discounts if they buy more than $100 worth of products in college, whatever your favorite store may be, etc.

The Evolution Of Brand Marketing

In sum, these are the 10 big ideas that you can use to increase the success of your brand as well as help you to improve on existing strategies. The key with these is that they’re not one size fits all and no matter what kind of brand you’re looking to build, you’ll need to find the right methods for yourself.

Loyalty programs, for example, are a great idea for a lot of brands but there’s also a point where if you give out too many discounts to repeat customers, you’ll likely lose money in the process instead. However, if you do it right, there’s no doubt that these benefits will far outweigh the costs. In fact, it doesn’t even take “10 ideas” to make a brand successful at all.

It just takes one brilliant idea that sticks and then it’s up to you to find that one thing that can bring your brand into the limelight. The rest is just figuring out how to keep it going from there and how to build yourself up from nothing into something great.

What do you think?

What bigger ideas do you believe all companies should follow in order to be successful? What strategies have you used to make your brand succeed? Let’s hear them in the comments below!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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