Ok, so your branding strategy is super important – It could potentially bring you billions of dollars worth of value. But what specific actions do winners take to get their names into the minds of men, women and children across the globe!
If you are FOOLISH with your branding strategy you can rally together hungry new buyers by promoting the spirit, integrity, convenience, and necessity of your products or services. Here’s the foolproof way to be FOOLISH:
To be at the forefront of your industry you need to thrust your name on the world, from corner to corner, pillar to post, website to website, one mind at a time. The only way to gain status is to get your brand in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Then you want to manoeuvre your brand into your prospects eye line at the point of purchase and then you want to get your brand into your prospects eye every time they even think about purchasing.
Think here of the top brands in the world – you know Christmas is around the corner when the fizzy drinks adverts come back on the television, or when you are driving down the motorway and you see services next stop including Costa and McDonald’s instead of coffee and a burger! If you go to the supermarket then Kellogg’s and Heinz are at eye level and the supermarket’s own brand is on the bottom row out of view. The brands we know and love make sure unequivocally that every time we even think about what they are selling we only have eyes for them.
Do you think Nike cares about who you are or where you come from. I don’t think so. What they care about is that regardless of your socio economic background you will be purchasing from them. I have said before money has no prejudices, it doesn’t care and that is the way the global brands think. Yes, I am sure they have a set demographic that buys their products but they want to appeal to everyone.
It can be a little harder when you are first starting out in business as the last think you want to be doing is spending your marketing dollar advertising to the world and his dog. You need each and every dollar to count and that is why you target your audience and understand their needs and drive your message to that demographic. However you do not want to alienate the rest of the market as if you are thinking big then one day the rest of the market will also be your demographic!
When was the last time that you bought a product or service that offered to make your life worse? The chances are you never have, I mean nobody markets or has a branding strategy that states their product has a negative impact on you or your life. That is just counter intuitive. Put simply, we all buy products or services because they will improve a certain aspect of our lives. Brands rely on a positive message brimming with energy, alive with a sense of unlimited opportunity.
Optimism is the brands animating force. How can a company inspire not only the first purchase but repeat purchases after that without offering a realistic promise of a slightly better world?
When I buy a pair of sneakers I at least want a faint glimmer of hope that I might be the next Michael Jordan, yes I know it’s not going to happen but dangle that carrot in my face or an image of a 500lb man being airlifted out of his own bedroom by a crane because he is too big to walk in his sneakers. I would take being Jordan and the brand he represents any day!
Recently, both Louis Vuitton and Gucci have run print ad campaigns focusing on the heritage of their brands. The ads, printed in the newspapers, feature craftsmen working diligently on handbags or shoes. Now when you spend top dollar on a pair of shoes or a handbag it somehow makes you feel more comfortable knowing that your items were crafted by skilled tradesman and not made by an eight year old in a sweat shop somewhere. It legitimizes the brand.
If one of the positive aspects of your business is the fact that you hand craft your products then bring that to life and let your buying public see that for themselves. Shoot a tasteful video showing your workshops and the goods being made then post it on YouTube and let everyone know how proud you are of your business and validate why your customer should be buying from you.
As a business owner you want to make sure that your product or service becomes more and more relevant in the consumer’s daily life. I mean that your consumer can’t go without using your product on a daily or hourly basis. An example of this is Facebook. There was a recent survey conducted in Britain, I think they conducted this survey on “stupid street”, however the results stated that Facebook is more important to a percentage of people than a cup of tea, a shower or a flushing toilet. Like I said, stupid!
Facebook as a brand has positioned itself at the core of its user’s daily life. It is inevitable that at some point nearly every day, and probably more than once, a Facebook user will log into Facebook to update their status or check out their friend’s whereabouts. Facebook has become a necessity in people’s lives and when developing a branding strategy as a business owner that is where you should aspire to be.
When your business has exploded past the tipping point, in order to continue with that level of momentum you need to begin to explore and expand your specific niche. You must define your business and your brand as the single solution in that space and adapt your branding strategy to accommodate this.
Now I know you might scoff at that last statement as there are very few original ideas and even if you do have one it won’t be original for long. But and this is a BIG but……think big, aim to be the only solution, aspire to be the alternative to nothing! You might not get to that position but the direction is what matters.
When Microsoft were working out of a garage or when Apple where in a basement they both envisioned being the ONLY player in the market.
“OMG – you have to check this out this is so funny!” How many times have you heard this sentence? How about this one: “This is so boring you must watch it!” Seriously which one are you more likely to follow through on… Yes the humor!
Only yesterday my girlfriend said to me, “you have to watch this it’s so funny”. After enquiring after what exactly I was being subjected to I was told it was an advert during the X-factor on Saturday night that apparently was getting more comments on Facebook than the show itself.
The advert featured a band called “the Churned” and was for Yeo Valley yoghurt, the band are made to look like farmers and they feed calves, plough fields, ride tractors, serenade cows, drink milk. It’s funny and light hearted way to approach a new market for their natural products. Chances are if they would have just gone on about the natural ingredients then it would never have been mentioned. Yeo Valley have used humor as part of their branding strategy, increasing brand awareness.
Everybody loves to laugh, everybody wants to smile so inject a little humor into your marketing and it can go a long way!
Will you be as well known as some of the brands above? Maybe not, but every action you take makes a statement about you and you don’t need as much money as you think to build a brand. Money will help you extend your reach, but if you understand who you’re trying to reach you can save money by limiting your marketing to those people.