WHY BOTHER WITH BRANDING STRATEGIES & WHAT DOES BRANDING SUCCESS MEAN?
In today’s world, some particular companies have succeeded in becoming highly popular and sought after. Taking Coca-cola as an example, the brand has succeeded in becoming a household name that doesn’t require introduction anywhere. Coca-cola acquires customers that relate to their stories and have become a part of the brand itself.
The brand Coca-cola has succeeded in being able to invoke strong emotions of trust, satisfaction, and loyalty from their customers. Their brand’s success is a result of effective branding strategies that have been implemented over a long period and have been able to yield such results.
WHY IS BRANDING STILL A RELEVANT INVESTMENT IN 2020 AND BEYOND?
Every day new organizations and companies are birthed, and in today’s world, it is essential that you can differentiate your organization from others. You have to stand out because if you do not take your branding seriously, you may end up like a piece of hay in a haystack. Now no one wants that, and it is important that you do something that would make your organization stand out in the crowd.
Technology has impacted today’s world so much that you barely need to go out to get any information. If you aren’t making conscious efforts in 2020 to position your company in the minds of your customers and expect your hopefully amazing product to give you all the recognition you need, then you might want to rethink.
Effective Branding Strategies helps you create:
- Brand recognition: As time goes on, your brand will help your customers identify your business. Having a unique and appealing logo can help your customers identify your brand, and it can make potential customers curious about your brand.
- Brand awareness: This goes beyond recognition, and it is achieved by implementing various branding strategies. This helps your brand stand out from other brands in your niche, and your customers can associate themselves with your product.
- Brand loyalty: as your customers connect and identify with your brand, they can keep coming back for more and also refer and bring new customers to you. However, this doesn’t happen overnight and grows with time as you keep working on your brand.
WHAT KIND OF BRANDING STRATEGIES DO THE BIG BRANDS DO AND WHERE DO THEY FOCUS THE MOST TO INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS AND STRENGTH?
Everyone knows Coca-cola. The question a lot of companies and organizations are asking themselves is, “how does Coca-cola manage to stay relevant?”.
The brand on its own is a household name, and almost everyone has tasted either a glass or a bottle of Coca-cola. But, they did not get there out of pure luck or because Coca-cola is just a great product, they still had to invest in effective branding strategies to give that push.
Other giants that we could refer to are Amazon, Nike, Uber, Google, and others that have been able to make something for themselves over time. Some of the branding strategies put in place by these big brands include:
- BTL & ATL investments.
- Online Presence (blogs, social media).
- They are focusing on delivering an excellent customer experience.
- Unique Value Proposition.
4 BRANDING STRATEGIES THAT ARE STILL APPLICABLE IN 2020 AND BEYOND
ATL (Above the line) advertising
This method of advertising involves advertising a product to the general public. These advertisements are meant for everyone and still are really effective in reaching a wide audience. They help to increase visibility and awareness of brands. Such methods of advertising could be television or via newspapers.
Coca-cola knows everyone would love a cold bottle of Coca-cola after a long and hectic day, so they capitalize on the fact that their product is for everyone and invest in ATL adverts.
BTL (Below the line) advertising
This is a different method of advertising that involves marketing a product to a targeted audience. The campaigns involved in this method of advertising are personal conversations and appeal to the customer on a personal level.
A premium automobile brand like Lamborghini knows quite well that only a certain number of persons possess the means to purchase their product so they can make use of this advertising method to gain sales and return on investments. Below the line marketing can be done through direct mail marketing, radio, and also by the sponsorship of events.
Online Presence (Digital Era Branding)
Different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat now exist as a means of online communication and, of course, as a means of brand awareness buildup.
The big brands are able to take advantage of this opportunity and feed their audience with quality content to boost their sales and popularity.
Nike has been able to stay at the top of the sports footwear game for a while now by ensuring that they are well represented on all social media platforms.
They have a well equipped public relations team that responds swiftly to customers and potential customers and make shopping easy for you by even suggesting footwear that you may like. They constantly update their website and ensure smooth navigation through the website and online store is possible for customers from all works of life.
Many of these big brands collaborate with social media influencers and celebrities to boost their visibility and the value attached to their products. Who wouldn’t want to buy the same shoes that Michael Jordan wore and achieved his dreams of being one of the best basketball players of all time?
Customer Centricity and Experience
Imagine that you love collecting art or buying expensive clothes, and you walked into a gallery/store to buy a single piece of art/dress,etc., for an occasion. As you go inside, you are welcomed like a king, shown around the store by the nicest art/clothes seller who takes their time to explain the different wine options and gives you good reasons why you should buy a particular item while maintaining a lovely smile. I can bet the odds that you would go back to that store the next time you want to purchase art/clothes are quite high.
Customer-centric companies put their customers first and ensure that they deliver an excellent experience from the moment they walk into the store down to the moment the product is used. They believe in the “customer is king” culture and treat their customers with respect while ensuring their maximum satisfaction and happiness.
Customer-centric companies are geared towards making the customer happy even before they purchase the product. They ensure that their websites are well stocked with useful information that can entice potential customers.
They ensure that their customers can reach them through multiple means and reply promptly and nicely. Some of these companies have a 24/7 customer care system that is always ready to supply customers with information and help them out in any way possible.
People make their buying choices from a place of emotion and memorable experiences connect to that vein and help keep your customers loyal and spur them to become ambassadors of your brand, recommending it to others. That’s the power of delivering an excellent customer experience as part of your branding strategy!
The popular phrase “Just Do It” made popular by Nike allows its customers to feel that they can achieve anything as long as they are putting on a pair of Nike footwear. The company encourages customers to surpass their limits and go beyond to achieve their dreams.
Unique value proposition
An excellent value proposition should tell your customers the following:
- What problem your product solves.
- Why they should buy from you and not from your competitors.
- What benefits they can expect from buying your product.
Taking Apple’s iPhone as an example, Apple focuses on the value of the iPhone and makes the customer aware that they are purchasing more than “just” a smartphone. Apple hammers on the fact that using the iPhone is a whole new experience on its own and goes on to convince its customers that using the device provides an experience that no other smartphone offers.
EXAMPLES OF SOME OF THE BIG BRANDS AND WHAT THEY ARE DOING
The big brands we all love and admire didn’t become household names overnight. They have implemented a lot of effective branding strategies to position themselves in the hearts of their customers as well as delivering a product with top quality. Some of these brands include:
Airbnb: Airbnb, the online platform where homeowners can rent out their homes or even a portion of their homes to anyone in need of accommodation, especially travelers. They are all about customer satisfaction. For Airbnb, without the customer, there is no brand. They give customers the ability to share their stories from using the platform and always seek new and faster ways to connect hosts and guests together.
Nike: The slogan “Just Do It” is one that many people have become very familiar with. Nike puts itself ahead of other brands in its niche by providing high-quality footwear and accessories for its customers while making them feel like they are purchasing an entire experience.
Nike makes proper use of social media and has one of the best and well-organized websites and online stores. By doing all of this, and including constant collaboration with celebrities and fashion statements around the world while maintaining high-quality merchandise, has placed them at the top of the sports footwear industry, and it doesn’t look like they will be slowing down anytime soon.
With the constant noise and distractions out there, people are more prone to buy what comes first, as everyone promises an excellent product/service. Having strong branding strategies for your business, has become paramount for businesses (especially new businesses) to gain momentum or, to keep themselves in the game.
Not many people will include customer experience as one of the pillars of a great branding strategy, but remember this, if people don’t love your brand/service/product, they’ll be less likely to come back for more or refer others to you.
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING
Michael Brenner. HOW TO REPLICATE THE SUCCESS OF THE BEST BRANDS IN CONTENT MARKETING.