Think of a popular sports brand… Some of the common names that spring to mind probably include Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, or, if you’re Queen Bey stans like us, Ivy Park. Now ask yourself why these answers come up from people across the world? If you’re thinking it’s because of their iconic commercials, you’re close! Simply put, each of these companies has an effective marketing and brand strategy.
If you want your brand to be top-of-mind when discussing names in your industry, keep reading to find out how to create a top-ranking brand marketing strategy.
Tomato, tomahto, right? Well, not so fast. This simple term is often misunderstood as people tend to overlook the broader picture. A brand is more than a name, a logo, and a slogan. While these elements are part of a brand, there is more to it. To understand brand strategy and marketing, you first need to know exactly what a brand is.
A brand is essentially an entire representation of who you are and what you offer consumers. This includes how you position yourself in the market, your business operations, who your ideal customers are, and how your business is viewed by consumers.
Marketing is all about making a brand popular by increasing the reputation and trustworthiness of the company. This is not done by simply placing a logo in as many places as possible (though we wish it were that easy sometimes). Successful marketing is done by humanizing the brand and creating an emotional connection with the audience; it is showing your customers exactly who you are as a brand as well as who you will be in the future. It should also portray your values and who your consumers can be if they buy your product.
Let’s think of Under Armour. You might associate their name with Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock,” or the most bookable man in Hollywood right now), who is the face of the company.
What comes to mind when you think of him? He’s fit, funny, wealthy, successful, kind, passionate, soft hearted (remember him singing You’re Welcome to his daughter? We melted.) He is the kind of person that people aspire to be, and Under Amour knows this. By using Dwayne Johnson as its face, Under Amour not only reinforces its brand mission statement (“to make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation”) but it creates an undeniable human connection with it’s potential customers. They want to be Dwayne Johnson, so they buy Under Amour products to feel like Dwayne Johnson. And that, my friends, is the power of brand strategy and marketing.
Creating a successful brand strategy for your business is essential to increasing your consumer base. The way you present your brand to the market will determine who buys from your business and how trustworthy you become.
Before you can effectively communicate to your audience about your brand’s values and personality, you need to know who you are first. To create an authentic personality of your brand, you should ask yourself “what do I want my company to be known for?” This should be a detailed personification of your brand.
Under Armour positions itself as an innovative and passionate brand. Coca-Cola aims to be known for providing happiness and joy to consumers. Apple is known for thinking differently and being a leading innovator in the industry (and a constant source of pain for our wallets :)).
What will your brand be known for?
Once you know who your brand is, you can effectively choose the right target audience. This audience can be made up of different groups of consumers. These are the people who will be buying your product the most. But thinking that your target audience is anyone who will buy your product is one of the biggest mistakes we see clients make.
As someone once told us, you need to “find the Mormon knitters in Utah,” who are are using your product or services. Developing highly specific target audiences will allow you to focus on the people who are most likely to convert. This will guide your brand messaging and ultimately your brand strategy. Instead of targeting all athletes for an athletic brand, be more specific. Research demographic and psychological factors when creating these personas.
Knowing who you are speaking to will help you understand how to speak to your target audience.
Now that you know who you’re speaking to, you need to know what to say to them. Since your target audience may consist of various demographics, you can adapt this message. However, the message should remain consistent across the board, so only change how you deliver it to the different target audiences.
It is vital that your brand’s ideals and message are consistent on every platform. Using the right creative process can help you develop this message and portray it on all platforms.
Developing your brand message is easy with help from the right people (aka us).
People respond well to positive emotions. We know what you’re thinking: “Thank you Captain Obvious for that groundbreaking idea.” But it’s true and especially important to keep in mind when building your brand marketing strategy. Your messaging should evoke strong emotions in your audience. Emotions affect buyer behavior by encouraging consumers to act. There are plenty of emotions to draw from to entice consumers and increase brand loyalty.
A good example is a belongingness created through a community that your consumers can connect with. A good example is Lego Ideas which allows consumers to submit new designs for new lego creations.
Emotional customers make decisions faster.
Once you have created your marketing strategy, the job is not done yet (let’s be honest, it never is). You need to begin implementing campaigns and tracking the success or failures. It is essential to track the feedback and adjust the campaign if elements are not working.
It’s better to accept failure and make changes than to stick with a campaign that your audience does not engage with. Make changes and re-launch campaigns to better connect with your audience.
Go back to the drawing board when a campaign fails.
Spending time to develop a good brand strategy will make your brand the “It thing” and set your business apart from your competitors.
First, identify your brand’s personality as well as your target audience. Then develop a consistent brand message using emotions, and launch your campaigns. Don’t forget to track and adjust where you find mistakes.
Your brand’s success depends on your marketing strategies, which should adapt to keep up with the values of your target audience.
Are you ready to build your brand or marketing strategy? Rule29 is here to make it happen. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you make your brand the next best thing.