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by Graeme Benge on 22nd April 2014
When is a fruit not a fruit? It struck me when sticking a hashtag on a tweet the other day – to some an Apple is a fruit second, and a gadget brand first. This is what great branding is all about! By leveraging your audience, you can create your own brand. Here’s what your business needs to know.
To a certain growing ilk of people, there is a virtual electronic fruit bowl vying for a share of your wallet/purse – Apple, Orange, Blackberry and the like. There isn’t enough fruit however for every company to grab one as a company name. Branding though remains a vital part of establishing yourself in the consumer’s environment.
Branding now though needs to be backed up by a great product or a product that people will talk about so it is vital that you are able to convey the message, the benefit of your service or product very clearly. You can put your audience to work for you by finding those evangelists that are happy to talk about you to their friends and family, of which there are likely to be more prospects.
Talked about brands marry their product benefits with their audience’s needs and generate endorsement of their credibility. It isn’t always as easy as that as you can’t please anyone. Your evangelists however help you manage this by balancing negative sentiment with positive testimonials they themselves have experienced.
This though provides opportunity to demonstrate your attitude towards your customers. Showing transparency as well as consistency will convert your audience into a company asset. People will decide to either come with you or not. Those that do become your word of mouth marketers and they also should be treated as an advice service. Take heed of their opinion of product features, pricing and messaging. To assume after all is to ahem…etc…
Brands that are most easily recalled have tapped into the need people have to create their own brand, from what they wear to what team they support and what phone they use. Finding that emotional sweet spot is vital. If you understand your audience’s aspirations you can tailor the content you use to talk to them and even more importantly you can give them the product that they want. Apple stands out here. People wanted a device, but they wanted it to be simple to use. iPhones and iPod above all were seen as easy-to-use so people raved about them subsequently creating aspiration. Delight your customers and they’ll market for you.
Brands that are listening and motivating their audience to buy and to tell people about their experience serve to solidify user loyalty.
Buzzfeed over the past 18 months or so has plagued my social networks like a bunch of locusts. But this is because they have found a terrific blend of click bait with a quite comprehensive range of topics clearly ‘findable’ for users, be it politics, celeb gossip or those annoying cat GIFs! Now they’re known almost as a portal for ‘interesting’ content for so many; their audience take the (not so subtle) social sharing prompts and markets the content even further than Buzzfeed could manage.
Vanish, a UK stain remover, rolled out the Vanish Tip Exchange, a community hosted by Vanish themselves on a website and also via a Facebook app, to provide people with solutions to clothes stains. The community works simply; you either have a stain you can’t remove or you have a tip that others can benefit from. Users answer each other’s questions and to date what essentially is a product that goes under the sink has 128 thousand likes. (Top tip: most stains seem to do OK with a bit of varnish)
Taylor Guitars responded to United Breaks Guitars debacle by going out with a video including some useful tips on transporting guitars on aeroplane trips. Now some cried out that they should have given Dave Carroll a new guitar – what a marketing coup that would have been! But as well as it not being their mistake, they would have missed the opportunity to display their expertise to their audience by addressing the fears of so many musicians. This type of behaviour is priceless when it comes to generating brand loyalty and goodwill.
Being a blog that has Digital Marketing for businesses at its heart it would be worthwhile to cover how websites can understand how much value their brands bring to them.
Sam wrote a comprehensive piece on State of Digital, compiling a suite of Google Analytics tools. In this piece you can learn how to monitor both positive and negative brand sentiment, future proof yourself by setting up brand alerts, as well as Social media interaction analysis. You can find the post in full here: Online Brand Management using Google Analytics The link for the Brand Monitoring Dashboard is here.
Dashboardjunkie has a great dashboard that provides a top level view of AdWords performance at a combined, branded and non-branded levels. Grab that dashboard here; AdWords Brand vs Non-Brand Google Analytics Dashboard, remember to edit your brand terms within the widget configurations.
Real time brand monitoring courtesy of Topsy allows you to keep on top of what the social web is saying about your brand. Couple analysis if this with a TalkWalker account that alerts you periodically (as you decide) to brand mentions that are found across the web, to give you every possible opportunity to manage any situation.
Branding to the point of redefining a word on some levels is impressive but does it provide much commercial value? If the answer to ‘what is your best asset?’ is your brand then this presents an opportunity for your products to catch up. Take a look at your audience, listen to them and take action. That’s where the promised land lies.
Metal Branding Brand Glowing Red via BigStock