Even before we were all stuck in this COVID-coma, during which every day feels like Groundhog Day, toilet-paper might as well be a form of currency, and Zoom has become a household name, brands have been competing for the limelight. And they were going about it in lots of different ways. Now though – the strongest brands have figured out that marketing is what is keeping them not only afloat, but thriving.
So how are they doing it?
Let’s just cut to the chase. Content marketing is in fact one of the key ways that brands get themselves noticed. Videos, webinars, podcasts and social media, including advertising and more have all become crucial in guiding consumers to brands.
And, traditional print media still plays a vital role in how people absorb advertising and various types of content. Different audiences react differently to various touch points and reaching them with the best method means everything for their success.
All of this content is great – but consumers are, especially now (more than ever? ugh…), uber-cautious as to where they will spend their hard-earned dollars. So even if the content reaches them at the right place and the right time, they’re not willing to trust just any old claim.
People know what’s up. They do their own research, they read and even base entire purchase decisions on reviews. They take risks on free trials, demos and more – just to see if they have a good brand experience (which is exactly what they’re doing – whether they know it or not.)
It’s crucial that wherever the brand finds them, whether on social, on TV, on a billboard or online, that it makes a good and lasting impression. All of these content pieces—blog posts, ebooks, videos, podcasts and more— help them get a warm, fuzzy feeling by letting them get to know the brand inside and out.
Brands are appealing to our subconscious – through alluring visuals and smart written content. Without thoughtful content—and in a consistent fashion—all credibility goes out the window. Bottom line – the experience must be positive no matter what.
Moreover, brands have a responsibility to provide us value as well as to bestow a connection to their mission and vision. And even though the economy has taken a downturn, people and companies are still spending money, albeit with a more conscious prerogative and future-thinking judgement.
“Consumers feel that when they use a product or service of a socially responsible company, they are doing their part. Corporate social responsibility helps build trust, raise awareness, and encourage social change. “
And an investment from them today could create advocates for brands tomorrow. When the post-COVID economy bounces back, and it will, the cream will likely rise to the top.
Ok – we’ve established that the benefits of strong branding are many, so dive a bit deeper into some of the benefits that will get brands through the situation at hand now, and build a foundation for later.
Without further ado…strong brands can:
Create customer loyalty.
Repeat customers are profitable customers. We all know this. Did you know that Apple has done this so well that 78% of customers who have an iPhone say they can’t imagine having another phone. That’s astonishing. But what if you’re not Apple? How do you go about creating these kinds of brand advocates? The answer is with a brand that makes customers feel fulfilled, inspired, and valued.
Make you less sensitive to pricing
Speaking of Apple….if you can get the point across that your brand is solving the challenges and delighting customers beyond their expectations, they’ll be more likely to spend discretionary funds on your product. Perhaps a good example of this is that Starbucks can charge upwards of five bucks for a cuppa joe. It’s all about perception of their brand. Is their coffee actually better and therefore worth the extra few dollars? It’s all in the eye of the beholder and the marketing that the beholder has seen!
Whether it’s convenience, style, or a specific niche benefit, how you communicate with your customers can truly make a difference when they go to pull out their wallets. Great marketing combined with thoughtful creative can make the price seem right.
Increase trials of a new product.
If you’ve spent any amount of time surfing the internet for the latest new thing you’ve had your eye on, you can attest to the fact that a good-looking website, slick video, or clever social media campaigns can really do some swaying.
These are just a few of the features of a strong brand. Because your brand [should be] a well-rounded experience, you’ll need to curate various content elements that all appeal to your core audience at various touchpoints.
The most successful brands are the ones that buyers are willing to take a risk on. If they feel reassured by your first impression, chances are they’ll take a leap of faith and try what you’re offering. And if they’re happy with their purchase the first time, research has shown they’ll return. (See #1)
Increase support from your trade partners.
We know that a well-rounded and well-designed brand can do a lot to increase customer loyalty, but you should also explore how good branding can also better relationships with your business and trade partners.
When you’re able to partner with other businesses in an adjacent market, it can boost your credibility, up brand visibility and ultimately drive more sales.
Provide focus for your marketing efforts
When you spend time honing your brand by starting out with a good plan, defining goals, and specifying objectives and opportunities for growth, you’ll be able to tackle initiatives with clarity and foresight.
Remember, a brand isn’t just about the visuals, in fact only about 20% of your overall brand has visual elements. If you think about your brand as an iceberg, the majority of it lies under the water. It’s these parts that help you zoom in on how to communicate to your audience appropriately and effectively.
Allow you to attract the resources you need such as talent and capital
Guess what. That trust you’ve built up with your brand doesn’t just translate into relationships with customers, it also helps you appeal to investors and potential employees.Polished brand systems attract people because they feel comfortable engaging with your company because of what they see for themselves as viable, credible, and successful.
Are instrumental in developing strategic partnerships.
Businesses who seek partners are looking for other businesses they know will uphold their end of the agreement and compliment what they offer. If your brand has a great following and is a knowledgeable source of information and products or services, this helps the partnership grow and provide mutually beneficial outcomes.
Act as a powerful tool for guiding decision making.
We’ve mentioned this time and time again, but your brand is a decision-making tool. Both the visuals and the messages working together as a whole, is a strong influencer for buyers. Without a brand, there’s nothing to provide any credibility or trust. Brands must grab attention, nurture leads, and create conversations that eventually lead to purchases.
So there you have it. If you’re ready to set the foundation for a brand with muscle, get in touch today.
A Workbook for Startups
A powerful and comprehensive conversation-starting tool for developing your brand’s core messages. You’ll need this before you start working on anything visual.