Developing a product may take some time, but creating a brand takes ages.
Branding is all about owning a little space in the customer’s mind. But, it takes the hard work of employees, top management, distributors, and sometimes even the industry opinion, to make a brand. With such noisy media out there, filled with brands, and with such low attention spans, the time you get to create magic with your brand is probably very less.
The brand name is supposed to provide a personality to the product/service. So, if your brand has replaced the generic name of the product, you can tick the box of branding done right.
When the Photocopier became Xerox, when the aerated drink became Coke, when it came to a point from where it wasn’t just coffee, it was Starbucks- the world exclaimed, branding done right.
To carve a niche is one thing, and to make that niche remembered with your brand name is another.
So what to do, to replace an entire product category with your brand name?
How to get that space in the consumer’s mind?
How to become the brand which is heard in this noisy market?
Well, to be honest, there are no thumb rules to that.
What may have worked for some brand, might not work for yours.
This is primarily because every brand has its own story, its own personality. And depending on this aura of the brand, the communications would differ.
To get things handy, following strategies may help to build your Brand.
1. Create Unique Ad Campaigns
You may find many critics to the ‘Traditional Ways of Marketing’, as they speak about other ‘recent’ developments. That said and done, there’s no way one can ignore the outreach of traditional marketing methods like advertising.
Unique ad campaigns cater to strong emotions.
Here is how Silberman’s Fitness Center created a unique to cater audience attention.
Coke being young and energetic, BMW being technically superior and premium, Apple being smart and innovative: brands create a sense of feel, and stick around it.
Whether your ad made someone cry in some part of the world, or got viral because of its storyline, or made it to the ‘viral charts’because of its comic appeal, you’ve succeeded if any of that happens.
Your brand has ‘communicated its feeling’ and is appealing to a strong emotion. The biggest benefit to this strategy is, brands may become old, but you’ll never hear someone saying ‘that emotion doesn’t exist anymore!’.
2. Invest in Content Marketing
With increasing usage of the internet and penetration of media, the market’s appetite to consume content has increased by leaps and bounds. Often referred as ‘Inbound Marketing’, this is one of the most creative ways to tell the story of your brand.
So, all you need to do is, create content which engages the consumer.
Rather than relying on third party media spaces to place your ads, create content which attracts the consumer to your brand naturally.
Solve some of their problems, help them reach certain goals- do something which interests them, and they’ll automatically come looking for you.
It’s not just through blogs or Social Media posts.
Infographic might come handier. The best part about infographic is that they make the content become all the more interesting.
A pinch of information, few words and loads of fun!
One thing is for sure, that people remember what they saw, more than what they read. That is what makes Infographic and visual Content appealing enough, to leverage your brand to the customer.
3. Kick off Digital Marketing Campaign
Consisting of a huge array of methods like email marketing, Social Media, SEO, Pay Per Click and many others, Digital Marketing is the newest member to the ‘Marketing Methods’ family.
It is said that all your marketing strategies should revolve around your target consumer, so with 3 Billion+ internet users, it sounds logical to center on the Digital ecosystem.
Although in its nascent stage in many countries, Digital Marketing has created its fan following. After all, it’s efficient and effective and makes Brand Managers take better decisions.
What makes Digital Marketing highly competitive is its precision- in knowing consumer behavior, in positioning your brand as per the consumer and in knowing the efficiency of your campaign. Since every aspect can be tracked, it becomes easier for the decision maker to know, what to choose.
4. Prepare Awesome Marketing Collateral
This is by far the cheapest, yet one of the most effective marketing strategies. But, how would you market your brand using this?
As the name suggests, it’s about using your collateral resources as a channel of marketing. For instance, your business card. You might be attending numerous conventions, conferences, gatherings. But, all you try doing here is network and probably socialize.
What if you could actually market your brand here too?
Now, the point is, every employee of yours becomes a ‘commercial’ in himself/herself.
By doing something as small as giving business card to as many people as possible, the person might be easily adding up a client or two. The employee becomes your Brand Evangelist, without actually incurring any ‘Marketing Costs’.
Appropriate marketing material that can complement with all of the above is the most important weapon that will complete your arsenal. Creative business cards, well-designed pamphlets, brochures with complete information, accurate graphics, and above all, the focus on creating and enhancing brand awareness come handy when interacting with customers.
Look at this creatively done business card:
Such marketing collaterals have farfetched benefits as they have the capability to reach the home of your customers, can find place in their desk and would be a ready reference material, enough to make sure they recall you when needed.
The best thing is to hire an trade printing agency to design and print high quality marketing materials in perfect synchrony with your branding campaigns.
Investing in branding is not a cost. It is an investment that over the time will derive huge benefits. A business that does not advertise to save money is moving towards a slow, but painful death.
As you make decision, remember, a brand which is not investing money in communicating itself, is gradually moving towards obsolecense. Choose Wisely!
Sawaram Suthar is head of marketing at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.