How to improve the effectiveness of your branding activities

You are already doing some branding activities to promote your business. You try to differentiate and position your products/services in an effort to improve your brand value. You do online and TV advertisements to reach your target audience. While you do all these, are there steps you can take, apart from the usual to improve the effectiveness of these activities?

The answer is yes.

3 ways to improve the effectivness of your branding activities

In this article, I will take you through 5 powerful techniques to improve the effectiveness of all your branding activities. These are applicable irrespective of whether you are a product brand, service brand or a retail brand.

So here we go.

1. Fill your branding with emotions

Emotions are a really powerful technique to attract the attention of your target audience. According to a survey of 1000 people in the US, 65% of the people that feel an emotional connection to a brand say it’s because “they care about people like me”.

This means that establishing an emotional connect with the consumer helps in creating loyal customers. Now how can you fill your branding activities with emotions?

Let us first look at a few examples of brands that have run successful campaigns filled with human emotions:



 

 

  1. Nike;s “Find your greatness” campaign: This ad campaign leverages the emotion of inspiration to encourage more people to use Nike’s products.
  2. Guinness “friendship” ad campaign: This ad gives a sense of true friendship, and associates the beer brand with the emotion of friendship and love.
  3. Airbnb’s New York ad campaign: This ad tells the story of a young woman who after losing her job, hosts people through Airbnb to earn supplemental income.

In all the above examples, you could observe that the brands try to evoke some kind of emotion. And this works well. When you use Nike, you start to see yourself as an achiever. Similar is the case with other brands as well.

So think what emotion your product or service could evoke. And design your branding and promotion around that.

2. Build or create a story for your brand

Consumers like companies or brands that hold a legacy. And you need to leverage that by telling them your story. It could be about the inspiration for creating the brand, or who you are as a person (if you are the founder or co-founder), evolution of the brand etc.

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Look at brands like Warby Parker, GoPro and Soulcycle that have crafted wonderful brand stories. And consumers buy their products, not just because they want to use them, but they feel a sense of purpose and meaning while consuming them.

So find that one thing about your brand that would appeal to your potential customers the most. Build a story around it. And use it in your promotions to improve the effectiveness of your branding.

3. Leverage influencers, and not just celebrities

Many companies use celebrities to catch the eye of their potential consumers. While this is very effective, there is much more you can do when it comes to ‘people promotion’.

That is influencer marketing and promotion. Influencers are typically who have a huge following on online media as well as offline forums. They are mostly popular for their work or knowledge in a niche. They could include bloggers, authors, speakers, active social media users etc.

Let me explain this with an example.

Imagine you are into the restaurant business, running a chain of restaurants across India. You also deliver food online through food delivery apps such as Zomato and Swiggy. How can you use influencers in this case? Look for food bloggers and food enthusiasts who have a good following in media like Instagram and Pinterest. Invite them to dine at your restaurants for free. In return ask them to post reviews on your food. This will take your business to more people.

So find out the influencers in your domain. Leverage them to spread the word about your brand and products.

4. Follow consistency across all touch points

This means using the same theme across all your channels of interaction with your customers and prospects. Consumers tend to associate a brand with certain aspects like color, shape of packaging and other brand features (like feminine, masculine, emotional etc).

So sticking to the same theme in all your branding activities makes your brand more recognizable, and also sets a platform for easy storytelling. Following are a couple of classic examples of brands that maintain consistency across their product portfolio and marketing activities.

  1. Dove: Maintains consistency through nature of products and packaging designs. They use a white background with their blue logo as a common theme.
  2. Dropbox: A cloud based file sharing platform showing consistency with its signature logo showcasing an open box.

So create a common theme and messaging for your brand, and follow it across all your channels to improve branding effectiveness.

5. Associate your brand with a social cause

If your products and services serve a social cause, then nothing better. There are many startups that are founded on such. Indian startups like Teach for India and Milaap are examples.

Established companies also come up with initiatives to support life around them. Airbnb’s “We Accept” and P&G’s “Like A Girl” campaigns are examples.

So get involved in social issues through ad campaigns, sponsored panel discussions and seminars etc. Express your care for the society through such innovating marketing efforts to improve the effectiveness of your branding activities.

Following are a few tips to running an effective ad campaign for a social cause:

  • Make sure you have a strong messaging filled with emotion
  • Focus your campaign not just on the existing situation, but suggest resolutions for the problem if you can
  • Ensure to address all the relevant stakeholders such as the government, NGOs, politicians, social activists etc.
  • Be creative in your presentation. That will help you catch the attention of the audience better.

So those are my top 5 tips to improve the effectiveness of your product/service branding activities. Are you already using any of these in your business? Let me know in the comments section.

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