Have you ever seen an advertisement that instantly speaks to you?
Whether it resonates with your beliefs, lifestyle, or aspirations, that’s the impact of effective brand marketing at work.
In this guide, we’ll dive into the concept, importance, and best practices of brand marketing—all while showcasing real-life examples.
What Is Brand Marketing?
Brand marketing is the process of promoting products or services indirectly by highlighting the overall brand’s values, mission, and identity.
It’s not just about running a sale for a specific product; it’s about creating a story, an image, and an emotional connection that resonates with your audience.
This in turn creates a strong, positive perception of the brand in the consumer’s mind, underpinning all other marketing efforts.
What Makes Brand Marketing Important?
Brand marketing not only distinguishes a company from its competitors but also instills a sense of trust and loyalty among consumers. There’s a reason why the Starbucks brand is so powerful—it’s not just about the coffee, but the experience, ambiance, and the promise of quality that the brand represents.
Without effective brand marketing, companies can struggle to establish a strong presence in the market, and their offerings might easily be overlooked.
What Are The Goals & Objectives In Brand Marketing
The value of strong brand marketing is multifaceted.
On one hand, it establishes the business’s identity and distinguishes it in the marketplace. On the other, it fosters customer loyalty and drives long-term growth.
Overall, its objectives can be outlined as follows:
- Increases brand awareness: Ensures your target audience recognizes and remembers your brand over your competitors. The goal is for your brand to be a consumer’s first thought when they think of the product or service category that you operate in.
- Improves brand equity: Builds positive perceptions around your brand. High brand equity implies that customers value your brand and are willing to pay a premium for your products or services.
- Builds customer loyalty: Helps you to connect with consumers on a human level. The aim here is to not only attract new customers but also retain existing ones by encouraging repeat purchases and increasing a customer’s lifetime value.
- Improves sales and growth: Influences customer decisions by keeping your brand top of mind leaving consumers confident in their choice to purchase from you.
- Creates brand advocates: Turn satisfied customers into brand advocates who will voluntarily promote your brand to others, thus increasing exposure—for free.
4 Types Of Brand Marketing
Product branding emphasizes the unique attributes of a specific product. When done properly, this in turn builds up the entire brand.
For example, Apple promotes its iPhones using a variety of marketing angles that all speak to its target demographic. Over the years, online privacy has become a major concern for many people. In recent years, Apple doubled down on its iPhone’s privacy features with simple, yet poignant ads that let users know Apple, as a company, cares about user privacy.
Personal branding involves marketing individuals and their careers as brands. It’s often used by influencers, entrepreneurs, or public figures. Gary Vaynerchuk, for example, has built a strong personal brand around his expertise in digital marketing and entrepreneurship.
Corporate branding involves promoting the brand name of a corporate entity, rather than its products or services. For example, Google promotes itself as an innovative and forward-thinking company that strives to improve the lives of as many people as possible.
Service branding is about promoting the services offered by a company. For instance, Uber brands itself around the convenience, safety, and reliability of its ride-hailing service.
What typically sets a service-based company’s branding apart from its competitors are the “extras” offered. This could include things like a rewards program, exceptional customer service, or innovative features that enhance the overall customer experience.
6 Steps To Build A Brand Strategy
Step 1: Understand Your Target Audience
Understanding who your products or services are meant for is the first step in building a brand strategy. These are the people who are most likely to buy your product or service. Conduct market research to identify their demographics, preferences, behaviors, and needs.
Step 2: Define Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity is the core essence of your brand. It includes your mission, values, and unique selling proposition. This is the thing that every other part of your strategy needs to align with.
Step 3: Analyze Your Competitors
Analyze your competitors to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and branding strategies. This will help you identify opportunities for differentiation and provide insights into effective tactics. But remember, you’re not here to be a copycat—you’re here to stand out.
Step 4: Create A Consistent Brand Voice
Your brand voice isn’t just about what you say, it’s about how you say it. And it has to be consistent. Your audience should be able to recognize you in a heartbeat, whether it’s on social media, your website, or an email.
Step 5: Develop A Visual Identity
Your visual brand identity includes your logo, color palette, typography, and other visual elements that represent your brand. These elements should be consistent across all brand materials and should visually communicate your brand identity. Take Headspace for example, their branding is instantly recognizable and embodies their mission of making mindfulness approachable.
Step 6: Implement, Monitor, & Refine
Finally, implement your brand strategy across all channels. Monitor its effectiveness through metrics like brand awareness, brand equity, and customer satisfaction. Always be prepared to refine your strategy based on feedback or changing market conditions.
Creating Brand Engagement
Brand engagement is all about creating meaningful interactions with your audience. That means creating content that resonates, sparks conversations, and makes people want to stick around.
This could be interactive content, insightful blog posts, or lighthearted commentary on real-world events. Take a look at this example from Netflix that went viral on Twitter during the royal wedding.
Building Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
Cultivate a strong customer service culture where problems are resolved quickly. Moreover, don’t forget the power of a “thank you”.
Rewarding your customers with special offers or loyalty programs can go a long way in making them feel appreciated and keeping them coming back time and time again.
Nike is a global sports apparel company that markets its products by associating them with high performance and athleticism. Their “Just Do It” campaign, for example, inspires consumers to overcome challenges, aligning with the brand’s mission to bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world.
Coca-Cola is a beverage company known for its iconic branding. Their marketing emphasizes happiness and togetherness, connecting emotionally with consumers. An example is their “Share a Coke” campaign, which featured common names on Coke bottles, making their product a personalized experience for consumers.
Starbucks is a global coffeehouse chain, known for its premium roasted coffees and unique coffeehouse culture. The brand’s marketing strategy is centered around a superior customer experience and delivering a “third place” environment between home and work. One way Starbucks builds long-lasting customer relationships is through its Starbucks Rewards program. By offering customers points for purchases, exclusive perks, and personalized offers, Starbucks has cultivated a loyal customer base that frequently returns.