How do you get people to notice you? You dress for success to project a unique identity. The more others see it, the likelier they will remember you. The same translates to marketing your business. With increasing market competition for virtually every product or service, a logo and a catch phrase are not enough. You need potential customers to seek you because you engage with their lifestyle and understand their interests. You and your brand fit in, so to speak. Traditionally, brand marketing focused on the product and its qualities. The customers came to know and love the product through ads and word of mouth. These channels are still valid. However, digital marketing has completely transformed branding. With brands names and ads being thrown right and left, you need to work harder to get consumer’s attention. It forces you to think out of the box. Consumer-centric branded content is about how your brand integrates into your customers’ lifestyles, affirming that you know your customers and the things that appeal to them. What can you do to get your brand its 15 minutes of fame? Get out there and make your brand an active experience that is worthy of being remembered.
1. Tell a compelling
story—People remember things in context. There are 100 sports drinks out there. How can you make your product more than just another bottle with a label? Wrap it within a story based on one of your consumers. Appeal to what they like to do in order for them to associate the brand with their activities. Use consumer testimonials on your site or other marketing materials. Consumers know what’s in a sport drink. What makes it interesting is how Joe Smoe survived on it when he was stuck in a crevice in the middle of the dessert for three days. No need to go to the extreme, but you get the point. Content is not only the name of a brand, but a lifestyle.
2. Feature or participate in an event—Many popular brand names out there feature annual events that give their products maximum exposure. This does not have to cost you a fortune. If you sell shellfish, sponsor a seafood cook-out, with prices awarded for top recipes. You can also make an appearance in community events that introduce your brand or promote brand recall. If your target audience is college students, participate in freshman orientation week events. Although you are selling a product or service, you are doing so as a member of a community linked with activities that are enjoyable and bring people together.
3. Use your subject matter experts at social events—Your employees represent your brand, but above all, they are human and we respond to individualization. Participate in social events as a keynote speaker on specific subject matter. For instance, schedule key staff to discuss changes in online shopping as part of a forum. In this manner, you present your company’s expertise, the human beings that make it possible, and how your brand relates to current trends. You are not directly selling a product, but creating a brand identity. Here, you give a face to your company and begin to create a bond with potential customers without being flagged as “sales person.”
4. Interactive customer engagement—When customers click on your site, make their experience interactive. Create playful environments and schemes through which they can become familiar with your products. Enhance their visual stimuli with images and infographics. You can also make your customer part of your brand. Include forums that encourage co-creation and conversations about the brand. Think of your site as a book or film. If you don’t get a user’s attention within the first minute, they are gone.
Branding has become more about immersing your product within your customers’ lifestyles, and taking an active part in the conversation. People don’t only want a product, but an entire experience. Part of branding is to make your product “human,” relatable to the things that interest your target audience. Your brand is not only your logo or product description, but activities that relate to it, especially those that show the individuals who make it possible. Get this show on the road ASAP!