Creative branding? An implicit or explicit effort? You would know what I meant if you were a brand creator. Let me explain.
Every business has a brand, whether explicitly planned or not. The critical question is how good the brand is. And how well it contributes to your marketing campaign. If you are leaving your creative branding to implicit efforts … well, it is not going to be very good and certainly not very creative.
Check out our thoughts on creative marketing.
You just can’t say it. You have to get people to say it to each other.
– James Farley
Before we continue, let me ask you a question.
What works best for branding design in your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.
With the advent of the Internet, the number of marketing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.
Quite simply a brand is the collection of customer perceptions of:
- How they see you
- How they feel about you
- What they say about you
So you see it’s not about what you think. And people will form opinions about your business whether you want them to or not. So why not take explicit branding actions to influence these opinions.
Companies need to influence positive opinions by positive actions. Influence is the key operative word here. Meaning to inspire desirable and measurable outcomes. Emotional connection to our products and services.
Why emotional? Simple. Most purchase decisions have critical emotional connections.
So what are some of the best ways different businesses use their creative branding to market their products and services? Let’s take a close look at these businesses and their creative use of branding forces:
Tailor brands … differentiation
There is no more powerful component of a brand’s force than its differentiation. JetBlue’s brand screams out how it is different. And better. Free Direct TV and XM satellite radio on board their aircraft. Leather seats. Unlimited snacks. Great legroom. Think of these discriminators and you’ll think of the JetBlue brand.
Businesses should always be looking to reinforce their unique positioning. Like Best Buy and its employee expertise in home electronics. They have continued to strengthen this unique positioning with the Geek Squad and with Tweep Force.
Brand creator … positive experience
The Starbuck’s experience. Certainly, defines a positive brand feeling for its target customers. Unique products. Unique store atmosphere. Experiences to stimulate all the senses … visual, hearing, aroma, taste, and touch.
Creative branding … unforgettable
Have you ever been in a Whole Foods store? Not your average presentation style of culinary products. Helping customers visualize the full store experience. Or customer engagement. And taking grocery shopping to an interactive and collaborative new level. Unique and unforgettable. No wonder more top of the line grocery chains are quickly following this lead.
Create positive mental images? Our opinion no one is better at this than Zappos, the on-line shoe and clothing retailer. Focused on delivering happiness and being the best in the business in customer service. Lots of use of surprising customers with random acts of kindness and special service.
A brand communicates every time it touches the customer … the moment of truth. It communicates with words, stories, emotions, and its personality. Yes, it’s personality. Marketing needs to manage all of these communications, making marketing responsible for each ‘moment of truth’. We include everyone in the marketing realm. No one does more of this communication management or does it better than Google.
Customer immersion in the product and services. Disney World is certainly very good at customer immersion at its entertainment themes. Bass Pro Shop is very good at immersion in its products by setting up areas around its stores where customers can go and try their skills with Bass Pro Shop products. A unique branding style.
As Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream brand puts it: “There is a spiritual aspect to our lives – when we give we receive – when a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about them.” And that emotion reflects positively on the brand.
Not many customers think about what company’s processor is on their computer. And it is not because they don’t care. They just assume it is an Intel product. They buy the best technology and its reflection of customer trust in the brand and its products.
The bottom line
A significant portion of a company’s value is intangible, so a strong brand is a significant competitive advantage. As Philip Kotler wrote:
The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then the price is everything, and the low-cost producer is the only winner.
Brands, marketing, and communication have long been highly related. From TV ads and press releases to events and endorsements, the way consumers view a brand will influence their decision making, so crafting and reinforcing a brand image has long been a top priority for marketers.
To be effective in this new era, we as marketers need to see our jobs differently. No more just focusing on metrics like clicks, video views or social media shares. We must successfully integrate our function with other business functions to create entire brand experiences that serve the customer all the way through their experiences throughout the business.
We can do better. Much better. But first we need to stop seeing ourselves as crafters of clever brand messages and become creators of positive brand experiences
Remember this last input. Markets and customers are constantly changing. Therefore a business must constantly adapt its branding to the changes in the marketplace.
Do you have a creative branding tip or experience to share with this community?
Need some help in capturing more customers from your branding design strategies? Such as creative branding ideas to help the differentiation with potential customers?
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Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
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Do you have a lesson about making your brand marketing better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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