The way you develop your brand—and the public’s perception of it—is significant for the success of your business. Brand management involves all aspects of how consumers associate with your brand. It’s an important part of your marketing strategy because it increases the value of your product or service. You want consumers to not only make a purchase but ideally, you also want them to become loyal customers and brand advocates.
If you feel your marketing is off track—or if you just want to perform a brand health check—here are some brand management tips to help you along the way. These pointers will motivate you to build a better relationship with your target market and stay ahead of your competition.
Use Your USP to Your Advantage
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what separates you from your competition. This is your brand’s singular most important benefit, the one primary asset that helps it to stand out from the rest of the crowd. The idea of USP began in the 1940s (thanks to TV ad pioneer Rosser Reeves) as a way to get consumers to switch brands. Reeves believed that an ad or commercial should feature the product’s USP, rather than relying on gimmickry to make a sale.
To determine your brand’s USP:
- Locate an appropriate place in the market for your product/service.
- Ensure that the primary feature is something unique.
- Be sure consumers value your product or service.
In other words, if your product or service has a unique feature but nobody wants it, you’re wasting your time. So, you should come up with a USP before selling your product or service. In turn, you’ll attract consumers to your business because it offers them something different than any other brand.
USP Examples: Popular Slogans
Let’s look at some popular brands’ USP slogans (past and present) to see what sets them apart. Keep in mind these are slogans. Your USP doesn’t necessarily have to include one, although it helps because in doing so, you’re spelling out the benefit for your audience.
- Avis. The U.S. car rental company’s “We Try Harder” slogan worked to their benefit when they regularly played second fiddle to Hertz. In just four years after adopting the ad campaign, their market share jumped from 11% to 35%. Trying harder worked.
- FedEx. The international delivery service used to claim that when your package absolutely, positively had to be there overnight, they would make it happen. This gave customers an iron-clad guarantee that no other delivery service offered. As a result, their customer accounts tripled.
- M&Ms. If you don’t like getting your hands dirty when you eat chocolate, M&Ms has the solution. In 1954, they promised that their milk chocolate would only melt in your mouth, not in your hands. It worked then and it still works today because M&Ms are by far the leading selling candy with about $700-million in annual sales.
- De Beers. This diamond retailer promises that: “A diamond is forever.” De Beers has been using the slogan since 1948 because it gives consumers the assurance that the product they buy will last forever (just like eternal love). Advertising Age called it the best slogan of the 20th century. Sales have been steady with De Beers’ annual revenue in 2018 at $6.1 billion.
- Domino’s Pizza. The American pizza restaurant chain used to guarantee that you’d get “fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.” That was a great USP (albeit a bit lengthy) because no other pizza delivery service was offering that claim. Thus, Dominos took over the market. Unfortunately, their drivers were in too many accidents rushing to deliver pizza in a half hour, so they had to modify their guarantee.
Adopt Fresh Ideas to Create Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is how consumers perceive your business. To what extent are consumers familiar with your brand’s goods and/or services? Are they aware of your brand?
Brand awareness can become ingrained into people’s lives and purchase habits. That’s why it’s so important when you’re marketing and promoting your company and products—especially as a new business.
You can’t really measure it like other digital and direct mail marketing metrics, but it still has tremendous value. Every marketing activity you develop should create brand awareness. Naturally, there are some obvious choices for inclusion—like your brand’s social media efforts—but there are a few others you might not have considered. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Branded Packaging. If you’ve ever ordered something from Amazon, you know who it’s from before you look at the shipping label. The whole world knows because the Amazon logo appears on all sides of the box as well as the packing tape. Branded packaging helps establish your brand awareness by displaying your logo or logotype on the outside of any packages you send.
- Use Social Media. This is a no-brainer. A sure-fire way to increase brand awareness is to use your social accounts. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. LinkedIn. Determine what the proper channels are for your particular business, then get to work. Don’t forget to encourage participation and be sure to respond to feedback and questions, even if it’s simply liking a comment. Your followers will appreciate your interaction with them, no matter how small.
- Car Wraps. This may seem far out, but if you find yourself on the road a lot—making deliveries or visiting clients—car wrap advertising or any kind of vehicle promo is a great way to create brand awareness. If you get creative with the colors and messaging, you’ll attract even more attention.
- Product Giveaways. If your brand is part of any kind of public event, be sure to offer some branded giveaway items (aka swag) to visitors. You’ll not only make them happy that they’re getting something for free, but you’ll be planting a seed for future business.
- Event Sponsorship. Speaking of events, as long as you’re participating in an event, why not become a sponsor? This boosts your brand awareness among the same audience and quickly introduces your business to a large group of people.
Brand Awareness: Let Someone Else do the Work
By inviting appropriate influencers to represent your product, service, and/or content, you’re enlisting people who already have an established following in your niche. When they mention your brand or offer a review or feature in any form, it increases your brand awareness.
Influencer marketing is when a brand partners with specific influencers in their niche with the goal of increasing brand awareness or conversions among a specific target audience. Influencer marketing is big business. In fact, it’s now a $5-10 billion industry. Almost 20% of all companies are spending about half their marketing budgets on influencer marketing and that’s expected to increase by as much as 65% in 2019. These are startling numbers considering that brands have only been doing this for about five years.
Ikonick is a Los Angeles-based business that sells entrepreneur-inspired art and canvas prints. They regularly enlist influencers (like Instagram photographers and celebs) to pose with their art and share the photos on social media. This is what builds their community of followers and increases sales. Look for opportunities to partner with influencers and see how it affects your brand awareness.
Measuring Brand Awareness
As a marketer, you’re interested in measuring brand awareness. Well, the bad news is it’s difficult. The good news is you have some reasonable options that will help.
- A survey of your customers will help measure brand awareness when you ask them how they heard about your brand.
- Watch your website stats to see if direct traffic numbers are up. If more people are entering your URL rather than clicking on a link, it’s a good indication of brand recall.
- Check your search volume numbers to see how often people are searching for your brand. A Google Alert is a good way to monitor how many people are talking about or reporting on your brand online.
- Track your volume of mentions on social media. If they’re not related to a paid campaign or sponsorship, that’s free earned media.
- Monitor your likes, shares, and comments on social. The more people you have talking about your brand, the more brand awareness you have.
How do Insiders See Your Brand?
You’re understandably concerned with how consumers see your brand. After all, they’re the ones buying your product or service. But one of the best brand management tips is how your own people see your brand.
When you collaborate with other departments, your board of directors (if you have one), and any stakeholders, you may get unique viewpoints you hadn’t considered.
For example, your customer support team undoubtedly hears when customers have problems. They know what consumers want from your brand. These employees are on the front lines of your business. Ask them for their input on how you can better manage your brand.
Customer service is the new marketing, so don’t completely separate your departments. Ask your sales and support teams for their advice and listen to what they have to say. Their input can prove to be invaluable when you’re seeking brand management tips.
Invest in Brand Management Software
Of all the brand management tips, arguably the most important is making a commitment to brand management software. This crucial step gives you the ability to boost the effectiveness of your brand’s marketing efforts. You’ll increase productivity, maintain brand compliance, enhance your local marketing efforts, and raise your marketing return on investment.
BlueSky ETO offers brand management software that’s engineered to order for your brand. That’s what the ETO stands for. Are you interested in a free brand management consultation? Contact us today and let’s talk about what your brand needs.
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