Stepping Up Your Branding Strategy This Year
This year, make branding part of your company’s resume.
The majority of businesses and startups start with an idea of a certain product or service. While they build good products/services and solve real customer problems, many of them often discount the importance of a brand.
77% of marketers agree that branding is critical to the growth of a company. Not to mention, intense competition and constant technological innovation have further transformed the concept of branding.
Today, branding reaches far beyond visual interpretation and aesthetics, as it also encompasses elements such as social consciousness, authentic customer relationships and community-centered communication.
When it comes to branding strategy, companies need to realize that modern customers want substance and purpose that resonates within their brand story. As such, it is critical to stay updated on how to evolve your company’s brand image to reflect the present needs and expectations of your consumers.
Let’s take a look at some key shifts in branding that you should be aware of this year.
In order to get recognized, companies need to have a strong social media presence. Along with that, marketers began to adopt responsive logos, also known as shape-shifting logos, to ensure the consistency of the user experience regardless of the medium their logo is viewed on. These logos can be adjusted in size, complexity, or color, depending on the layouts and occasions. Moreover, it allows customers to recognize their branding in different ways, thus increasing the chance of brand recall while keeping their brands interesting.
Example: Coca Cola’s logo.
Nowadays, the majority of hashtags found online are branded. The growth of brand hashtags is mainly due to its potential to increase customer engagement as well as reinforce brand awareness. Today, creative and unique hashtags are used in various brand campaigns because they help to approach potential customers in a more personalized way. They also help brands to farm UGCs easier. With these, brands can turn their loyal customers into brand ambassadors and boost trust in new clients.
Example: #OreoHorrorStories by Oreo.
Social Media Community
Another growing branding trend is online branded communities. Research shows that 37% of shoppers stick with companies because of online communities. These forums provide a platform where consumers can talk about brand-related topics and provide advice and tips. It also allows brands to talk about products and understand customers’ needs without trying to sell. The participatory experience works effectively to reinforce customer loyalty.
Example: Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community.
CEO’s Personal Branding
The dilemma that modern consumers face today is being overly exposed to advertisements at nearly every touch-point, leading them to be desensitized to the idea of trusting a faceless logo. Attaching a personality to a brand is one of the oldest branding tricks, which ultimately contributes to the rise of this particular strategy: personal branding of CEOs as thought leaders in their respective industries.
This approach has become much easier with the growth of social media that puts CEOs and founders as aspiring and educational role models in the eyes of the public, to generate a positive buzz for their companies.
Example: Neil Patel, digital marketing expert.
With societal change comes the outcry for sustainable branding and eco-friendly products. Today, consumers want to believe that companies care about the same causes they do. They want companies to care about the environment, diversity, inclusion, and opportunity because it allows them to make more purposeful purchases. Modern brands need to demonstrate that they care about people as much as profits to earn their trust and loyalty.
Example: Patagonia’s sustainable apparel and outdoor gears. The company also offers its customers an option to trade in their old gear for new ones.
Anti-Ads and Native Ads Campaigns
This 2020, regular ads are no longer enough. The majority of shoppers find ads more intrusive today than a few years ago. As such, the practice of native ads and anti-ad campaigns are expected to rise in the future.
Native advertisements are content-based and they are considered to be more unobtrusive thanks to their ability to blend in seamlessly with their surrounding content. Similarly, anti-ad campaigns generally allow brands to capture the attention of their customers by essentially doing the exact opposite of promoting their brand.
Example: Doritos’ Another Level campaign.
Remain on the top of the branding trend is the use of influencer marketing. With the right influencers, brands can easily reach audiences that are interested in their niche. But as organic engagement on social media continues to decline, many businesses are shifting gears and partnering with micro and nano influencers who have small but highly-engaged and dedicated audiences. Not only that, the brand has also started partnering with influencers outside their particular niche to reach a new range of customer demographics.
Example: Daniel Wellington partnering with pet influencers.
Over to You
A company’s brand image should evolve in parallel to the changing market trends, consumer expectations and collective ideals. However, at the end of the day, I believe people are still the reason for a brand’s success.
As brand activism becomes more prevalent, your brand positioning strategy has to strive towards fostering authentic consumer experiences. After all, people want brands who they know are backed with human intent more than ever in a world awash with the lack of trust, digital fakery, and automated spam.
Viral Access is an AI and data-driven social communication company — we help you tell your story through social media. We pair your brand with relevant micro and nano influencers that help you increase awareness, engagement and conversion. We have the systems and team in place to support large scale communications throughout Asia.
For business inquiries, contact us at email@example.com.