• Bex Highfield

How to ace your brand marketing

By Joy Corkery, Content Marketing Lead, Latana

A realisation that the quick wins of performance marketing can only take companies so far has resulted in a resurgence in brand marketing. This is being led by big brands, such as Adidas, who admit they over-invested in digital advertising in the belief that digital ads drive digital sales. In reality, it was brand activity driving 65% of their sales across wholesale, retail and e-commerce.

If you’re looking to follow Adidas’ lead, here are three important pieces of advice to help you get your brand marketing right.

Focus on Increasing Brand Awareness For Your Target Audience

Research has shown that 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them, while 65% of people don’t remember the adverts they see on social media networks.

At the same time, oversaturated markets are pushing up Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) in digital advertising to a level that is difficult for companies to keep up with. Ultimately, what this highlights is that a brand strategy heavily focused on paid marketing is neither beneficial nor sustainable in the long run. A better focus of your time and resources is to work on increasing brand awareness. If you achieve a high level of brand awareness, it will accelerate growth, decrease CAC and improve retention further along the line. Most importantly, an investment in brand awareness is an investment into the long-term growth of your business. However, increasing brand awareness generally (across the general population) will have only limited success. It is much more effective to focus on communicating your brand value to the audience most relevant, who will be the most receptive, to your brand.

As Steven Jaenke, Founder and CEO at Digimark Australia explains, “Choosing a target audience doesn't mean that you are neglecting the rest of the market, it just means that you are selecting a small portion of that market and saying, "Hey you with the pink shirt who likes rock music and eats vegan ice cream. I thought this product would help make your day better". This is much more effective than saying, "Hey everyone, I have this great product that would help make your day better". Tell a Story

In the words of Mark Truby, Vice President of Communications, Ford Motor Company:

“A good story makes you feel something and is universal. They want to grasp your values and your commitment to excellence; be inspired and intrigued. Storytelling is the most powerful way to convey these ideas.” Added to that, stories grab attention, they sell better, and they set one brand apart from another.

Nike is a prime example of a company that excels at storytelling, and uses it to its advantage. This can be traced back to 1988 and the launch of the first “Just Do It” campaign. The first TV spot related to the tagline featured 80-year-old Walt Scott jogging shirtless across the Golden Gate Bridge. The viewer is told how Scott relentlessly runs 17 miles every morning, no matter the weather. It is apparent that Scott is wearing Nike trainers but they are a subtle addition. What draws people in instead is Walt Scott’s personal story. This Nike example, and others like it, illustrate how a compelling story can connect customers to your brand and help drive sales. In the first 10 years after launching the “Just Do It” campaign, Nike increased its market share of the “domestic sport-shoe business” from 18 percent ($877 million) to 43 percent ($9.2 billion). To follow in Nike’s (rather large) footsteps, look to highlight the story of your brand - this might be the genesis of your company, what you stand for and what your goals or purpose are. Don’t Forget Design One area that companies often neglect, but that can have a strong impact on brand health, is web design. 10 to 20 years ago, it might have been enough to feature your logo and contact details on your website, but today, effective branding reflects what people feel when they are using your brand. Nowadays, having a bad web design equates to having bad branding, which can reduce trust in your brand. Online payment platform Stripe is a good example of a brand with a well-designed website.

Everything looks great until you click on “Start Now” and you are brought to the registration page.

This page has a different look and feel, due to the fact that Stripe has integrated a specialist tool to create the form and they are restricted in the changes they can make. Stripe has done a really good job of integrating its brand as much as possible. But imagine if it hadn’t. That would have meant spending time on a site with a strong brand identity, only for it to change when the time comes to submit your personal details. Most likely you will click off that page because the company has broken your trust. The most important thing to remember in web design is that brand consistency is key. For companies that are serious about sustainable growth in 2020 and beyond, excelling at brand marketing is key. With increased competition in the market and rising costs for paid advertising, it is the only way to continue along the same path instigated by performance marketing in terms of winning customers and growing. However, keep in mind that brand marketing is not fixed. Over time, the needs and desires of your target audience will change. That’s why it is important to continually monitor your brand performance to ensure that your brand marketing stays relevant.

About the author Joy Corkery is Content Marketing Lead at Latana, a provider of advanced brand tracking technology.

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