Monday, 17 February 2014

Thinking outside the brand box

Building a strong, recognisable brand and creating fluid brand awareness is a challenge that many of us in the marketing world face. According to the experts of the Oxford English Dictionary, a brand is ‘a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.’ They also explain that brand awareness is ‘the extent to which consumers are familiar with the qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services.’ 

Simple and to the point. Unfortunately, they forgot to mention how important your brand is to your business and how if you are not willing to adapt it you can easily loose the brand awareness you have worked so hard to achieve over the years.

The face of marketing and advertising is changing as the technology and way people communicate continues to change. Gone are the days when a simple advert in the local paper would alert customers to your latest offers. Gone are the coveted newspaper and magazine review articles highlighting your brand and services. Even television adverts are less effective as Live Pause and DVR becomes common place and customers zip through the ‘annoying commercials.’

Today’s advertisers face using all the old avenues (newspaper, magazine, outdoor and television) in addition to the almost duplicated forms online. Does this really mean anything for companies and their brands? Some would argue that it means there are just more places to advertise and all they really need to do is add a few more people to their marketing department to make sure all the avenues are covered.

The reality – your brand needs to build not only based on your desires and needs but also based on your customer’s desires and needs. But how is this different to 10 or 20 years ago? Building a solid brand has always been about communicating with your potential customer and creating a bond with them to encourage brand loyalty. So how is today different? Today potential customers not only want to know about the brand but they want to feel a part of it. They want to know that by committing to your brand and products that they are committing to something they themselves approve. Customers are not willing to stay with a brand that does not share their values. And companies have started to take notice of this trend.

A perfect example is of IKEA’s new sustainability campaign. IKEA’s UK and Ireland marketing manager Pete Wright told Marketing Week that their new campaign wants to focus on explain who IKEA really is. They feel that the sustainability is a natural way of life that is a big part of who IKEA is. Through this campaign, they are not only focusing on themselves but also on the customers who share their stand. They are in essence building their brand awareness while connecting on a new level with their core customers and potential customers.

The campaign will feature TV and radio adverts but will also utilise digital advertising and social media to continue to connect with customers. It won’t be just about what IKEA has to offer them, it will be tips and ideas for customers to be sustainable too. They will connect with them on a personal level solidify a brand loyalty that will last.

Want to know more about brand awareness and loyalty for your company? We know what you need to make the next step. Contact us today.

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