As companies strive to create a unique identity and establish themselves in the market, brand building becomes an integral aspect of their business strategy. While there are many ways to build a brand, it is crucial to consider some crucial factors that could impact its success. This article discusses the three ‘don’ts’ of brand building from a Fractional CMO’s perspective.
A Fractional CMO, or Chief Marketing Officer, is an experienced marketing professional who works with companies on a part-time basis to provide strategic marketing guidance. One of their roles is to help brands understand how to get out of their way and ensure that their brand-building efforts align with their business objectives.
Don’t Expect Good Results Without Clearly Defined Goals.
Having clearly defined goals is one of the most crucial elements of brand building. Without them, it is impossible to measure the success of your brand-building efforts. Graham, a creative in the branding industry, emphasizes that brands need to answer one simple question: What is the brand expecting to achieve due to their partnership with a publisher?
For example, a brand might shift the audience’s perception or increase authenticity and trust. However, some brands only see branded content as a chance to increase awareness of their latest press release. This approach is a waste of resources, and it’s impossible to measure the success of such content without clear goals.
It’s essential to understand what you want to achieve from your brand-building efforts, and the goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This approach will ensure that your efforts are focused and that you can measure your progress against specific targets.
Don’t Forget Your Audience
One of the main reasons branded content exists is because it’s mutually beneficial. The brand gets value by leveraging the publisher’s audience trust, and the publisher gets value because they are paid for it. However, it’s crucial to consider the audience’s perspective while creating branded content.
Publications have a unique tone and flavor, and the branded content should not be mismatched. If the branded content doesn’t align with the publisher’s tone and flavor, it could erode the audience’s trust in the quality of their content.
Graham suggests that brands need to ask what value they’re bringing to the audience. Brands should put themselves in the audience’s shoes and ask whether their content would resonate with them. If not, it’s unlikely that the content will resonate with the audience.
Therefore, it’s crucial to create branded content that aligns with the publisher’s tone and flavor while still providing value to the audience. This approach ensures that the audience’s trust in the publisher is not eroded and the brand achieves its objectives.
Don’t Forget To Tell A Story
In today’s world, where consumers are bombarded with advertisements everywhere they go, telling a story with your branded content is essential. The key is to make the brand messaging subtle and not interrupt the audience’s engagement with the content.
Graham explains that interrupting an audience when they’re already engaged with something could be frustrating and drive them away. Integrating brand messaging seamlessly into the story is crucial to retain audience engagement.
People love stories. Stories capture our attention, evoke emotions, and help us remember information. Therefore, creating branded content that tells a compelling story is essential.
A good story connects with the audience on an emotional level and stays with them long after they’ve consumed the content. It’s the best way to create a lasting impression and build a strong brand.
Many brands have successfully implemented the principles of brand building discussed in this article. Here are a few examples:
Nike is a brand that has been doing brand-building right for decades. They have a clear brand identity and consistently deliver high-quality products. Nike’s marketing campaigns are always focused on empowering and inspiring their customers. For example, their “Just Do It” campaign encourages people to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. Nike’s storytelling approach has resonated with audiences worldwide and helped establish them as a dominant player in the sports apparel industry.
Airbnb is a company that has built its brand on the concept of “belonging anywhere.” They have created a community of travelers looking for unique experiences and connections with locals. Airbnb’s branding strategy focuses on building trust with its customers by emphasizing transparency and authenticity. They use storytelling to connect with their audience and showcase the unique experiences their customers can have with their service. Their “Live There” campaign is a great example of this approach.
Patagonia is a company that has built its brand on a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Their branding strategy focuses on building a community of customers who share their values and are passionate about the environment. Patagonia’s marketing campaigns focus on educating their customers about environmental issues and encouraging them to act. Their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign was a bold move that emphasized their commitment to sustainability and resonated with their audience.
Apple is a brand that has built its identity on innovation and design. They consistently deliver high-quality products that are intuitive and easy to use. Apple’s branding strategy focuses on creating a sense of exclusivity and luxury around its products. They use storytelling to create an emotional connection with their customers and emphasize the quality and craftsmanship of their products. Their “Think Different” campaign is a great example of this approach.
Coca-Cola is a classic example of a brand that has stood the test of time. They have built a brand around happiness and bringing people together. Coca-Cola has consistently used storytelling to create emotional connections with its customers. For example, their “Share a Coke” campaign encouraged people to share a bottle of Coke with someone special and share their stories on social media. This campaign was hugely successful and helped to reinforce Coca-Cola’s brand identity.
Warby Parker is a company that has disrupted the eyewear industry with its direct-to-consumer business model. They have built a brand around making eyewear affordable and accessible. Warby Parker’s branding strategy focuses on creating a sense of community and encouraging customers to express their individuality. Their marketing campaigns are fun and playful and use storytelling to connect with their audience. For example, their “Home Try-On” campaign encouraged people to try on glasses at home and share their photos on social media.
Dove is a brand that has built its identity on the idea of real beauty. They have consistently challenged traditional beauty standards and emphasized the importance of self-confidence and self-esteem. Dove’s branding strategy focuses on creating a sense of inclusivity and celebrating diversity. Their marketing campaigns are empowering and use storytelling to connect with their audience. For example, their “Real Beauty” campaign featured real women of all ages, shapes, and sizes and encouraged women to embrace their natural beauty.
Tesla is a brand that has disrupted the automotive industry with its electric vehicles and sustainable energy solutions. They have built a brand around the idea of innovation and sustainability. Tesla’s branding strategy focuses on creating a sense of exclusivity and luxury around its products. Their marketing campaigns are futuristic and aspirational and use storytelling to showcase the benefits of their technology. For example, their “Master Plan” campaign outlined Tesla’s vision for a sustainable energy future and helped to reinforce its brand identity.
These are just a few more examples of brands that have successfully implemented the principles of brand building discussed in this article. By having clearly defined goals, considering their audience, and telling a compelling story, these brands have established themselves as leaders in their respective industries.
Brand building is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. The three ‘don’ts’ of brand building discussed in this article are crucial to building a successful brand. Brands should have clearly defined goals to measure their success and ensure their efforts are focused. They should also consider their audience and create branded content that aligns with the publisher’s tone and flavor while providing value to the audience. Finally, they should tell a compelling story that connects with the audience emotionally and helps build a lasting impression. By following these principles, brands can build a strong and unique identity that resonates with their customers and sets them apart from their competitors. With the examples provided, it is clear that these principles are effective in building successful brands, and companies should strive to implement them in their brand-building strategies.
In conclusion, these are just a few examples of brands that have successfully implemented the principles of brand building discussed in this article. By having clearly defined goals, considering their audience, and telling a compelling story, these brands have established themselves as leaders in their respective industries.