I remembered vividly one friend who is also in the branding industry asked me for my opinion, on how to create “THE ONE” big branding campaign for his big client. He wanted to have “the coolest” branding campaign (event), a new name or term to be put on radio jingles for people to better remember the brand. He was hoping that once the campaign is launched, consumers will flock massively to his client literally.
Sorry to extinguish that fire in my friend’s passionate belly, but a powerful, to be more precise, a sustainable brand may not happen just like that with the so-called campaign. (No matter how limitless his client’s marketing resources are). There is no such thing as “THE ONE” campaign in the history of any sustainable branding for any products and services.
A sustainable brand takes time and specific steps to be built gradually. The meaning of building a sustainable brand is far beyond coming up with fanciful themed campaigns.
Why Being a Sustainable Brand is important?Firstly, we have to understand why being a sustainable brand is highly important than creating “fairytale” campaigns. This is because a sustainable brand produces more realistic marketing results that create customers and keep them coming back over and over again.
In other words, sustainable brands are highly reputable brands in their niche markets. Once your brand has reached the level of sustainability, even if you stop marketing for a few months or even for an entire year, consumers will still come to you.
Today, there are plenty of sustainable brands created by their pioneering marketers and founders over the decades. If their new batch of marketers come up with something silly or an unsuccessful branding campaign, these sustainable brands will still have their good flow of customers.
So, forget about creating “THE ONE” branding campaign and follow these 8 rules of brand sustainability instead!
#1 Target the Right Prospects Consistently
One big difference between a sustainable branding strategy and a “sudden rush” branding campaign is that the former targets the right group of consumers while the latter literally blast to the mass consumers market. Such campaign usually massively declares how COOL their brands are by using flowery and superficial words like “Join Our Awesome Sunday Event!” or “Fly With Superheroes Today!”.
#2 Make it Relevant
A sustainable branding strategy focuses on targeting to prospects with relevant marketing content. Being relevant makes the consumer relates more to the brand in a much easier way. Using fanciful names or words that have no relevance to the brand may make it difficult for people to remember the brands for what they are.
#3 Be Good at What You’re Good At
What comes to your mind in one second when you see the word,
“Louis Vutton”? Premium handbags?
What a about the red “Ferrari”? Sports car, right?
Make it simple for consumers to relate what your brand means to them in their subcouncious minds. Our brands cannot be everything for everyone, it must have a specific expertise, a specific value in your products and services and of course, a specific consumer market.
Hence, be good at what you are good at, and continue be good at it!
#4 Show Quality in Product and Services
Nobody can assure anybody that they have “The Best in the World” product in terms of quality. This is because different consumers have individual perception when it comes to product quality.
However, this does not mean that we can compromise on the subject of quality. My opinion is that, so long your product has a certain degree of quality such that it won’t be damaged immediately after purchase.
If you are in the F&B industry, your food need not be Michelin standard; so long they taste good, it is good enough. In my opinion, McDonalds’ may not have the best burgers in the world, but many consumers (including myself!) still eat their burgers anyway, right?
The one thing that you can improve on, will be the level of customer experience. Good customer experience will lead to good word of mouth marketing, more referrals and therefore lead to better brand sustainability. Hence, focus on developing quality in your customer service today!
#5 Keep Your Customers
Once your brand have achieved a new customer, continue to find ways to make these customers happy with good customer service. So that they can be your brand’s best fans and give you good referrals.
#6 Expand Your Market Further
A sustainable brand continues to expand consistently in many aspects.
Firstly, you can expand your brand by targeting a new consumer market. For example, if you are a home designer who had already a strong base of home owners; you can expand your market a little more by targeting pets owners who are also home owners. You can share your thoughts and opinions on tips to create a pet friendly home and so on.
Another way to expand your market, is to do it geographically in the form of creating a franchise concept for your business. Organise your business success model in the form of easy-to-adopt manual and practices. Then, duplicate this business model by engaging your keen franchise prospects.
Franchising is a masterful way of sustainable branding in which you can leverage on other people’s investment to expand your brand. By being prominent in various countries, consumers’ perception of your brand will also become better and better gradually.
#7 Be Updated and Willing to Change!
A sustainable brand does not mean they are not updated with newer consumers’ preferences, newer marketing strategies and other newer strategies. It is important for a sustainable brand to be consistently innovative so as to create products and services that suits the consumers need.
One great example, is the introduction of smart phones in which Apple and later Samsung, are quick to control the mobile phones market instantly with this new product category. On the other hand, mobile giants like Nokia, Siemens and Motorola, were slow to the change in consumer preferences towards such that they lose their market leadership thereafter quickly as well.
Therefore, being updated and willing to change has to be the one essential criteria for any sustainable brand. No fanciful themed campaign can therefore bring back any “gone” brand back to life if it fails to be updated and willing to change.
#8 Think Long Term
A sustainable campaign takes note of the brand status in the present stage as well as in the long term, while the so called “ONE” campaign happens only for the short term. That is why it is important for marketers to understand the current realistic situation of their brands in the market, the current competitive landscape, and what are the ways they can do to reach brand sustainability 2 years, 5 years or 10 years from now.
In short, a good (sustainable) brand takes more than doing a campaign. It requires a consistent and long term action plan to educate the consumers about the expertise of one’s brand and hence, gaining brand sustainability eventually. So, all the best to you in your journey of branding!