Branding can give marketers an edge in today’s cluttered and competitive marketplace and boost performance advertising in the long term. In fact, eMarketer says branding “is the foundation on which all good performance marketing is built. A robust brand can cultivate long-term awareness with a large audience — something that bottom-funnel targeted marketing efforts cannot.”
Yet many clients don’t have a strong brand foundation even though they’re eager to launch branding campaigns. They think if only they can get in front of more people, awareness, interest and sales will automatically grow, but it’s not that easy; it’s not how it works.
Doing Your Branding Legwork
To connect with consumers today, you must go beyond sharing your name, logo, tagline and pretty imagery. That will only take you so far. Go deeper and share what’s behind your brand to truly resonate with customers. To develop good branding, you first have to know your purpose, audience, emotional impact and personalization.
Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it? What do you believe in? What do you stand for?
Collaborating with your leadership team, employees and stakeholders to get answers to these questions and then deciding how best to share your distinct brand story can be a tough task. But when you do, it has lasting benefits. You can learn what differentiates you from the competition and communicate that well to break through the noise and attract and retain more customers.
Understanding your brand’s purpose and consumers is critical. That’s because according to the 2020 Zeno Strength of Purpose Zeno Study, customers aren’t buying brands these days, they’re joining them.
In fact, the study found consumers are
- 4x more likely to purchase from the brand when a company has a strong purpose.
- 4.1x more likely to trust a brand.
- 6x more likely to continue supporting that brand in a challenging moment.
- 4.5x more likely to recommend the brand to friends and family.
You just need to ensure your purpose is one your customers and prospects can get behind. Keep pulse on what your target audience expects, what their likes, dislikes, pain points and desires are so you can continually anticipate and meet their every need and act on those valuable insights.
Your Emotional Impact
When your purpose, mission, vision and values align with those of your customers and prospects, like the stats above show, not only can you more authentically connect with your target audience but also you can become more memorable in their minds and encourage greater brand authority, customer engagement and loyalty.
“Brands are emotional,” says our president, Jay Friedman. “Advertising matters economically and emotionally. While consumers may not consciously turn to brands to feel better, brands help us connect and express who we are. When we see advertising, we subconsciously think about how a product purchase will help us express ourselves and connect with others.”
Advertising builds connections and communities of like-minded people, and it’s truly amazing what one brand and its loyal customers can do. Warby Parker’s customers rallied around the company’s mission to provide vision for all, and as a result in early 2022, the company hit this milestone: Through its Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, Warby Parker has been able to distribute more than 10 million glasses to people in need around the world.
McKinsey’s Next in Personalization 2021 report said “personalization matters more than ever, with COVID-19 and the surge in digital behaviors raising the bar.” The report also shared these startling stats:
- 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% get frustrated when it doesn’t happen.
- Companies that grow faster drive 40% more of their revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts.
- 72% said they expect the businesses they buy from to recognize them as individuals and to know their interests.
Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s becoming a consumer expectation. So how can you increase your own brand’s personalization efforts?
McKinsey says it’s about meeting your customers and prospects where they are, knowing their tastes, offering something just for them and, of course, checking in regularly at every touch point throughout the purchase cycle, which happens to be getting longer all the time. In fact, eMarketer said it now could be as long as 18 months or more! Making your customers and prospects feel welcome, sending suggestions or communications based on their interests or recent behavior and marking personal milestones can keep your brand fresh in consumers’ minds and help nurture future customers, even years in advance.
One company that’s increasing its digital personalization efforts after COVID-19 and planning a more omnichannel consumer experience this year and beyond is Nespresso. The brand said it plans to unify the customer experience across digital channels, call centers and retail to capture enhanced data, facilitate seamless transactions and provide a more personalized shopping experience to “bridge the gap between offline and online retail.”
Making the Most of Your Branding
eMarketer said in its recent DTC Brands 2022 report that choosing digital ads such as connected TV (CTV) ads can give you the best of both worlds, the best of brand building and performance marketing.
CTV is a storytelling medium, so you can captivate your target audience just as you would with linear TV while reaping the benefits a digital channel can offer – the measurement tools to understand your audience’s preferences and the analytics to get the insights you need to drive campaign results.
Focusing on branding and performance marketing at the same time makes sense. When you lay the groundwork with good branding and build on it with performance marketing, you can help your brand soar to new heights.