There are countless branding and advertising techniques that we’ve learned throughout our careers in this industry, as well as from watching innovative examples around the world. We’ve all come up with our own original ideas, worked alongside our team members to create them, and watched them bloom as proud parents of our campaigns. But what happens when you make fundamental branding mistakes, and a killer campaign can’t save you or your brand reputation? Here are some key tips:
Whether or not you’re a new company or a established brand, take a look at your brand strategy. Are you clear on who you’re target audience is? Who can afford your product or service? How about your brand archetype? If these words sound like a different language to you, stop what you’re doing right now, grab your team and have a heart to heart. Every company needs to be clear on their brand strategy in order to create successful advertising campaigns. Sign up for Blade’s Leading Edge Brand Plan, where we’ll walk you through these hard-to-answer questions and build your brand strategy together.
Diversity and Inclusion
In this day and age, making your brand inclusive is good business. More so, you should want to be inclusive. Especially if subconsciously, you weren’t doing it before. Why alienate a section of your audience, and lose that potential market share? Many brands have gone through a wakeup call with the recent global movements that have taken place. They’ve been called out by consumers for not being diverse enough in their creative, whether that be models used in photoshoots, influencers they collaborate with, or those working in corporate. Now, companies need to go out of their way to ensure they have diverse representation in digital ads, social media platforms, blog photos and any other content they’re putting out. Reflect on your current creative and ask yourself if it’s a good representation of the world we see around us. Continue to talk about diversity and inclusion within your organization. It starts with creating an inclusive work environment, where people with different perspectives are heard, and are contributing to the work you are producing as a brand. If you follow this advice, eventually being diverse in your advertising efforts will become second nature within your company.
Your customers are everything! With all the competition out there, you are lucky to have this small piece of the pie. Don’t ruin it. When they ask for something, try your hardest to give it to them. Listening to your customers goes a little deeper then asking if you’ll make your best-selling sweater in green. Make sure you’re listening when they ask for the bigger things: more body positivity, diversity, and where you stand on important issues. As already mentioned, many brands have been called out for these exact failings. Don’t be one of them! After all, customers have the ability to make or break you, all with one Instagram comment.
When you’re in the branding business, your goal is to create a community of like-minded people who so deeply believe in your product or service that they become brand ambassadors who will essentially advertise for you. Keep the word ‘community’ at the forefront of everything you do: all branding strategies, written content and visual assets. While you are advertising to one ‘brand persona’ when you’re creating your strategy, it’s important to remember that what you’re really going after is a brand community. Once a strong brand community has been established, they essentially do the work of advertising for you, raving about your product or service and influencing their friends and family to go out and buy it.
It’s almost comical how so many companies want a strong brand presence but treat social media as an afterthought. Social media is one of the most effective ways to create viral, shareable content at a fraction of the production cost and lead time as traditional media. Not to mention, more and more people are turning to social media to learn about new products, for news and culture updates, as a form of entertainment, and have generally been spending more time on these platforms. Basically, if you don’t have a social strategy for your brand, get cracking. And if you haven’t saved your company’s username on TikTok yet, stop what you’re doing, download the app and do it right now!
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Stick to these branding fundamentals, drive loyalty back to your community and set your brand up for success!