For many marketers, effective brand marketing is elusive. There are dozens of reasons marketers fail at brand marketing – they don’t take enough risk, they’re not creative enough, they don’t understand what brand marketing is – but there are a few reasons that the most successful brand marketers succeed.
The best brand marketing has a few common traits that set it above the rest of the pack – consistency, an ability to pivot, and memorability. Let’s dive into each one of those characteristics to better understand what makes the best brand marketers tick.
The most common mistake that brand-centric marketers make is overestimating how much their audience cares about their brand. Most people don’t care about your brand at all, and the few that do care don’t care nearly as much as you think they do. Many marketers believe that they will release a marketing campaign and customers will meet it with surprise and delight because of how clever it is. In reality, however, most marketers are lucky if they receive this reaction once in their career, let alone through every campaign.
The best marketers remain consistent, because it’s the most effective way to guarantee eventual success. You won’t hit a home run every at bat, but having a consistent swing will help you hit one when the pitch is right. You can help make your brand marketing efforts more consistent by:
Once your team is consistent with their brand marketing, it’s time to learn where they can have some creative freedom.
Let’s get this out of the way now… Oreo did it best.
Okay, now that I’ve made my obligatory Oreo mention, let’s talk about being timely with your brand.
Because of how easily brands can make their voice heard, many have placed a high premium on being clever and timely. For major brands, this means staging social media war rooms, manned with a dozen people prepared to write clever tweets about every major event that’s happening on TV.
While that’s all well and good, it’s not a great fit for most brands. Unless you’re beer or wings, people usually don’t want to hear about you during the Super Bowl, so don’t bother trying to “newsjack” events where you weren’t invited. Instead, pay attention to how great brands in your industry pivot and flow with events. Are they running a big social media push for the Oscars, or are they paying closer attention to industry events that are more relevant to your target market?
Once you know what you should and should not be commenting on, create a strong brand voice that you’re confident you can speak in consistently. Make sure that anyone who will be speaking on behalf of your brand knows this voice well and can deliver the brand’s message consistently. This gives you a versatile tool that you can use to insert your brand into a lot of places.
Finally, the hardest part of great brand marketing is making it truly memorable. Not every campaign you run will end up being the Budweiser Clydesdales, but you should aim to make every brand marketing campaign you build memorable to the people who see it. This requires a lot of thought and creative flair, and for many it seems impossible, but a good faith effort is a good place to start.