Consumers are loyal and your brand has the potential to reach more of your target when they feel familiarity and a sense of reliability
Consumers are publicly declaring alliances with brands that they have personal connections with and that advocate for similar causes they support. As a result, brands everywhere are implementing brand effectiveness by investing funds in advertising campaigns that target their ideal customer using strategic channels and content. The following are five adoptable lessons in brand effectiveness that have helped brands prove their leadership and awareness of their audience.
1. Know your audience.
My all-time favorite marketing campaign is “Share a Coke.” In 2014, Coca-Cola put popular first names on the front of their bottles, driving engagement and sales. Consumers scrambled to find their names and post the pictures to social media. “Coke has been trying to get on a first-name basis with consumers since launching its ‘Share a Coke’ packaging play,” Ad Age wrote of the campaign. “By stamping first names on packages, Coke is feeding into a thirst for personalization and customization.”
The lesson: Understand your audience precisely. Make your messaging and engagement more personalized so that they feel acquainted with you. This strategy will increase your loyal customer base and sales.
2. Content Is Still King.
When people think food delivery, they typically think pizza or their favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant. The tail end of the 20th century brought about online food delivery services that increased the consumer cuisine options to French, Indian, Greek and even wine delivery. The online food delivery company Seamless addresses consumer desire for convenience and versatility in an amusing way. From subway posters that read “The least ideal neighborhood for making out: Highbridge, Bronx. Based on the number of garlic-based orders.”to tweets that read “How do you roll?” with a sushi poll. Seamless has perfected the strategy of speaking directly to consumers and delivering information on how many food options are available through their service. Bill Gates wrote his “Content is King” essay more than 20 years ago and it’s still true today. Content drives engagement, interest and potential conversions. Teach your audience by providing content of value through education or humor.
The lesson: The more engaging the content, the higher the traffic that leads to higher conversions.
3. Adding Color to the Story.
I recently muted my TV and a Mastercard commercial caught my eye. The spot featured singer-songwriter Camila Cabello happily walking through a crowded street full of vivid colors. The sun was shining, adults were smiling and children were laughing. Camila would press “pay now” on the Mastercard app and—like magic—people had coffee, cupcakes and other goodies. Mastercard did a great job connecting their tagline—“Priceless Surprises”—with the creative imagery in the commercial. The brand was urging people to apply for a Mastercard and receive priceless surprises or consider making someone’s day by paying it forward.
The lesson: Be sure the story you tell in words matches your overall creative direction.
4. Are You Worth It?
American Express is widely regarded for its premier service to cardholders. With the tagline “Don’t Live Life Without It,” American Express prides itself on offering credit cards that fit the lifestyles of everyday people. With the gold card, an annual fee allows cardholders to receive rewards points when they purchase groceries, airlines tickets and more. American Express is doing more than just investing advertising dollars to target the everyday consumer; they are proving their worth and quality to the intended target by promoting countless beneficial features.
The lesson: Consumers don’t look to financially invest in a product that is not quality and does not provide the features that are beneficial to them. A brand’s messaging will attract the ideal consumer, but a great product will lead to a conversion.
5. Be Authentic. Be Consistent.
Brand perception, including product selling position—also known in marketing as unique selling position—and messaging to the intended audience must be authentic and consistent. Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan was created in 1988. Now, 31 years later, the slogan keeps the brand consistent to their audience. The authenticity of this slogan was tested in 2018 when Nike tapped Colin Kaepernick in one of the most controversial advertisements of the year with the statement, “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything.” The spot polarized conversations across the U.S. because of the political nature of the ad, but Nike did not stray far from the core beliefs and messaging it has used for decades. In fact, Nike stock closed that quarter at an all-time high of $83.47 per share.
The lesson: Consistency and authenticity sell. Consumers are loyal and your brand has the potential to reach more of your target when they feel familiarity and a sense of reliability.
Each of these five strategies can be executed efficiently with sufficient research on the target consumer. Engage consumers on a personal level with customized messaging, illustrating how your brand can best service them.
About the Author | Tiffany K. Schreane
Tiffany K. Schreane is a marketing, advertising branding professional with over a decade of experience working with Fortune 500 clients globally and domestically. Schreane’s professional background includes media director roles with Publicis Media and Ebiquity. Schreane is a marketing professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and Borough Manhattan Community College.