(And What You Can Learn From Them)
An overwhelming number of new businesses hear the term “branding” and run scared in the other direction. There’s a startling misconception that branding is something that only big, established businesses need to worry about. The reality is quite the opposite. Every brand, especially a new business, needs a voice. Every business needs a way to convey to customers and clients what their value is and what they stand for.
A marketing campaign devoid of branding strategy is quite simply a marketing campaign that will fail to deliver. Statistics have proven time and time again, that consumers are willing to pay more for brands they recognize and align with.
The good news is, it’s possible to brand your business in an effective way, even if you’re a small business on a budget. Here are four examples of new businesses that are killing it with branding, and what you can take away from their efforts.
Killer Branding Example #1: Mercer CareerArc Candidate Care
Mercer CareerArc Candidate Care is an innovative human resource technology platform that builds social media brand loyalty by offering declined job candidates an intensive on-line package of complimentary job placement services. While most job search sites and HR recruiting platforms never bother with declined job applications, Mercer CareerArc saw an opportunity.
Takeaway: Know your customer, and find new ways to deliver.
Hopefully, you already understand the importance of doing market research and knowing your target audience. Just as important as knowing who your target audience is, is knowing what their pain points are. If you can find a gap that other people in your industry are failing to fill for your potential customers, then you’ve found a potential goldmine. Nothing is more valuable than understanding your target audience.
Tina Mosetis, a PR rep for the company explains their strategic thinking, “40 percent of all companies don't even bother to tell applicants they've been declined and we know that applicants that have a negative experience are three times more likely to post negative comments on social media. This forward thinking brand and marketing strategy breaks tradition and gives candidates the assistance they need and increases the likelihood of their applying for future jobs with the firm -- all while enhancing the brand's image via positive social media commentary from declined candidates.”
Killer Branding Example #2: Pai Technology
Pai Technology is an international company focused on the development of children three to 12 years old As a brand that’s new to the U.S., they knew they needed to be really clear on their messaging in order to cut through the noise.
Amy Braun, the U.S. marketing director for Pai, says, “We’re competing against major education tech brands in the children’s tech toy space. We need a brand message that not only resonates with our audience but also communicates what we stand for, which is family values and child development.”
Pai Technology ended up settling on the slogan, ‘grow, develop and play. Its media kit really paints a picture in the first two sentences, “Imagine...technology that doesn’t tear your family apart, but instead brings you closer together. Imagine...technology that doesn’t interfere with your child’s education and development, but encourages it.”
With messaging like that, it’s no secret what the brand is all about.
Takeaway: Create clear, concise, and compelling messages
If you were unsure how important messaging is to your branding strategy, now is the time to stop second guessing. Before you even think about implementing a branding strategy, you need to develop clear branding guidelines that will be consistent across all platforms.
From your tagline to your elevator pitch, all the way down to the messaging on your website and social media, your company values need to be consistent everywhere your potential customers can find you.
Killer Branding Example #3: Savvy Travelers
Savvy Travelers is focused on creating travel-friendly beauty products so women can feel fresh and classy without carrying bulky beauty items. They’ve created massive brand awareness by engaging with other influencers in their niche.
Tracy Keyser, a PR rep for Savvy Travelers, says, “The social media influencers and celebs have been key for us, then being able to use their names in the weeklies is huge pop culture exposure. Tina Aldatz also has a book so her speaking engagements really help brand the company.”
By reaching out to brand ambassadors, bloggers and reporters the company has been able to create brand awareness much faster than they could have done on their own. They’ve also been featured in well-known outlets such as Life & Style, the LA Times and Star Magazine, among others.
Takeaway: Don’t try to build your brand by yourself.
Finding the right people to help you share your message can get you to your goals much faster. Whether it’s influencers in your niche, loyal fans or reporters, encouraging others to share your brand puts you in front of your target audience in a quicker, more memorable way.
Killer Branding Example #4: #KB4Jeep
Kelley Buttrick, a professional voiceover artist, had her sights set on being voiceover talent for Jeep. Rather than sit around and wait for them to call, she spearheaded her own campaign, which she called the #KB4Jeep campaign.
“I created #KB4Jeep. A brand representing my full-scale campaign to encourage Jeep and their affiliated creative agencies to use my voice. Tactics included: original content video production, direct email campaigns, snail mail campaigns, multiple graphic design elements, public
relations efforts, promotional items, client testimonials, web page development, sponsorships and a daily social media campaign.”
It might have been out of the box, but was it successful? Absolutely.
Buttrick adds, “AdWeek called me crazy, but...My campaign led to PRDaily inviting me to share branding tips in an article and to join them to talk about branding on a RaganChat.”
Takeaway: Think outside the box.
Newsflash: the marketplace is crowded with new businesses vying for consumer and media attention. If you stick to boring and traditional, it will be that much harder to cut through the noise.
Creativity, imagination and just the right amount of risk can pay off when it comes to creating a memorable branding campaign.
Bottom Line? Branding is Critical for EVERY Business
Businesses big or small have one thing in common, and that’s the necessity of branding in order to sustain longevity. The fact of the matter is, products have lifecycles and brands have staying power. By putting some strategy behind your branding campaign, you can stay at the forefront of customers minds, which makes it easier for them to part with the money in their wallets.
Photo credit: KB Voiceovers