When a business releases a new product, its success will lead to sales and revenue growth. However, such success also encourages competitors to produce similar products in attempts to steal market share. For these competitor businesses, entering what may even appear to be a mature market, a branding agency will help to position product, increasing customer awareness and positive perception.
Ben & Jerry’s: a brand coming in from the cold
In the modern world, advertising and marketing are being replaced by customer engagement campaigns. Ben & Jerry’s UK, the ice cream people, wanted a fresh approach to its usual social media marketing, and so employed the services of media agency Mindshare. Together they created one of the first campaigns in Britain to use TV conversation targeting, encouraging customers to tweet flavour suggestions in response to television commercials.
Company tweets targeted specific interests, keywords, and search terms, with TV adverts shown during programs watched by target demographics. The branding agency came up with a hashtag which included the brand name and was simultaneously engaging, simple, and brand reinforcing. Celebrity tweeters were targeted, and online ‘listening tools’ were used to better drive its content strategy. Fans were rewarded with two-way conversations and personalised images of tweeted suggestions.
The branding efforts produced huge results: a 61% increase in mentions, a 15.2% engagement rate on promoted tweets, and 6,800 extra followers on Twitter.
What a branding will do for your product
A branding agency will work to make your name synonymous with your product. Strongly branded products are better able to defend their market share and margins, even when faced with price busting competition. Commonly quoted examples include Coca-Cola and, of course, Apple. Indeed Apple has branded so well that it sells its products at up to ten-times the price of cheaper competitor products.
Brand awareness not only adds sales but also adds value. Recent valuations of brand alone has put Apple’s brand value at around $120 billion, or more than 20% of its total market capitalisation. Coca Cola’s brand is worth almost half of its market capitalisation.
Branding puts businesses at the forefront of customer thinking, encouraging greater sales, recommendations, and product excitement. Branding works for businesses, products, and individuals – even fictional characters (consider the hype around the Harry Potter brand, for example).
How to create brand
Branding is what marks you as different from competitors. It provides uniqueness of character and commodity. A brand tells customers about you, your business ethics, and your values, helping them to identify with you and your products.
A branding agency is experienced at creating brand and brand awareness. It will examine your strengths and weaknesses, research target markets and conduct customer surveys. Brand creation requires consideration of customer, business ethics, competitors, and product characteristics.
A branding company works closely with its client to consider all these factors, creating logos, mission statements, even corporate colours.
Brand awareness is created by developing a strategy which targets potential customers and builds ‘buzz’ around products and company. Tactics to do so will include:
- Leveraging web presence and social media
- Traditional advertising, including newspaper, magazine, TV and radio
- Positioning in line with company values
Mistakes companies make when looking for a branding agency
With branding being so important in today’s market, both in terms of product sales and company value, one of the biggest decisions your company will make is that of branding agency. Here are three of the biggest mistakes companies make when hiring an agency:
- They don’t provide a clear brief, and end up choosing an agency lacking in required skills or expertise
- They look only at local agencies. Technology is breaking down the barriers of distance and locale: companies would be wise to search on expertise and experience standards before considering location
- They choose large integrated agencies without considering the advantages and benefits of working with a smaller, more agile branding agency which will likely prove more cost effective and efficient within its area of specialisation
As the examples of Coca Cola, Apple, and Ben & Jerry’s have all shown, branding is essential to long term success so it is important that you hire a branding agency that can deliver long-term sustainable results. It sets you apart from competition, keeps you at the forefront of customers’ thoughts, and enables you to sell at premium prices. Ultimately the benefits of branding are longevity and profit.