Brand Love: how does it translate to business marketing and PR?

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Measuring brand love in consumer marketing is big business.

It probably won’t surprise you to know that Nike for example is loved by 27.5 per cent of all 16 – 24 year olds. Slightly more surprising to learn that 32 per cent of young adults have boycotted a brand in the past year.  The main reasons were due to unethical practices, animal cruelty and poor quality products.

YouthSight, part of YouGov scores a host of brands, with consumer emotions towards them tracked on a scale of 1 to 5,  from love to hate.

Love and hate is important for business PR and marketing too. Almost every business transaction, no matter how “business-like” we try to be, will have an emotional element to it.

Top five levers of brand love for your business brand

 

1. The right endorsement or ambassador

We all look for validation from ‘people like us.’  In the business market, a brand ambassador is a customer.  Other people’s experience of your brand or service is crucial to the decision-making process. Look for case studies and customer recommendations from people or companies whose values are well known or obvious. Their experience should resonate or strike a chord with your target audience

2.  Use the right language

‘Mirroring’ is a classic sign of empathy and love in a human relationship. In consumer marketing it translates into ‘using the right language’.  KFC knew its market well enough to use the right language with its customers during its recent delivery crisis.  Their ad campaign and copy showed humour and personality.  It was right for KFC but it wouldn’t have been right for John Lewis. The right language and tone makes a huge difference.

KFC ad campaign using the right language for its customers

3. Hang out with their friends

Discovery and delight are part of the journey of love.  Your brand or service needs to be found by the right people. Being in the right communication channels – that might mean trade publications; websites; blogs; Instagram feeds; LinkedIn groups;  events; discussion forums and so on – all help you to be found.  Make sure your brand or service can be found in the places where your target audience is looking.

4. Show some love and understanding

As old as time itself, at least in terms of love and marketing.  People buy a solution for their needs, so describe all the benefits you can deliver. Show you understand and appreciate your prospects’ needs and challenges; make sure you don’t list product qualities but instead tell your target audience about the values, feelings or advantages it can give.

5. Make a commitment

“People had fallen a bit out of love with it…” How were people helped to fall in love with Tesco again? With the help of a huge increase in advertising budget.  Tesco increased its ad spend by more than any other food and drink advertiser last year to £73.9m.  (The Grocer “Tesco drives massive comeback”)

You don’t have to spend millions, but you do have to make an effort.  It takes time and effort to get the message and the medium right.  If your brand or service is valuable to you, it’s worth spending money to help others fall in love with it too.

Engaging ‘Meaningful interactions’ on social media

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After a few years of Facebook newsfeeds resembling flea markets, last month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a news feed algorithm adjustment in order to prioritise content from ‘friends, family and groups.’ So personal, user content will be coming top of newsfeeds, while publisher or page content will be increasingly less visible.

Fear not, this doesn’t mean that Facebook is no longer a useful platform for businesses. As the changes roll out across the platform, it’s just a case of adapting to this new algorithm. And we’re here to help!

Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed, so here are three quick tips that will make sure your social media continues to engage and reach your followers:

Consistently creating quality content, that people WANT to share

Just as you would carefully consider content for your website, a press release or any marketing material you put out, social media is just the same. Our favourite statistic here at Twelve is from our favourite Tweeter, Rob Temple of Very British Problems, who has said he sometimes takes a whole day to write one tweet!

To create authentic awareness and engagement with your social media channels, avoid a slew of promotional messages and instead, focus on crafting meaningful content that provide value to users, that they find interesting and want to share with their networks. This will drive engagement which is now so important across Facebook and Instagram with their new algorithms.

Going ‘Live’

Video is by far the most popular form of content shared on social media, so you should use it in your social media mix through ‘Live’ and Stories features on Facebook and Instagram:

  • Videos on Facebook see an average of135% more organic reach than images.
  • Live’ videos receive 6X the engagement as non-live ones (which bodes well for their sharability and potential for such engagement as comments and Likes).
  •  They also comment more than 10x more during live videos.
  • 1 in 5 organic Instagram Stories from brands see at least one direct message from a consumer.

The new algorithm takes into account all actions of engagement like replying to a Story or sending a Story to someone. The more engagement, the likelier your posts will show up in feeds. Live videos are also bumped up in Stories feed on Instagram making them, and therefore your brand, more visible.

Top tips 

Make time to respond to comments and engagement from your followers:

  • start a conversation;
  • ask relevant questions;
  • and respond to comments quickly and personally.

Build relationships with your fellow Instagrammers and Facebook users and not only will they follow you, and engage with your content, but you’ll attract their following over to your account too.

 

 

The anatomy of a cool brand and the role of PR

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“A strong brand stops you being commoditised” is the best explanation for why you should always be thinking about your brand.

But to improve your brand identity and performance you first need to unpick what makes a brand cool, or strong, so that you can work on the right elements.

Which is why Ben Reynold’s talk the other day on ‘The Anatomy of a Cool Brand’ at Soho Farm was so valuable.

Ben’s got an amazing CV –  Head of Partnership Marketing at British Airways, Marketing Manager at Ebookers.com and then Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at BBC Studies.

Then randomly (or not so randomly but that’s another story) Ben set up Carousel Lights with his sister, Rebecca.

In 2016 Carousel Lights was officially listed as a CoolBrand® .  All of which means Ben knows a thing or two about how to make a brand work.

And isn’t it cool that Ben gave his time and wisdom to us all free?

That’s all part of the DNA of a cool brand, so let’s take a look at what Ben said and share his pearls of wisdom.

The official Cool Brand criteria is a measure of the following:

  1. Authenticity
  2. Desirability
  3. Originality
  4. Innovation

The Cool Brand Council (yes, that’s a thing, check them out here http://www.coolbrands.uk.com/panel-1/)  gives each brand a score of ten against each of the above criteria.

Ben explains what these measures mean – for example, for desirable: ‘would you tell someone about it in a pub? As in “I’ve just bought a new neon light, it’s awesome” etc.

The brand scores are then triangulated against a poll of UK adults.

Ben also added his own definition of what makes a brand cool and gave examples against each quality.

What was interesting was how often anything associated with authenticity came up:

  • edgy
  • back story
  • trendsetting or working with trendsetters
  • progressive
  • stylish
  • authentic
  • consistent
  • associated with other cool brands or partners

You quickly build up a really good idea of the qualities of a cool brand.

But can you actually manufacture a cool brand, or it is just ‘happenstance?’

Based on Ben’s success in building Carousel Lights from scratch, and lots of the other official ‘Cool Brands’, like Sipsmith for example,  the answer is clearly ‘yes you can.’

Ben’s two stage plan for building a cool brand

THINK

  • have a clear strategy
  • decide what your product or service is (and what impact your product has on its market – what do they really see as your benefits)
  • who is your market (who’s using it and who’s buying it)
  • what’s your positioning
  • know what you’re not, compared to others

DO

  • create a clear identity
  • name (make it simple but saying something e.g. Mighty Boss)
  • logo
  • strapline
  • personality (e.g. Meat and Liquor)
  • tone ( e.g. Dave channel “the home of witty banter”)
  • palettes (colour scheme with design and logo)
  • experience (what happens, what do you experience when you buy the product, the exchange contact)
  • conduct research, but use common sense. Consider Henry Ford’s words: “If I’d asked people what they wanted they’d have said faster horses. “

What stood out for me from Ben’s excellent talk was the importance of authenticity and the back story to a brand’s success.

And the other powerful message was the importance of PR – the authenticity and belief which comes from editorial endorsement and content.

As Ben specifically said – not advertising, not advertorial, but editorial. Something which a good PR agency like Twelve can help you with.

Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it, when I say PR is a crucial tool in building a strong and successful brand, read Ben’s words for yourself in The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/mar/30/startup-of-the-year-2014-carousel-lights

Huge shout out to Ben at Carousel Lights and Soho Farmhouse for giving us a steady stream of deliciousness for our minds, bodies and souls.