The way people perceive a brand can either make or break the company’s bottom line. Consumers are more discerning than ever and brand image has never been more important. This phenomenon is forcing brands to humanize themselves and connect with people in order to succeed. So what does it take for companies to adapt and succeed in this new environment? Well it involves becoming what I call a “fun brand”, which is exactly what it sounds like. Modify your image strategy in order to become a fun brand. This is much easier said than done, but focusing on these 6 main pillars will help to achieve the status of a fun brand.
Sense of Humor
Having a sense of humor needs to come naturally and should be relevant to your business offering or something very topical. Humor has been proven to increase both reach and engagement for your brand. It is also a great way to connect with more youthful audiences. Charmin executes this perfectly with their online communications strategies
It’s this kind of conversation that brings reward. It helps to humanize the brand and to be honest, it’s also a lot of fun to be creative in this way. Sometimes you just have to loosen up that corporate tie.
Think People First, not Selling
When posting content to social media it is important to not lead with a sell first approach. Thinking sell all the time will hinder your brands ability to make meaningful connections and build loyalty. Lead with relevant storytelling techniques, lead with creative and well design photos and graphics and lead with video content when you can (keep it short if you can as well). The sell will come and will be more effective with this pull approach versus a push. When your communications become more relatable, it is not long after that the organization will as well. Make it your business to make your communications strategies about the people in your product/service community and you will see better results.
Speak in Your Audience’s Language – Be unpredictable
Now, this one is easier said than done, but for those who are observant and opportunistic it can really do wonders for your organization. One of my personal favorite types of marketing is trend marketing and taking advantage of topical stories that your brands gets unpredictable with. Oreo struck gold with such a simple twitter post.
The amount of earned media Oreo got from this clever ‘in the moment move’ when the lights went out at the Superbowl is crazy. Similarly, Tide got on board with a trending disagreement between social media users on the color of a dress.
It’s one of the least expensive forms of advertising out there for companies, but can be the most powerful. When you miss, you miss small. When you hit, you hit big!
Community & Sustainability
This marketing tool is very important because not only is it good for public relations and advertising purposes, but you’re also making the world a better place. This could be as simple as having a brand presence at local events and sponsoring local initiatives. It could also be as big as a health aid related charity or a sustainability effort. Regardless of the size of the efforts, firms have a social responsibility to give back to those that have given them a customer base or just a starting point. I mean just look at its success, it would be really hard to find a medium to large company that isn’t doing something to better society and the community. When you align those efforts with your business’ vision, it almost always has a positive impact on your bottom line as well.
In the last few years experiential marketing has really taken off as consumers want more than traditional ads. Brands are creating better and more creative content that it is bringing the best out of ads. With such a cluttered ad environment, stand outs use experiential marketing as their number one tool. Commercials are becoming intriguing mini movies with Hollywood production like cinematography. It’s not as expensive as you would think either, you just need a good concept, script, editor and an IPhone 5 or newer can do the trick. You can really have a lot of fun with your creativity and new technologies in experiential marketing. Many brands have used apps and VR technologies to build on the experience, but what’s most important is to realize that every point of contact a consumer has with your business needs to be an experience. Brands need to create that experience from their ads, website, store(s), promotions, servicing/products, post-sale communications and all the way to their social medias and everything in between.
Fun Inside Out
The idea that employees should have fun is something we often associate with Google pioneering, but it has been around for a while and still holds true today. Yes, Google has mastered this and they invested in it for a few simple reasons. Having a fun corporate environment helps attract the best talent to your organization and keeps employees motivated. It also improves teamwork and synergy. It gives your business this positive aura of happiness and positivity that customers and markets actually feel. Overall it raises your businesses service levels and this is crucial for differentiation and gaining competitive advantages… People love better service. Great environments create, well, great everything else. It doesn’t cost much to have fun, so do it already! Some ways to get started down the fun road are: Organizing activities, create a better layout and listen to what your employees want.