It is always interesting to observe what some of the leading brands in the world do with their marketing. Being a small business owner, there are lots of things I take away from different marketing campaigns from the big brands and apple that to what I do with my marketing. While marketing is both an art and a science, there are certain things that are common with the marketing efforts of leading brands from how to launch a new product, how to price a product and how to create a campaign that resonates with their target market.
These five things are by no means a complete breakdown of what the leading brands do but it will give you some insights into what they consistently do.
- Connect with customers emotionally. Nike does this brilliantly as they never tell customers to buy shoes or apparel in their ads. Instead, they feature great or famous athletes wearing the products they want you to buy. The message they get across to customers is if you also have the same sportswear as these athletes, you too can also achieve greatness in what you do. Being a NBA Basketball fan, as a teenager and in my twenty’s, I had to have Nike basketball shoes! I can’t say having Nike shoes made me play basketball like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant!
Another example is Coke’s “Happiness” concept. With this concept, Coke uses happiness as a strong emotional trigger to connect people. In a recent campaign, Coke used “share a can of Coke” as the main hook and successfully positioned themselves as a brand that connects millions of people.
- Engage with your target audience. Whole Foods is a supermarket chain that have positioned themselves as a chain that caters for those interested in health and well-being. As a result, they have targeted a niche market and created loyal customers. Whole Foods communicates with their customers that they are much than a store which sells groceries. Instead they support their customers who are focused on health and wellness. They engage with their customers through excellent customer service, customer education through their blogs and magazines, and they have created an environment has differentiated themselves from other traditional supermarkets.
- Give customers more choice. McDonalds is currently using their “Amore” campaign to give their customers more choice with what products they want to buy. Rather than being stuck with a meal deal, customer now can choose which individual items they want to make up the meal deal. For example, some customers may prefer to have extra fries instead of a drink and now they have this choice. I personally think this has been one of McDonalds’ best campaigns for a long time along with their “Ask us anything” campaign, where customers can ask anything about the ingredients, how they products are made and even why some of the products do not look like what’s shown in the ads.
- Turn something ordinary into something beautiful. Apple is a brand that uses this strategy extremely well. When personal computers first became mainstream, customers enjoyed buying their own parts and building or upgrading their computer systems. However Apple redefined design standards and created iconic products like the iMac, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air. Apple focused a lot of attention on how the product performs and the aesthetics, from how the product looks to the packaging of the products. Personally, I have kept all my Apple packaging because they look so good. Apple have set the benchmark for turning something ordinary into something beautiful.
- Maintain consistency. Starbucks is a example of brand consistency. Across the world, the brand has a consistent look and feel from the logo, the colours used, the store design, the menu, and the overall look and feel of Starbucks. Apple also does this extremely well. Maintaining consistency is fundamental for any brand as this helps with brand recognition and customer loyalty.
The world’s leading brands are successfully doing these five things and more to acquire new customers and keep existing customers. Every business can start applying these things to their marketing strategy and get a better return for their marketing efforts.
Question: How can applying some of these marketing strategies help you with your marketing?
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