In a competitive world full of big and renowned brands, it is rarely enough to create a valuable product or service in order to attract clients. Moreover, it is often not enough to simply advertise these goods to create lasting relationships with customers. What is the secret to building such trust and achieving business success? Well, some claim that such a key lies in brand advertising. How can it help? Let’s investigate!
What is brand advertising?
Brand advertising is a type of strategy that develops brand recognition, customer loyalty, and builds lasting relationships with clients. Its main aims are to capture people’s attention, to establish a stable positive brand identity, and to maintain awareness of potential customers over time.
The brand is an idea behind the product, a concept that allows customers to recognize offers made by specific companies out of the huge number of similar products and services. Branding usually includes name, logo, packaging, pricing, and other specific traits of the product. The idea behind the offer can define brand advertising strategy, as it is often determined by values promoted by the company more than by the actual product.
Brand advertising examples
Companies that use brand advertisement are usually focused on connecting with customers on both emotional and intellectual levels in order to create a unique and memorable brand image behind their products and services. Some of the most famous brand advertising examples include Coca-Cola, as they involve strong emotional associations and brand image consistency over the decades.
As we can see, the task is not to sell the product as fast as possible but to create strong integrity between their goods, brand, and value in the minds of potential buyers. After all, this will bring much more value long-term, as people usually tend to trust brands they already know when deciding on a purchase.
Who should use brand advertising
Generally, two types of advertising strategies are distinguished - brand advertising and direct response marketing. Direct response ads are aimed at a specific action and are easily measurable based on the achieved results of the campaign. In contrast, brand advertising campaigns don't usually involve calls to action and are more focused on impressions and reach. How to decide which programmatic ads strategy your business needs? Here are a couple of exemplary cases of brand advertising campaign goals:
- Introduction of the new product or company to the market;
- Maintaining brand awareness around an already established brand;
- Supporting customer loyalty and keeping your audience interested;
- Increasing leads and sales in a long-term perspective;
- Adding up new value to the brand or entire re-branding of the company;
Most of these tasks are oriented at the long-term perspective, so such advertising is especially useful to reach strategic goals in combination with other marketing efforts. Also, these goals often help each other - introducing a new product can also increase customer loyalty while maintaining brand awareness can also help to get more leads. In contrast, direct response marketing suits better when it comes to more practical and exact goals, such as increasing sales, promoting specific offers or building a mailing list.
How brand advertising works
Now that we’ve got a brand advertising definition and the goals it helps to reach, let us move to more practical questions and investigate how this strategy works. The development of a brand advertising campaign usually consists of the following steps:
Step 1. Defining goals and audience
The initial step is almost always the same for any type of advertising campaign - to define clear goals. For the case of brand advertising, the objectives can include increasing brand awareness, introducing new products, creating a positive brand image, etc. The choice of the goals also determines the target audience persona of the campaign, and sometimes each segment of the audience can be assigned a unique business goal.
In order to achieve these goals, it is necessary to precisely understand the main characteristics of each segment among your target audience. These usually include demographics, geolocation, social position, their interests and problems, channels they choose, etc. Having a clear understanding of your goals and audience already gets you half of the work done.
Step 2. Brand positioning
The second most important thing about your brand advertising strategy is a market research and subsequent brand positioning. It requires some time and effort, but a correct vision is indispensable for precise brand positioning. There are several things to consider:
- Market research - current landscape in the industry, how saturated the market is, who are the main competitors, their unique features, and target audiences.
- The current position of the brand - its popularity and customer’s attitudes, advantages, and disadvantages of the product, main features.
- Unique value or unique selling proposition - a specific feature of the product or the particular problem it is designed to solve not covered by the competitors yet.
- Apart from practical usage, there is also often an added value, usually more abstract, such as, for instance, prestige, fashion, high social status, or a feeling of belonging.
Quality of goods usually defines the winner in the competition for users' attention. However, nowadays brand positioning becomes a decisive part of a company's success or failure much more often. Remember that the image of the product in the mind of consumers is sometimes even more important than the actual product itself.
Step 3. Application
Once most of the strategic planning is done, it is time to move on to the practice. Based on the chosen goals, audiences, and a desirable brand positioning, one can start acting:
- Choosing the right tools and strategies. Depending on the target audience, one should choose tools and channels for advertising, duration, and other details of the campaign. It is also important to create a unique strategy for each channel taking into consideration specifics and how your target audience uses this channel.
- Setting a budget. Important details of your strategy can depend a lot on your budget and its distribution. Emphasize channels that perform best and cut your expenses on ones that don’t work so well. Always keep your main goals in mind and distribute your resources accordingly.
- Setting up a campaign. This step is very case-specific as numerous factors influence the process depending on the industry and business goals. The general plan, however, looks similarly for most of the digital advertising campaigns and includes using a demand-side platform for buying the right inventory.
- Running and optimizing. After the creation of the campaign, it is important to closely monitor and track its performance. Pay attention to changes in your brand traffic - the increase in searches for your company’s name is a good sign for your brand advertising campaign. Sometimes campaigns can perform better after changing a small detail and there is no way to predict it beforehand. Be sensitive about such things and timely optimize them to dramatically influence the success of your endeavor.
Using brand advertising can help businesses reach many goals in the long-term perspective. In fact, this type of marketing becomes indispensable at some stage of development for practically any business with an ambition to scale up. With a defined set of channels and a precise budget, one can start building a unique and consistent brand image by setting a perfect brand advertising campaign. A solid brand image can serve as a core for lasting and trustworthy relationships with your customers which is a key for successful business development.
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Irina Kovalenko, CMO of SmartyAds