The 5 E's of Brand Marketing
Brand marketing is essential to brand building success, as you learned in Part 1 of the Brand Marketing Basics series. Now, it's time to learn about the core elements of brand marketing -- what needs to go into every brand marketing effort your company pursues to develop the brand and build brand equity. Think of every marketing initiative as a brand marketing opportunity, and you'll be on the right track to success.
Brand marketing begins by ensuring every marketing effort serves a purpose in building your brand. Whether you're producing your company's annual report or sending a direct mail piece announcing a discount on a specific branded product, you have an opportunity for brand marketing. If you treat your brand as the most important asset that your company owns, then it will naturally become an integral part of all of your marketing efforts.
5 E's of Brand Marketing
To make the topic of brand marketing simple, I teach the 5 E's of Brand Marketing. Your brand marketing efforts should always include these five elements to effectively reach your brand building goals:
Engagement incorporates three parts: interactivity, relationships, and usefulness. First, brand marketing needs to invite people to talk about the brand, ask questions, and interact with the brand and with each other. This interactivity leads people to build relationships with other people and with your brand. To jump start the process, your brand marketing needs to be useful and meaningful to your target audience or they won't feel compelled to interact.
Rather than simply communicating messages, create brand marketing that enables people to experience your brand in the ways that they prefer. What does your brand stand for? What are your brand's values and how can you bring those values to life through in-person and online experiences. Can you tie your brand to a specific purpose that matters to your target audience?
As Larry Koffler, executive vice president of Edelman, explains, "In this brave new eco-system of brand marketing, purpose is a core part of the marketing DNA, where the value of values is paramount. Consumers are asking for more – for something lasting – for ways to partner with brands and corporations to make a difference. As the brand marketing evolutionary process accelerates, it’s clear purposeful programming will not only survive, but thrive."
Evoking emotions is critical to brand marketing success. Companies like Apple and Google have learned how to turn brands in what might be considered "boring" industries into emotion-filled brands. That's because people are more likely to act and remember when they feel something from your brand marketing efforts. Emotions can also lead to deeper relationships. Follow the link to learn more about Google's emotional branding efforts.
Today, consumers aren't willing to simply accept all of the messages that brands throw at them. Thanks to the widespread use of technology and social media, consumers can take control of brand experiences, verify claims instantly, and talk about brands with people from around the world. That empowerment causes consumers to develop a vast number of expectations for brands. Your brand has to accept that loss of control and embrace it.
As J. Walker Smith, executive chairman of The Futures Company, explains, "People learn empowerment from technology. The way in which people can affect the world is through technologies. Expectations arise from these forms of empowerment, and these expectations affect everything else. The ultimate impact of technology on brand marketing is not so much the new white spaces marketers have to advertise. It is the new expectations that consumers develop and then apply to every interaction with marketers, and, indeed, to every aspect of life. Technology doesn’t just expand the power people have; it changes their ways of thinking as well."
5. Education, Entertainment, and Enjoyment
The final E of brand marketing is education, entertainment, and enjoyment, and depending on your brand, you might focus on one or all of these E's. All of your brand marketing must be useful and meaningful to consumers. It must be educational, entertaining, or enjoyable (or a combination of two or three of these elements). Consumers are no longer tolerant of clutter or dishonest brand marketing. Be authentic and transparent, and above all else, be useful and meaningful or your efforts won't get noticed.
Bottom-line, if you keep these five elements in mind as you develop the various tactics to execute the marketing plan you create in support of your brand strategy and marketing strategy, you'll be well positioned to reach your brand growth goals.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Brand Marketing Basics series, which will discuss using market research to identify and track brand marketing. In the meantime, if you missed Part 1 of the series, follow the preceding link to read it now.
Image: Gabriella Fabbri, @jozjozjoz