6 Brilliant Branding Strategies That Worked
Branding strategies have always been a significant part of a business’ connection with the consumer. As Chron states, one of the core tenets of marketing is the establishment of brand identity to differentiate a product from other similar products. Despite the necessity of branding to a business’ success, not all attempts at creating a branding strategy that worked succeeded. These six branding strategies stand out for their effectiveness and serve as a perfect example of what a successful branding strategy can offer to a business.
1. Nike: Just Do It
According to Creative Review, the tagline for Nike’s decades-long success in branding came from a meeting with their advertisers Weiden and Kennedy. The slogan resonated so much with both hardcore athletes and regular people that it started to be adopted across the board. The public approved the “can-do” attitude the company pitched in a big way and still forms a core part of the company’s branding message.
Why It Worked: The timing of the campaign was superb, with Americans buying lots of athletic equipment after getting caught up in the fitness craze of the 80s. Nike’s positive reinforcement attitude helped to motivate the average consumer to do the things they kept promising themselves. They intrinsically linked Nike’s products to the promise of getting things done, giving the consumer an aim and a purpose, all packed in a pair of $80 sneakers. The result is that Nike recovered from its poor showing during the 80s against rival Reebok. They went on to become one of the most ubiquitous brands in the US for sports apparel, even today almost forty years later.
2. Taco Bell’s – Social Media Campaign
Taco Bell’s social media campaign provided a blueprint to all the other companies intending to ride the social media train. As Business 2 Community notes, the subsidiary of Yum! forged a real-time connection to their core demographic (millennials) through social media, but did so by creating a persona for their brand. The social media persona is groundbreaking in the way it humanizes the brand and allows it to interact with the customer. It’s definitive of a branding strategy that worked on social media.
Why it Worked: Taco Bell’s social media branding understood two things that resonated with millennials – a brand paying attention to them, and their love for humor. By combining both, they created a persona that is lovable, like a mascot, but who provides humorous posts that could come from any one of their friends. The brand’s humor is explored even more in exchanges between other brands, humanizing both and making for great publicity that can be shared around as memes. The result is that customers see Taco Bell as a fun-loving uncle or cousin that they don’t mind associating with who can even make them laugh from time to time. That popularity translates into the brand being the first thing they think when they’re looking for a pick-me-up snack.
3. Heineken – Open Your World Campaign
Today’s world is rife with divisive opinions that break down an interpersonal conversation. Heineken figured that they could capitalize on the difference of opinion by showing how people could sit down over a beer and discuss differences. The Open Your World campaign explored the humanity that people overlook when they enter into an argument against someone who holds extreme opposite social or political views.
Why it Worked: Humans are inclined to believe the best in other humans. To this end, when looking at people who were established beforehand to hold opposing viewpoints, the viewer can’t help but expect a fight to break out. The ad turns this expectation on its head, and both parties have a civil discussion over a beer. Heineken intended to show how having a beer, and a conversation could help people to come to terms with the opinions of others and help to heal the polarization of society.
With the difference of view being a major thorn in the sides of most politically conscious people, having a beer and a talk appealed to a wide range of consumers. The result is that the brand is recognized and remembered as trying to heal social ills rather than using it for its benefit. Consumers have a better opinion of the brand because of that risky move.
4. GoPro – Make Everything Filmable
User-created content isn’t the most natural thing in the world to turn into an ad. However, Fast Company notes that GoPro successfully uses these user-generated videos positively, giving a trained athlete a wearable camera that they use while doing their thing, allowing the company to see their profession through their eyes.
Why it Worked: GoPro’s primary aim in developing an ad system like this was to promise the user that he or she could do these things. People on social media tend to have a very high opinion of themselves. GoPro capitalizes on this feeling of importance by letting them know that they too could be a “hero” like the athlete in the video ad. It’s said that when a company can leverage its users to produce content for them, the company is truly an icon of society. In this case, these fan-made productions form the basis of the company’s advertising.
5. Halo Ice Cream – Facebook Strategy
Healthy ice cream is the dream of most workout enthusiasts. Being able to consume this dairy treat without having to worry about how it affects calories can drive a lot of sales. Halo ice cream found out just how in-demand a healthy ice cream is when, according to Referral Candy, it grew 2500% through Facebook ads and word-of-mouth marketing.
Why it Worked: The ice cream space is so saturated with products that getting the message out to the right people may the most challenging thing the company does. However, thanks to targeted advertising through social media sites, the brand can get its message to the consumers that want to know about their product. Having a good marketing strategy is only the first step. The brand should also have an engaging business persona since social media is all about interactivity. The outcome is that consumers know and recognize the brand to such an extent that their products don’t remain on shelves for too long after distribution.
6. Toyota – “Feeling The Street” Campaign
Yet again, we see how fan-made content, along with authenticity, developed a branding strategy that surpassed the company’s wildest expectations. Stackla defined the “Feeling the Street” campaign as Toyota’s attempt at highlighting the world’s best street performers. The company put out a call on Twitter and Instagram for street performers to showcase their talent using the hashtag #FeelingTheStreet. The company used the resulting video to develop a series of Facebook ads which garnered widespread attention.
Why it Worked: The most significant reason the ad campaign worked is that it was genuine, and it appealed to consumers in a way that well-crafted and surgically designed ads don’t. It showed off moments of humanity and used that to connect to customers and send them a message. At the end of the ad campaign, the company recorded a 440% increase in total Facebook engagement thanks to the ad.
Branding is a Message
The underlying factor that links all of these campaigns is how much it sends a message to the viewer. Humans connect through our communication. For a long time, brands struggled to communicate with regular customers as humans. Slowly, they are beginning to understand that putting the human connection back into their marketing is likely to drive stellar results. That humanity helps to refine their message and make the brand more approachable and relatable.