Our official Branding Bootcamp kicked off yesterday, featuring speakers from Mapquest, HealthONE, and Brandfolder. Each of our presenters offered insight into their own branding experiences, as well as expert tips for how to elevate your brand.
Because the event was packed with so much insightful information, we thought it’d be helpful to share our actionable takeaways from the presentations.
This post summarizes each talk, including “Building Brand Equity,” “Pioneering a Brand Transformation,” and “Humanizing your Brand.”
How to Build Brand Equity
Speaker: Steve Baker, CEO at Brandfolder
From inspiring employees to attracting new customers, upholding brand equity is infinitely important. To understand how to impact brand equity, Steve used specific examples of companies that have generated value in unique ways.
Here are two of our favorite real-world lessons in brand equity:
How Customer Referrals Benefit Your Brand
Blue Apron proves that customer referrals can be a great way to make your brand more valuable. After subscribers start using the service, they are given free meals to deal out to friends and family.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, there are a few ways you can encourage customers to spread awareness of your product or service.
- If you want to offer discounts on your products or services in exchange for a referral, you first have to establish a strong relationship. Once your customers trust you and support your mission, a referral seems like a safe, gentle step towards a stronger relationship.
- Reach out to influential customers who are leaders in your industry, not just your biggest fans. If they are an influencer in the marketing space, for example, their positive review about your marketing is more valuable than your most satisfied customer, who may not have a strong brand to stand behind.
Why Connecting to Your Consumers is Important
Slack is one of the most valuable technology brands on the market today. The main reason they are so successful is because they manage to appeal to consumers in a friendly and approachable way. Slack proves that just because you’re a B2B brand, doesn’t mean you have to market like one.
Since we’re a B2B software brand ourselves, we especially loved these tips for helping B2B brands better resonate with their consumers:
- Create a personable social media presence. By keeping your social media tone of voice open and approachable, consumers will feel that you’re available whenever they need help or want to offer suggestions.
- Use emotion. Instead of spending all your time promoting your product, try using emotion in your brand to better connect to consumers. This will make your customers more loyal, meaning you can count on them for repeat business.
- Assess your ability to be understood. Does your product or service make sense to your family, and the everyday consumer? These questions will help you eliminate jargon in your product offering, and create marketing that’s simple and straightforward.
Pioneering a Brand Transformation
Speaker: Caroline Chang, Director of Consumer Marketing at MapQuest
MapQuest’s recent rebrand was inspired by a quest to reposition the brand and empower the consumer experience. Caroline walked us through the steps of MapQuest’s process, giving us three actionable steps for successful rebranding.
1. Start With the Customer Experience All rebranding efforts should begin with the customer. By evaluating how your users feel about your product and how they interact with it, you’ll be able to better align those feelings with your new brand. In addition to helping users relate to your brand, this will also ensure consistency across all customer interactions.
2. Create an Objective Driven by Consumers MapQuest’s objective wasn’t just to help people get from point A to point B. Instead, they wanted to create an experience that empowered users to lead a more adventurous lifestyle. They did this by personalizing their communication channels and making it easy to submit feedback.
When you’re going through a rebrand, think about how your new brand can offer a lifestyle experience for your customers (instead of just a product or service).
3. Brand Personality Should be Well-Defined Building your brand personality is one of the most important components of rebranding. In addition to defining a clear tone of voice and brand persona, it’s important that you create clear guidelines for how you will react in certain situations.
For example, how will your brand behave? How will they respond to a complaint on social media? Defining these questions early will help you stay on-brand during any unexpected situation.
Humanizing Your Brand
Speaker: Jayme Hummer, Director of Digital Marketing at HealthONE
Brands that embody the human experience are regarded much more highly by consumers. Jayme taught us the importance of using emotion in marketing, and why brands that use honest storytelling techniques have a stronger customer base than those who push products down consumer’s throats.
Telling a Captivating Story to Humanize Your Brand
HealthONE uses storytelling techniques to captivate and connect to consumers, yet they don’t glamorize life or present unrealistic ideals. Instead, they went right into the hospital room to take pictures of real doctors performing the highest level of care.
These images help support the HealthONE brand mission by connecting to people through support, comfort, and other ideals that you’d want a hospital to embody.
How to Use Customers to Your Advantage
If you want to humanize your brand through storytelling like HealthONE’s example, you have to start with your customers. Every brand has a handful of customers they can rely on to leave a positive review or test out a new product offering.
For example, you can tell one of your customers’ stories in a heartfelt and honest way. This shouldn’t just be about the fact that they use your service; instead, you should explain how your brand improved the life of your customer in some way.
Whether you’re launching a rebrand or looking for ways to market your brand better, we hope these three topics were helpful in your day-to-day. Feel free to leave us a comment below, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at our next event!