It’s time to shock the world with a branding experiment! Take it to the extreme and stand out! Create big product innovation and deliver something remarkable! Get that word-of-mouth marketing machine running on overdrive and go viral! So what does remarkable really mean?
Seth Godin said it best in his book “Free Prize Inside.”
“Remarkable” simply means that a customer is willing to make a remark about it. If you can create remarkable products, people will talk about them. If that happens, the word will spread and your sales will grow.
Hopefully you’ve previously read How to Gain Customer Loyalty and Effective Marketing Strategies and now understand the foundations for successful brand building. If not, please open those in another tab or window and take them in.
Excellent customer service and product positioning should already be in place. I’ve previously written that customer familiarity with your products or services and with your company is what builds a strong brand. Now it’s time to take it to the next level and get your brand noticed with this branding experiment.
Innovation: Something new or different introduced. I
First you need to ask yourself…what branding experiment will get my target audience excited? You’ve already filled a need for your customers with your products or services. What branding experiment will cause buzz? Go big. Generate the kind of buzz that goes viral. Viral buzz. Give them something they want to share, and make it something that makes them feel good about themselves.
Lets step back for a second and talk about budget. Before you panic about what this may cost, realize that this can actually replace, for the most part, normal marketing and advertising efforts. That budget is where the money will come from. And again, don’t panic. A branding experiment doesn’t have to be expensive.
Think of this branding experiment as a calculated risk. You can’t get ahead if you don’t take risks, and you can mitigate risks with due-diligence. Come up with your profound innovation and then assess the risk, but be bold. You must be bold to get noticed.
Okay, let’s get started. Pull up a chair. I’ll walk you through this…
Where can you innovate? Start by thinking about your relationship with your customers. Then ask yourself: how do they find you? – interact with you? – buy from you? – receive products or services from you? Now ask yourself: how do you get them back for more? Since I can’t speak to your specific company, I’ll provide with some examples for this branding experiment.
How do customers find you?
I’m going to leave high-dollar advertising out of this discussion. Television and radio are beyond the scope here. Also, high-dollar ads won’t be needed after you create viral buzz with this branding experiment.
If your target audience receives ads from you via mail, send them something better than a coupon. Coupons work, but they’re not remarkable. Give them something free, like dinner for two at a popular restaurant or a product from another company. It won’t be hard to get a good discount for those because of the free advertising it provides. You can require your target audience to register on your web site or visit your location in order to receive the gift. Just don’t require a sales pitch.
If there’s a store that sells items to your target audience, have them offer something for free, that you will cover. You’ll need to track this with a required online registration to avoid abuse and to capture their information for your email list. Imagine the buzz you will generate from surprised customers who then go out and tell friends and family about the free item they discovered by surprise.
Use content marketing in your branding experiment
Content marketing through company blogs and articles is a necessity these days. Take it a step further. Provide very helpful content. Tips and tricks. Provide good substance, and post more often. It won’t just keep them coming back for more, it’ll cause your readers to share on social media. Just be sure to tie the message back to you. If it goes viral, you need it to point to you in some way.
Do customers typically visit your location as a walk-in, or do they call you? Maybe it’s all online. Maybe there is no interaction at all, except for customer service and technical support.
Put something profoundly memorable in your branding experiment. If customers are walk-ins, get rid of that annoying double beep sound and replace it with something that will make them laugh. Put this thinking into your branding experiment with all points of contact with customers. Provide them with a good memory, every time they interact with you.
Idea: Make your own funny cat videos, but have the cats play with props from your company. Video goes viral…your branding experiment points back to you!
How do your customers pay for your products? Put a cool wheel that spins, at check-out, that can land on something special, like the following, as an example:
- 1% discount – many
- 5% discount – few
- 10% discount – couple
- 20% discount – one
- Free gift
- Spin again
Something like this can be physical or virtual and can cause those good memories in your customers that will keep them thinking about you. If it is virtual, put a share button there.
Receiving your products
If Amazon did it, you can do it too. Free shipping may lower your profit margins a bit, but the joy it creates in your customers will bring them back for more. Repeat customers increase profit margins, since the cost of customer acquisition has already been paid. How about free delivery for local customers? Go out of your way to deliver products and services in style. It will pay off in the long run!
Now, how can you innovate your products or services in your branding experiment to cause viral buzz? Add some bacon to your marmalade. Coat some salt crystals on your chocolate bars. Install premium stereos and speakers into the lower-end cars on your car lot. It’s amazing what kind of things you can do to go beyond product differentiation. So shock them in a good way.
Change the status quo with your branding experiment. Be a visionary strategist who alters an industry with creative innovation. Commerce segments have existing structures which define how business is conducted…the status quo.
The object with this branding experiment is to compete with the status quo instead of your competition. When you compete with them, you must convince your customers to pick you over your competitors.
Present a new and exciting way to do business in your industry. Provide convenience or value in the market structure rather than with a special product. Your competitors can imitate hot products easily but, they will be blind-sided by changes in the status quo. Their infrastructure is based on current market structure. Make them trip!
Provide an idea that causes an epiphany in your customer. An instant awareness which changes the way they see things…their perspective. Instant clarity! Causing an epiphany in someone is very difficult, which is why attempting to change the status quo can be risky. But there are triggers to explore to help make it happen.
For more, check out Game Changer – Challenging the Status Quo
Also, a book I’d like to recommend is Contagious, by Jonah Berger
Thank you for reading:
Branding Experiment – Profound Innovation
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