As business owners peer into the New Year how will they measure their brand value in the coming year? How will they improve it in a culture that has limited stickiness to it in forms of loyalty? What vehicles of marketing will be most valuable in brand building in the coming years?
Here are my top five lists of Brand Building Vehicles for 2011.
1) A Viral Social Media platform – You cannot deny the massive movement in social media. Businesses large and small must invest and work on the viral effects of their social media. Contests, content, video, give-a-ways, consumer content… etc. If your company has not changed their hiring practices to either have a full time Social media talent on staff or have hired a professional to build and support these efforts in 2011 make this your first priority.
2) Community Branding – Attach your business to as many community functions as possible. In this economy consumers are going to be looking more and more to their community for family entertainment and feeling of a connectedness to their neighbors. Companies should update their brand marketing, Pens, calendars, t-shirts, etc… Plan to give out new (updated) products to customers and clients this year and freshen up your brand. Be a sponsor of a community event and pass out free items branded with your website and social media sites helping drive new traffic and increase brand awareness.
3) Mobile Web – The invasion of the Mobile App is contagious. Smart Phones will out number traditional phones 2 to 1 by the end of 2011. Consumers at this point don’t even know what they want to down load as an app. Consumers want a function that improves the quality of their lives all bundled up into the apps on their phones. Us this for your companies brand. The Mobile Web marketing engine has already changed from “you must be in the app store” to community based apps and web marketing. Local business must now have a functioning mobile web application that provides information, links, maps, special offers. Use the mobile web and app movement to build your brand loyalty and 1 to 1 marketing capabilities. Using a mobile app/Web platform to launch SMS text marketing campaigns and viral contests with new customers can become a complete marketing engine in 2011 that will provide not only brand loyalty but also brand growth.
4) Video Blog – A picture is worth a thousand words right? Well a video today is worth ten times that because if it has value to the consumer they will share it with the world. It is like word of mouth marketing on steroids. How many times in the last year has someone sent you a video from you-tube? Video Blogs can be added to most company websites and will create great results on search engines.
5) E-mail Marketing or Direct Mail Marketing – I am split here on this one because I believe there are two types of consumers that we need to be aware of here. The First is a “paper free believer” they want everything via electronic media. They are almost reposed to believe we still print newspapers and direct mail wasting our natural resources. The second is the “stop bugging me in my private space group” This group could be the traditional group that still has not embraced the technology, or the professional group that is still in the belief that people are wasting a lot of valuable time using the social media.
Whichever group you are targeting both media can be used to enhance all four above and can be effective ways of building up a base of consumers in 2011. Less competition has survived in the current economy that means your business has market share to capture. A good Direct Mail campaign can give you a fresh new group of consumers into the top of your marketing funnel.
Each of these Brand Building vehicles can be done on almost any marketing budget and be effective. In 2011 take action and start early, the greatest growth in market share will happen early in the cycle. Don’t let your business be caught on the sideline as your competitors steal the market. If you are not sure where to start check out a few of these sites for help: http://www.wcmobi.com ; http://www.copmanycasuals.com/valetbranding ; http://www.opvinc.com .