Things that you can do to grow your brand
Brand marketing is evolving every day. With social media the marketing spaces have turned chaotic.
Customers are informed and picky at the same time. Smart gadgets and apps limit the brand spaces as the choice is more with consumer and less with the brands.
Brand marketers are consistently working on creating brand building paradigms that are more music and less noise for their target consumers. That is why it is fast becoming relevant to follow the rules, polish the basics and keep a brand relevant in the present context.
Following are the brand building tips to help you grow your brand.
#1 Send Emails
Don’t send random emails. Call them something. I am calling my weekly emails ‘brand growth idea of the week’. The one you are reading is the idea no. 1 for 2020.
The emails you send should relate to your product or service (obviously). And, send them on a regular schedule. One-off emails don’t help much because you recipients won’t expect them.
To make my emails unique I”ll only share ideas that I’ll try myself or will only share ideas that I have applied already.
You can think about how you can make your idea unique.
Do you agree that sending emails will help grow your business and brand, but you are not sure about what to send?
Here is what you can send via email.
- a blog post or video about happenings in your business (that’s this week’s idea)
- a commentary or update about market trends. For example, if you are in the business of home decor, then you can talk about current home decor trends.
- information about an industry change and how it impacts your customers
- how other customers use or love your product
- invite to an event
- a prompt to ask a question and help them when they do
- ideas your customers can use.
#2 Share What Is Happening in Your Business
- Write a blog post.
- Make a short video.
- Send a short email.
- Do a WhatsApp broadcast.
- Send the plain old email.
- Do it whenever you have something share-worthy in your business.
For example, we made a video to celebrate 30TH FEB’s 10th anniversary and shared it with a really long post. I was glad to see messages and calls from current and past clients. I also received messages from connections on LinkedIn who had never interacted with me. That meant increased brand visibility and awareness, and potential growth in brand recall.
Don’t wait for the 10th or 50th anniversary of your business, or another big event to do it.
You can share anything like a product launch, when you hire a key employee, an intern (or interns) complete an internship, you or your business wins an award, you open a new location of your business, or launching a new website.
This gives you an opportunity to connect and share, instead of selling which we do most of the time.
It makes the clients know you better, which makes it easy for them to trust you and your brand.
It is also good for your own mindset because it gives us a moment to think and appreciate special moments in our business.
Smart businesses use advertising to take their ideas to a bigger audience.
When done right it is the fastest way of growing your business.
If you are not ready for the big leagues, you can start by running campaigns to grow your social media following or to bring awareness for your brand.
Advertise the benefit.
You can also use advertising to reconnect with your existing audience and keep your brand top of mind, or to generate leads for your business.
Advertising takes time to get it right. So, don’t stop if it does not work for you the first time.
#4 Offer things for FREE
Free is a powerful marketing strategy when used right.
Mailchimp, a maker of email marketing software, that started in 2001 had reached 89,000 users with its paid offering. In 2009, they decided to add a free offering as an option. Through this,
Within a year its user base grew more than 5 times from 85,000 to 450,000. The free offering branded as ‘Forever Free’ helped grow the brand and revenue in a big way. Last year, the company announced that its revenue will reach $700 million.
FREE works because it reduces the risk for the customer and gives you an opportunity to show what you know.
In the spirit of eating our own dog good, I offered a free 15 minutes call on ‘how to fine-tune your personal brand’.
#5 Try Newsjacking like Amul.
For the uninitiated, newsjacking is injecting your ideas into a breaking news story done with an intention to generate media coverage and engagement. It is best done in a timely manner because the current event or news that you are using should be on the top of mind.
Amul is a master at newsjacking. Here is Amul’s outdoor hoarding at the time of International Yoga Day. It attempted to ride the heightened awareness about asanas to talk about its own brand, and to share how easy it is to have Amul butter with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Newsjacking needs to be done very tastefully and shouldn’t just become a piece of information. Also brands should be careful while capturing current affairs.
#6 Run limited time / exclusive offers
Amazon Great Indian Sale or Flipkart’s Big Diwali Sale generated Rs. 19,000 Cr during the festive season in 2019. Massively led by Amazon and Flipkart, the e-tailers’ year-on-year growth during the 6-day sale was 30%, said the report, which had predicted a 60-65% growth with a $3.7 billion GMV.
All of these come with the unbelievable benefits for the consumer but the businesses end up with a whooping revenues thereby making this a time-tested strategy.
Exclusive offers go well with human psychology.
Offer consulting/advice for FREE for the queries received in a definitive time limit.
Run limited time contests to trigger participation.
Long hour timelines lead to procrastination and eventually delay.
Read here about one such offer we had offered some time ago. Not only did it revived long lost connections, it also led to few good leads.
#7 Create A Video Series
Because it helps you connect.
And because it is easy to consume.
If you have never done it before, it’s ok.
Try it at home or office a few times, and you will get better.
Don’t worry about making it look professional.
What you say is more important than how you look. And, it is not always easy to speak in a logical sequence so you may want to write before you speak.
If you are a more fluent speaker than a writer, then do this. Do a trial video, look at what you said, think of points and examples you can add, and if you want to change the flow of how you said it and then make your final video.
Pick a subject that is close to your heart.Give real time examples and boost them with numbers wherever possible.
Don’t be a one-time coach. Create a series.
When you share your first video with your audience tell them how often you plan to do it, once a week, once every fortnight or once a month. Once a week is good but you don’t need to start there.
You don’t need to sit in front of your mobile phone or camera every week to do a weekly series.
Record all 4 videos in one day and then send them later, once every week.
Don’t worry about making long videos. 1-4-minute-long videos are good in the beginning. Focus more on saying something useful and replying to any questions and comments in time. If your videos are useful, the audience will want to hear more.
And, don’t sell in your videos, until you have done 10-20 videos focused on giving value.
And, if you want more success your video (and any type of content) give people your exact recipes for success.
Hope this has inspired you to create videos for your brand’s growth.
#8 Use A New Channel to Distribute Your Brand.
Watch the trends and see where your customers are engaging the most. Use that channel to distribute your brand.
If you are using social media, but not focusing on email, then try that. Email marketing works wonder to grow ecommerce brands and personal brands.
Video works great almost everywhere because of how it allows to create connection, demonstrate expertise or because not everyone does it.
One platform that is gaining prominence in India is TikTok.
There are people who continue to ignore it because they don’t understand but smart marketers know that more than 200 million users in India every month are using it.
Sangeeta Jain, a renowned motivational speaker and India’s first actress in a wheelchair, known as Geet on TikTok, uses TikTok to grow brand awareness for her English teaching business.
She has built an audience of more than 100k followers for her business.
Paras Tomar has used TikTok and Instagram to launch his beauty brand Nuskhe by Paras and make it a top seller on Amazon.
If you are a jewellery brand that deals in junk and fashion jewellery and sell through traditional channels, then you can use Instagram to reach out to millions of customers who are online.
At 30TH FEB, we use both the digital and offline channels for growing our brand.
To grow the branding and digital services, we share information and campaigns using email marketing. But when it is about establishing the credentials of the team, and the brand strategist, the brand workshops, vision boarding sessions and speaking work well.
#9 Make Your Product Easy to Use Or Buy.
Beachbody, an American company with more than a billion dollar in annual revenue traditionally sold fitness related DVDs. Recently to cater to a growing online audience and the OTT trend they started offering “Beachbody on Demand” where users could buy subscriptions and stream Beachbody workouts to a device of their choice.
Perception plays a big role in branding so if people perceive that your brand it is not easy to buy or experience your brand it will create friction in their mind, and it will impact sales. That’s why pioneering ecommerce brands like Zappos that started by selling shoes online offered no- questions asked return for up to 1 year, and free two-way delivery (that means they even paid for sending a pair of shoes if you didn’t like it). They removed all the friction in mind of the online buyers by getting rid of big reasons why people didn’t buy online.
This is why in India we have a unique system of C.O.D. (cash on delivery) because most customers did not want to take the risk of paying upfront and not receiving the product.
At 30TH FEB, we created packages, first in 2014, to simplify the offerings and help the customers choose easily.
Over the years, we have updated and added new packages, as of now we offer 3 distinct packages.
- Start Up Growth Packages: To help startups from ideation, to launch and through their growth.
- Personal Branding Packages: For CXOs and professional and startup founders with growth mindset, to help establish thought leadership, and make sure they are seen in the right places.
- Brand Marketing Packages: Customized Plans as per industry trends and business goals.
Think how you can make your product easy to buy or experience.
#10 Create Stories Where Your Brand Is Featured (Story Led Ads)
A school friend who is now a filmmaker, created a video for a popular Indian snack brand.
The story is about a woman artisan whose husband packed lunch for her and wrote a note with it. During lunch when the artisan opens the lunch box – she finds the note where the husband wrote that he packed a ‘paratha’ but no ‘subzi’ because he burnt it as he is not proficient in cooking. He further wrote that I am sending something else that you love.
Then the camera pans onto the lunch box, where the artisan reaches out to the lower compartment of the lunch box and finds a packet of that Indian snack brand. If you were to watch that video, you will surely connect and will remember it for a long time along with the brand that is featured in it.
The Rajasthan Tourism campaign from 2018 talked about tourist stories and those became aspirations to many from the world over leading to a rise of 21 percent in tourism with almost 5.19 Crore visitors in 2018.
One of our featured brand stories includes a vision boarding with a client during an annual review. For the pre-launch of the book ‘Brand Like a Pro’ by our founder strategist, we will be featuring stories with the leading business owners and professionals.
Brand stories work because people connect with stories, and when a brand is present in the middle of the story in a relevant way, people remember the brand with the story. Good brand stories make sure the brand’s message is there in the story. They are good for creating brand recall. For your brand stories feature customer journey, capture their experiences and stories on brand-customer relationships.
#11 Create Regular Customer Interventions [BTL]
Brand Interventions are the campaigns that generate curiosity, break the thinking patterns and investigate actions. They drive the customer to take action.
Happy hours, DJ Nights, Stand Up comedy etc are some of the popular brand interventions in hospitality. The brand invites the customers to come & experience joy with friends and family, this increases footfall and increases revenue much more that what it costs for those interventions. These interventions create great brand recall in addition to generating revenues.
For example, a venue can become popular for staging class stand comic acts over the weekends. This creates solid word of mouth.
Big apparel brands offer a special day of sales for their loyalty members. The ease & convenience not only encourages the customer to visit but also results in higher revenues.
Brands like Decathlon create targeted brand interventions for corporates, schools etc and thereby lead to a higher share of voice. For Christmas Gifting Decathlon promoted ‘Gift a Sport’ digitally to encourage sports as gifting which isn’t usual. They propagated an appealing idea and encouraged action.
When we present a printed social media calendar to the client marketing teams they feel belonged and involved.
Similarly, when I present a copy of my book to the C-suite, clients and prospects and ask them for a review it creates trust and mutual appreciation.
#12 Make Your Customers Shine
Firstcry hosts different Baby & Kids Photo Contests. Through these it engages its audience, the parents of the kids by featuring them. You can create similar customer centric events.
You can also share customer success stories. You can do it by publishing a video with a happy client or writing a story about them on your website. More than the format, is that you do it.
This fosters transparency, initiates conversations and makes the brand appealing. The apparel brands like Nike, Zara ask the customers to share real time images, video, audio etc. This is called User Generated Content (UGC).
To attract people online, brands use video testimonials, to share customer experiences without much editing. The unedited versions get more engagement because people find them authentic.
When people find a brand authentic, they are more likely to trust it and recommend it to others. This is the power of making your customers shine.
For one of the women’s day campaigns, we planned a personalized campaign featuring our women clients. We ask for their permission on email as well as over phone. When the campaign came out not only were they surprised but they were happy to see the creative as well.
#13 Create a Waiting List for Your New App or Service
Mailbox, an email app for iOS devices, created a unique virtual waiting line, for its launch in 2013.
It resulted in a waiting list of 1.3 million users. Due to this huge anticipation, on 7 February 2013, its launch day, Mailbox became the second-most-downloaded free app in the App Store that day.
Thanks to this buzz Dropbox acquired the 13-employee startup for $100 million in March 2013, within a month of its launch.
Smartphone companies now do it before every new launch, because it works so well for them.
This approach not only helps you create a buzz but also excites the users who you can interact with to get feedback on early versions of your product or app. To get feedback to improve a product it is helpful to launch the product to a small group of those who sign up for launch.
The email you are reading right now is part of the Brand Growth Email Series. Before we launched the series, we teased it twice, building anticipation and excitement for what was to come.
The first time 72 people interacted with our FB posts. Out of those 2 became our clients. Second time we promoted the Brand Growth Ideas on Facebook and got the subscribers as per our target audience.
#14 Pick Causes that Matter
Stay socially relevant. Support causes that aren’t just about profits but those that make you socially responsible because customers like to connect with socially responsible brands.
Social causes give the customer a reason to invest with a brand that stands up for a cause. When customers invest in such a brand they feel themselves part of the cause.
This is what made TOMS shoes immensely successful as a socially responsible company. They pioneered socially responsible one for one business model that made their brand very valuable, so valuable that Bain Capital picked up a 50% stake in TOMS at a valuation of $625 million. As per this model, the company promises to deliver a pair of shoes to a child in need for every sale of their retail product.
When you adopt a cause during tough times, you earn trust and recall. When the customers are concerned and weak emotionally they are more impressionable and what you do remains in their memory for a long time.
Coca Cola Philippines announced that they will be using all their Outdoor Media spaces talking about the Covid-19 pandemic awareness.
The brand stated that it will re-channel Rs 22 crore to the following efforts: provide protective equipment and beverages to health workers, deliver food packs to most vulnerable families, and support affected small retailers in Philippines.
Dettol took to Tik-Tok with a hand wash challenge and thereby educating the subscribers by asking the celebrities to take up the challenge.
At 30TH FEB, we want our employees to be safe. That is why during the recent Corona Crisis, we asked all our employees to work from home, even before the government announced city and nationwide lockdown. We were proactive because it is always better safe than sorry.
By doing it we put both our employees (and indirectly our clients) first because it ensures that we continue to service our clients as usual.
#15 Create Hype
December 2019, I noticed a post on Facebook asking for enrollments for a 2021 workshop. That’s the power of hype. The marketer behind that post was trying to catch on the year end and new year plans and asking to buy you something that is happening in 13 months.
The message is clear, it is so grand that you need to enroll now.
Brands become big and successful by creating hype.
If your brand has a remarkable story, or when your brand or you achieve something or win an accolade or award, do not keep to yourself or your networks. Move out and talk about it. Run awareness and reach campaigns, let the world know about your story, your actions and your passion about it. This is one reason why Personal Brands and influencers are fast becoming relevant.
Use PR, Advertisements, Series of Emails or Videos to create hype, reassure teams and get going.
We did it In one of the Investment Awareness Programs for our client. We created the placards & instagram prop, that doubled the engagement and participants were keen on being tagged by the brand socially.
Make a noise around your brand and the offering, be open to queries and questions as that are the real time leads that you need.
#16 Talk to Customers, Prospects, And Anyone who can be part of your tribe.
Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar does it well.
She is always sharing valuable ideas about seasonal diets, fitness and nutrition with her audience, and often interacts with them. With her recent 12 week fitness meal plan, she dedicated a week each to a lifestyle problem like BP, Sleep disorder or Vitamin Deficiencies etc.
People engage and ask questions. She takes doubts and queries in a positive light, does live sessions, posts videos to clarify and answers questions. That makes her approachable not only to the people who are keen to take her workshops and courses but leads to growth in her followers among the other nutrition & health professionals. Even her live videos in the current times of lockdown is very well received.
With such interventions she engages small segments of her community each with a specific disease. An engaged community helps grow the momentum for her brand and business.
You don’t need to be a celebrity to do it. You can stand in your store and talk to a customer who walks in. You can ask about their likes, dislikes or what problems they want solved. Once you talk with enough customers you’ll sense what they are after.
For a client whose customers are deeply affected by the current situation and stock market fluctuations, we initiated campaigns to keep the conversation loop open, thereby assuring their clients about everything that is impacting the customers morale. We were sending 2-3 emails every week, creating videos that the services are absolutely unaffected and boosting employee morale by sharing retailers.
#17 Empower your brand representatives
Train. Delegate. Review. Repeat.
Empower your brand representatives. Handhold them to align and work in line with your brand goals. Invest your trust into the brand representatives.
This not only boosts the employee morale and work culture but also helps you focus more on business growth.
Current times are testing for any business. We reposed trust in our team and asked them to lead the 30TH FEB social communication. What you see on our space is all executed by the team. You see our digital marketing lead, our spaces feature our team, from the lead digital marketing to those interning with us.
All our employee centric activities that boost growth and bring a sense of accountability and belonging among team members are captured and shared in that space. Everyone plays his/her part in the above steps of training, delegation and reviewing. The results are quite wonderful.
I am happy to repose trust in our team and ask them to lead the 30TH FEB channels. Also the contribution is compulsory for all levels of hierarchy as per their job roles.
#18 Act as a media Company
For a media company content is the product.
If they don’t pay attention to quality, deadlines or the way the content looks, their business suffers and their revenues take a hit.
Most businesses don’t look at content like this.
Those who do, win because their media-type content helps them show their expertise and growth to those who are not their customers yet.
And, through this they create trust which leads to transaction.
That’s why a business that is small today but creates content and brands it like a media company will win over a big business in the due course.
We ourselves are evolving into a media company that helps companies and individuals build profitable brands.
We are all in.
I wrote a book on branding no less.
Then there is this weekly Brand Growth Ideas series that you are receiving every week.
This is why in place of posting random videos, we are hosting a weekly series on YouTube series. Do check and subscribe here so that you get future videos.
And, we are not stopping anytime soon 🙂
Until we create something as powerful a brand builder as Michelin Guide that Michelin, now the second largest tyre manufacturer in the world after Bridgestone, created in 1904.
Small and medium sized businesses can see tremendous growth with this approach; because for big businesses that don’t pursue this strategy, the circle of impact remains till their customers.
But a small business that acts like a media company continues to grow its circle of influence and trust and wins new business quickly.
Another point worth understanding is that a big business can afford to not do it for a while, because they can throw big money at lead generation and keep growing albeit at a low rate.
But those businesses that don’t have unlimited supply of cash can’t find a better growth model than acting like a media company for the reasons I shared above.
Are you a company like that looking for ways to grow?
Then get on ‘creating a media-like brand’ bandwagon and win 🙂
Don’t worry about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ because that’s what we are here for.
#19 Tap Into Social Selling
In 2012, sales people using social media to sell outperformed those who weren’t using social media 78.6% of the time.1 What’s more, social sales people were 23% more successful at exceeding their quotas than their non-social sales peers. Social sales people are doing all this by spending just 10% of their time on social channels. Surprisingly, however, more than half of
The sales organizations surveyed by the Sales Management Association believe their current social efforts are not sufficient: 55% say they would be more productive if they had a larger social presence.
Successful social selling hinges on authentically connecting with customers on social networks, building trusted relationships with them, and ultimately helping them solve problems that lead to lasting business relationships.
Your social network needs to be treated as individuals and not just psychographic targeting. The more you connect the better are your chances of trust building and honest dialogues. Have a truthful, defined and strategic social content plan in place, make it visually exciting and engaging to create the right connect.
#20 Help Employees Build Their Own Brand
Your business is the sum of people that make it.
And, if your employees appear smart, your business appears smarter. And when your employees are visible, it helps with the visibility of your business brand.
When you help your employee show up in the best way possible you also create a space in their heart, and they will want to stick to your business, even when something enticing comes their way.
Freedom to be is the new normal for millennials and evolving work cultures. And they want to explore their creativity through passion projects.
Progressive companies offer learning as a perk.
Chipotle offers to cover the entire fee for their associates to get bachelor’s degree at an approved university.
Starbucks offers similar benefits. Amazon and LinkedIn also offer great learning perks.
Startups are not behind. They may do it on a small scale but they do it well.
Buffer, startup behind a leading social media tool of the same name, gives all its employees $20 per Month for Learning and Development.
At 30TH FEB, we encourage our employees to work on their passion projects as long as they are accountable for their KRAs and there is no conflict.
Employees are our face on TikTok, so the content they create there, helps educate our audience, and also builds the professional brand of the team.
That’s just a start. We are also launching a new series “Brand Talk with Leaders”, where one of our team members is leading the charge and the face of it.
We empower them through delegation, hand holding and trust to run the show on their own.
#21 Show The Process
One of our clients, a premium home furnishings brand invites its international buyers to explain the peculiarities of handmade weaving.
The clients sit back and enjoy the planned tour of carpet making process, right from the step 1 of sheep rearing, to grading, assorting upto the 11th and final steps of quality checks and packaging for dispatch. This way the client values the effort that goes into the making of premium artsy carpets.
This establishes the authenticity of their product and builds trust for their brand among the buyers. And this happens while their clients get to witness its traditional art of weaving and the weaver stories of Rajasthan. and its traditional art of weaving.
The uniqueness, traditional and heritage value of these handcrafted products is augmented further by inclusion of heritage properties which still adore the 100s of year old carpets from the region.
The entire process is also significant for trust building and branding as compared to the machine woven imitations which can be digitally found at jaw dropping prices.
We being an agency believe in sharing the process with our clients so that they understand and trust the effort that we put in the task assigned. We share the process at four different levels. Watch this video here to understand the process.
#22 Wear Your Brand
Manu Kumar Jain, Managing Director, Xiaomi India who is one of the most popular Indian C-suite executives on social media, can often be seen wearing the brand t-shirt.
He usually acts as the anchor for his brand campaigns, the new products and even the achievements. The visuals and message work on the positive stimuli and offer higher recall and engagement around the brand.
He acts as the anchor for the brand strategy of Xiaomi. Right from the premium mobile handset bookings to the robotic floor mops. His timeline brings the first look out.
The neuromarketing experts define this tactic as anchoring where the marketing works on the first piece of information. It is believed that the first piece of information acts as the deciding factor for consumers and is even said to set the tone of their purchasing behaviors.
He does it all almost always with the brand up on sleeve, a t-shirt, a video chat in the branded boardroom or a team shot with everyone displaying their love for the brand and that certainly pushes the brand recall much higher.
When a brand custodian at c-suite level wears the brand up on sleeve with so much conviction, it is not just the employees but the consumer too believes in the brand integrity.
Do it anyways. For example if you run a big company everyone would wear the logo on their shirt. Let the employees carry the brand bags and be seen. Have awesomely designed welcome bags for employees. Allow them to feel belonged.
We have not been all out in branding on the sleeve but we have been very transparent and honest with our story. Like how it has always been, thru emails, thru website, thru our social stories. We celebrate our brand all the time in whatever small or gala way we can. Above image is from the mindfulness session we had last Saturday, as the first industry interface to help our team cope better with the new normal. 🙂
#23 Launch A Workshop Or Training
Workshops! Ah there have been too many ever since the Covid19 crisis.
Launch them anyway.
A powerful workshop establishes your personal brand and in turn open windows for new business relationships. The only promise required is ‘You Deliver What You Promise’. Be clear with your offering and communication. Set right expectations and deliver beyond them.
A workshop or training is not an easy task, it requires passion, planning and diligence. Ensure your workshop is ‘NOT JUST ANOTHER TRAINING PROGRAM’. Make is a work of precision,
- Customize all material and focus on the ACTION PLAN
- Provide coaching and BE SPECIFIC
- Reinforce expectations of performance with REAL TIME CASE STUDIES
- Offer Solutions and AVOID Selling
- Ensure it offers value, engages your audience and helps them learn new things. Offer hand holding, ask questions and quiz your audience to help them understand the problem. A well planned workshop will fine tune your art and empower you as a solution provider.
We conducted two workshops on ‘Personal Branding’ for a marketing/sales team and ‘How to Up the LinkedIn Game’ for a closed group of mid-level and senior management. I am happy to share we got good feedback followed by business enquiry, one after a month and few other right after the second workshop. What clicked is not our service offering but the trust we could build as solution providers.
This is no more limited to service providers, product demonstrations, retail traders are all coming together for online networks and outreach with customers as well as influencers.
Still wondering how to grow your brand? Why don’t you contact us and we can put together a proven Strategy to grow your brand to next level.