7 Things You Can Learn from Big Brand Marketing 

“A brand is a voice, and a product is a souvenir.”

Branding is what makes a company. You can sell nothing yet still have a brand. Influencers are living breathing brands in themselves and that is what our aim should be with branding – to give a company or product an identity of its own – a personality.   

We see this at work when consumers use the brand name as a synonym for the product or service – for example, how many people these days say they’re going to get “an Uber” instead of “a taxi”?  

Below is a list of companies with successful branding and some suggestions for how to apply their strategies.    

Tesla – The Unity Principle

Tesla’s electric car is the new status symbol. Even though they haven’t once been advertised on TV, they are more popular than ever which makes us question what Tesla’s branding strategy is.  
Essentially, Elon Musk is a salesperson who takes to Twitter to make sales. “Tesla does not advertise or pay for endorsements. Instead, we use that money to make the product great,” Musk tweeted in 2019. In a single tweet, he made advertising irrelevant. Through his Twitter strategy, he has created a cult following of people with the same interests as him (their main customer domain is rich and tech-friendly people).   
What can marketers learn from Tesla?

Build a community and be an ambassador for your brand. Nobody can promote your brand with the same passion as you. People don’t always buy products because of their functionality – they sometimes buy because of the people associated with them. Recently, superstar Lizzo came up with her own shapewear brand. Is there any need for another shapewear brand by yet another celebrity? No. But are people still going to buy shapewear from Yitty? Yes! So, turn up your charisma dial and build a following.  

Amazon – Prioritising Customer Satisfaction

What is the most recognized name in e-commerce? Amazon. They don’t make strategies that last for a mere quarter – they focus on the long-term, building a culture that is dedicated to customer service. Amazon have a pretty standard advertising strategy, stating that, “we direct customers to our websites primarily through a number of targeted online marketing channels, such as our Associates program, sponsored search, portal advertising, email marketing campaigns, and other initiatives.” Now, what makes them stand apart from other online shopping platforms is their genuine dedication towards their customers out of 500 measureable goals, 80% of them focus on customer objectives.     
What can marketers learn?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the values you hold as a business. Nothing is as resilient as a culture that strives for the best customer experience. The value you hold as a brand not only influences your employees but also shines through your products and services. So, make sure that your values are not just a piece of writing hanging on the office wall – make them actionable and measurable 

Ikea – Harnessing Virtual Reality

For a while now, I have been talking about the Metaverse and how it will change the way we shop and market. IKEA is one example of how businesses are using virtual reality to create a realistic experience for customers who want to browse products remotely. The IKEA VR Experience, hosted by Steam, allows users to experience the wide array of kitchen designs offered by IKEA. You design your kitchen for yourself before making any purchase decisions. You can not only “look” but also “feel” your kitchen design from various angles and alter the colours of cabinets and drawers with a single click. Not only are IKEA kitchen appliances of an excellent quality, but the company is truly changing how we look at affordable home furnishings. With artificial intelligence, IKEA has taken online shopping to another level.  

 Right now, it may seem revolutionary but soon, offering this experience will be necessary for all companies. Martin Enthed, IT Manager for IKEA Communications says, “We also see IKEA VR Experience as an opportunity to co-create with people all around the world. We hope that users will contribute to our virtual reality development, by submitting ideas on how to use virtual reality and how to improve the virtual kitchen.” 
What can marketers learn?

Be ready to adapt to this change. Have an idea of how you will switch to VR once it becomes more accessible and keep a careful eye on the latest developments in this field. Delve into platforms like Sandbox, Mirandus, and Decentraland, where people are currently interacting in various ways.

Starbucks – The Coffee House as a “Third Place”

Starbucks use simple and effective advertising that keeps people coming back for more – come for the product and stay for the environment. Starbucks boasts about being a “third-place” for people – a person can be found in their office, at home, or at Starbucks. Their motto is not to serve coffee, but to provide an experience they cannot find anywhere else; ‘To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.’ Once someone gets used to working from Starbucks or spending time there in general, there is no going back – the habit is engrained.  
What can marketers learn?

Begin by creating an experience with your product. Starbucks don’t sell coffee; they sell a lifestyle. They are adamant about becoming a part of people’s lives by giving them a space they can identify as another place to be, aside from work or home. A similar strategy is used by social media apps where we subconsciously view them as a place to “visit” when we have nothing better to do.  

HubSpot – The “Founders” of Inbound Marketing

We’ve all heard about HubSpot – a leading sales and marketing tech platform. Their ads became ineffective after years of bombarding consumers with them. In 2005, founders of HubSpot Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah noticed that “Consumers were no longer tolerating interruptive bids for their attention — in fact, they’d gotten really, really good at ignoring them. It was founded on “inbound”, the notion that people don’t want to be interrupted by marketers or harassed by salespeople — they want to be helped.”  

Inbound marketing is a method based on offering valuable content that is tailored to consumer needs. HubSpot practice what they preach by giving away so many effective templates, articles, broadcast webinars, precious insights, CRM software, and other useful tools for free. This helps customers gain confidence in them, which ensures that investing in their products does not like a risk. 

What can marketers learn?

I’m assuming most marketers already follow this strategy. All I can say is focus on providing genuine value to your existing and potential customers. Tailor things according to what people want rather than making content that satisfies you.

Apple – Creating an Ecosystem

Apple has become a one stop shop for all your electronics needs. If you have an iPhone, you probably have a MacBook as well. Apple are not only a status symbol – they have created an ecosystem that forces people to buy more of their products. Most of their products are not compatible with Android which forces customers to stay loyal. (Changing from the Apple ecosystem to Android would be inconvenient and time-consuming compared to buying another Apple product.) They have unapologetically created a hegemony where they don’t collaborate with other brands unless essential. You may argue that it‘s a very exploitative approach, but you could also consider it genius. They have the power to do this because of the quality of their products.  
What can marketers learn?

Begin by making the best possible product and follow it up with more high-quality products. Building an ecosystem like Apple’s will take years but it will be worth it, and it helps to ensure longevity.  

Loreal Makeup – The Undeniable Power of Emotions

The L’Oréal brand was founded in 1909 – it’s more than a century old, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Their business model is based on emotion, and they have mastered the art of creating ad campaigns that appease people’ insecurities. Their mission? “To enable all individuals to express their personalities, gain self-confidence and open up to others.” They position themselves as an entity that will fix your biggest insecurities. With added support from brand ambassadors like Kerry Washington, Beyonce, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Aniston, and many more Hollywood stars, L’Oréal makes you believe that you are worth it.  
What can marketers learn?

Emotions are at the core of any marketing campaign, so using them is a recipe for success. With that said, remember to consider all the important factors involved in making a successful campaign and not just the emotional appeals.  

Branding introduces a company to their potential customers. It is what attracts people to a product or service, and we cannot afford to make mistakes in this regard. Do you need help with your branding or marketing? My team helps companies around the world to build and run effective marketing campaigns that are results-oriented and cost-effective. Click here to reach out to me.