One reason some branding and marketing strategies work and others don’t is because the visionaries of successful campaigns have managed to find a consumer base for their brand presentation.
Even when a potential customer isn’t spending money, they are still invested in the “ideas” that are propelled by the product’s identity. Essentially what this means is the brand’s value system matches the beliefs and needs of that individual buyer.
Tapping into the “mindset” of the consumer is not only a beneficial practice if you wish to cement the longevity of your brand, but it is also an essential tool for identifying what ideas you wish to support within your marketing strategy. Nowadays, this method of creating a unique “brand experience” is being adopted by most of the big players carving out a place for themselves amongst their competitors. One example of this is demonstrated by the popularity of TOMS Shoes.
Do you remember seeing TOMS for sale back in 2009? The shoe’s design was different from what most of us were typically wearing then. In some ways, we considered it to be unattractive from a purely fashionable point of view. But TOM’S One for One campaign initially drove a few of us to buy a pair. We were drawn to the idea that we would provide footwear to children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford what is an important luxury for them. This value was backed by the fact that the impoverished child would benefit from the identical shoe we were. Over time the comfort, style, and appearance of TOMS grew on us – and seemingly grew on the rest of the general public as well, as they embraced and showed their support for the mission of the TOMS brand. Within a short time, almost everyone we knew owned a pair of TOMS or at least knews the brand and its charitable system. How did this shoe become so well-marketed and received by the public?
Not Just Brand Loyalty, But Brand Experience!
This question is easily answered when you think about how a product like TOMS makes a consumer feel. Some descriptive words include: charitable, thoughtful, economical, and considerate. In fact, the principle concept behind TOMS is an ingenious reversal of the superficial idealisms that go along with materialist purchases. Instead of feeling guilty for spending money on oneself a consumer can feel “good” about buying a pair of TOMS Shoes. This is an amazing example of a product providing a positive brand experience for its consumers.
This practice is fantastic for marketing as well: when a brand experience is so extremely positive, people can’t help but share that experience and promote it. TOMS is a great example of a brand that has been successfully marketed by its brand loyalty and the brand experience that it provides to its customers. They encourage their customers to get involved, and they have built a product empire on the human desire to do good.
Your product may not be as charitable as TOMS, or be even remotely the same concept, but that doesn’t mean you can’t gain something from this successful model. A brand experience should be positive and it should promote values that make a consumer feel “something” about that product’s identity. These feelings should be associated with the market identity of the brand, setting it apart from its competitors. There could be a sense of exclusivity or feeling of fun. In this case you may choose to buy a pair of TOMS instead of a sweatshop brand only because of how that makes you feel good about helping others. Consider this idea when you are contemplating your next big marketing strategy.