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 identity of the product. Essentially what this means is the value system mimicked by the product’s image 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 growing popularity of TOMS Shoes.
I remember seeing TOMS on sale back in 2009 and thinking to myself that the design of the shoe was different from what I would typically wear – and in some ways I actually considered it to be “unattractive” from a purely fashionable point of view. It was their One for One campaign that initially drove me to buy a pair. I was drawn to the idea that I would be providing footwear to children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford what for them is an important luxury. This value was backed by the fact that the impoverished child would be benefiting from the exact same shoe that I was purchasing for me. Over time the comfort, style, and appearance of TOMS grew on me – 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. Now, almost everyone I know owns a pair of TOMS, or at least knows of the brand and their 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. In this case you may choose to buy a pair of TOMS instead of a sweatshop brand only because of how that product makes you feel. Consider this idea when you are contemplating your next big marketing strategy.