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How to Create a Strong Brand and Emotional Connection with Consumers

[ BLOG ]

Table of contents of the article

When people are asked what they associate with a little black dress and a pearl necklace, most will undoubtedly respond: "Chanel." This is what a strong brand is all about: forming certain associations and the right perceptions of the company in people's minds. The article discusses how to create such a brand.
A brand is a complex set of perceptions, associations, emotions, and value orientations about a company in the minds of consumers. It's a world that people want to belong to. For example, Apple doesn't just sell phones and tablets, but offers the opportunity to join the world of successful and wealthy people, to feel special.
A strong brand helps to stand out in the market, differentiate from competitors with identical offers, attract audience attention, increase their loyalty, trust in the company, products, or services, and consequently, expand the base of regular customers and increase repeat sales.

Moreover, a strong brand allows for an increase in the value of goods and services by creating additional value for consumers: positive emotions, confidence in the quality of the product or service, their status or other image advantages.
example of a facebook text

Consider the Brand Attributes

Brand attributes are all the components of the brand and product image that the consumer perceives audibly, tactilely, and visually. For example, naming, logo, corporate colors, packaging, advertising messages, quality, price, as well as the company's vision, mission, and values.

Attributes are a crucial component of a strong brand, as they form a unique identity in the eyes of consumers and evoke emotions. It is these elements of communication that make people remember and recognize your product/service. For instance, Apple's logo, packaging, and product design are unique brand attributes that allow consumers to easily recognize and associate Apple products with high quality and innovation.

However, there are also examples where improperly chosen attributes formed a wrong impression about a brand and its product. For instance, the well-known company General Motors once faced a fiasco when trying to introduce the new Chevrolet Nova car in Latin American markets. It turned out that "No va" in Spanish means "does not move." Another company, Colgate, also faced a problem when promoting its product in Spanish-speaking countries. In Spanish, "colgate" translates to "go hang yourself."
example of a facebook text

Make a Promise to the Consumer

A brand is a promise that the consumer can fulfill with the help of the product. For people to believe and choose your product/service, the brand's proposition does not have to contain a measurable technological advantage. The main thing is to show the future effect of the product and fulfill what was promised.

In 2014, in New Zealand, the Japanese technology giant Sony began selling waterproof MP3 players, using transparent water bottles as packaging. The brand promised consumers that they could use the device underwater and visually demonstrated this. Sales were carried out through vending machines with soft drinks in sports facilities with swimming pools and gyms.
example of a facebook text

Create a Platform for the Brand

A brand platform is the fundamental elements that define and describe the essence and values of a brand, as well as ways to interact with the audience. This includes a unique proposition, mission, values, brand promise, positioning, style and tone of voice, as well as the target audience.

With the help of the platform, you will be able to transmit the visual image and associations, corporate style, emotional and rational advantages, unique qualities, and values of the product/service. Don't forget to think ahead about the BrandBook.

The brand platform often serves as the basis for developing marketing campaigns, creating content, and developing products that reflect the values and promise of the brand, and allows more effective communication with the audience.

Develop and Implement a Brand Communication Strategy

The ultimate goal of such a communication strategy is to persuade the consumer to choose your product/service.

In 2012, Nike decided not to officially sponsor the Olympic Games, while other companies paid $155 million for it. To avoid spending this astronomical sum, Nike advertisers made a clever move. Over 400 athletes wore Nike's Volt sneakers in a glowing yellow-green shade — the most recognizable to the human eye. Thanks to this brilliant trick, Nike attracted attention to its brand almost for free, outperforming its main competitor, Adidas.

A communication strategy is the answer to the business objectives of the company:
WHAT to say (the brand's key message);
WHO to say it to (the target audience);
HOW to say it (creative strategy);
WHERE to say it (channels).

Let's take a closer look at each point.

  1. The Brand's Key Message

The brand's key message is the main idea or statement that the company aims to convey to the audience. It should clearly and concisely reflect the values, advantages, and positioning of the brand in the minds of consumers.

The brand's key message can be used in various marketing materials: in advertising, on packaging, on the website, in social networks, etc. It should be clear, memorable, and attractive to the target audience.

There are three types of key messages: rational, empirical, and emotional.

A rational message is one that is based on facts, figures, and logic. A rational message can include information about the quality of the product, its features, price, and advantages. It is usually aimed at the rational thinking of consumers who make decisions based on logical considerations and factors.
The Toyota brand uses a rational message in its advertising, emphasizing the reliability and durability of its cars, as well as low maintenance costs.

Empirical Message - This is a message based on scientific data, research, and the brand's experience. It can include information about the product's effectiveness, efficiency, and market success. It is aimed at those consumers who make decisions based on scientific facts and proven data.

The Colgate brand uses an empirical message in its advertising, demonstrating the results of clinical trials and experimental research that confirm the effectiveness and reliability of toothpastes.
example of a facebook text
Emotional Message - This is a message aimed at the emotions of consumers, their feelings, desires, and beliefs. Usually, such messages highlight how a product can change life, make it better, and bring pleasure. It is aimed at those consumers who make decisions based on emotions and feelings.

The Coca-Cola brand uses an emotional message in its advertising, emphasizing the product's connection with happiness, joy, and celebration. In the commercials, people enjoy the drink, which evokes positive emotions and the desire to try the product in viewers.
example of a facebook text
Examples of Key Messages of Brands:

Nutella: 'Nutella is the perfect addition to breakfast. A good day starts with a good breakfast.'
MasterCard: 'There are things that money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard.'
Head & Shoulders: 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression.'
L'Oreal: 'Because you're worth it.'

2. Target Audience

It is important to choose specifically whom you want to sell to. If the approach is 'everything to everyone,' it leads to a dead end. In practice, you will end up with 'nothing to nobody.' Therefore, it is crucial at the start to define the buyer persona: who they are, their age, where they live, their hobbies, needs, fears, etc. This will help identify the reasons for purchasing the product, formulate the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of the company, and develop an effective product promotion strategy.

The '5 W' technique by Mark Sherrington can help in composing the audience portrait.
You just need to answer 5 questions:
What? (what do you offer?).
Who? (who are your customers?).
Why? (why do people buy your product?).
When? (when do people buy the product?).
Where? (Where?) – shows the points of contact with the customer and determines the place where the person is more likely to purchase the product or at least learn about it.

example of a facebook text

3. Creative Strategy

The creative strategy defines the key features of building communication with the audience. It includes three elements, each aimed at attracting attention to the product or service, and convincing of the practicality and profitability of making a purchase.

The textual part - what and how to say to the potential buyer in the advertising message.

The artistic part - what and how to visually show in the advertising message.

The technical part - what and how will be created using technical means.

At the core of any creative strategy is the big idea. This is the main, creative idea that underlies all advertising activities and events in various communication channels.

Nike's Big Idea is to inspire and motivate people to lead an active lifestyle. Nike creates sports clothing, footwear, and accessories that help people feel confident and comfortable during physical activity, and also to strive for better results and achievements in sports and life in general.

Nike’s slogan 'Just Do It' also emphasizes the brand's main idea. It first appeared in 1988 in a commercial featuring 80-year-old runner Walt Stack, who ran daily across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (of course, in Nike sneakers). After that, this slogan became a sort of mantra that gives strength and boosts motivation in those moments when it’s hard to take the first step. As a result of the powerful advertising campaign, which was recognized as the best of the 20th century, Nike increased its sales volume by 10 times.

4. Promotion Channels

There are numerous channels for communicating with consumers. These include radio, television, outdoor advertising, online advertising, social media promotion, email marketing, content marketing, SEO, PR, sponsorship, event organization, and many others. Utilize those that your target audience uses.

When choosing promotion channels, also consider objectives, budget, and the type of product/service. And, of course, study your competitors. This will help determine which channels might be most effective for your brand.

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