Friday, September 23, 2011

Time-Tested Ways To Surround Your Customers With Your Brand

The next time you pass by your friendly neighborhood bar, I'd encourage you to walk in and look around. If you do, you will see that some brand-building tactics that were invented more than a century ago are still in use and that they seem to still be working.

Here are some of the strategies I am referring to:

  • Bright neon signs in the windows display the names of the brands of beer that are available.

  • There are big, appealing handles on the taps for different beers. Many of them are quite beautifully designed.

  • If you order a drink, chances are that it will arrive on a coaster that is printed with the name of a beer or other potable that is available at the establishment.

  • If you look around the bar, you will notice promotional mirrors, beer mugs, bottles, and other items that are inscribed with the names of products that are available.

As you will see after doing this little experiment in marketing archaeology, our marketing ancestors knew how to build brand loyalty by surrounding their customers with targeted messaging, and their techniques still survive in certain settings. And today I would like to suggest some old techniques that still have a lot of branding power, even in this age of technological marketing:

  • If your products are sold at retail, provide special product displays, window signs, and other branded promotional items.

  • Give your customers free items that are imprinted with your brand, such as key chains, jackets, calendars, refrigerator magnets, or coffee mugs.

  • Have your brand name appear on any ancillary products that are used to deliver your product, such as plates or cups, boxes, or other packaging.

  • Offer free gift packaging and stick on a label that includes the name of your company, your address, and your website URL.

  • Don't forget slogans and jingles. Think of the memorable "Just Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There." State Farm has now taken the "Good Neighbor" part of the jingle and used it to name a program that supports teachers, children, and communities. That's one example of how a strong brand identity can be extended and used in new and useful ways.

Thanks to Diana Pohly / Step By Step Marketing

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