A product is never just a product. Service is never just a service. It’s an experience, and most importantly, it’s a brand. Creating an integral link between the two is what makes companies stand out, be loved, and be chosen ahead of everyone else.
From the language of their messages to the colors of their products, these five companies have nailed their branding, and what you take away from them, can help your business too.
Airbnb – Storytelling at its Finest
While Airbnb might be a big company now, it’s start was plagued by one factor: how to convince people to use their services.
Their main barriers – who am I staying with and who am I letting into my house? – was a significant hurdle to overcome. Their focus then was to create a community – and it did it by creating stories.
Airbnb has always focused on brand storytelling, and at the heart of that storytelling are their customers – their community. Their main aim was to tell the story of the customer, whether the host or the guest, and let them showcase their experiences, their journeys and provide them with a platform to connect with each other.
Jump on the site now and it is all about experiences and undertaking journeys; more than just “staying a night somewhere”. This effective strategy has made Airbnb become known for its community, not itself.
Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of branding. If you have a story you want to tell, or more importantly, you want to tell the story of others, create a voice that is reflective of your audience.
Crunch Fitness – Inclusivity is Key
Gyms have always been about vanity. But what happens when you scrap that? You get Crunch Fitness.
Their entire campaign is summed up by their “No Judgements” approach. It shows off inclusivity, where everyone can join in and be part of that active lifestyle. It removes that layer of vanity that comes with going to the gym and instead focuses on getting everyone involved. Their website is designed creatively around that motto.
That inclusivity extends by the use of their social media. Instagram is loaded with pictures and videos of happy, active customers, while personal trainers post videos of specific exercises to help beginners. It’s a subtle way of inviting everyone to join without forcefully shoving it down their throats.
Inclusivity is key to any branding campaign. While you might be targeting one section of the market, don’t be ignorant in not involving everyone in your overall campaign.
This Bar Saves Lives – Build Your Brand around Your Mission
Nutrition bars are all being healthy, building muscles and look great. But what happens when you make it less about feeling good, and more about the lives of others?
This Bar Saves Lives is an excellent example of a company that’s built their brand around their mission, which is “to end childhood malnutrition worldwide”. Their mission affects their business-decision making process, and in turn, affects their branding.
While most companies try to promote their socially conscious side, when the main aim of the business is socially conscious, it becomes the main branding focus. Everything about the brand – the color of the packaging, the advertisement, the refreshing approach, even the name itself – is all about grabbing attention on the cause.
It inspires consumers to immediately associate their products with a higher purpose, making them feel like they are contributing to a worthwhile cause. It is an example of how to make the customers believe in a significant cause rather than just the brand itself.
If you have a higher purpose for your business, make your branding about that purpose. It will make customers feel they are contributing to a solution.
Lush – Educational hooks in Customers
Most beauty and cosmetics companies go around and around with the same marketing cliches: “using our products makes you beautiful”.
But Lush has broken that mold by carving a name for itself internationally by pushing its colorful, ethical and educational message.
Go to any Lush store, and you’ll be bombarded with a rainbow; attractive, eye-catching, and enticing to all customers. That colorful approach is part of their campaign, messages and tone.
They seek to educate their consumers – both on their products and ethical message. Not many makeup brands will have full-on product demonstrations showcasing all types of products. But it’s part of Lush’s approach. They want to educate customers about their products, get creative and, in turn, customers will be proactive with the brand.
They also push their ethic message, as all of their products are handmade. In today’s age of conservationism and eco-friendly products, this reigns supreme over everything else. With consumers hooked on their message, and valuing social and corporate responsibility, they’ve nailed their branding campaign.
Educating your customers are important. If they feel aligned and passionate about what you stand for, they will feel connected to your brand.
T-Mobile – Be Personal & Listen
T-Mobile might be a sponsor of Bayern Munich, one of your Europe’s prestigious football teams, but it stands apart from being just another regular cellular company – by shredding away what it actually means to be a mobile company.
Let’s face it; cellular companies do not have a reliable reputation. Ripping off that preconceived notion is what makes T-Mobile stand out to younger, more tech-savvy audiences.
And did it they by listening to their customers and rebranding their image around them. An example would be their “carrier-free” approach: targeting customers that hate being locked into contracts. Which other company would make their mobiles “carrier-free” if they didn’t listen to their customers in the first place?
Their focus on listening to customers is a constant feel throughout their branding. Messages from their social profiles are personable, open and communicative, with their tone being care-free and fun – enticing customers to engage with them in return. Even John Legere, the CEO, is on Twitter being open and personal to customers. If it starts from the top, it will trickle its way down.
Get personal and get rid of that “faceless corporation” look your business might have. Instead listen to your customers – it will benefit your business in the long-term.