We live in the Age of Brand Experience as digital and mobile media has changed consumer expectations; along with the way we shop and perceive products. To build brand equity by using advertising items we are moving from simply creating a logoed item or a character that personalizes a product characteristic, think Pillsbury’s Poppin Fresh Doughboy, to a digital era where brands and the associated advertising items need to be more humanly relevant.

Connect With Prospects on Their Level

Social Media has changed the way people interact with each other, and with businesses. We sign on to social media to connect with friends, families and acquaintances with real-time interactions. These platforms have democratized communication for all. Companies that are trying to use traditional advertising to essentially compete with people we have an actual relationship with, are considered an annoyance. The social media audience wants to interact with the personal, not corporate side of your brand.

Be More Human To Compete With Humans

Sun Chip creates a healthier planet through the use of renewable energy and the first biodegradable snack bag.

Sun Chip creates a healthier planet through the use of renewable energy and the first biodegradable snack bag.

To compete in a world that is becoming more customer-empowered and social-media driven, brands are becoming more involved, or even creating, cultural movements that people get behind and are inspired by. Campaigns like the Dove Natural Beauty series or the Make Up Free Monday movement are examples of how social media is for connecting, not selling. Creating or supporting a cultural movement is in alignment with why people access social media, to see what their network of friends are doing. When your audience’s needs to be connected with information relevant to them are met, your audience growth effort will prosper.

Let Your Personality Shine Through

Customers are more likely to affiliate with a brand if its personality is similar to their own. Brand equity has two parts: the product benefits and/or characteristics, and the intangibles or psychological factors related to brand personality, attitude and accessibility When planning sweepstakes and contests, or sourcing promo items, consider looking beyond building logo recognition by tapping into your brand personality and adding the dimensions of advocacy, influence and engagement to build the brand experience.

Build Relationships and Sales Will Follow

A cultural movement allows you to elevate your brand and maximize the power of traditional advertising items with social media and technology

A cultural movement allows you to elevate your brand and maximize the power of traditional advertising items with social media and technology

Audiences are rapidly built with online sweepstakes, contest and giveaways. Requiring a “like” for giveaways and sweepstakes on facebook or a “follow” on Twitter greatly increases your reach.  Once you determine a way to connect with your tribe, tying cultural awareness into your marketing and promotional strategy can put your brand above the competition, drive sales and deliver measurable results. If you choose to embrace this strategy a series of free sweepstakes, contests and trade show giveaways and other awards should reflect your brand personality and the movement you support. Brainstorm with your team and look to your agency or the many service providers that supply conscience cause marketing or cultural movement marketing to get you on track to grow exponentially while changing the world for the better.

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More