The products and services we use come from a variety of industries. While some may fulfill our regular, daily requirements, others fulfill our more extravagant needs. Both are equally important, but are they equally alluring to us as customers?
Making brands seem attractive is one of the most important elements of marketing them because unless they get noticed and chosen, they don’t sell. While apparel, fashion & beauty, food and other such industries may look appealing with little effort, industries like building material, education, financial services, software etc. sound plain boring! These industries are barely ‘glamourised’ or ‘attractive’ to the customers, making it difficult to find the right strategy for marketers to promote and sell these products and services. While it may be challenging, it is not impossible. Time and again, various brands around us have demonstrated that smart marketing can be successful in making even these bland industries interesting.
Innovative marketing and ways of doing business has always been one of the strengths brands and businesses have built. When done right, it gets the desired eyeballs and interest of their target audience making businesses more alluring. Let’s explore some of the ways with examples to see how these tips, if customised for your industry, can work in your favour.
Flip the offering of the brand and pleasantly surprise your customers. A product company may not necessarily remain so, rather marry its product with services and give customers a more wholesome offering. Sell performance and benefits, not just products. For instance, offering memberships for products on rent or lease the way Xerox rented their photocopier in the initial days of their business to get the market to try out their new product concept. Recent offers from automobile brands offering cars on lease with buyback option is another example.
Make more acceptable products to graduate the customer. Understanding your market and consumers ‘taste’ makes it easier to improve acceptability of a product or brand. Nestle, after its initial failure in Japan, started selling coffee blended cookies which gradually, over a period of time, got the Japanese to develop a taste for Coffee, making Japan a conducive market place to relaunch their coffee products. Positioning yourself better than the competitors is always a golden opportunity to get customer eyeballs . Which is why, creating a product/brand/service differentiation that appeals better to your target audience is the key to success. ‘Chota Recharge’ by Hutch was one of the differentiators, which got them good traction, business and love from their old and new customers.
Take up a social cause to become a purposeful business and not just one operating for profits. This helps your customers align and resonate with your business better. Tata is one of the best examples. Despite being in various B2B industries, Tata attracts the same level of trust and interest amongst both the B2B and B2C customer segments.
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ are words to remember when you are building a business. Brands need to stay in the top of the mind of their consumers by staying in the limelight. For that, you brands can create business news like Adani Group did through their announcement to begin construction work on the Carmichael coal project in Australia’s Galilee Basin ,which further resulted in their share prices skyrocketing.
Dalmia Bharat Cement’s Hippo Stores become the most talked about brand in building products wholesale by creating a new category, and is enjoying unparalleled attention from all of its three conflicting consumer segments, whistling its popular tune ‘don’t hop just Hippo’, all the way to the stores, ringing cash register and disrupting the market unlike ever seen before. It has not only gotten consumers interested, but also sparked interest and similar initiatives from the big conglomerates to reap the benefits uncovered by Hippo Stores.
Another way you can catch your consumer’s attention is to offer something that has been unheard of in the market, like how Sahara launched its Grameen Sahara Microfinance Program aimed at bringing significant changes in the livelihoods of the poor and underprivileged through its different livelihood programs and micro-finance service.
But its important to ensure that the business gives customers more defined pocketable benefits for greater and lasting loyalty towards the brand.
Last but not the least, size matters, especially when two prominent brands come together. Biggest of the brands and businesses have merged in order to give better and expansive benefits to consumers. Such mergers attract a lot of attention and keep customers on their toes for the new, improved offerings that they are about to experience. Google & Android, Marvel & Disney Pixar, Walmart Acquisition of Flipkart and other such big mergers and acquisitions have had people interested.
There are some more important and vital tips pertaining to marketing communication that can really help and that brands across the globe have practiced.
Find the juicier side of the story, like Fevicol. A simple B2B brand went onto delivering humorous content engaging B2C customers as well. Fevicol, which was originally developed for industrial use then started producing its variants for other purposes which led to the launch of variants like Fevistik, Fevikwik etc. This product and brand extension was a result of the smart messaging that made the brand enticing for the end customers.
Innovate on content type, like Amul. The king of moment marketing, Amul, made a dairy product brand a rather attractive one through its witty and spot on moment marketing. It has not only made Amul become the undeniable leader by far, but has gotten consumers glued and waiting for the morning newsprint for the next piece of utterly butterly delicious piece of work.
Innovate on medium and technology, like Airbnb and Canva. In the age of social media marketing where brands have a hard time generating realistic and resonating content on a daily basis, Airbnb and Canva smartly use ‘user- generated content’ to display on their social media platforms. This not only leads to better engagement numbers and makes the consumer feel like a part of the brand himself but also takes away the worry from the brand to generate regular content.
Get a personality to elevate that industry, in the form of a brand mascot like Air India’s Maharaja or celebrity endorsements like JustDial. JustDial roped in Amitabh Bachchan as their brand ambassador, leveraging his fame and position and made an everlasting impact in the consumer’s mind for the brand.
Relate to the consumer’s problem with a New Insight, like Vaseline. Previously used as a petroleum jelly for chapped lips, Vaseline became a household brand with its various uses as marketed by the brand. From cracked feet to skin conditions, Vaseline is now used for everything, even a makeup remover! Being marketed as a single solution to new problems attracted consumers towards Vaseline.
Tell the benefits of the benefit, like Sleepwell Mattresses. Sleepwell very smartly communicated its product benefits in a way that would further benefit the consumer in their daily life. Marketing the mattresses as a solution that would give a good night’s sleep resulting in better and productive days made consumers connect the dots and instantly drew association of the brand to a happy and peaceful life.
Hit it hard, like Facebook. One of the biggest and most renowned companies in the world, Facebook rebranded and marketed itself with a bang! The intent was to position itself not just as a technology company but a technology company with a vision. When consumers see an ambitious brand with a purpose, it drives them.
Crack a lasting line, like Fogg Perfumes. “Kya Chal Raha Hai?” “Fogg Chal Raha” was a time in itself. Fogg Perfumes cracked just the right tone, messaging and words to resonate with their target audience and took a completely different approach to sell fragrances unlike the usual market trends of alluring the opposite sex with the few sprays.
Use humour through slice of life moments, like Seagram’s Imperial Blue TVCs ‘Men Will Be Men’ campaign. The subtle humor in realistic settings gave a unique identity to the brand, which was also facilitated through its ‘Pyaar Ki Raah Mein Chalna Seekh’ ghazal which became quite popular.And the list goes on.
It may be difficult to market products and services that are not perceived as “interesting” or “attractive” unless you are thinking out of the box and leveraging all the opportunities around, right from competitors to other ‘interesting businesses’. Sometimes, marketing an already interesting product with a twist does the work. Knowing what clicks for your brand will always be the most important element of marketing and if you get that right, your marketing campaigns will bring the desired results.
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