Brand recognition is vital for consumer engagement and business success. Media is a vital tool in creating successful brand engagement. When brand recognition is done well in media, the business is likely to experience success. Poor brand campaigns in media often hurt businesses.
Brand Recognition and Industry Success
- Brand recognition grabs the attention of potential consumers, allowing the industry to be successful. Color has been shown to increase brand recognition by 80% due to visual appeal.
- Successful brand recognition strategies involve knowledge of the targeted audience, realistic promises, uniqueness, consistency, engagement, authenticity, and a good story.
- A brand is considered successful when the brand has permeated the target audience's lifestyle and habits. This involves a strong social media presence, establishing trust, utilizing partnerships and referral programs, and direct mail or handout advertisements.
- Consumers tend to be loyal to brands they trust, with 94% of consumers reporting brand transparency earns their loyalty.
- Brand recognition is built by consumer interactions with the brand. Positive customer service experience was reported as an essential piece of brand trust for 73% of surveyed consumers.
- Media is not restricted to digital means. Posters, brochures, and direct mail carrying the company's brand increase recognition and encourage potential consumers to seek additional information.
- The success of brand recognition campaigns can be measured using Google Analytics or similar website traffic measures, surveys, and social media numbers. For example, Pepsi's website traffic has remained fairly steady for the past 6 months, demonstrating the brand is still recognized and sought by consumers.
Brand Recognition and Industry Struggles
- Some companies have poor brand recognition in media, which leads to many struggles for the company overall.
- When a company has poor brand recognition, the company does not gain loyalty and therefore sees less repeat business.
- Trusted brand names add value to the products sold. When the brand name is not recognized, overall perception of value of the company's products declines.
- Opinions are often formed within 10 seconds of seeing a brand logo. If the logo lacks uniqueness or is overly complex, it is likely to be forgotten or overlooked, diminishing brand interest.
- More than 80% of investors consider brand recognition as a strong component in investment decisions. If the brand is poorly recognized, the company will struggle to obtain investors.
- Negative reviews of a brand often hinder the ability to obtain a talented workforce. In fact, 55% of job candidates decided not to apply after hearing negative reviews of the company brand. Therefore, these poorly branded companies end up paying their workforce an additional 10% to attract employees.
- Brands that attempt to gain attention using shame develop negative attention, reducing consumer support.
- Media campaigns for brands which are unclear regarding the brand or product being offered experience struggles in business.
Search Engine Optimization Strategy
- Most consumers' online search interest ends with the results on the first page, so a brand appearing high in searches is essential for success.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy to improve a company's ranking in search engine results to improve the experience of online research.
- Effective SEO involves an understanding of the needs and desires of the brand's target audience, and ensuring common search words related to these needs appear in the brand's media is necessary.
- Some organizations use digital marketing experts to improve SEO, and others use free online guides to improve SEO independently.
- Many companies work on SEO after brand development. However, SEO is beneficial during brand development as well.
- The image below illustrates various components of the experience of online researchers. Brand development should consider ensure the brand meets each of these components to ensure the target audience is reached, thereby increasing the SEO ranking.
- Red Bull originated in Australia, yet many Americans believe the brand is local, keeping the brand ranked as one of the most popular brands globally.
- Red Bull often hosts global extreme sports, which engages consumers in multiple countries and maintains global brand recognition.
- Multiple media outlets are used by Red Bull, using high-energy, action-oriented, and visually appealing media, keeping their motto, "Red Bull give you wings," and their logo consistent throughout their media and events.
- Coca Cola remains one of the most recognized brands in the world, with a logo that has not changed in over 100 years.
- Coca-Cola is recognized by its logo in 94% of the global population. Part of this success is the brand's involvement in charity projects and support of small communities.
- Keeping consistent with its simple beginnings and messaging, even while using innovation in current media campaigns, has kept Coca-Cola strong as a trusted brand.
- Coca-Cola has demonstrated strong success in marketing the brand in social media campaigns and keeping advertisements focused on the brand more than individual products.
- Snapchat has struggled with brand recognition, and this has hurt the company's image and business.
- Snapchat attempted a brand campaign which appeared to shame victims of domestic violence, leading to negative public views and opinions of the brand.
- Strong promises were made by Snapchat regarding advertising opportunities and innovation, yet they failed to deliver on these promises and have not demonstrated significant advantages over similar platforms, which decreases brand trust.
- More companies are using a vintage approach to brands, such as simple images, weathered looks, or "established dates" to find success.
- Visual appeal is a trend in brand recognition success in 2020. Particularly, including pictures, abstract images, or logos with an appearance of shape-shifting to capture attention.
- Brands are using bold images to capture attention and interest of consumers.
- Use of video in brand marketing has shown success, in addition to using multiple social media platforms.
- Media advertisements accessible via mobile devices is a current and growing trend in brand recognition, reaching more potential consumers.
Business media engagement can be active or passive. Both approaches have an effect on the business image and success. Active engagement tends to generate positive results more often than passive engagement, though both remain relevant for company success.
Active Engagement and Business Media
- Active media engagement consists of company advertisements encouraging interaction between the media and consumers. This could be interaction with the company that produces the advertisement or interaction of consumers choosing to engage the media (i.e. playing an ad on YouTube).
- Active engagement approaches tailored to the target audience using multiple channels show the most success.
- Active engagement approaches do best when focusing on brand engagement over specific products, which allows the company to become recognized on a wider scale.
- Using second party data is a growing aspect of active engagement. Companies partnering with second party services, such as Yelp, can generate more interaction by appearing in searches on the partner website.
Passive Engagement and Business Media
- Passive media engagement consists of one-way communication with consumers, such as using print media or television commercials. This consumer engagement method does not encourage consumer replies.
- Radio advertisement is a form of passive communication, as long as the ad does not include consumers calling the station in response.
- Passive media has its place in advertisement. When persons are browsing social media without seeking specific information, they are more receptive to the passive media advertisements seen.
- Passive story advertisements on Facebook and Instagram reached 500 million users per day in January 2019, and these stories contributed to the $16.6 billion in revenue reported by Facebook that quarter.
Case Study — Active Engagement
- Domino's has found success using active consumer engagement.
- Twitter has been a part of the active engagement, with the "tweet-to-order" innovation, allowing consumers to place orders directly through Twitter.
- Domino's use of "hotspots" to allow delivery to multiple places, such as parks and beaches, have further enhanced personalization and interaction with consumers.
- Domino's also developed an interactive game to enhance consumer engagement, which provides entertainment and allows consumers to earn rewards towards future orders, generating additional revenue.
Case Study —Passive Engagement
- While companies using completely passive marketing are uncommon, many companies use passive marketing as a portion of their campaigns.
- Nike has made use of passive marketing effectively. Physical business cards and catchy email advertisements have contributed to this success.
- Nike has successfully infused the brand logo and motto in multiple passive marketing venues, such as television, print, and internet advertisements, strengthening the brand recognition.
- Many Nike passive advertisements involve social stories inspiring hope and motivation, which have built brand recognition, trust, and respect.
Current and Future Trends
- Active media engagement continues to evolve. Interactive and Supra-active media formats are gaining popularity for companies to engage potential and current customers.
- Interactive media involves using social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, encouraging interaction with the advertisements and providing information without requiring purchase. Use of this media has been shown to increase engagement and revenue.
- Supra-active media appeals to the Millennial generation. This form of media allows consumers to engage with the company as well as other consumers. This form of media learns the preferences of users and tailors content to personalize information to specific users.
- As technology continues to develop, active media is embracing approaches such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and video advertisement to actively engage consumers and provide a more in-depth, immersive experience.
Media can have significant effects on the success or failure of a business. Companies need awareness of the potential for their media campaigns to help or hurt the overall company.
Positive Media Effects
- Interactive media allows companies to monitor discussion about the brand, allowing companies to reach out to dissatisfied consumers, develop connections with consumers, and make advertising changes as needed to keep the brand's positive image.
- Media allows a company to show a personality to consumers. When used well, this develops consumer connections and loyalty beyond simple product knowledge.
- The use of social media advertising, such as Facebook ads, enhances business for companies with ecommerce stores. Facebook has 1.4 billion daily users, meaning these media ads reach a large audience.
- When companies partner with influencers for social media campaigns, the company experiences increased revenue. Using an online influencer is similar to using celebrity endorsement in other media venues to make a brand more trusted and relatable.
- Companies that focus on brand recognition and consumer engagement in media channels, rather than immediately trying to hard-sell products, find more success in business.
Negative Media Effects
- Using hashtags is common on social media today. However, companies need to be mindful of the hashtags used, and be aware the hashtags may be hijacked. For example, McDonalds promoted the #McDstories campaign, but other users began using the hashtag to promote a negative view of the company.
- Using media to promote political views for a company often has negative results, alienating potential consumers who hold different views. IHOP and McDonalds experienced significant backlash when they posted political messages during the 2016 election.
- In today's digital world, nothing is permanently deleted or removed. A poor decision posted in a digital forum may be deleted by the company, but it often resurfaces at inopportune times, haunting the company. Paula Deen is a primary example of this, as her racial remarks many years ago continued to be circulated, ruining her career.
- When brands use media to capitalize on tragedy or suffering, this creates a negative image of the brand. For example, Gap posted on social media "All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We'll be doing lots of Gap.com shopping today. How about you?" The comment about shopping at Gap negated any attempt at goodwill from the post, leaving a negative view for the public.
- Many times, negative impacts from social media come from sources not controlled by the impacted organization. Members of the general public easily can post their thoughts online, and often do when upset at an organization, making the anger very public.
Positive Case Study
- The Girl Scouts organization has been enhanced by their media use, especially since the adoption of a social media presence.
- Girl Scouts discovered many customers who wanted to buy Girl Scout cookies were struggling to find locations to buy these. Cookie sales are a primary driver of funding Girl Scout troops and activities.
- Girl Scouts used their website, a downloadable app, and a Twitter campaign to help the digital audience find places to purchase cookies, which enhanced overall sales.
- The Twitter campaign was created and initiated in less than a day, showing the ease of incorporating social media in digital marketing.
- The company saw more than 19,500 installations of the app via Twitter links. The Twitter campaign showcased the app, providing a visual of how the app can be helpful, which encouraged downloads.
Negative Case Study
- Paula Deen's brand and career was essentially ruined by her actions that gained media attention. She started as a strong television personality, becoming a household name in the cooking industry.
- Deen was sued by one of her former general managers for discriminatory behavior. During the deposition, Deen admitted using racial slurs and putting African-American employees in a position to portray slaves.
- The lawsuit led to media revisiting an interview with Paula Deen in which she referred to African Americans as "these people" and "workers," and this footage quickly circulated social media along with Deen's comments in the lawsuit deposition.
- The negative press led to Deen being dropped by Food Network. Public figures, such as Michael Twitty, made public negative statements regarding Deen's comments and calling her the "ultimate, consummate racist".
- Paula Deen attempted public apologies, but the media aired additional allegations of racism against Deen, and she was unable to recover. Deen has since attempted a return to television, with lackluster results.
Current and Future Trends
- Media campaigns, particularly social media, will continue affecting business success and failure in the future, and businesses need awareness of these trends.
- False information will continue to be a concern on social media, and anyone can post misinformation online. Businesses need to craft a strong media presence to counteract potential misinformation, as well as monitor media channels to be alerted of false information being posted.
- Businesses are acknowledging the need for social media campaigns to be part of the advertising budget. Social media is not going away, and the impact of social media on businesses will continue to grow.
- Companies are beginning to use microinfluencers instead of the traditional use of celebrity endorsements or general influencers. Microinfluencers are persons who have strong media presence and influence in particular areas or niches.
- Television advertising is not the focus of advertising discussions in many circles today, but this form of media advertisement remains relevant to businesses. In 2018, television advertisement revenue saw a 7.1% increase, while digital advertisement revenue increased by 16.8%.
- Television media campaigns today and in the future will need more personalization and uniqueness, as networks are allowing their television clients to choose the ads aired during programming.
Content marketing is vital for business success. This advertising strategy involves creating and distributing content that is relevant, consistent, and valuable for the target audience. Multiple methods are available for content marketing, which require use of media to engage consumers.
Effects of Content Marketing
- Content marketing has proven to be an asset to businesses. Companies have seen more loyal consumers, more sales, and additional cost savings when using content marketing.
- Using content marketing increases brand recognition and visibility for businesses, which positively affects image and business success.
- Effective content marketing strategies increase consumer loyalty and trust, building relationships and long-term success.
- When content marketing is used successfully, the business develops an image of expertise in the business' industry, increasing credibility and authenticity.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential component in content marketing. SEO allows the company to be found in online searches, and content marketing ensures the content found is valuable and engaging.
- Keywords are a main component of SEO. Content marketing must ensure relevant keywords are present in the advertisements, in line with SEO trends for the industry.
- Consistency is necessary in SEO strategies with content marketing. The advertisements must keep with current interests and avoid repetition to keep a high ranking with SEO, while consistently referencing the company brand being advertised.
- Successful content marketing SEO strategies make use of inbound marketing techniques to keep the brand relevant and engaging.
- Inbound marketing initially appears to be the same as content marketing, but in reality this is just a part of content marketing. Inbound marketing focuses on companies being found in digital media, such as search engines, social media, and YouTube, drawing in potential consumers.
- Inbound marketing involves a business is connecting to online communities and interacting with those community members, developing digital media across multiple channels, and ensuring the content distributed draws consumers in to connect to the company.
- The inbound marketing strategy is about forming connections with consumers, rather than distracting or interrupting their online experience with extraneous ads.
- Users of inbound marketing approaches have reported at least some increase in website leads in 92.7% of surveyed companies, with 56.3% reporting at least a 50% increase in leads, as shown in the figure below.
- Coca Cola excels at content marketing. This company launched the "Share a Coke" campaign, putting popular names on bottles for personalization for customers.
- Coca Cola also added an emotional connection with the target audience, by encouraging sharing of the product and building connections.
- Microsoft also uses content marketing effectively. Microsoft uses a "stories" campaign to connect with consumers, knowing people enjoy good stories.
- The stories campaign by Microsoft builds on the phenomenon of storytelling leading to increase in oxytocin release, which improves mood and appeals to human connection.
Current and Future Trends
- Content marketing has been identified as the future of advertising. This marketing strategy avoids the "spam" marketing concerns, engaging consumers more directly and positively.
- Content marketing will need to continue increasing marketing strategies with a results focus.
- Using video and live-stream advertisements will continue growing in content marketing strategies.
- Using data to drive the creation of content will continue gaining importance for content marketing strategies.
- Increasing personalized content will be essential in future content marketing approaches.