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How Exceptional Branding Bridges Online and Offline Experiences
Having consistent branding online and offline across different channels has become more important than ever when it comes to accurately relaying your messaging to your customer base.
With an ever-growing list of marketing tactics and strategies to incorporate into your business, marketing across multiple channels continues to become more of a challenge for today’s companies, particularly those with larger brands focused on targeting multiple demographics.
Top companies often find marketing success by creating omni-channel campaigns that appear seamless across all of their channels. While this is no easy task, take a look at the branding tactics that Sephora, NastyGal, Harry’s, Virgin Airlines, and Chobani have used to build global brands across their properties and apply these lessons to your efforts.
Lesson 1: Innovating Mobile Strategies for In-Store Sales—Sephora
Leading cosmetics retailer Sephora has become known for staying ahead of the curve with their online marketing efforts, but it has also consistently mimicked this success to complement the in-store shopping experience by empowering their customers with an on-the-go mobile app, Sephora to Go.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Sephora’s VP of Innovation Lab Bridget Dolan details how creating a branded mobile app benefits her company. “Mobile empowers the shopper to have all the information they need at their fingertips at all times.”
Dolan goes on to add that Sephora’s female shoppers often use the app in-store. “Since mobile has become an extension of her hand, we put all this content easily accessible when and where she needs it. We’ve crafted the mobile experience to help her find the information she needs while in our stores.” By prompting their customers to download the Sephora to Go mobile app, Sephora can better influence sales at their brick-and-mortar locations.
Lesson 2: Leveraging New Social Channels to Build a Brand—NastyGal
Born originally as an eBay only company in 2006, the rapid growth of Los Angeles based fashion retailer NastyGal has caught the attention of marketing and business experts in retail. Founder Sophia Amoruso began building the company through social networks such as MySpace and at first only sold products through eBay before eventually launching the NastyGal website in 2008.
Although not a traditional path, NastyGal was able to build a retail giant without the use of brick-and-mortar locations by leveraging the trends and opportunities in online communities and consistently delivering an online first message. Today, it continues to drive sales online through the latest social channels such as their Instagram account.
However, it has also recently opened its first two physical locations in Los Angeles—showing that successful social media branding can form the basis for an in-person shopping experience.
Lesson 3: Giving Back to the Community to Bolster Your Brand—Harry’s
Maintaining a clean brand image is a priority for many companies, but it can be particularly important for a brand that promotes good personal hygiene. The shaving company Harry’s, like many others, focuses on doing the right thing—but it takes it a step further by really giving a shave about it’s community (yes, that pun is intended).
Harry’s mission: “We give a shave about getting people ready, and razors are only part of the story.”
Harry’s creatively and playfully promotes its brand while concurrently establishing their brand as a difference maker in their communities. This message is consistently shared through their web, social, and physical packages.
The brand’s charity of choice? City Year, an organization that helps people learn valuable professional and life skills. Harry’s understands that looking your best can be an important step in preparing yourself for success. Shaving can happen to be one of those steps, which aligns working with City Year to Harry’s marketing goals.
Similar to NastyGal, Harry’s began online before breaking into the offline by opening a brick-and-mortar location. Harry’s Corner Shop helps the brand bridge the gap between online and offline by empowering their barber associates with a mobile app that tracks customer behavior, effectively acting as a CRM.
Lesson 4: Lightening the Mood With Branded Humor—Virgin America
Let’s face it; some businesses have pretty generic features and it can be easy to blend in with the competition. When consumers make this generalization it can be difficult for businesses to express their product differentiation, but Virgin America tackles this issue by promoting content that is anything but ordinary.
Virgin America shares this video on their online social channels and offline during inflight safety presentations:
By using both online and offline channels, Virgin America’s trendy safety video can reach a larger portion of their current and potential customers. This evergreen video content continually promotes the Virgin brand and drives online conversations within their social audiences by sharing common pain points of their customers in a humorous manner.
Lesson 5: Properly Addressing Social Concerns—Chobani
Controversial social issues can often be a tricky but effective tactic to conquer as a brand. Brands that tackle social trends such as the Starbucks #RaceTogether or Dove’s body image campaign can often affect a large majority of our culture and there is potential for a high-risk,high-reward investment. Even with the best intentions, campaigns can still go terribly awry.
Lately, the reputation and healthiness of food has been questioned by popular online bloggers such as FoodBabe and some brands have even come under fire in the news. Chobani decided to take preemptive action by starting the Our Craft campaign to better protect their brand from these health scares by showcasing transparency in their business practices.
This campaign helped create a win-win scenario for Chobani by addressing a common social concern while simultaneously bolstering their brand image with upfront and transparent marketing. This occurs both online through social campaigns and offline by advertising “Only Natural Ingredients” on their product packaging.
Given the different branding examples highlighted, there are a breadth of strategies that your company can consider and implement to exceptionally brand your organization. Use some of these lessons to help you focus on consistently reinforcing your message across all of your marketing channels both online and offline.