Think about the last time you sat through a pre-roll ad on YouTube without counting down the seconds until its end. Or an instance on Instagram where a carousel ad compelled you to swipe from one photo to the next. What about a blog post you read through to the final paragraph (*cough* *cough*—soon to be this one—*cough*).
If you have an idea of the when for each of these, you’ll most likely find a unifying what stringing them together: creativity. The most successful brands in today’s heavily saturated marketplaces are those that step outside the norm. They’re the ones thinking about their company as more than a pusher of products and/or services.
At the heart of these tactics is exactly that, heart. And by creatively translating data, messaging, user stories and more, brands are able to connect with followers at an elevated level.
Paint a Picture with Data
Marketers can spend hours trying to get in the heads of their targeted audiences and consumers in order to build out the campaigns best suited to garner attention. They’ll send surveys, hypothesize personas, gather focus groups, and more. And all the while, sometimes the most impactful insights are already waiting at their fingertips, should they choose to crunch the numbers.
Spotify put user data to work for their outdoor ads in a brilliant move that certainly left people talking. Music is emotional on any number of levels, which is why playing off how users listen to and organize their music around a variety of timely topics made their efforts so entertaining. It’s a campaign that speaks to human curiosity, emotion and humor with relatively simple ideation and execution.
Your Brand’s Story is Your User’s Story
What may start as a single line of praise can become a creative branding opportunity in the making for those willing to dig a bit deeper. Testimonials are a no-brainer for most marketers because they establish a degree of user proof that can’t be bought on behalf of a corporation. By telling the user story through their own words, brands can find greater impact in connecting people to people rather than product to people.
Take the University of Cambridge, for example, and their blog This Cambridge Life, hosted on Medium. Using individual stories as the anchor for each post, the university explores the diversity of its curriculum, faculty, and campus life without ever having to blatantly push their agenda. They tell their story as a brand through the eyes of those, who are actually consuming what they’ve created as an institution, which makes it more relatable and desirable to prospective students.
Leverage the Power of Philanthropy
Creatively branding oneself is just as much about looking outward as it is inward. Roughly translated, consider the ways in which your brand can draw a more defined line between its product and a deeper value/purpose. One of the ways this can be done is through building charitable partnerships and giving back.
Lyft is a prime example of a brand that’s put its money where its mouth is in relation to its mission to “reconnect people through transportation and bring communities together”. Their Round Up & Donate feature allows riders to make each use of the app stand for something greater than just a drive around the block. And more importantly, it gives people a clearer, more noble reason for choosing Lyft’s service over those of their competitors.
Find Elements of Relatability
It can be easier said than done to push creativity when the subject matter of your product and/or service isn’t exactly compelling by nature. Especially for companies that specialize in more technical B2B industries, it can be more difficult to connect the dots between a brand and its target audience. However, this is when the need for creativity is at its peak in taking complex subject matter that can then be transformed into something easily consumed by the masses.
When it comes to the ins and outs of what General Electric does as a company, the average consumer may know very little. But when broken down and related back to famous authors, cancer, and mountain bikes via short, easily consumable videos, the brand’s impact becomes much clearer. Finding a way to connect with audiences at the points in which both their interests and those of the brand meet, is a surefire way to see a return on any piece of content distribution.
Creative Branding Tactics to Help You Stand Out and Stay Ahead
Regardless of the subject matter, there’s a way to channel creativity for the sake of connecting a brand’s image and mission with its audience. Get inspired to think differently about your branding efforts with a little help from your friends at Mabbly. Contact us today.