A successful salesperson is someone who truly believes in what they’re selling. A successful advertisement is one that illustrates what the brand believes in.
In a time where ads rule our media spaces, it’s hard to go a day without seeing an advertisement for any number of brands. Watching TV? Ads. Listening to the Radio? Ads. Think you’re going to get away from them by streaming your favorite shows on the internet? Nope! Ads. This wouldn’t be so annoying if ad space wasn’t so full of BS. Like campaigns that don’t portray what a brand actually stands for, or worse, ads that don’t get noticed in the first place
Every ad is your opportunity to create the image of what comes to the mind of a consumer when they think of your product. Yet so many brands squander it by being blah and/or unclear about what their brand stands for. Sure an ad is supposed promote your product, but it is even more important because it builds your brand with consumers. So why not connect what your company is passionate about to the brand through your ad?
Many successful brands do this, and there is a reason for that. It works. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of another ad to skip on YouTube or a commercial to fast forward through, but if your advertising is different and exciting your brand will be noticed. For example, Red Bull. When you think of Red Bull what comes to mind? It may be the energy drink, the product behind the brand; it may be the numerous extreme sports athletes that Red Bull sponsors or maybe events like Red Bull Crashed Ice. Regardless of what you think of when you hear Red Bull, you know the brand and you know that it ‘Gives You Wings’. Red Bull is a household brand that has been at the forefront of the energy drink industry for quite some time, but what this company has done is connect their brand to a core belief that is expressed in their product.
One of Red Bull’s founders and current CEO, Dietrich Mateschitz, is a known extreme sports enthusiast. His interests brought energy drinks into a new marketplace – extreme sports. Mateschitz created an identity for his brand by involving his brand with his passions resulting in an empire. Because of this, at the core, Red Bull represents adrenaline. The rush that an adventure can give their athletes and the rush that their energy drink can give the consumer and even the rush that their consumer can get from watching their athletes.
When Red Bull started their venture into extreme sports, it was uncharted territory in the unsaturated energy drink market. Other brands such as Monster and Rockstar have followed suit and started sponsoring athletes and sporting events instead of creating their own ways to enter the market. It is now the norm for energy drinks to sponsor athletes and events due to Red Bull’s trailblazer attitude; though, it would have been interesting and much more entertaining to see each energy drink brand come up with a new, unique way to advertise their product. No two companies are exactly alike, and their strategies should differ as well.
So, with that, I challenge other brands not to do what the energy drink industry did by following a well-known brand into an already developed category. I want to challenge brands to ask themselves these questions when they are coming up with campaigns and ways to advertise their products:
- What are you?
- Who are you?
- What does your company stand for at its core?
- Are you portraying who your company is with your advertising?
Embrace your answers to these questions and let that shine through in your marketing efforts. Don’t be a follower – create your own path and focus on what makes your brand unique. Your brand should be a reflection of your company and if your advertising isn’t illustrating that, then you’re just adding to the BS.