When working on objectively trying to improve a company’s marketing activities, I personally think it’s really beneficial to identify which competitors are absolutely nailing their marketing and branding. It’s no surprise that often the more successful businesses in each sector are great at their marketing, partly because of budget but mainly because of their positive and open minded attitudes towards the importance of marketing.
In this blog I’m going to cover some of the brands that I often think “I wish I could work with these guys!”. I’ll try keeping this from being too self indulgent…
Riding the wave of the current huge increase in popularity of real ale, Brewdog have grown significantly since their inception in 2008, recently announcing an annual turnover of £70m in December 2016. Being a fan for a few years now, I’ve seen their beers go from exclusive trendy bars to now being in pretty much every supermarket in England.
Using modern crowdfunding platforms to raise cash to grow the brand and the business, their punk and “for the people” concept behind the beer has worked hand in hand enabling them to raise millions of pounds. A great unique idea, giving people real shares in the business with added benefits (a tour around a main brewery, a beer tour with the co-founders, rare types of beer etc.).
Their marketing and packaging is also really cool, as they’ve created a brand that’s so distinctive the products shine out on the shelf or in the fridge, not to mention when you pick them up they have a noticeably premium feel (as well as tasting amazing!).
How they nail their marketing: Customer satisfaction
For starters, without me going into anything else,take a trip to their website – https://www.spotify.com/uk/
This website is a great example of a straight to the point, great looking site that has clear defined sections which pushes all of the main reasons you’d want to join. Being a music lover myself, Spotify as a product has revolutionised my music listening experience. I remember when I thought my iPod was the greatest invention ever, now it’s obsolete. Spotify keeps all of your favourite music stored in the cloud, so you can access it via any device with an internet connection.
From a branding angle, their design work is always brilliant – almost trend setting at times. Their use of artist imagery with bright greens and pinks has become part of their brand, and remains consistent over.
How do they attract new customers? Pretty easy this one. They give anyone a free account, and they can listen to free music with adverts – but unfortunately on mobiles you have to listen to songs on shuffle mode. If you want a way of people to buy your product, give away a free taster version.
How they nail their marketing: Cutting edge design
After working at McDonald’s for 9 months when I was 16, I can safely say I was well and truly sick of the food, the packaging and to be honest everything about the brand. However I’ve got over my McDonald’s overload and now enjoy the odd McDonald’s when my wife, Toni, is out (she doesn’t eat burgers) or when I’ve got a hangover from drinking too many Brewdogs.
As I’ve got older and studied business and marketing especially, I’ve come to appreciate McDonald’s as the marketing beast that it is. With documentaries like Super Size Me exposing the potential pitfalls of regularly eating McDonald’s and the UK taking more care and attention to obesity issues, McDonald’s has had to reinvent itself constantly and reposition itself as a brand. Whilst other fast food brands like Burger King and KFC have stood relatively still when it comes to innovation, McDonald’s has introduced fruit bags for children, quenched the country’s thirst for coffee with the McCafé and are currently rolling out automated touch screen ordering services in restaurants. Even campaigns like McDonalds Monopoly will drive more customers through the door by actually offering very little, but the perception of a free lottery is a brilliant excuse to treat yourself to a McDonald’s!
Just a quick ask around in our office (all aged 19-30, me being by far the oldest) proved that McDonald’s would usually be the fast food option if they had the choice. McDonald’s don’t let their brand get out of fashion, and it’s working.
How they nail their marketing: Continuous marketing reinvention
For about the last 5 years I reckon that 90% of all of my clothes have been bought using this website. The combination of excellent prices, great selection and continuous additions keeps you coming back, plus the easy returns policy where you bag it back up and pop it in the post for free (surprisingly never had anything go missing or any problems with this service). The rise of ASOS over recent years is thanks to their commitment to keeping customers happy, their communication is on point at every level.
Their email marketing is relevant, interesting and contains some really good deals around 3-4 times a week. You don’t want to unsubscribe, as you’ll feel like you’ll miss out! That’s how email marketing should be. When you visit the website and then visit Facebook directly after, they’ll try and get you back onto the website with some clever Facebook “remarketing” which works with cookies in your internet browser.
ASOS are innovative as well, a couple of years ago they introduced “Premier Delivery” where you pay £10 a year for next day delivery for a year, a relatively small price to pay for an excellent shopping service. Building on that, they now have ASOS “A-Listers” – apart from massaging your ego with the name, it’s basically a membership scheme rewarding customers with vouchers depending on how much you spend. Once again, another reason to come back to ASOS and spend money on their website.
How they nail their marketing: Customer communication
This is just a snapshot into some of my personal favourite brands/products and how I admire their marketing strategy and delivery. There are loads more I could mention, but you’ll be here forever. If you need any support with implementing some of these strategies mentioned, please get in touch with one of the team at Superfly and we’ll be happy to help!