Today’s eCommerce retailers need to be prepared to go further than simple brand recognition strategies; they must create brand affinity. Brand affinity comes from being more than memorable to consumers—it comes from being helpful and improving the customer experience. Those who have brand affinity are trusted authorities for the products they represent, meaning they will be the companies that consumers turn to when they have a question about a product. That trust leads to sales.
One of the most important aspects of building brand affinity is to focus on helping the consumer. That help can take many forms, from how-to videos to branded content and apps. This strategy is about opening a dialog with the consumer. It can involve working with content-creating influencers, building a trusted reputation, and incentivizing interaction through recognition and rewards.
Brand Recognition Strategy #1: Becoming a Trusted Authority
When a consumer believes in a company, they’re more likely to turn to that brand for help when they need it. This marketing strategy is one which home improvement retailer Lowe’s uses to its advantage. The company has a YouTube channel with hundreds of how-to videos which explain how to do basic home improvement and other projects. It boasts more than half a million subscribers and every video has thousands of views. The retailer uses these how-to videos to creatively advertise available products in its stores.
Through this strategy, a company establishes itself as an expert in its niche. When consumers have problems that a specific product can solve, they will think of that product’s retailer or brand. Consumers don’t just view the retailer as a store but as a trusted resource. eCommerce retailers can use this strategy to their advantage by offering how-to videos or other information which will continue to lead consumers back to their websites.
Brand Recognition Strategy #2: Connecting With Influencers
Influencers don’t just help to further a retailer’s message. They create content for those retailers, ensuring that brand recognition and affinity remains high. CoverGirl is a brand famous for its influencer partnerships, working with both celebrities and online personalities to share information about its brand.
As one study showed, 71% of consumers are willing to make a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation on social media. This is a powerful strategy for not just recognition but for sales. Much of this occurs through the creation of curated content. Curated content is content from third parties which brands can share on websites and blogs, helping to expand their reach and boost views of these online pages. Brands may pay content creators to build this content for them or find brand enthusiasts through searching out the most popular personalities in target niches.
In the eCommerce space, this can be a bit more difficult unless the retailer works in a specific niche. As such, it’s helpful to find experts in various categories to represent the retailer’s offerings while also developing a curated content database to manage specific products and information.
Brand Recognition Strategy #3: Rewarding Interaction
Another option for improving brand recognition both online and in the shopping aisle is to incentivize consumers to interact with a brand or company. This strategy is approached in many ways, including:
- Rewarded video: Rewarded video is something offered on Shopkick and it provides consumers with opportunities to earn kicks (aka rewards points) for watching branded content. Rewarded video is very popular and offers companies a chance to incentivize interaction without the need to offer discounts.
- Social media engagement: While companies should try to get their content to go viral on social media, they should not neglect the value of simple interactions. When consumers hashtag specific products or services from a company, brands can comment and share these posts. When a consumer sends a question to a brand via social media, the company should answer on the same platform rather than directing a consumer to their website or Q&A section. By answering directly, the brand creates transparency which will improve affinity.
- Contests: Contests, where consumers can win free products or recognition from a brand, are a great way to increase engagement and share a company’s message. This strategy can work for improving user-generated content as well. A QSR, for example, could offer a deal where users who share images of themselves enjoying specific products will receive a coupon, rewards points, or another incentive.
By engaging with consumers on online platforms, companies can make themselves memorable. This engagement can also lead to brand affinity and consumer trust, both of which enhance sales prospects.
By engaging with consumers on online platforms, companies can make themselves memorable.
The key to leveraging brand recognition strategies is focusing on offering the consumers something of value for their attention. A brand can do this by creating useful content or working with influencers to curate content for them. In either case, companies that make efforts to set themselves up as experts in the consumer’s eyes are the ones who will see the most success in their strategies.
Shopkick works with our partners to improve brand recognition and affinity by offering an innovative app that provides incentives for interacting without the need for coupons or discounts. For more information, contact us.
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