If you think of the ways business has changed in the last 50 years, there has been an exponential explosion of businesses and brands, in a shifting array of industries. We’ve gone from having a handful of megalithic mega-brands – many of whom still dominate the Fortune 500. There is an infinitely-evolving ecosystem of small- and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, SaaS, and, of course, the industries that serve them all.
In this complex environment, branding has become both a science and an artform. One-way, million-dollar ad campaigns no longer dominate the marketing landscape – it’s all about positioning now, seeing and being seen. And securing that much sought-after and difficult to quantify, customer loyalty, of course.
Micro Branding allows an opportunity to put your company’s logo where you want it – in your customer’s hands – when you want it. Rather than pushing gigantic billboards, Micro Branding places your company’s visual identity in people’s homes; at work; while they’re out; eating dinner; seeing a movie or attending an event. People are much more open and receptive when they’re not at work on “official” time, making decisions about time and money, day in, day out. Placing your logo on a double wall paper cup at a company open house or movie night will leave a warm feeling with your potential new customers, while warming their hands at the same time.
There are numerous reasons you need to be incorporating Micro Branding into your marketing strategy. Some, such as the Bridge.over Group of hospitality entrepreneurs, have gone so far as to claim Global Branding Is Dead. Micro-branding Is Next. While we won’t weigh in with our guess as to the future of big business, we think it’s safe to say that standing out in the marketplace is here to stay, as is having a brand identity, philosophy, and culture – all of which can be emphasized with Micro Branding.
Reasons For Micro Branding
Improve Local Brand Recognition
Local search is becoming increasingly important as the Internet and digital marketing evolve and become more complex. TMP Marketing, in affiliation with the cross-channel digital analysts ComScore, published a report in 2009 stating that a staggering 82% of customers search a product or service online before making a purchase. Micro Branding on a single wall paper cup or custom popcorn box, for instance, helps ingrain your company’s visual identity in your local customers, helping to ensure your name sticks in their mind when they’re getting ready to do business.
Consider the Micro Branding case studies of Germany’s 25h Hotels, New York’s Standard Hotel, or London’s Yotel. While it might seem sensible for hotels – and the hospitality industry in general – to try to brand themselves globally, these three hotels are taking a different approach. All three may be known globally, but that is due to excellent, elaborate local marketing. Micro Branding for local customers allows for not only a deeper understanding of local communities and cultures, it also allows for deeper audience segmentation.
Even if you’re running a global corporation, you might consider a bespoke Micro Branding campaign for different geographic regions – like maybe different double wall paper cups or takeaway containers, custom-designed for that specific region.
Easy, Inexpensive Advertising And Marketing
When we were reliant on mainstream media for advertisement, marketing departments had to spend their energy and resources on foolproofing extensive, expensive ad campaigns which would run for months or, sometimes, years. This bulky, inefficient marketing style had to be rather generic, being able to reach as many different demographics as possible without alienating any potential customers.
Micro Branding allows for much greater segmentation of audience demographics as well as being a much quicker, cheaper alternative to conventional advertisement. You might think of a bespoke paper cup campaign as the real-life version of a hashtag marketing campaign, or even a landing page. As today’s business ecosystem continues to grow more complex, brands will need to continually move forward and adapt. This means embracing Micro Branding and embracing the power of niche marketing. The good news is that this is in keeping with the movement towards specification and individualization. To truly make the most of Micro Branding’s potential, think of how you might embrace a custom printing campaign can help your customers feel more unique and appreciated.
Say More By Saying Less
Author Christopher Johnson says “Maximizing the communicative power of few and simple elements was an important aim of modernism in all the arts.” While longform messaging may not be dead, per se, getting straight to the point and delivering as much information in the shortest possible amount of time is definitely the way to go. Just think about Twitter, summing up a company’s brand identity in 140 characters or less. Custom printed paper cups and takeaway containers offer an opportunity to blend imagery, colour, fonts, and your logo to deliver your brand identity in exactly the way you want to be seen by your customers.
Micro Branding Offers A Customer Experience
Simply placing a logo on a biodegradable paper cup might not seem like an experience, but they can be! Custom printed paper cups can be created for special events – like a holiday party or recruitment seminar at an industry conference, for instance. As brick-and-mortar retail continues to suffer setbacks, retail-as-an-experience is becoming increasingly important with each passing year. Bespoke paper cups and takeaway containers also place your brand in a looser, less-formal environment than an office or boardroom, meaning customers are more likely to associate warm, fond feelings with your company, and earning that highly-sought-after customer loyalty.
Improves brand awareness
Today’s marketers need to call upon every tool at their disposal. With time-honored advertising avenues on the decline – consider advertising in the Yellow Pages, by way of example – marketers need to get creative and think outside of the billboard to get their name in front of potential new clients. The British Promotional Merchandise Authority report on the effects of custom branded goods shows that 66% of consumers who’ve received promotional goods from a company in the last year still remember that company. With fond feelings, no doubt. As marketers and business-owners adapting to evolving industries, we simply cannot afford to pass numbers like that up.