Can Promotion Kill Brand Equity?
Can promotion build brand equity? Yes! Yes!
Misdirected promotions can kill brand equity.
Equity is ownership.
A famous brand is notorious for their coupon ‘sale day’. Was it successful? Yes, very. It was so successful that their store was empty every other day of the week and their brand equity is so invested in that coupon sale day that when they dropped it they faced huge customer backlash. In addition instead of building on sales as a larger promotion strategy as coupons are supposed to do, it crashed sales, and they faced huge losses with unsold goods at regular price.
Don’t needlessly switch on marketing autopilot by dropping high value coupons or sales and call it a plan. By placing promotions on autopilot and failing to direct them toward a greater brand strategy you can easily fall in to the above trap.
Search for innovative promotional ideas that don’t give away the store and assess those ideas on a regular basis.
Find A Safe Place
One of the benefits of launching a side brand with a sister site, Espresso Press, I can freely experiment with ideas without damaging our company brand equity which is established. This was done on purpose so I could have a place to freely experiment with new product or service ideas and test them before they ever encroach on our parent brand so this entire site is directed to a new and different audience which I won’t go in to detail too much here but it effectively serves its intended purpose and it is close but separate in identity to our main brand and established professional niches. If a customer here begins a relationship and moves up to our other design niches that is all well and good, I want them to hit the ground running and help ensure their success but it is separate for a reason.
When I launch new products and begin promotional campaigns the first thing I look to do is invest in my own time. This means I create several ideas from one product. I might use the product to create ads, I might use it to create social media campaigns with covers, share images, carousels etc. or I might use the product to create a downloadable freebie or coupon. I also try to create more than one product for sale from a collection, maybe a t shirt, maybe a template, whatever. This also helps to build brand equity. I also ensure these products are geared toward the audience or potential customers of this site which is for small business and start ups.
Secondly I ensure I have a hub that directs my audience or consumers back to my brand. When I promote on a social media site I change my button to direct traffic to one of my stores where the sale is or back to my site or to a blog post or whatever my campaign goal is. I always change the easiest avenue for a click through and in this instance that is the button below my cover image on Facebook. I can track this traffic directly via stats to gauge how effective it is via one analytics or another.
Once that customer has clicked through to my product or store I ensure there is an enticement and avenue to direct them back to this site. I try never to let a visitor fly off in to nevernever land and promote the platform instead of my brand. Platforms don’t need my help, they have millions to invest in their own brand equity and their brand bank account is not my job.
Promotional Hub Management
Trying to manage a promotion on several sites or platforms takes a lot of time and work. This is why I usually focus on one or two at a time. It is easier to build brand equity when you don’t spread yourself too thin and try to be all things at once to all people. I usually spend most of my time on the platforms that offer the most return on my investment. This can be different for everyone. Some people find Facebook is their best platform, others Instagram, others Pinterest, etc. but it is usually pretty evident early on and analytics can quickly help you determine that.
Once I have a successful product and campaign to go along with it, only then do I work to expand it out to other platforms. I always follow the 80/20 rule and measure everything I do so I can easily see and build on the 20% that is bringing 80% of my return on investment. I don’t waste time on the 80% that is draining any resource.
Sometimes this means a product line, platform or campaign has to go. This sister site easily allows me to do that without loss to our main brand equity. If that happens I ensure every associated promotion is removed from wherever I placed it. If something isn’t working and you have given it ample time, just like inventory it is taking up shelf space and draining your equity, cut your loss and remove it.
I also try to feature that campaign in as many places as possible throughout its duration. It becomes part of a blog post, it becomes a freebie or it becomes a permanent feature on my home page. Most all of the sites I design offer this amazing flexibility that doesn’t take a lot of time to change, including our main sites so we can easily add new work to keep them fresh without disturbance to our identity.
Finally I focus on SEO, hashtags etc. and gauge them through sites like E-rank or other advertising avenues as part of campaign strategy. If possible I add other indicators of ROI like a coupon, coupon code, contest, giveaway or even a simple book now and mention this to get 10% off, etc. You can also use surveys or just ask a simple question on your social media platform for measurement.
Remember, plan your promotional campaigns carefully, don’t do things on autopilot without considering effect or because everyone else is doing it, create promotional hubs that direct traffic effectively within and throughout your campaign and use your product/s services by considering them as a time investment in your brand equity and stretch that investment as far as possible. Promotions are just one part of brand equity but they can offer substantial value in investment to a brand.
Consider these ideas including sister sites under a brand umbrella to build your brand equity without loss. You may find it absolutely necessary to avoid communication chaos.
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