In the age of competitive business, with new names cropping up daily across different sectors, it’s more important than ever to establish a strong identity for your brand.
This means developing your brand personality, connecting with customers and showing off the people behind your story.
To take a better look at some of the best ways you can make your brand come alive, we’ve taken a look at two successful brands and what they do well.
Oatly is a Swedish brand who specialise in making dairy-free substitutes for products like milk and cream made from oats.
They are not a massive company yet they have a well-rounded marketing strategy that stretches from their packaging to their social media, website and customer interactions.
The Oatly Instagram account is arguably one of the most aesthetically pleasing accounts out there for a grocery product. Their feed is a stream of beautifully captured moments, most of which feature one of their products ‘in the wild’ so to speak. However, it’s the captions alongside these posts which really set them apart.
Instead of banal businessy captions, Oatly brings a unique personality to their products with rambling, humorous posts about what they contain, how you could use them or generally how great they are. In some cases, this kind of approach could be seen as obnoxious or to sales oriented, however, Oatly hit the note just right, showing how serious they are about their oat drink without being too pushy about it.
Oatly barista edition in the wild
Oatly breaking the fourth wall of social media posting.
Instagram post about a mural about an Instagram post.
Something else which Oatly do very well is telling stories with their packaging. Not only is their packaging interesting to look at, it’s humorous, fun to read and there is a great variety of content across their different products. There’s something really energetic about the brand, and you can see that in all of their visuals and communications.
Oat drink packaging (Oatly), Source: http://www.thedieline.com/blog/2014/9/23/oatly
There is something about Lidl that just screams warmth and energy.
They are a much larger and more established brand than Oatly, however, they have a similar culture for activity and engagement. They also have an active Instagram account where they share product posts and recipe videos, however, Twitter is the star of their social media show. They tweet regularly about new products, campaign launches and their sponsorship partnerships with the likes of LGFA (The Ladies Gaelic Football Association).
These are all great ways to get customers engaged online, and they have a massive following in both the UK and Ireland. Some of Lidl’s best moments on Twitter have been much more spontaneous though, and it’s moments like those which really show a sparkle of personality in the brand.
A prime example of a moment like that came last March (2018) during one of the most extreme snowstorms Ireland has ever experienced. One Lidl store in Tallaght was broken into using a digger. This was obviously a devastating event that caused a lot of problems for the company, however, on twitter Lidl were quick-witted and brought some humour to the situation.
They then followed up in a similar way when the same thing happened to a McDonald’s branch in Limerick just a few weeks later.
Lidl received so much positive engagement and free publicity from these tweets, that there’s no chance they would have gotten had they issued a serious statement via social media. Two key things to take from Lidl’s twitter jaunt with the JCB:
- Don’t be afraid to inject some humour into your communications
- Interacting with other brands online will not only accomplish some of the above but will also double your chances of getting seen.
Something else which has to be mentioned when speaking of Lidl and personality is their sponsorship partnerships. In Ireland their most prevalent is with the LGFA (The Ladies Gaeilc Football Association), it forms a key part of their marketing strategy and is visible in all of their stores, on the team’s jerseys and on most of their marketing material. However, there is very little about the campaign that feels too self-promoting like a lot of corporate sponsorships. A lot of Lidls’ campaigns with the LGFA really give the impression that they care about the community and investing in it which is refreshing and much more likely to build a strong and loyal customer base.
Not every company will have €3 million to invest in sponsorship deals, but why not take a look into other community projects you could get involved in or events you could host to boost your brand’s name, energy and standing.
Photo: Eamon Ward, Source: http://clareherald.com/2016/05/st-caimans-wins-lidl-lgfa-store-competition-567/
So what can we take away from this? How can you accomplish what Oatly and Lidl are doing so well and breathe life into your brand?
- Create a personality for your brand on social media
- Engage with customers and other businesses online
- Try out some unique ways of marketing your product (Wall murals anyone?)
- Support your local community in whatever way fits your business/brand.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take some risks and experiment with what works best for you. Businesses of different sizes, different locations and different products will, of course, all have slightly different audiences, but jump in and make the most of your brand and the tools you have at your disposal.