In the world of business, branding is everything. In an ultra-competitive environment, the biggest challenge for businesses is standing out from the crowd. Think about all of the advertising you see around you every day. How many of them can you say truly catch your eye? Even more importantly, how many of them can you remember when you get home? Or a day later? A week?

This is the challenge of branding. Get it really right, and there’s a chance that everyone in the country, and maybe beyond, will know who you are. GoCompare, anyone? But get it wrong, and your business might end up a flop. A drab website, a clunky logo, an awkward advertisement, and people might even be turned off by your business, especially if the demographics you’re targeting are conscious about who they patronise. Here are a few key reasons why it’s important to have a strong brand.

Who Are You?

Business is a big pond, and most businesses are small fish. Your branding can’t turn you into a bigger fish, that may come later, but instead of being a dull trout, you could be a striking, orange and white clownfish, or a bright blue and yellow regal tang. Branding that sticks in people’s minds, and clearly conveys who you are as a business and what you do, is what’s going to win your business leads and customers. It can be something as simple as theming your branding in an unconventional way or using an image or a song that people already recognise but in a new way. 

Takeaway businesses, for example, often ape the popular fast-food chain KFC, and name themselves something almost identical in an attempt to capitalise on the public’s preexisting knowledge of fast food. Anyone who knows what KFC is might be assured that a similarly-named takeaway will offer similar products. 

Similarly, the convention of solicitors naming their businesses after the surnames of the owners helps them to quickly establish a professional and straightforward tone for their business, and it draws on a centuries-long naming convention that elicits the idea of stability and longevity in the minds of onlookers.

Building Trust

Strong branding also allows your business to pick up customers faster through the rapid building of trust. For browsing customers, your branding is the very first thing they will experience about your business. Even if your products are second-to-none, it won’t matter if no one is walking through the door. 

Your logo, your advertisements, and the public face of your company need to strike a careful balance between standing out and fitting into your industry. Legal firms with wacky branding will certainly stand out, but no customer is going to trust a legal firm that looks as though it spends more time designing colourful branding than engaging in professional legal practice. Similarly, if you’re running a children’s play centre, muted and minimalistic branding isn’t going to make any parent assume that their child will enjoy what you have to offer. 

It’s important to fit your branding within the expectations of your potential customers, while also adding small differences that will help you to stand out. Finding this balance requires a lot of market research, and careful thought and attention to all of the possible implications that your branding might elicit from customers. The price comparison site GoCompare might have made it big by irritating the hell out of everyone with a working TV, but that’s a high-risk strategy that often works entirely by accident. It won’t work for everyone, and it could spell disaster for your business.

Attracting Talent

The lifeblood of any business is its employees. These are the ambassadors who will be the public face of your company, representing it when you’re not able to do so directly. These employees will also be scrutinising your branding as they look for jobs. More and more nowadays, people are looking at work as not just something to put food on the table. People want to be truly involved in the businesses where they work, they want to be the envy of their friends and neighbours because of the strong reputation of their workplace. Your branding is the seed that will allow this eventuality to grow, and become reality.

If your business relies on sales, strong brand identity will allow your employees to cut the wheat from the chaff when they’re making calls. If your company is recognisable, there won’t be any need for a five-minute explanation of who you are and what you do to take up valuable time that your employees could be using to build relationships, generate opportunities and land sales. 

More importantly, if your branding successfully communicates your mission to your employees, then they don’t just have a place at which to work, they have a place where they can work towards something. Helping you achieve your business goals is the entire reason why your employees are there, and if your goals are clearly communicated, internally and externally, then your employees know what direction to run in, and your business can operate like a well-oiled machine.

It’s always exciting when your favourite brand or business is running a competition on social media. For a couple of clicks and a comment, you can be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize! It’s no surprise then that competitions can prove to be invaluable marketing tools for your business on social media. Creating a buzz with an unforgettable prize can have followers flocking to your door in exchange for minimal spend. It’s a win-win! We’ve compiled some tips on how to grow your brand with social media competitions. Let us know if you have had any success with them!

Why are competitions good for brand growth?


Competitions are a great way to engage your audience on social media. They offer a brand or a business the chance to create a real buzz. Fantastic competition prizes can lead to an enormous increase in social media following as everyone clamours for the chance to win. According to Single Grain, it all centres around the rule of reciprocation, namely giving something of value to your social media followers will result in them engaging with your brand and connecting new people to it. It can lead to an increase in likes and shares of your posts which will fuel improved brand reputation and follower numbers.

As with any successful marketing campaign, running a competition takes planning and preparation. There are a vast number of different competition formats, all of which will achieve different results. As we are focusing on brand growth, the kind of competitions we will be exploring are those that actively work on increasing brand awareness, brand loyalty and social following.

Competitions that involve users commenting on posts, or perhaps voting in a poll or filling in a survey, are a fantastic way of gathering customer data and encouraging engagement with social media posts, however, their reach can be very limited. It is crucially important to select the correct competition format to achieve your goals.


User-generated content campaigns


User-generated content campaigns involve inviting your followers to enter a competition by way of submission of content, be that a photograph or video, for example, that makes a feature of your brand or product. A fantastic recent example of this comes from Tourism Queensland. In 2009 they launched their ‘Best Job In The World’ competition, which saw entrants competing for the prize of a six-month caretaker job at a top tourist destination with a six-figure salary. An outstanding prize by anyone’s estimation, this competition attracted over 34,000 entrants from over 200 countries. The original aim of the competition was to increase awareness of and attract tourists to the Queensland islands as a top holiday destination.

User-generated content campaigns can also be ideal opportunities to generate content for use in future marketing campaigns. Starbucks’ Red Cup Art Campaign challenged fans to decorate their seasonal red Starbucks cup and share a photo for entry into a prize draw to win a gift card for a year’s worth of free coffee. Out of this campaign, Starbucks generated millions of photographs of their product free of charge that could be shared on their social media platforms as a way of promoting their festive drinks offering. The campaign was also crafted perfectly for their target audience; Millennials and Gen X are, according to Eazi Apps, craving opportunities to creatively display their individualism, and the visual and creative aspects to this competition capitalised on this perfectly.

Creating a buzz with giveaways


A very simple method of growing your brand’s following and reach is to host a social media giveaway. A giveaway is as simple as it sounds – offer to gift a product or service in exchange for the follower liking, sharing or tagging a friend in the post, or a combination of all three. Giveaways can be a difficult one to get right – you need to ensure the value of what you are giving away is of a similar value to that you will generate via the competition. You also want to maximise the reach of the competition, but asking entrants to do too much to be eligible and you will turn people off entering.

Offering a popular product or service and then asking followers to tag friends they might want to use the product or service with and why can be a fun way to get followers to engage with the brand. You could even take the opportunity to compile some of the best entries as a marketing tool.


Measuring results


If you are going to take the time to plan and fund a competition, it’s crucially important that you measure the results. Measure your success against your goals. If you wanted to increase social media following, did this meet expectations? What could you change next time in order that the campaign performs better?

If you would like some advice on how to broaden the reach of your brand or business on social media, contact Koncept today.