Real-time branding is quickly becoming the new norm for our generation of instant-gratification-seeking consumers. Specifically, leveraging widespread social media enables brands to communicate, build awareness and nurture loyalty with consumers. In fact, if real-time brand building isn’t a key practice for you, you may want to consider building a pipeline of real-time branding ideas, as this type of innovation is equally, if not more important than product innovation. We’ve seen some hallmarks of success in this space, and they all seem to share these two building blocks:
- Authentic, “human-ized,” and yet exceptionally focused “voice.” The best real-time brand building efforts bear the marks of human emotion: empathy, humor, honesty. They often incorporate consumer posts (videos, tweets, etc) in a way that reinforces their message but adds additional authenticity. And, at the same time, they stay focused on their brand message. This takes the right team of copywriters, social media “listeners,” and a solid strategy that sets the parameters for focus.
- Agile, and yet well planned, responsiveness. Planning around events, shows and holidays that are relevant to their target consumer base, effective real-time brand marketing knows where to “show up” and then puts the team in place to respond in real-time based on how reality unfolds, rather than planning every tweet, vine or instagram moment. They plan when to “show up” and what the focus of their message or campaign will be, but then allow themselves to be responsive rather than generic-ly programmed. This takes 24/7 agility that often represents a very new organizational model.
Building blocks in mind, here are a few inspiring examples to get you thinking about potential ways to build a pipeline of real-time branding ideas into your innovation efforts:
- Tide’s use of Twitter, Facebook, Tublr and other social media channels is focused, human and always on. Check out their Twitter feed with relevant chatter around the World Cup and other current events. Note their fun, yet focused voice that always comes back to powerful stain removal (https://twitter.com/tide). Their Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Tide) and Tumblr (http://tidekeepitclean.tumblr.com/) pages stay just as current.
- Lowe’s stays focused on current, relevant, seasonal trends, and incorporates consumer tips and before/after DIY projects (https://twitter.com/Lowes).
- This case study around Nike’s 2012 “Greatness” campaign in China details the deliberate Olympic hackathon Nike ran that was a beautiful example of effective real-time branding (http://vimeo.com/77676325).
Image credit: Tide
The Garage Group teaches and enables corporate teams to innovation like startups with fast, agile and effective approaches to insights and ideas. Contact us for more information or to discuss your innovation challenge.