[Discussion] Branding & Sales - The Dynamic Duo


#1

Interesting community topics for beginners:

BRANDING

Now while it is great to provide people with things they like for free, we have to stay alive as a company as well. :moneybag:

The brand I created was never intended to push products down their fans/customers throat but to create awareness and focus at specific topics from the community. :family_man_woman_boy:

The question here is: What would a good way be to create a stream that keeps the company/brand thriving without appearing like that’s our main purpose?

  • An example mentioned was to create offline/online events with close customers/fans to strenghten the bond between them and you which is a great plan.

Please use this topic to gather thoughts and ideas for brand building in general and I’ll categorize and edit it in here!

Collect:

Marketing

  • Create content to make people engage in every form possible or specific to your brand (written, video, audio, VR, images)

  • Getting famous people or influencers to wear or use your products, as in influencer marketing. Humans follow and look up to celebrities or people with a lot of followers. Its human nature. Even if its subconsciously your products will get reputation.

  • Selling a really good quality product that customers can tell a lot of time went into it. High quality. If there is a choice between a high quality product and a lower quality product and a price difference. People will most likely pay a little more to get the higher quality product. (I do). Rather than buy a cheap version and it breaks etc.

  • This goes with number two but presentation . Your pictures or presentation of your product/brand is everything. Awesome pictures that represent your product will help greatly. Especially if your product is online or only online, you need great pictures. This is the only way customers see your items since they cant touch, feel, or try them on or test them your pictures need to be good.

B2C

  • Great customer service . So many times I see people post online “Customer wants a refund, should I refund them?” or “Should I allow a return from this customer and refund them?”. Of course you fuckin should (unless its the customers fault etc.) And you should be nice about it too. They are the customer paying you for a product.

  • Aquring promo codes or rare opportunities from popular companies to give to your fanbase

  • Keeping an eye out on the most engaged fans, not only with your content but with your products. Forming a good relationship with those who will flash your products and praise your brand.

B2B

  • Contact companies in your line of business to obtain their products or special promos for your own fanbase, stay away from direct competitors.

Tools OTT

  • Making them join a email list that can be ,once big enough, used for sales & branding alike

  • Offline/Online events with value for viewers/visitors (Merchandise presentation, introducing your brand as what you think it is, promotions in collaboration,…)


#2

Great topic! Looking forward to seeing what everyone brings to the table.


#3
  1. Getting famous people or influencers to wear or use your products. Humans follow and look up to celebrities or people with a lot of followers. Its human nature. Even if its subconsciously your products will get reputation.

  2. Selling a really good quality product that customers can tell a lot of time went into it. High quality. If there is a choice between a high quality product and a lower quality product and a price difference. People will most likely pay a little more to get the higher quality product. (I do). Rather than buy a cheap version and it breaks etc.

  3. This goes with number two but presentation. Your pictures or presentation of your product/brand is everything. Awesome pictures that represent your product will help greatly. Especially if your product is online or only online, you need great pictures. This is the only way customers see your items since they cant touch, feel, or try them on or test them your pictures need to be good.

  4. Great customer service. So many times I see people post online “Customer wants a refund, should I refund them?” or “Should I allow a return from this customer and refund them?”. Of course you fuckin should (unless its the customers fault etc.) And you should be nice about it too. They are the customer paying you for a product.

I might have gotten a little off topic here but those are my thoughts :slight_smile:


#4

The landscape of business has (gladly) shifted towards this attitude, wasn’t so common a few decades ago that companies didn’t give a shit about their customers in between two sales because they kind of had a monpoly on the market and tried to save every penny possible. So definitely a thing to focus on nowadays!

Great points, also taking a look at low invest high return methods for branding might be interesting.


#5

Knowing what niche or area your brand or business is in would be helpful. My Brick and Mortar is tourism.


#6

I’d say fashion, but am speaking in general. Some things do apply the same to every category, or can be customized for a certain niche.

Another few things:

  • Aquring promo codes from popular companies to give for your fanbase

  • Making them join a email list that can be ,once big enough, used for sales & branding alike

  • Keeping an eye out on the most engaged fans, not only with your content but with your products. Forming a good relationship with those who will flash your products and praise your brand. Maybe make them something like a kingpin of your business and create your own little tribes across the globe (jk).


#7

Something else we do is talk to vendors etc that are closely aligned with our products and obtain freebies or discounts on their goods or services and give them to clients. We had success with it last year, and are scaling it up this year.

Everyone loves a freebie or discount and it helps bring brand awareness. Note that we do not do this with our direct competitors. Just those in the same space.

But I agree, some do apply to a lot of categories.


#8

Nano-Influencer IG Program/Ambassadors - brief overview, if you guys want a full guide, including how we source and outreach these nano-influencers, like this post and I’ll create one :slight_smile:

One thing we have been doing with a lot more clients lately is building/scaling nano-influencers programs on Instagram. Nano-influencers are typically 0-25k followers according to @Loreal’s team, but thresholds aside… they are people with small audiences who don’t expect much from brands, and until now, never really heard from them.

What are the pros vs cons?

Pros:

  1. Social Proof
    Because we aren’t spending time trying to create a one-time engagement, you get more “bang for your buck” if we are looking at time spent sourcing. Ambassadors stick around as long as you you can keep them interested, it’s not a “one and done” type relationship, its something that is recurring. They feel like a part of something bigger. They do more and go above and beyond. This results in more tagged posts, more people seeing your product in hashtags, and a bigger perception in general with quantity of posts that you wouldn’t see from just paying 1 person to make 1 post comparably with the same budget. IE pay a guy with 50k followers $1k to post and get 1 piece of content/tag, or give your product out to 50 people with 1k followers and get 50 posts out of it.

  2. Recurring Content Creation
    The time you put into acquiring these nano-influencers goes a lot further for your brand… recurring content creation at scale, which eliminates a lot of your thinking and time spent hiring photogs etc. With the right direction and passion for the product, you’d be amazed how non-professions can create high engaging content :slight_smile:

  3. Conversions
    Mostly friends/family followers who truly trust their opinions/posts/stories are who their network consists of, not 100k randos who like their pretty color scheme.

  4. Army
    Whether you need reviews on your amazon store, likes on your IG post, or google reviews… you have an army of active engagers for all of your branded posts, liking and commenting their hearts out if they feel valued. They are your biggest advocates.

  5. Only Product/shipping costs + Perceived value
    You aren’t paying anyone for posts, and they dont expect to be paid. The value of your product (IE $49.99) is their perceived payment, yet you know the product shipped to them only cost you $11.32 #winning :sunglasses:

Cons:

  1. Lots of people to manage.
    We aren’t talking about 1-10 people here, we are talking about 25-50 minimum, and 100+ to be truly a super power for your brand. This results in creating processes from the start. Having a system to manage weekly nurturing emails highlighting great ambassador posts and the good direction for the squad so they can try to create types of content the brand is looking for and get re-posted/feel valued. If you don’t have certain processes from the get go or a way to stay organized with shipments etc, you will fail. Miserably. Believe me, because this was us for a long time haha.

  2. You need to track UGC/save it…
    which there are plenty of chrome extensions to save stuff etc, or hire a VA to do it once a day from your list of users. There are also systems out there that automate this for you like grin.co or traackr.com , but they are pricey (600-4k/mo… enterprise shit that Loreal uses). I built one that we use internally, feel free to DM me if you want access to it free of charge, actually looking for feedback/beta users.

  3. Product Cost
    While this is also a Pro, it’s still not cheap to do this at scale… your dope ass product is not free to create and shipping expenses add up. So don’t jump into this if you don’t calculate things out… it sounds very appealing to just send product until you start adding up the actual costs and looking for your returns that aren’t trackable lol. Which takes me to my next point…

  4. Not Trackable
    So as you all know, influencer marketing isn’t trackable unless you get super salesy and give them a discount code to push. But if you’re like me and you avoid buying anything from someone with a discount code because you dont trust their incentive, thats not my #1 avenue…unless it’s something you add in later to an existing working model or your product is not a consumable good etc…then this is the only avenue you can go to build recurring ambassadorship and keep them posting. So if I do a full guide, Ill dive deep into both angles, but hopefully this is enough to get the gist here. To repeat, there is no way to track sales here, unless you isolate this as your only form of marketing. My recommendation is that this should compliment your other forms of marketing, not your main one. If you cant afford to lose the expense of product you are giving away each month on this, probably not a good idea jump into it.

The Big Question: Is this a fit for my product/service/brand?

As I mentioned above, if your brand is typically a one time sale and it is not consumable or repeatedly purchased often, IE bikinis or a hydroflask, discount codes are how you can share rev with people and help motivate them to keep creating content for you (typically if the price point us under $100, tough to do unless its marketed to very young audience on IG without jobs or other sources of income).

So if you do have frequent repeat buyers or your product is consumable… that makes it a perfect fit for this type of marketing strategy and the reason why Loreal is doing this with almost all of their subsidiary beauty brands… as you have instant motivation for your ambassadors to remain ambassadors… they want more of your product/service/brand ever month and it’s truly the cheapest form of content creation/word of mouth marketing if you nurture it correctly with weekly emails and relationship building techniques with your ambassadors.

Hopefully this is a little helpful and happy to dive into this deeper with email templates and a whole breakdown of campaigns that I’m currently running for a couple brands etc. Cheers guys!


#9

This is an awesome idea! Thank you


#10

Excellent post there! Micro influencers are also far cheaper, easier to work with, expect less, tend to have higher engagement and less fake followers and engagement groups etc.

Yes, the problem is outreach, tracking, maintaining those relationships.

But it’s very easy to get 100 of them sitting down for food and drinks at the same time. I’ve cross promoted with restaurants and the restaurants have seen great return for little money spent. (Hospitality is my niche)


#11

The micro-foodie influencers are a killer model for Restaurants… only expense is food and who doesnt come in for free food haha. The funny thing is we can even get 50k+ influencers in sometimes for nothing just because they want to eat and the food looks good, they need posts for their feed and if you catch them at the right time around lunch or dinner time, they wont turn it down :wink:

Thanks @wortime ! Great addition there


#12

Great share! I am also building up a Nano Influencer program. In the healthy food niche. It’s amazing how much value you can get out of them and how much they do just for being an “Influencer” :slight_smile:
Many of them are proud to work with a company.

Would be really interested how you do the sourcing. Are you searching active for them or just let them apply and then select? I guess you use your “Armys” on other platforms too?


#13

This is awesome!


#14

Are you currently doing this with restaurants? I’m an influencer with 72k followers, currently traveling all of the USA, and would be down for some free food in exchange for some promotion! Feel free to message me!


#15

We aren’t sure when the next one will be, but if you are in a food/tourism it’s very easy to find people interested.

Funny thing is, we have a baby account for our new business, along with a couple we’ve been prepping for m/s and we get offers all the time. In Denver if you have 2k and up followers you’re gonna find it very easy to eat and drink for free.

I’ve got the name of a PR firm we’ve worked with on these and they put them together far more often. As soon as I find it I’ll shoot it over.

Edit: actually two firms.


#16

2k up followers you get free food in the US? Damn, really have to move :smiley:

I thought a little bit about it and I think giving your product a broader meaning could help.

Content, E-Books, Videos… that is all either knowledge or entertainment. So if you focus on creating content around entertainment or etc. and you offer it for free then you’re still selling a product, you don’t make money with it directly but you can sell things along the way.

You could compare it to fishing without a hook. :fish: (If this makes no sense, you need to know that I highly need sleep :open_mouth:


#17

haha I wish :slight_smile: I would be in heaven if that were the case

I like the idea of providing value to the buyer before the purchase since it helps the customer know you aren’t full of shit


#18

As @golfer4lyfe the goal post has moved on what a micro and nano influencers following is defined as these days. Brands know that bigger influencers that are legit famous prior to social media fame have more real followings, but Kim Kardashian has had a ton of failed spots. The middle ground influencers usually have fake engagement etc. They also know that.

Nano and Micro influencers generally have really good engagement and a tight knit “rabid” following. If you have 5k followers chances are good they are n’t fake. And you can get many times the number of smaller authentic influencers for far less. And you aren’t hedging that Kylie Jenners fans will switch from her brand, to yours. People are onto the game.

In Denver, Nano and Micro influencers are widely use. Mostly because anyone with over 100k charges too much and for the other reasons I listed above.

Yes, people hit my baby account and slave accounts up with offers all the time. I’ve had several hundred dollar meals over the last 2 years without even reaching out. Not even kidding. I have 2 current offers on my business account.


#19

I’ll be in Denver next week, so I’ll reach out to some restaurants! Any restaurants you’d recommend?


#20

Most restaurants that do this have a large budget and a PR firm. That’s why I will send you the PR firms emails so you can reach out directly. Otherwise your just wasting time. They know how to run restaurants, not run social media. They are busy with other things and hand that off for a reason. I was breaking in but went a different route and that’s how I know them.