Image courtesy of Torgrim Torve on Flickr.com

How do you get creative marketing for bland brands? How do you make customers care about your brand when it’s not the latest and greatest gadget or when you operate in the B2B space? I’m talking about brands like GE where it’s difficult to get anyone excited about a light-bulb or electrical products.

Somehow GE has been dubbed the most exciting boring brand and I’ll show you how to do the same with yours.

Creative Marketing for Bland Brands:

  • Tell a Good story
  • Be Meaningful
  • Capture the Right Attention
  • Be Social

Also see: Customer Centricity: The Secret to Your Brand’s Success

Making Consumers Care

You have to give consumers reasons to care about your brand . The best organizations do this by knowing how to tell a good story that matters to customers.

Michelin Tires has used storytelling in its past ads to appeal to consumer needs. They know consumers don’t care about tiers until they need new ones. They created stories to show tire’s importance in safety needs.

It’s not about what your product does as much as how it benefits the customer and how you can bring that across through stories. It’s your job as a great marketer to engage customers and find the right ones to care about your brand. What’s in it for the customer? Did they learn something new to help them –you need to answer those questions.

Telling a Good Story

Good boring brands know how to tell a story that connects with customers and tugs at their heart strings. GE does this well. If you watch the video below you’re guaranteed to be inspired. They create content people care about –not necessarily about their brand but what their brand does.

 

Brand storytelling isn’t anything new but it’s still relevant in terms of capturing an audience. Brands tell their stories through video, infographics, social media and any other marketing campaigning techniques you can think of. Stories are told in a variety of ways including through humor, conflict resolution, or hero-villain complex. The only limit is your imagination and not over-complicating the story so much you lose your audience.

It’s not enough to just tell a good story but it has to relate with customers. How does your brand affect consumers every day in positive ways? Your story doesn’t necessarily have to be serious but be able to connect to consumers. Check out Intel’s “A Day Without Data Center.” Also, find the right channels to tell your story –video may not be for right for you or your audience so blog, write white papers or ebooks, or use infographics.

Be Meaningful

Creating content or doing things your competitors are doing just for the sake of doing them is not enough to justify them and it won’t translate into relevancy to customers. What does knowing how to reach customers through stories in meaningful ways equate to? It means more insight to better meet customer needs.

If you can find something customers connect to and offer it consistently  you’ll be able to better reach customers in meaningful ways. Corning Glass, best known for it’s Gorilla Glass product, used in touch technologies, has created video content centered around the “Glass Age” and the future of technology and glass.

The graph below from Google, TNS and Ogilvy on MarketingCharts.com depicts how brands connect with consumers’ interests.

 

Being meaningful is the result of capturing an audience through benefits, not features. What does this mean -you’re able to connect your brand with an audience. Duracell, best known for their batteries, does this well. No one cares about batteries or what they do until they have to run by the store and pick them up and not many people have a brand preference. But what if you, as a consumer remembered Duracell donates the batteries that power toys for Toys for Tots -you might think twice before just grabbing any other brand.

Capture the Right Attention

While creating and telling all those great stories keep in mind they won’t capture the attention of everyone and you shouldn’t frame your stories to do so. All bands have great stories and if presented the right way they will capture the attention of people who care about your brand –which is really the attention you want.

Finding customers who engage with you and connect with your stories are the customers you want –they become brand advocates. B2B’s are getting better at this with the use of personas and the basic understanding that not everyone is a good fit for your organization. Instead of one size fits all it’s not all fit one size.

Be Social

All those great stories need to be shared. GE was able to connect to an audience through social media. They upload content, share events, and use different platforms. Not every social media platform will work for you but I can guarantee there’s one  that will -but it still has to be used the right way. Educate yourself on best practices for when and how you should be posting materials to accounts.

Home Depot, a brand I’d consider pretty boring, has a Pinterest account. What could they possibly do with a Pinterest account? Well, they’ve got everything from cleaning hacks to gift and design ideas, which is great because they promote the idea of DIY. Home Depot is able to capture an audience this way.

There are other ways to share. Do you have a newsletter with subscribers you can promote through? If not you may have to wait until you can build a following, which is perfectly fine everyone has to start somewhere.

Also see: The Top Resources for Marketing Training

What stories can you tell? How can you share them? Remember, be relevant and meaningful with your stories, and capture the right attention.