How to Create a Magnetic Brand

Today, marketing messages are coming at you everywhere you go. In fact, customers are bombarded with thousands of marketing images and messages every single day - more than 5,000 to be exact, according to researchers.  When you’re standing in line at the grocery store, when you’re driving down the street, when you’re watching TV and, whenever you’re online, someone is trying to sell you something. This leads to “communication fatigue”—meaning we are bombarded by so many messages that we end up ignoring more to keep our heads from exploding.

So, what does this mean for your brand? It means crafting the best marketing campaign in the world may not cut it anymore, if consumers are not interested in what you have to say. It’s not enough to stand out in a crowd--your brand also has to draw that crowd in. According to Fast Company, this is known as Magnetic Branding, which causes the consumers to pursue your products.

Instead of trying to get the average person to view your marketing, you put into motion strategies that will attract them to it. If you’re Apple or Google, virtually anything you do is pulling people towards you, but most brands don’t have that kind of mystique.  However, there are ways to create it.

Here’s how:

Utilize Popularity

When Dodge was approached by Paramount Pictures to use Will Ferrell in his character as Ron Burgundy, you might not have blamed them for turning down the idea of having a buffoon pitch their vehicles.  You also might have thought Dodge management would have a nervous breakdown when Ferrell as Burgundy went on national talk shows declaring their cars were “terrible.” Nobody takes this character seriously, but they do go out of their way to see him. The gamble paid off in a big way as Dodge sales spiked by as much as 35 percent. This is a short-term brand strategy, but if you have a quality product that’s being ignored, as Dodge had with its Durango SUV, it’s worth teaming up with someone who can make some noise to create the buzz that brings you sales.

Whatever you’re marketing to consumers has to have a certain level of quality in place that will make buyers interested in coming back for more. You can’t just make grand claims about your brand and not be able to back them up. To create a belief system that sticks, you must be focused, consistent, and passionate about your products--and communicate those qualities to your potential buyers.

Female consumers are traditionally marketed to with images of beautiful women whose looks are unrealistic. That fact of advertising can be intimidating to an average woman’s self-image--a fact reflected by that reported that only two percent of the female population would describe themselves as beautiful. So, Unilever realized they had a huge marketing opportunity; they had to find a way to help women feel better about the way they looked.

A worldwide campaign called “Real Beauty,” launched in 2004 on behalf of their Dove product line. The campaign, which showcased real women instead of supermodels, hit a real emotional nerve and was a success; sales skyrocketed by 20 percent in the next year. The Dove campaign case study makes it clear that when you can identify and meet a huge need in your target audience, you create a powerful attraction that is the hallmark of the Magnetic Brand.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at Follow her at @AmandaCicc
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