In the fast-paced business world, CMOs have a lot of work to do if they want to make their brand as universally appealing as possible. Universality can be a real challenge, for at least a few different reasons. For one thing, successful marketers understand that narrowing a niche market is critical for success — so how are you supposed to appeal to both your target audience and everyone else?
What’s more, businesses must walk a fine line between inclusivity and pandering, and attempts to be universally appealing need to be genuine and authentic. There has to be a perfect balance between what makes your brand special and what appeals to a large customer base.
As a CMO, striking this balance requires a variety of strategies. Whether you’re trying to appeal to a broader audience–reaching both men and women for example, or consumers of every generation — or hoping to adopt a more socially conscious business model, you can build a more universal brand.
Here’s a great video on how Nike built a brand with universal appeal.
Hire Design Professionals
When you’re in charge of marketing, it can be tempting to try and control every aspect, including design. But CMOs are going to be managing channels and working with a large number of people, so handling the “look” of your company is an added responsibility that is best left to an expert you hire.
In a piece on Entrepreneur from 2012 that is still highly relevant today, the author astutely points out: “The fundamental idea behind having a brand is that everything a business does, owns and produces, should reflect the values and aims of the business, thus creating a unique identity. Use symbolic graphics, colors, and typefaces within marketing collateral.”
So hire a professional graphic designer when it comes to creating your logo, and the same goes for your website design. Considering that 79% of viewerswill leave your company’s web page and go to a competitor’s if they don’t like what they see, it’s important to invest in a UX expert.
To take a look at how effective this is, look at the AIRSTAYZ website. As an organization looking to disrupt the travel industry by improving traveler experiences through smart technology, it’s imperative for AIRSTAYZ to maintain a highly accessible and informative site in order to grow their company’s footprint and become ubiquitous in the travel realm. To accomplish this, they let their technology speak for itself.
Their site design is minimalist and beautiful, with a simple menu that is defined by its organization. Their font is consistent throughout, varying in bold or not bold depending on whether or not it’s a title or additional information. The same photograph is used in all sections, giving an impression of consistency and trustworthiness.
In 2017, 35% of consumers wanted to see more companies using chatbots. The fact that people who are interacting with companies want this technology is something we could never have predicted, but it’s also not surprising considering we live in a business world that runs 24/7. Companies are expected to always be available for consumers, and expectations are getting higher and higher when it comes to how you cater to your customers. They expect you to understand, know, and even predict their needs.
That’s why analytics are so important. In the past, creating a customer persona was enough. Hypothesizing who might buy your products and what might drive their actions was expected. But now we have more information at our fingertips. We live in the world of “big data,” and if you want your brand to be universal, you need all the information you can get.
According to Joanna Lord, the VP of Growth Marketing at SEOmoz:
Marketing analytics is the measurement and optimization of your marketing activities. Rather than focusing only on your site’s performance like you do with web analytics, you focus on how your marketing efforts are performing and adjust them accordingly. Marketing analytics goes beyond on-site indicators and leans on other tools, offsite metrics, and even offline efforts. It takes a whole-picture approach to the measurement of your marketing.”
If you aren’t using analytics already, it’s (past) time to start. Insights driven from key metrics will help you reach the largest number of potential customers.
Once you’ve created your visual identity and connected with as many customers as you can, what matters most is being consistent across all channels. This means your brand’s look on social media profiles as well as the voice you use when communicating with consumers (whether that’s on your blog or Twitter).
According to iMPACT, one great example of this is Starbucks.
When we think about Starbucks we immediately think green and white. This is a result of their ability to utilize a strong color scheme across the board. Your brand’s designated typography is of equal importance. While you can play around with variations, sticking to one font style will make it easier for people to recognize your branding, while establishing a sense of uniformity.”
Considering that Starbucks was the most successful fast food brand in 2017, theirs is a strategy worth following.
As a CMO, these are some of the best strategies you can use to make your brand universal. What other strategies do you use to attract a wide variety of customers?