“You are what you eat”, the way we consume has an almost direct association with us. Consumers these days do not purchase products, but they invest in brands.
A simple example to illustrate is the global chokehold Lululemon had in the yoga activewear industry. Many people almost exclusively wear only their line of sportswear. Even amidst the revelation behind the brand’s name, it still stood relatively strong and expanded. People were able to look past their mistakes.
The foundation that they built on is something known as branded content. This form of content creation engages with personal values in order for retention to occur. Instead of prioritising quantity, they are hyper-focused on the quality of association. In short, these brands want to be loud and proud of their consumer’s lifestyle choices. Their strategies are designed to subtly communicate the experiential benefit of using their offering and services.
In the case of Kydra, a Singapore-founded brand, other than the use of UGC (User Generated Content), the brand tags its products with a certain way of life. Essentially, they have an ideal consumer pool type: A positive go-getter. Communicated long and well enough, the line of UGC will naturally follow the mould.
Image Credit: @swashed
Branded content gets your audience to talk about your brand as opposed to your products and services. It differentiates by aligning values and through that creating content that actually matters.
Not without its negatives, this form of content is notoriously known to expect high levels of consistency and commitment. Marketers and Strategists have to keep to its stringent “guidelines” and not deviate in order for results to happen. This could take years in order for it to stick in the minds of your audience.
Accelerating this process is a hybrid use of Influencers. By now, you would understand the impact influencers can have on influencer marketing campaigns. Likewise, they can assist to speed up the process by capitalising on their identity and image.
However, there is a line of distinction that as a Brand, you would need to know. The line of separation is what determines Influencer Content VS Branded Content.
Influencer content is when an influencer is paid (maybe on a one-time basis) to highlight your products / services. This is typically done during festive periods when a brand’s goal is to optimise the sales of the seasonal product.
Image Credit: @gizellegail
They are highly effective as festivals and limited-time periods create a sense of urgency for consumers. This pushes them quickly deeper into the purchasing funnel. This form of content strategy’s guidelines are a teen bit looser. Perhaps, what is necessary for it to perform well would be cultural sensitivity (in the case of dumplings).
As a brand, in order to choose the most effective way of content penetration, it might be essential for you to adopt both methods wisely. While building brand awareness is pressurising especially for newer brands, it is also important to nurture a stable foundation. “Fillers” could be ideal when your brand is trying to get the word out on time-sensitive information. However, it is important to work your way to the ideal client persona you would like to achieve. This is many steps in the making in a long-term perspective and should not be performed hastily. It involves investing with sometimes no immediate gratification on returns, but it could very well be worth its weight in gold.
For a brand to sustain, there are also multiple short-term objectives that may be strategised. For instance, the use of 1-off influencer content. They should still be done to ultimately contribute to the long-term view.
Finding the right one can be hard. People consult image consultants to build and groom their visual identity. Why should a brand be excluded from this exercise when communications now are entirely visually associated? In the huge pool of influencers, while there will be many that will serve your motives, it takes multiple trials and errors to find one that actually sticks. This is when an agency can come in handy to provide deep analysis and matchmake you with your brand’s lifelong collaborator.