Marketing is one of those areas of business and entrepreneurship that is often the most misunderstood: Everybody thinks they’re good at it but very few get it just right! Everyone knows that a good marketing strategy promotes products and services to the people who will pay for them, and great marketing does this consistently and does it better than competitors.
However, as a business changes and develops, its marketing strategy has to be just as fluid. The tactics and creativity used in a plan to launch a brand cannot be recycled to take it to its next stages.
To keep you inspired about your marketing efforts this year, no matter what stage of the business lifecycle you are at, let’s take a look at some of the tactics used by top global brands in their marketing strategies.
Quite possibly the biggest coffee brand in the world, Starbucks is a brand that knows exactly what marketing works and refines it year after year. According to Marketing Week Starbucks’ brand value hit an all-time high of $25.8 billion at the start of 2014, thanks to a strategy that refocused on what it was that made the brand so successful in the first place, namely ‘defining the ‘third place’ for consumers between work and home.’
Starbucks EMEA vice president of Marketing, Ian Cranna, has confirmed that the brand’s investment in its coffee shops and the experiential value of ‘going for a Starbucks’ has been instrumental in growing its presence:
Every day special connections are made between customers and their favourite baristas…our innovation and commitment…contribute to the relationships customers have with the brand.
PokerStars operates one of the most popular global online poker sites, with a total community of more than 65 million registered members. The brand of PokerStars offers a diverse array of services and products. There is included their new online casino games, daily online tournaments and live professional tournaments throughout the world. One of the keys to its success? The ability to create fresh partnerships.
In addition to partnering with professional poker players, PokerStars has a history of partnering with elite international sportspeople like world hockey pro Fatima Morera de Melo. Sports stars have a global reach, covering wide demographics, and have the right image to represent a brand on an international level.
Apple is a brand that is adept at letting its products do the talking. Every stage of its marketing campaign is focused on creating the idea of an aspirational lifestyle, made possible only with its products. Apple does this through tight marketing strategies and creative that is highly visual and sensual. The reboot of the ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign for iPhone 6 is a perfect example of this.
Where most luxury brand advertisements would ramp up the written content to appeal to consumers, Apple let its customers do the marketing for them. The brand invited iPhone 6 users to submit photos taken with the device to be featured in its global print and online marketing campaign. Not only did this connect with potential customers on an emotional level, it was also the epitome of the old adage ‘show and not tell’.
The ubiquitous furniture and lifestyle brand, IKEA, has always been at the leading edge of consumer-focused and unique marketing strategy. From its pared-down creative that, like Apple, lets its products do the talking to its unashamed use of Swedish culture. An IKEA marketing campaign has one result: success.
Another brand that had risen in global value by 61% at the end of 2013, IKEA expanded its core products and services, delivered a new bespoke service and started to integrate new forms of technology into its marketing strategy. The latest IKEA Catalogue mobile app features integrated AR (augmented reality), enabling consumers to see how IKEA products would fit into their homes. By embracing the future, IKEA has been able to immediately connect with and influence consumers. This is a marketing tactic that is unprecedented in its industry.