Marketing is a dynamic process of continuous evolution and upgrading. Nowadays, when the tide of traffic gradually fades and competitors enter the market one after another, more and more brands realize that only brand power is the foundation of maintaining the relationship with consumers and precipitating long-term value.
Brand power is the soul of a brand, so what is its real connotation to consumers? How to excavate and continuously strengthen the brand power?
On this topic, Zhang Rui, founder and CEO of Shiqu social touch, pointed out in the light sharing activity of Daofa that “brand is actually the result and crystallization of brand management. That is to say, whether a brand is for consumer goods or for other products and services, there is a special work called “brand management” in its process. Brand building follows such a business logic
From this perspective, he further analyzed the essence of “brand content management”
1. Do new consumer brands need “management”?
2. What is really good brand communication content?
3. How to allocate the input ratio of brand content marketing?
4. From strategy to practice, what pitfalls should brand management avoid?
The Research Institute of knife technique has made some excerpts of the wonderful contents shared in this competition, hoping to bring help to all marketers and operators.
Hello, I’m Zhang Rui.
Today, we are very excited to see that China has entered a new era of consumption, and consumers’ cognition is upgrading, giving new brands a lot of opportunities. While chatting with investors and practicing, I found that many emerging consumer brands in China can’t get around the topic of building brand barriers. One of the key issues is brand content management, That’s what I want to talk about.
What we have been doing is to help many large brands deeply communicate with their consumers through social media and digital marketing, so as to build brand equity and barriers, and deeply understand the importance of brand content to marketing. Therefore, I am very happy to share our views on this topic with you today, hoping to throw a brick to attract jade and inspire you some thinking.
First of all, what is a brand? I believe you have seen many definitions. Basically, there is no right or wrong. Different people have their own perspectives and entry points. From the perspective of time interest, we always think that brands can be summarized in one sentence:
To interpret, it is the creator or manager of a brand who expresses some values and aesthetics in the process of product creation, but it can’t be said to express them. Even if it is a brand, the more important thing is that these things have to be precipitated in the cognition of consumers, and this precipitation finally produces some commercial value in the cognition. This is the brand.
Therefore, the brand is a more complex process. First of all, you have to express something. Secondly, you have to promote, deliver and precipitate. Finally, this thing should be reflected in your business advantages.
We believe that brand is actually the result and crystallization of brand management. That is to say, whether a brand is for consumer goods or for other products and services, there is a special work called “brand management” in its process. Brand building follows such a business logic.
Because the concept of marketing industry is very broad and loose, it’s better to have a common understanding of these before discussing the topic, so that you can easily listen to them later. This is our interpretation of brand.
Do new consumer brands need “management”?
Some people think that consumer goods don’t have to be brands. For example, Muji, mingchuangyou, and even say that China will enter the “fourth consumption era” proposed by Japan in the future, there may be no brand.
I don’t quite agree with these views. I think there are two main reasons why we still need to emphasize “brand management”
The first reason is that the establishment of compound interest engine is crucial to the long-term development of the brand.
Nowadays, the brands that start and grow rapidly on the Internet are inseparable from huge dividends. New people, new demands and new technologies like Ali mom’s advertising have brought a lot of traffic to new brands. Many changes have taken place in our supply chain, including freeze-drying technology, freeze-drying technology and biotechnology technology, which have also enhanced their competitiveness.
However, for most brands, there is a window period for dividends. After a period of time, the number of competitors will increase, and the so-called dividends will disappear.
So I want to emphasize this business logic:
If you want to win in scale and strength for a long time, you must figure out what kind of compound interest you can catch.
The so-called compound interest means that your advantages should be continuously strengthened and accumulated, so that tomorrow’s advantages can be further magnified by today’s advantages.
In the business world, there may not be as many factors that produce compound interest as you think. For example, many technologies, flows and channels themselves do not have much compound interest, and the daily income may be declining, because competitors are constantly pouring in.
What is the real compound interest? From an economic point of view, there are not many sources of it.
There is a kind of “scale effect”. Scale effect has compound interest. The larger the purchase volume, the lower the cost.
The other is “network effect”, such as wechat, Taobao, and various data engines. Their network effects are very considerable; Data itself is also a kind of compound interest. The more accumulated, the more accurate the algorithm is; Brand recognition is also a compound interest
So why brand? This is an entry point.
I would like to share with you a very key word: new brands should speed up the establishment of an engine that can generate compound interest in the process of enjoying dividends. You don’t have to be able to leverage large compound interest, but you have to figure out how to build it first, otherwise you are likely to be doing a short-lived business.
So what is the compound interest that really affects the consumer goods business? I think there are three main points
1. Offline channel has network effect
Why can the traditional excellent brand last forever? Why can p & G and L’Oreal grow rapidly and continuously in China? One of the core reasons is that they have continuously built in-depth offline channels in China in the past two or three decades. Offline channels have network effect. When you have 100 stores, it will be easier and easier to talk to any mall about opening 101 stores. Therefore, it takes a long time to build the offline market, but it has a strong network effect after its formation.
2. Brand cognition has network effect
If one more person likes you, it will be easier for the next person to like you. This is the logic of building awareness of traditional brands.
3. Data algorithm has the advantage of compound interest
As we know, many DTC brands have emerged in Europe and the United States in recent years, which rely on online channels. However, these brands attach great importance to consumer data and develop algorithms through the collection and precipitation of consumer data, so as to provide more customized services.
The more data you accumulate for a certain consumer, the more efficient you will be in serving such consumers. This is their new compound interest advantage, that is, the compound interest advantage of data algorithm.
Conversely, now, in Taobao, Tmall, jitter, there are various new terms, such as brand name, tiktok brand, micro business brand, etc., the biggest problem is actually no data. Their data is in the hands of the platform, the actual data available to consumers is very limited, and there is no good offline channel.
Therefore, at this stage of rapid growth, they must compound the interest of brand recognition, otherwise when the dividend disappears, it will really fall very fast.
The second reason for emphasizing “brand management” is that brand awareness is actually the source of product differentiation that a brand can monopolize in competition.
For example, in my opinion, there are two types of Chinese consumer goods brands. I agree with Dao Jie’s kinetic energy and potential energy theory. Here’s just another way of saying it.
The first type of brand is called “hammer improved” brand. Its logic is to choose the track first, then study the competitive products, take the lack of competitive products as their own admission opportunity, and then enlarge the difference to the extreme, and then grasp the channel bonus and flow bonus, so that the sales of products will rise quickly.
The other is called “good hole definition” brand, such as many DTC brands in the United States, and China’s “three and a half meals” and “inside and outside”. It defines consumer needs from the inside out and expresses its world outlook, that is, I will build a product and give it value.
There is no absolute difference between the two. But in fact, the former may produce path dependence after a period of time: when it needs to be improved and upgraded, it often can not find the point of innovation. I’m most afraid that someone will see his advantages and rush in to imitate them, or even copy them directly. In the end, consumers may not remember who they are. The market is a mess, and the brand will eventually disappear.
However, brands that can define “what is good and what is customer demand” independently have stronger ability of continuous originality, and they are less worried about others’ plagiarism, so they can continue to do it.
The biggest difference between the two is whether the team has the ability of originality, because it’s easy to improve, reference and optimize, just test. But the real definition, to do this thing really well, this thing is not easy, need a strong ability of originality.
There are several key points:
First, you have to do it continuously. You can’t do it once a year;
Second, your content should be in line with the brand strategy, and at the same time, it can make consumers have a deeper understanding of your symbolic value. This sentence is more abstract, which will be explained later;
Third, you are doing content. Only when the content is effectively spread can you really be a brand.
What is really good brand content?
First of all, I would like to recommend a book to you. I think it is worth studying by all people who are engaged in consumption. It is the philosopher Baudrillard’s consumer society. This book is essentially about why people want to consume. He mentioned a “symbolic value” in the book, which is a deeper concept of consumption. I won’t talk about it here.
The point of this book is that people can not consume. Today, your products are not bought or used. There is no big loss or change in the world, and your consumers will not be seriously affected. The essence of consumption demand is to seek the value of symbolic meaning.
Take some typical examples, such as water. There is little difference. Why can some brands enhance their value. Another example is chaopai. Why can a brick made by supreme sell for $10000? This is a very extreme example of the value of symbolic meaning being divorced from the value of function.
When consumers consume you, what is the symbolic value besides the functional value. This is a question worthy of consideration.
As mentioned earlier, brand is the cognition of consumers. What is cognition? What can trigger people to form cognition?
This is also a deeper topic. We all know that there is a big change in economics, and a new school has come out, behavioral economics. The change in behavioral economics is to put cognition into it. It finds that people are not all rational, and everyone is limited by their own cognition, so there are all kinds of behavioral expressions, which overturns the hypothesis of rational people in economics in the past.
Therefore, cognition has a first principle, that is, the purpose and core motivation of individual cognition is to continuously improve the relationship between oneself and the world.
There are many levels and ways to build cognition. For example, repetition, exposure, interception, and so on, of course, can make people have cognition. Although sometimes they are unconscious, they have psychological activities, which is also true.
The higher the level of cognition, the stronger the consciousness. It can cause deep resonance and more complex spiritual activities of the audience, and even make the audience feel that it is their own consciousness. That consciousness is to express themselves and produce a fusion of consciousness.
So from the perspective of cognition, it’s easier for us to understand that there are many kinds of content today. What kind of content do you use to influence your consumers and make them have different cognition? This is a very important key point to determine the level of marketing.
This is very abstract. I still have to give an example to evaluate brand content only.
You may have seen the advertisement of Yuanqi forest. It was put in focus two days ago and invited Zhang Yuqi, the most popular sister at that time, to ride the wind and waves. Zhang Yuqi took the water and said “Zero sugar, zero fat, zero calorie”. Yuanqi forest.
In fact, there is not much problem with this advertisement. It is certain that after Yuanqi forest has played this wave, many people know about Yuanqi forest, and they also know that it emphasizes “three zero”. I’m also very impressed with Zhang Yuqi. There’s nothing wrong with this. This advertisement is out of the street. Yuanqi forest must have done a lot of tests.
But if you have the impression, you will see its competitor, the Oriental leaves of farmer’s spring, and soon put a number of advertisements on the sub group. At this time, the brand is talking about 50, “Zero sugar, zero fat, zero card, zero flavor, zero preservative”.
However, in this video, it continues a lot of elements related to the brand name, brand tonality and scene feeling. The overall content of its advertising video is a tea garden, picking tea, presenting a scene around tea, then to the product, and finally to the five zeros, and then to the Oriental leaf brand.
Through analysis and comparison, you will find that Yuanqi forest advertisement can be changed into any bubble water today, but the content of Oriental leaves has strengthened brand consumers’ cognition of tea raw materials and tea leaves. Of course, the brand has also added new function points, because we have learned the expression of three zeros from Yuanqi forest. The brand did not talk about five zeros before, but now it also talks about five zeros, which is how many changes are in it.
I will continue to explain this to you.
First of all, what is the content with brand cognitive value?
It refers to the content that can trigger the complex inner feelings of consumers. For example, when consumers see this content, they can associate with the name of your product? Or do you think that you have been talking about the key points of some product strategies? This psychological feeling is more complicated.
If consumers only read a piece of content and are deeply attracted by some other elements, resulting in complex psychological activities, then consumers may not have a real brand awareness of the brand.
Second, many brands in our channels or platforms today, especially the popular products educated by tmall in tmall, will emphasize the product function, which itself has no problem.
But remember that there is a possibility that product function oriented content is for itself in the short term, and for competitive products in the whole industry in the long term, especially for competitive products with late development advantages.
I believe Yuanqi forest is facing a lot of pressure from competing products. Both the supply chain and competing products will come in and talk about the concept of “bubble”, as well as Zero sugar, zero fat and zero calorie. What else can Yuanqi forest say in the future? Or Yuanqi forest can change categories and make milk tea, but is this strategy right? All this will take time. The key is where is the vitality? If you can talk about bubble water today, what’s the difference between bubble water and forest bubble water?
The third sentence is that functional content and brand content can appear at the same time, but there should be a creative combination.
That’s why the creativity of advertising content is still very important. If we really don’t need creativity, we just need to pile up the information. The brand should be something that everyone can do, but in fact it’s not.
Another conclusion is that the marketing content that can not form consumers’ memory of brand value symbols is meaningless to the accumulation of brand value.
For example, I also invited a traffic star, and the star finished a endorsement. Finally, we asked the consumers, do you remember what the advertisement said? If the consumer’s feedback is that I remember the star’s cool shot, what is the product? I can’t remember. What’s the brand? What are the characteristics of the brand? I can’t remember. In fact, this content is not a good one. In fact, it doesn’t mean much to the accumulation of brand value.
Now there are many consumer goods. In order to solve the problem of brand positioning, they also spend a lot of money to find some consulting companies to find out a word positioning and visual symbols. Is this a brand? In my opinion, to some extent, this is the starting point of a brand strategy, because at least we have the awareness of saying our corporate mission and value away from products, and we know that we should constantly deepen the impression of slogan or a symbol of our brand.
But I think it’s a simple, crude and lazy way to accumulate brand value content. In fact, it’s not difficult to do, but the utility will be lower and lower. Because as consumers receive more and more information and are able to distinguish and compare independently, they will become more and more intelligent.
We all know that there is a saying that in the era of television, everyone can see 150-200 advertisements every day, including outdoor advertisements on TV. I think we spend an average of two to three hours on mobile phones today. We see that there are more than 200 or 300 marketing messages, maybe more, but most of them are ignored and not impressed. In this case, consumers are deeply moved by only one message and one symbol, and this expectation will be more and more difficult to realize.
So how to judge the quality of their own brand content?
There is a very simple test: when you see this content, ask yourself, if you change this content into the logo of my competitive product, is there no problem with this content at all. If so, it is likely to be a very general brand content, because it really does not bring great value to your brand awareness, and you may even contribute to your competitive products and your whole industry.
Finally, the more accurate the traffic is, the harder the story is to tell, but the more important it is. Because consumers know too many things, the threshold of emotion being mobilized has become higher. From the brand side, the ability of story telling and brand creativity are the real core competition threshold.
Some friends will ask if there are any good cases to refer to. I think it’s very simple. I really need to see the mature brand content that has cost a lot of money. It doesn’t mean that they are all good. But if you want to see some classic ones, you can get what they say after reading them. Sometimes it depends on your own feelings and impressions, Sometimes we have to think deeply about how they express themselves.
How to distribute the brand content marketing?
Many founders and operators have asked me about the amount of investment in brand building. For example, they asked me to solve the problem of food and clothing first, invest in sales, and then build a brand calmly, right? If it’s not right, how much should I pay for the brand.
I’d like to talk about some of our views, which you may not agree with at all. But we have seen a lot of mature brands, and we have also talked with some people who build a new brand in large companies. After hearing their ideas and logic, we have summed up some of our views.
Our first discovery is that under the premise that the sales growth target can be achieved, the higher the proportion of your brand budget in your overall marketing budget, the better.
This may be counter common sense. Because now all advertising platforms, Ali and pinduoduo, say that you spend every cent on effect advertising, because you can see the ROI clearly with every cent. But in fact, in that way, it is possible that your brand has not been precipitated at all and has not produced any effect.
If your current sales and growth rate are healthy, the higher the proportion of your brand budget, the more it means that you are continuously making full investment for the future. If you invest every cent in ROI today, you will find that the ROI will be lower and lower, because advertising will rise in price and be competed by competition. When it rises to a point where you can’t invest, you will find that there is no so-called brand cognitive value left.
This is usually the view of a marketing company, not an advertising platform. But today, because all advertising platforms are the most popular in the marketing industry, they have found a lot of consulting companies to help them make a lot of marketing theories and models to talk to the brand side. The purpose is to let the brand invest its budget in its platform effect. In addition, no brand leaves its platform.
The real brand must find a way not to be kidnapped by any channel. The brand that grows out of the channel can. When it grows to a certain scale, it must consider multi-channel. Otherwise, the brand has no independent viability, and it is very sad that it will get better and better.
The second point is about the concept of minimum proportion. Today, even if you are a very poor consumer goods company, you should make a resolution: the proportion of promotion budget to brand budget should not be less than 3:1, or 25% should be invested in brand content and the impact on consumer cognition. Otherwise, you will enter an unhealthy state, that is, your traffic budget and investment are too low, and your brand value is in fact under invested.
This logic may not be immediately accepted by many people. Tell a story, buy a pearl. It means that someone is very stupid. He spent a lot of money to buy a box with a pearl in it. After he bought it, he gave it back to the seller, saying that if you take it back, I will take the box.
I think there are a lot of consumer goods in China today. We spend a lot of money to buy a lot of traffic, generate a lot of transactions, and become our Gmv. But what is the Pearl in this? It’s actually the consumer’s perception of you.
Although it sounds difficult to quantify, it is actually an objective and important commercial value, which is the key to your future compound interest. That’s why this cognition is pearl, trading and Gmv. You can even think of it as a pearl. We must really think about this logic clearly.
From strategy to practice,
What pitfalls should be avoided in brand management?
This is also a question that many teams have asked us. There are a lot of specific work. I will give you a macro framework introduction as soon as possible, so that we can talk about the core issues.
1. What is the strategic direction?
Let me tell you a point. In fact, there is no need to spend 10 million to find a strategic consulting company. Brand strategy is usually not too wrong. There are 80 points, 90 points and 70 points. Few brand strategies fail or 60 points.
There is no right or wrong in brand strategy, the key is your own expression, creation and persistence. It doesn’t need to spend 10 million on this. Some marketing companies and advertising companies will use some sorting methods to find a good advertising company to help you do some sorting. The team will form some consensus and turn these things into your values and culture. This thing can start very well. It doesn’t need to spend 10 million to get a final sentence, It’s a pity that this money can be used for other things.
2. Who will do this content?
Today, we meet many teams who say “we must do it by ourselves”. We are a new brand, which is our core competitiveness. We must do it well by ourselves
In this matter, I tell you that we should still believe in the profession and the law. Nowadays, the greatest consumer goods brand in the world is not the greatest advertising company in the industry, so there is a word in the world called social division of labor. There are many reasons behind the social division of labor. For example, what kind of working environment do you need for creative talents, and what kind of work content can you continuously improve your creativity; It also includes relative cost advantage and relative experience.
We see a lot of start-up brands with the idea of doing everything by themselves. In fact, we find that there are a lot of things to do, and it is difficult to master everything very often. The cost of making mistakes and paying tuition fees here is really not as good as finding a professional company and cooperating with it seriously. You may save more cost and time.
The focus of the brand internal market is not on the non-standard things such as communication and creativity, but on the real establishment of some standardized and systematic things, such as pricing, product research, consumer insight, channel management, etc. These things are really to be managed by your internal team. Innovation, expression, creativity, execution of these things to the outside team, your cost will be lower.
3. How to manage the content?
Now a lot of brands want to do a content, because the recent round of financing is very happy, just do marketing. Then, there seems to be no movement in three months. It’s a very bad state to think of another wave in three months. We must continue to do it in a planned and rhythmic way.
In the brand marketing department, there is a very important management tool, called marketing campaign calendar, or marketing “activity” calendar (this activity is quoted, because the important content of marketing also counts).
The logic behind marketing activities is to start from the brand strategy, which key concepts should be discussed, and then consider the budget, which key concepts should be allocated, and how these concepts can be combined with consumers to make a variety of cycle forecasts… Calendar planning for half a year to a year or at least a quarter should be done in advance, and then the whole structure should be seen to see if it can be implemented, Then it will be handed over to the whole marketing department one by one. If you do this consistently, your brand will gradually grow into the expectation in the initial strategic plan.
Marketing calendar is a brand calendar. We all have a calendar. What kind of person do you want to become? First, manage your own schedule. A brand’s core brand management is your marketing calendar. I hope you have a more structured understanding and cognition of this matter.
You can think about whether you have a semi annual and annual marketing calendar plan, whether the structure is correct, whether it is scientific, and what can be adjusted? Then evaluate the activities one by one to see if you are getting better and better. If you are getting better and better, and the calendar schedule is correct, there is nothing to worry about.
I think everything that brand companies do can be content-based, for example, three and a half meals can make “recycling” a brand campaign. The key is to find good creativity, package it, spread it, and communicate with consumers.
How to measure whether the brand is good or not, and whether the consumer cognition is good or not? There has been an answer for a long time. P & G company was founded until today, I think it has been a very good company in brand management. It contains a concept called brand equity, which has been introduced into many textbooks.
P & G uses a series of research methods to ask its core target consumers after a period of time, can you think of P & G after reading this advertisement? Or competitive products? The brand of P & G is in your mind. What is the change of association strength and content? It does a very complicated research and does it regularly every year to evaluate and measure whether its brand value is growing or not.
Now we are in the era of social media, which is actually much better than that of P & G. there are a lot of social data. Some people think that social data is biased, and not all consumers speak on social media.
I think it makes sense, but first of all, please understand that the data on social media is the data with the largest scale, the smallest sample deviation and the highest quality. Because there are all kinds of data from today’s research, which are not perfect in quality. The use of social data can be compared with your competitive products. You can see a relative trend. Compared with your past and your competitive products now, you can still get a lot of insight.
So, the core is still the brand’s social data. Today, if you look for a brand integrated marketing company like Shiqu, which has the technical ability and data ability, you can reduce the noise and analyze it. That is to say, you can remove the so-called water army data, the so-called payment data, and even remove them to see the dry data, and then compare the dry data, From insight to strategy to decision-making, it has a certain reference value.
All in all, social data is very worthy of attention and analysis, there is no doubt about this.
I would also like to say that a lot of data on e-commerce are behavioral result data, which have been bought or not. Social data is actually consumer cognitive data. What do consumers like now? What don’t you like? How do you feel about the brand? There are a lot of places for in-depth analysis.
This is summed up by our internal business team, and is the whole logic behind our providing relevant marketing services to customers. It is also a “why, how, what, why” compound interest logic. Why is it a brand? What is strategy? How much is it? Who is responsible for the internal affairs? What kind of external partners… And so on.
What is more specific work. From your insight, to check your brand design, to check the corresponding campaign calendar, to the creative content and media delivery in each calendar, to the monitoring of the whole effect, you will continue to build an ecological cooperation system repeatedly and consciously, and then to the final feedback of all marketing data on your product innovation, Finally, a closed loop is formed.
This is a classification work that I think a relatively professional advertising company will do when it systematically serves a relatively mature brand. According to the structure in my picture, you can also think about what your own brand has to do, and how to coordinate the internal team and external ecology.
Finally, brand management is a process of combining knowledge with practice.
“Management” requires the brand to do top-level design, want to understand what is a brand, and really realize why to create a brand, how to make a brand, and whether consumers want to buy a brand or a product. The starting point of this action is very important.
But these actions are by no means one-off. The brand can be adjusted according to the stage market environment in which the brand is located. Behind this adjustment, there must be a unique strategic goal of the brand, carrying the conjunction point and market differentiation between the brand and the product.
Only in this way can the internal and external teams achieve the brand expectations in a targeted, rhythmic and planned way in the following series of “management” process.
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Brand content management strategy shared by P & G and L’Oreal