It was early on a summer morning, and I was traveling in a cab with a male colleague whose name shall not be revealed. We were late for a meeting because our cabbie was a little zoned out. Addresses can sometimes be hard to find, he said.
Driving near our car was a motorbike with a middle-aged couple on it. The lady was pillion-riding, with her hands on the bike driver’s shoulder. Her ‘chunni’ was merrily flying about and dangerously close to the wheel. If it got caught in the wheel, it could be an ugly accident for her. Consequently, it might also be bad for the vehicles behind them.
My colleague asked the driver to speed up and take the cab close to the bike. He rolled down his window, and yelled, ‘Ma’am’.
Upon hearing his voice, she didn’t turn back. Instead, they sped up.
We kept pursuing them, but the more he called her, the more she avoided us. Finally, she tucked her kurta under her and that was when my colleague gave up hope. She was clearly interpreting this as something entirely different.
So now I started calling her. “Ma’am! Ma’am, your chunni!” I yelled.
Finally, she turned to look at us and then looked down at the impending accident, pulling up her chunni. She gave us half a smile and we all went our ways.
We like to think that we played the role of some good Samaritans who saved at least one life that day, all on our way to work. And yet again, we were brought face-to-face with the realization of how big a problem eve teasing is for women of all ages.
By the time you reach this point, you may realize that this little anecdote has nothing to do with what follows. It is just a way to demonstrate how powerful tool storytelling can be if you want to build a ‘connect’ with your audience.
The Branding Bandwagon
Unless one is a Marketing Virgin, they’ll be rather well-versed with the concept of “Branding”. A Branding or a Brand Awareness campaign is designed to build a mind-share within the decided Target Audience Group. These are generally high-octane campaigns with the power of the buck to spread the word. What’s more, these campaigns hold up better amidst the clutter, when there is a well-stitched narrative and a great brand story to propel them forward; something that the audience connects with, emotionally.
An interesting literary and anthropological experiment called ‘Significant Objects’ truly demonstrates the power of good storytelling. Led by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn, the experiment demonstrates, in no uncertain terms, the effect of narrative on the perceived value of any object. The project auctioned unremarkable thrift store objects worth $1.25 a piece (on average) via eBay. As for the item description, short stories were submitted by 200 contributing writers as part of the experiment. The end result? These objects garnered sales of nearly $8000 in total! Just as I emphasized before, mere storytelling increased the value of an object by 6395%!
You can explore more about this experiment here.
Once a good brand campaign is executed, it is evaluated by gauging Brand Awareness. To do this, Brand Recall is tested amongst the target audience under different conditions i.e., Unaided Brand Recall.
Shouting Into the Abyss
While memorable branding campaigns bring home a connected audience base, those that fail to leave a mark will generally just burn a hole. From Microsoft Zune to McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, which weren’t really bad product ideas, per se, may have failed to click with the audience.
Over the years, many products from big brand houses have failed to launch. While all of the blame cannot be placed squarely on their marketing teams, it is definitely an integral part of the make-or-break formula.
The Pursuit of Performance
Performance Marketing, another popular marketing modus operandi, attempts to track and optimize each metric till the proverbial dollar has dropped into the jar. These are typically low investment campaigns, as opposed to Branding, bringing in more tangible and actionable results at each stage.
Companies like Lyft (ride-sharing app) have hugely benefited from Google Display via in-Market audiences. They were able to optimize their conversions by 74% upon running performance marketing campaigns. You can read more about this by clicking here.
For an apple-to-apple comparison, here are some points of contrast in Branding campaigns:
The Lawlessness of Large Data
Performance marketing works on the law of large data and sometimes, devolves into amassing large volumes of data and mindlessly chasing traffic KPIs, without a strong lookout for the quality aspect of the communication. Sometimes, advertisers frontline misleading messages, leading to click-baiting, in the hope that if a lot of traffic comes in, some of it is bound to convert. These practices are actively discouraged and sometimes blacklisted by advertising platforms, like Google, Meta, etc., that strive to keep a high relevancy quotient for the content they host.
The New Kid on The Block
What is Brandformance?
Brandformance is a campaign strategy aimed at elevating the brand story and brand action, simultaneously. This is done by creating an optimization model for achieving greater brand awareness and tracking actions on each brand asset, using performance metrics.
Simply put, brands are now adopting a digital-first approach to developing and propagating their high-value brand assets. These assets are then used as the focal point for building fan communities around them.
This, in turn, gives advertisers the ability to tell powerful and gripping brand-connected stories via channels that boast end-to-end trackability in terms of audience demographics and audience actions.
In a nutshell:
Brandformance – Getting Started
There are some key things that one must remember when getting started on the Brandformance route.
In making sure that our creatives maximize the impact of the brand, we need to keep our focus on the content. We need to format it in a way that it syncs well with the channel on which it will be viewed.
Here’s how we go about planning a Brandformance campaign for high-impact and trackable digital channels:
When it comes to marketing online, there’s always a lot more than meets the eye. For us and our partners, it has to be evolutionary, value-driven, and ‘For The TG’. Let’s plan your next Brandformance campaign together. Reach out to us at email@example.com.
With over a decade of digital experience, Sayantani has a nuanced understanding of the brand narrative. Along with leading a national award-winning digital campaign in the tourism sector, she also brings experience of working with a diverse cross section of clientele from various industries like Education, BFSI, Beauty, FMCG, Real Estate, Nonprofit and Public sector.