Branded demand is a method for synthesizing branding and demand generation efforts.

What is Branded Demand?

Branded demand is a way of combining lead generation and brand building efforts. There’s a nuance here, though. This isn’t “hey, we’ve got a brand campaign here, and then eventually we serve people a lead generation form.” Nope. Branded demand is literally baking the brand into the “ask” and everything that comes before and after.

Think about it – every impression, every click, every lead generated from performance marketing efforts currently ties back to one objective: drive sales. But what if we were to insert a word into the mix: drive branded sales? Suddenly, the job for brand marketers becomes a whole lot more interesting. How can we ensure that growing sales also means growing our brand?

(You may stop us here and ask – but if I’m driving sales, does anything else really matter? To which we would ask back – do you want your customers to love you? To come back to you? To advocate for you? We hope the answer would be yes.)

How can you create branded demand? Well, while we’d love you to get in touch with us to talk it out, here are three things you can think about in the meanwhile.

Consideration 1: You Still Need to Know Who You Are

We won’t belabor this point. But if you have no brand strategy, you have no hope of creating branded demand. So – you gotta’ take the time to figure that out before you do anything else.

Consideration 2: Involve Those Who Touch Customers

What sales and your customer support teams say in the room really matters. If brand marketing’s core message isn’t a customer-facing person’s core message – well then, you’ve got a problem. And you can’t just expect to hand over a message and suddenly people will use it. Branding is a change management effort, so start the change early: Your customer-facing folks needs to be involved in the process of crafting the brand as much as they need to be involved in the process of delivering it. If you build enough synergies between the brand team and the sales team early on, you’ll see them using the message more readily so that your brand grows meaningfully with every conversation.

Consideration 3: Brand the Carrot

Oh my god, now we’re talking about branding carrots? Don’t take us too literally here. We’re talking about content, actually – that dangling carrot that makes your customer say, “oh, I have to give up my email address for that.”

Too often, this kind of demand generating content isn’t unique, and isn’t true to a brand – it’s just your run-of-the-mill business content. Companies need to take a step back and make a very simple match – what’s content that’s true to our brand that also adds unique value to our customer’s lives? If companies can find topics that entice their customers and build their brands, then they’ve found a unique opportunity to drive brand perception and leads into the funnel, concurrently.

Consideration 4: Don’t Forget the Middle of the Funnel

We spend a lot of time focusing on the top of the funnel. And a lot of time focusing on the bottom. But what about that critical experience between awareness and an actual sale? Customers who are in the consideration phase are scrutinizing you. That means that they are hyper-aware of your content, messaging and marketing during this time. You have their email address and you have their attention. What could be better?

Think hard about the channels and messages you can deliver during this time. It might be a retargeting campaign to reinforce your brand message. It might be a drip campaign that adds value to your prospective customer’s lives, while concurrently building your brand. It might be a choice sales touch that brings your brand to life. The mediums during this time will largely sit within your CRM, marketing automation system and owned communications. The message and experience, though? That’s up to the brand team to decide.

Consideration 5: Measurement

Okay, so now we’re brand marketers who are accountable to results. Who woulda’ thunk?

Obviously, leads are critical when creating branded demand – so, job 1, make sure you are hitting your targets and increasing inbound traffic and demand for your business.

But that’s the demand side – what about the brand? We’d recommend some sort of a trigger survey. Take customers who have been a part of the campaign and marketing/sales process you’ve created, and pulse them a month after you’ve either closed or lost a deal. See what their perception is of who you are as a company, and if you’ve had good, strong brand impact as a result of your communications. And don’t forget a control group who hasn’t gone through the cycle – see if their perception of your brand is noticeably different after going through the same old sales process you’ve always had.

Rest assured, brands are not going away. They will always be needed. But if marketers want their businesses to continue to invest in brand – not just demand – brand marketers are going to need to be able to speak a new language and bring a new skillset to the table.

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