Ordinariness: Brand’s silent killer
You are reading the 3rd Edition of 𝗦𝗣𝗢𝗥(SpecialistAntreprenor), the 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 eCommerce Business Newsletter dedicated to busy top managers, that delivers 5 minutes of inspiration and actionable advice directly from specialists around the world, that you can apply in your online business.
Today, I discuss with Brand Designer Iulian Grigorescu from KlientUp Agency, why being ordinary can kill a brand and further I reveal how a Romanian brand won the battle for customer’s attention through being different.
Iulian revealed the most painful approach in eCommerce today is the availability and desire to serve as many customers as possible, in order to increase sales, but not necessarily the profit of a company.
The classic scenario from an online store is: buy the stock or display from partners as many products as possible and then bring in the clients through paid advertising.
This, in Iulian’s opinion, is the definition of Ordinariness — “anyone who tries the above approach will find themselves in the same vicious circle with others who are “fighting” against each other for the same piece of the pie” says the Brand Designer.
On the other hand, he reveals what good positioning is. “To put it in a simple phrase, it’s the place that a brand occupies in the customer’s mind and how it differentiates from its competitors. That’s it.”
So if a brand fails at positioning, they also fail at marketing and sales.
Revenue grows when brands know to which customer they address their products. That Client Persona that finds value and is ready to pay for the product is the one that has to differentiate that brand from the rest.
The brand Iulian Grigorescu says has a strong differentiator, is Liquid Death.
How has Liquid Death positioned itself?
“We’re just a funny water company that hates corporate marketing as much as you do. Our evil mission is to make people laugh and get more of them to drink more water more often, all while helping to kill plastic pollution. ”
This is their value proposition. What did they do extraordinarily well? They have moved out of the realm of classic marketing, generating demand not through classic advertising, but by revealing and satisfying a need in the marketplace. In Iulian’s opinion, this is the key to success.
The confirmation that they are doing a great job is that famous (for the ones who know him) entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk is also an investor in Liquid Death.
His advice for brands?
“I know it takes a lot of courage and even a bit of madness to break written or unwritten marketing rules, but the results can devastate the competition. More and more consumers are tired of being bombarded daily with the same type of messages. I am very sure that this will be, in the long run, the ingredient that will make the difference between success and mediocrity that leads to failure.”
Struggling with your sales funnel and conversion rates? Consider the bucket!
That’s the podcast episode where Telemarketing Trainer and expert Wendy Harris discusses with Branding Expert Barnaby Wynter the business model he applies with companies he works with. This model is effective because it’s based on benefits for clients, not features like in the common sales funnel.
Basically, a sales bucket means building a system and business processes around the customer.
“A business “why” must translate into client experience nowadays. Their clients’ “why” becomes more important to the business than it’s own “why” once was. “says the expert.
Being a disruptive marketer, he challenges old paradigms and gives the secret formula of the 4B’s to define the value proposition for a brand.
He calls it The Brand Bucket methodology. The 4 values it defines, are:
🗨 💬 the behavioral style
🗨 💬 client’s benefits
🗨 💬 what you want to be famous for as a brand
🗨 💬 what you want people to believe about the brand
Then the business becomes about matching the customer profile with the values defined. “Once you’ve got those two foundation stones in place, it’s actually very hard to go wrong.” says the Branding expert.
How a Romanian brand differentiates and adds value to society
Attention spans online are short. Videos today need a hook in the opening and a storyline that holds the attention for over 8 seconds. And that’s what differentiated entrepreneur Cosmin Neacsu when he created Little Edu, “the first video animated superhero in Romania” as Forbes magazine named it.
Little Edu is the commitment Cosmin has towards children in schools to help them learn in a short format that holds their attention. These stories are exactly what he dreamed he had in school growing up and now his dream materialized because 30% of their audiences are teachers, traffic coming from Google Classrooms. General audiences are women between the ages of 28–54, mostly mothers.
Recently, Little Edu episodes were uploaded to #TikTok, where they organically generated 195k views and 11.3k likes in the first 14 days on the platform.
The superhero had virtually started with no “fans”, using a discovery video format (“Did you know that..?”) and a frequency that makes regular listeners become his fast friends. They also become new subscribers to the older Youtube channel Little Edu has. “I noticed the secret recipe is to keep the intrigue and then right at the end to give the viewers what they came for,” says Cosmin about their recipe for success on #TikTok.
He recommends brands to create video content and then analyze the conversion of the viewers migrating from #TikTok to other channels like YouTube or their websites.
Cosmin has another differentiator that he keeps hidden but he allowed me to share with you. He gave up on the Faculty of Medical Engineering, after 2 years, to follow his dream of doing video production and to support other young creators who might have the same passion as his. It was a tough choice and he had to convince his parents this was a good one by doing Powerpoints presentations for them.
I don’t know if his parents are convinced yet, but he now has his own agency, YouStars, and does video production for medium to large companies in Romania.
More than 85% of clients today trust their peers’ recommendations over company ads and brands in Romania have started to present their own creative stories using the friendly persona of Little Edu.
Cosmin encourages smaller brands to use their creativity on #TikTok, even if they don’t invest in professional videos and advises brands to create videos for #TikTok only if their target customer is spending time on the platform.
As conclusion, understanding the true value the brand has for their customers and how to become their favorite brand is what will matter in the future and brands that change their approach and systems, will be the brands who win the customer’s loyalty.
In the next edition of SPOR Newsletter I will discuss with two veterans and respected experts in Conversion Rate Optimization about mistakes that cost money and what processes businesses need to transform in order to be more data-driven and customer-focused.