Ignite Visibility’s new Head of Creative and Interactive Social, Oscar Lutteroth, breaks down just how to use your creative capacities to gain market share.
This means improving your creatives, finding holes in the competitive landscape, discovering how big brands do it, and analyzing the changing landscape in 2020.
What We’ll Cover:
- How you can improve your creatives today
- How to find holes in your competitive landscape
- How are the big brands using creatives for market share?
- How things are changing and how you can succeed
How to Improve Your Creative
When it comes to branding, creative is king. It leads everything you do — and if it doesn’t, it should.
In order to make the biggest impact on your audience, you must tell a story to the consumer or user. You want your audience to associate your brand with things they relate to in their lives on a consistent basis. Otherwise, you’re just shooting the breeze.
This means prioritizing impactful storytelling and a high aesthetic, all to develop stronger consumer relationships.
What it doesn’t mean, however, is focusing solely on direct response and conversions (though you can’t toss those entirely into the wind).
In the past, a brand may have valued an ad’s beauty above all else, even more than its capacity for conversions (we can only imagine how vague those 1950’s KPIs were).
But in today’s world, you need a fair fusion. Brands want conversions, and they need that creativity to get there. It’s the amalgam of the 21st century.
It’s worth noting that you can’t charge premium prices without premium creative. This is a causational thing: A better image actually causes customers to pay a much higher premium.
Better photos, videos, and graphics can boost your revenue on the spot. All because you shifted the customer’s perspective.
You also have to think about consumer psychographics, like life events and marketplace macro-trends.
How to Find Holes in Your Competitive Landscape
Oscar reminds us that while beautiful imagery is imperative in the creative branding landscape, it should be far from the only thing on your task list.
You must also find that white space where your competitors are not.
There are so many brands out there (wow, what an understatement), and they’ve all claimed their own look and feel.
If you work to navigate your way around what’s already in the market, you can discover a space where you fit just right while still feeling unique.
Some marketers talk about a concept called “prestige of mass”. We must ask ourselves, “Why can’t we have beautiful things at mass? Why do we have to save them for bespoke boutiques and luxury stores?”
If your creative imagery is up to par, people will still see it, still recognize it and still love it. Why?
Because consumers really do appreciate visual aesthetics, even when the product is not limited by prestige.
This proves itself in practice, too. Many brands with awesome branding strategies are able to put their products against the competition and do so at major retailers en masse.
They’re successful because they invested in their creative branding, not because they developed some semblance of scarcity.
If you’re not sure where to start, try this:
- Print out the creative strategies of your top 10 competitors and, quite literally, mount them on a wall.
- This gives you the opportunity to visualize your competition and hunt for holes in their branding.
- Ask yourself, “What is it that no one else is doing?”
A competition analysis is key in branding. This process can provide you with a foundation to start your branding strategy, even if you hardly have a bit of creativity to your name.
Once you solidify where you fit in, you can invest in creative professionals to get the job done good and well.
How Big Brands Use Creative to Gain Market Share
Oscar has worked with some seriously big brands, namely Coca-Cola to Skyy Vodka. Brands like these began their marketing venture with a heavy emphasis on visual storytelling.
They built their own avenue, and let their consumers follow them down the path.
Now, when people see an advertisement for Skyy Vodka, they likely know who the ad is for immediately — even before processing the logo and bottle on the page or screen.
The bigger a company gets, the less they rely on performance-based marketing. Performance-based marketing is most relevant for companies who are in the growing stage.
But once that major growth happens, there comes an increasing relevance for the branding side of things.
You can still measure your success based on metrics like sales and revenue, but the bigger you get, the more new kinds of KPIs matter, like brand awareness and brand affinity.
How Things Are Changing In 2020, and What You Need to Do to Succeed
With a daily dose of trend research, Oscar has unearthed a collection of macro-trends that make a difference when evaluating your branding strategy.
- These days, consumers are smarter than ever before. They’re privy to the tricks of the trade, which inherently means they’re less receptive to traditional marketing tactics. Consumers want to know where their dollars are being spent. They want accountability, and they want brands to shift with the times in an authentic manner.
- At the same time, the pandemic has propelled us into a largely online sphere — out-of-home marketing, for instance, is no longer one of the top players in the game. This may only be temporary, but it’s the reality of right now.
- Brands and agencies are shifting to become increasingly segmented, with key players performing key tasks at an expert level. This brings a level of trust and nuance into the arena.
- Web presence is now a non-negotiable. In the past, companies could get away with relying on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter profiles to get the world out. But the advantage of having your own space, without having to rely on social platforms with ever-changing rules, is undeniable. Your website is just that — yours. Above all else, it’s your number one conduit in connecting with your consumers.
- The video space is only growing, and in ways we never would have expected a few years back. Younger audiences, like Millennials and Generation Z, don’t see a difference between television that’s linear (scheduled programming) and nonlinear (programming available to watch anytime). To them, it’s just TV, no matter where, when, or how they watch it. This creates an exciting opportunity for how creative marketers develop video content moving forward.
- Photography, email, and overall branding strategy are still super important — but all of these must remain at or raise to a premium level.
At the root of it all is your marketing strategy. Every bit and piece should be driven from one solid, creative branding strategy.
Otherwise, you’re playing it by ear, and that’s just not going to be an effective approach.
The 2020 market is one in flux. Right now, there’s a huge shift in brand loyalty. Companies who have had difficulty getting customers to switch over to their brand may no longer have this problem.
A note to brands currently in the market who’ve found it challenging to steal market share: Now’s the time to come in with a new strategy and gain your portion. Current consumers are open to trying new brands and testing new products. They want alternatives, so you better be there to deliver.
There’s nothing wrong with businesses wanting to stay afloat during a troubling time. There’s nothing wrong with businesses waiting to grow and shift in a positive direction. Marketing creative can help you do that, so long as you’re open to trying something new.
A Lot to Learn from Oscar Lutteroth: A Swiss Army Knife of Creative Capacity
Oscar joined the Ignite Visibility team a couple of months ago, but I’ve been working with him to some degree for about a decade. In that time, he’s developed creative campaigns for major brands that really stuck.
While he began his career in programming, Oscar was ultimately drawn toward the marketing side of business. He continues to weave his developmental and UX expertise into branding, giving him unique insight and perspective on a global scale.
A word from Oscar, myself and the rest of the Ignite Visibility team:
We want you to become number one in your space, but you can’t do it unless your marketing creative is better than your competition.