You are an individual. Your looks, your style, your beliefs, and your personality all come together to make you unlike anyone else in the world. While there may be people out there who are very similar to you, there is only one you. Those who know you realize this. They could probably tell you the characteristics that you have that make you stand out from everyone else. Those who love you could tell you why you are better (in their eyes) than anyone else they know. Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand. Your personal brand is your image that you present to other people.
When you are writing marketing copy, it is critical that you convey the company, product, or service's brand in everything you write. The brand is what makes a certain company or product stand out from a similar one. While we tend to think of a brand as a name, such as Old Navy clothing, it is much more. Instead, a brand is the image a company sets forth for itself, its products, or its services.
Locate the terms below in the dictionary, then fill in the meaning of each word in your "Student Dictionary" by using Google or another search engine to find the definition.
1. Brand (marketing, branding products or companies)
2. Brand image
3. Brand awareness
4. Brand equity
5. Brand message
Understanding branding, as well as the brand image, is one of the most important things you need to do on your path to becoming a marketing copywriter. Anyone can write the facts about a company or product, and there are dozens of companies and products on the market that do basically the same thing. That said, the key to writing effective marketing copy is to incorporate the company or product's brand into every piece of copy that you write. Your words are what will help create a brand image, and it is that brand image that will make a company or product stand out from the competition - and draw in more customers.
Think of it this way. Company "A" and Company "B" may offer the same products and services. However, it is the differences between Company "A" and Company "B" that make them two different brands. Your job as a marketing copywriter will be to highlight those positive differences so that customers know why your client (or your client's product) is better.
A product or a company's brand is its identity. As stated earlier in this article, the name of the brand is the identity that makes customers recognize it, but an identity goes much deeper than that. When customers see a brand name, what comes to their minds?
What do they know about that brand?
What do they think about that brand?
Why do they choose to buy that brand over another?
It is the same principle that is behind your name (your identity) and what people think of you. When people hear your name, they recall what they think of you in that split second. "That is the person who always has a good joke to tell" or "That is the person who is kind and generous". The thoughts that pop up in their head when they hear your name is the brand image that you project.
The marketing copy that you write will create a brand image for products and companies. Since it will instantly affect a customer's decision to buy the brand you are marketing instead of a competitor's, you want to make sure you create a positive and unique brand image for your clients.
Those P's are product, price, place, and promotion. A product or company's brand directly shapes those four P's. Let's take a look at how it works.
Product. What features or benefits distinguish the product from the competition? Why is the product better than similar products?
Price. How does the price make the product different from the competition? Does the price include a warranty or guarantee? Is it a sale price? Keep in mind that a lower price is not a benefit that you should use to market a product - unless it is a sale price. Consumers can associate lower prices with lower quality, so never market a product as a cheaper alternative to the competition unless there is truly a benefit to it - and not solely a strategy to try to get more customers.
Place. Is the product only available online? Or in stores? Is it more readily available than the competition's product? For example, "Do not wait for your product to ship to you. XYZ product is available in department stores nationwide."
Promotion. What is the best way to reach your customers? Think about where your customers go to buy the product you are buying, then reach them there. Is it on the radio? Online? On TV? In their mailbox? On social media? Or a mix of all these places? Your brand message should be where your customers are, wherever they are.
When you are working as a marketing copywriter, use the four P's to find out everything you need to know about a product or company. If you use the four P's as a guide, you will find that you get all the information you need to write copy that makes companies, products, and services stand out from the competition. When you do that, you will write effective copy that will help your clients reach their marketing goals. Accomplish that, and you will never want for work as a marketing copywriter.
Brand equity is the value that is derived from a customer's perception of a brand. An example is if someone hears the name Hellman's Mayonnaise. Instantly, when a customer hears the name, they think of the value that is associated with it. It may be "better tasting than others" or "Worth the price".
When a company or product is branded consistently in all of its marketing efforts, the brand equity tends to grow, which means the brand has more value to customers. This means that customer's start to trust the brand. More sales are made, and the company can actually start charging more for its products or services because customers perceive a higher value.
Brand equity can also be achieved by creating an emotional attachment to a product or service. This can be done through storytelling. Storytelling in marketing is when a narrative is created to tell the story behind the brand. Think of the story behind the Smucker's brothers (you know, jelly) or Orville Redenbacher popcorn. An emotional attachment can also be created by using celebrities to market or endorse the product. Customers take their emotional attachment to the celebrity, and they transfer it to the product. However, again, the marketing must be consistent in order to achieve it.
You will find that most of the clients with whom you work already have established companies and products. They simply want your help creating copy for a new campaign, or they want to refresh their marketing materials and need your help to do so. They may even want to re-brand and have already established the new brand image they want to convey. However, there will be clients who have new companies or new products, and these clients may want you help to develop a solid, marketable brand.
Defining and creating a brand is like creating a character. You have to figure out and understand all the characteristics that make up the brand, then detail why it is unique, why it is better, what it offers that is appealing to customers, and the list goes on. To successfully create and define a brand, you must be able to answer the questions below about the brand.
What are the benefits and features?
What is the mission of the company?
What do customers and consumers think of the company or the product?
What do you want customers and consumers to think of the company or product?
How is the company or product different than competitors?
What "feel" do you want customers and consumers to get from your company?
Do you want customers and consumers to feel as if the company or product is their friend? Or do you want them to feel like the company or product is more formal?
How is your company or product an authority in the industry? This lends to what makes them stand out from competitors.
You will find that you will do a lot of research when creating and defining a brand. You will want to research the needs and habits of customers and consumers. It is important to know what they think. In addition, you will spend a lot of time researching competitors to figure out exactly how your company or product stand out.
Consistency is key to establishing a brand. In addition to consistent in every piece of marketing copy you write, you also want to make sure your client is clear and consistent in these other areas as well.
Logo. The company or product's logo should be on every piece of marketing or advertising so that customers and consumers can come to recognize it.
Brand messaging. Each brand has attributes that make it appealing to customers and consumers - and make it stand out from the competition. These attributes must shine through in the messages delivered to customers and consumers.
Brand integration. The company or product's brand should not just be limited to advertising or marketing. It should be reflected in how phones are answered, what employees wear, the email signature, posts on social media, et cetera.
The brand voice. As the copywriter, you will create the brand voice. Is the voice conversational or more formal? Is it friendly or more technical? The brand voice should be consistent. The brand voice is the tone you'll take when you write.
The tagline. The tagline used for a company or product should represent the essence of the brand. The tagline can also be the USP - or Unique Selling Proposition.
In an earlier section in this article, we talked about creating and defining a brand. However, that is just the start for you as a copywriter. Once a brand is created and defined, you must put it into words. When you put it into words, you will use the brand message as a pencil, so to speak, because it will influence the words that you write, as well as the way that you write.
To create a brand message, start out by studying the customer's perspective on the product. You can use the research you have already gathered when defining the brand. You need to know what matters to the customers and what they value. You can do marketing research to find that out, or you can watch them on social media, at stores when buying similar products to yours, et cetera. You cannot guesstimate what matters to customers - or what customers want. You have to know.
Next, look at the internal perspective, or the perspective of those who work for the company. What do they think makes their product or service unique? Where is the value? Is there something special about the manufacturing process? Maybe the sales process?
Finally, examine the marketplace perspective. Research the competitors. How do they position themselves? What do they claim makes them unique? Read their taglines and the "About" page on their website. You want to make sure that the value your brand offers is distinct and unique.
Once you have gathered all this information and written it down, divide the information on a Venn diagram. A Venn diagram represents logistical sets as circles or closed curves. An example is pictured below.
The information that overlaps in the circles is the information you would use to create your brand message.