I first heard of Huib and his book The Social Brand at the ZeeMelt15 event I attended in June of 2015. The first thing I noticed both about Huib’s talk and his book, that this wasn’t a book on the latest strategy to get the most of Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform out there. This book was about building a social brand which in essence is all about engaging the right people for the brand.
Huib has been a responsible for the marketing for big companies like Unilever and MTV. Most recently, the head of marketing for Red Bull. He has played a key role in the transition of the company from an energy drink to the media business it is today. Basically, he knows what he is talking about.
The central concept of the book is thinking of our building our brand like a bank account. Deposits are the acts in which the brand gives valuable content to its’ audience. Withdrawals are the prices it charges of the product. The more deposits a brand makes the more it can charge for its product. Having a good product is the first thing we have, without which no marketing can help.
In the book he also explains the idea of a mission for the brand. This actually was my favourite part of the book. Having a clear mission is great, we all need one. If our brand has to survive, we not only need a clear mission but to act on it as well. It is the only way if we are to survive with today’s killer competition.
The closer our brand mission and our actions align the more benefit we will see. Advertising that the brand is strong and reliable doesn’t mean much in world today. A social brand has to go out and fulfill all what is saying for it to start to gain our trust. If a brand states it is one of luxury, but the product is inferior, and the experience a person receives is not that of luxury, they will not pay the higher price for it. Its actions and its mission don’t speak the same language.
The closer our brand mission and our actions align the more success we will experience.
One of the key takeaways is that we have to give something of valuable in a way that is most enjoyable by the person receiving it. That will create more engagement with the person who then ultimately will spend money purchasing your product. Once they are happy with the product they will start spreading the word of your product to the people they know. Ultimately helping increase the brand value.
How you reach the people who are important to your brand is not what’s important; it’s what you do for them that counts – The Social Brand
The social brand philosophy isn’t one that is temporary. It needs to be built from the inside out if our brands want to succeed. The book is a simple read. Filled loads of case studies and examples to highlight how successful brands are staying even more relevant today.
Question: What steps are you taking to ensure your brand is a social brand?
Reference: The Social Brand by Huib van Bockel