Branding Series Part Three (of five)
Written by Eleanor Harms with contributions from our Content and Account Management teams
When will my life science brand be famous?
We still can’t answer that… In the third installment of our series on brand fame, we look at one of its more challenging elements: getting people talking about your brand.
Talk of the Town
Making your brand the talk of the industry is perhaps one of the most difficult components of brand fame, particularly in a rational, science-led B2B space that encompasses a wide variety of niches.
5 ways to get your brand talked about more in the industry:
1. Increase social shares
Start shouting about your news. Make sure you’re actively sharing news (and resulting press coverage) across your owned marketing channels consistently and regularly.
LinkedIn is a particularly powerful tool for this. Sharing news in posts and tagging people into relevant content enables you to reach global professional networks and drives people to your website, events, and announcements efficiently. LinkedIn works extremely well if you encourage your sales and leadership teams, and other trusted contacts to share content with their networks.
Employee advocacy is another way to further promote your brand. Successful employee advocacy enables your employees to amplify company messages and promotions, which in turn increase your brand awareness. By encouraging your workforce to positively share their experience(s) working for your company their posts will offer on-going employee engagement and testimonials in an informal and more trusted way – building your brand, supporting recruitment efforts, sharing your news and delivering authentic peer-to-peer content.
2. Shout about your news
Press releases may feel like an ‘old school’ tactic, however, there’s a reason they are still being used across the industry today. Short and sweet and potentially far reaching, they are often a ‘quick win’ way of communicating your latest company news and developments at the click of a button (well, almost). If you’ve built up strong media contacts over the years as we have, you’ll have journalists poised and ready to receive your news and share it with the industry.
The key here is making your news just that, news-worthy.
Too many brands waste time crafting stories that leave the reader thinking ‘so what?’ Make your press releases count by limiting them to true updates that the industry will want to talk about. Acquisitions, key appointments, new facilities – it’s fair to say that we’re all a little nosey and if we feel we’re getting a real insight into the latest developments within your organization, we’ll listen and take note.
3. Create a buzz at events
There’s no better opportunity to stand out from the crowd than on the show floor at an event. Long before an event begins you can start to create a buzz with pre-promotions and previews of what’s to come, letting your customers know you’ll be there and what they can expect and enjoy on your stand.
Having a stand and a live touch point with your customers should always be treated as an opportunity to maximize. Think about: How can you make your booth stand out? What can you do differently this year? What merchandise could you offer that’s different from what others are doing? It’s important to be creative and think of ways to draw people to your stand.
On stand events and activities can be a great way to do this if your stand space allows it. Whether it’s a fun game, an industry celebrity, or an end-of-day cocktail event, it’s sure to create the right buzz and get you noticed.
4. Do the unexpected
Every brand wants to be a thought leader in its industry. Yet how do you achieve this in a crowded marketplace? By being creative, shouting loud, and being different.
The first step is to understand: How is your brand different? What is your value proposition? How do you want your customers to think about you and remember you?
Be unique in the way you communicate your brand; in the words, messages, visuals, and images you use. Put your brand and messaging alongside your competitors and ask yourself, do you stand out? If it’s a no, go back and try again. Look at it from the eyes of your customers to ensure your brand will stop them scrolling.
Make sure it is effective in a variety of formats and adaptable for every stage of the sales funnel. Every touchpoint with customers is an opportunity to be unique, provide an experience and be memorable. Once confident, it’s time to get noticed, and this is where you need to take risks and do the unexpected!
Research the traditional and not-so-traditional places customers go for information and identify where your competitors are/aren’t popping up.
Do your customers read trade websites, blogs, or trade magazines? Do they listen to podcasts, attend webinars, watch YouTube videos, or scroll through social media? What events do they attend? If you don’t know, ask.
Think about how to ensure your brand makes an appearance and every tactic you can use to engage customers. Could you run a quiz on LinkedIn? Make a big splash at an event? Sponsor an industry-leading event? Challenge your staff to a live stream or Q&A? Write handwritten letters to your customers? Send a ‘Thank You’ box to existing customers or a ‘Thinking of You’ box to potential customers? Think outside the box.
Tip: Search for inspiration outside of your industry to get the creative juices flowing.
Keep in mind that it’s ok for you to have tried something new and for it not to have worked. If you don’t try, you’ll never know how successful it might have been.
5. Take the lead on topics
There are certain topics that are conversation starters within the life sciences industry, and for good reason.
The consolidation of the CDMO industry with high profile mergers and acquisitions.
The advancement of mRNA technology and what this means for the future of healthcare.
Supply chain challenges that pose a risk to patient health.
How the industry can be prepared for the next pandemic.
… These are just a few of the topics that are trending in our sector.
Once you’ve identified the industry’s talking points, the next step is deciding which of these topics align with your organization’s areas of expertise. Then, leverage these subjects and gain a share of voice in industry discussions. This could be contributing to a panel discussion at an industry event, joining a podcast, or adding your thoughts to an editorial roundtable. All are great ways of actively contributing to conversations in the industry and simultaneously raising the visibility of your brand and your expertise.
And there you have it. Five simple ways to get your brand talked about (for the right reasons)!
Stay tuned for Part Four next week, where we’ll look more deeply at brand creativity…
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