Marketing is more profitably utilized with the outcomes of research into the interests of those that can afford to pay for a fixed, or at the most, an annual, one-off, service or product placement. For example, in the UK there are many organisations that provide free public transport to residents, and some also offer services like children’s centers and adult care. In addition, in the last year there has been a new trend in branding awareness, which is more focused on the ‘buzz’hook’ factor that will help build a name and image for a business or organisation.
In the United States there is a new focus on ‘local branding’, a term that includes brand positioning, brand building and the whole gamut of business development that go beyond just creating a logo, product or website. It also means understanding how your customers behave in the area, identifying where they live, what is important to them and why they are visiting the particular business in the first place.
However, in marketing terms, this is a new trend and one that is being recognised more by companies all over the world. It is not just about making a brand that people recognise but also about understanding the individual behaviour of each person, and then building on this to develop products, campaigns and other promotional activities to ensure they remain loyal and enthusiastic.
As a brand specialist, I have often talked to companies about this new trend, which has started to take hold of UK companies and is now being used by businesses all over the world. These days, many companies are choosing to utilise ‘locally branded’ advertising, because it helps them create brand loyalty amongst their current clients and builds on that loyalty by providing value to the customer through other promotional activities and offers.
I always encourage companies that want to create brand loyalty to take advantage of local branding opportunities. It’s true that the UK’s economy is booming and the number of companies that I deal with that are planning a branding strategy is growing. However, there is still huge potential for companies that are just starting out to make the most of this growing global market place to create a local identity and market share, especially if they have a strong local focus that is well represented by their business name.
Local branding in the UK can be a hugely powerful marketing strategy and is already helping many companies to increase their sales in areas that have been previously ignored. For example, a few years ago, if you went shopping in the North East and were looking for a branded toiletry bag, you would probably have been directed to Boots – the leading supplier of high quality, branded products. But recently, with the advent of a new trend in branding awareness, you can see that stores such as Lush and H&M have developed their own brands, bringing in the latest trends and ideas, and ensuring they become a highly sought after brand name within the North East.