Brand promotion is the way to inform, remind, persuade convincingly, and influence the consumers to drive their decision towards purchasing the product or service under a brand. Marketing force of a company conducts brand promotion primarily, though the wholesalers and retailers also can do it.
Brand promotion is required to −
Promote information related to features, prices, and special schemes of the brand.
Differentiate the product by convincing the customers about the unique features of the brand.
Create and increase the demand for the product.
Build brand equity.
Stabilize the sales affected by natural, social, or political changes. For example, Nescafe promoted its new brand of 'iced coffee' to increase sales during summer.
Outperform the competitor’s marketing efforts: In a highly competitive market, even a well-established brand has to be promoted to retain market share. For example, Coca Cola and Pepsi work to nullify each other's efforts.
Build positive brand image.
There are various brand promotion methods conducted to keep the brand noticeable −
Organizing Contests − To attract the consumers, various contests are organized for consumers without having them to purchase the product and giving away gifts or prizes.
Promotion on Social Media − When the brand is promoted on social media, it is not perceived as “aggressively trying to sell”, rather as being able to communicate at a more personal level.
Product Giveaways − This strategy is used for promoting edibles, toiletries, foods, etc., where a small sample is given away to the consumers for free trial.
Point-of-Sale Promotion − These items are placed near the checkout counter in the store and are often purchased by consumers on impulse as they wait to be checked out.
Customer Referral Incentive Programs − This is a way to bring new customers with the help of the existing customers by offering some incentives to the existing customers.
Causes and Charity − Some percent of the amount after selling the product is donated for a cause or charity thereby promoting the product. Charity and cause are the reasons which induce the feelings of helping in the customers.
Promotional Gifts − It is giving away of gifts which the customers can practically use, such as caps, key chains, pens, etc. This helps the brand to always remain with the customers and creates an emotional attachment.
Customer Appreciation − It is organized with the objective of not selling the product or service. It is a way of creating a fond memory attached with the brand. It includes organizing in-store refreshment events with the offer of food treats of pizza, burger, beverages, etc. It is an effective way to bring new potential customers.
Another way of promoting brands is by employing a brand ambassador. A brand ambassador is a person who embodies the brand, influences the customers, creates brand awareness and a specific brand image, and generates sales opportunities.
A brand ambassador usually represents only one brand at a time. The employing company considers the brand ambassador as a face of the company that speaks of the brand in their own words and boosts the positive image in the minds of consumers. The looks, talents, status, achievements, and reputation of a brand ambassador is useful for influencing large audience of consumers.
In 2003, India’s largest chocolate brand, Cadbury went into worm controversy. To regain the consumer’s confidence, Cadbury contracted the Bollywood superstar Mr. Amitabh Bachchan for brand promotion. During his campaign, Cadbury not only restored the trust of consumers but also experienced boost in the sales of its flagship product Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM).
Celebrity branding is nothing but using celebrities to promote the brand. The celebrities are featured in both electronic and print media ads. They appear at brand launches, corporate events for social responsibility, and other such events.
Celebrity brand endorsers are different from brand ambassadors as the former are not employed by the company as the latter. The popularity, fame, and charisma of the celebrities is useful in brand promotion. Celebrities can endorse multiple brands at the same time unlike brand ambassadors. Similarly, a company can have multiple celebrities to promote its brand.
Online brand promotion comes with the challenge of integrating the marketing mix (putting the right product, at the right price, at the right time) with the multi-channel, multi-device digital marketing.
Online brand promotion leverages the power of Internet to present the brand to worldwide audience. But it is a kind of double-edged sword as whatever good a brand has can reach globally so does the brand’s weaknesses. There are various ways to promote a brand online. Such as
Publishing articles, news, spreading business links throughout the web, channeling the promotional schemes and ads towards the target audience, creating and updating the blogs and the forums.
Creating and sharing videos, audios, and pictures of the brand on top ranking websites such as YouTube.
Creating the company’s business account on leading social networking websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and promoting the brand by gaining new followers.
Engaging in social gaming such as Zynga, Kongregate, etc., under the name of the brand.