2020 has been a tumultuous ride that no one saw coming. Every industry out there has been affected by COVID-19, and businesses are unlikely to go back to the way things were anytime soon. Especially at a time where consumer spending has generally decreased, businesses need to rethink their marketing strategy and brand story, in order to earn a place in the hearts of consumers.
For technology companies that may be tightening their budgets amidst the current times, it is still crucial to channel time and resources into ensuring that their consumers are well-engaged with their brands. It is more important now than ever for tech brands to drive brand love and ensure that they connect with consumers emotionally. This article looks at how some of the well-loved tech brands have successfully driven brand love, and how other businesses in the tech industry can replicate these methods.
Engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives
Consumers today expect businesses to do good for the community, and this is especially true at a time where many factions of society may be having a hard time coping with the current situation. Consumers actively avoid brands that are perceived to be doing harm to society, while favoring those that support issues that matter most to them.
For tech brands, there are numerous innovative ways to engage in CSR that are unique to the industry. For example, amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Oracle has offered a range of free online learning courses and certifications, to equip their customers with the necessary technical skills required to keep up with the digital landscape. Such an initiative allows users to upgrade themselves as well as ensure that their companies are digital-ready.
Another example of a tech brand that utilized their existing platform to do good for society is FashionValet. The Malaysian eCommerce fashion company launched FVBazaar in the month of Ramadan to provide FnB operators who would typically have set up stalls in physical Ramadan bazaars with an alternative platform to run their business. The FnB operators were also not charged any commission fees for listing their products on the platform. This is a great example of how a tech brand can leverage their existing resources to create good for society, and hence drive brand love.
Establish an influencer marketing strategy
Influencer marketing has been gaining popularity as a marketing strategy for tech brands, both B2C and B2B. This is because of the influencers’ strong community relations, which make them a great way to bridge the gap with consumers. A strong influencer marketing strategy has the potential to drive brand love for tech companies by connecting the brands to their intended target audience in a highly saturated industry.
One way for tech brands to utilize influencer marketing is to work closely with industry experts in establishing thought leadership. This can be done by engaging industry professionals in online events and webinars. As influencer marketing can work with low or no budget, this method of driving brand love could be useful for startups. Startup tech companies can reach out to micro influencers as well as other well-respected individuals in their industry, and collaborate on interviews, product reviews and to obtain influencer quotes.
Before deciding on which influencers to work with, it is important for brands to define the goals and objectives of their influencer marketing strategy. Is it to launch a new product? Bring in leads? New followers on social media? Brands should also be sure to engage influencers that are aligned with their brand values. An example of a tech brand that works closely with influencers is Voot, an Indian subscription video on demand company that engages influencers to promote Voot original shows.
To simplify the process of influencer marketing, brands can consider using influencer marketing platforms. These are software solutions that assist in discovering suitable influencers to work with, based on specific requirements. Some of these platforms are SaaS based, making it easier to leverage their services. Here are some influencer marketing platforms in Asia:
Build a strong social media presence
Since COVID-19 took the world by surprise earlier this year, social media usage has seen an unprecedented surge. Based on a global study done by Kantar, social media engagement has increased by 61% over normal usage rates. This shows that social media remains a powerful tool in building a connection with consumers and engaging them emotionally. An strong social media strategy helps brands earn brand love by providing them with a platform to communicate with consumers and stay on top of the latest trends that matter to them.
According to the Brand Love Story 2020 report, an example of a tech brand that does an exceptional job at engaging consumers on social media is Intuit. The business and financial software company adopts a content-driven social media strategy to keep consumers updated and informed. In light of COVID-19, Intuit launched a compilation of useful links and resources for their users through a “COVID Help” highlight on their Instagram page.
The brand also displayed their solidarity with their audience by taking part in the Black Lives Matter movement. Intuit launched a series of Instagram posts featuring their black employees, their interests, achievements, as well as what they hope for the future of the black community.
Other social media tactics that drive brand love include posting interactive content, encouraging user-generated content as well as displaying a strong brand identity across all social media posts.
While it is important to establish a robust social media strategy in order to drive brand love, it is important for tech brands to also spend sufficient time and resources listening to their customers on social media. A strong monitoring system will allow brands to track the success of their social media activities and identify potential challenges and opportunities. Social media listening will also give brands a good understanding of their current reputation in the eyes of consumers and consumer sentiment towards the brand.
It takes time and effort to become a well-loved brand. However, especially in the current business climate where competition is more intense than ever, brands need to do more than just offer a good product. In the tech industry, where marketing tends to come second to product development, tech companies need to adopt marketing strategies that will help them earn a place in the hearts of consumers. By doing so, brands will not only establish brand loyalty but also drive brand advocacy through loyal consumers who will then recommend the brand to the people around them.
Editor’s note: This article is brought to you in association with DMWF.