If you’ve been following the Braid blog for awhile, you probably understand the reasons why it’s important to have a cohesive brand presence – it makes your business look polished and professional, it attracts your dream customers, and brand consistency builds trust with your audience – just to name a few.
Yet, from experience we know that our own branding clients like to change things up. A major pitfall we see our own clients fall into is wanting to change up their brand platform too soon and too often. And we get it! You want to liven things up – but if you keep rebranding yourself every time you get bored you will, at the very least, diffuse your marketing presence and at worst, confuse your customers.
So what’s the answer to keeping things feeling fresh? A promotional campaign!
A promotional campaign is a marketing drive that highlights a specific offering or product for a limited amount of time. For example, let’s say you’re a rockstar – your promotional campaign is your newest album release. Each album you release has cover art that looks and feels like you, but at the same time is an opportunity to try something a little new. Now, I know you’re not Beyoncé (unless you are! Holla!), but your brand is the rockstar of your business so let’s dig in to a few questions you might have.
Here are the steps you’ll take:
- Decide which product or offering you want to highlight and promote – maybe you double down on a product that is already working well for you or perhaps you’re giving attention to a service that hasn’t been easily selling itself. Or maybe you have a new offering that you want to share!
- Determine a launch date and timeline to run your campaign – a promotional campaign typically has a short marketing window – it’s not evergreen like your brand platform. Decide when you’ll begin and end your marketing efforts for the service or product you want to highlight.
- Design and produce your campaign tactics – this is an opportunity to freshen things up across your marketing channels and catch the eye of your dream customer!
- Launch! – roll out your promotional campaign all at once to make a big splash.
How do I make my promotional campaign consistent with my brand platform?
If you have solid brand standards, then your logo, colors, fonts, imagery, messaging, and tone of your brand are already well defined. With a promotional campaign, try changing up just one or two of your brand ingredients to freshen things up while staying consistent with your existing image. For example, maybe you layer in new headline typography and fun imagery while your brand colors and secondary typography remain the same. Or perhaps your typography remains the same but you pop in a new accent color to make your promotional campaign stand out.
You can let the product or offering you are highlighting help set the tone of your promotional campaign. For example, if you’re a university running a recruitment campaign, this is a fun time to get a little more playful and trendy with the look and feel of your materials. Or if you’re a leadership coach launching a personal development offering, your promotional campaign might feel a little more personal, human, or inspiring. Apple is a great case study – they are consistent with the brand we all know and love, but have fun with their look and feel when they launch a new product like the iPod or iMac.
You can also check out one of our own Braid case studies. These are some promotional campaigns we’ve created for a credit union that financially empowers their members. While their overall brand is typically more human-focused, lifestyle and relatable, we had some fun with their home improvement (what would Chip and Joanna do!?) and a summer auto loan (think road-trip, wind-in-the hair!) seasonal campaigns. Some common elements we kept from their overall brand are: their colors, some of their typography, and an underlying sentiment of informing and empowering their members to achieve their life goals. But we mixed it up with expressive headline fonts, cool music, animated elements and stylish details that captured the feeling of the promotion vs. the overall brand.
How often should I run a promotional campaign?
In our last blog post, we shared more details on how to bring the seasons into your marketing by plotting out annual events and typical busy times onto a physical calendar. If you have the budget and bandwidth, a quarterly promotional campaign is enough to catch the eye of your customer without fatiguing, confusing, or overwhelming them with all the bells and whistles that come with a new launch. But even if you have just one major event a year that you amplify with a special branded campaign, you’re sure to see a boost in engagement and sales.
Also, think about how long you want to run your promotional campaign for. If it’s a holiday campaign it may last from late October through the end of the year. Or if your promotional campaign is centered around a specific event or date it may only have the lifespan of a week or two.
What marketing tactics should I include in a promotional campaign?
Your promotional campaign can utilize all of the same marketing channels as your brand platform. Consider your physical space, digital and online presence, as well as out-of-the-box places especially for your promotional campaign – like a pop-up shop, special event, or brand collaboration so you can get in front of new faces. Think about really doubling down your efforts in just a few places if you don’t have the bandwidth to make a splash across all of your marketing tactics.
For more ideas on which tactics you can include in your campaign download our branding checklist cheat-sheet here.
How do I launch my promotional campaign?
We believe you should always launch from the inside-out. That means letting your internal team or staff in on the campaign and teach them anything they need to know once it is released to the public. Don’t forget your current or past clients and customers are also an “inner circle” audience, as well. Then think of the ripples going out to your prospects.
We hope this gets your gears turning on where you can start to integrate a promotional campaign into your marketing plan. And if you need help executing and implementing a branded launch of your own drop us a line.