Yesterday at Twitter we hosted our inaugural #Thoughtstarters event intended to offer fresh perspectives from some of the brightest minds in the industry around today’s key challenges facing big brands.
One of the themes we touched on was brand growth. Specifically, we talked about “How Brands Grow” written by Byron Sharp (@ProfByron) of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute (@ehrenbergbass) - perhaps the most influential thinking around marketing and media planning this decade.
The rules set out in “How Brands Grow” have been much discussed elsewhere and have proved to be instrumental to how many large brands are thinking about brand building. The approach in this session was not to repeat what had been said before but to seek to shine a new perspective on it.
In the spirit of challenging our thinking and conventional wisdom, we were treated to a fascinating presentation by Marie Oldham of VCCP Media (@moldham3). She showcased examples of brands that had recently won IPA Effectiveness Awards (the advertising industry’s highest effectiveness honour) despite adopting strategies that appear to contradict the ‘rules of growth’ outlined in the book.
Before that though we explored the “7 Rules for Brand Growth” outlined in the book and discussed how they can be applied to Twitter. So if “How Brands Grow” is influential in how you think about brand building, here’s a short summary of “how to” apply this on Twitter.
1. Reach all buyers of the category
By some distance the most well known and broadly applied of the “7 Rules” is the need to “reach all consumers of the category ensuring you reach non-buyers and light buyers of the brand”.
Twitter offers significant and influential reach. And ensuring you reach as many Twitter users as possible is as simple as paying to promote
your content to users beyond your follower base (it’s surprising how many brands still rely on organic reach only) and using new buying options such as Reach and Frequency buys and CPM pricing to maximise reach.
A combination of targeting strategies on Twitter can help you to reach all category buyers including the ability to target followers of competitor brands.
2. Ensure the brand is easy to buy
How Brands Grow discusses how simple convenience – being easy to buy - is a significant driver of market share.
Twitter is a super convenient customer service tool for users – 76% of Twitter users in the UK follow brands (1) – and one that brands use every day to help customers find answers to their questions.
Recently we’ve introduced a new feature – automated response within DMs - that makes it even easier for brands to help customers make buying decisions and allow brands and users to have quick, personal 1:1 conversations.
3. Get Noticed
To get noticed a brand first needs to attract attention – and with Twitter users in a discovery mindset – Twitter is in a uniquely strong position to help a brand to do this.
You then need your message to be seen and to stand out. With a fantastic pallet of video formats ranging from First View to pre-roll to Moments and extremely high viewability standards, Twitter can help your brand to get noticed like no other platform.
4. Refresh and build memory structures
The same discovery mindset means that Twitter has 31% higher memory encoding (2) than the online norm and therefore gives Twitter an advantage in building memory structure too.
Building memory structure is best done through video – which is the best performing format for memory encoding on Twitter. Brand video on Twitter outperforms the benchmark norm by +80% for memory (3).
Once built Twitter is a great place for brands to refresh memory structure through reactive and real-time Tweets during relevant moments.
5. Create and use distinctive assets
Distinctive assets help your brands message to be processed quicker and in a feed led environment like Twitter this is particularly important. In every Tweet a brand has multiple assets – its logo, name, Tweet copy and any video message that goes with it – and these combine to ensure a higher recall on Twitter than on other platforms.
On Twitter, brands should design for the feed. This usually takes the form of short stories but also includes having a sound off strategy and subtitles over videos, and ensuring that the first 3 seconds of a video draw users in or feature your brand prominently.
6. Be consistent, yet fresh
One way that an increasing number of brands are choosing to refresh their core message is through Niche – a creators network made up of thousands of people who know what content resonates with their audience and can interpret and freshen up a brand’s core message during a campaign.
7. Stay competitive
Finally Sharp warns marketers to “be on the lookout for reasons not to buy”, and the open, public nature of Twitter makes it a perfect place to listen to what people are saying about your brand. We work with certified API partners that can help brands with advanced social listening while tools like Tweetdeck are good, simple way to see what people are saying about your brand in real time.
While some brands use Twitter to listen others use Twitter to ask. For example Brian Chesky Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb.
It’s almost certainly the case that to date the first of these seven rules (maximise reach) has eclipsed the others but this gives only a very narrow view of the guide set out in “How Brands Grow”. Taken holistically across all seven we start to see that Twitter is in a uniquely strong position to help grow your brand.
1. Nielsen Twitter Consumer Deep Dive Survey, June 2015, UK (On behalf of Twitter)
2. Firefish + NeuroInsight, Discovery Mindset Research (UK), 2016 (On behalf of Twitter)
3. Neuro-Insight 2016 (On behalf of Twitter)