Nest + There Beside webinar: How to crack brand

Performance marketing experts have had to grapple with big changes over the past five years. In terms of broadstroke trends, the practice has become more expensive, whilst the impending (but routinely delayed) crackdown on cookies has started to reduce the amount of data available for optimisation. All of these factors have driven brand to become front-and-centre for marketers as a way to continue forging relationships with audiences. 

Luke Jonas, Nest Commerce’s Chief Commercial Officer, hosted a webinar on the importance of a solid brand marketing strategy for running an effective full-funnel approach. He was joined by Kate Malkin, Director at marketing consultancy agency There Beside, whose career spans ASOS, Topshop, and Whistles.

Find unique considerations for brand building and the tips and tricks for achieving team alignment in this on-demand webinar:

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Five moments of truth

Kate advocates that there are five universal truths that should form the basis of your framework:

  1. Differentiation cuts through and reduces spend
  2. Creativity drives, insight navigates
  3. Consistency builds trust and integrity
  4. Actions speak louder than words
  5. Brand is no longer fixed

On differentiation, Kate argues that brands should be “building a truly unique, memorable vision for the business – one that supports your product offer and builds authenticity. But you also have to have an eye on creative evolution. This means staying in-touch with the culture of where you’re playing and being ahead of the zeitgeist.”

Jacquemus is a prime example of putting this into practice. Not only does it understand the power of incredible visuals; it understands the platforms it appears on and appreciates the importance of world-building. And it’s not just household names with deep pockets embracing differentiation. Despite being a relatively new fragrance brand, Vyrao has demonstrates impressive consideration for its tone of voice, imagery and packaging – all crucial components of your end-to-end positioning.

Content rules the roost

Whether it’s across your website or your social channels, content is a vital tool for communicating about your business and connecting with consumers. 

Kate says: “It shapes your storytelling, it builds trust and authority in a certain area – and it forges those links to a lifestyle, a place or a person. Content can facilitate engagement and reinforce your brand positioning, all whilst stopping you from over-commodifying your products.”

Build a content strategy, with a handful of content pillars that relate to your brand values

Too often, businesses fall into the trap of the hard sell focused on product. This failure to develop a content-led, storytelling experience will undermine any effort at emotional engagement. The solution lies in leaning into content pillars, with franchises (including emails, socials and your website) to bring them to life. Nest client King & McGaw follows this recipe, identifying topics it could consistently talk about through the year and subsequently building a rich visual storytelling strategy. 

Nothing wrong with a broken record

Differentiation is certainly a key consideration – but a single idea, transmitted multiple times through the funnel, can be an effective way to achieve long-lasting impact. 

“Some businesses get bored quite quickly talking about the same thing. However, the consumer isn’t coming to you in a linear way – so actually, you need to repeat yourself and hit all the different channels. And you have to be meticulous about it. Otherwise, you could put on a brilliant event but due to a lack of social posts, no one else knows about it,” Kate advises.

Luke builds on this premise: “Running all of your brand marketing through the funnel ensures that the brand exists across all points of the customer journey. Consistency is particularly important given the customer doesn’t know if they’re seeing a performance or brand ad.”

Luke addresses the elephant in the room – namely, that businesses want efficiency and scale. “At the end of the day, all marketing is performance marketing – and you’re not going to invest in anything if there’s no ROI case for it. What some don’t recognise is there’s a lot of achievable measurability within brand marketing. If you’re running upfront on YouTube or Meta, it’s possible to measure the incremental impact by doing experiments such as multi-cell conversion lift experiments.”

Trust your gut

Marketers have to appreciate that their brand isn’t fixed; it must continue to evolve. This becomes significantly easier when you have a creative team whose gut instinct regarding culture is spot-on. 

You also need to have your finger on the pulse and identify where conversations are taking place. Kate draws attention to Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein, high scorers on the Business of Fashion’s ‘Brand Magic Matrix’, as examples of brands immersed in the cultural zeitgeist. Much of this is down to their array of activations and collaborations. 

On the flip side, bad brands are those that are a bit lost. They lack a cohesive identity, without which they struggle to generate meaningful connections. In some instances, this can be remedied by hiring a creative director. 

Birds of a feather…

Consumers’ trust in brands may be on the slow road to recovery, with the Advertising Association’s latest report showing that advertising is not the least-trusted sector for the first time in a decade. However, this does not diminish the need to foster positive relationships – and that starts with advocacy. 

“Listening to what your consumers are saying about you, and encouraging them to say wonderful things about you, is really important. This doesn’t just go for consumers with their boots on the ground. Brands also need to consider the celebrities and influencers that are wearing their clothes and using their products.”

Never underestimate the power of community, and the way that authenticity can open the door to new audiences. In terms of who to take inspiration from, look no further than Finisterre, a brand adept at authentically placing consumers at the heart of their content. 

Build an on-brand team

Having drawn attention to the five truths at the beginning of the webinar, Kate outlines one factor that can’t fall under the radar – your team. 

“Hire people that make sense for your business. Hire people that use your products. Let them do their jobs. Invest in content, invest in writers and image makers – they’re going to be the ones that attract people to your business. Build a team that absolutely understands the platform that you’re putting your business onto.”

Yes, all of the aforementioned points influence your brand marketing’s success. However, given that marketers are prone to slipping into method working, they need to understand why customers are purchasing – what’s their motivation? You need to immerse yourself in the process, which is why you need a team that just gets it.

Want to learn more about the best-in-class brands that have cracked the brand marketing nut? Interested in hearing about the five universal truths in more detail and how they can be applied to your strategy? Check-out the full webinar here for all the insights:

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