How to Build a Brand That Disrupts the Category

How-to-Build-Brand-Awareness-for-Your-StartupFor startups, especially e-commerce companies, or brand innovations, branding is everything. StrawberryFrog, a top branding design and advertising agency in New York City, knows the ins and outs of modern branding.

A brand motto or slogan, an ad, even the design of the logo and the all-important website and mobile site can make the difference between success and failure.

But understanding how to develop a brand and strategically evolve that brand in today’s world fraught with fast changes and evolving media isn’t the easiest task. New business owners are faced with a constant dilemma: How to make your business known in a sea of competitors? There is no simple way to build a brand that disrupts, as business markets are constantly changing.

Fortunately, NYC advertising agency StrawberryFrog knows how to build brands that disrupt. StrawberryFrog is different from the traditional agencies. It’s low overhead. Low BS. High agility. High impact. High confidence.

EvilPotatoes, the leading brand naming company in New York City, is sister company to StrawberryFrog. These days, coming up with a brand name is not an easy task as most names are taken by start ups, pharmaceutical and tech companies. It takes an expert to identify the best new brand name for your tech start up, do the necessary legal checks and lock it down in the US or globally. Imagine the competition to come up with a new name that beats all those new start ups that make the headlines at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Together these firms work with BlueberryContent, the leading content marketing company that develops culturally relevant and cost effective marketing content for social media and digital.

The have helped companies like P&G, Jim Beam, Heineken, Coca Cola, BlackBerry, and PepsiCo find their unique voice in a cluttered market.

StrawberryFrog is a branding design and advertising agency in New York City with a keen sense of the type of marketing that consumers respond to. Brand-fueled movement marketing defines the people and culture at StrawberryFrog. They are also driven by generating results for companies, and they’ve got an powerful track record and many letters from satisfied clients to prove it. While there are other firms that are larger, StrawberryFrog’s track record for launching new brands from scratch is outstanding. For example, they launched and built Sabra Hummus to over 60% market share against the market leaders Nestle Tribe and Kraft Athenos, naming Sabra one of the the most effectively marketed brands in the food category. They know how to craft strong branding design and create a great business that stands the test of time.

Why Brand Building is Important

Looking out into the world today, it’s easy to see why brands are more important now than at any time in the past 100 years. Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark, usually helped by a creative marketing agency. Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Brands are valuable. Many companies put the value of their brand on their balance sheet.

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What is a brand worth? Amazon bought Whole Foods. PepsiCo bought Soda Stream. And Tata Motors of India bought Jaguar and Range Rover from Ford. What did these companies buy? Factories? Raw Materials? Employees? No, in the case of Tata, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley helped Ford sell the brands to them for $2.56 billion, and the brands were worth more than all other ingredients combined. Likewise, when Heinz bought Kraft what did they buy? The food? The factories? The recipes? The workers? No, they bought the brand.

The list goes on with many examples such as InBev acquiring Budweiser to add to their house of brands that includes Stella, Becks and Labatt. Or Geeley Motors of China acquiring cult Swedish Auto brand Volvo. Or Mahindra of India buying Ssangyong, Korea’s third largest car company.

Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations.

If you are still not convinced, let me give you another example. The American dollar is a world brand. In essence it is simply a piece of paper. But branding has made it valuable. All the tools of marketing and brand building have been used to create its value. On the front you will find the owner of the brand: the Federal Reserve. There is a testimonial from the first President of the United States, George Washington. There is a simple users guide: “This note is legal tender for debts public and private.” And if you’re still not convinced, the owner has added the all-important emotional message: “In God We Trust”. The dollar is a world brand. It confers a uniform value globally. But as I said it’s really just a piece of paper. Branding has made it worth something.

Never before has so much opportunity awaited new brands in all sectors. Disruptors are trying to change the game and play by new rules. Often today, being a disruptor brand means something very specific – often disintermediating or disrupting through new platforms or technology; think AirBnB, Netflix, Birchbox, Warby Parker, Method, Purple Beds, Bonobos, and Courbet, the world’s first sustainable luxury diamond jewelry brand from Place Vendôme. Disruptive brands are everywhere in every sector. Branding is crucial. The disruptors often own the entire brand experience including the buying experience.

Secondly, when we create new brand names at StrawberryFrog’s sister firm Evil Potatoesa naming agency in New York City, we have fewer brand names to choose from. The Pharmaceutical Industry has patented everything under the sun for new medications. This makes existing brands, with their strong, well-known names and credibility more valuable. It also means creating a new vibrant brand is a challenge which requires a sophisticated strategy. It is not just about a product and a name, it’s about a lot more.

Rather than traditional advertising, StrawberryFrog is a creative marketing agency, and the best ad agency in NYC in terms of moving products through movement marketing. Brand-fueled movements move passions to move people to move product. A cultural movement strategy can accelerate your brand’s rise to dominance. Once you have cultural movement, you can do anything in a fragmenting media environment, maximizing the power of social media and technology. The world has changed. See the best selling book, Uprising, with many examples of brands which have grown with movements rather than obsolete brand building. Now building brands has become a lot less expensive, creating new and broader opportunities for new disruptive brands that can take advantage of new consumers and new tools to enter the stage very fast.

In the face of the current economic challenges, it’s worth noting that brands do better in tough times compared to unbranded products. Brands outlive product cycles. And in these challenging times, there are still great brands being built. Brand owners still recognize opportunity and their brands will thrive in the years ahead.

No branding, no differentiation. No differentiation, no long-term profitability. People don’t have relationships with products, they are loyal to brands. In a movement strategy created by a creative marketing agency, brands have a purpose that people can get behind. Brands can inspire millions of people to join a community. Brands can rally people for or against something. Products are one-dimensional in a social media enabled world, brands are Russian dolls, with many layers, tenets and beliefs that can create great followings of people who find them relevant. Brands can activate a passionate group of people to do something like changing the world. Products can’t really do that.

In today’s world of mass disruption, branding is more important than ever. But you can’t simply build a brand like they did in the old days. You need a cultural movement strategy to achieve kinetic growth for your brand. With that, the sky’s the limit.

Advertising in the Age of Movements

We’re living in a time of movements — you just have to pick up a newspaper to know that. Depending on what day it is, you’re apt to find front-page stories of women taking to the streets in Washington, the Red Shirt teachers movement, TimesUp movement, #metoo, Students against assault weapons, and the list goes on. This is the golden era of the activist mindset, and where a top advertising agency like StrawberryFrog can come in.

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As the political season heats up, we are likely to see even more populist movements coming to the street corner of social media page near you.

For those of us in business, it may seem as if all of this is transpiring in a separate realm, well outside the corporate bubble. Unless the protesters are specifically targeting your business, it’s natural to think, “This new era of protest makes for lively news, but has nothing to do with my company or brand.”

But the new social unrest is everybody’s business, including yours and mine.

As a highly innovative top advertising agency, we at StrawberryFrog believe that the most significant marketing programmes often come through social movements, and that despite the differences between private business and society, company leaders, CEOs and CMOs can learn from how these initiators engage and mobilise the masses to institutionalise new societal norms.

Advertising and brand building is not going away anytime soon. But how companies market their brands has pivoted from traditional brand building with an emphasis on paid TV advertising (and building purpose-based brands) to a more effective and action-oriented strategy: Brand-fueled Movement Marketing instigated by only the best advertising agency.

For over twenty years we have proven what every marketer dreams of doing: catching lightning in a bottle. The moment when a brand—the product and the values it represents—catches fire and becomes more than just a product. It ignites a MASS movement, centered around passionate people who form an engaged community, driven by ideals and a purpose, something deeply personal and relevant to their lives.

We as a top advertising agency have applied the principles of societal movements to help company leaders inspire trust, action, creativity inside their companies among employees. This transforms culture inside Fortune 500 corporations more effectively than any mandate from the top could achieve. One leader who understood this well is Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra, one of India’s most powerful companies. He sparked and fueled the RISE movement, engineered by StrawberryFrog, to transform the entire global corporation, changing and focusing its culture, its operating system, and its go-to market approach.

Outside the doors of companies, brand-fueled Movement Marketing has generated scientific breakthroughs and business growth by driving passions as well as product sales.

One iconic company that understood this was Heineken, headquartered in The Netherlands. When the leadership decided to become the main sponsor of the Champion’s League, StrawberryFrog developed a brand-fueled Marketing Movement “Welcome to Champion’s Planet” where hard core football fans and even those loosely connected with the sport were invited to join “Championism.”

Yet another business case is Jim Beam, which was trailing Jack Daniels. A Cultural Movement changed that. We used our skills as a creative branding agency to ignite a movement against the patriarchy and and took a culturally relevant stand for equality, bringing the actress Mila Kunis front and center to symbolize a deep cultural shift in a conservative sector. The business results were extraordinary.

Why are movements hot now? Why does taking a stand in 2018 more often than not lead to growth? Why is this happening now? Why are brands moving away from traditional advertising agencies which some people deem obsolete, and turning towards Cultural Movements as a smarter, better approach to management and brand building?

Something significant has changed in our global culture over the past few of years. Blame it on global economic pressures, general restlessness, or the new hyper-connectivity that enables people to instantly organise around causes and hot topics.

It’s probably some combination of all of these factors, but the net result is that business leaders are now dealing with a populace that is more socially engaged, more aware of what’s going on in the world, and hungrier to get involved and be heard on various issues.

If you sell at these people they will ignore you. If you ignite a movement that they can belong to in the way that we do as the best advertising agency for brand-fueled movement marketing, they will be ignited and participate, and through that relationship they will be more inclined to buy.

We know about the mini-uprisings in recent months against brands like Liberty Mutual and Allstate and others ignited by Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg for their support of a Fox TV show. And we might say, “Well, they made bad decisions.”

But in part, their mistake was not realising that the world had changed around them. In this new world, their “customers” could easily become activists — either for or against them.

So how does a smart business respond in a time of heightened passions and greater activism? Rather than becoming more cautious in hopes of avoiding any kind of backlash, I believe brands must connect with that passion and activism somehow. If you fail to respond to this shift in the culture, you run the risk of being out of step with your customers.

Your company could end up looking like a “status quo” brand in a revolutionary world.

Better to join in the march. If uprisings and movements are happening all around, then your business needs to somehow become involved in movements — or better yet, start one of your own.

We as a top advertising agency have launched movements that tried to bring about change in schools and more responsible consumption. And as I worked on my book about movement marketing, I encountered everything from a pet food company that launched an animal welfare initiative to a shoemaker that began a worldwide movement to put shoes on poor kids’ feet.

In each case, a company rallied people around an idea that mattered, an idea on the rise in culture, enabling customers to become activists. In the process, the company demonstrated that it was engaged in people’s lives and cared about something more than just profits.

This isn’t just a new spin on old CSR programmes. It’s not about giving to a laundry list of charities. To crystallise and spark a brand movement, you must do more than make donations.

The company must become an activist itself on behalf of something it believes in — something that also matters deeply to its customers. Movements start on the inside.

For more information and cases visit StrawberryFrog.