Customers vs. die-hard brand ambassadors. There’s a big difference between them.
What separates the world’s top brands from ordinary corporate companies is their ability to turn their customers into a rabid fanbase chomping for their next shoe drop, merch release, or brand evolution.
The choice is easy. You want your customers to be superfans.
Holder boiled down five secret strategies to grow your audience and make it more exclusive.
1. NFT partnerships & co-creation
Three years ago, people were still determining what an NFT was.
Now? Non-fungible tokens are a hot topic in the art world and across industries. NFTs can be tailored to match the desires of any target audience.
Traditional brands are hopping on the bandwagon.
- Starbucks launched its beta Odyssey platform, bringing experiences that are impossible for today’s in-store visits and current program.
- Nike launched their new .Swoosh web3 platform, which is a launching pad for apparel like t-shirts and shoes that members can use in games. They will also unlock real-world benefits.
By creating unique digital collectibles, brands give customers a new way to engage with their products and build community.
A more reliable connection with fans means more predictable revenue, elevated customer experience, and virality.
Example: The Gucci Marketing Strategy
Gucci isn’t known for stepping outside the bounds of traditional marketing strategy. (That was a joke.)
The luxury fashion brand has an innovative market strategy — and, they have already launched several web3 projects.
- Gucci launched a game and NFT collection called Gucci Vault Land in the metaverse.
- Gucci Town was built in the video game Roblox.
- Gucci minted 1000 SUPERPLASTIC NFTs; some have sold for up to 25 ETH.
Gucci met their target market with exclusive experiences — they went all in.
2. Community-driven marketing
Marketing aims to create deeper connections with customers.
What better way to do so than through maintaining a strong connection with someone?
Communities accomplish that.
Web3 has enabled traditional brands to build online communities and bridge the physical and digital divide between them and their customers.
Companies are building a sense of belonging and loyalty by creating online spaces for customers to connect with each other and the brand.
The outdoor clothing and gear brand, Patagonia, has built a strong community of customers who are passionate about protecting the environment, and the brand regularly hosts events, meet-ups, and campaigns that bring its customers together.
Patagonia has a deep sense of who their target market is and what they desire from the brand. The marketing strategy of Patagonia is both online and offline. Check it out.
Brands like Patagonia understand what community-driven marketing truly means.
3. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has been around for a while. But it's still one of the most effective ways for brands to connect with customers.
Companies can tap into a whole new audience by partnering with influencers who align with their values and can reach their target market far and wide.
Beauty brand Glossier has built a loyal following of customers who rave about them on social media. The company has partnered with influencers who share their values of self-expression and inclusivity.
4. Personalization & customization
In a world with 8 billion people and what seems like billions of brands, too, it’s so easy for people to think you don’t care about them.
I hope that’s not true!
That’s why personalization is a winning marketing strategy for any brand. Accenture says 91% of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand that “recognizes, remembers, and provides” offers and opportunities that make sense for them. of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand that “recognizes, remembers, and provides” offers and opportunities that make sense for them.
Customers are looking for products and experiences that are tailored to them. Not some random, faceless mass market. And traditional brands are stepping up to meet the demand.
Quick! Who do you think of when I say “modern marketing”?
Bet it wasn’t the world’s leading denim company founded in 1853.
Levi's allows customers to customize their own jeans, from the fit to the wash, and even offers customers the ability to design their own patches for their jeans.
Now that’s personalization.
5. Authentic storytelling
Storytelling matters in marketing.
Headstream found if a brand tells a compelling story about its product and foundation…
- 55% are more likely to buy the product in the future
- 44% will share the story with friends or family
- 15% will buy the product immediately
Authentic storytelling is critical to building a connection with customers — in other words, building a strong community around your brand.
Companies can connect with customers by sharing their stories, values, and mission. Customers then feel part of something bigger than just shoes, TVs, or consulting support.
Every time a customer buys a pair of Tom’s shoes, they donate a pair to a needy child. And so, they’ve successfully built a community of customers passionate about giving back.
Now they’ve updated their business model to give 1/3 of profits to grassroots individuals, communities, and organizations in need. And they claim they’ve helped 100 million people in developing countries.
A powerful story moves mountains.
You have no option but to ignore what’s happening in marketing right now. Brands are connecting with their fans more than ever. In more unique ways than ever.
- NFT partnerships & co-creation
- Community-driven marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Personalization & customization
- Authentic storytelling
It’s not enough anymore to transact with your customers.
Instead, consumers want to be involved. They want to interact with you. They want to be included in your story arc, your evolution as a brand, and your future.
From NFT partnerships to authentic storytelling, these strategies help companies create deeper connections with their customers and build loyalty — a highly sought-after relationship in marketing.