Here’s a little trick of the trade: a ton of my ideas are inspired by other company’s marketing campaigns.
No, I’m not copying them word for word, but I’ll swipe the general concept or a particular piece of an email that I find compelling for instance. It’s part of being a good marketer. Finding the best, most innovative stuff the world of marketing has to offer and putting your spin on it. Iron sharpening iron. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
You know what I’m talking about, right? Let’s say you get an email from a department store you frequent, featuring a live countdown clock marking the time left in a sale they’re running. You might see that and say “Hey, that’s a great idea. It creates urgency. I’m going to use that to create urgency for the virtual summit we’re running.” It’s taking a great, proven tactic and making it work for your business.
And it got me thinking: I’m always giving examples in here from my own experience and my own work. Why don’t I put out some content centered around the brands that inspire me and fuel my marketing fire? Here are 3 such brands that bring the heat on a daily basis whom I follow religiously for inspiration:
For those who don’t know, Gymshark is a fitness apparel brand based out of the UK. Part of the appeal of their marketing, for me, is the fact that they manage to stand out in one of the most congested niches of social media: fitness/lifestyle.
They’ve built their marketing following (5.3M instagram followers nbd) largely through a major focus on the brand. They recognized the massive growth potential of social media for a fitness apparel brand and have taken full advantage with relatable, engaging posts. Here are 3 examples of different marketing tactics from their Instagram page. I pulled these all from some of their most recent posts…that’s how consistently good they are.
Great Father’s Day post here. It’s a major emotional appeal, featuring their brand influencers who also happen to be fathers. The focus isn’t on the brand whatsoever — it’s all about the dads and their story. It creates an emotional connection with the viewer, while still subtly showcasing the products. Also, they’re directly tying emotion to training, showing how fitness influences their athletes and their relationships with their children.
It’s a great departure from the traditional, “here’s this ridiculously jacked guy with an unattainable body, buy our shirts and you’ll look like him.”
Speaking of ridiculously jacked guys…
Wow, wow, wow. Masterclass here. First off, they feature two of their athletes, both brand influencers with Insta followings north of 500K, training hard in the product. So they’re giving credibility to their product line as the ideal choice for hardcore athletes like these two.
Then look at the caption I have circled. They’re using this video as a subtle way to promote their big sale on Monday at 7PM. It doesn’t hit you over the head, it’s not used car salesman-like. It’s a fun video that also creates urgency — you “better be quick” if you want to get the best deals.
Finally, it encourages interaction. “Tag a friend” who would be interested in the sale. Make your customers do the marketing for you and spread the word to other fitness enthusiasts they know. Grows the brand organically.
The Brand, The Brand, The Brand
Smart brand play. This post takes advantage of the meme culture that dominates the Internet and creates a relatable meme that gym buffs and health enthusiasts will want to send around to their friends. It’s a pure brand play and it’s great. Kind of a meh joke though.
The whole Athleta story is a case study in operating in a niche and marketing with a purpose. Athleta is a women’s athletic apparel brand. Since its inception, the brand has been centered around promoting female empowerment through superior athletic performance.
In fact if you look at their website right now, you’ll be greeted with this:
First off, they’re collaborating with Allyson Felix, a track megastar. I don’t have to point out the advantages of being associated with a prominent athlete and role model for young women. But look at what I have circled. Performance by women, for women. A simple, clear mantra that sums up everything the brand is all about. Perfect website copy.
Then look at this recent ad from their new ‘All Powerful’ campaign, aimed at promoting body positivity and the expansion of their line to feature sizes ranging from XXS to 3X:
Again, it’s simple and understated, but conveys everything this brand is about. Athleta is performance wear for all women. One look at this ad and you understand who Athleta is, what they do, and what they stand for.
It can’t be all fitness brands. Have to go back to old reliable on this one.
I love Salesforce because I love their CEO Marc Benioff. The reason Marc Benioff is the best CEO marketer is that he has a great ability to always tie whatever Salesforce is doing to whatever big trend is happening in the world. Check this out from Yahoo Finance a couple weeks back:
He sees the world is shifting towards remote work and that Slack can be the “operating system” for remote work. So by rebuilding Salesforce technology to be Slack-first, he’s all of a sudden created a huge story for his brand. Genius.
Salesforce is a great reminder to always be thinking about the bigger trends in the world and how you can grab a slice of that with your narrative.
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Have a great weekend.