The crisis has become a serious test for all of us. For brand marketing, the pandemic was the final nail in the coffin. Strong brands have been able to adapt and realign processes, from business models to marketing. And some companies were able to loudly declare themselves, worked actively on brand marketing, and become leaders in this difficult year. Below, we’ve compiled a list of brands every marketer should watch to stay relevant.
Green-tech is here to stay, and SunPower is one of the most established producers and distributors of solar technology in the U.S. Their 35-year track record in the industry is a testament to their endurance and innovation in a rapidly developing market backed up by over 1,000 renewable energy patents. To maximize the value of their brand marketing, they have recently announced dividing the company so one sector will focus on manufacturing. At the same time, the other delivers the products to market. The future will certainly be interesting for SunPower as they deliver to an ever-hungry market for cleantech.
As with all travel businesses, 2020 has been a challenging year for Hilton. Nevertheless, the brand has opened 133 new hotels and is not going to stop there. It’s interesting to see how Hilton, Marriott, and IHG (together they’re the top-three franchise hoteliers) change their business models and conduct content marketing, convincing ‘travelholics’ worldwide that travel in 2021 can be safe and inspiring. Also, Marriott is worth mentioning, as it began selling bedding and its signature fragrances to those who miss the hotels of this branch and stay at home.
3. Impossible Foods
Just a while ago, we could not even imagine that meat substitute companies would be so popular. Today, it is a real trend, and the market size, according to experts, could reach $8.1 billion by 2026. The most famous company in this area is Beyond Meat. Still, Impossible Food also showed explosive growth in 2020 and is much more interesting from the point of view of brand marketers, as it recently announced that it would develop other products: dairy-free milk, plant-based fish, and steak products.
As long as we all stay at home, the delivery services market is constantly growing. By 2025, the share of delivery is expected to grow to 23% of the share of restaurant sales (compared to 15% in pre-pandemic forecasts). So, it’s no wonder that Lyft is trying to take a slice of this market. This company has chosen a B2B approach in brand marketing and works with restaurateurs and retailers, offering them more competitive prices than GrubHub. In 2021,
The Door Dash IPO is coming, Starbucks and Chipotle are developing new digital or pick-up-only stores, and Tyga Bites offers a virtual-only concept. So, Lyft will have to fight with other giants to reclaim its slice of the food delivery market.
This audio chat app blew the market away in early 2021. It became trendy after Elon Musk took part in one of the rooms as a guest speaker. Users start using Clubhouse by invitation only that allowed to temper user numbers. It will definitely be interesting for the marketer to see how such artificial hype is created around the voice chat app with the minimum brand marketing effort. You can now join the Clubhouse without an invite and use their new direct messaging feature.
Why watch other brands
Marketers need to know what competitors are doing, what marketing activities they are planning, how much they spend on online advertising, and how people find them. With this information, the entrepreneur can develop a strategy for entering the market, conquering the niche, launching new products, and so on. Having no idea who the big players are in a particular field and how they are developing, there is no point in working on the project in 2021. Information is everything.
Plus, marketers no longer need to do industrial espionage to see how their competitor is doing in terms of an online presence. A lot of market experts can use special services for this - for example, SE Ranking. Thanks to its Competitive Research tool, marketers can learn a lot about their competitors in just a few clicks. For example, check their online traffic, how much traffic comes from paid ads, what keywords they use, and which pages are at the top of search results.
Having studied all this data in detail, comparing competitors with each other and with the project, marketers can better understand what marketing activities they should focus on. Plus, tracking big brands and direct competitors will give more ideas for promotion.
Other useful tools that help to stay competitive are:
- Sprout Social – this service allows to examine competitors’ performance on social media;
- Phlanx - helps to calculate how active are someone’s followers on Instagram;
- Social Blade is a nice tool for watching brand marketing cases as it covers all social media platforms and applies each brand a “grade” based on the activity of their followers;
- Feedly keeps track of competitors’ content marketing and collects all their blog There’s no need to visit the sites of competitors every day.
The past year has shown us that brand marketing must be flexible to respond to constant change easily. Long-term planning and event marketing recede into the background.
Instead, they are replaced by a more personal style of communication, the search for new niches, social responsibility, and so on. Pick sympathetic brands in the niche and watch how they behave - this will give ideas for the business.
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