Using Identity Marketing For Your Omnichannel Strategy

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Using Identity Marketing For Your Omnichannel Strategy

By Nick Rojas - 09/06/2016
Identity marketing is a new-ish term for a very old concept. Branding — the process of managing and influencing how a product or business is perceived by potential consumers — is the foundation of identity marketing. For example, Harley-Davidson makes great motorcycles, but their commercials rarely mention the specs of the their engines. Their commercials sell the concept of joining the exclusive fraternity of bikers who ride Harleys. That is the purest form of identity marketing, which is based on five central principles. 

1. What is Your Purpose? What is Your Promise?
 
The key word in identity marketing is identity. Your business plan establishes how your company will operate. Your vision and mission statements establish why your company will operate. What sets you apart from your competitors? What promise do you extend to your customers?
 
The most important piece of the puzzle, however, is self awareness. Establish exactly what your business is all about, why it exists and who it serves before trying to market those concepts to someone else.
 
Take Honest Tea, for example. Their mission statement — which is the basis of their identity marketing strategy — reads "Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, organic beverages. We strive to grow our business with the same honesty and integrity we use to craft our products, with sustainability and great taste for all."
 
2. Know Your Audience
 
The Huffington Post points out that strong branding depends on identifying and targeting a specific market segment — not a general audience.  Brilliance, a custom jeweler in Florida, doesn’t focus merely  on people interested in buying jewelry, but those looking for high-end, hand-made jewelry and individualized customer service. 
 
3. Consistency is King
 
Marketing requires you to establish your brand across multiple channels. If you have a brand, you likely have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, business cards, a website, landing pages, and maybe some coffee mugs or keychains you give away to customers or people you meet at trade shows.
 
Your business must be easily identified by anyone who encounters your brand. You don't have to use the same image on your Facebook page as you do on your Twitter page, but everything from your gift certificates to your stationery has to ooze your brand. This requires your entire marketing team to be on the same page so they may provide a consistent look and feel for your brand.
 
4. Evolve or Die
 
Stay flexible. Your brand must be undeniably yours, and it should be able to maintain its unique identity across generations — but it also has to be able to roll with the punches. Hubspot gives the example of Old Spice, a brand of deodorant and aftershave that was quickly becoming associated with older men.
 
They redesigned their packaging, introduced new products like shower gels and they targeted a younger demographic in their commercials. It worked. They established themselves with the millennial generation and stayed relevant.

5. Reward Loyalty
 
Finally, recognize and reward your repeat customers. They are part of your brand and they must be part of your identity marketing strategy. Whether it's exclusive discounts, access to early releases or simple shout outs on social media, your repeat customers are crucial to your future and they deserve recognition.
 

Identity marketing requires consistency, flexibility, a keen understanding of your audience and a willingness to reward them for loyalty.