Friday, June 26, 2015

Company image- what works?

As a student, many companies have tried and failed to reach out to me in order to sell products they believe may benefit me. 

I receive dozens of marketing e-mails and leaflets per month, in addition to viewing numerous billboards and adverts on campus or in the local area targeted at students. So what works?

It’s quite simple- if a company isn’t able to relate to a young person from their first contact with them, they’re unlikely to be successful in engagement.

Your average student or young person spends hours a day on their mobile phone or on the internet, where information is fast-paced and easily accessible. I firmly believe that the best companies are actively using these platforms to build upon their image. There are very few companies whose image and brand equity are strong enough to invite custom without digital marketing. 

An exception to this rule are companies like Starbucks or Apple, who have landed themselves a strong position in the everyday life and culture of young people. Both Starbucks and Apple’s products are regularly mentioned in films and throughout social media (Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram to name a few) and the company has therefore become an icon of young popular culture that will continue to appeal. 

For other companies, company image simply needs to be relevant. The benefit of using or buying a product offered by a company needs to be immediately obvious. A good example would be Virgin Media and their student broadband packages, tailored to fit student housing contracts. Whilst offering these products, Virgin Media appeal to young people by using celebrities such as Usain Bolt in TV adverts. TV is obviously a solid medium in which to appeal to young people, and Usain Bolt is admired by the younger generation and considered ‘cool’. Virgin Media’s company image is consequently, in my opinion, strong to young people.

It’s difficult to think of companies with bad company image as, consequently, I don’t think about or engage with these types of companies. It’s fairly safe to say that if you don’t have social media marketing in place, your website is out of date, and the only marketing materials you’re producing are leaflets (sometimes even e-shots) attention just won’t be grabbed.

Young people are used to having information delivered to them in interesting ways that also allows them to understand the given message in a matter of seconds. Anything that falls short will have a hard time connecting with students.

For advice on your company image and how to strengthen it, give us a call on 01332 291141.

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