4 Ways to Avoid Over-branding

In Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Featured on App, Omnichannel by Kevin Kelly

overbranding, http://www.flickr.com/photos/amyguth/, branding, brand communities, brand advocate, brand identity, Brand experience, omnichannel, omni-channel, brand management, brand positioning

When does a branding strategy create brand oversaturation? The line is a thin one to walk but some questions can help guide your approach: When is your smart or witty hashtag plastered on one too many subway trains? When is the watermark on your television advertisement too large or opaque? Is there a downside to having the same campaign plastered on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email and print?

Overexposure of even our favorite brands can be annoying and detrimental to the brand itself (I love Eggo but not Hannah Montana). Here are 4 tips to avoid it:

1. Creative content marketing.

Use subtle branding that produces creative and original content that connects on a human level before reifying the product. Think Dove's Real Beauty.

2. Go retro.

Take mythology and aesthetics of the past and tastefully knead it into something fresh and modern. Levi's went vintage for their recent ad campaign and it's beautiful.

3. Don't overkill on the omni-channel.

Omni-channel is fantastic but a measured marketing strategy is most impactful for brand power. Over saturation across all channels with the same campaign will create a bland experience on Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram etc. Diversify depending on the medium. (I am so tired of the Superman Man of Steel tie in with Gillette's #howdoesheshave on the New York City subway).

4. Diversify branded products.

Start with some fantastic staple items and then create a family of products that integrate the brand into the individual consumer's personal brand. For instance, my friend self-identifies as a Chanel N°5 woman. From there, she can enter the whole branded family of Chanel products and maintain her own brand.

What are your thoughts on the issue? How would you prevent over-branding?

The 2013 Customer Festival this October will be discussing solutions to these kinds of issues with top marketers and c-levels from the Americas' top brands.

[PHOTO: Flickr Amy Guth]