How Brand Utility Rocks Your Customers’ World
There’s no excuse anymore. That ad you run that’s constantly invading people’s lives? Quit it. The dollars you flush down the drain to get your name heard by people who don’t really care anyways while spouting off the features of your products in a completely annoying way? Please, stop already. You could be so much better in your marketing efforts, and you don’t have to follow the old guard’s method of shouting at people to get their attention. The world of marketing is changing, largely thanks to digital technologies that permit social interaction on a level that has never before been seen by mankind. This isn’t something to keep ignoring – it’s time for you to take advantage of the new world and put the concept of brand utility to work.
What is Brand Utility?
Brand utility can be described in a few simple words, although to expound on its potential would involve a much more lengthy discussion, although we’ll touch on the most important points in this post. In essence, brand utility is the value your brand provides to users in meaningful, creative ways. This includes advertising, but isn’t necessarily completely about advertising. It’s more of a philosophy that enables you to better develop your brand image amongst your customers. It’s building their trust through providing them a useful and creative service.
Some Great Examples of Brand Utility
Definitions are great and all, but case studies and real life examples are the best way to teach or learn anything. Many of the big brands we know and love invest heavily in brand utility, and they largely do so through a combination of marketing and unique products and services they provide. Since marketing today is mostly social because of the internet and social media, brands leverage these technologies to reach their customers and interact with them on a much more human level than in the past.
One of the best examples of successful brand utility is Virgin Atlantic’s Taxi2, released in late 2009. This service allows customers on the same flight to identify each other and communicate for ride-sharing from their destination airport. It’s a useful way to bring customers together in a way that benefits them, and it makes Virgin Atlantic appear to be thinking ahead for their customers. It’s as if people are continuing the Virgin Atlantic experience even after they’ve landed with an economical, safe, and planned method of transportation home. They’ve even put some thought into how to make the service useful for all – the system allows customers to even link up with travelers who didn’t fly Virgin Atlantic, and it has an option for female travelers to only match up with other females.
Ray Ban’s Bright Light
Ray-Ban has tested similarly useful products for their customers that are relevant to their brand identity. In 2012 they developed an app concept known as ‘Bright Light’ that would show users where to find unobstructed sunlight in urban areas. The app was easy to use and displayed an overhead map similar to most GPS or directions-based applications. Users could identify specifically where sunlight was obstructed because of buildings or other structures, and could even figure out how the shade would move over the course of the day. It was a creative way to engage with people while providing something useful and relatable to the brand.