In 2011, Coca-Cola launched a campaign in Australia, “Share a Coke.” It replaced the Coca-Cola logo from one side of the bottle with a person’s name. The top 150 most popular names were chosen and printed on millions of bottles. The campaign was well-received and rolled out in over 80 countries.
The result?¹ In Australia, there was a 7% increase in consumption among teenagers, with two out of five people in the country buying a “Share a Coke” pack. 76,000 virtual Coke cans were shared, and traffic on Facebook increased by 870%. After a decade of decline in the consumption of Coca-Cola in the U.S., the revenue increased by 2.5%.
Was increasing sales the primary purpose of the campaign? No, the primary goal was to make people love the brand. Once they managed to achieve that, everything else was just a domino effect.
That’s what brand engagement is!
If this doesn’t answer the question “What is brand engagement?”, let me simplify it further. Brand engagement is more than just making your brand known to your target audience. It’s about creating an emotional connection that will benefit the brand in the longer run. This connection will help brands continuously engage with their target audience and build customer loyalty over time.
Why does brand engagement matter?
Brand engagement can change how people perceive a brand and bridge the gap between it and its customers. Companies like Coca-Cola and Nike have converted one-time customers into loyalists through out-of-the-box brand engagement activities.
Often brand engagement is targeted towards just the external audience—i.e. people outside the organization. No doubt brand engagement plays a crucial part in helping brands reach a wider audience, but internal brand engagement has its own benefits. It aligns all the stakeholders of a company to work together to achieve a common objective.
Are customer engagement and brand engagement the same?
People often use customer engagement and brand engagement interchangeably, but they differ in terms of both purpose and implementation. As we talked earlier, brand engagement is about creating an emotional connect between the customer and your brand, whereas customer engagement is about making your customers or prospects take a certain action.
Brand engagement is considered a pull strategy as it aims at drawing consumers to the brand. The impact of brand engagement may or may not be instant, but it’s definitely long-lasting.
Customer engagement, on the other hand, is a push strategy where the product is taken to the customer. A customer engagement strategy is targeted at a narrower audience that’s already aware of the brand or the product the company is offering. The impact of a customer engagement campaign can be measured almost instantly. The customers/prospects are pushed towards taking actions like making a purchase, upgrading the existing product, etc.
What’s more important—customer engagement or brand engagement?
It’s not about choosing; instead it’s about prioritizing. Companies need to find the right balance between the two. They’re like bread and butter—they work best when implemented together. Often companies make the mistake of prioritizing the wrong activity at the wrong time, which will lead to the waste of both time and money.
As important as brand engagement is, it’s equally important to build an effective customer engagement strategy.
In our digital world, it’s important to use technology to push your product to consumers and balance it with effective pull strategies to leave a lasting impression of your brand, which in the long run, may shift consumer buying behavior.
To give you a better understanding of when and what should you prioritize, brand engagement or customer engagement, check out the figure below.
Since you now have a better idea about brand engagement, we’re sure you’ll be able to make your brand stand out from the crowd. Stay tuned for our blog on building an effective brand engagement strategy.
1. The Winning Coca-Cola Formula for a Successful Campaign. (2022). Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://www.wrike.com/blog/winning-coca-cola-formula-successful-campaign/