We talk a lot about guerrilla comms at OggaDoon, but how does it all relate to shaping your brand story, and what does guerrilla branding look like?
In a noisy, highly digitised advertising market that’s fuelled by driving clicks and impressions, it may appear like all brands, organisations and NGOs should play the same game: throw heaps of money at creating a logo, and up their ad spend.
Yet it’s not all about paid-for reach. Metrics such as ‘clicks’ or ‘engagement rates’ don’t measure real value for your business – and who exactly are the people behind those sought after impressions?
Similarly, those that think of brand as a logo and a colour palette are also missing out. Organisations from WWF to Patagonia know that you can’t rally people round a logo, but a set of embodied core principles, purpose, and values that really inspire. Every brand, if established, already has real people at its core who are willing to interact without being bribed or tricked. Branding is the way your company lives every day, the vision you hope you will become known for.
Guerrilla branding is OggaDoon’s way of describing the work we do: expressing your true self in a way that resounds closely, cleverly, and consistently with your brand’s employees, customers, and the wider world.
Guerrilla branding means being authentic and flexible while staying true to your core brand values. It means harnessing your people and best assets to live up to the brand promise and purpose. It’s an essential tool to help you unite workforces, define yourselves and differentiate yourself from the competition. That’s why we’ve put together these five rules for guerrilla branding, so you can take your brand to the next level:
1. Think differently, be rebellious.
Staying ahead of the curve means doing things differently and that should be reflected in the stories you tell about yourself. Don’t be afraid to express your difference in ways that are meaningful for both your employees and your customers.
2. Be true to yourself.
When trends rule, brands often jump on bandwagons – only to fall swiftly off. Nothing is more transparent than trying to be something you’re not, and people are not easily fooled. They want to connect with a brand they relate to. Ignore the ‘bigger is better’ trend and stick to expressing your best self. Your brand should shine from the inside out, and authenticity will be more cost-effective in the long run.
Some brands have learned the hard way with this one. Think back to how hard Pepsi fell after trying to co-opt a ‘movement’ it had no business representing.
3. Make the world a better place.
A strong brand purpose has the power to unite a workforce, drive a purchase, and give meaning to a growing business. It is the thing you do that everyone can believe in: an expression of the reason you exist, and why you make the world a better place. The world needs fixing and people support brands that do so: never before has being one of the good guys made so much business sense.
Even huge organisations like Unilever are doing their bit. Unilever brands with purpose have consistently outperformed others since they brought in their Sustainable Living Plan.
4. Tell great stories (and back them up with action).
Don’t make promises your brand can’t keep – enjoy living the promises you can. Clever branding makes you feel something (but doesn’t mislead), and is emotional (but has the evidence to back up the story). Brilliant products and services must sound great and deliver promises about making the world a better place should be backed up with action and proof that you’ve made an impact.
5. Future proof everything.
Flexible, future-proofed branding that looks 5 years ahead is essential. Without thinking ahead, you risk building a brand that operates in a constantly weak position, or becomes irrelevant very quickly. Guerrilla branding takes into account future trends, is ambitious, yet flexible enough to grow and change with the world around it. Think more ‘investment piece’ than ‘fast fashion’.
Want to talk to us about guerrilla branding for your company? Get in touch to arrange a free chat with our team.