It is the role of every marketing department to build a brand image and add to its value constantly through campaigns. The brand is a very valuable asset of a company. For instance, brands like Apple are valued at 98.3 billion, Google's is valued at 93.3 billion and Coca Cola is valued at 79.2 billion. A brand is not something that is tangible. It is a set of expectations, memories and relationships that cause a customer to choose a particular brand over the other every single time. The impact of brand awareness on an organisation can be that they support price premiums over competitors. It allows new customers to get attracted to it and develop a sense of loyalty. It is very useful in protecting a company and its business interests in the case of an economic crisis. It allows a company to enter new markets. The role of outdoor advertising campaigns in building a brand image cannot be overemphasized.
Outdoor advertising campaigns are a valuable medium of advertisement. Like any strategy that is adopted by a company even an outdoor advertising strategy has a long term and a short term effect. The result that is expected from an outdoor advertising project is to increase the sales and build a brand image. The sales activation is a short term project whereas brand building is a long term process. When a brand image is created, it allows a company to increase the long term sales by way of strengthening loyalty for the brand and reduces the customer's price sensitivity to a brand and its products. To maximise profit a company needs to dedicate 40% of its advertising budget on short terms goals like sales activation and 60% should be spent for long term goals like brand building. This will allow a firm to not only improve its sales for the short run but also ensure that the profits that flow in are also assured for an extended period of time. Outdoor advertising not only elicits response in the short term by activating sales but also ensures a long term impact which is that of building a brand image.
Outdoor advertising consists of both traditional and interactive advertising media. Traditional media includes television, print media and posters. Interactive advertising media includes media that is born as a result of the latest trends in technology. Interactive advertising can be seen through online, wireless and handheld devices. It may include banners, email adverts, classified ads and even certain interactive television commercials. An increasing number of people stay outside their homes for a considerable part of the day. Outdoor advertising makes it possible for marketers to tap into this customer base. It is also important to understand that any awareness to be created by outdoor advertising needs extensive planning and execution. Unlike the audience at home which is more or less captive in front of the television screens, outdoor advertising does not allow enough time for exposure. So the advertisement that is portrayed on any outdoor advertising media should be eye-catching and make an immediate impression on a person.
Constant exposure to the media will undoubtedly result in a brand image.
Since the idea behind a billboard or any outdoor media is to act as an effective channel to reach the masses there are a few things that need to be remembered while designing any outdoor advertising campaign. Considering the low exposure time to outdoor advertising the kind of message that is portrayed in a billboard or a hoarding should be as minimum as possible. The ideal message that should be conveyed is six words or less. Within these six words a statement needs to be made that contributes to building a brand image. The number of elements on a billboard should be as less as possible. The hero of the piece should be identified and due importance should be given to it. That element should be dominant in the billboard. Any detailed communication can be done through other media like newspapers, magazines or televisions when the person is a captive audience. Outdoor advertising should be used only to build a brand image.
Innovation in a billboard design results in it being accepted by the masses not only for its novelty value but also gives extensive mileage to the brand value. It needs to be remembered that the closer the idea being presented is to the product, the more will it be reflected on brand awareness. For instance the advertisement of Berger paints' Natural finish range, a painter is shown painting the white surface with the colour of the sky. It is eye-catching and there are no additional scripts to the billboard. The only script on the billboard is the branding of Berger. This conveys a clear image that transcends beyond the novelty value of the advertisement itself. The advertisement of the toothpaste 'Formula' portrays a man ripping off the billboard with this teeth and is apt to the caption which reads, 'builds strong teeth'. Despite being exaggerations both have managed to create a brand image that is within the parameters of the range of the product and what they promise to deliver.
Every single marketing decision that is made by a top level executive is to ensure that the next time the customer goes to the supermarket to buy a product, the product of the brand promoted by the marketing executive comes to his mind and he chooses it. This has to occur despite the deluge of other products on the shelves. There may have been a period when billboard advertising was forsaken for other newer forms of advertising but the fact that companies pay a lot of money for billboard real estate means that it does have a positive impact on sales. The main role of a billboard or any outdoor advertising tool is to build a brand image. It is to make people aware that such a brand exists and is meant to be a subliminal message for customers to choose the product when then need it next. There is not enough space for a call to action on a billboard but the brand awareness achieved by using a outdoor advertising tool translates into market dominance.
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