In Part I of the series “How to Create a Branding Campaign To Dominate Your Market” we went over that it is important to give your brand a distinctive “face” that lets your clients and customers distinguish you from your competition. We also discussed that most non- profit brands fail to brand their organization properly. They are afraid that certain demographics and audiences might be excluded from their chosen message. The consequence of this fear is that if you have a vague or too general message, you don’t have any message. You then lose a lot of prospectives because people want to connect to a brand that stands for something rather than for nothing. If you didn’t get a chance to check out that pos,t here is the link to Part I: How to Create a Branding Campaign to Dominate Your Market.
In today’s post I want to address that fear that if you’re too specific in your marketing and branding, you might lose certain demographics. Furthermore, I want to show you, using this new video ad for Camp Mesorah, how we took the rebranding for them to another level. We produced a marketing commercial that is more provocative than the typical video ad for summer camps.
See, if you look at most summer camps’ branding, they all look kind of the same. They show off the fun and activities in their videos, brochures and their websites. The problem is that producing a great-looking promo video alone isn’t enough, because most camps have caught on to that strategy and are also producing great-looking video ads. Have you watched them? They all look and feel the same. And that does not just apply to the field of summer camps. The same is true for universities, schools, and nonproftit brands in general. One of the reasons for this is that they just copy one from another: “Oh this looks good; lets do the same.” But doing the same as the competition will not get you ahead of the competition.
Now, last time I showed you how we advertised an unbranded summer camp with a “sports” focused marketing commercial. The point here is that we just took their specialty, being a sports camp, and started communicating that in a video ad. Now we want to bring it to the next level. Sports is a widespread activity among teens, right? Especially here in America with baseball, football, basketball and hockey. We are a nation of strong and obsessed sports fans. But teens for whom competitive sports might be of secondary interest, will still seek thrilling, action-packed, activities. We didn’t want to digress from the “sports” aspect of Camp Mesorah, so, in this new commercial, we put “extreme” sports in the foreground as opposed to the competitive team sports that we featured in the first ad. Here we focus on Camp Mesorah’s other activities like biking, zip lining and water rafting. Although these are sports, their main aspect is the thrill and the fun of doing them, without the competitive element.
So, for this specific type of teen, we wanted to show that Camp Mesorah has more than the usual activities like arts & crafts, pottery, cooking etc. by highlighting Camp Menorah’s arsenal of fun and thrilling extreme sports. And, thats exactly what we are pushing here. Even though we are branding it as “The Sports Camp” this doesn’t mean that people who are not primarily interested in traditional competitive sports wouldn’t be interested in having fun through some sort of sporting activity.
Do you see what I’m doing? Instead of just branding it so narrowly, I use the branding theme – in this case “ Sports”- and create campaigns that integrate a lot of other aspects.
Now, to give you a heads up, the third commercial will be dealing with soft values like making friends, gaining skills, values etc. Here, we will use “ Sports” as the overarching focus of the camp, but then explore different aspects like skill-building, resilience, friendship, and being challenged within the theme.
Take Action & Leadership
I know this can be overwhelming for many brands, and that’s one of the reasons why so many organizations don’t put in the work necessary to figure out what they want to be, to whom they want to cater, and how can they leave their competition behind by being different. But, if you do the work, it will pay back tenfold. How? In the case of Camp Mesorah we strongly believe that they will become the #1 camp very soon. Why? Because they are standing for something; sports, extremes, thrills and fun. All things that kids of all ages are looking for. Since they are using those intrinsic values as their branding perception, it would be foolish if another camp would try to follow in their steps in becoming the same “sportive camp.” At this point they’ve already been beaten to the punch by Mesorah.
The First Will Be The Last
In marketing, the company that owns its branding space first is usually the one with the upper hand. Examples? Which cola is more popular Coke? Pepsi? Of course Coke because they were first. Levis vs. Wrangler Jeans? Levis because they were first. And so on. You get the idea. Now, Mesorah will be known as the sports camp forever no matter if other camps want to become the sports camp too or not or try to compete on that level.
Now, to forge ahead and own the leadership in your niche or field, you have to be strong and gutsy. You will hear voices saying critical stuff about you and your brand. “You guys are too much this… or too little that.” You have to resist the temptation to want to please everyone. You just can’t, so don’t even try. Be specific with your branding, decide on one approach, and own it like a boss. That’s what winning brands do. And Camp Mesorah will become the #1 camp where fun through sports and thrills will be unmatched.
Now, what happens to your current customer base that has been with you prior to rebranding? Quite simple. You take them on the ride with you. And if they don’t like the ride then let them go somewhere else. Those clients and customers weren’t the right fit anyway. They were just treading along and you tried to please them with mediocre or no “face”.
The Gains Are Infinite
Now, you might ask, what are the benefits in branding and specifying a brand? Have you ever tried to buy something that two companies offer, similar price, similar message and it was really hard to figure out which one would really fit your needs? As consumers we always want to know which product offers us exactly the thing we are looking for (or didn’t even know we needed!) Put another way, where would you go for a knee problem; your general practitioner or a knee specialist? You get my point, right? Since summer Camp is all about having fun and an experience that fits the child’s interests why not communicate the activities offered rather than being general? Now that camp Mesorah is telling the world what they are all about, potential clients now have a clearer choice between their “sports” camp and all the other nichtssagende or nothing-saying camps. Give them the information that allows them to make a good purchasing decision. For summer camp organizations that can translate into dominating their market by attracting more clients that want what they are offering. A better fit between the camper and the camp also means a higher retention rate year over year, and higher “second session” signups . I mean, if a kid that loves theater chooses Mesorah without knowing what they stand , they won’t have a good experience, will seek out a different camp the following year, and will most likely speak poorly about the camp and their experience there. Or, turn that scenario on its head and think about the child that really does love sporting activities but didn’t choose Mesorah because he or she didn’t realize all that Mesorah offers and, as a result, Mesorah lost out on a customer that would have been the perfect fit. You don’t want that. You want to service the people that you built the service for.
How To Cast a Vision
Back to the “Xtremes” video. In this commercial ad we used the phrase “For the Fearless Only”. In the sports commercial we used “For the Dedicated Only” as the underlying message. Why would we use such a phrase? Every human being has a self image and/or an image of who they want to become. That is even more true in younger years . That’s when we start defining and separating ourselves from others and search for who we want to become. Now, you can imagine that every person who plays sports feels they are dedicated. God forbid if they are not considered dedicated! “I’m in it to win it!” they say to themselves. Now imagine the possibility of being entirely “ fearless.” How would that change your life? Dramatically. Those words invoke a feeling of empowerment or of having super powers. What kid doesn’t want to feel that way about themselves? The choices we make as human beings are guided a lot by our image of ourselves.
So, back to the camp: The reason why we used those catch phrases is because we wanted to imply that by coming to Mesorah you’ll become “ fearless” and “ dedicated.” So, you might ask: But it says “For the Fearless Only” implying that someone is ALREADY fearless? Not so fast. The message here is that this is the camp for kids and teens who WANT to be fearless and WANT to be dedicated in sports. Here we are actually portraying the end result of what you will become after spending your summer at Camp Mesorah.
How To Become Super Human
I know this sounds like a big promise. But when you rebrand yourself you need to show your audience who they eventually will become when choosing your organization and/or product. Don’t show them just the process of how they’ll get there, but show them the greatness that lies in who they will become. For that vision customers are ready to climb mountains with you. Apple iPhones made everyone feel like superman because the iPhone is able to do so many things that we weren’t able to do before. You don’t need to memorize data, facts, and documents by heart. The iPhone is basically your second brain giving you immediate access to all the knowledge in the world. That’s why we feel empowered when we use their product and that’s why even now with iPhone version 6S people are still standing in huge lines on the first day of sales to hold that power in their hands. Only the implication of super power can do such miracles.
In my next post I will show you how we will add some “feel” to the campaign because so far we have been highlighting more the external values of a sports camp like the thrilling activities and becoming a better and more skilled sports guy/gal. The next step is to bring back some feel-good and soft values like friendship and Torah. I will show you how you can integrate them well into any kind of campaign.
P.S. Early registration for Camp Mesorah ends soon, and gets you a $1,100 discount for the summer. Totally worth it. Go here to take advantage of the discount: http://www.campmesorah.com/registration