Branching out is a phrase meant to encapsulate your need to diversify the product line of the central brand concept. Along with this diversification, you will want to expand the media presence of the brand. Finally, in this second implementation, you will want to develop partnerships that demonstrate the utility of the product line.
Diversity: Merchandising the Merchandise
For example, if your main product is a logo on a t-shirt, you can apply the logo to different environments and products. Environments would include webpages, television or web video, billboards, or even consumables like candy wrappers, water bottles, and napkins. Products include baseball caps, mouse pads, posters with inspirational quotes, calendars, and more.
The goal is to saturate your market with the brand in order to increase its visibility. As people see the brand more often, they develop a connection and expectation. Relating it to things they use often and enjoy deepens the emotional connection with the brand.
Media Presence: Social Media, Blogs, and Sponsor Spotlights
It will be important that you create a narrative surrounding your brand and products. You will want to begin writing as a way to engage readers in the mundane news of the brand specifically. Write these pieces as interest stories in the pattern of tabloid articles.
Within the interest stories, reveal elements of a backstory crafted to communicate insider knowledge about the brand to your customer base. Through careful delivery of the story arc, inform customers such that they feel they have exclusive information. Make them feel like they are in on a secret. Make them part of an elite club.
Social Media is an everyday posting exercise. Utilize tools to line up and post to multiple sites automatically. Create 120 character statements that can propagate your social media feed. Use quotes, photos, and video to communicate the culture and ethos of the brand.
Blogs are best as an everyday activity, but at least be consistent. Posting every other day or twice a week, attempt to make your posts on the same days each week. Users will come to expect your new installments. Invite them to follow your RSS feed or register to receive notification when you update the site. Work toward 500 – 1000 word posts for each blog. Consider breaking longer blogs up into a series.
Sponsor Spotlights can be a weekly or monthly feature. These will follow the same length guidelines as a blog, but may include more pictures and quotes from the sponsor. Be sure to include pictures of the sponsor engaging with the brand.
Pairing for Utility
What I am talking about here is a symbiotic relationship with another separate product. It could be something that you created while diversifying the product line. Or, it could be a product from another brand.
Again, if you have a t-shirt branded with your logo, perhaps you connect that with socks and a cap to create an outfit. Or, you may connect it with a sports or recreation event. You may even connect it with a style of music or a pop culture attitude or sensibility. Either way, the pairing of items together with your brand creates the association. Commercials, and your sponsors can be key in solidifying the connection among customers.
You may also think in terms of packages. If you have a note pad, it would make sense to have pen, highlighter, and reading light. These natural pairings are even easier to communicate with customers because they already have the expectation of the pairing. They may also recognize the obvious utility.