Brand integration is a long-serving component of the marketing mix, and although the curtain has never been pulled, it’s position has historically been that of an extra ‘nice to have’ rather than the lead.
Over recent years, the spotlight on brand integration has been intensifying, cementing its position as a highly viable part of the marketing mix. An ever-expanding content universe, combined with consumer’s desires to avoid advertising has changed the industry landscape, leading marketers to readjust their approach to consumer engagement. Brand integration presents a unique and formidable opportunity for brands because it allows them to seamlessly insert their advertising into content, in a way that is unblockable and unskippable.
So, you’ve assessed the situation and decided that brand integration is for you and wish to take your first steps in taking advantage of this dynamic, growing marketplace.
But, before you take the plunge it’s best to do a warm up with some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ to make sure when you jump off the brand integration springboard, you dive into a pool of success.
1. Learn the full breadth of the brand integration space
Although the big guns like Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black have the highest audience ratings, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. Caressa Douglas, BEN’s senior vice president of global strategic partnerships advises that “your audience may be somewhere else… which is why it’s important to be diversified in brand integration.”
2. Think of brand integration as a viable, long-term part of your marketing mix
Though integration may be perceived as an area where brands can dabble, the fact is that marketers see a greater, more sustained benefit when looking longer-term. Like most practices in marketing, the misperception may be based on what was done in the past.
3. Build relationships with content creators early in their careers
Creative collaboration, in large part, is built over time and through deep relationships. It also demands a keen understanding and trust of the creative process, especially in Hollywood and entertainment, whether that’s in the scripted or unscripted space. Supporting producers and influencers when they are first getting started can reap long-term benefits.
1. Don’t limit yourself on platforms
Of course, reaching your intended audience through one perfectly orchestrated channel will reap the rewards. However, you’ll find that a combination of TV, Instagram and film may be exactly what your brand needs.
2. Never hold back when explaining every aspect of your brand or product
It's always good to look at your brand with a fresh set of eyes. The brand attributes that you think aren’t important could be a boon to a creator. Surprisingly, creative people can be "brand nerds" and find interesting stories in the small things.
3. Never judge success by a single integration - good or bad
Once you begin your brand integration journey, you’ll find that there are peaks and troughs in terms of success. As with any marketing campaign, some integrations will naturally perform better than others; it’s just the way the cookie crumbles. So before you lose faith with a mild integration, you’ll find that you can learn just as much from those which offer more tepid results, than from those that blow the doors off.
To learn more about brand integration, please download your free copy of 'The Definitive Guide to Brand Integration,' and you can discover what makes integration effective, how measurement continues to evolve, the influencer space and more.