Lead generation is probably the number one concern of those who work on branding companies, which is ironic since building a good brand can help to passively generate leads all on their own. Those who develop brands and grow them consistently over time will eventually get to a point where they find that there’s no real way to go any further with some companies.
Some clients might even see fit to rebel against an existing brand by looking around for something new to shop from. That’s precisely why there are companies that seek new leads by coming up with a sort of subsidiary that functions as an alternative to their original image.
In some cases, they might even empower individuals working at this division to act more like employees in a startup environment in order to come up with newer and more radical ideas.
Alternative brands usually only work to generate new leads when a company has become well established in its space and enjoys a degree of widespread brand recognition. Over time, large growing brands will start to be seen as too mainstream by some segments of the population, who might then purposely gravitate away from them.
Reorienting a company to look more like an upstart through another brand is a good way to attract these consumers without losing any of your existing ones.
Making Your Established Company Feel More like a Startup
Perhaps the best example of this kind of marketing came in the form of Levi’s fashion-forward SilverTab brand. Back in the 1990s, the Levi’s brand had already gotten to the point where it was looked at as old and stodgy in spite of the traditionally rebellious look that denim had.
They came up with the SilverTab brand to sell baggier denim jeans, which almost looked like they could be coming from some street wear brand that was completely independent from Levi’s.
At the same time, these new leads had little to no impact on traditional Levi’s buyers, who often purchased pants for work. That allowed the company to grow into new markets without sacrificing its original ones.
More recently, it seems like SilverTab has come back into vogue to at least some degree, helping to illustrate how these brands may eventually take on lives of their own.
General Motors did something similar with Saturn while Hallmark enjoyed success with its Shoebox Greetings brand. In this latter example, the parent company did little to distance itself from the edgier greeting cards that it came up with.
The two branches were, however, distant enough that consumers had the ability to simply ignore the newer brand if they were offended by it. Those looking for something fresh did, however, turn to Shoebox cards in droves.
Existing firms that want to cultivate this sort of rebellious counter-cultural image will do well not to make it too obvious that they’re attempting to do so.
Otherwise, individuals who would actually seek out messages that would resonate with this kind of demographic would be quick to point out that they were coming from an outside interloper.
Building a New Brand Authentically
While some might say that the constant quest for authenticity that some people are on may be a bit foolish, it does certainly seem very important to some consumers. It’s precisely why some of the largest organizations have hidden messages in their logos.
They understand that even though a majority of the shopping public might not need this kind of enticement, there’s a good chance that they can turn those who are into near instant leads.
Reach out to influencers in the space that you’re trying to enter. Instead of finding some slick celebrity, consider getting endorsements from real people on social media. You may have noticed how Opt In Monster came up with lead magnet ideas that focused on creating easy to digest content that can be processed in small doses.
The same sort of mentality should work for those who want to stay hyper-focused on a single demographic. Send out free samples to authentic reviewers and ask them to make their reviews concise.
Eventually, these might very well get shared on social media in a completely organic fashion. Greater levels of genuine brand recognition come from this kind of action as compared to any type of dedicated awareness campaign.
You might even find that your primary brand could generate leads in this way.
Leveraging Online Influence to Build a Brand
Chances are that you’ve heard that attracting backlinks to a page is the best way of ensuring that said page grows in terms of page views. Figuring out the best way to do this, however, isn’t always easy.
Don’t get caught up in trying to generate loads of editorial backlinks. While these might be the highest quality in terms of search engine optimization, actual people who aren’t bots will often follow through on links to product pages as opposed to editorial blog posts.
Some experts have even suggested that infographics might be a source of backlinks for sites who share them throughout the web.
While this isn’t going to grow an alternative brand that’s trying to make itself look hip and edgy, it might be a good lead generation strategy for an organic food brand or some kind of low carbon cosmetics company that wants to show how it treats the source of its raw materials fairly. That’s an important message to many people, who may respond well to content based on it.
No matter what kind of image you’re attempting to cultivate, it’s important to do your best to reach out to individuals that are already in that ecosystem. Many online video bloggers are more than willing to provide product reviews in exchange for a steady stream of things to comment on.
Though it might seem a little silly to promote the creation of dozens of unboxing videos, the fact of the matter is that many people actually do consume this kind of content. In some cases, they actually watch quite a lot of videos from those in the micro-influencing space.
Stay the course and continue cultivating the type of image you’ve always wanted. Once you reach a critical mass of authenticity, people online might very well begin to put together this kind of material for you without you ever having to be involved in its creation.