To differentiate your brand, you need a meaningful difference and an emotional connection to the brand promise
Pick up any aviation trade journal and you’ll see an advertisement that reads something like this:
X-Y-Z brand provides world-class engineering solutions for mission critical aviation systems. We have the experience and capabilities to satisfy your requirements.
Visit any aviation manufacturer’s website and you’ll read this:
With A-B-C brand you’ll experience brilliant engineering and advanced technology in a DO-160 compliant gismo, combined with superior customer service.
Both of these examples are victims of “place your logo here” marketing.
What these brands failed to realize is that it is necessary to determine a meaningful point of differentiation. This is accomplished by expressing functional benefits combined with an emotional reason to believe in the brand promise, rather than playing to the platitudes of corporate speak – specification and certification.
Differentiation is even more critical in today’s digital marketplace where buyers have complete access to information for comparing product features and benefits. Aviation brands that try to differentiate on function features alone — smaller, lighter, faster — are losing ground to competitors that use benefits and storytelling to strike an emotional bond with their users.
The emotional bond can be as simple as identifying with an image in advertisement that takes them to another place or reminds them of a similar circumstance. It could be an inspirational video, making them feel good about purchasing your product because of its reputation or association with momentous events.
In the digital age of people-to-people marketing, digital platforms and social networks act as amplifiers for the brand promise and brand personality. Integration of inbound and outbound marketing requires brands to have a story that works well across a spectrum of communication channels.
Brand stories come from emotional insights that are gained when the brand solves a problem or makes the user’s life easier by living up to the brand promise. The story is passed on from one user to another about how the brand made a difference. People remember stories long after the feature/benefit presentation.
Emotional engagement is a two-way street. There is no substitute for a positive user experience and delivering on the brand promise. Today’s users are just as likely to complain in public about their experiences with your brand as they are to complain.