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How much do I need to spend to make my brand famous?

Ben Shipley - Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer, Ovato

While we may have other ways of saying it, every marketer wants to make their brand famous. With a hit product, a well-known campaign, and your brand up in lights – it’s Mission Accomplished.

But getting famous, or whatever version of famous you’re looking to be, comes with a cost. There’s only so much you can achieve without the proper funding.

The common refrain of, “how much do we have to spend?” can be read two ways. Firstly, how much do you have available to spend? And secondly, how much must you spend to achieve your goals?

To answer both questions, you need to think hard about what you want to achieve, how you are going to achieve it and what your ultimate objectives are. Here’s what you need to consider.

How famous do you need to be?

It’s worth thinking hard about just how famous you need to be to achieve your goals. There’s no need to spend like a global brand if your goal is to be big in the suburb your artisanal muesli co-op is domiciled.

This isn’t to say that your brand doesn’t have value, of course it does. What needs to be considered is how that value extends to the consumer. Your ice cream might be amazing, but is it good enough to get someone to fly in from another state? Or is it more likely that people will travel from within the same city or the surrounding suburbs?

What’s your physical availability and who do you want to transact with?

Big brands with big availability, like national supermarket chains, need to spend more to stay famous because they’re invested in being everywhere, and they need to reach everyone to drive return on that investment. Be it through catalogues in the letterbox, TV, radio or digital, they need to constantly communicate their specials, sales and other offerings to a large part of the population.

Smaller or more niche businesses, like bespoke fashion retailers, are appealing to a smaller defined market, a specific interest group or very defined type of consumer behaviour - and thus need to spend less because they’re not trying to reach a huge audience.

What’s the emotional connection that you deliver?

As we mentioned above, how compelling is your experience?

Look at Armani’s bespoke suit making experience. From the moment you arrive, through each fitting, and then the arrival of your one-of-a-kind tailored suit, it’s a compelling once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s good enough to be talked about, leveraging an emotional experience to drive memory and recommendation.

When you’re delivering that kind of experience, you don’t need to spend as much as, say, a supermarket chain. They probably won’t have people raving about how special it was to shop there. It’s just a place to pick up essentials – so it’s competing more on price and product.

In other words, highly emotional brands can spend less to reach people because they have a higher emotional imprint. When you have a great experience, you’re able to enjoy the benefits of word of mouth and repeat customers, and therefore spend less over time for the same benefit.

What’s your frequency of spend and basket size?

The benefits of fame are going to be greater if your target customer is in the market more often. And this flows through to the size of your basket, or the general cost of what you’re selling.

A car brand spends more on advertising per transaction because the cost of the car is relatively significant compared to a product where the cost is relatively low. You balance reaching relevant segments with the knowledge that most people aren’t buying a car on the day you reach them.

Trying to achieve global fame isn’t much use if you’re only able to sell to a small segment of the market at a higher price point. You’re better off setting your sights on an appropriate level and range of fame that suits your product’s frequency of spend and basket size.

Build a connection

Remember, fame is different to awareness. It’s recognition. Think Michael Jordan and Nike. Ferrari and the Prancing Horse. These brands tug at the heart strings and signify something of value to their audiences.

Availability, emotional connection, and frequency and value of spend are the qualifiers that will change your marketing strategy and budget needs. These factors are what will ultimately answer the question of how much you need to spend to be famous and to meet your expectations for your brand and its success.