With the increased use of technology and the intensity of competition due to saturated markets, it has become vital for brands to utilise integrated marketing communications. IMC is a powerful tool to ensure that all the communications throughout the marketing mix are integrated and consistent (University of Cape Town, 2016).
In order for a brand to implement IMC, they firstly have to consider their brand orientation. Bridson and Evans (2004:403-411) explain that it is “the degree to which the organization values brands and its practices are orientated towards building brand capabilities”. Therefore a brand needs to know its identity, communicate it consistently through IMC and thereby create positive perceptions in the consumers minds. Let’s explore:
A brand effectively using IMC is Buffelsfontein Baard-olie. Buffelsfontein Baard-olie is a young South-African brand who started by selling beard oil (Buffelsfontein Baard-olie, 2016). They have later expanded into various beard and novelty products and recently opened their first brick-and-mortar store.
What makes the brand so successful is their unique value proposition: the image they sell. Sold is the identity of an over-the-top manly man which is exclusive to “suitable candidate consumers only”.
With the tagline of “Bederf jouself, jou rowwe bliksem” (spoil yourself, you rough bastard), it is easy to see that it’s not your everyday brand (Buffelsfontein Baard-olie, 2016). Buffelsfontein Baard-olie is orientated towards the “manly man” market broadcasting that rugged men should look after their most prized possession: their beards.
This unique branding is firstly communicated through their website. The home page starts off with “Jy is ‘n regte man.” (You are a real man). The brand further explains in a hilarious, over-exaggerated way, who their products are meant for. Through this, the brand also excludes for example metro-males, who would normally buy this type of product. Here the brand immediately communicates that their products are for rugged, tough men. You need to fall into their criteria in order to use their products. This is extremely effective as it creates a sense of community and exclusivity.
When moving on to their next media point, Facebook, their IMC becomes clear with the same “message” being broadcasted.
Here, Buffeslfontein Baard-olie promotes a lot of their products. But with names such as “Neutkraker” (nutcracker) and “Laventelhaan” (lavenderrooster), the company does not shy away from their eccentric branding. The brand also shares various funny meme’s about beards emphasizing the manliness of their clients, or just everyday manly beard jokes. On this platform the message of an exclusive rugged men’s club is broadcasted again, reinstating that the product is for real men only. This sense of community allows for a strong relationship between the brand and its clients.
The magnificent beard and the naked cheek
Not yet through puberty, is Buffelsfontein Baard-olie’s Instagram account. Unfortunately they have no presence on Instagram yet. However, there are various entries from customers’ with the hashtag “buffelsfontein baard-olie”, sharing their buys. Here the brand prohibits their growth and cohesive brand message as the customers clearly want to interact on this platform, but is not able to. The brand should therefore consider opening an account in order to continue socializing with their customers on a desired media platform.
Buffelsfontein Baard-olie’s most successful media platform is their Youtube advertisements. Their first videos went viral and ensured great success for the brand. Again they consistently broadcast the message of an exclusive manly man club with their product being for rugged men only.
The success of Buffelsfontein Baard-olie lies in their IMC and brand orientation. By having a strong and distinctive brand identity and consistently communicating this same identity throughout their various media platforms, customers know exactly who the brand is.
What carries this success is the marketing of the fact that you need to be a specific type of person to use their product. It creates feelings of wanting to be part of the exclusive club. Customers want to be known as the celebrated rugged man and therefore grow a beard and make sure to use the Buffelsfontein brand.
The customer associates feelings of ruggedness, toughness and superiority with the brand as this is the way in which the brand promotes their customers. By strongly associating with this brand identity and through it having positive feelings about the brand, the customer starts believing in the relationship with the brand. Therefore they reach the Brand Resonance stage where they have built a strong bond with the brand (Business Jargons, 2016). It is the ideal stage for Buffelsfontein Baard-olie, as it facilitates brand loyalty.
IMC can therefore create success by making sure that all media cohesively communicate the unique value proposition. Through this they create brand awareness and positive perceptions amongst the consumers. Consequently the brand can reach brand resonance where a strong relationship with the customer can ensure brand loyalty.
So, what are you waiting for? Your bunch of “rowwe bliksems” could be waiting just around the corner…
Bridson, K. & Evans, J. 2004. The Secret to a Fashion Advantage is Brand Orientation. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 32(8):403-411
Buffelsfontein Baard-olie. 2016. Tuis. Available: http://baard-olie.co.za/#Tuis [2016, November 26].
Buffelsfontein Baard-olie. 2016. Facebook Profile. Available: https://web.facebook.com/baard.olie/ [2016, November 26].
Business Jargons. 2016. Brand Resonance. Available: http://businessjargons.com/brand-resonance.html#ixzz4JeWbwQdk [2016, November 26].
University of Cape Town. 2016. Module 6 Unit 2: Integrated marketing communications. Cape Town: University of Cape Town