Brief #111: Building brand preference (and #SMW highlights)

You may have noticed we didn’t send our newsletter last week – and for good reason.

Not only were we taking the stage and meeting some of you at Social Media Week, but testing a bi-weekly cadence is something we’ve been wanting to experiment with for a while now. Let us know what you think.

PS. We are extremely proud to announce that Future of Marketing has just been named a finalist for the 2022 Digiday Media Awards under Best Newsletter! Last week, we were also recognized as a newsletter finalist in the Ragan Communications and PR Daily Social Media & Digital Awards. This wouldn’t be possible without your readership and continued support, so thank you.

Now let’s dive in, shall we?

In this week’s edition, we’re talking:

  • How to build brand preference
  • Favorite moments from Social Media Week
  • #BrandCrush: Canon Europe

How to build brand preference

Getting people to trust and engage with your brand is easier said than done – but what does it really take to accomplish this? How do you get people to continuously choose your brand over the competition? Even better – how do you create advocates for your brand? 

Spoiler: you have to create experiences (or communities) people want to be a part of – experiences worth telling others about. This starts by having:

  • Great products
  • A seamless sales experience
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Valuable and entertaining content

And so much more.

But the real secret lies in understanding people – what they value, care about, want, need, prefer – and then, aligning with them as a brand. That’s why there’s:

  • Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola
  • Android vs. Apple
  • Nikon vs. Canon

“Marketers must get to know their target audience in order to tailor their efforts in the appropriate manner,” according to The University of Southern California. “They need to have a solid grasp of the brand’s purpose, the needs it plans to fulfill, and how the brand will inspire the consumer to believe to the point of loyalty.”


Understand your audience (and their preferences) before creating experiences – because the better your experiences, the more likely they’ll tell others about your brand.

Favorite moments from Social Media Week:

Presenting on stage!

A man and woman presenting at Social Media WeekThis quote by Hootsuite’s VP, Marketing Operations & Planning, David Kavanagh:

“On social, you’re interrupting people from their personally curated feeds. In order for that interruption to be worthy of that interruption is to understand what people want out of each platform and offer that.”

TINT + Hootsuite’s Happy Hour on the Hudson River:

A large group of people mingling outside a restaurantMeeting Twitter friends IRL (in real life):

A group of people at a selfie boothWhat we’re learning

#BrandCrush: Canon Europe

This week’s brand crush is special because Canon Europe inspired our presentation during Social Media Week – particularly for their #FreeYourStory campaign, where they asked contestants to enter in the categories of mirror selfie or forced perspective.

Campaign Goal:

Canon Europe wanted to inspire a new generation of Canon photographers and build an online community filled with user-generated photography for future marketing efforts.

The Results:

  • Over 22K+ entry pages views featuring Canon products and information
  • 43% of entrants opted in for future marketing from Canon
  • 67% of entrants were under the age of 30

And Canon collected beautiful images like this:

A campaign submission for CanonMarketer and Content Creator, Chi (@ChiThukral) beautifully summarized Canon’s efforts:

canon is the nike of cameras - makes the consumer the hero of all campaigns - leans into individual stories for ugc - curated by and tailored for local culture - designing universal content experiences - inviting people to participate in larger conversationsThis contest may be over, but the campaign lives on through the #FreeYourStory hashtag, which continues to grow every day. The reason is simple – Canon Europe created an experience that welcomed creativity and turned people into storytellers.