Build Your Brand in the Digital Age: User Generated Content and Brand AmbassadorsLikely you saw high velocity, adrenaline pumping commercials for products like Red Bull and GoPro. They show people jumping out of planes, riding crazy contraptions, trying dangerous stunts, and appealing to the Evil Kneivel side of viewers.

Look at the products being sold. What do they have to do with action sports and crazy stunts? Nothing.

But, Red Bull and GoPro create an atmosphere and attitude around the products they sell — linking their brand with the actions portrayed. Red Bull’s commercial message positions their brand as adventurous, dangerous, and exhilarating — not something for the faint at heart.

Does their brand really have anything to do with these extreme sports? No. But, they make consumers think that drinking their brand is an easy way to walk on the wild side — just a little bit.

Think about the marketing lessons learned from these brands. How can you use their example to bolster your brand?

Identity

Red Bull sells three drinks, so they don’t have a diverse product line. Regardless, they found a marketing strategy to sell an incredible number of cans (4.5 billion/ year based on Red Bull data) and keep customers coming back. Similarly, GoPro sells a small range of cameras and accessories, and has found a strategy to keep cameras vital, relevant and interesting.

Both companies found their brand identity and voice, which allows them to successfully market their products to their target audience. They had to decide what to sell, who they wanted to sell it to, what else appeals to that audience, and how they could promote their products. Both brands suddenly exploded into the marketing scene by capturing their audience’s attention and using creative marketing tactics such as user-generated content (here are some other great examples of user-generated content) and brand ambassadors.

Video

When audiences see these crazy home video stunts, they learn to associate products with them — this is really the essence of branding. Take a look at the Red Bull site. They market content around sports, adrenaline-driven activities and a younger demographic. They have a portion of their website called “Red Bull TV” with videos of professional athletes doing cool stuff, undoubtedly with the help of Red Bull. They build their brand around rebellious young people that aren’t afraid to get a little dirty and get a little crazy, too.

Red Bull has also figured out that word of mouth is one of the best ways to sell their product. Of course, every brand recognizes the importance of word of mouth, but few harness it’s potential like Red Bull. One of their strategies is to enlist young people on college campuses across the globe as brand ambassadors.

It’s a party drink, it’s a study buddy, it’s a wake up call when you’re exhausted. Red Bull is a young person’s drink and young people are the best at buying it and spreading the word.

Go Pro is another company changing content marketing. They established their own unique perspective and are immediately identifiable. Since they sell wearable cameras, a lot of their marketing campaigns capture the unique view of the people wearing the cameras out in the world.

Optimize your brand

Utilize user-generated content. With the constant flow and infiltration of social media, people are constantly bombarded by advertisements. To cut through the noise, companies can use what their customers are already putting out there. By using hashtags on Twitter, Instagram pictures and Facebook posts, people see the information from people they know rather than advertisements.

Find advocates and brand ambassadors. Much like Red Bull uses their Red Bull girls on college campuses, it is always a good idea to have feet on the ground spreading your brand to the masses. Finding ambassadors that already have a social media presence is a great way to create trust with potential customers, and that’s what really counts.