5 Brilliant Marketing Strategy Examples From Dominant Brands

How do GoPro, Heineken, Twitch, Taco Bell, and Nike go about their mar­ket­ing efforts? Here are five bril­liant mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy exam­ples from dom­i­nant brands.

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 1 comment

Because there is no one-size-fit-all approach to mar­ket­ing, you often can find the best exam­ples of mar­ket­ing strate­gies by brands dom­i­nat­ing in their respec­tive indus­try. Here’s how five top brands go about their mar­ket­ing efforts, and the key strengths of their approach­es.

1. GoPro

Sum­ma­ry: A con­tent strat­e­gy that forms a defin­ing part of the brand.

Some may argue that GoPro is for­tu­nate because their prod­uct nat­u­ral­ly results in high­ly vis­cer­al and immer­sive con­tent that appeals to the emo­tions and encour­ages shares and inter­ac­tions. After all, GoPro con­tent is authen­tic and share­able. Undoubtably, when it comes to mar­ket­ing, this gives the brand a clear advan­tage.

GoPro videos are a per­fect match for glob­al social media plat­forms such as YouTube, Twit­ter, or Vine, and at any moment a video uploaded by a user could go viral on any one of these plat­forms.

This incred­i­ble video has more than 27 mil­lion views as of this writ­ing.

How­ev­er, as pow­er­ful as this may be, it is just one ele­ment of the brand’s incred­i­ble suc­cess.

GoPro has vig­or­ous­ly engaged key com­mu­ni­ties, secur­ing incred­i­ble brand aware­ness and adop­tion in key ver­ti­cals; most notably in the extreme and adven­ture sports mar­ket. The brand also pos­sess­es a strong posi­tion in spe­cif­ic nich­es, such as road cycling and scu­ba div­ing.

For GoPro, it’s not so much the minia­ture cam­eras them­selves, but the pos­si­bil­i­ties that they afford which gen­er­ates lead­ing brand equi­ty. Nick Wood­man, CEO and inven­tor of the cam­era, spoke recent­ly of how the cam­era “has made noth­ing unfilmable” in an inter­view with the Tele­graph…

Have GoPro made noth­ing unfilmable?

But the crux of GoPro’s suc­cess, and one of the brand’s great­est strengths, is user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent.

GoPro is con­stant­ly improv­ing the tech­nol­o­gy users need to edit, upload, and share their videos (a GoPro app allow­ing users to do this on their mobile devices is expect­ed to launch this sum­mer). It makes for an incred­i­ble mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy with mul­ti-faceted ben­e­fits – the GoPro start and end frames for exam­ple, have become high­ly rec­og­niz­able among users, set­ting an expec­ta­tion in con­sumers’ minds for con­tent that excites and enter­tains.

When that GoPro logo hits, you know you’re about to see some­thing inter­est­ing, and you pay atten­tion.” Wood­man said.“The major­i­ty of [our] video[s] come from our cus­tomers and it’s wild­ly authen­tic.”

Ulti­mate­ly, it’s the inge­nious way in which GoPro approach their con­tent that defines the brand’s con­tent strat­e­gy. For GoPro, con­tent is as much part of the brand as the prod­uct itself – an incred­i­bly pow­er­ful asset.

GoPro’s Marketing Strategy Key Strengths:

  • Excep­tion­al platform/channel syn­er­gy, with high­ly vis­cer­al and emo­tion­al con­tent.
  • Engage spe­cif­ic com­mu­ni­ties and key mar­kets.
  • Encour­age authen­tic, share­able, user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent.
  • Main­tain strong brand vis­i­bil­i­ty and logos across all con­tent, which already has a dis­tinct iden­ti­ty.
  • Con­tent is irrev­o­ca­bly tied to the brand’s prod­uct, and part of the brand’s val­ue propo­si­tion.

2. Heineken

Sum­ma­ry: Cre­ative adver­tis­ing, and clever use of spon­sor­ship. Strong appeal for key demo­graph­ic.

If social media pop­u­lar­i­ty is an indi­ca­tor of brand pop­u­lar­i­ty, then with more than 19 mil­lion Face­book likes (as of this writ­ing), Heineken is per­haps the most pop­u­lar beer brand in the world.

Heineken has a rep­u­ta­tion for deliv­er­ing styl­ish, rec­og­niz­able ads that embody the brand’s “Open Your World” glob­al cam­paign. The tagline, which orig­i­nat­ed from a 2011 break­through ad (below), was cred­it­ed with reju­ve­nat­ing the mar­ket­ing endeav­ours of a brand that until then had “strug­gled to find a break­through mar­ket­ing mes­sage”.

The cam­paign appeals to the brand’s key mil­len­ni­al male audi­ence. The brand’s focus on this demo­graph­ic has led the brand to invest heav­i­ly in sports spon­sor­ship: Heineken has estab­lished them­selves as a pri­ma­ry spon­sor of the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League, and as a result have been a sta­ple of Wednes­day evening foot­ball nights.

Recent years have been reward­ing and well-acclaimed. Heineken recent­ly won the 2015 Cannes Lions Cre­ative Mar­keter of the Year award where Philip Thomas, CEO of Lions Fes­ti­vals, described Heineken as a brand that “lives and breathes cre­ativ­i­ty through­out its orga­ni­za­tion, and has a superb frame­work that allows its mar­ket­ing teams the free­dom to exper­i­ment while retain­ing the core essence of their many brands.”

Heineken bril­liant­ly com­bines that cre­ativ­i­ty with a laser-focus on their key demo­graph­ic, and con­stant­ly scales that across many ter­ri­to­ries. Heineken has built and exe­cut­ed a con­sis­tent and inte­grat­ed mul­ti­chan­nel mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy.

As stat­ed in this analy­sis from Mash­able, “what makes the ‘Open Your World’ cam­paign so effec­tive is that Heineken posi­tioned it to be a plat­form, not a one-off com­mer­cial. With each edi­tion of the series, Heineken cre­at­ed local exe­cu­tions and dig­i­tal appendages that bol­ster the campaign’s mes­sag­ing and reach new con­sumers, both on-the-ground and on social media.”

Heineken’s Marketing Strategy Key Strengths:

  • Exe­cute and scale a con­sis­tent, inte­grat­ed mar­ket­ing mes­sage.
  • Cre­ative and free inter­nal mar­ket­ing struc­tures.
  • Focus on their key demo­graph­ic.
  • Clever use of sports mar­ket­ing, and engage­ment of audi­ence via UEFA Cham­pi­ons League spon­sor­ship.

3. Twitch

Sum­ma­ry: Nur­ture and pro­vide val­ue for com­mu­ni­ties with­in a spe­cif­ic niche.

Twitch’s high pro­file acqui­si­tion by Amazon.com in Sep­tem­ber 2014 for $970 mil­lion affirmed the plat­for­m’s posi­tion as a force to be reck­oned with. The plat­for­m’s tremen­dous growth has been a result of a sim­ple, but extreme­ly valu­able val­ue propo­si­tion: pro­vid­ing users with a plat­form on which to live-stream pri­mar­i­ly video-gam­ing broad­casts. By Feb­ru­ary 2014, Twitch had become “the fourth largest source of inter­net traf­fic dur­ing peak times in the Unit­ed States, behind Net­flix, Google, and Apple.”

Twitch’s strength is root­ed in their com­mu­ni­ty, and fur­ther­more, in the spe­cif­ic way in which they pro­vide and nur­ture that com­mu­ni­ty. As voiced in the fol­low­ing video from HP Mat­ter, Twitch’s strat­e­gy “echoes a core prin­ci­ple of the inter­net itself: peo­ple want to learn and they want to con­nect with each oth­er”. The role of the brand has been to “build a com­mu­ni­ty around a niche and cre­ate clever ways of pro­vid­ing val­ue.”

Twitch’s Marketing Strategy Key Strengths:

  • Encour­age and cap­i­tal­ize on fan engage­ment.
  • Pro­vide a plat­form on which users can con­nect and learn.
  • Strat­e­gy defined around pro­vid­ing real val­ue, and nur­tur­ing and pro­vid­ing for spe­cif­ic nich­es and com­mu­ni­ties.

4. Taco Bell

Sum­ma­ry: Astute under­stand­ing of audi­ence, and an explor­er men­tal­i­ty when look­ing to con­nect with peo­ple.

Taco Bell is well known in the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing indus­try for their social media mar­ket­ing prowess. How­ev­er, that has­n’t always been the case. As recent­ly as 2011 Bri­an Nic­col, Pres­i­dent of Taco Bell, spoke of how he had “[let the brand] become too much of a punch­line.”

Taco Bell began a sig­nif­i­cant rebrand­ing effort in ear­ly 2012, and cru­cial­ly, a refo­cus­ing of the brand’s mark­ing efforts toward social media. Ad Age, which award­ed the brand with their 2013 mar­keter of the year award, explained how “to reach its tar­get­ed mil­len­ni­al audi­ence, Taco Bell exper­i­ment­ed with social media in ways oth­er com­pa­nies in its cat­e­go­ry have not.” As Nic­col put it: “You have to go to these oth­er screens, because in the end, kids in col­lege dorm rooms don’t even have TVs, they’re using lap­tops.”

Stay­ing on top of the user habits of their audi­ences has been a strength for the brand, but more valu­able than that has been their abil­i­ty to react to changes. Ten per­cent of their over­all mar­ket­ing bud­get is report­ed­ly spent on media explo­ration, new plat­forms, and test­ing.

Taco Bel­l’s inau­gur­al Snapchat film was cred­it­ed for dou­bling their fol­low­ers on the plat­form.

As out­lined in this momen­tol­ogy arti­cle, many fac­tors con­tribute to the restau­ran­t’s social media mar­ket­ing dom­i­nance, but ulti­mate­ly they are root­ed in a brand com­mit­ment to cus­tomer-cen­tric­i­ty which aims to best under­stand and access a key audi­ence. They aren’t afraid to take risks and they pro­vide cus­tomers with the right con­tent on the plat­forms they use.

Taco Bell’s Marketing Strategy Key Strengths:

  • Com­mit­ment to social media, and main­tain­ing an authen­tic pres­ence that par­tic­i­pates in con­ver­sa­tion.
  • License for, and bud­get allo­cat­ed to, explo­ration and inno­va­tion of new media and plat­forms.
  • Fan­tas­tic under­stand­ing of audi­ence, and where they are con­sum­ing con­tent.


5. Nike

Sum­ma­ry: Mar­ket­ing which is both fueled by, and an exten­sion of, com­pa­ny cul­ture.

Nike is such a mar­ket­ing pow­er­house that many fac­tors con­tribute to their suc­cess. Sum­ma­riz­ing the strengths of their mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy is no easy task.

Over the years, the brand has instilled an iden­ti­ty in con­sumers’ minds around spe­cif­ic val­ues. By nature intan­gi­ble, these val­ues per­haps aren’t easy to place, but they do nonethe­less deliv­er great brand val­ue and equi­ty.

The roots of their mar­ket­ing suc­cess are embed­ded in the cul­ture of the brand itself. Inno­va­tion, for exam­ple, is a qual­i­ty the brand read­i­ly embraces on all fronts. Vot­ed the “No. 1 Most Inno­v­a­tive Com­pa­ny Of 2013” by Fast Com­pa­ny, Nike has nur­tured “a cul­ture of true believ­ers” that with­in the orga­ni­za­tion, utter phras­es such as “if you have a body, you’re an ath­lete.”

Austin Carr of Fast Com­pa­ny describes how Nike’s cul­ture extends into the brands mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy: “that self-image is infused into every mar­ket­ing mes­sage and prod­uct release, and trans­ferred to a pub­lic eager to final­ly be let in on the secret.”

Nike’s adver­tis­ing, mar­ket­ing mes­sages, and efforts are numer­ous and vast. For a brand with a glob­al pro­file as promi­nent as theirs, these are fueled by a brand cul­ture that lives and breathes their core brand val­ues: ath­leti­cism, inno­va­tion, desire, and will. There may be more, but all of these will forge into one in the mind of a con­sumer, form­ing a col­lec­tion of val­ues that builds and adds to Nike’s brand.

Nike’s Marketing Strategy Key Strengths:

  • High­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed brand cul­ture (matched only by the likes of the Apples and Dis­neys of the busi­ness world).
  • Mar­ket­ing is an exten­sion of that cul­ture, and oper­ates with­in that cul­tur­al umbrel­la.
  • Mar­ket­ing is unit­ed with the brand’s oth­er depart­ments: R&D, prod­uct devel­op­ment, all unite to form a dis­tinct brand iden­ti­ty.
Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex's data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

Discover why brands and agencies choose Linkdex

  • Get started fast with easy onboarding & training
  • Import and connect data from other platforms
  • Scale with your business, websites and markets
  • Up-skill teams with training & accreditation
  • Build workflows with tasks, reporting and alerts

Get a free induction and experience of Linkdex.

Just fill out this form, and one of our team members will get in touch to arrange your own, personalised demo.