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Looking for unique and creative ideas for marketing your retail store? We’ve gathered top iconic marketing branding and ideas; everything from slogans, to marketing campaigns, to smartphone apps, to get you inspired.

1. Nike - Just Do It

This slogan is synonymous with Nike. It’s almost as recognized as their swoosh logo. Created in 1988 during an advertising meeting, the combination of slogan and logo resonated with Americans, and the campaign helped Nike increase their share in American domestic sport-shoe from 18% to 43%. In 1988 Nike sales were at $800 million. By 1998 sales had exceeded $9.2 billion.

Fun Fact: The Just Do It slogan was based on murderer Gary Gilmore’s final words. When Gilmore was standing in front of a firing squad awaiting his death, he was asked if he had anything to say. His words: ‘Let’s do it’. Dan Wieden, the advertising executive behind Nike’s slogan, said that he changed the ‘let’s’ to ‘just’ and the rest is history.

Why it works: Because Nike are a sports brand with an inspirational message. ‘Just Do It’ sums up the Nike spirit - it’s impulsive, active, daring, and it inspires us to push past our limits. So however you come up with your store's brand and slogan, think about it's meaning and what you want to convey. And you never know where you might find a little inspiration.

2. Dove - Campaign for Real Beauty

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty significantly changed how people viewed Dove and their products. Increasing Dove’s sales from $2.5 billion to well over $4 billion during the campaign. The campaign for real beauty transformed Dove into not just a soap company, but a business who sold the idea that worth is more than skin deep.

Why it works: Through this campaign, Dove spoke to every woman, regardless of age, size, or looks. They unified all women in the idea that real beauty transcended the physical and is a reflection of self confidence. It’s something to think about for your business. Say a customer is looking at clothing or make-up, a comment like "that lipstick makes you feel great" could be empowering and reinforce their decision to buy. Take a different approach and think of compliments that are not just about appearance, for example when you get a customer who is genuinely happy, polite, and positive - letting them know "you've just brightened up my day, thank you" will make them feel good about themselves.

3. Urban Outfitters - App

Urban Outfitters are loved for their products and characterful content, but to their shoppers with smartphones, they are also loved for their app and their mobile optimized, seamless shopping experience. The Urban Outfitters app asks users to upload a photo, customize a background, and fill in their details. They use this data to reward their customers points and surprise discounts.

Why it works: Once customers sign up, the app works fairly instinctively to make their online shopping experience awesome. The app rewards customers who participate socially, giving them lots of extra goodies and perks, like early access to popular merch, concert tickets, and early warnings when a sale is coming up. However, apps are an expensive and risky investment to add to most retail stores. On average, people only use 7 apps. So even if you do manage to get customers to download your app, chances are they will never use it. Not to mention the ongoing and costly tech maintenance and development. However you can still implement what Urban Outfitters has in their app, for your store. Make sure your website and eCommerce site are mobile optimized, and look to solutions like Collect Loyalty, Offers, and Automation, to connect with customers and benefit from Apple Wallet

4. Melbourne Metro - Dumb Ways to Die

Melbourne Metro had an important safety message they needed to share - reminding people to be safe around trains. Advertising agency McCann Melbourne distilled their brief into two sentences: “Trains travel in a straight line. If you get hit by a train, you’ve probably done something wrong which makes getting hit by a train one of the dumbest ways to die.” Using this as the starting point, they created a series of cute animated characters to star in a video, song, and game featuring all the ‘dumbest ways to die’. Within 24 hours of its launch, the Dumb Ways to Die song was in the top 10 iTunes chart, and as of this month, the video has 112,584,084 YouTube views. Not bad! The Dumb ways to Die campaign became one of the most shared public service campaigns in history. Schools used it promote the safety messages and the content was spread across thousands of social social sites.

Why It Works: The characters, song, games, and social component was what really made this campaign effective. Although the campaign was quite lighthearted, and fun, it also got people thinking about the serious messages, and about their own safety. Think about how you can add a dash personality and fun to your business. Your social media is a great place to create quirky, personality-filled posts that affirm your brand and brighten your customers' day, plus it gets your customers talking.

5. Apple - Get a Mac

Apple’s Mac vs PC advertisements took a light hearted swipe at PC computer users, characterizing Mac and PC as people with vastly different outlooks. PC, John Hodgman, is depicted as a fusty, out-of-date suit wearer, and Mac is embodied by young, stylish Justin Long. The ads are shot on a simple white background and light music. 

Fun Fact: For UK audiences, comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb became PC and Mac. And in Japan comedy duo, Jin Katagiri and Kentarō Kobayashi took up the roles.

Why It Works: The ads are good natured and full of humour, but are also effective in updating customers in the technical aspects of Mac computers. The campaign works well as an introduction to Mac’s capabilities without being too dry or dull. Think about how you target your customers - It's more effective to have a strong brand image and clear target audience, than an approach that targets everyone. Your target audience are those who are important for your business. Marketing should always be carried out with your target audience in mind.

6. Volkswagen - Think Small

Art directed by Helmut Krone, the Think Small campaign it is a great example of creative marketing that makes you lean in closer and want to learn more. Volkswagen tried a completely new way of marketing. By drawing the focus to the small and compact nature of their cars, they went against the grain in their messaging. Starting their advertisement with the ‘negative’ side of owning a small car (e.g. it isn’t quick or big,) halfway through the text they flip the messaging on its head and talk about the benefits - it’s agile, it’s not a gas guzzler, it’s smart.

Why it works: Because the advertising was eye catching and quirky, the text complimented the visuals perfectly to effectively sell the benefits of owning a small car. Both the simplicity of the visuals and text worked in sync to sell the simplicity and freedom of owning a smaller vehicle. The Volkswagen campaign provides an important lesson for retailers - you sell products that you have chosen because you know your customers need and want them. Tell your customers honestly about the benefits and the restrictions of products, and help them find what is best for them. You want your customers to be satisfied and walk away from your store feeling like they can trust you.


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