Brand suitability is one of the many marketing concepts that many people aren’t super familiar with. This is really quite unfortunate since it can be extremely beneficial for brands all over the map.
Thankfully, we are here to help. Here’s a quick guide on brand suitability that will teach you everything you need to know about this underrated concept and show you how to establish it for your brand.
What is Brand Suitability?
Brand suitability is the alignment of an individual brand’s advertising, with content that makes sense for their unique image, local markets, targeted customer base, and future business objectives.
Now I know what you’re thinking: isn’t this the same thing as brand safety? Not quite. Even though brand suitability is definitely related to brand safety, the two concepts are different.
The overall goal of brand safety is to avoid content that is considered dangerous, illegal, unacceptable, or undesirable for the brand.
Brand suitability, on the other hand, attempts to put together a list of different types of content that go well with the brand’s desired image, mission, values, etc. Some different areas of content that brands may want to consider as a part of their brand suitability strategy include adult language, political commentary, sexually-suggestive content, or comedy.
For example, a kid’s toy obviously would not want to appear next to content that includes adult language or is sexually suggestive. On the other hand, an online gambling company might be fine appearing alongside that type of content because it doesn’t necessarily go against their values, and may even fare better advertising to that particular audience.
Why is Brand Suitability Important?
If you’re still not convinced that brand suitability is important for all businesses, let’s break it down even further so you can really get a solid understanding of this concept and what it can do for your company:
- Advertisement recall: The more relevant your content is to the surrounding content, the more likely that people will relate to it and remember your product and your company as a result. In fact, a 2017 Google study showed that contextual alignment can drive up to a 50% higher ad recall.
- Brand protection: Brand suitability is tied with brand safety that protects your company’s image from irreparable harm. It’s extremely difficult to rebuild your reputation and it’s not something you can just buy, so you need to protect it. If your content appears next to negative content, people will think that your company agrees with it and supports it even if you don’t. The numbers back this up — 33% of people flagged polarizing social issues as a severe content risk.
- Consumer engagement: People are obviously less likely to engage with content that they see as questionable. So, if your brand appears next to this type of content, they will extend that association to your brand as well and avoid spending money on your brand in the future. Obviously, the entire point of advertising is to increase customer engagement — you can ensure that this is the case by focusing on brand suitability.
5 Tips for Establishing Brand Suitability
Now that you know all the basics of brand suitability, it’s time to get to the good stuff — how you can actually establish it for your business and start reaping the benefits.
Here are five tips that you can use to effectively establish brand suitability for your company.
Use Data to Your Advantage
The first tip for establishing brand suitability is to do your research and use data to your advantage when tailoring your overall strategy.
Data is a powerful tool that many companies don’t really know how to use properly or efficiently.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The Channel Factory can help you make sense of this data and translate it into something that you can actually use.
For example, you can use data to create your ideal customer and think about how to best target them with your content. You can also use data on previous Youtube campaigns to see what people responded to and what didn’t really resonate.
Overall, using data is definitely something you want to be doing when trying to establish brand suitability.
Create Your Strategy
Once you have all the data you need, it’s time to create a strategy that the data supports.
You should make inclusion lists with types of positive content that you want to appear alongside. This list should include suitable, proven sites, videos, and channels that are safe places for your ads to run.
You should also make exclusion lists with types of negative content that you want to avoid appearing next to. This list should include inappropriate, illegal, violent, or otherwise offensive content that isn’t suitable for any brand and would harm your brand image. Additionally, you should include potentially questionable or controversial content based on your industry as a whole and your brand values and desired image.
When it comes to brand suitability, you definitely want to use technology to help you out. It would be nearly impossible to do without it since the Internet is so huge with tons of new content being added every single second of the day.
That’s why it’s so important to optimize your content and use technology to help you create and filter your lists, place your content, and tweak your content to get the best results. That being said, a human touch is still important here. That’s why companies like the Channel Factory have experts who can help you figure out what you want to get out of advertising and create lists to help you get there.
Expand Your Horizons
Another tip for establishing brand suitability is to expand your horizons — literally. Go beyond your own borders. There’s a big world out there that’s open and ready to be sold to. The Internet makes this totally possible and even easy thanks to brand suitability.
Brand suitability in an international context can help you adjust to different languages and cultures as you’re exploring different markets. This is because not all content will translate the same way across borders. You wouldn’t want to unintentionally offend someone just because your content doesn’t translate the same way as it does in the original language.
That’s why you need experts that are familiar with different markets and can help you figure out what content is suitable for the consumers that make up these new markets.
Never Stop Working
Finally, the last tip for establishing brand suitability is to never stop working on tailoring and tweaking your content to get the best results.
This is especially important in the virtual world where there’s an endless stream of new content and things can go viral unpredictably in the blink of an eye. Therefore, you need to constantly keep watch of your inclusion and exclusion lists as the world around us is constantly changing.
You should also be monitoring the effectiveness of your actual campaigns to see if they’re having the desired effect.
If it’s not as effective as you’d like, make a change and try out something new. Invest in research into your content before it airs, while it’s airing, and after it airs to see what the overall perception is. This will help you protect your brand image and reputation well into the future no matter how much things change along the way.
As you can see, brand suitability might take a little bit of work to establish but it will be well worth it.
If you need some extra assistance here, make sure to consult with experts like those at the Channel Factory who can do all the heavy lifting for you and leave you with an effective and cohesive strategy that will work wonders for your overall advertising strategy.