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September 17, 2020

Building Cult Brand Loyalty with Branded Content

Trinity Lancaster

Building Cult Brand Loyalty with Branded Content

Branded content is nothing new and was already expected to continue to increase in 2020. However, trends are predicting that the pandemic and social unrest will create a spike in consumer’s craving for branded content that counteracts the daily negative of the news we’ve all been consuming.

We are seeing an increase in consumers looking with more social relevance and thought leadership in the values of a brand rather than the product or service it sells. This is where branded content looks to create conversation around your brand rather than a direct conversion. Branded content must create value for the consumer which generally equates to entertainment and education. A well-informed and engaged consumer is a happy consumer, and a happy consumer is a loyal customer.

67% of consumers found branded content to be more influential in their purchase decision than traditional advertising.

There are three reasons I believe a branded content campaign should be part of a company’s marketing strategy:

Branded Content Increases Reach

What’s better than your banner ad or tv spot appearing in front of your target audience? How about your target audience seeking out your content and sharing it with their friends? Branded content creates excitement and social value. It can tell a stronger story and create an emotional connection that allows your audience to connect with the brand on a deeper level.

To go beyond repeating a slogan or showing a product, brand content that can tell a story that represents the values you want associated with your brand. This creates a positive association with the brand.

Greater Brand Loyalty

Branded content gives brands the opportunity to strengthen relationships with existing customers, but it can also provide a chance to connect with new customers. By improving a brand’s personality and relevance in a way that resonates with their target consumers.  The path to purchase, and true brand loyalty, has become a much more interactive relationship than it was in the past.

Now more than ever, people want to feel like their purchasing decisions are more than just a “money for a product” transaction.  They want to feel like they are supporting and promoting brands that align with their own worldview and having a positive impact on their community and world.  If a brand can produce content that captures their target customer’s emotional interests, you have an exponentially higher probability of creating a sincerely loyal brand advocate.

Social Advocacy

Consumers now want more transparency from the brands they support.  They want to see company’s being more proactive in their support of those charitable organizations and social issues that are most relevant to their target consumers.  It’s no longer okay to hold consumers at arm’s length and expect them to purchase products without knowing what your company’s internal culture and social impact might be.

Using branded content to celebrate the many ways your company supports and promotes social causes is incredibly powerful and sharing the story of your brand’s commitments in an evocative and memorable way.  These branded content pieces also become an easily shared and consumed window for consumers to look into your organization and validate their support for your work. 

How to Create Good Branded Content

Good branded content needs to recognize that the brand itself needs to take a backseat to a truly compelling larger story.  Whether it’s a film to spotlight heroes, or social advocates, that may have a connection with your company or a video series on the history and work the company has done for their community, the key is always to be sincerely more interested in speaking to the culture of the brand rather than the products or services they sell.

We continue to build examples of this with our clients. We recognized that along with selling your products or services. There has to be a human connection that provides a benefit to the end user, your consumers. This is a key pathway to the level of sincere brand loyalty and evangelism that Creative Energy describes as a “cult brand.” The hard part isn’t getting a message out but rather cutting through the clutter.  Brands must give their advocates something they care about, and then empowering their audience to join the work the brand is doing.  Social media is a powerful tool to help give your consumers the agency they need to share your story and drive their sphere of influence to engage with your branded content.

Branded content does not take on any single form. At Creative Energy, we take pride in working with brands to create content that best reflects the brands values rather than just looking to promote your product benefits over your competitor.  To just promote benefits is not a relevant strategy in 2020, because many times those benefits are subjective to those of your competition.


One reason branded content has become so successful is due to the new way we consume information in the digital age—where the world is at our fingertips. With changing algorithms, higher use of ad blockers, on-demand viewing and the ability to skip ads, brands are challenged to rethink ways to deliver their message. More than ever, customers are in control of the content they consume. They are even willing to pay subscriptions to avoid ads and reduce their advertising exposure. We have found the best way to overcome this is by creating content they seek and feels natural. 

At Creative Energy, we believe that branded content is a unique form of marketing that is based on provoking an emotion response through storytelling, to share your brand values and culture. We believe branded content is designed to touch the target audience unlike that of more traditional advertising. Instead of focusing on the direct sale and touting product features, branded content focuses on the interest and needs of the consumer.

Let Creative Energy use our storytelling ability to bring your brand to life and create that connection that create brand love that is stronger than any bullet list of features or why a brand thinks you need them over a competitor. Does your content align with your brand values? Contact us today, and let us help you tell the story of your brand’s greatness to those that are desperately wanting to hear from you—your passionate customers.