February 27, 2024
Case Study

Brand Differentiation: Examples from organic social media content and paid performance advertising


Most industries are a sea of sameness.

So to help give you ideas for communicating exclusivity in your marketing, today we bring you examples from an AI platform and a car finance and loan company.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

If you need help with brand differentiation, try this prompt in MECLABS AI (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa). It’s totally free to use, you don’t even have to register (for now):

‘Based on MECLABS Principles, could you guide me through a process of identifying and amplifying our unique value proposition to achieve distinct brand differentiation in our market?’

And read these examples from your peers to get some ideas for your own brand…

Quick Case Study #1: AI platform gets 222% more comments on LinkedIn by adding humor, consistent branding

Wonderway is a sales performance platform.

BEFORE: Social media content not on brand, not unique

The team has been creating content for a long time – podcasts, webinars, ebooks, carousels, etc.

However, while the substance of the content itself was on brand, the colors, the fonts, and the 'voice' were not. Each webinar had a different look, each ebook had a different color. The audience would see and like it on LinkedIn, but they didn't associate the content with the brand, hurting brand awareness.

Also, it was useful content, but nothing was particularly unique.

Creative Sample #1: AI platform’s previous content on LinkedIn

Creative Sample #1: AI platform’s previous content on LinkedIn

AFTER: Consistent branding, and content with humor

The team started adding its logo and color scheme to social media content.

They also experimented with a more fun, engaging voice in addition to their traditional informative content. Now the brand’s LinkedIn page publishes 'serious' content on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and ‘fun’ content on Wednesday and Friday.

For example, they sell an AI tool called COACH that listens to sales calls and gives feedback to the rep. So, during Christmas time, they had a campaign where COACH would analyze Christmas songs from a sales perspective.

Creative Sample #2: AI platform’s new content on LinkedIn

Creative Sample #2 -- AI platform’s new content on LinkedIn

“We wanted to do something about Christmas, and something that showcased what our product does. I've noticed that, in a lot of Christmas songs (and that's why I get annoyed) they make everything about themselves, which happens to be a mistake we make in sales too (aka, our target market),” said Mafalda Johannsen, Director of Growth, Wonderway. She wrote the ads, pretending to be the AI coach.

They also created a comic strip series, drawn by the marketing team’s designer, where the main character is the company's logo. The comic strip unfolds as a narrative, with the logo taking on the role of an AI coach. This animated character engages in banter with a sales representative, conveying the capabilities of the AI coaching solution.

Creative Sample #3: AI platform’s new comic strip on LinkedIn

Creative Sample #3: AI platform’s new comic strip on LinkedIn

"There is a lot of noise around AI with thousands of tools emerging daily, making it challenging for us to stand out. We wanted to break free from traditional marketing and create something that not only grabs attention but also leaves a lasting impression," she says. "Our logo-as-hero concept allows us to inject humor into the promotion of our AI coaching solution, making it relatable and memorable for our target audience."

The team publishes two cartoons per week. Some are more innocent, and some are more provocative. They try to balance them out to see what works, and what doesn't week by week.

To gut check the cartoons, the team asks contacts in sales if they understood the cartoons, if they resonated, which one was their favorite, if they were too sassy, etc. It's always a bit biased, but they also check the reaction week by week on LinkedIn. So far, they haven’t had any bad comments or reactions, but if they do get some, they look at it as a great learning opportunity.

Here are the three pillars the team used to find their brand voice on LinkedIn:

  1. It's always the same person writing the content. Before, there were different people here and there.
  2. It's written by someone who deals with customers and prospects all day long.
  3. It's someone who's active on LinkedIn and sees which content people share and which content has more 'likes' and engagement.

RESULTS: 222.2% increase in comments

The team started the strategy just before Christmas 2023 and have seen a 63.9% month-over-month increase in reactions and a 222.2% boost in comments on LinkedIn, the only social media network the brand is on. There has been no change in reposts.

They also started to get inbound leads almost every day. Before, they used to have a couple each week. On one of the inbound forms where they ask, “Where did you hear about us?" the prospect wrote: ‘Who hasn't heard about you? You're everywhere!’ The team attributes the comment to the more consistent branding since they were publishing regularly before, but also to the greater reaction from the more human, relatable content.

“Humor is100% risky. But the cost of inaction is higher. Great marketing creates reactions, so even a 'bad' reaction could be good, depending on the scale and nature of it. As my budget was cut by a lot, I was willing to take the risk: blunt marketing with a low budget won't get you far,” she advised.

“Salespeople are on LinkedIn to learn but also to take a break from their stressful job, that's why Tom Boston, Sales Feed, Corporate Bro, and some others are so successful (they were part of the inspiration for this project),” Johannsen said.

Quick Case Study #2: Car finance and loan company gets 15% higher conversion rate by testing a specific offer

Driva is a tech startup in the financial and automotive loan industry that provides a platform for users to search, compare, and apply for car and personal loans. The team conducted A/B testing on a landing page that gets traffic from performance ads.

BEFORE: No specific offer

The team crafted its initial landing page to inform customers about the key selling points of its service. The headline offered ‘pre-approved car loan offers in minutes’ and the body copy promised car loan offers from 30 Aussie vendors.

The main image showed vehicles since the service helped customers get car loans.

Copy under the CTA button reassured customers – ‘This won’t affect your credit score.’

“The design also showcases our trustworthiness with prominent display of customer reviews and ratings from Trustpilot and Google,” said Philana Kwan, Associate Growth Marketer, Driva.

Creative Sample #4: Landing page Variant A

Creative Sample #4: Landing page Variant A

However, they realized this approach lacked a compelling hook and differentiation that could immediately grab attention and convert users effectively.

AFTER: Adding a specific, differentiated offer (backed by an incentive)

The team recognized the need for a unique offer that could serve as a conversion catalyst. They created a landing page that focused on a price guarantee to increase trust, reduce the perceived anxiety for potential customers, and stand out from the competition.

The headline was ‘Best Price Promise!’ and the body copy offered a compelling incentive – a $300 fuel voucher – if the customer found a better rate for the same loan elsewhere.

They also changed the image from a generic image of cars to an image showing what the results of taking the conversion action (getting a free quote) looked like. The image showed a comparison of two quotes – ‘$590/mth over 3 years’ vs. ‘$640/mth over 4 years’ – and included a visual tag reaffirming the best price promise.

Copy under the CTA button reaffirmed the offer – ‘If we can't, you'll walk away with the voucher, obligation free!’

Creative Sample #5: Landing page Variant B

Creative Sample #5: Landing page Variant B

“The test was run as a server-side landing page A/B test split using the platform Swipe Pages which allowed us to iterate quickly and build the variant,” Kwan said.

RESULTS: Increase in conversions

Variant B got 15% more visitors to request finance quotes on the fintech startup’s website. “It taught us that customers respond well to direct and clear offers that provide a perceived advantage over the market,” she said.

This article was distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

Related resources

Marketing Chart: How purchase experience affects customer satisfaction

Ask MarketingSherpa: How to get high-paying customers and clients

Content Marketing: Encouraging sales and upsells at the point of purchase

Improve Your Marketing

Join our thousands of weekly case study readers.

Enter your email below to receive MarketingSherpa news, updates, and promotions:

Note: Already a subscriber? Want to add a subscription?
Click Here to Manage Subscriptions