Marketing & Branding

Tattoo Marketing: How to Foster EXTREME Brand Loyalty

You’re probably loyal to at least a few specific brands – Pepsi or Coke, McDonald’s or Burger King, Advil or Tylenol, for example. But are you an advocate to the extent that you would literally brand yourself with a tattoo of their logo? I’m guessing no. But some people are, and those are the people your brand needs to reach. Those people have the potential to turn into not only lifelong loyal customers, but lifelong brand advocates.

According to The Cult Branding Company “… a brand’s outliers—their most outrageous fans and radical customers—are the people with whom marketers should engage, talk, and most importantly, listen. Although tattooing brand logos and imagery may seem too extreme to marketers, these outliers represent a brand’s choir. These radical customers understand your business on a deeper, more meaningful level than marketers.” So how do you find those potential “outliers” and keep their attention and loyalty?

brand logo tattoos
These are just temporary … but your brand could inspire the real deal.

First, you’ll need to understand why people choose to get tattoos of their favorite brands. Then you can harness those strategies and mimic them to get some lifelong loyal customers of your own.

Consumers choose to get inked with their favorite brand for a variety of reasons. As The Cult Branding Company state, some people do it to feel as though they belong to a unique social group, others because they have a special relationship or experience associated with the brand, and others because the brand embodies their ideals and values.

Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for … how YOU can create a brand worthy of lifelong ink. Essentially, it all comes down to extremely effective, immersive branding.

Know your market, and stick to it. People get tattoos of their favorite brand because they feel that brand represents their lifestyle. For example, “badasses” (or bros) might get a tattoo of the Monster Energy Drink logo, hipsters might get a PBR tattoo, athletes could opt for the Nike swoosh, and a “child at heart” might get inked with the Disney logo. Vans represents the lifestyle of west coast skaters and surfers, and they learned the hard way to stick with their target audience. Establish which niche audience your brand is meant for, and then stick with it.

Appeal to your target audience’s lifestyle and priorities. Once you figure out who your target audience is, make sure that every experience they have with your brand reflects their personality and interests. This includes everything from your advertising, spokespeople, social media, and in-store experience, to your actual product. Every aspect of your brand’s personality should directly align with the kinds of customers you hope to attract. You shouldn’t simply sell your product; every interaction with your brand should be an experience.

atari logo tattoo
One Atari fan took her dedication to the extreme.

On a related note, you must create a cohesive brand identity. This is where your packaging, ad design, and logo come into play. You must be highly selective when choosing the typeface and design of your logo, because as the Retail Alphabet Game suggests, if you brand yourself effectively consumers will be able to identify your brand based on one letter of your logo. And after all, if it’s your logo you want people to be tattooing onto themselves for life, that thing better be aesthetically pleasing and iconic.

If all else fails, you can try flat-out challenging your customers to get tattoos of your brand like Ecko Unltd. Or you can provide free tattoos of your logo and offer a relevant reward for those who choose to get inked like the alcoholic beverage Sailor Jerry did earlier this year.