Top brands in China generally have a set of well-established content marketing strategies. With well formulated and engaging content, the customers can follow, discuss and share the content on major social platforms to amplify the brand value. In the marketing world, if users can remember a brand in a short time, it means the marketing strategy has been halfway towards success. With that said, the content strategy is the core part of the entire marketing strategy.

Content marketing is not a simple point of input-output. We have seen many brands and business leaders still think in traditional ways: With big-budget, we can ignore the marketing strategy. It could use a combination of tactics (for example, maximise media coverage, building up trending topics on the social platform and splashing money in advertising) to reap the instant benefit. Although the brand might surpass your competitors in the short term, this will be less likely to implant brand value in people’s minds.

There are three layers in branding. 

The bottom layer is business and product identity which is different from competitors. With the development of business, the brand name normally plays a critical role to let people quickly remember and understand its core value. The mid-layer is trust, which is to establish a relationship with customers and win the hearts of customers. The brand carries business value that can stimulate people's deep desire, and establishes an unforgettable spiritual bond with customers.

Layer 1: The brand as an identity

We know that to establish a brand recognized by the market, we must have high-tech communication and unremitting efforts. On the contrary, the rapid dissemination of information not only can establish a brand but can also destroy a brand.

Therefore, marketers must be aware of the ancient motto of "it is difficult to build, it is more difficult to defend". Although the main purpose of businesses is to gain profit and survival, businesses must have the mentality of fighting a long-term war and managing the brand name. Therefore, although the logo serves as an information identity, we need to use the information to shape the story and value of the logo. We must give it "meaning" and establish personality IP when necessary.

Layer 2: Brand as a medium to build trustworthy

If you "trust me", what is the most important thing? Good product, reliable, easy to use and good experience. These keywords must be inseparable elements, so it is based on these basic elements to win customers' trust.

So what should we do? According to user-centred market research, product design, and after-sales control, we need to make great efforts and persevere.
Before Xiaomi's first mobile phone came out, a community forum was established to conduct market research and discuss the system, which gradually produced a batch of supporters. Lei Jun, the founder, thanked the users by directly marking the names of the core participants on the new boot screen to pay tribute.

The so-called explosion methodology is to continuously build a growth model around centralized users, rather than exchange money for traffic. Therefore, making any C-end brand is making friends with users, and the brand is the medium to gain customers' trust.

Layer 3: Brand as a culture

The spiritual level is often the business philosophy and values gradually precipitated in the long-term business process. The business tone sets the core expression of culture. Today, with the general homogenization of products, the spirituality element has become the core competitiveness of the brand.

Excellent brand culture can promote customers to achieve some psychological satisfaction when buying, establish stable relationships and emotional attachment with customers. At the same time, the customers can experience the fun elements in the brand culture which will form long-lasting bonding.

This link has a long cycle and high entry barriers. For example, UNIQLO's brand cultural strategy is life wear; Xiaomi's cultural strategy is "extreme cost performance"; Miniso is a "cost-effective small department store and boutique supermarket" which offers high-quality products.

The customer subconscious about a brand is not developed overnight. Top brands sometimes seem to be scattered in daily communication in the real world, but they are actually very focused as a whole to form spiritual and cultural ideas.