Flush. That’s the sound of a shockingly large number of marketing dollars spinning down the toilet. I hope you waved goodbye.
Marketing has always been more of an art than science, but that art form has become extremely complex. With all the strategies, calendars, campaigns, digital tools, and activities involved, many companies have resolved to simply try to hold on to the bucking bull as long as possible. I don’t blame them. Technology has blown the lid off this marketing beast.
It’s incredibly difficult to run an effective marketing program, and at times it can feel like absolute chaos.
We hear these kinds of of “headless-chicken directives” all the time:
“We need social!”
“Get us on Google advertising.”
“I heard video is the next big thing,”
Am I the only one feeling the anxiety attack coming? Yeesh.
So companies spend their time, energy, and budgets on the latest tool and hold their breath for the next quarterly report. Hopefully there’s some percentage of growth that the marketing department can take credit for, or (if not growth) at least not a decline. In the meantime, good luck sleeping at night.
Thankfully, there is another way.
It’s not a quick fix or a cheap trick. It’s the real deal.
I propose we tame the bull.
Identity First. Messaging Later.
All the tactics, channels, and strategies out there are rubbish unless they’re built upon an authentic brand identity. When marketing messages flow from an authentic brand identity, they resonate with an audience like never before. For all you math lovers, let me sum it up (ha, see what I did there?):
Authentic Brand Identity = More New Customers, More Repeat Customers, More Refferals
Here’s why it works: The world is exhausted from listening to a plethora of businesses say the same things in the same ways, looking the same, and feeling the same — just like the green aliens from Toy Story. There’s no story to listen to, there’s no personality to enjoy, just regular ol’ plain oatmeal (nothing against oatmeal…I like oatmeal…but you get my point).
Brands who are confident in their identity are the remedy. They’re the “Buzz Lightyear and Woody” in a world of plastic green minions. Customers respond to stories they can participate in, a personality they connect with, and a system of values that aligns with theirs. Audiences naturally gravitate towards brands they connect with.
Be real, and watch your audience resonate. It looks like more sales, loyalty, repeat customers, referrals, and a positive reputation. And it feels great.
How to operate out of an authentic brand identity.
Brand identity is a nice sentiment, and resonating with your audience sounds appealing, but you don’t wake up one morning and suddenly start doing it. Operating out of an authentic brand identity is not a quick fix. Brands are complex animals and are influenced by everyone from the bank president to the newbie teller at the smallest branch.
It takes research. What are the perceptions of the brand’s personality from leadership, low level employees, lifelong customers, and new accounts? As a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data is collected, themes will begin to emerge.
It takes definition. With the data in mind, you need to begin making some decisions on what the company stands for. What kind of personality most accurately reflects the brand? What kind of story is the brand actually telling? What audience is a good fit for the brand? What words and tone accurately reflect the brand? What colors and typography convey the purpose and story of the brand clearly? The final product of these decisions is called a “brand definition.”
It takes application. A defined brand that sits up on a shelf does absolutely no good. Your brand needs to be infused into every aspect of the customer experience. That means employees need to be trained and empowered to carry the brand values and personality into their interactions. The messages being sent (not just from the marketing department, but from the whole organization) need to reflect the brand well. The brand needs to be worked into digital and physical environments alike.
The promised land.
Resonating with your audience. That’s the goal. More sales, more repeat customers, more referrals, a better reputation. That’s what you’re aiming for. That’s what good marketing does.
The day a brand operates out of its authentic identity is the day marketing becomes fun instead of fearful. It becomes powerful instead boring. It becomes effective instead of hit-or-miss. And it feels fantastic.
Resound loves helping companies discover their authentic identity and begin to implement that into their marketing and communication. Interested in seeing what that process could look like in your situation? Get in touch.