Let’s think of the marketing process like a tree.
When you think of a tree, you probably think of green leaves and maybe some fruit. But do you realize that this is only a very small part of the mass of a tree? Much of the tree is in the trunk that holds it up, and even more is in the roots, below the ground, unseen. Marketing your company works like that: the colorful part everyone sees is a product of what sits beneath the surface.
First, we have to make sure the brand is rooted. So far, you’ve been working beneath your company’s surface to uncover your core values and personality traits, which are the roots from which everything else grows.
You’ve developed a consistent set of colors, fonts, and logos. Maybe you’ve even created a brand metaphor for yourself. These act as the trunk of the tree – the unified stability which keeps you from blowing away in the wind!
So now that your foundation’s been laid, it’s finally time to communicate with your audience! You can use the guidelines and qualities you’ve developed to grow the leafy branches of your business. Leaves could be websites, blogs, brochures, email templates, landing pages, ad campaigns, billboards, signs, social media, and much more! This is the expression of your brand that people actually see.
We call this stage of marketing “resonating” with your audience.
How do I resonate?
Obviously, we put effort into our branding because we want to impact people with our content. Now, how do we do that?
Well first, let us tell you what it’s not about: It’s not about presenting yourself in whatever way you think will appeal to everybody, everywhere, for all of time.
Nirmalya Kumar said:
“As brands become larger, the need to reach greater numbers of customers makes them less edgy and dilutes their unique positioning as they try to please everyone. It is therefore not surprising to find such brands go into a few years of decline before they are able to reinvent themselves.”
He is absolutely right. When you dilute your brand’s personality and style to please everyone, you’ll get a brand that’s irrelevant and boring.
Marketing is about targeting specific groups of people and adapting your frequency to suit them. This is why Resound Creative uses the term “resonate” when we talk about branding. The Physics Classroom offers the following definition:
“Resonance – when one object vibrating at the same natural frequency of a second object forces that second object into vibrational motion…Resonance only occurs when the first object is vibrating at the natural frequency of the second object.”
Explanation: Your frequency is going to make a deeper impact in certain people, and not others. The tone that you “play” as a company will make a certain group of people respond. More importantly, there’s a tone that makes a certain group of people respond, and that’s the tone you play.
It’s not about blasting a message and hoping you reach people who care, it’s about finding the people who are already looking for or care about your message. That’s why we start at the roots, move on to the trunk, and then develop branches and leaves.
What if you skip straight to leaves?
This is more common than you might think. Companies don’t take the time to put down their roots (values and personality traits), and they skip straight to logo and visual guidelines. Or worse, they just start generating content based on their preferences for that day.
Have you ever raked leaves in the fall? That’s exactly what happens to ungrounded content. When leaves get disconnected from their tree, they wither and die very quickly. Even verbal guidelines and logos will blow over at the first sign of a breeze without grounded values (like a trunk without roots).
Resonate with Your Audience
Your business is special, and people need to see how special you are. Don’t lose the essence of your business in the swirling sea of font-types, banners, landing pages, shapes, and social media. Grow deep roots. Your company “tree” will start yielding fruit.
If we do our job right, your customers should be able to accurately describe who you are. When they can do that, we’ll know we’ve succeeded. They’ll tell their friends, and pretty soon you’ll have an orchard.
By the way, it can be hard to implement this process for your own company. Sometimes we need an outside perspective to help us view ourselves objectively. It’s like listening to yourself on an answering machine and thinking, “Do I really sound like that?”
If you’d like a fresh pair of eyes for your marketing strategy, sign up for our email list or give us a call.