Marketing & BrandingWhat's your story & are you sticking to it?
MARKETING FOR A NEW AGE
Marketing has fundamentally changed. Moving into the future, the companies that will succeed are the ones who move away from the traditional marketing methods and start getting more creative with their tactics. Businesses that provide great value and earn customer loyalty with permission marketing strategies will prevail over those stuck on forcing their messages into the lives of annoyed consumers.
WHERE DOES GREAT MARKETING START?
It always starts with your brand. Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter? If you can’t clearly and quickly answer these three questions then you have to start there. Once you can answer these questions, you need to determine who you want to attract. Different types of audiences will be found through different channels and attracted in different ways.
If you can clearly explain what your brand stands for and know who you would love to attract, then you can move onto solid and creative marketing strategies. This brand foundation gives you a roadmap for all marketing decisions, and makes it easy to say no to opportunities that will lead nowhere.
A brand needs to be carefully crafted to appeal to a certain kind of customer; a customer with whom a relationship can be built. A brand must be simple, single-minded, assertive, and memorable.
By definition, a brand includes some basics: Your logo, tagline, website, advertising, customer support, quality control, etc.
What you show and tell the world combines with customer experience to create your brand. If the story you tell lines up with a great experience every step of the way you will build a strong and profitable brand that people are loyal to and love.
There’s one that is most important to us because it affects everything else: customer experience. It’s about them. Not you. Not us. The question is, what kind of experience do they want and need? How do they want to feel? What problems do they have?
What can you provide that gives them the experience they are seeking? More importantly, how can it be done for the long-term, building the kind of brand recognition and trust that popular brands have?
How Do We Create a Strong Brand? It’s All About the Foundation.
Step 1: Listening
The critical first step is to identify the basics about the brand through a listening session. We discuss the organization, its services or product, its future goals, and more. We also discuss the ideal audience(s) and begin the process of identifying who they are, what problems they have and what motivates them to action.
Step 2: Get to know the audience
We will go low-tech and spend time having personal conversations with the kind of people that match your intended audience. Then, we will support these interactions by reading reports, articles, and what the audience is saying in social media. With all these pieces in place, we can define what makes them tick so we can begin telling the right story and turn people in this audience into loyal customers.
Step 3: Explore the competition
We must find out what other brands are competing for the same audience. What works and doesn’t work about their brand in terms of position, placement, and product? Most importantly, we will find the areas for new opportunities.
Step 4: Kickstart the creative process
We will generate loads of ideas that appeal to the senses of this audience: textures, words, tones, experiences, you name it. Some of the questions we will answer include: What comprises the life they have and the life they want to have? Where are the overlaps and gaps? How can your brand help them achieve the life they WANT to have?
Step 5: Create possible platforms
We will bring together the approach, pitch, name, and logo to make it very clear to the audience what the new brand is all about. Multiply that by the 3-5 logo formations on hand and the most difficult part has arrived: making decisions. Your team will narrow the choices down to a top 2-3, then we will consult the audience for feedback. We will do a joint final review of options to make a confident and informed choice for the new brand.
Step 6: Create the brand
It’s time to bring together all the messages, designs and strategies to create one solid foundation for future branding and marketing. We will create graphic standards to ensure consistency across all future marketing and advertising channels. Once this stage is complete, we often move into creating the audience profiles and marketing messages that can be applied to your website, marketing campaigns and advertising.
Long story short: Brand Matters.
Great brands are more than a logo or color choices. Whether you need to create a new brand or re-brand your company or organization, you need the right team guiding you through the process.