I have great admiration for organizations with well-defined brands. The most successful organizations make decisions based on their desired brand position. The brand drives the entire organization. And frankly, that makes decisions a lot easier. They ask, “If we do this, is it good for our brand?” Their brand support is not just for the marketing campaigns. The leadership lives the brand. It spreads throughout the entire staff, touching their vendors and even their stakeholders. Disney comes to mind for me.
Coca-Cola is reintroducing New Coke. The Pepsi knock-off from 1985 is being used in several episodes of the Netflix series Stranger Things. New Coke is considered by many to be the biggest marketing blunder in American history. Not me. In fact, I think it was genius marketing.
You've seen it before. A brand tries an off-the-wall campaign and then they roll out another brand-new campaign the next season. Sure, campaigns change, you can test out new messages and mix things up. But it's important to know the difference between a campaign and your entire brand.
Once when I was conducting brand research for a large regional bank, I was interviewing commercial customers and prospects and heard one piece of unexpected feedback over and over. ‘Quickly. I want the answer quickly, even if it’s ‘no.’ It’s interesting that getting turned down for a loan can be considered a positive customer experience.
One of the most memorable marketing strategies I have witnessed is Doan’s Pills. Many years ago they attempted to separate the brand from others in the category by claiming suggesting that their product worked especially well for back pain. Apparently, that Magnesium Salicylate Tetrahydrate knew just where to travel in your body. But, consumers bought the idea and bought the product too. Lots of it.
There’s a simple rule about consistency in advertising design: Each execution should have a similar look so that your campaign becomes recognizable, benefitting from the frequency of each impression with your target audience. Consistency results in familiarity, which leads to trust. We marketers know it and live it. That is, until it comes to the voice of the brand. Then, consistency hardly exists for most of them.
Brand voice is just as crucial to marketing communications as design, yet most people fail to define how their brands are represented in the written or spoken word.
Pause for a moment and listen to what’s going on in your office or home. You recognize the voices without even seeing who’s talking. The same should be true for your brand. Your prospects and customers should be able to get far more than words from how you ‘speak.’
Your brand voice represents your style and attitude.
The personality and tone of your ad copy, social media posts and website copy should become synonymous with your brand.
There is ever-increasing demand these days that marketing produces a provable ROI (return on investment). And rightfully so. Marketing is indeed an investment that should pay off. And since we can better measure the effects of our marketing activities each day, it’s right to expect proof of success from our marketing spend. We provided a simple formula in our blog about how to track marketing results.
The modern marketer believes that marketing is so much more difficult today than ever before. There’s no captive audience watching one of four networks during primetime. There’s no printed circular that bumps your sales each Wednesday. No radio remote- broadcast from your store where people flock to meet the deejay and maybe get a free t-shirt. No e-mail blast that overloads your website. Man, it’s hard… until you start listening to your prospect.
Never go to the grocery market hungry. If you do, you'll come home with much more than you went for, and with some items that you would never buy. That’s because when you’re hungry, everything sounds good, right? And you’re not finished shopping until you’ve grabbed a few of the impulse items at the checkout stand. It’s too easy to grab the Kit Kat and throw it in your cart.
When we discuss targeting capabilities of various digital platforms, clients often use the term ‘creepy.’ People can be a bit uneasy with the realization that they are being targeted with ads based on their own actions, purchases and self-reported information.
You know most of what you need to know about your industry, your customers and your competition. You could look at a survey and predict 90% of the answers, right? That’s the story of my career. I know my clients and their industries very well. But I keep pitching primary research to them. And it’s all so that I can make a buck!