This week, we’re going to share a system that has allowed us to deliver amazing ROI for our clients in the realm of brand marketing, a world with a reputation for being fluffy, hard to measure etc.
So, what’s the secret behind the stellar results? Unfortunately for our age of snackable content, minuscule attention spans and instant fix promises, it’s not a simple one dimensional answer. There are 4 ingredients in our secret sauce that will give you an incredible brand marketing result. Let’s take a look.
In many mid sized businesses, the senior management team or the marketers define the target market and messaging. Based on their (often extensive) understanding of their industry. The assumption goes “I’ve worked on a similar product/service offering, these people will be similar to those I’ve reached before.”
Now, we’re going to upset a few people here, but this rationale sucks. Why, you ask me? Because you’re asking the wrong people. Imagine you’re not doing whatever it is you do. Imagine instead that you’re gainfully employed as a marketer at Pete’s Pony Nuts.
Your MD walks in and says “we’re going to make grass pellets, bit like the pony nuts but we’re going to dye them pink.” After all, unicorns look a bit like horses, just a bit more candy coloured right? And you say “yeah and we’ll tell them about how the grass is biodynamic and the colour is natural….” and off you both go, quite taken with your strategy. There’s a big problem here though. Unicorns don’t eat grass. Or grass pellets. Unicorns eat clouds. How do we know that? Simple. We asked the bloody unicorn.
Step 2 is all about what you use your market research information and strategy for. This doesn’t have to be about creating a brand new identity, it can be about deepening and evolving your existing one so that it actively contributes to the commercial success of your business. And this is essential, because brand work is labour intensive, so if you’re not nailing your messaging when you change your brand, you’re taking on a load of expense as opposed to investment.
Rebrands are massively labour intensive, even in mid sized businesses. They can involve hundreds if not thousands of pieces of artwork to be created. And they’re often just to jazz up the logo or refresh the colour palette. No wonder branding gets a bad rap sometimes.
Brands have to do more than just look and sound good. They need to have a set of values and a story that their target market can really engage with. This isn’t first and foremost about how you look, it’s about who you are as a business, and ideally as every person within that business, creating their own stories in line with the brand values.
So, now you’ve got a solid identity to work from, a messaging niche to own, this is the time to bring that to life and start letting your brand talk to the wider world about who you are and what you stand for. If you do the same as everyone else in your industry, you’re all scrapping for the same lead, with the same ammunition. It’s going to be an expensive bloodbath where no one really wins.
Telling a truly different story that engages with your audience, human to human, rather than listing the same feature, advantage, benefit lists as everyone else, will make you more money. Not that these lists aren’t essential when it comes to brochures, websites and detail work where people are looking to back up their instinctive decision with logic and facts, but they shouldn’t be what you lead with.
Once you’ve got a compelling proposition, a story that’s actually going to help you sell more stuff, you need to make sure you give it as much oxygen as possible. You need to nail time and place. This is all about smart media choices to amplify this great brand message you’ve crafted, being where your customer is considering purchase, rather than just where they are.
Finally, you need to be able to react fast in campaign which is much easier as a mid sized business, make sure you’ve got a proper analytics setup, use your agility, your compact decision chain, and don’t be afraid to kill your children if stuff isn’t working the way you think it should.