Want a Successful Brand? First Find Your Purpose
What do the best brands have in common? As we mentioned in our last post, brands come and go. Some brands come back but others just get passed up for those who have better positioned themselves in our new marketing age.
What is a Brand, Exactly?
Your brand is what is said, felt, and thought about your company. A brand is what is being said (and felt and thought) about you when you’re not in the room. Online reviews and social posts mean you’re being talked about when your back is turned. What does your brand say about you?
The Rise of Social Media Means that Companies Have LESS Control Over Their Brand Than Ever Before.
Social media has given rise to the power of brand activists and influencers. Influencer marketing is based on how many followers an influencer has and the relationship s/he has with his/her audience. This is wildly different from past marketing eras where a company controlled its own message through traditional advertising channels. Now your company is being talked about on Yelp, Google, Facebook and Instagram without your knowledge or approval. Welcome to the post-modern marketing era.
Brands That Thrive Have a Purpose and Vision
Brands that are thriving identify a purpose, and then share that purpose with their employees and customers to create a cohesive brand community. “In the past, too many companies thought about purpose cynically,” says Tom Stein, chairman and chief client officer of Stein IAS. “But in the Post-Modern Marketing era, you can’t afford to approach purpose cynically or artificially. You need to lead with a higher, customer-shared purpose. It’s almost like shared purpose is the new positioning and the new value proposition.” Read Stein’s full article “Post-Modern Brands: it takes a brand village” here.
Define Your “Why” Together to Create a Brand Community
Customers and employees have more access and more voice than ever before. Use that! Don’t hide in the corner or put your hands over your ears. Customer reviews won’t go away. Social influencers are only going to get stronger. Take your employees on a retreat to help identify and solidify your goals and brand identify. Then conduct focus groups, A/B test ads, and use customer feedback forms with your loyal customers to get information on what is working about your company and what they would like more of.
And don’t stop there! We are in a remarkable era. Things change lightning fast – so rinse and repeat. Do this every year or so to make sure you’re still on the right track in reaching your goals.