I can’t stress enough the importance of defining the word brand as the definition people hold in their minds of your company and its products. Once you agree that’s what a brand is, it becomes obvious how challenging branding can be. There are so many forces working against you it can make your head spin. Even in the most perfect conditions, getting two people to define anything the exact same way is nearly impossible. As marketers, the best we can do is control what we can and continually battle the things we can’t.
What we can control are our own promotional messages. But even that’s not easy. Especially since there are so many ways consumers get their information. Think of all the promotional mix channels and subchannels you have already been exposed to today. When I wake up, the first thing I do is grab my phone and check Drudge; next I look at CNN, then I go to Google news and spend some time there. After that I check Facebook and take a quick glance at my email. Then I flip on one of the TV morning shows for some background noise. I also keep Forbes and Time magazines in the bathroom. Then I listen to the radio on my drive to work.
Meeting your customer where they live means your promotional communications have to flow through many different channels with many different characteristics. Let’s say you have a food product. Consider the different message parameters of booking your culinary expert on a morning TV cooking segment, running an ad on Facebook, and designing packaging the consumer will see on the shelf. Now consider that not only does each promotional channel have different characteristics, your customers react differently to each channel. Maybe they are half listening to the TV, ignore the ad, and stand at the store doing a comparison reading of your package with the competition’s. Branding is tricky.
At Media Relations Agency, we have found it’s important to start with the end in mind. If branding is about creating definitions for a company and its products, it’s a good idea to state exactly what you want those definitions to be.
It’s critical to codify those definitions so everyone who has anything to do with creating promotions not only has access to the brand definitions, they use them as the basis for their communication. You want your culinary expert stressing the same value points and positioning on TV that your copy writer is pointing out in the ads and your graphic designer is depicting on your packaging.
There’s a wonderful little video series that explains in detail how to create your brand definitions and control your messages so each and every one is exactly on point. The videos are based on a book entitled, “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing; The most practical marketing book you will ever read”. I’m familiar with them because I wrote the book and recorded the videos. You can have free access to these videos through this link or by going to the homepage of our website, publicity.com. The book was just sent to the publisher. It will be available in bookstores and on Amazon in the near future or you can preorder it on our website.
In the videos, I outline a six-step process I call Strategically Aimed Marketing or the SAM 6™ for short. I believe that if you follow the process I explain, you’ll get more leads, your sales will increase and you will build stronger brands. The book and videos will be good for everyone on your marketing team.
By the way, here is a note from one of our clients, Great Clips. I sent a manuscript of my book to Tammy Nienaber, who is their Director of Communications, to review. Here is what she had to say: I finally got around to taking a look at the manuscript of your book. I really like it! What a great resource for marketing teams. I could see this being valuable to our department at Great Clips. I kept thinking of the great blog posts and microblog tips that could come from this, digital mini courses, etc. Where are things at with it? When could I share this with my cohorts in marketing to see if we might use it internally?
Take a look at the video and get a copy of the book when it’s available. They are worth checking out.