- How can your brand better empower your audience?
Businesses grow dramatically when they focus on empowering their audience instead of interrupting them. You will grow exponentially if you actually focus your communications on actually improving people’s lives, instead of focusing on how great are we as a brand? Patagonia uses sustainability education to empower their customers to be responsible for the climate. Guitar-maker Fender uses education to make learning to play guitar easier. Another tool can be inspiration, such as Red Bull’s campaigns which show people from around the world pushing the limits on what humans can do physically.
- How can you elevate your internal focus to maximize your external impact?
The biggest mistake that businesses make on marketing and advertising is that they focus externally before focusing internally. They’re focused on how many ads can I buy, and what’s the key story that I’m going to put in those ads? You first need to find out what your brand purpose is. What drives your organizational culture? And perhaps most importantly, what are you going to do about it? Many companies are coming around to culture and purpose, but they’re not quite sure what the action item is. The action item is to bring value to people’s lives, to improve their lives when they engage with you. It could be education, it could be inspiration, it could be facilitation, but you need to bring that to life in a meaningful way. Once you’ve got your leadership, your purpose, your culture, your content, your overall experience figured out internally, then you can start focusing externally on advertising.
- How can your brand better reduce friction?
One of the best things we can do to really empower our audience is to really focus on the friction points preventing them from engaging with the product or service we provide. How do you make everything as easy to purchase as possible and give the functional information people need so they can understand what makes your product different, what makes your product better? Many brands skip over this step in favor of more emotional storytelling. First, make sure you have the functional information infrastructure in place that they need to confidently choose you and have a great customer experience. Then you can build that sexy advertising campaign.
- How can you maximize your RTB (Reason to Believe)?
The brand pyramid is a simple technique for thinking about brand promise that can provide long-term value for an organization; if you do it right, you don’t ever need to go back to the drawing board. Brand pyramids are driven by reason to believe (RTB). The RTB answers the question, why should your brand be the only option worth considering? Many of us can list off dozens of things we love about our products. Creating an RTB forces you to focus on three key things. Once you have your RTB, you can build a brand pyramid that marries the function benefits with the bigger picture of your brand.
- How can your brand better tell the truth?
The more you look at data and the more human interactions you have, the more you realize that the answer to every question is to just speak the truth. Be as straightforward as possible. A great example of this is Apple’s 1984 ad campaign–a 60-second spot that ran once. This is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most important ad campaigns ever. But if you look at the financial performance of Apple after the 1984 campaign, nothing happened. What really changed their business was the iPod. Their launch campaign for the iPod was very simple, “1,000 songs in your pocket.” If you bought Apple stock the day that ad came out in 2001, you’d be a millionaire right now. That’s how effective straightforward, functional advertising can be.
Thank you to the Ivy for sharing these great branding tips and advice.