Have you given thought lately to how people perceive your brand? It’s an important topic that marketers need to consider on a regular basis. The fact of the matter is, in this digital age if we’re not actively defining our brands, we can be sure other people will take on that responsibility for us. That’s not a good plan. As marketers we need to be active in defining our brands at every opportunity so that consumers understand what they stand for, how they excel and the value proposition they represent.
You’re probably saying to yourself: “Easier said than done.” I agree. It’s not a simple process to bridge the gap between what I think about my brand and what others think. There are principles, however, that we can actually borrow from good teachers that will help us to better define our brands and help them to stand out more. No doubt, brand marketers need to become teachers, constantly promoting the learning process about what our brands should mean in the minds of consumers.
Here are the teaching principles we need to put to work to ensure that our brands are well defined in the market:
Reinforce what your brand stands for as often as possible. Enlist the help of any and every communication platform to get the brand messages out. Repetition is the key to learning.
Don’t mix things up. Don’t go off topic. Communicate the same brand messages, in the same manner and tone, any and every time your brand is highlighted.
Good teachers find new and creative ways to present their materials. This helps keep the attention of the students, or in our case consumers. Look for ways to leverage creativity while maintaining the integrity of your brand messages.
The longer the message continues in one exposure, the more likely it will be misunderstand and interest will wane. Keep things to the point for maximum impact.
Teach the Value
Remember in high school the classes you sat through thinking: “When will I ever use this in real life?” The topics didn’t do much to keep you interested or motivated. Don’t make your consumers endure that. Make sure they understand the value in it for them. If you don’t, you’ll lose them.
Maybe it’s time for an audit of your brand. Do you know what consumers think about it? If not, now is the time to put on your teacher’s hat. A strong brand definition is critical to success now more than ever.
If you’re a marketer in the Chicago area, don’t miss BrandSmart, the premier
branding event of the year sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association. This year’s event, titled “Crank Your Brand Up to ‘11” will be held on June 22 in downtown Chicago.
Author: Steve Sonn
Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.