Among the core attributes of effective brand identities and PR/marketing campaigns are their ability to tell a compelling story. Whether told through colors and imagery or copy and human connection, a brand’s story takes the lead in attracting new and further engaging existing audiences. It also provides a central connecting point for individuals, strategic partners, referral sources and the community-at-large to strengthen their connections to your organization.
With so many tools and techniques in one’s marketing arsenal, ensuring your story is centered on the right characters and that you’re charting the right courses is key to brand consistency. So, what does it take to ensure your brand’s story – from image to copy – is not only consistent but on-point?
Understand your audience(s)
If you’ve read any of our other blog posts, you won’t be surprised to see this phrase appear: audience-centric. Whether your company is a small entrepreneurial endeavor or a Fortune 500, demonstrating a strong understanding of your buyers’ wants and needs is key to success. From your logo and colors to your vision and complementary key messages, it is important that your brand’s story conveys the attributes that your target audiences most strongly associate with your brand.
Telling a compelling brand story is far from a one-shot deal. Like all good marketing, it requires consistency – consistency of frequency, visual identity and voice. From your email marketing campaigns and tradeshow presence to your social campaigns and media/community relations efforts, it’s important that the communication channels that reach your target audiences are consistently being populated with fresh content. Given you are telling your brand’s story – and that stories have chapters and sequels – you will always have a wealth of content available to optimize these touchpoints.
Analyze the analytics
Data-driven marketing strategies help companies to set informed benchmarks for evaluating their successes. Whether you collect post-purchase customer surveys, have the opportunity to conduct focus groups with clients and prospects before bringing your products to market and/or conduct an annual marketing/communications survey of clients and partners, the data you collect can help to evaluate if your messages are still hitting the mark and if they are driving the action(s) that you intended.
Take an outsider’s perspective
Face it. You know your business better than anybody else. You live and breathe it day in and day out. It’s a tremendous asset to helping script the vignettes that comprise your brand’s story. That said, it can be challenging to be as objective as possible with such an intimate level of knowledge about your company or cause.
Whether it’s your first engagement with a prospect or a first meeting with a potential referral source/lead generator, an outsider’s perspective can help identify new directions in which to expand your brand’s narrative or overlooked opportunities in the marketplace to deepen the penetration of your brand’s story.
A well-articulated brand is among a company or cause’s greatest marketing assets. Whether your organization is new to the marketplace or celebrating a milestone anniversary, ensure your brand’s story is clearly articulated and ready to evolve with your organization.