We’re an advertising and marketing agency with a focus on branding, so naturally all of us here are fans of creating a strong brand image. But we just started working with a global client (who shall remain nameless) that recently redesigned its collateral in an effort to drive brand awareness. The result: a consistent architecture and well-defined style guidelines, but marketing materials that don’t quite capture the attention of their audience and often fall short when it comes to promotional and sales initiatives.
Generally you hear marketers preaching not to sacrifice the brand to make the sale, but the reverse also holds true. You can have one of the most recognizable brands in the world, but if you can’t garner customer interest in your product or service, then as a marketer you haven’t done your job.
Awareness vs. sales
Brand awareness doesn’t always translate to high sales. Awareness is the first stage in this general set of customer funnel stages:
Once potential customers become aware of your brand, they enter the consideration process. If they cannot decipher or do not connect with the message you are conveying to them, they will likely never move beyond this stage. So while you’re focusing on creating a strong brand, be sure you convey just what it is that brand stands for. That means clearly defining your company’s value proposition in your messaging, because if your brand doesn’t stand for something, it will be remembered for nothing.
The future of our unnamed client
Is our new client doomed to miss its sales goals? Certainly not. We see this as a great opportunity push the limits of their brand guidelines to create more compelling brochures, sales campaigns, direct mail pieces, etc. We won’t break the rules, but we will bend them in such a way to make their collateral and sales materials more impactful. And ultimately, our goal is to help the client gain the market share it rightfully deserves.
We’ll do this by taking the time to make each and every one of their promotions look like the big one customers won’t want to miss. We want customers to connect with the brand on a psychological and emotional level. So we’ll zero in on the company’s value proposition and make sure it’s injected into everything we create for them.
The moral of the story
Never forget that while you’re in the process of building your brand, what you’re really trying to do is build your business. Because as much as we’d all love our brands to be household names, we want to make sure they’re accompanied by solid messaging that inspires people to buy into whatever it is we’re selling.
Like thousands of communications technology executives, vendors, analysts, consultants and corporate IT decision makers, I flew down to Orlando last week to attend the Enterprise Connect show, the leading Enterprise Communications conference. After almost 20 years of providing marketing support to the major players in communications and technology, I’ve never been more energized about the future.
IP Telephony, collaboration, cloud, mobility, Unified Communications, and video. Accessibility in and out of the office with our very own devices such as smart phones and tablets. These were a few of the themes the keynotes had us buzzing about. The forward-thinking keynotes from Verizon’s Farooq Muzaffar and Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer addressed the ease and efficiency of implementing and deploying these technologies.
As the availability of information becomes ubiquitous, it’s more important than ever for forward-thinking companies to get their message out. Study the landscape, determine what your key differentiators are, educate the market, generate demand, and distinguish yourself in the marketplace. An educated buyer is a great opportunity. Only after you’ve zeroed in on what’s truly unique about your company and your offerings… will you capture mindshare and the market share you deserve.
As the owner of a full-service marketing agency, I’ve worked with companies in every industry of every size. Over 20 years I have found some common missteps that reoccur in many organizations, which I have translated into key learnings that can guide the way you approach marketing. They sure do for my organization. Below you’ll find a snapshot on each of my five “truths” of marketing.
read more »
Just days away from the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, most of us are reflecting on the events that transpired that day and how they’ve affected our lives. It would be hard to find someone over the age of 15 who doesn’t remember where they were when they first heard the news. In my case, “heard” was quite literal, as I sat at my desk in a Manhattan ad agency located several blocks north of the World Trade Center. My colleagues and I heard the first plane strike the North Tower, and watched everything unfold from the window of the CEO’s office, simultaneously tuned into the TV reports of what we were witnessing first hand.
read more »
Switch to our mobile site