Brands in the Social World
By Brett Raynes • 10 Aug 2011
A brand is a promise. So keeping your promise is all that need be done to build the brand. That’s the theory anyway.
The problem is that for a brand to be built, all communications must incrementally support and enhance its core promise. No communication can be negative or neutral. The effect of a negative brand message is obvious. The effects of neutral messages are more subtle – but equally damaging. These are communications that confuse the brand; they create noise, they blunt the core brand promise – something that should be laser sharp.
In the world where most communications came from the marketing department (and were therefor controlled), life was easier. Every message could be pre-approved and checked for compliance. In the social world, this is no longer the case.
Almost every member of the company can communicate to the various publics. Suppliers, customers and even competitors can do the same. And the natural tendency of their messaging is one of confusion. Messages won’t all be negative (perhaps from the competition they will), but they are likely to be neutral on average. And as discussed earlier, neutral messaging dulls the brand and hides the core promise.
The only option is to think harder, try harder and be better at delivering. The business needs to be clearer about it's core promise, and then needs to work harder at ensuring that it truly delivers on this in every aspect of what it does - product, service, support, marketing, sales... It’s not so much a case of shouting loader in noisy room in order to attract attention; it’s more a case of standing aside from the rest, being consistent and being attractive, so others come to listen.
Now that's hard!
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