DOES YOUR BRAND INFLUENCE YOUR MARKETING?
OR, DOES YOUR MARKETING INFLUENCE YOUR BRAND?
THINK ABOUT IT.
How you market yourself determines, to a large extent, how you are perceived. How you are perceived determines your positioning, your relevance and ultimately your survival. Yet many companies do not connect their higher-level strategic objectives to everyday marketing activity.
You may argue that experience determines how you are perceived and I would not argue with that. Experience is the ultimate test as it combines the proposition with reality. If the customer experience is not aligned to the marketing proposition, then ultimately perceptions will be affected.
You see: it all has to be connected. The business strategic vision needs to be connected to the organisation: in turn it needs to be connected to the marketing proposition, which in turn needs to be connected to the customer experience. Put into a sentence, it seems simple, but in reality it is extremely difficult.
This is why many organisations outsource the problem, to their advertising agencies: for a creative solution. Sometimes this works. Sometimes the agency looks into the soul of the organisation and connects that meaningfully to the consumer: thus creating a compelling proposition for the consumer and a powerful and emotive proposition for the organisation to row in behind. Sometimes. I have seen it happen. But most times, the agency will not have the luxury of such noble thinking. They will be on a purely tactical trajectory. The creative may win awards from industry peers, but the net result may well be a slow march to commoditisation and price fighting.
Lets take a step back. What if. Instead of outsourcing the problem, the organisation looked to determine it’s positioning strategy first?
Asking itself: What place in the market can we credibly and relevantly occupy, how will that differentiate us, how do we need to be perceived to occupy that space and (looking into our own soul) how aligned are we culturally and operationally?
These are fundamental questions, that, when asked, provide a solid brand foundation and a compass with which to influence not just marketing but every facet of the organisation. This extends the role of brand beyond marketing, to that of a business strategic tool.