New Year’s Resolutions may be just slightly out of fashion, but truly there’s no more logical time to regroup, re-energize and reconsider your game plan going into another year with your brand. We’ve certainly been thinking about it – and these are the things we’re putting at the center of our branding, marketing and communications programs:
- Listen With Intent. And we mean really listen. Actively, deliberately, strategically. In tough times, research can seem pricey and an easy step to skip (we all love to get to to the action, after all). But consider this — what results would you expect from your football team of choice on the gridiron if they skipped the film, the strategy sessions and the practice, and went straight to the kickoff? Remember the old saying – knowledge is power.
- Authenticity Is King. More authentic and relatable brand identity and messages will increase your chances of finding yourself in the end zone, fiscally speaking. Consumers and stakeholders are too savvy for the slick or sugar-coated – thanks to real-time and globally accessible social media and citizen journalists. Show your audience you understand this, and respect them enough to be real.
- The Rule of Engagement. While traditionally both B2B and B2C brands have centered branding and marketing strategies on outreach, in this era of social media and digital communications – and this still-worried business climate – engagement is critical. The good news is that engagement is a natural evolution of outreach, building on current good efforts to reach the next level of give and take. These are the basics — a good coach, for example, carefully considers and deliberately creates value in the roles of every member of his team. Remember, particularly in this economy, an engaged audience is an invested audience.
- Collaboration Is Not A Four-Letter Word. In this increasingly competitive world, the value of working together and creating collaboratively (rather than in a vacuum) is undeniable. Your brand, in most cases, can only benefit by finding your niche and blending your talents with good partners and strong supporters. Remember that football team we mentioned? Star QBs without a strong offensive line usually end up spending more time flat on their backs than moving the ball down the field.
And, if you’ll indulge us as we take our football analogy to its logical conclusion, the key to the success of any branding game you’re playing? To score, you must execute with precision.