Next Level Series: Four Practical Ways to Integrate Brand and Marketing Strategies
February 12, 2019
In our last blog post we shared that brand strategy is the secret ingredient to the success of your website. We talked through what a brand is, what a brand is not, and why this matters to your website. If you didn’t have a chance to read that post, the TL;DR is this:
brands are about promises kept.
Brands are about consistency—not only in messaging—but in customer experience. Your people need to feel the same way about your brand in every encounter, whether that’s on your homepage or at your front door.
As we said before, the image and message you’re proposing on your website must be in alignment with the image and message you present in all customer encounters. Failure to develop and implement a compelling brand results in messages that are unreliable and inconsistent—two words you never want to be associated with your business.
You can have the most cohesive marketing strategy in the world, but if your brand fails to deliver on its promises, your marketing may fall flat. So in this post, we will explain how your brand and your marketing strategy can work together and produce a symphony of new business.
1. Invest equally in both your brand and marketing strategies.
The level of excellence you strive for in your brand strategy should carry on through the attention and creativity you give to marketing the brand. If you create a stellar brand design, messaging architecture, and brand elements but don’t back those up with a carefully thought out and executed marketing strategy, there will be inconsistencies your customers will notice. Poor marketing execution will take away from the excellence of your brand elements. Don’t do one with excellence and the other on the fly.
2. Engage customers in a conversation with your brand.
The old school static marketing of the past has lost relevance in the age of connectivity. We talked about social media’s influence on your website in a previous post, but it’s worth bringing it up again in terms of branding. Social media gives your brand an opportunity to engage your customers in conversations about your brand. This can be tricky and sometimes uncomfortable at first, but today’s consumer has come to expect to be part of your story before they give you their business. This requires serious persona research and being crystal clear about who is and is not your ideal customer.
3. Don’t just tell them, show them.
If you’re serious about engaging your personas, the very first action you should take once you’ve clarified your personas is to communicate with them using a multimedia approach. Solid walls of text, whether in an email or on a website, will not be read by today’s consumer. Our brains process information in videos faster than the information we read. Videos are proven to stop scrollers and get them to watch and hear your message when they may never stop to read it.
Our brains are powerfully impacted by stories and visual imagery that helps us connect with the hero’s journey. Leveraging brand films and video content is the most effective way to get your brand message and promise rooted in the minds of your customers.
If you need some advice on getting started with great video content, get our FREE Field guide below.
4. Avoid “experience whiplash” at all cost.
When we talk about experience whiplash we are talking about more than bait and switch. The latter is an intentional decision to mislead audiences to hook leads with unreliable information. Experience whiplash, on the other hand, is usually an unintentional oversight that occurs when a customer’s positive association with your brand (based on past experience) is interrupted by an unexpected and disappointing experience with some element of your marketing. It’s kind of like when great doctors have a terrible front office staff. People may endure the disappointment of bad customer service because they love their doctor, but eventually, this kind of inconsistency will put a permanent dent in an otherwise stellar brand reputation.
Another example of this is a brand that pushes its social media channels to customers but never responds to messages that come through those channels. People will quickly figure out that you’re only interested in promotion rather than engagement and quickly move on to a brand that’s listening and responding.
A strong brand and a reliable marketing strategy will communicate your promise and build integrity between you and your customers. Understanding how to weave these together in harmony can be confusing.
Our team can partner with you to help you understand which areas are working well and which need fine tuning. Give us a call when you’re ready to get started. We have ideas that can help take your marketing to the next level!