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Howdie Entrepreneur! Here’s wishing you a fantastic New Year.
You know, what would be the new year’s resolutions we would like our clients to take?
Up for a little laugh? Read on!
1. I will understand that people have a life beyond office hours too.
2. I will try and give a proper brief, at least by the 5th time.
3. I will not expect life-changing ideas in a jiffy.
4. I will not ask for a bigger logo, copy iterations or a “better” creative just because I’m having a bad day.
5. I will agree when they say that branding is more than just a logo.
Guess, that’s enough to get the ball rolling and warm you up. Now, let’s get to the other side and listen to your part of the story. We are sure grass isn’t any greener on your side of the moor.
As you closed the ledger for 2019, you might have noticed a lot of ups and downs in business. The changing market scenarios, shifting customer purchase behaviors and the tough competition might have taken a toll on you. And that’s why, perhaps, you would have decided to introduce a few changes in your brand strategy for good. Now just like you can’t expect life-changing ideas from a branding studio overnight, we or your customers can’t expect you to take major branding decisions in the blink of an eye.
As you stand at the threshold of 2020, there isn’t a better time to think ‘branding’, especially with the rapid pace of digitalization. You simply can’t afford to get knocked out by competitors and become a ‘once upon a brand.’
So how can you be sure that you are all geared up for the New Year? Have a branding studio watch your back? Well, great! But along with that a little discipline from your end will not go in vain. Let’s look at these branding resolutions to step into 2020 with an air of confidence.
Untangling thought is the first step towards a successful vision, and as a result, a successful organization. Of course, all your branding ideas will revolve around having a fat pocket. And there’s nothing wrong with that (unless you are an NGO). But when you draw conclusions without clarity of thought, you’re already paddling backward.
We are not talking about the great mission of your company or the goals your founder mentioned in that great speech during the annual meeting. Sure, they are important, but we are referring to day to day strategic decisions that are related to the ads you release or the offers you propose to your customers.
When it comes to bigger goals, everyone is clear. You, your personnel and your stakeholders stretch out hands to take the oath. But what about decisions that happen as quickly as a flash?
Let’s look at this case study of a marketing blunder.
Perhaps some learning there?
In 2017, Dove released their “Real Beauty” campaign. The brand, however, ended up generating feelings of self-consciousness among women. Subtly, Dove has been running a campaign like this for about 15 years, already showcasing real bodies of women. Up until 2017, this was quite an effective brand strategy. The blunder only happened when they released 7 new packaging bottles that supposedly women had to associate with their body type. This was one of those advertisements mishaps where the brand did not think from the end-customers’ (here: women’s) perspective. The customer feedback included that the brand picked up shapeless and unattractive designs which were not in sync with the communication they wanted to establish with their campaign.
It’s always important to keep the general goal in mind when aiming for successful strategies, else everything can go haywire. So, untangle your mind, have clarity. Ask yourself: Why this move? Do I want to engage my customers, generate leads, pitch for sales or simply create a recall value.
Having a clear motive for a move seems like common sense but if it were as common, we would see more of strong-visioned brands out there.
Click on any business website and the below scenario is not quite uncommon
· Our products are great
· Our prices are competitive
· We are a quality conscious brand
· We offer excellent customer support
Just like other brands, you might also be insisting upon most of these promises. But they will only pull you into the muddle of clichés. To cut the noise, you need to have a unique proposition and then thrive upon it. There you go! If you understood this statement, you have understood what branding is at its core.
So how to go about it? Well, you are quite aware of your company’s mission. Saying so, you know what’s the base of your existence. You know how your product or service benefits the consumer and you know the reason why your competitor company cannot fulfill this need. So perhaps you know why someone should trust your brand over the other.
There lies the answer to your unique value.
(Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash)
What makes people so emotional about their old Levis denim? Is it because it is better than other brands? Is it cheaper? Or is it that feeling of ‘getting comfortable in your skin’ that makes consumers the brand’s loyal customers. Likewise, what is so unique about Starbucks? taste? price? or the experience of getting a kick in a welcoming ambiance?
Your unique value proposition is your brand promise. As an established brand, what do you want to offer your customers — just a product or the value behind it?
The whole point of developing a brand strategy is to ultimately have them reflect it in the account books. And that can’t happen without some unique marketing ideas. Then again, your branding and marketing strategies should go hand in hand. Everything will go down the dumps if those two don’t jam.
In 2020, your marketing outlets have to reflect your brand. But not by you being a pushy salesman. Millennials today are super savvy. Gen Z seems to have been conceived with a smartphone in their hand. Traditional advertisements no longer hold their interest or even social ads that pitch for sales. Nowadays, customers want to read. They want information that helps them to make sound purchase decisions. They no longer want to know how good your treadmill is. They are interested to know how it’s going to boost their health quotient.
Say, for instance, you are an insurance company. Of course, you want to sell everything: Mutual funds, wealth management services, long-term goal planning ideas, SIPs, and all that financial jazz. But if you simply tell your customers that I am great, go ahead and buy this one; it is a recipe for disaster. In fact, you just signed up for a self-roast there.
But what if you plan a campaign around one statement: “A smart or knowledgeable person is 5X more likely to make an investment decision” What if your article throws light on relevant stats and provides investment information that the reader wants. Wouldn’t that be great?
See, consumers knock at your door and go through your website or blog or ads with a particular set of expectations. With intelligent branding across all touchpoints, you can build relationships with these buyers without showing them that you are desperate for sales.
So that’s it? Have we hit the bottom? Oh no, we don’t end here. For a successful brand strategy in 2020, you will need to take a few more resolutions. But let’s not pile it up for you. Why don’t you sink these in, one by one and call us up?
At Slangbusters, we have ample space for great ideas and an excellent coffee machine to accompany while we discuss.
— by Tasneem Baldiwala, Freelance Content Writer, Slangbusters Studio